If Mask had a report card, and I was its teacher, I would write on it something along the lines of, “Mask displays strong potential in many areas, but seems to have a short attention span and does not work to maximize his potential.”
That, and maybe also, “Mask would do so much better if he would seriously apply himself.”
Yes, this does kinda-sorta sound like what I recently said about High Society, but I think because Mask managed to show more real potential, the disappointment here feels, well, more real, too.
I mean, for a good stretch, I actually really enjoyed watching this show.
…Which is saying quite a lot, since I actually never really intended to watch Mask. I don’t usually reach for makjang, and this was marketed as makjang.
But then I checked out episode 1, because my friend Timescout had found the initial episodes so weirdly and unintentionally hilarious that I just had to see for myself, what that was about. I checked in, was suitably amused, and then checked out again.
And then, practically everyone I know on Twitter began raving about this show, and so, my curiosity dictated – make that demanded – that I check back in to see for myself what the fuss was about. (As you must have gathered by this point, I can be a very curious person! XD )
STUFF I LIKED
For a good 17 episodes, I actually found Mask entertaining and engaging, thanks to the next couple of highlights.
Yeon Jung Hoon as Seok Hoon
Right away, I found Yeon Jung Hoon deliciously intense and dramatic as resident baddie Seok Hoon.
In a High Melodrama setting (that was not quite makjang, in my opinion), I found Yeon Jung Hoon’s delivery almost theatrical, his expressions and gestures felt so Large. But it worked, and really well, too.
For a while, at least, I found Seok Hoon the most interesting and arresting character of this drama world, and I was curious to know more about his motivations and his plans.
As a bonus, all his glaring made him feel like Vampy gone to the dark side, and I kept half-expecting him to snarl and vamp out when riled up, something which amused me greatly.
Yes, Seok Hoon’s role as resident baddie was part of Show’s wasted potential, but let’s talk about that later.
Joo Ji Hoon as Min Woo
On a more consistent note, I really, really loved Joo Ji Hoon as Min Woo.
Not only does he play Min Woo’s confusion and angst well, Joo Ji Hoon demonstrates absolutely fantastic comic timing. It’s much less in the physical gags (thank goodness), and more in Joo Ji Hoon’s great reaction faces, which tend to be hilarious – and often when I’m least expecting it.
I love that Show knows to leverage a good thing, coz we get comedic beats from Min Woo all series long, and they were the highlight of this show, for me.
Seriously. Just pick any random Mask episode, and there’s a 90% chance that my favorite thing about the episode would be a comic beat from Joo Ji Hoon.
As a quick example of the comic awesome, there’s a little beat in episode 13 which is among my favorite Min Woo moments.
It’s a quick little scene where Ji Sook (Soo Ae) offers to scratch Min Woo’s back to get rid of the shivers he’s got, from giving her a cheesy compliment.
Min Woo agrees, and then as Ji Sook begins to scratch his back, he suddenly literally shrieks from the tickles, then rapid-squiggles out of her reach like his pants are on fire, before shooting her the most flummoxed expression.
Seriously – Best. Thing. Evar. XD
On a somewhat related tangent, Joo Ji Hoon’s role of Min Woo actually reminds me of his role as Crown Prince Shin in Goong (2006).
I mean, Min Woo’s in an arranged marriage, and in the midst of politicking, he and his contract wife have to show the world a happy and united front while fielding interviews with the press and such.
And as they spend time like that, they start to get to know each other and eventually fall in love. All you need to do is switch out the names, and you could just as well be reading the synopsis of Crown Prince Shin’s character arc in Goong, right?
I found that little detail rather amusing, especially since I recently completed a Goong rewatch (review here!), and I couldn’t help but smile to myself at how the Crown Prince is now all grown up. 😉
Tangent aside, I really liked how surprisingly candid Min Woo tends to be, as a character.
In a world where so few characters actually speak their mind, I found Min Woo’s straightforward honesty refreshing and disarmingly endearing, and he remained one of my favorite characters through to the very end of the show.
