To win a bet with his best friend, the heir to JK Group, Kwon Si-Hyun, embarks on a seduction game with Eun Tae Hee, a pragmatic commoner. The Great Seducer took over MBC's Monday & Tuesday 8 PM time slot previously occupied by Two Cops and started airing on the 12th of March. Currently, 20 out of 32 episodes have been released.
The Great Seducer is the kind of show you watch alone in the evening, in a quiet environment with dimmed lights and maybe a warm coffee. The drama itself isn't actually warm but it's very calm. It's not lighthearted, but not oppressive either. There's a bizarre balance between cute comedy and sudden tragic moments. Some viewers have complained about this, saying they couldn't tell whether it was a romcom or a heavy drama. Others enjoy this mix.
I am not too keen on cutesy scenes so I skip those. I mean, we get it. They're cute af and relationship goals.
The music is enjoyable. It's a dramatic piano or happy elevator music, depending on what's on screen. The kind of melodies you would hear in a lounge at 2 AM in a chic restaurant somewhere in East Asia. Actually, I find the word "lounge" to give a rather accurate representation of the drama. Even the setting - it's always that kind of chic and hydra-detailed modern décor. I don't know about you but I find that relaxing.
It is worth mentioning that attention has been paid to the color palettes. The hue is warm and rosy or cold and dull depending on the mood the director is going for.
Visual aesthetics are important, and this includes the interior, the actors' physical appearances, and... their clothing. Korean dramas always display an interesting glimpse of what rich, avant-gardistes personalities wear, and this one is no exception. Everything our main characters wear is extravagant and screams "look at me!"
Sometimes the outfits are objectively ugly, mostly they are beautiful. Either way, they are always at least interesting, and tragically high fashion. Moreover, the stylists have an eye for detail even in secondary characters' outfits.
(See picture above of Tae Hee's aunt and her plaid co-ord matched with sneakers - they could've just made her wear mom jeans.)
I can count the times I've seen a woman dressed in a yellow coat in a hyped café on one hand.
After all, at the center of the show is our new favorite trio. And at the center of our trio is the girl who started it all.
Choi Soo Ji is a girl, or should I say a woman, for whom the two boys would do anything. Is it platonic? I won't delve into that. She abuses her "authority" in the group by asking Shi Hyun to use Tae Hee (Joy) and then throw her away. Not that Tae Hee has ever done anything to her - she just happens to be the girl her ex-boyfriend has a crush on.
Unlike her male friends, she doesn't have charisma. Moon Ga Young has no real presence and it doesn't seem like she's sourcing anything from within, but rather she's just conforming to the role the director has given her. She's simply acting, and while her acting isn't outstanding, it isn't bad either. So far, it's on the same level as Joy's.
Her friends, however, do have something serious going on. Lee Se Joo (Kim Min Jae, pictured left), was written as a cheerful and witty character. He adds life and energy to the show whenever he appears. Unlike Shi Hyun, he doesn't rely on his physique and his charms. He's naturally charismatic; there's something coming from within. Second Lead Syndrome material.
Shi Hyun (Woo Do Hwan) is also very much charismatic, but the spotlight's on him, and his character wasn't written like Se Joo's. He has moments where he's quiet and shuts up. His whole style was created so that he would have a very specific "mysteriously-bad-but-actually-good-boy" aura, from his haircut to his socks. He's a déjà-vu, over-vu, but we're-never-getting-tired-anyway-vu. Basically, his charisma lies in his weaknesses, in something his character tries to hide.
These three have been together since middle school; they went through a lot of crap together and face life as one to this day. They're the clique we've all dreamed of having. Rich, bold, beautiful. The perfect lives.
Not the perfect people, nor the perfect lives. Not the perfect anything.
What I like about this drama is that everyone in this cast - from the mains to their parents, to their parents' friends and their parents' friends' maids - is depicted as what they are. Humans. With an awful lot of flaws and a certain number of qualities. With emotions and trials and errors, and mental breakdowns and relatives dying. They're faced with everything we are faced with on a daily basis.
They have dinner at fancy restaurants and sleep in fancy houses. They work fancy jobs and have fancy relationships. Does this make their lives easier? Not having to worry about paying bills is obviously a good thing. Indulging in delicate and luxurious sushis whenever they want is certainly pleasing. But their emotions aren't fancy. Their basic needs aren't fancy. Love and affection aren't fancy. Being in constant competition with their counterparts isn't fancy.
I don't dare say they don't have to worry about money. They do. They probably worry about money more than the commoners over which they have power. But there are people wealthier than them, and there are people who have more money than the people wealthier than them. There are people with more power than them, and it's basically stressing them out. Just like your friend, Nadia's newest Nintendo in third grade was stressing you out. It's still the same scenario and it's always going to be. "I want to be better. I want to be loved. I want to be recognized." One's bank account changes nothing regarding these three things - never. Human greed is insatiable.
At the end of the day, whether you have a regular house or a fancy house, regular food or fancy food, money or loads of it, you have a house, food, and money, and that's enough to live a happy life.
Not even their wardrobes are perfect. If this was 3200 USD and it was given to me for free, I still wouldn't wear it.
Thank you for reading. That was my first article - I hope you enjoyed it!