Who Are You? post-mid point check-in

Who Are You Ep12 Shi On kidnapped


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? 

Who Are You Ep 12-1


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.

Boring (but beautiful)

Beautiful…but boring

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.

Who Are You Ep 12-5

Sweet…but still boring

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.


8 thoughts on “Who Are You? post-mid point check-in

  1. I agree…..these ghost seeing themes do not have much of a story and so, they rely on the story-of-the-day format. Haven’t seen Who Are You but Master’s Sun is doing it pretty well by mixing the main love story with them.


    • MS uses the ghosts as the platform for the real story: how JW and TY come to love each other, and develop some semblance of character, be it in an every day sense, or in context of coming to terms with one’s past.

      WAY, which I haven’t seen, seems to be adamant about putting the ghost story as the main plot and the romance that can’t be second, when it’s the latter that most viewers care about. The chemistry can’t hold up this one the way it does the relatively poorly written MS.


      • Well, the romantic chemistry in WAY is definitely lacking between Taecyeon & SYH, although it’s the least of this show’s problems. I’ll take a wild guess about the show being about mourning and moving on, and it may end up doing a decent job with this aspect, but I’m not invested enough in the characters to be interested in their journey as people, not to mention it’s just dreadfully boring to watch.


    • Yeah, in Master’s Sun the ghost stories flesh out the main characters as well, so we learn more about them. In WAY we hardly know anything about the leads, which wouldn’t be so much of a problem if it wasn’t now trying to do some heart-tugging romantic angst that I find totally boring.


  2. Ha ha, oh no I am enjoying this show so much, I am not sure why but for me it is really succeeding in pulling my heartstrings and making me love the characters.
    I think this is probably one of my favourite things about reading drama blogs though as it is really fascinating how differently everyone views the same things and so often I can read about someone elses opinion and get a completely different perspective on a show or scene!! 🙂


    • Yes, isn’t it funny how wildly divergent people’s views are? I’m glad the show is working for you though. Sigh. I wish it still was for me, but I don’t consider this drama a waste of time. I still do find some parts enjoyable, however small. 🙂


  3. I think the story line is simply great . Quite realistic and logical thus a little scary. So different from other dramas . Make me love the characters too . Especially So Yi Hyun. She is very good at her role as a strict senior police officer to Taecyeon who is younger and playful and as the cheerful girl friend to her Oppa. She has a very bright & charming smile …it’s simply beautiful .


    • That’s great! Glad you like it. I’m hoping that I’ll get into it again during these last few episodes. I do like So Yi Hyun, and I think she’s fine in this role. I just wish Taecyeon’s character didn’t need to constantly be saving her bum all the time 😉


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