Min Woo-Ji Sook Cuteness-Sweetness
In a Very Dramatic show where revenge and doppelgangers are the main event, the light freshness of the OTP came as a very pleasant surprise.
Also a surprise, is how quickly into the show this OTP effect begins. I’m not complaining, of course, since I’m a sucker for a good OTP. Very quickly, this OTP grabbed my attention, so much so that I found it easy to forget that I was supposed to be watching a revenge melodrama.
If I had to break down exactly what it was about the OTP that made for such cracky watching, it’s these 3 things:
(a) Min Woo’s growing discombobulation in response to his burgeoning feelings for his wife, and the adorkably awkward expressions to go with;
(b) The comedy and the sweetness of both Min Woo and Ji Sook inching closer to each other as they come around to their romantic feelings; and
(c) The warmth and tenderness growing between Min Woo and Ji Sook, as they each offer mutual understanding and healing to the other, in the process of building their relationship.
There’re lots of OTP highlights in this show, for me, and it’d be impossible to talk about them all.
One of my favorite bits is the hidden office romance aspect of Ji Sook working as part of Min Woo’s team.
The crossed wires, around her co-workers assuming that she was a maknae nobody audaciously flirting with the boss, amused me greatly. I also loved that Min Woo was So Preoccupied with Ji Sook, in spite of himself.
Hands-down, the swooniest OTP moment, though, would have to be Min Woo’s unexpected love declaration to Ji Sook in episode 16.
As they stand on the steps leading to the family court, about to finalize their divorce, Min Woo suddenly declares,
“I won’t care who you are or if I will die if I’m with you. I will be happy to be with you, Byun Ji Sook-sshi. Don’t leave me in order to save me. If you disappear from my sight it will be same as killing me.” … “I love you, Byun Ji Sook.”
And then he moves in to kiss her. Eeee!
Seriously, the kisses are so tender and so heartfelt; you can just feel the wistful longing on both sides finally finding grateful expression in those kisses. Swoon.
Of course, besides my 3 favorite highlights, there were other things that were working in Show’s favor.
The premise is fantastical, but Show is well-made and the execution consistently feels polished and confident. Show makes the melodramatics feel intentional and almost elegant, while keeping everything moving along at a brisk pace.
The camera work and direction feels thoughtful and quite refined, and the OST is appropriately immersive. Additionally, even though the plot isn’t plausible by normal-people standards, Show possesses its own internal logic, and, for the most part, plays by it.
Cast-wise, Soo Ae and Yoo In Young both put in compelling performances as our female leads, and the supporting cast does a solid job of rounding out the drama world.
STUFF THAT DIDN’T HELP
Despite its strong start, Show – sadly – ultimately fails to live up to its potential. Rather than One Big Mistake, in my mind, it’s more that Show made a series of smaller mistakes that eventually came together to cause its underwhelming downfall.
[SPOILERS THROUGH THE END OF THE REVIEW]
Here’s a quick rundown of some of those mistakes.
Threads to Nowhere
Show often surfaced intriguing threads that promised to develop into interesting plot points later on, but essentially, most of those threads go nowhere and end up being dropped.
The drugging of Min Woo, which seemed to make a convenient exit after a while, is one. Seok Hoon’s growing jealousy, triggered by Min Woo’s closeness to Ji Sook, which also seemed to conveniently peter off, is another.
The Business Stuff
I found the business shenanigans not very accessible in this show, at least in the earlier stretch of the show.
Sometimes I didn’t really get what was going on, business-wise, but those shenanigans didn’t feel compelling enough to make me want to actually work it out. Since revenge was supposedly the main event of this show, I found this to be a weak link.
Additionally, the business stuff actually sorta fades into the background as we get deeper into the show. Which feels kinda more like sweeping something under the carpet, rather than actually fixing something to make it work better.
Stupid Plot Points
Even in a drama world where suspension of disbelief was a given, I found some plot points glaringly stupid.
