10/07/2020 at 19:49 #140103Jonathan GingerichParticipant
Hard to describe. It’s definitely a K-drama, but without all the annoying bits. A lot of people call it bittersweet. I would not. In fact, I wish they dialed back the saccharin in the coda just a bit. I guess it’s a measure of how syrupy the K-drama formula usually is.
It’s about Living, Love, Loyalty, Longing, Lust, Livelihood, a good chunk of Buddhism, a lot of eating and drinking, all wound around a narrative about a succession battle in an engineering company whose aging, childless founder is looking to put it in firm hands.
It is “pretty and dressed tight”. Every scene fits, nothing is thrown away, everything falls into place in the nick of time and always organically. I don’t think I’ve ever seen better screen writing. At the climax, an ambiguously evil loan shark, on the run, ducks into a shop and in a moment decides upon the perfect revenge. I’ll leave it at that.
The series, about 24 hours of goodness, opens brilliantly. I might not have noticed as much the first time, but I re-watched the first episode so my wife could follow along, and then again a third time just to admire how everything is laid out from the start. We have an insect’s view of the workplace, bright and clean, abuzz with technical talk. Suddenly we fly down the hall, upsetting the offices gals. Manager Park Dong-hoon pushes aside a subordinate attempting to swat the ladybug, and tries to catch it. But a moment too soon it flies off and lands on the sleeve temp worker Lee Ji-an, who has watched the whole scene with a mixture of amusement, contempt, but mostly cold indifference. Just as Manager Park is about to catch it again, she swats it with a notepad and brushes it into the trash can, to Dong-hoon’s dismay. Later the boys tease Park for his kindness, and one-up each other over the grisly butchering they have done. Dong-Hoon trumps them all by grabbing his subordinate and demonstrating how he assisted his parents in slaughtering a pig as a child.
In a quiet moment, he stops by Ji-an’s cubicle and asks what’s the worst she ever killed? She is waifish and tough as rebar. Her reply is the first of many luminous exchanges. I do not know any Korean, but the subtitles convey nuance and character just fine. When Netflix occasionally dropped one, you can usually catch it from context.
Ji-an, desperate for money, and thwarted from cashing in on an initial windfall, discovers Manager Park is being cuckolded by his college junior, now CEO Do. Ji-an offers to keep his secret if the CEO will hire her to destroy his rivals in the company power struggle. She proceeds. Complications ensue.
The ensemble is brilliant, but Lee Ji-an, played by Lee Ji-eun (IU), sinks her teeth in and won’t let go. Of course she benefits from a lithe build with a Madonna-simple face, and masterful direction. Notice how she eats her noodles when given a meal or then when offered a meal. I wasn’t familiar with this talented actress so I looked her up. Like her character she had an impoverished childhood and lived with her Grandmother. She left school to earn her living at 15. She was successful. She was very, very successful being one of the few solo acts in K-pop under the stage name IU (I, You). Acting is just her hobby!-)
If you hate Casablanca then this might not be for you. Otherwise, each episode 90 minutes, is perfect for watching at bedtime. But please don’t binge. You will be all too soon sad to say goodbye.10/07/2020 at 20:25 #140104MikeKeymaster10/07/2020 at 20:50 #140118Mike HeaddenParticipant
Your call Mike, obviously, but boardroom battles aren’t what I’d expect to read about here unless conducted using cyber-enhanced kill teams!
Sounds like something that might be worth a watch none the less.
Growing old is mandatory, growing up is entirely optional!10/07/2020 at 20:53 #140120MikeKeymaster10/07/2020 at 20:58 #140121Jonathan GingerichParticipant
Oops, didn’t read the fine print…10/07/2020 at 21:20 #140122RhodericParticipant
In fairness I can see K-drama having a certain “nerd culture” connection. When I first discovered the genre it was through the nerd grapevine, back when K-drama fandom in the West was an extension of J-drama fandom, which in turn was an extension of anime fandom.
Still it makes sense that TWW isn’t a website for nerd culture in general, but rather that one specific part of it which is conflict gaming with miniatures.
- The topic ‘Perhaps the best thing I’ve ever seen on television’ is closed to new replies.