Friday, August 9, 2013

Initial Impressions of Two Weeks and Master's Sun


Whew, after the stressball that's Two Weeks I feel like I need to sit and calm myself down (and vent a little, as you'll see). I went ahead and checked out the two new premieres, and while this will suck for my time, found that I'm now hooked to both. In terms of pure viewing experience, I like Master's Sun more. It has all the elements of a light but engaging rom-com, with great humor, likable leads, and surprising chemistry. Two Weeks isn't quite as pleasurable - in fact, I kind of wish I hadn't started it because it pissed me off like no other, but it's addicting and admittedly well-crafted.

I was skeptical going into Master's Sun, especially after hearing that the story was rather shallow. The Hong Sisters haven't had me for over three dramas now, not to mention the gaping scar that Big put on just about all of its viewers. Additionally, I never got Gong Hyo Jin's appeal (her high-pitched and weirdly soft voice kinda grates on me) and while So Ji Sub was tragically perfect in Misa, he's never managed to sweep me into adoration territory.



But somehow, episodes 1-2 of MS worked perfectly. I really like both the leads, and even caught myself sighing over how handsome SJS was in multiple angles. Gong's far more funny and lively than I've ever seen her, and I find Seo In Gook to be way more appealing here than in Answer Me.


Admittedly though, the story isn't exactly deep stuff. The episodic ghost tales are as shallow as was rumored. They basically throw some tragic ghost in and try to wring out a few tears via the cheesy resolution. Nothing surprising or meaningful, but the great banter and moments between the leads carry the story. If you're looking for a no-fuss, funny but cute drama, this is perfect.



Two Weeks still has me debated. For one, the first episode was borderline boring until the point when Kim So Yeon finally appeared (seriously, that woman manages to liven up all projects). Then it gets interesting, but also so so so freaking frustrating. I wanted to tear out the eyes of just about every character except Lee Jun Ki's. I thought Good Doctor had makjang tendencies, but it's like a calm meadow compared to the angst and general GREAT MISFORTUNE here.



The hero, Jang Tae San, basically gets misunderstood by every single person, and then proceeds to go through physical and mental hell. The amount of unwarranted judgement and spite that's thrown on him are driving me insane. Yeah, he made some poor choices earlier in life, but so far he's also the only person with half a shred of compassion. The cops are bigots (especially Mr. Second Lead who I want to shove down a toilet - can that actor stop playing these irritating, 1-D "nice guys" already?) and the villains are so intelligently wicked that I want to take a hammer to them.



For some reason it feels worse that the lady playing Congresswoman Jo is the same actress that played the crazy bitch mom in Bad Guy. Since she never got her comeuppance there, I think my residual hatred has only persisted all these years and I hate her character here all the more for it.



I also am not a fan of Park Ha Sun's character. She's a typical soft-spoken but weak and goody-goody girl, and while she has reasons to not like our hero, it's frustrating me to no end to watch her and know that things are about to only get worse. I'd rather the hero just end up alone than to have some recall love line with her, even if their flashback scenes are cute. Of course, it'd be best if he ended up with Kim So Yeon, but I get that there's not much chance of romantic development when given only two weeks.



Mean as this may sound, I'm failing to connect with the little girl. She's the crux of the crisis, but something about the fake acting and/or excessive cheese in the lines is putting me off to her character and her magical, sudden "connection" with Jun Ki. I could do without some of the melodramaticism, like the "going to heaven alone," and other stuff that comes out of her mouth. Her scenes annoy me, because they just come off so scripted and excessive. I'm sorry, but no eight year old speaks like a philosophical guru, and you can't convince me with that recited "acting."

And jeez, could people start actually saying some useful shit aloud??? Everybody's keeping their mouth shut on matters of importance, which of course is only going to extend this misunderstanding out til the end of the drama. For one, why didn't Tae San actually say the name Moon Il Suk to the cops during the interrogation? He's so great about vocally denying the crime, until something actually relevant comes up and then he magically (and stupidly) decides to stay quiet. Why? What difference will telling the name to the cops make, since the guy's after his life anyways? Unwarranted silences are probably my biggest pet peeve with all dramas. I get it's a way to keep the stakes up and the misunderstandings going, but it's also just plain unrealistic and blazing stupid. Same thing goes for In Hye withholding the donor's name.



I'm really hoping that Kim So Yeon will save the show by being the much-needed voice of logic and truth. As a big plus though, this is the most attractive I've ever found Lee Jun Ki, and for his hero I am now willing to subject myself to seven more weeks of this torture. *Note, if you haven't started this already, I highly recommend you wait and just marathon this in one sitting in the future.

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