Like Ji Sook taking off her ring next to the river in episode 6 and dropping it in the water. That’s such a dumb thing to do. But, whatchagonna do, Show needed a reason for her to be sopping wet so that we could get that skin-to-skin contact between Min Woo and Ji Sook.
Also, there’s that beat in episode 18, where Ji Sook and Mi Yeon (Yoo In Young) have their big talk thisclose to the water of the swimming pool.
There’s So. Much. Space. that’s not near the edge of the water that it’s laughable that they had to stand right next to the water. But Show needed Ji Sook to almost fall into the water, so that Mi Yeon could grab her wrist, so that Min Woo could see it all and have his memory jogged.
Of course, there’s also Seok Hoon’s reason for seeking such an elaborate revenge.
Up until the finale, all we get in terms of Seok Hoon’s motivations, is his twisted and warped logic about saving the world. Which makes no sense whatsoever, and is not at all helpful in making his whole vengeance crusade feel credible and solid.
Worse, when his real reason is finally revealed to us in episode 20, it still doesn’t make a lot of sense.
If you think about it, the reason Seok Hoon has destroyed his own life and the lives of so many other people, is all because Chairman had smiled at Seok Hoon’s father’s funeral. Which, what?
As we got deeper into the show, I found that the accumulation of these missteps had eroded my enjoyment of the show in a big way. By episode 18, I felt quite disengaged, to the point of wanting Show to hurry up and just end already. Not good.
THOUGHTS ON THE ENDING
So, Min Woo and Ji Sook get their happy ending, and Seok Hoon and Mi Yeon pay a price for their wrongdoing. But OMG the plot-holes, seriously.
I mean, charging Min Woo for Ji Sook’s murder, when no body has been found? I know this is dramaland and all, but seriously?
Couldn’t the writers have come up with something more believable than that? And the detective/prosecutor guy has the gall to look impatient and angry when Min Woo tells him that his wife just called and she’s alive.
On top of the plot-holes, perhaps the bigger offender is how overwhelmingly underwhelming everything is.
For one thing, resident baddie Seok Hoon never really does anything different, even in the finale.
All this time, it had felt like Show was building up to something Extra Big, and Extra Bad, for Seok Hoon’s ultimate revenge. But honestly, the finale episode just feels like another day of Regular Bad for him.
Plus, there’s what I mentioned above, about Seok Hoon’s reason for his revenge.
It’s supposed to be a Big Reveal, since as our resident baddie, we’ve been in suspense for 19 whole episodes, as to why he’s so fixated on revenge. But when it’s revealed, it’s more head-scratching than shocking.
Additionally, the entire sequence of how our resident baddie is defeated by Min Woo and Ji Sook feels quite straightforward and, well, easy, which made everything prior feel like much ado about nothing, really. Like, if it was this simple, why didn’t they just do it sooner, right?
Seok Hoon’s takedown also feels glossed over and rushed. All the evidence that put him in jail should’ve been played out for us to see. I think that would’ve been a better use of screen time, and it would’ve also felt more satisfying.
As it is, it feels like they whipped him off our screens coz time was up, and they wanted to serve up more cute instead.
Yes, The Cute was cute – Min Woo’s and Ji Sook’s daughter is adorbs – but honestly, the last few episodes of the show, and the finale in particular, didn’t feel tight nor well thought-out. Instead, it kinda felt like the writers just got tired, and were in a hurry to wrap things up.
I wondered about why the ending left me this cold, when I’d genuinely enjoyed the earlier episodes.
What it is, is basically a case of empty promises, all fizzling out to nothingness.
My enjoyment of the earlier episodes had a lot to do with trusting Show to deliver on its promises; promises of a Major Showdown and a Satisfying Takedown, with some cute on the side.
But in the end, instead of serving up a Major Takedown, it was all a Major Letdown, and I was left with a bemused feeling of “Uh.. That’s.. it??”
So much wasted potential. So Much.
THE FINAL VERDICT:
Fun for a while, but falters in the last stretch and loses its grip.
