I loved this drama. It was a 10/10 for me. It had all the hallmarks of a good melodrama – plenty of angst and anguish. Child abuse, dark secrets, shadowed mansions, homoerotic antagonism, BDSM, murder, mayhem, and more. There’s plenty of twists and turns in this drama, keeping the excitement running full speed and the tension high. It’s over the top and a great escape from the norm when you want something different.
Overall, it’s a story about one man trying to determine what kind of person another man is. This evaluation is a difficult and ongoing process – because the man in question does not behave or react in typical ways. He’s contradictory. He’s secretive. He’s extremely clever and ruthless. He’s manipulative and brazen. One minute he’s nurturing and the next minute he’s throwing punches. Mercurial is an understatement. Determining whether or not he is a “good” buy or a “bad” guy is the ultimate challenge – which is intriguing as both the men in question are judges. It is literally their job to figure people out.
It is also a nice metaphor for figuring out your sexuality when it doesn’t fit neatly into the standard package (the bisexuals in the audience will get this message right away) – there’s a lot of second guessing, a lot of flip flopping sides, a lot of confusion and emotions, and depending on your circumstances a lot of internal resistance, guilt, anger, and shame that you may have to process before you come to acceptance of your unique self. What is good and bad, right and wrong? What are the rules and who made them? Justice is tricky shit, after all. About as tricky as realizing there is no “normal.”
There’s so much to talk about with this show that I had to narrow it down to keep this review from turning into a novel. But I think I can manage it… maybe. This review is going to be focus on 2 major plot points – the Justice, aka the politics of the drama – and the Queer-Coding, aka, the characters.
There’s gonna be spoilers mixed in with what follows… so go ahead and watch the show. Come back when you’re ready to discuss.
Everyone Feels the Love in a Classic Feel Good Drama
There are a LOT of great romances in K-World. But sometimes my favorite romances are the ones that are just that – romantic. And not much else. This is not the list for Goblin (too many tears!), Love in the Moonlight (political plotline rather dull), While You Were Sleeping (serious crimes), or Will It Snow for Christmas (dude… so melodramatic!)… though all of those are stupidly romantic.
This is the list of the FLUFFY BUNNY SLIPPERS variety… the ones you start smiling just thinking about it. Though there may be some drama (well, there’s gotta be a little conflict for plot), it will not distract you from the ultimate plot, which is love sweet love.
Hm… I didn’t realize I hadn’t reviewed some of these until now. My goodness. How did I forget to review My Girl??? That was one of the first romantic comedy K-dramas I watched, many moons ago…. gives me an excuse to watch it again, I guess.
What about you? Do you have a favorite 100% Feel Good drama that didn’t make it to the list? Let me know!
Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of questions about Korean Dramas from my friends, students and coworkers. “What’s the deal?” They ask. “Korea?” Sometimes it is difficult for me to remember there are people who have never watched a K-drama before. I know, right? (at this point I’ve convinced almost everyone I know to at least try at least one) So in order to help the newbies… here’s what you need to know.