The Fangirl Verdict

Completely biased reviews and fangirling

Flash Review: W-Two Worlds


I’m thinking that we all have that one friend; you know, that one person that we know, who’s so unpredictable on a regular basis, that after a while, they become almost predictable in their unpredictability?

I mean, in the beginning, it’s all very surprising, and you find yourself rather stunned at said friend’s antics, and you sorta look forward to the kind of stuff said friend will get up to, coz it’s always something so unexpected and fresh. As time goes by, though, you can’t help but start to expect the unexpected from said friend, and it just becomes that much harder to feel surprised anymore. Said friend is still pretty much the same; just, you’ve gotten used to it, is all.

W is that friend, for me.


The cracky first half

It wouldn’t be much of a stretch to say that it was love at first episode for me, with W.

Right away, I found Show to be fresh, engaging, fast-paced, and really, really interesting. From the get-go, we’re thrown headlong into the manhwa world of W, so it sort of feels like we’re thrust into the thick of the action, and yet at the same time, setup is done really efficiently. I very quickly felt like I knew what I needed to know, in order to feel invested in these characters, and I wanted to know their story.

In a drama climate where I was feeling like I sorta-maybe-could-be in a drama rut with each show I was watching, this was nothing short of Amazing. This show made me want to watch back-to-back episodes, and I didn’t even get distracted by other things and pause in the middle of an episode. Each hour just zoomed right by, leaving me curious about what the next hour would bring.

I loved watching our heroine Yeon Joo (Han Hyo Joo) comically-frantically working to apply story and episodic logic to her situation, like understanding the workings of a time skip, or figuring out a way to end an episode of W. As a drama lover, I got a particular kick out of stuff like that.

More than that though, Show felt daring, which I really really loved. It went places that I didn’t expect it to go, and it made me think in the process, while entertaining and engaging me. I found the bold, decisive writing, and the excellent execution very impressive indeed.

The not-so-cracky second half

Sadly, the irony of being consistent, as it turns out, is that when you apply it to being surprising, it’s actually quite impossible to be consistently surprising. I mean, let’s think about that for a second; it’s against the nature of surprising to be consistent. Right? Right?? (That was a little bit deep, wasn’t it?)

And so it was, that at around episode 8, I realized that Show no longer had me breathlessly by the heart.

I was very aware that episode 8 was a very good, fast-paced episode where a lot of stuff happened. My brain registered that it was all very exciting and emotional, but somehow, I found that I was merely taking it all in, and registering story events as they happened, but no longer feeling torn upside-down and inside-out, with brain implosions on the side.

I.. even found it mildly predictable, in that as stuff happened, I found that everything fit easily and fully into this drama world’s logic system, and I could totally see why Show would go there, because it made sense to me. I guess I had gotten used to Show’s unpredictability, which is the thing that pretty much kills unpredictability.

To Show’s credit, I still felt some measure of pleasant surprise in the final few episodes, at the writing and handling, so Show never actually became boring.

On a tangent, I am beginning to suspect that when a show demands too much brain power from me, I find it harder to engage on a heart level with it. This is how I felt about writer-nim’s earlier work Nine, and a similar thing was going on for me, with this show.

I felt engaged with the characters, yes, but just not as much as I usually am, with my drama characters. I figure that perhaps because my brain was more actively engaged, that my heart-engagement felt less. I don’t know; maybe it’s just with this writer. I hafta say, though.. this has made me wonder if I’m quite possibly not so great at multitasking.


The execution of the two worlds

Apart from Show’s bold storytelling, my next favorite thing about W is the execution of the two worlds. Serious kudos to PD-nim for managing the relationship and transitions between the two worlds so skillfully.

First of all, I love that the manhwa versions of our characters – when we do see them as manhwa characters – are so much like their live-action counterparts. It’s just so cool to see manhwa Lee Jong Suk and manhwa everybody else, looking so convincingly like their source humans.

It’s even cooler to see the transition between the real world and the manhwa world, when they are juxtaposed like they are in the screenshot above. [SPOILER] The CGI around characters fading between real life to 2D manhwa drawings – like So Hee fading out and intermittently having parts of her body flickering into 2D manhwa drawings in episode 8 – is also very well done. [END SPOILER]

I also really liked the little details, like the W world changing in the moment, even as things got drawn in, in the real world.

The seamless, polished execution of the two worlds really made it much easier to buy into the fantastical setup as something real and believable.

Lee Shi Un as Soo Bong

Major, major shout-out to Lee Shi Un, for taking a supporting character and turbo-charging him to becoming arguably the cutest and most endearing thing about this show. That takes serious skillz, since Soo Bong is written primarily as a foil to our main characters, and is mostly more reactive than actually possessing a proper arc of his own.

Yet, Lee Shi Un delivers those reactions with such perfect comic timing, and with the most expressive elastic expressions, that I couldn’t help but love him and look forward to his scenes. Seriously, almost everything about Soo Bong is endearing, in a bumbling, earnest sort of way. [SPOILER] In particular, I loved his regular bouts of disbelief, horror and awe in trying to come to terms with Yeon Joo’s fantastical tales of her adventures in the world of W. And I loved-loved-loved his starry-eyed fanboying, when he finally came face to face with Kang Chul (Lee Jong Suk). Tee hee. [END SPOILER]

A cute OTP

Ordinarily, I feel a lot more engaged with a show’s OTP, and I have to admit that I felt a little, well, distant from this particular OTP.

