Premier week smackdown: The Chaebol vs The Fugitive

It’s been a helluva week in dramaland. The dust has barely settled after the exit of I Hear Your Voice and already we’re moving on with such speed. Speaking of moving on, for those who haven’t been able to (and I know there are plenty of you out there), these translations of Su Ha’s diaries might help to soothe the pain ;P.

As for me, my dance card needs to be filled. There are only two viable contenders: Master’s Sun and Two Weeks. It’s a battle between the asshat chaebol and the douchey fugitive on the redemption trail. A completely arbitrary point scale determines who fills the spot. 

The Master’s Sun

Gong Hyo Jin in Master's Sun

Gong Hyo Jin can do Candy in her sleep

Lord knows I was so excited for this drama that some disappointment was inevitable. I blame those deliciously gothic promo pictures and that epic preview. I was hoping for a little more zany, a little more mad cap. I wanted Best Love redux. Instead, I got something more Big-like. Now, now, before you run for the hills, I don’t necessarily mean that in a bad way. Master’s Sun takes a few pages from the Big book of prioritising mood-setting over comedy. It’s languid, and takes its time to establish its characters. It’s also got a lot of warm-hearted sentiment which depending on how your like your feels served can either be cheesy or stirring. Me, I teared up.

Seo In Guk in Master's Sun K drama

Seo In Guk makes doing laundry sexy

The best thing about this show at the moment is So Ji Sub and Gong Hyo Jin who are MAGIC together. It’s not like we haven’t seen these characters before–the asshat chaebol and the perky Candy (albeit a ghost-seeing one). In fact, I’ve just about had it up to here with the borderline sociopathic men that women are supposed to fall for in dramaland. In the hands of lesser actors, this would be a much harder sell. I was thrown for a loop with what’s looking to be a ghost-of-the-week structure the show is using. But once I decided to check my Big baggage at the door and get over my own needs, I found the first two episodes very enjoyable. Plus, there’s security chief Seo In Guk, who had me at ‘laundry’. So I remain cautiously optimistic.

5 points for Gong Hyo Jin + 5 points for magic + 2 points for laundry with Seo In Guk = 12 points.  

Two Weeks

Lee Jun Ki in Two Weeks

Lee Jun Ki, you dirty, sexy, dirtbag

I wasn’t going to tune in until Dramabeans said the magic words: “sexy” and “seedy”. Lee Jun Ki dirtied up, desperate and on the run is basically the show in a nutshell. It starts out with a kicker of a massive car crash, cinematically filmed–the impact nearly throws me back in my chair. And I am sold. Our anti-hero is Jang Tae San (Lee Jun Ki), douche-bag low-lifer, who has two weeks to prove he was framed for murder and save his cancer-stricken daughter. He’s surrounded by a cast of characters that include dodgy politicians, corrupt cops, underworld bosses and dogged prosecutors.  This is a show with more smarts than I expected.

Two Weeks

Prosecutor Jae Kyung: I have high hopes that you will rock

The only misstep was the over long interludes with the daughter in what seems to be a bid to soften Tae San. Totally unnecessary. I’d much rather my dirtbags be dirtbaggy all the way. I’m hoping that there won’t be a romance to detract from this chase, and am eager to see more of most interesting female character in the new bunch of shows, prosecutor Jae-kyung (Kim So-yeon) for whom this is personal. Call me crazy but I saw shades of the driven loose-cannon agent Carrie of Homeland in her. I live in hope.

5 points for that opening pile up + 5 points for LJK’s sexy dirtbag + 3 points for brains – 1 point for cutesy kid = 12 points 

So It’s a tie! I get to keep them both! YAY!

By the way, I also watched that other debut (no, not the one about handbags). Here’s my two cents:

The Good Doctor

The Good Doctor poster

So wholesome it hurts

The subject of autism hits close to home and I was not initially willing to steel myself to check out the show’s portrayal of the disability. But I thought I’d test the waters. I did want to throw some things at my computer in some parts (I suspect this could be an issue with subs), but overall Joo Won has all the ticks down pat. I can’t fault this show for much except that it screams earnestness. I can practically feel it sweating while straining to tug at my heart strings. It’s needy and sickeningly wholesome. I’m not in the mood so I’m going to play with the bad boys instead.

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4 thoughts on “Premier week smackdown: The Chaebol vs The Fugitive

  1. Ooh, I hadn’t made the Carrie from Homeland connection — but I can see it. 🙂 I have high expectations for Jae-kyung being awesome (and I love her long-suffering, apparently long-crushing assistant). I am eager to see them fulfilled. *thinks positive*

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    • Oh Mr Specs? The one who got all in a tizzy over the note? Ah yes, me likey cuties who moon from afar ;). As for Carrie connection, glad to know I’m not alone. I thought that might be just me projecting. Jae-Kyung’s backstory out of all the characters was the one that really struck me, partly due to great writing–efficient yet effective.

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