Second Time is the Charm! Reviews – Bad Guy & Secret Garden
Some shows just ran through me the first time, like an uncomfortable evening after eating bad sushi. Two shows in particular – Bad Guy and Secret Garden – pissed me off in almost every episode. I fast-forwarded through large chunks the first round. I couldn’t get over the ridiculously flawed plot line of Bad Guy and I couldn’t stomach the douche-bag persona of the male lead in Secret Garden. Most people agreed with my initial response to Bad Guy. And most people disagreed with my first impression of Secret Garden.
Then I watched them again. I had too. I couldn’t stop thinking about them. I felt I had missed something. I wanted to see a few key scenes again. I liked the music from Bad Guy. I liked the female leads muscular legs in Secret Garden. So, I popped in the DVDs and gave them both a second shot.
Seriously – how cool is she? Definitely deserves a second viewing… and third… and…
And like magic – both shows revealed a whole new side to me. It was like finding out you’re not, in fact, allergic to gluten and enjoying a pizza after fifteen years of abstinence. What kind fate to bring us back together for such a happy reunion!
Let us explore Bad Guy & Secret Garden with our new rose-colored glasses, shall we?
Review – Shark
Shark is the third (and final) installment in the Revenge Trilogy by director Park Chan-hong and writer Kim Ji-woo. This drama varies greatly from its predecessors, Resurrection and The Devil. Shark is a moody, elegant revenge drama that indulges in gorgeous scenery and slow plot progression. It’s like watching a Sofia Coppola film. Everything is filtered down – the action, the romance, the mystery and the suspense – and yet its easy to bask comfortably in this dark emotional pool and allow yourself to sink to the bottom.
Kim Gam Nil is well suited to the careful, calculating man robbed of his father and young adulthood who returns for revenge. Son Ye Jin does an excellent job portraying a woman who lost her first love – and in order to find him again must face the terrible secrets of her own trusted family. Though it’s not as sexy and brooding as Bad Guy or as twisted and compelling as The Devil – Shark is an excellent series for a rainy weekend when you’d rather get lost in beautiful visuals, a slow simmer romance and a interesting mystery.
It’s a beautifully crafted drama. Meticulously crafted, in fact. Every shot, every detail, every lingering camera angle and detail hint at extra meaning. Like a Hitchcock film. Though a lot longer. It’s long. It’s 20 episodes. And there’s a great deal of “sins of the father” theme going on in this show… and more than once you will find yourself thinking, “Wait… doesn’t he/she already know this/that?” and you probably won’t be able to answer your own question and it probably won’t matter cause everyone has secrets and secret identities and everyone is lying to everyone and they can’t keep their stories straight so why should we, as viewers, have to? I absolutely LOVED this drama – and have rewatched it several times over the years (okay, okay, maybe not all of it… but probably 70%)- loving it more each time. But of course, long convoluted crazy romantic revenge melodramas are generally my favorites.
It also has one of the best love theme songs I’ve ever heard in drama. Lovely, haunting and passionate – I never got tired of hearing this song.
Overall Rating: 10/10
EXTREMELY MILD SPOILERS AND MORE