Fantastic is a lovely slice of life drama that encompasses many genres: there is romance, comedy, melo, bromance and female friendship. Like many I was worried about the cancer story line but this is not Scent of a Woman (solid drama by the way). I noticed a few viewers seemed to see this as a watered down version but this is an entirely different style drama with a totally different vibe though the message is perhaps the same. Kim Hyun Joo plays a very successful writer having to deal with this diagnosis and the return of "foot" actor ex-boyfriend possibly playing the lead in her next drama. If you don't think that sounds like SOAW you'd be right. I consider Fantastic to be one of the overlooked dramas of 2016 so here goes:
Cons: No cancer patient getting treatment ever looks this good and truthfully this is how it is in most tv shows regardless of origin. I know expecting reality in this regard is a bit much but it did bug me a little.
Wow, that's really it.
All the actors are solid and a shout out to Joo Sang Wook for playing a bad actor so well. Some of the scenes with the acting coach are so funny. It's not easy to be that bad. Also Kim Tae Hoon as the doc was so good. He is one of those character actors that can do anything: bad guy in Angry Mom, discouraged husband in One More Happy Ending and great as the amazing friend and doc in Fantastic. Really the entire cast is excellent.
Pacing: There are a lot of different stories going on and this drama keeps the pace and flow very well. I especially appreciate this because Ji Soo had a serious surgery situation pop up so, if you watch, that is why he is kind of missing in action as the writers no doubt had to trim down the scope of his story.
Bromance: There's a lot of talk about the bromance in Goblin, but I have to say the story between the two main guys in Fantastic resonated with me so much and was truly amazing. It actually is one of my favorite aspects to this drama.
Story: It went in directions I didn't expect. I can't say too much without spoilers but I thought I'd be watching a bickering couple, k-drama style. Not so much. I thought it will go standard love triangle route...not so much. These characters are adults and they act that way (most of the time); they're not perfect and they make mistakes. I so much appreciated at a certain point when some serious issue happens, they sit down and talk about it. In so many dramas, it's five episodes of angst when a simple discussion could have dealt with it. I also felt this story really shows the power of female friendship, especially with the friend who had kind of fallen away. Who has this not happened to, but it is so true how you can pick those friendships back up again as if no time has passed. One other aspect I liked was the insight into the entertainment industry in regards to management companies and ways they keep their talent in line. I've heard stories out of Korea about this, and the show shines a light on that activity.
Besides the comparisons to Scent of A Woman, the only other issue that I saw some viewers had was with the main male lead....people seemed to think because of the tone of voice JSW uses and the way the character sometimes acts that the guy doesn't have emotional depth. I would just say the longer the drama goes on, the more we see what kind of man he is. I recommend this gem of a drama with one caveat and that is if you or a loved one is dealing with or has dealt with cancer, you might or might not be inclined to watch. This is not a standard melodrama with 16 episodes of angst but still....
Otherwise I'd give it a go.