FINAL GRADE: C++
Hello!!! It’s been a while… I trust you’ve been well kfangirl. 🙂
Your review echos my feelings towards Mask to the T. I was first highly intrigued, then utterly entertained, then frustrated and then ended up feeling completely empty by the last episode. It’s such a pity.
Muffin!!! It’s great to see you around here! Hugs! 😀
Yes, SUCH a pity about Mask.. I was very underwhelmed by the ending. Joo Ji Hoon’s awesome comedic timing was a nice silver lining, but even that wasn’t enough to make up for the disappointment that Mask ended up being. So much wasted potential! Sigh.
I actually surprised myself and enjoyed this drama…..despite its very OTT beginning…..but more importantly i actually developed a proper girl crush on Park Soo Ae, i want her to marry me….if not her then at least Yu In Young<<<<i have never watched a drama and been ore attracted to the female leads than the male…HA
Lol. Sounds like Mask turned out to be an.. impactful watch for you, diploctor! XD I must agree that both Soo Ae and Yoo In Young did very good jobs of delivering their characters. It’s no wonder you were drawn to them both! ^^
it’s summer and people tend to spend more time outdoors. let’s be honest: no matter how much fuss there is about any summer drama, you don’t really expect a B or B+ show. 🙂
Eeep! Don’t jinx it, INTJ! XD I still hold out hope! And, I must say that I’m genuinely enjoying Oh My Ghostess, which is currently airing and definitely one of those summer dramas. I’m crossing all available limbs that it will remain good to the very end! 🙂
hahaha. well, i’m watching all those summer dramas too … which means i’m also (still) hoping to see a good one. 😀 it’s just that i tend to be less disappointed with them by lowering my expectations a bit more during summer. even enormous plot-holes and bad acting won’t bother me this way … and more importantly: won’t be able to put an end to my drama addiction. 😀
as far as i know, there’s still two episodes to go for “Oh My Ghostess” … i’ll binge-watch it when it’s finished and english translation is available for all episodes.
Hahaha! Lowering expectations definitely helps! Sometimes I end up surprising myself, when I enjoy a show from which I expected nothing much at all. Generally speaking I’m willing to give a drama a pass on plot holes and such, if the show manages to engage me somehow – y’know, grab my heart and make me care, that kind of thing. In the case of Mask, I kind of stopped caring in the final stretch, and that made the disappointment of empty promises sting all the more, I think. 😛
Yes, the last 2 eps of Oh My Ghostess air this week, and then you’ll be able to marathon it nicely. I’m not caught up on the latest eps, but 10 eps in, I’m really enjoying it. I hope you find it a fun watch! 🙂
This Week with Korean drama Bloggers (Week 2 August 2015)
Mentioned your post!
Actually it is C- for me, not because it was all that terrible. I would have stopped watching much sooner if that had been the case. As you said, it had, for all its faults, lots of potential and it was very well paced at the beginning. However, eventually I could not suspend disbelief any longer and also around episode 17 went to reading recaps and fast forwarding though to the end.
Then there was the terrible dialogue repeated over and over about lies and trust and….well I suppose it was meant to be insightful about lies and pretense, but it was sloppy and did not work at all. And are we supposed to believe that in the end Ji Hoon realized he really did love his wife? Oh Please! The guy was portrayed as an obsessive psychopathic liar. A character like that does not suddenly decide not to get on the plane and escape. But then he would have gotten away and the viewers would have not gotten any satisfaction. So the writers had to cook up some sort of sorry motivation for why he didn’t get on the plane.
This drama, the more I think about it the worse it gets. I am afraid that some fairly talented writers and actors got caught up in a plot mess and just gave up on trying to make anything intelligible out of Mask. So I am not going to think about it anymore. We agree, lost potential and in my case, wasted time.
Heh. I was originally tempted to give this show a C rating, but then, I remembered that I also gave High Society a C, and I enjoyed this show more than High Society. I gave a plus for Joo Ji Hoon’s brand of funny, which I loved. And I also gave a plus for the OTP, which I genuinely enjoyed for a good stretch, up until after the love declaration, after which pretty much everything started to unravel for me. Just based on the ending alone, though, I would agree with your C- rating.. the ending was very meh indeed.
