walkwithheroes: [Hong Gil Dong] ([Jungle Fish 2]Nowhere to Go)
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Midas is a new Monday/Tuesday drama that will begin airing next week. For a while, I've been debating whether or not I should watch the show. To be perfectly blunt: it has things about it I like and things about it I loathe. So. . .I'm trying to figure out if its worth checking out. Or if my own foolish prejudices will stop me from enjoying what might be a great drama.





The Bad:


01. The drama's plot seems long, twisted, and complicated. The show itself is only 16 episodes. From what I read, it would have worked much better as a 20 or 24 episode drama. 16 episodes just doesn't seem like enough time to get all the plots (believably) finished. Plus, the cast is large and with so few episodes - I'm wondering if storylines and characters will be pushed off to the side and lack development. Also, if the writer is writing it like a 16 episode drama, and it gets an extension - things could start to drag. (Side note: What's with all these shows that clearly should be longer only be 16 episodes? I guess its because ratings have been down in the last two years and its just cheaper to start off with 16 ordered and go up as needed.)


02. The main plot is all about business deals and trying to get rich. That can be boring for me. I fast forwarded through a lot of Giant because of all the business dealings.


03. Lee Min Jung is the female lead according to most press releases. I first saw her in Who Are You? and she was very sweet in that role - I liked her there. I next saw her in Boys Before Flowers and really hated her character. Then I watched Smile, You and while most people loved her character, I didn't really care for her there either. It wasn't her acting that was bad, I just found the character annoying. I suppose a lot of it had to do with the fact that I had just finished BBF, and I still had that after taste in my mouth. I think a lot of my like or dislike for her depends on what type of character LMJ plays: if she's sweet and pure (like she will be at the start of the series) I like her. If she's annoying or immature or plotting (like she was in BBF or/and Smile, You) I dislike her. So. . .that's why she's on this list.


04. I'm not sure if I'll like the characters. All their official character descriptions - at least the leads - talks about them selling their souls or seducing dying cancer patients for revenge! Of course, the whole 'I'm going to seduce the dying cancer patient' doesn't seem like it will last long, but. . .it still might make me dislike the female lead.


Granted, the things keeping me away from the show aren't many and are rather silly, but they are reasons. Then, there is the





Good

01. The writer is Choi Wan Kyu. He's brought us such wonders as IRIS, Swallow the Sun, All In, The Kingdom of the Winds, and Lobbyist. He's had a few missteps as a writer - or rather a few dramas I've disliked - but, overall his dramas have always been things I've liked.

02. The director is Kang Shin Hyo. He directed Tazza - I drama I really really liked. He also produced Bad Family, which was a really fun drama.

03. The men! Jang Hyuk is the male lead. I love him - he's really one of my favorite Korean actors. He's playing a graduate of law school, who doesn't have any ambitions in life and just wants to live normally. He then gets a job with the chaebol Yoo family; and, being around all their wealth awakens something inside him. In order to fulfill his new found ambition and desires, he sells his soul and turns away from his first love, the kind hearted Lee Jung Yoon.


No Min Woo is playing the secondary male lead, a rich playboy and the youngest son in the Yoo family. He and his father don't get along; and he's never really loved anyone. Now, he's dying of cancer. He falls for his nurse, Lee Jung Yoon, and even though he's dying, he decides to not let the love go. No Min Woo blew me away in Rock Rock Rock, and this role promises lots of angst.


04. The characters. I may not like the way they sound, but character descriptions can be misleading. And, sometimes it is fun and interesting watching characters fall apart and basically turn "evil" to get what they want. (Hey, I'm in the Sociology/Anthropology Department at university - dysfunctional families and people in need of therapy is kind of my thing.)


It's a tie! What should I do, fan-list? I think I'll wait for the reviews.





From Ockoala, but rewritten and condensed by me.


Kim Do Hyun (Jang Hyuk) is our male lead. A graduate of law school, who doesn't have any ambitions in life and just wants to live normally. He then gets a job with the chaebol Yoo family; and, being around all their wealth awakens something inside him. In order to fulfill his new found ambition and desires, he sells his soul and turns away from his first love, the kind hearted Lee Jung Yoon.


