Thursday, November 6, 2014

KDrama Initial Thoughts: Bad Guys and Liar Game

So I'm doing something a little unusual for me and watching current shows as they're airing, two of them at that! I was intrigued by Liar Game as the Japanese version is a show I liked quite a lot and I heard a rumor they're adding in a bit of romance, which I've always felt the Japanese version teased without really fleshing it out. Honestly, I'm not sure what really drew me to watch Bad Guys, besides having just enjoyed Park Hae Jin in My Love from Another Star. Actually, it's funny because his brother on that show is our villain/host in Liar Game. What a delight! Anyway, let's dive in a little bit.

Bad Guys:
Bad Guys (Korean Drama)-p1.jpg
Episodes watched - 4

Baby Gist: When a serial killer stabs the police commissioner's son, he calls on a retired "mad dog" cop to do whatever it take to catch the guy. That ends up pulling three harden criminals out of prison to use their know how to catch the killer. Rounded out by the all-business female inspector in charge of them, they make a dynamite, if not unusual hunting team.

What's working: I have to admit, I'm totally blown away by this show so far. It looks like I'm not the only one. The ratings this show continues to put up is very impressive. While I usually love a good romance, this show has bromance stamped all over it. Watching our criminal team learn to work together rather than just side-by-side is a true delight. Each of the characters is really well developed even in such a short amount of time. The pacing of this show is also dead on. I have a sweet spot for crime dramas (Criminal Minds, CSI, etc.) and I love shows where they're catching the bad guys. Which is what this show is all about. Loving it so far.

What I'm hoping for: This show has a lot of great teaser questions hanging out there. I'm particularly intrigued by Oh Goo Tak's (Kim Sang Joong) daughter's murder and I'm really curious if any of our three were involved. Also the blind spots in Lee Jung Moon's memory is also posing some interesting questions, the least of which is whether or not he is actually a serial killer. Though, after that scene with his ex, he is certainly capable. It also asks an interesting question about guilt. Do you feel guilty for something you don't remember? At first it seemed like no, but I'm curious to see where this story line develops. I', also curious where Jung Tae Soo's (Jo Dong Hyeok) pseudo romance is going. I just can't see it ending well, but we'll see. All in all, as long as this show keeps pace and doesn't leave us with any loose ends, I'm very hopeful about the rest of this show.

Current Grade: A

P.S. Is anyone else just so distracted by how pretty Hae Jin is? It really is actually distracting. New celeb crush forming!

Liar Game:
Liar Game (Korean Drama)-p1.jpg
Episodes watched - 6

Baby Gist: A powerful ex-executive starts a reality show that pits people against each other in games meant to encourage betrayal and distrust. This causes major problems for Nam Da Jung (Kim So Eun), who is naive to the point of foolishness. She agrees to be on the show to work her way out of her father's debt. However, in order to win, she calls on the help of genius con man, who was recently released from prison.

What's working: So, I think viewers who have not seen the Japanese version of this are going to be at a bit of an advantage because the writer's didn't change the structure of the games that much. That did bug me at first as even though I haven't watched the JDrama in a few years, I still remember how they all turn out. Thankfully, as the show went on, it came into its own and I'm glad I didn't drop it after the pilot. First, they're giving the characters more of a personal touch and painting a more detailed back story. I appreciate the connection forming between all of our characters. Second, I think the reality show framing makes way more sense than the random nefarious organization that's running the Japanese version. Third, I am super excited about the prospect of some romance here. Fourth, they're playing a bit with the genders of side players which also adds some unexpected twists.

What I'm hoping for: An elegant, cohesive back story. They're playing a lot with the dynamic between our host (who is excellently cast by the way - Shin Sung Rok has this nefarious thing down!) and Woo Jin. I'm really looking forward to how that's all going to play out and I hope there's no cop outs. I'm also looking forward to Da Jung and Woo Jin getting closer. The show has laid good groundwork, but they still have a lot to figure out. I felt like the JDrama was a little stilted in this regard as you can see how much he cares for her, but it never really develops into much. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a lovely end to the series.

Current Grade: A-

On a side note, I'm sort of split between being excited and disappointed that these shows are only 10 episodes. It's keeping the story lines tight, but I'm at least hoping for a second season of Bad Guys. That show could just go on forever.

Speaking of JDrama remakes, is anyone watching the Nodame Cantible remake? I haven't dove in since I had very mixed feelings about the Japanese version. Curious if it's going well.

Keep watching, lovelies! I'll have full reviews up after I finish the shows! 

No comments:

Post a Comment