Why has this show become a total drag?? It’s been stuck in a holding pattern for at least four episodes. It’s so listless it can’t even muster up the enthusiasm to deliver a decent cliffhanger.
Where did it all go wrong? Who Are You began as an enjoyable ride. It didn’t try to hard, wasn’t aiming for depth and didn’t take itself too seriously.
I treated it like the little engine that could: it didn’t have the A-list actors, a big budget or any hype. But it was entertaining despite these limitations. The show was content to be middling without any pretensions, which I admired. There’s nothing worse than a show that over-promises then under-delivers–Gu Family bull anyone?
It had the right ingredients. Shi On and Gun Woo are, and continue to be, likable leads. Shi-On (So Yi Hyun) is an amnesiac cop who wakes up from a coma after witnessing her boyfriend’s murder with new found ghost-seeing abilities.
She’s understandably mopey and a little pissed off. Hotshot subordinate Gun Woo (Taecyeon) is her trusty sidekick nursing a crush (and a saviour complex). Together, they solve cold cases of the dead and resolve unfinished business.
The ghost-of-the-week format kept the show in motion. I liked that it had some flair for spookiness even if the plot veered towards schlock. Details like flickering lights and drops of blood raining down showed a taste for horror. It’s mood was ominous yet bittersweet, elevated by an atmospheric soundtrack.
It was enough. I was happy.
Then Kim Jae Wook entered the picture as the dead boyfriend. And the show decided to abandon the weekly procedural in favour of the larger mystery of his murder.
Except there is not much mystery at all. All his magnificent mooning can’t make up for this arc’s predictable plot, no matter how beautiful or charismatic Kim Jae Wook is. There is simply not enough story here.
(In contrast, in that other ghost drama The Master’s Sun, the Hong sisters are clever enough to know they don’t have a story meaty enough to discard the weekly spooks so early.)
The show is trying to fill the void with numerous flashbacks of Shi On and Hyung Jeon’s life as a couple to draw on the angst of lovers yearning to reunite. It’s sweet but not particularly stirring. It would work better if the characters weren’t thin to begin with. They weren’t conceived to go beyond the demands of weekly ghost encounters.
Besides, I didn’t come to the party expecting an emotional pay-off. I just wanted a fun ride which has all but completely stalled.
Now at episode 12, everyone in the show is sad, sad, sad.
And I’m sad too that all life seems to have been sucked out of a show that was once my weekly fix of cheap thrills.