I think one reason is what I mentioned earlier, about this show demanding so much of my brain’s engagement that my heart sort of checked out, a little bit. The other reason, is that Show was a little abrupt in the way our OTP fell in love, making it hard for me to buy into their romance and the depth of their love. It also doesn’t help that Kang Chul is shown to be mostly a mix of curiously amused and casually flippant when interacting with Yeon Joo.

That said, I did find the OTP cute when they were allowed to be together and in a romantic sort of narrative space. Yeon Joo is a likable, flaily scatterbrain, and I found it a nice contrast, to have our manhwa hero so perfect, while our real-world heroine is so imperfect. This did give us fun opportunities for Show to play off their differences.

Additionally, once I got over the necessary suspension of disbelief over the depth of their love, I found myself enjoying the easy couple chemistry between our OTP. Plus I do have affection for both Lee Jong Suk and Han Hyo Joo, so that helped as well.

Special Shout-out:

Kim Eui Sung as Dad

Big shout-out to Kim Eui Sung, who pretty much stole the show. From Dad’s wide-ranging moods, [SPOILER] to the eventual need to portray two characters [END SPOILER], Kim Eui Sung was always completely and utterly convincing, and when the need arose, thoroughly compelling as well. Mad props, seriously.


Changing, unexplained rules

In the beginning, I found it thrilling to piece together how the rules in this drama world were supposed to work. We’re never told how the rules work, but in watching our characters’ experiences and observing the consequences that occurred, it was actually a bit of an adventure working to fit the pieces together to figure out how everything was supposed to work.

The problem was, Show would sometimes actually change those rules along the way.

Sometimes the rule-changing made narrative sense, [SPOILER] like when Yeon Joo went from invincible to vulnerable in the world of W, once Kang Chul decided she was the key to his life [END SPOILER], but at other times, the rule-changing felt random, [SPOILER] like when Faceless Killer Guy suddenly became able to walk through random teleporting doorways in the world of W [END SPOILER].

The problem with the inclusion of the random rule changes was that it made me lose interest in figuring out the rules that did make sense. Like, if Show’s gonna play like that and just change things when it feels like it, why should I even bother trying to figure things out, right?

Logic slips & unanswered questions

Writer-nim clearly put a lot of thought into creating the world of W and into plotting many of the narrative milestones of our story, so big kudos to her there.

Occasionally, though, I noticed a logic slip or two, and at other times, stuff seemed to be glossed over in service of forwarding out story. The more this happened, the I more I felt that it took away from Show’s coolness factor.


The first logic slip I noticed was in episode 6, when Kang Chul is reported as a missing person in the real world. This didn’t make sense to me. How could they have reported Kang Chul as a missing person to the police, when Kang Chul had no identity in this world? You can’t just go to the police and say, I’m looking for someone, but I can’t tell you who he is?

Another logic slip – or at least, I felt it was a logic slip – was in episode 9, after the reset where Kang Chul wakes up from his coma and everything that had occurred prior was relegated to a coma dream. The fact that Kang Chul’s previously strong will to seek the truth seems to be gone post-coma didn’t make sense to me. His burning desire to find answers to all the suspicions and analysis that he’d had prior to his stabbing wouldn’t be simply eradicated by a dream. He had been a in coma, yes, but he doesn’t suffer amnesia post-coma, so this didn’t make sense to me either.

In terms of unanswered questions, I was most curious about the logic behind Faceless Killer Guy stealing Dad’s face. First of all, how the heck did Faceless Killer Guy even steal Dad’s face? Having him explain that he “ate him up” doesn’t count as an answer.

I was also really curious about why Dad then had to operate as Killer Guy’s zombie. Why didn’t Dad have free will anymore? And, how on earth did Faceless Dad manage to survive, not being able to eat or, y’know, breathe?

Another thing I was curious about was, why Killer Guy seemed unaffected by the reset, since he demonstrates that he knows what happened during that “dream” timeline.

There are lots more unanswered questions where those came from, but suffice to say, these unanswered questions started to bemuse me in increasing measure, the more they stacked up.


I.. honestly don’t know how to feel about the ending.

On the one hand, yay that it’s a happy ending for Kang Chul and Yeon Joo.

But, on the other hand, Dad had to disappear from existence – and die, basically – in order for this happy ending to be possible. I get that it’s supposed to be a loving fatherly sort of sacrifice, and that Dad felt too sinful to continue to live, and that it was his way of paying for his sins, but.. really? We – and Yeon Joo – are supposed to feel ok about his death? Talk about a high price to pay for your art.

Also, while the twist on the ending was rather interesting and quite useful for getting us the happy ending that this show needed, I felt like this dramaworld’s rules were blatantly ignored or changed in order for that to happen. What happened to the story of W following the main character’s arc? Shouldn’t the story have followed Kang Chul’s journey from the brink of death back to life, and not only the fact that the villains had died? That was weird.

