Review – Come & Hug Me

Come & Hug Me. What should have been a 10/10 winner – combining psychopathic serial killers, star-crossed lovers, fractured families, societal judgement, and a thrilling story of cat and mouse… barely made it to 7.5/10 due to its excessive use of unnecessary flashbacks, painfully long sequences of staring and slowly rotating cameras, faulty dialogue (and lack thereof), and jarring tonal shifts. Let us all examine this tarnished show as what happens when editing goes wrong.

 

Which poster most accurately represents Come & Hug Me? Unfortunately, they both do… and that’s a problem.

Korean dramas have mastered the art of blending genres – especially when it comes to mixing dark plotlines with beautiful romances. Think of Pinocchio, for example. This is a masterpiece of blended genres – adorable, genuine romance – gritty, urban crime – melodramatic, dark pasts coming to light – and an unflinching commentary of modern society. It had a large cast and plenty of subplots and characters to follow around and not a wasted minute in the entire show. There are also dramas like Just Between Lovers, that kept everything close to the main couple and focused heavily on their inner turmoil, tortured pasts, and slow healing from severe trauma. I Remember You has not one, not two, but three serial killers, a boat load of family trouble, and a whole mess of relational, dark plotlines and it still gave us a swoon worthy romance. These were tightly paced, well plotted shows worth every award and accolade given to them.

So it can be done, this contrast of light and dark. It has been done. Come & Hug Me just didn’t manage to do it and that’s a shame. It felt like a significant chunk of the writers quit halfway through the project. Or maybe the studio said, “I love this 12 episode drama – let’s make it 32 episodes!” and then tossed it to an editing crew to pull on it like taffy. There were sooo many spaces that just felt empty, drawn out, padded, and needlessly prolonged. Every character in it could have used additional development – there were plenty to choose from, too. It would have been easy to tighten this drama into a finely crafted show. Instead, it just unspooled into a mess on the floor.

The plotline of Come & Hug Me is amazing, though, and thus despite its many editorial flaws and awkwardness, it’s impossible to deny the plot is pure melodrama. It’s a blood soaked cocktail of murder and romance and that just so happens to be my favorite drink… so let’s discuss…

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Review – Descendants of the Sun

Review – Descendants of the Sun

In a way, this show was a big tease.  It promised to be epic and exciting and exquisitely romantic… and it took us out on a first date and flirted with us and opened the door for us and laughed at all our jokes, it sent us flowers, it held our hand and told us about all the wonderful places it wanted to take us, the things it wanted us to see and share together.  And then it ghosted us.  Just left us on the side of the road.  What happened?  I may be able to live on my fantasies alone for a few weeks and think back fondly on this drama, but after a while all I will remember is the odd case of misdirection and mixed feelings.  Like the movie version of Les Miserables when I thought we were going to see the Broadway Play.

It was a good show.  Beautiful, even.  Visually, at least.  And interesting too.  Exotic locations, a host of random foreigners speaking broken English, attractive actors playing unique characters with fascinating jobs.  And  yet… meh.  I was entertained and simultaneously underwhelmed.

Overall Rating – 7.5/10.  The Picture On The Menu Is Better Than The Meal.

More musing and spoilers and opinions….

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