Lee Jung Yoon (Lee Min Jung) is our (co-?) female lead. She is a sweet and simple girl, who isn't noticed by others. She graduated from nursing school and now works in a hospital. Despite her young age, she is high up at the hospital, because of her performance and dedication to her patients. She only has eyes for Do Hyun. Until one day she realizes that Do Hyun is secretly in love with another woman. Feeling hurt, Jung Yoon decides to seek revenge for the way he's treated her and her father. A coincidence assigns her as the nurse hospital room occupied by Yoo Myung Joon. Despite herself, she slowly decides to seduce Myung Joon and becomes his woman.


Yoo Myung Joon (No Woo Min) is the secondary male. A rich playboy and the youngest son of the Yoo family. He and his father don't get along; and he's never really loved anyone. Now, he's dying of cancer. He meets Jung Yoon, and sees something special in her. She's not the most beautiful woman he knows or even the most educated, but Myung Joon finds himself falling for her bit by bit. Myung Joon knows that Jung Yoon cares for him as purely a patient, but her warmth and affection are the first true and pure feelings he's received in his life time. Yet, he's condition is worsening. As Myung Joon gets worse, Jung Yoon feels heartache she didn't know was possible.


Yoo In Hye (Kim Hee Ae) is the (co-?)/secondary female lead. She is the third child and first daughter of the Yoo family; and, is also Myung Joon's older sister. In Hye is a graduate of a school in America and was, at one time, a securities broker on Wall Street. She's returned to Korea to run a billion dollar hedge fund company. She is 40, unmarried, and loves playing up the stereotype of the 'power career woman'. Like her brother, In Hye, has a complicated relationship with their father: she respects him, and yet she also despises him. In Hye's personality is described as "dual" and "odd."

Date: 2011-02-19 12:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dangermousie.livejournal.com
Midas sounds extremely up my alley (like you, love the writer and PD) but the whole terminal illness is a deal-breaker for me. :(

Date: 2011-02-21 03:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] walkwithheroes.livejournal.com
:( I'll let you know if the illness plays a large role or not.

Date: 2011-03-28 10:29 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Watch Midas just for Jang Hyuk and Kim Hee-ae whose acting is just phenomenal and No Min-woo whose more for just eye candy than for acting (but still awesome none the less). The two things that really bug me are Lee Min-jung's acting and the way the development of the characters are unfolding. Lee seems too come off really shallow and wishy-washy rather than strong and morally superior which is what I think her character is supposed to be. And then there's the writing. The way the break up of the engagement was handled was pretty disappointing and doesn't really do much to garner audience sympathy. Anyway I guess as long as you can ignore those two things this drama ain't so bad.

Date: 2011-03-28 10:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] walkwithheroes.livejournal.com
I have heard that the performances of Jang Hyuk, Kim Hee-ae, and No Min-woo are strong. I'm hearing mixed things on the drama as a whole, but I like your take on the way things are unfolding. I think I'll have to watch a couple of episodes to see if it is for me. Thanks for your thoughts.

Date: 2011-03-29 12:30 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
You're welcome! I'm always more than happy to help a fellow drama fan out.
And I just wanted to add on to the topic of the cancer card played by the writer that was previously mentioned in the thread. Although many drama fans shudder to think of even going near a drama that has a main character stricken with a terminal illness (i.e. The Cancer, lol) I actually don't mind. What matters to me is how the issue is handled and how it plays out in any further development of the characters.
This may be a little snarky but I'm just going to point out that dramas, on the whole, aren't exactly high brow entertainment mediums. In fact, they're filled with enough recycled plot lines, archetypes and cliches to bring any self-respecting literate person to their knees. But that's exactly what makes them so addicting, at least in my case. It's the cheesy underdog-will-triumph story, the aloof and cold chaebol hero, the angsty love triangle, the totally unrealistic happy endings. All that AND the totally hot men (and pretty boy-men) that populate dramaland.

Date: 2011-03-29 05:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] walkwithheroes.livejournal.com
I agree about terminal illnesses being used in any dramas (be them Korean or not); I don't mind them if they are used well. I mean, if it fits with the story and is well written.

I do think that Korean dramas really are all (more or less - there are some new writers coming up with somewhat new ideas) cliched formulas. All Korean dramas will have two love triangles, the same types of archetype characters, etc. Well, more or less. But, I find them addicting. Even when I can see how they'll end from the third episode. Although, there have been some wonderful surprises in recent years.

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