Overall and Story:
As a remake, there were many similarities between this and the original such as: the plot, some characters, and the concept. The show is based on criminal profiling and being able to “predict” an unsub’s (aka unidentified subject) actions through their psychological state. With the understanding of the unsub’s mental state and upbringing the team can help solve cases and prevent the unsub from striking again. The drama did “well” in this aspect. They broke down facts and solved crimes, but some details came out of nowhere. For a few cases, the profiling of the unsub felt far-fetched and unrealistic. I caught myself constantly wondering how the team deducted this information, but we never found out how.
The first few episodes were refreshing so the show felt promising and was intriguing. However, as the show progressed the cases and the criminals felt sapless. The cases may be similar to the original, but they lacked depth. The overarching antagonist in this drama also lacked intensity causing the drama to not have a strong and interesting (in a morbid pleasure kind of way) plot.
About fifty percent of my decision to watch this was due to Lee Joon Gi. He portrayed Kim Hyun Joon who is an original character in this remake and as usual, I was charmed by his acting. Moon Chae Won is where I’m most dissatisfied. There’s no doubt that Moon Chae Won is a great actress, but the role of Ha Sun Woo was bland and stiff. I’m all for a tough female who doesn’t need romance in her life and can kick butt, but she was uninteresting to watch. The scriptwriter’s idea of a strong and independent female was far from amazing.
While we’re on the topic of the scriptwriters…they ruined the original Criminal Minds team. Lee Han was supposed to be Reid, Na Na was supposed to be Garcia, and Kang Ki Hyung was supposed to be Hotchner. I say supposed to be, because they failed miserably. I understand that there will be deviations here and there with remakes, but their character deviations were just atrocious. Lee Han reminds me a smart weakling who does nothing to add to the team, Na Na is trying so hard to be quirky she’s coming off as an annoying auntie who is a computer geek, and Kang Ki Hyung was…dull. There’s something about being the head of the team and going through what this character goes through that makes him stoic and fierce. His role knows the bitterness of the job, but sticks with it because he wants to better the lives of others by keeping these criminals off the street. The character, Kang Ki Hyung, was colorless and had no impact. I have not seen these actors in any other roles, but I don’t think it’s the actors fault that these characters were appalling. I truly believe it was the scriptwriters.
It was hard to watch this series as a fan of the original because it’s difficult to not compare. Some of the cases are almost identical to the original so I couldn’t help but to compare. I firmly believe that the downfall of this drama wasn’t the cast, but the scriptwriters. The story and characters weren’t captivating. Maybe it’s because this series is so short that the scriptwriters had to rush the plot along, but a drama doesn’t need length for the content to be great.
If you’ve seen or are a fan of the original Criminals Minds I would not recommend you to watch this. If you’ve never seen Criminal Minds and enjoy crime/detective dramas I would recommend this with a grain of salt. It’s definitely not the best drama I’ve seen, but it’s also not the worst. It just lacked something to make it captivating.
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This drama started off cute and light-hearted with Ariel and Vin bickering. We also saw a lot more of the masked hero doing his thing. However, the plot wasn’t very deep at this point in the story. So, it started to lose its spark around episode 10-15. Around episode 20, we got a new setting and therefore the story picked up a bit but…it slowed down for another 10 episodes until they decided to quicken the pace again. It felt like I was on a rollercoaster for children; small build-up and boring falls that repeats five to six times. The overall tone of the story changed near the middle of the drama; it went from lighthearted to a more dramatic feel. The scriptwriter did try to insert random comedic parts, but they felt forceful and unnatural. Everything did unravel throughout time and many different issues do come up to provide depth and conflict to the plot, but I lost interest as the plot became more complicated. Not because I dislike conflict and details, but mainly because I found the story to be losing its focus. Too much was going on and I didn’t find the conflicts to be a great addition to the overall plot. Especially with Ariel's identity as the Divine Maiden. I think they could've delved more into it and given her more of a role to stop everyone from trying to hunt her. Could she have learned martial arts/self-defense? Yes, but did she? No. She left it all to Vin (and Austin) and was ultimately a damsel in distress at the end. Besides having an" extraordinary sense for business" she did very little to change her fate.
If you’re looking for a drama where the main couple is together often then look elsewhere. After the first 16-18 episodes, we rarely see them together. They meet and get separated frequently. This doesn’t bother me much if they carried the plot well (but they didn’t) and I got frustrated near the end when the reasons for their misunderstandings could’ve been omitted (i.e. unnecessary love triangles). This also could’ve given the director/writer some more time to dedicate giving their audience a more satisfying ending. I’m quite bitter to have spent so much time watching this and get such an awful ending. I actually laughed when I watched the ending because of its mediocrity. In short, it was a cop-out. Either the director/writer did not plan accordingly to provide a substantial and fulfilling ending, they overspent and decided to make the last episode a cop-out, or both. I don't mind tragic/sad/happy endings as long as they're done well, but this ending was none of the above. It was a badly written and executed ending. They took no responsibility for anyone’s story and provided a distasteful ending. For those curious, I’ll provide a comment below to spoil the ending if you wish to read it.
I was excited to watch Vin Zhang as a lead. I believe there’s a lot of talent that hasn’t been shown as he’s (in my opinion) slowly being type-casted. In the beginning, he would bicker and tease Ariel, so it was refreshing compared to his recent angsty roles. However, this changed quickly, and he lost his shine as the plot thickened. Which was a massive shame. Watching Ariel is the same as watching her in her previous dramas. She’s great at acting out a “dumb” and cute role. Due to her experience, she is also one of the best actors in the series. She portrayed her role well and did well with her more serious parts. But I do want to note that I have a really hard time taking her seriously when she’s trying to be tough. This is mainly because I think she has a face suitable for dumb/cute roles. Sorry, Ariel. Vin’s shine seems to be passed to Austin in the latter part of the drama. Austin has turned into someone who would bicker and tease Ariel, but I didn’t find him to be too memorable in this role. Then again, none of the roles are memorable for me but are these a fault to the actors themselves? No. They did well to portray their roles. I just found the roles to be poorly written...or just poorly implemented into a poorly written plot. I do want to note that I found Austin's character to more interesting than the leads near the end...so I guess that's saying something.
All-in-all, I wouldn’t recommend this if you’re looking for a great plot and a satisfying ending. I think there are better historical romances to dedicate your time to but of course, everyone’s taste is different. So, I would recommend this if you’re looking for a semi-lighthearted historical drama. Just be prepared for an extremely poorly written ending because that's one thing we can all agree on whether we enjoyed watching this or not.
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