I will admit that I chose to watch The Great Show solely because Song Seung Heon stars in this K-drama. Truth be told, I’ve wanted to see him in something funny since I saw him in Black where he played that dark and interesting character who does not have the happiest of endings. And well... also, he’s pretty to look at. Now after three episodes, I’m left wondering if I like him in a comedy… maybe.
This story is about Wi Dae Han, a washed-up politician who made a Korean cultural mistake that has left him labelled as a sinner. In America, the same action could have been spun to portray the politician as an abandoned child, damaged by his thoughtless parents… so on this plot device... I don’t relate well to the situation. However, the childhood scene where he had to choose to live with his mother or father made me laugh out loud. Wi Dae Han is now down on his luck, kind of unemployed. However, by the end of episode 3, Wi Dae Han has yet to drop his fake political persona and become a real person. I just don’t find him sympathetic for now (I’m hoping that is coming soon).
Wi Dae Han is approached by a teenage girl who believes he is her father. He makes her take a paternity test to see if that is true and the audience and Wi Dae Han are the only ones (besides the campaign manager) that know the truth. The teen is orphaned with her half brother (a teen) and her twin siblings, a young boy and young girl. Their story is truly heartbreaking. They do not have one single responsible adult that will care for the four children. Through fate and some poor decision making on Wi Dae Han’s part, he eventually decides to take in all four children and call them his own.
My only hang-up with the character of Wi Dae Han is his sleazy politician personality. I did feel sorry for him when he is forced to become a designated driver to make money, and I did love the scene where he explains the family constitution to the children. I hope his character becomes more of a dad and less of a politician and soon because I’m still annoyed with him. However, he was amusing as he reacted to how expensive it is to raise children. So far it looks as if Song Seung Heon has comedic timing, and that keeps me watching.
The female lead is played by Lee Sun Bin, and she portrays Jung Soo Hyun, the newswoman/ex-girlfriend of Wi Dae Han (she seems a little young to have gone to college with him, but whatever). So far, she is firmly on the side of the children and wants nothing more than to see them happy and with responsible parents. It appears that she will try to hold Wi Dae Han to a higher standard of morality than he has exhibited so far (at least I hope she does). By episode four, she has yet to become very interesting, but I have my fingers crossed that she doesn’t become a forgettable female character.
Kang Joon Ho (played by Im Joo Hwan) is the 2nd male lead, former classmate/competitor of Wi Dae Han and now a budding politician. He’s not afraid to call out his crooked politician father and take him to task on his bad behaviour. He seems to be the only male in the show with a conscience and cares more about the welfare of the orphan children than politics (this may change… But if not, I like him best).
The actors portraying the children are doing a fabulous job, by far the best characters in the whole show, especially Noh Jung Eui who plays the teen girl Han Da Jeong. I find none of them annoying, and all of them have little quirks that make them, so fun to watch. Han Tak (the teenage boy, played by Jung Joon Won) is a bit twerpy but then all boys that age are, so he’s doing a great job.
There is a lot of politicians in this show, and they all appear to be crooked and/or lacking morals. I hate that. If I wanted to see crooked politicians lacking morals all the time, I’d watch the news. I’m just too turned off by real life to want to watch it for entertainment purposes. That factor is a little off-putting, but the arc works well with how Wi Dae Han interacts with the children.
Truly, The Great Show is funny. I thought the contract scene between Wi Dae Han and Han Da Jeong was cute, but as a plot device, it is evident that it will come back to bite them both in a future episode. The scene with the fishes is another laugh out loud moment, those poor, poor fishes. Wi Dae Han says "Aigoo!" so much that I had to google it to see if I got the meaning right. That is an annoying character trait; perhaps eventually it will grow on me.
I believe all Korean shows will demonstrate if they are worth watching by the third episode, and I have completed my requisite three. I have decided to keep watching for two reasons. 1. The kids’ story – it's engaging, and I want them to have a happy ending and 2. Song Seung Heon is entertaining to watch with his charming good looks and comedic timing. Although I’m still rooting for the 2nd lead to get the girl because he cares more about her and the children than Wi Dae Han (hopefully this will change with the next episode… he just got hit by a bus).
Let me know if you are watching The Great Show. Do you like it? Or are you as turned off by politics as I am? Is this the best character yet for Song Seung Heon? Like me, do you like the 2nd lead more? (What is it with the leads always being a jerk?).