I’m with you on the recurring lines about lies and truth and lies becoming truth! I think it was supposed to be some kind of mix of poetry and pain or something, but I didn’t really like it. As for Seok Hoon’s change of heart, I agree that it felt oddly sudden and should’ve been built up better. If that’s the way they were going to go, they should’ve shown us more hints of Seok Hoon’s feelings for Mi Yeon, in the earlier parts of the show. Then his turnaround would’ve felt more believable in that last episode.
YES, it did feel like the writers just kind of got tired and gave up at the end, didn’t it?? That’s the sense that I got too, while watching the finale. Like, they were just tired of trying to make it all work, and just wanted to go home and get some sleep! XD
I would have loved to watch the comic scenes with you! Joo Ji Hoon’s brand of comedy kept my boat afloat. 🙂
Oh, I’d have loved to have watched the Joo Ji Hoon funnies with you too!! Coz yes, Joo Ji Hoon’s fabulous reaction faces were a TOTAL bright spot for me, in this show! 😀 You’d never expect him to be so good with comic timing, given his serious-looking face, but that just makes the funny even funnier, I think. LOVED him in this! ^^
Exactly! I remember commenting that I have never enjoyed him the way I did in this show. So this is going to be my favorite performance of his to date. 🙂
Oh yes, Joo Ji Hoon really outdid himself in this show! When I rewatched Goong, though, I did notice shades of his excellent comic timing even then. I’m so pleased that he got to show them off in Mask. I thought he handled the nuances of his character really well 🙂
That first paragraph is brilliant. I’m laughing hysterically and also completely know what you mean. I don’t think I ever intended to watch this show but I dislike nothing more than a drama that doesn’t live up to it’s potential.
LOL, thanks Felicia! It’s not everyday that I get complimented for being brilliant, so I’m savoring this! 😉 I absolutely wouldn’t recommend this show, especially if you’ve got limited drama hours to spend. I think the sting is worse with a show that actually showed real potential, versus a show that’s outright bad from the start. I guess that saying – about the higher you rise, the harder you fall – is definitely true in this case, in terms of expectations! XD
A show that started with a big thunder and a magnificent storm but unfortunately, between episode 6 -16, everything kept vibrating instead of really going anywhere. That’s what happens when a drama “catches” good ratings these days. Tons of PPLs held back the plot, the physical contact in episode 6 went nowhere from there ( well, after seeing each other naked, couples usually DON’T move to the next level…right! It can happen…Perhaps touching and feeling is nothing in a world of robots…), the alleged complicated story became predictable, the glorious villain with mixed and twisted feelings ( “Who do I really fancy here, people? The dead-dead woman or the dead-alive one ?”…his immoral questions would have been of shakespearean proportions! ) got bored in the end and everything was in FFW in the last 4 episodes ( Poor writer! Is there anything that hasn’t happened to you while being a rookie in the industy?)
So, I got one and only question: Is their a slim chance we watch the original idea in any kdrama any time soon? Probably not…Both poor ratings and good ratings “kill” the plot. Should we just watch medium ratings dramas then? Maybe plot remains intact in those. Or maybe not…(hi, Warm and Cozy).
Haha! Your rant made me laugh, hariaharia! XD It’s true, though, that the show didn’t really go anywhere significant for a long stretch, and then kicked everything into high gear in the last stretch, in order to get us to the necessary milestones needed for the ending. The pressures that the writers are under, is very real, I hafta admit. It’s really tough to tell a robust story when under sometimes opposing pressures to accommodate PPL, politics AND ratings.
