Thursday, October 23, 2014

Liar Game (Korea): Episodes 1-2 Thoughts

As you might know from my previous review of the Japanese Liar Game series, I'm an intense fan of the original series, which is probably in my top 5 all-time dramas list. I've read the manga as well, but my first exposure was the dorama, and honestly it's about as close to perfect as a TV show can get. I'm not talking just the story, which is itself clever and balanced with suspense and human complexity, but also just the entire atmosphere of watching - something dark, charged, almost hypnotically appealing in exactly the right beats. Not to mention, I could watch Matsuda Shota's Akiyama just sit around and still feel satisfied, as he was the perfect mix of brilliantly understated acting from a gorgeous actor playing a terrifically written character.

Rave aside, I went in knowing it'd be highly unlikely for the Korean version to be able to top this, though I'd hoped for it to at least match up in creating a unique viewing experience. My thoughts so far are that while the Kdrama is completely watchable, there's also some major flaws and discrepancies from the original content that keep me from feeling convinced of the drama's world, and thus from feeling in love with the show. Not to say that Liar Game in itself is a very believable plot, but at least the J-drama managed to create what felt like a complete and rich context, and to consequently make you believe that such a premise could potentially exist. This version, however, is just a bit sloppy and overcomplicated, which leaves me disappointed.