Review – Whisper
Oh, my my. Hello dark examination of the soul, eh? They say everyone has a limit. Everyone. A breaking point that will make them turn away from everything they thought they were – their principles, their convictions, their conscience. Do most of us ever find that line? Probably not, thankfully. We don’t live in Korean dramas.
This drama is all about people being pushed to their limits. About good people finding themselves turning into bad people. Just helplessly watching the layers and layers of their goodness fall down around them as they scramble to keep from drowning in a sinking pit that started with bad luck or a bad choice and just spiraled out of control. I LOVED IT (for about eight or nine hours, then it lost serious steam). I love shows that explore the complexities of human nature. I also love a show that gives the lead female room to kick ass! Holy Moses, did she ever, too. Three cheers for having a strong female lead for once…. can we please share this memo with the rest of the action/thriller drama writers?
Unfortunately, I felt this drama sort of lost a lot of steam after 10 episodes or so… with its endless evidence gathering and court proceedings… but it by no means stopped. It’s more like it started at 120 mph and relaxed comfortably into a breezy 65 mph the rest of the way. Still good enough for interstate driving. But honestly, if it kept up the blazing pace and wrapped up the show in 12 episodes, it would have been perfect. 10/10. A magnificent joy ride of suspense and danger! As it was… eh. Great then good then okay.
Overall Rating 8/10 – Being Bad Can Be So Freakin’ Easy.
MORE, more, more… including, of course, some spoilers…
Review – Faith
There are few historical dramas with an interesting female lead… whose interest goes beyond “I want to rule” or something generic like that. But the lead female in Faith is by far the most interesting character in the show – and she’s interesting for lots of reasons. The girl wants TONS of things – cause the world is full of possibilities and she’s crafty and resourceful and full of life and energy. And she’s not the only one! No, no, no, my fine friends, there are a multitude of interesting ladies in this show. In fact, the ladies are JUST AS INTERESTING AS THE MEN! Gasp! Equal representation in a historical drama? Be still my feminist heart. This show has ladies with humor, personality, individuality, sexuality, and self interest. Heck, there are even female guards in this show. It’s awesome.
Faith is a show that knows its strengths and weaknesses and plays both correctly. It doesn’t have great action, but it will distract you with a handsome lead. Heck, they even let him get away with abandoning the top knot in favor of a fan favorite bangs. There isn’t too much political tension, but there’s fun characters. Loads of them. Faith is a fish out of water via time travel story… as well as your basic “kings trying to keep their thrones while their court plots against them” story. There are fantasy elements, people with special powers, magical portals to different times… but that’s about the extent of it. It’s a bit long, a bit cheesy, a bit under dramatic for something that should be more dramatic, and definitely light on the action (for my taste – I prefer much more sword play!). The romance is PG at best. Yet it was still extremely enjoyable just for having so many refreshing elements and unique characters! If only we could have such well written characters in other historical shows, eh? To dream!
Overall Rating 7.5/10. Lee Min Ho Looks Cool With A Sword Even If He Doesn’t Know How To Use It.
More Review and Spoilers and Discussion Follow…
Review – Man from the Equator
There is a certain grandiose nature (also known as being waaaay overdramatic for no reason) to these older melodramas that can’t be replicated. Maybe it’s the standard tv (box) formatting. Maybe it’s the lack of fancy cinematography, most of the shots are head on and there are many long cuts. Maybe it’s the emotional music, reminiscent of soap operas from the States in the late 20th century. There’s a roughness to the characters, a grittiness and cruelty… as well as honest and instinctual love. This is a story about two young men who become unlikely best friends, the smartest boy in the school and the street fighter. They are two totally different people, and though they become best friends, their values, motivations, and personalities remain independent of one another, even over time. In a way, those are some of the best friendships. And like most good things, they require a lot of work. So does this drama. Perhaps more work than it deserves…
The first part of this drama is captivating and interesting – but unfortunately the second and third part just drag and drag and drag. Part two involves a wandering story line of love and blindness, and part three is about revenge but manages to forget that half the time and just bore us with flashbacks, unnecessarily long sequences of staring, walking, staring, pondering, staring and more staring. I don’t think I’ve seen a show that enjoyed focusing on a character just staring pensively into the distance more Man from the Equator. Still, I didn’t hate it I just… wanted to speed it up.
Overall Rating – 4/10. Not Recommended For Tourists.
More plot musings and spoilers and discussion follow…