Dramas that should be, could be, should have been, and could have been. I’m watching 3 current dramas right now, and none of them, I mean literally NONE OF THEM, hooks. At all. Even with the hotties, eye-candies, pretties, the solid performances, you name em, even with LDH and Hyukie! The only saving grace that is and has been preventing me from cursing at the insufferable thankfully, is Queen In Soo and ILICDD (which I have just finished last night in tears of happiness). Which aren’t even current dramas, and which I don’t even want to mention in the same sentence as the pile of inferior quality I’m subjected to.
Year 2012 was a wonderful year for dramas, packed with gems and break-outs, filled with surprises and shocking revelations. I guess you can’t have it all. Luck doesn’t strike every time.
IRIS 2 oh IRIS 2, what an abomination and loathsome of quality you are. Writing and directing wise, I’ve never seen something more deplorably structured, this nonsensical, this laughable. You were given such a beautiful cast, of bunch of people who can really kick ass and do things right, actors who could rise above their potential and limitations when required and given a chance. But with writing which defy logic and even simplest of sensibilities, even Lee Bum Soo‘s trademark evil-mixed humor can only last lingering seconds, even Hyuk‘s bark can fail to bite! I mean, when the most solid of actors can only do so much, this says much about the quality.
You’re supposed to be a high-adrenaline pumped drama, we’re supposed to be in awe at least by the action and thrill, even if the story doesn’t make no sense. But no, director goes ahead and ruins the last bit of what can be enjoyed of by going slow-mo on some very obviously choreographed action scenes, making the sequences look like a joke out of nowhere. You’re not Kwak Jung Hwan you know, only he can do slow-mo and make it look cool.
Then the characters, except for Lee Bum Soo’s (which I suspect has much to do with his very own trademark humor like I’ve said earlier), all of them spell B-O-R-I-N-G! The political stuff, I have no idea how realistic, drains away my interest good enough, but drama worsens by subjecting my fav actors to such boring vapid characters devoid of color and life. Soo Yeon had some potential in the beginning, and I had faith in LDH, but her character left lot to be desired after Yoo Gun “left” and drama had to make her lifelessness look even more lifeless than it already is. Why why why, does LDH have to be so unlucky with her characters? Could it be her problem? Could it be? I’m trying to be as unbiased as possible here.
But the worst has to be Hyuk. I feel so awful for him. One of my fav acting performances of all time came from Hyuk himself, in Chuno. I know he has it, charisma and solid enough gravitas to pull off such a character. But gosh, I cannot blame the production and writer hard enough. Here he says the cheesiest of lines, plays the most boring of characters, and displays one of the most one-dimensional acting I’ve ever seen from him in his entire career! Maybe he feels hopeless about the whole thing too. Yaiks.
I don’t think I’ll be able to hang on any longer. In fact I have no idea how I’d endured this long – 10 episodes. I did enjoy bits and pieces in between, mostly because of LBS and due to the fun I’d gotten from the constant nitpicking of drama’s atrociousness. And to be fair some parts were enjoyable to watch despite the sloppy writing. But nothing absolves it from being a crappy drama. My resolve is that, this shall be binned for good, I’m giving it another episode.
That Winter, The Wind Blows
This drama is worse. And not because it’s crappy and unwatchable, it’s not even half as horrible as IRIS2. But because, just because, it could have been a good one. One which could last me long enough to remember the heart and genuine honesty of its characters. One which could at least linger long enough for me to remember scenes which killed.
I had good words to say about drama early on, I truly honestly thought drama was safe. With acting so compelling and writing so intriguing I honestly thought I’d found my drama of the year (at least first 3 months on). Noh Hee Kyung‘s an exquisite dialogue writer, there is no doubt about that. Her lines are always exceptionally heart-moving, and sometimes provoking to an extent that it makes your heart burn and ache. But I dunno what happened from the episode I can’t remember onwards, apart from already known MAJOR problem, the awfully conscious and self-aware direction of PD Kim Kyu Tae, I somehow failed to connect with writer Noh. Her lines, still there, the meaning if explored deeper in literal context, there. But somehow, conveyance of her story felt stilted, I felt no emotional engagement, no subtle connection, to the story, to the characters, and heck, even the supposed to be siblings or OTP, I could even feel the chemistry fade away episode by episode. I’m kinda feeling she’s starting to pander towards the norm of K-drama melodrama storytelling, giving us all coincidences, cliches. I don’t see the spark in her story anymore.
Acting wise, couldn’t have been more impressed and disappointed at the same time. Impressed because finally Song Hye Kyo has stripped herself bare, and showed us that she could do the act too. But Jo In Sung, oh JIS, I think my biasness might have blinded me early on, or perhaps because he hadn’t shown too much then, now I cannot unsee his over tendency to pose and look good in scenes. I noticed that problem early on but didn’t heed much due to his beautiful features (I profess that he’s the type of pretty I like), but the more I watched, the more his limitations surfaced. He was struggling, or maybe trying to hard to make things look right, but failed, miserably. His problem, severe lack of restraint. Kim Bum and Jung Eun Ji, sighs, they cannot be more wasted here. I don’t know if it’s supposed to be that way or writer Noh decided that they wouldn’t serve much purpose in drama, because they’ve got to be one of the most non-existent or invisible second leads I’ve ever seen in any drama. In fact I don’t think they are second leads at all, like more supporting characters instead? Not that their acting’s worth a mention anyway though chemistry is more palpable than the main OTP.
The only character I’m teeny weeny bit interested in, probably nobody knows his name, Kim Tae Woo who plays Mu Cheol. Now that’s one characterisation which intrigues me, with motivations that pique my curiosity. Actor’s not doing a WOW job, but at least he tries to do justice with it. And TBH, he may be my fav character out of the ensemble.
Overall, this is a drama which should have and could have been better. But is sliding down the boring drain the same way as IRIS2, somewhat more painfully than the latter because it had potential to begin with. Meh. Another episode or 2, I’ll decide whether to drop or not.
Uhm Ki Joon is always good in his craft, has always been and will always be the best he can ever be in any role he plays. But the thing is, the man hasn’t done a WOW project as far as I can remember, at least in recent years (Dream High and Scent of A Woman were decent, but not exceptional). Just when I thought The Virus would change the course of things for good….. it fails.
It’s not UKJ’s fault or problem, in fact he’s the highlight of the show. He’s got the right poise and gravitas for the character, and has a provoking charm that flows from within. I think he’s an actor who can do anything role and come off as convincing and solid as rock. Too bad The Virus is a waste of his talent and what he can do.
Investigation and medical procedural can be interesting and gripping if done right, but The Virus, it’s done before, seen before and uhhh.. boring? I don’t feel any sense of thrill or excitement when watching it, not that I’m supposed to feel that way, but I need to be interested or at least invested in the story or the characters. Because UKJ’s so good in what he does, his character at least comes across more relatable, but the rest? Nothing much, or just in plain words, dull. Hyun Woo is a cutiepie, and I will always have a soft spot for him no matter how and what he does. I think his character has potential to be interesting, but execution and writing so far has failed to embrace that aspect. 3 eps and I already don’t want to sit through anymore of the mystery surrounding the virus, this shows how much show isn’t doing well in the hooking department. I’m left cold.
Overall, MEH. Let’s see if I can hang on for UKJ. Another week, show.
credits: photos as tagged / ocn