letters to my younger self

not so review of the smile has left your eyes

This was a tragedy, after all. And it made sense that it ended that way. But still – I hoped for a lot more clearer redemption for Kim Moo Young – akapta. 😦

I’ve wanted to watch this since December but I guess I only get to watch it now. I chose this one mainly because of Jung So Min and I have always admired her from the Bad Guy days. 😉

I just wanted to say that I didn’t read the premise of this drama beforehand. I didn’t know that this would be dark, I only got a sense of it when I watched it but hey – this is a Korean drama, the most that they can do is melo – but then as I saw the Fuji TV on the credits and Japanese names and I learned that this is based on a Japanese dorama – I just knew that I was in for something dark and twisty. But I still held out hope – hope that the Korean version was lighter – even though I haven’t seen the Japanese one.

So you see – while watching I was on the edge of my seat – because this one was well-made and I can’t help thinking about the Japanese version. Normally when I watch a series I would always multitask- I’ll eat or knit or fold clothes or anything but with this no- every episode demanded my attention. If I find myself a second distracted- I would replay the scene. That was how captivating this is- you need not lose a second.

Previously, I always see the Japanese dorama first and then I will hear about the Korean remake and it would always pale in comparison to the Japanese one and this is the first time that I get to watch the Korean first before the Japanese so I wanted to save the best for last – because even if I didn’t realise it I was biased – I thought the Japanese one will be better. But then at the back of my mind I can’t be sure – because the one I’m watching is making waves – I was enjoying the drama because it was well-made – and I can only say that to a few. 🙂

Now that I got that out of the way I can honestly tell that this drama was a good tragedy. If I am judging based solely on its own and not because of its origin. The beginning drew you in – the eyes of Seo In Guk – and then it would focus on things and you can’t help but draw conclusions on what is happening but the show won’t tell you –  yet. It does its job of teasing the viewers excellently – even if a lot of spoilers were popping up online without warning.

And then there was the suspense, the puzzle, you hope you can correctly put the pieces together but the show won’t let you – it doesn’t show you all the parts yet and you have to wait. That was what’s amazing because nothing has happened yet – all of it was the show playing with your imagination and you play along with it.

I think at the episode ten mark, the show drifted away from its Japanese origin and showed us its Korean side (but I can’t be sure until I watched the Japanese ver.). It showed us the happy life of Kim Moo Young and Yoo Jin Kang and just like that we were sold in their love story.

But then towards the end it flicks and reminds us that this is the same dark drama that we chose to watch and hence, the ending.

Did I like it? Well, yes – especially because here is where I discovered that Seo In Guk’s versatility – he can be hilarious shopping king Louie and he can be twisty Kim Moo Young and never had I seen that kind of actor since Kim Nam Gil. (But KNG still wins for me) The casting was perfect – from Jung So Min to Seo In Guk to Jin Gook and Cho Rong  and villains – and the ones who played Yuri and Seung Ah.

The story was  played perfectly but I can’t help that I see so much elements of a Jdorama that I can’t discount the fact that this is a remake. Because a lot of it doesn’t make sense in Kdramaland and I want to salute the writer for making this work.

Onto the ending I was painfully reminded of Bad Guy. That is where I first saw Jung So Min and I don’t know why I associated the ending of that to here. But we all know how that ended – and I still hate it – so maybe what went wrong there didn’t happen here and for that I am grateful.

I feel like this is all going nowhere but I liked the flow of the story (sorry not a fan of tragedies), the main leads’ love story (the first time that a bed scene is depicted very wholesomely), the resolution – even if the revelation fell flat to the build-up because there was a time that I felt that they were dragging the revelation way too long (explainable because this is an eight episode drama originally, how can they prolong it to sixteen is beyond me) and the OST and also how they stayed true to its origin.

But still – the revelation was not shocking enough for me – because it was dragged on too long – I liked it for its mystery and somehow in the middle it lost its mystery while they gave us a preview of how it would have been if Jin Kang and Moo Young lived happily, and I liked that but then it felt a little disconnected to the whole. A little. I have no qualms for the ending- it saved the drama a bit really- for the suspense even if I somehow expected it.

Ha! They gave you a glimmer of hope that somehow they can make it only for that same hope to be trampled on and thrown into the cliff of mountain.

Actually, what ruined the show for me is that the drama makes so much promise- that at the end- the revelation is just like that- so much build-up for what? It started a lot like Ouroboros but ended in Bad Guy. (Sorry for the references but if you’ll watch both you can also say so).

So there. I  still think I need to watch the Japanese version only because I felt like this was a watered down version of the original. This series can stand on its own but so many things don’t add up if I think of this as a Korean drama only. I’m still waiting for a drama that I will held out based on its story and not on its actors – because this one – I held out only because Seo In Guk and Jung So Min are such amazing actors.

Last one – I like the last words of Kim Moo Young – how he felt truly human when he felt regret and to protect Jin Kang he needed to kill (which the show did poorly of how dangerous Se Ran could be) but I would still choose living for a reasonable cause instead of dying.

P.S.: Because of this series I learned the difference of a sociopath and psychopath.

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