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Sherwood Forest


Sherwood Forest
8 people found this review helpful

by femmedesneiges

Jul 27, 2018
16 of 16 episodes seen
Overall 5.0
Story 5.0
Acting/Cast 6.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 1.0
The seeds of a good drama are here. I have few complaints with the plot itself, but it never really takes off due to some lazy/unimaginative writing and really painful pacing.

Sketch exhibits some typically superficial Korean character writing ("Here is a character. Bad things happen to character. Audience is then expected to care about character.") Particularly with regard to the good guys, actually, but I don't think the likes of genuinely fascinating characters like X were milked to their full potential. Kim Do Jin is possibly the cheesiest at the beginning, but little by little he gained dimension and grew on me. His final developments, however, were far too abrupt and should have been set in motion several episodes beforehand.

But Lee Dong Gun was good. His portrayal of Kim Do Jin is something like a tank; fearless and expressionless, ploughing through everything in its path, but a tank with a human soldier inside. And sometimes the human comes up for air.

The "good guy" side of the drama was boring. Part of the problem with the slowness is the fact that we have to experience half the plot through the eyes of the most boring characters. I hated Kang Dong Soo. He has some ugly personality traits (even considering his situation) that were completely ignored in-world. He's a domineering pig. I wasn't interested in his story and I wasn't interested in his feelings. He certainly wasn't the character to lead this story. The more screentime he had the less I felt like watching.

Yoo Shi Hyun, the premonition character, is somewhat inconsistent. At some points she stands on her own feet but at others she is completely dominated by Dong Soo's personality. I watched the drama for Lee Sun Bin so I'm a little disappointed by that.

As for X, they're a bit like Death Note's Light but with a conscience. I don't like revenge stories but "means and end" stories are a different breed altogether. I'm staunchly the "do not justify" type, so I like it when I come across a drama that manages to make me question my belief system. Just a little. On a personal level. So for me that is where the value of this drama lies. The writers make X and the ending take (what I see as) the easy route, but overall I liked the effort they put into creating the moral route of Sketch. So I'll let them off with that. It's due to the final two episodes that it got a 5 instead of a 4.

Also, the scale and ambition of the "behind-the-scenes" powers were much grander and awe-inspiring than those in most dramas of this kind. I did like that aspect of the plot when it came around. It's just a shame it took until the penultimate episode for us to get there.

I don't think I'd recommend Sketch to anyone. As a suspense it's pretty mediocre and the twists are mostly predictable. The pacing is prone to loss of momentum and focus, there's nothing special in the writing or acting and the ~morals of the story~ have all been seen before. But it does have its moments of clarity and conviction, so it wouldn't be a complete waste of time if you wanted to give it a go.
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