Drama Updates: The K2, Jealousy Incarnate, Scarlet Heart Ryeo
I know it's been quite some time since my last post - but that certainly isn't because I'm not watching. In fact, I've racked up quite a view list, especially with the currently airing dramas, and felt it was about time to share my thoughts on a few of these - The K2, Jealousy Incarnate, and Scarlet Heart Ryeo.
The K2 manages to be both the most compelling and the most frustrating of the shows I'm following. Compelling not because it's well-written or even good, but because there's this odd appeal that makes me immediately reach for it at the end of the week. I think it's a combination of the fact that I loved the first four episodes (basically before Anna started having any speaking role) and that I love watching the enviably eye-catching female cast. Song Yoon Ah is stunning beyond words - I'm oddly obsessed with her updo, which looks so put together yet doable - here's a lady with class and charisma in spades. Yoon Ah, as much as I generally find her character bland, is so lovely in a frail manner that it's at least interesting to watch and mull over how someone can be so thin and have such a tiny face.
Ji Chang Wook is doing fine in the role, but frankly I find his character less and less interesting as the episodes progress, likely because he went from a mysterious man with a backstory I was dying to learn more about to a completely toothless person who seems ready to fall in love with the first damsel he finds. His character evolved from a potentially dangerous anti-hero into a very standard K-drama male lead, who completely out of the blue and without reason falls in love with a frail girl.
I'm definitely of the camp that saw more chemistry between him and Song Yoon Ah than the younger Yoon Ah. That car wreck scene and the umbrella scene are some of the best drama moments I've ever watched (just look at the intensity of their wordless exchange above). But the story, rather than milking this tense, naturally drama-filled dynamic, chose to entirely ignore it and replace it with a love line I find completely unconvincing and meaningless. Yoon Ah and Ji Chang Wook to their credit are playing their roles well and I believe their interactions, but I find them even more boring to watching than the comic-relief J4 and K1. They're just such a mom-and-apple-pie type of pairing, with the girl to be constantly rescued by the hot bodyguard by her side.
I'm ready for the plot to disappoint me, as the latest episodes have completely slashed the amazing Je Ha - Yoo Jin scenes and made Yoo Jin start to behave more and more like a crazy lady. I'm holding out hope that Je Ha at least feels conflicted about his allegiance for Yoo Jin over Anna, but the recent episodes seem to suggest he's gotten over all of his heartache and friendship with Yoo Jin in a Anna-fueled flash. Such a waste of potential.
You can watch The K2 here
This is my favorite drama of the week - it just has that feel-good air that always cheers me up. Admittedly, the episodes after Na Ri realizes her feelings for the two men were crazy weird and kind of took me out of the story, but I still love the laid-back tone and understated humor of this show. Na Ri manages to frustrate and appeal to me. I find her a bit unrealistically cavalier about everything (does she have any real emotions?), but I do enjoy watching her interactions with Hwa Shin.
Hwa Shin is truly my drama love right now - how could anyone not be attracted to his selfless denial of feelings, and to his medical plight? It took up to the breast cancer incident for me to start liking the show, and I'm so amazed at how heartfelt it is underneath the frothy exterior. I even love all the supporting characters in this drama, from the cooky mothers to the newsroom employees. That may be because no one falls into a straight mold - everyone feels oddly alive and multi dimensional. If you're looking for a drama to unwind to and warm your heart, look no further.
You can watch Jealousy Incarnate here
Scarlet Heart Ryeo
I love Lee Jun Ki. He's gorgeous and his character is swoony. He carries the show for me and probably most others, managing to make me come back despite all the massive faults. The thing I dislike the most is the editing and the awful directing, which lead to tonal dissonance in almost all scenes. IU also seems to have one expression (wide-eyed surprise) glued to her face all the time, which gets a bit repetitive to look at (especially with all the close-ups). Seriously, it's as if she has botox, and her face quite literally looks like a frozen doll's (her skin is amazing though).
I saw about half of BBJX back when it was all the craze, but never really got into it. The thing that constantly bothered me about that show (as well as Gong) is that the heroine never really has any power to change her surroundings, despite being fully equipped with a 21st century mind and a knowledge of history. She's always reacting or rather ignorantly causing problems instead of resolving them. Case in point, she has no power and even assists in the Crown Prince's death. It's so frustrating, because I get we can't take too many liberties with history, but what the heck is the point of a time travel story if you're going to make her completely useless? One comment I read summed it about right, Hae Soo does nothing except flail at everything. At this point, it'd honestly make more sense to just have this be a normal sageuk where the heroine isn't from the future, because it literally serves nothing for the story.
Despite it's flaws though, I do find the show entertaining and the characters (all the princes) enjoyable to watch. The romances among all the side characters is a bit too convenient for me to care about, especially given the short screentime each person has, but when Lee Jun Ki is on the screen little else matters.
You can watch Scarlet Heart Ryeo here