Category Archives: Melodrama

The Devil / Lucifer

Genre: melodrama, mystery, revenge, crime, thriller

Episodes: 20

Main actors: Joo Ji Hoon, Uhm Tae Woong

Main actress: Shin Min Ah

Story: Kang Oh Soo (Uhm Tae Woong) is a homicide detective full of passionate force and righteous ideals, fighting crimes wherever and however he can. One day he hits a dead end in a series of seemingly unrelated murders and, though full of doubts, seeks the help of a young woman named Seo Hae In (Shin Min Ah) who claims to possess psychometric abilities.  As they begin to unravel the relations between the murder victims, defense attorney Oh Seung Ha (Joo Ji Hoon) makes his entrance; a stoic and mysterious young man who, despite all prior judgments, turns out to be all politeness – though he suddenly appears just about everywhere with connections to just about everyone…

What started out as a relatively normal homicide investigation, however, soon turns its ugly head and leads the main characters down a gory path to their most well hidden and darkest secrets. What makes us human? What is good and what is evil – and who decides between the two? Where’s the difference between a black and a white lie when both mean that you speak the untruth? A resentment, well fed and nurtured for the last twelve years, begins to dig a whole, begins to throw the curtain of revenge over their hearts and opens the gates to hell…

Opening:

Own opinion: A story à la “The Count of Monte Christo”. “The Devil” is no happy-go-lucky, let’s-chill-out-with-popcorn kind of drama, that’s for sure. Digging into the depth of human beings, their minds, emotions and reasoning behind their doings is this plot presenting its audience some irritatingly smart and provocative questions and dilemmas.

I came upon this drama by coincidence. No one has ever spoken to me about it nor have I ever seen it being mentioned in any kind of Korean drama blog. It seems to be one of the industries “underdogs” – which’s not only a shame but full on incomprehensible. “The Devil” took me on a ride that was both uncomfortable and thrilling – a mix of emotions I’m not really used to, that’s for sure. The whole story tricked me into falling for the devil without me realizing it – to then later on reveal it in such a way that it made me sickeningly aware of how damn deep I’m already standing in the shit that were once my morals and believes. And I loved it!

Uhm Tae Woong does an awesome job at displaying the personality of Kang Oh Soo; a character so twisted, conflicted and at the same time hypocritically ignorant that he ultimately falls pray to his own principles. Shin Min Ah is charming, as she’s always been, and I loved the character development she went through because it had a beautifully natural flow but also maintained the basis of who Seo Hae In was and always will be as a person. Joo Ji Hoon, however, was the one that truly took me by force. His Oh Seung Ha is such a distressingly weird composition of a complex human being, both lovely and questionable, that I found myself constantly drawn to him while simultaneously being afraid of what I might find if I come too close.

What I admired about the story is that it is not only provocative in its message and smart in its order of revelations but also presuming that the viewer isn’t a fool (A fact other dramas seemly depend on.). If you watch each episode with the right amount of awareness, you will find hints and clues to what is truly going on very early in the run-time of the show – a discovery the story depends on, actually, as it urges you to find out one truth as soon as possible so that you may dig out even darker secrets and lies beyond that first layer of (what might be) the core of the problem. I know that my description may sound a little bit cryptic and philosophical – it’s kind of hard to describe this drama without spoiling anything – but then again, it is cryptic and philosophical so I guess my phrasing fits the bill here. 😉

Rating: 10 / 10. (Just a reminder: The rating is purely subjective and under no circumstances a valuable measurement! I tend to like melodramas about revenges a lot so of course I’ll find something like “The Devil” very entertaining. You may hate it all you want, however. ^^)

PS: The Japanese version is called “Maou”. I didn’t find it as good as the Korean one though.

Bad Guy

Genre: melodrama, romance, revenge

Episodes: 17

Main actors: Kim Nam Gil, Kim Jae Wook

Main actresses: Han Ga In, Oh Yeon Suh, Jung So Min

Story: Gun Wook (Kim Nam Gil) is a rather mysterious young man with strong sexy charisma and a brilliant brain who one day suddenly appears out of nowhere in front of young and cute girl Hong Mo Ne (Jung So Min), her older and strict sister Hong Tae Ra (Oh Yeon Suh) and Tae Ras little daughter (played by Jeon Min Seo). The Hong-sisters are the heirs to the so called Haeshin Group – a big and influential company which deals with don’t-ask-me-what. Mo Ne and Tae Ras daughter are immediately drawn into Gun Wooks fatal charm. Especially Mo Ne seems to be unable to resist him in every way possible. And even though she constantly tries to resist him is even righteous Tae Ra finally giving in to her feelings. Their brother Hong Tae Sung (Kim Jae Wook) on the other hand develops a rather complicated relationship with him: They both like the same girl – Moon Jae In (Han Ga In) – and always want to fight over her but also seem to process into a kind of weird Hyung-Dongsaeng partnership where they eat ice cream together and chit-chat about life and its troubles. What nobody knows yet: Gun Wook didn’t meet the Haeshin-heirs out of coincidence. He has planned a cruel and fatal vengeance for everyone involved in their business and won’t quit till the whole family is completely ruined. The story about his life finally starts to reveal itself step by step…

Trailer:

Own opinion: It’s one of my most favourite dramas ever! I really like storys about revenge and melodramas tend to revolve around such things which’s why I end up watching this kind of genre more than other ones. Plus Kim Nam Gil’s my most beloved actor since “Queen Seon Duk” (his character is called “Bidam”) – he’s just so awesome at displaying certain emotions just through his eyes alone that I can’t stop looking at him.

“Bad Guy” is a melodrama through and through so you shouldn’t expect to be able to laugh out loud or anything while watching it. The whole series is designed in a rather dark toned air and heavy atmosphere. The plot’s not too complicated to get a headache over but it’s definitly nothing one would watch to relax. The characters feel great and totally “real” which makes it even harder for the viewer to beware a certain distance between fictional and real world.

I really like it that the script for “Bad Guy” leaves enough space for the actors and actresses to speak for themselfes. Many scenes are done without much talk but more through looks and emotions – what I prefer because sometimes a persons eyes can say more than a thousand words.

I think it’s kinda obvious if you look at the names above but since some of you might not know them I’m going to mention it nontheless: The acting in “Bad Guy” is the best of the best of the best! It’s the so called “crème de la crème”. The cast is simply perfect and the chemistry between the main characters so damn nerve-racking that I could almost see the sparks going back and forth. I got goosebumps in every episode – something really rare and really great!

Rating: 9 / 10. Even though I watched it around five times already and still thinks it’s one of the best melodramas ever is it impossible to deny the fact that the love story is totally messed up. The revenge and everything related to that is perfectly done but the triangle between Gun Wook, Tae Sung and Jae In annoys me every time.