A lot of dramas suffer from these external factors, but thankfully, there are still some shows that manage to tell a solid story. Angry Mom is a recent example of a show that didn’t enjoy huge ratings, but managed to be consistent all the way through. I was actually really impressed by that. So take heart, chingu.. All is not lost! 🙂
I recently watched I Remember You ( I haven’t watched Angry Mom, yet) and even though things were not so obvious as in similar projects, low ratings surely affected drama’s structure in terms of story and consistency. Sometimes, I forget my (our) hobby is other people’s jobs, hence my deep disappointement! But it’s true – we’re having fun while they’re trying to make a living and that (aside from well-paid big stars and high-ranking CEOs) applies to everyone in entertainment business
Oh, I just watched E1 of I Remember You.. It’s too early for me to come to any conclusions about its story and consistency, but it’s good to know in advance so I can manage my expectations! Thanks for that 🙂 Do check out Angry Mom sometime.. I was really impressed with how consistent it managed to be, in spite of underwhelming ratings.
You’re right, our hobby of watching dramas is a job to other people. At the same time, I know that the writers must have passion for their work, and a vision for their creations, and a desire for artistic integrity. I’d love to see them have more room to bring their creative visions to fruition, without such strong pressure from ratings and PPL and such. I know it’s a big ask, but a fangirl can dream, right? 😉
Another great review and spot on too.
I put the show on hold around ep 10 as I felt it wasn’t really going anywhere and the wonderfully weired funnies of the ealier epis were gone. I had thoughts on continuing it at some later date but as I read the re-caps here and there I got less and less interested. In all likelihood I’ll never finish Mask.
Lol. There goes Mask, joining the ranks of all the dramas that eventually ended up disappointing you! XD I honestly don’t think it’s worth finishing, since Show never quite lives up to its promises. If you were more into the OTP – which I get the feeling you’re not – then I might say, go ahead and finish it for the happy ending. But if you’re in it for the revenge, then it’s just too underwhelming to spend your time on.
I usually steer clear of revenge melos, but so many people were raving about this one that I just had to check it out for myself. For a while there, I was enjoying this, and found myself thinking, “Well, maybe revenge melos are better than I think??” …And then Show went and gave me another reason to believe that revenge melos are just not my thang, LOL XD
I agree with your review. I came in watching Mask with great expectations and it was lived in the first few episodes with Seok Hoon and his manipulative lies. Even when his plans went awry in the middle, I still expected him to have a final card, that one explosive move. It’s not that disappointing if they could build a better backstory for him but they didn’t. It seems that the writer wanted to push our characters towards the cliff and threaten them with death but to pull them back again. One character I found myself to actually quite enjoy watching is Mi Yeon. I mean, she is half-drunk ALL the time but she is most honest at those times. She tries to sit on the fence but sometimes, she can’t help but deviate to one side. So much inner turmoil for her, no wonder she’d rather stay drunk.
Hey there, dramamochi! I totally agree that Seok Hoon would’ve benefited from a better backstory. As it is, they built it up for 19 whole episodes, which means that by the 20th episode, we’re expecting something Really Big, to make it worth the wait. In the end, the backstory wasn’t big enough for the hype. They should’ve either gone with a much more robust backstory, or, if that’s all they could come up with, then they shouldn’t have made us wait that long for it. They should’ve revealed it earlier, and then spent the rest of the time making it believable to the audience. That was definitely a miscalculation on the part of the writers.
As for Mi Yeon, she WAS half drunk a lot of the time! In fact, there were times when I couldn’t tell if she’d been drinking, her words sometimes seemed to make so little sense. That recurring thing between her and Seok Hoon, about lies and truth and lies being truth, was probably supposed to be poetically angsty, but I found it kinda try-hard. I wanted her to break free of the hold that her feelings for Seok Hoon had on her. Coz I don’t think it was Seok Hoon himself that had that hold on her. It was her feelings for him that she couldn’t and didn’t want to break free from. I wanted her to eventually find the strength to be able to overturn that, and it’s too bad that she didn’t.
Mi Yeon seemed really desperate, enough to believe his lies blatantly even though she had enough brain cells to process that he wasn’t all that he seems to be. However, I believe that a lot of real life situations can be as such, although less dramatic. Some people just hold on to lies from those they love and obsess about because they want to live that fiction. But I did shed tears at her last scenes. It’s just too much sadness because she could have been so much more without Seok Hoon.
That’s true.. in RL, people sometimes do choose to believe in lies rather than face the truth. Mi Yeon definitely knew that Seok Hoon was bad for her, and that he was lying to her all the time; she just couldn’t bring herself to face it. She could have been so much better, and so much more without him.
Love this review! Okay, I didn’t actually DROP the show, I just petered off by episode 16 and haven’t went back. But I will, just to finish it off. You’ve read my thoughts. Even though I didn’t see the finale and how it ultimately played out, I got that sense of things being rushed. I was also disgruntled that plot points were dropped, and you picked up some biggies, like Min Woo’s OCD suddenly cured, the drugging situation, and Seok Hoon’s growing crush on Ji Sook just vanished in the wind.
I know a lot of people loved the OTP, but after 15 episodes, and even sneaking and watching the big staircase kiss, I didn’t feel much, there was no sizzle for me. I understand the characters though, they were definitely on a slow, slow burner because of all the insanity around them. Not to mention Min Woo’s real bouts with insanity at the outset. Ji Sook’s facial expressions bothered me, she always looked dazed and bewildered.
I laughed aloud at this line: “…But honestly, the finale episode just feels like another day of Regular Bad for him.” They turned Suk Hoon into a mustache twirling villain with all sorts of grandiose reasons for his evilness. And really, did the father ever do anything but scold his children in this drama? You never see him making evil deals, or this and that. He’s just…there.
I know what it feels like to write yourself into a corner. But come on, they had 20 episodes to solidly finish this story and they left so many little loose threads. Tiny annoying ones that get under your skin probably more than one big one. lol.
I know this is a flash review, but I can only imagine your thoughts on Mi Yeon the wife, and her sippy straws in the wine. LOLOL. We had a ton o’ laughs about that on the MASK Facebook group.
Hee! I love how you can love the review, even when you don’t love the show <3 And totally, this show didn't make one big mistake and unravel from there.. It actually made lots of tiny mistakes, which eventually just added up and made it slide off the engagement scale in degrees. 16-17 episodes into the watch, you suddenly find yourself disengaged, and it's like, oh, what happened there? XD
Oh, how true, that the father really didn't do anything bad in the show.. WAS he even a villain, actually? I never even thought about that, I just kind of went with the Big Bad that show kept pointing to, which was Seok Hoon. I thought Yeon Jung Hoon did a great job as Seok Hoon with all the glaring, but honestly, the glaring started to lose its effect on me, in the last stretch. I mean, after some time, it almost became like his resting expression, which means it didn't actually add to the supposed intimidation Show was gunning for. And, the problem with his grandiose reasons for revenge, is that they were so abstractly grandiose. I could go along with it for as long as Show managed to make those reasons feel grandiose, which wasn’t all that long, really. When he told Ji Sook his “save the world” reason, I rolled my eyes. And then in order to keep watching the show, I just decided that Seok Hoon was just evil for the sake of being evil. Until he told us otherwise, which just undercut everything. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot! XD It might’ve been better to have just let that one alone, I think!
Yes, I agree Soo Ae’s expressions as Ji Sook tended to be on the dazed and bewildered side. I think it was in service of portraying her gentle nature pitted against the obstacles thrown at her by Seok Hoon’s scheming. I actually thought Yoo In Young did a nice job of being Mi Yeon, even though she basically oozes the same languid snake vibe that she used in The Three Musketeers. In some sense, I did feel sorta sorry for her, in that she clearly was conflicted about her situation. She knew Seok Hoon was being terrible, but she couldn’t stop herself from loving him, and so chose to get drunk as fast as possible, as much as possible. Her desperation was quite pathetic, though. Ultimately, I feel like she was a weak person. A stronger person would’ve broken up with Seok Hoon and taken the heartbreak on the nose, in order to get to a better place in life. But she just.. couldn’t. I would’ve preferred her character to have found her spine and toughened up in the last stretch, instead of giving in to her hopeless love.