On top of that, what happened to W ceasing to exist once the story is over? Earlier in the show, once Kang Chul gained awareness of the two worlds, everything had stopped in W. Shouldn’t that hold true as well, now that the story of W has ended?

What about rules like characters fading out of existence once they aren’t useful to the story? That just suddenly stopped being a Thing. Why? And of course, the biggest question of all, how the heck did Kang Chul cross over to the real world after it was all over, since his most recent efforts to summon himself to the real world hadn’t worked? Are we supposed to believe that now, after W has ended, he’s just able to summon himself again?

And then there’s that thing where all the W-originated items had disappeared from the real world after the final episode. So what’s this about Yeon Joo’s ring reappearing, now that Kang Chul’s in the real world? How does that work? Is it the same ring? Or had the ring disappeared to some kind of holding zone, only to be summoned again by Kang Chul?

Sigh. So many questions, and no real answers.

Because W is a show whose appeal (for me, anyway) was largely in its smarts and its ability to work around its dramaworld’s rules in twisty bendy ways while still staying true to those rules (or so I trusted – or at least hoped), this lack of answers in the finale was pretty disappointing, for me.

The lack of answers also undermines all the earlier philosophical questions Show seems to raise; questions like, “What does it mean to be human? Are we really the masters of our own fate?” The thing is, in glossing over the how of the happy ending, Show seems to only serve up a half-answer; something along the lines of, “Yes, we can be masters of our own fate. Just don’t ask us to explain how.” Which doesn’t really cut it in my books, honestly.

The OTP’s happy ending does mollify me somewhat, but, does it mollify me to the extent that all the unanswered questions don’t matter anymore? I wish I could say yes, but y’know, they kind of do matter. I can’t deny that I’m glad our OTP got their happy ending, but I also can’t deny that I’m disappointed at the lack of answers.

Still, props to Show for being daring and different. At your best, Show, you had me by the heart. And I won’t forget that.


A solid, logic-bendy watch, in spite of its flaws.




Author: kfangurl

Proud to be a k-fangirl since 2007. Main diet of kdramas with movies and kpop on the side.

49 thoughts on “Flash Review: W-Two Worlds

  1. i can’t finish this drama , dropped it at ep 6, it’s theme is too much for me hahaha, but i heard and from this rating, it’s quite a nice watch, 🙂


    • Actually, from what I know of your drama tastes, I don’t think this is your kind of show, Nancy.. I did love the first half, and even then, I found the second half lacking. If you dropped it as early as E6, I doubt you’d like the rest of the show! 😛


  2. I totally agree with you … I have difficulties to finish this drama because of what you explained so precisely. Well executed, fresh ideas when comparing to the currently airing dramas, good acting, interesting story (the deep link of an author with his/her creation) … but 16 episodes is far too long. The story starts to go in circle. I am at episode 13 and I want to skip to the end …
    I will let you what I think of the end.


    • Did you end up finishing W, Ocha?? I found myself dragging my feet towards the end, because I no longer found it as engaging nor as exciting, and the story seemed to cycle in place in spots too. I do think it could’ve been a better show if it had been much shorter, coz then maybe we wouldn’t have needed Show to pull so many tricks out of the bag to keep the story going..


  3. i dropped the drama in the midst of the 10th episode lmao. it was good at first tho.


  4. I’ve enjoyed the drama a lot up to the third reset. I did not like the dad losing his face cause it has been pretty logical until that happened. Daddy did a very good act as the Dad and the villain. Right, I too did not loose interest but it diminished.


    • Oh yes, Dad losing his face was anything BUT logical. I still don’t get it, and I did try to figure it out. I don’t get how he could survive, not being able to breathe. Or eat or drink. And I don’t get why he had to become a zombie, since Killer Guy only took over his face and not his brain. It just didn’t make sense, and Show didn’t make much of an effort to explain it either. “I ate him up” just doesn’t count for anything, seriously! 😝 But Kim Eui Sung did a fab job portraying both Dad and Killer Guy. Impressive stuff indeed. 🙂


  5. Nod nod nod nod. Thank you for the very accurate to my feelings review! I agree that it simmered and fizzled a good bit half way in the attempt to keep changing it up and the romance felt a little too staged. But it was still worthy because of the execution of the concept and the main acting. I could see their suffering in the making of and that helped with appreciating their efforts even more.


    • Heh. Glad we feel similarly about this show, lyricalpeach! 🙂 It did feel like Show wanted to keep changing things up, but sorta-kinda backed itself into a corner. The romance did feel too staged, and I never felt emotionally invested in their loveline. I was more interested in the overall story and execution, which had more of a wow factor for me – at least, it did before it became apparent that Show twisting itself into a futile knot. 😝


  6. Loved this show from start to finish. I was 100% good with the ending too 🙂 An amazing and creative allegory of how to properly write fiction; it’s not perfect but is so much better than the usual fare. Not a easy, breezy watch, but worth the effort.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aw, I’m glad W worked out so well for you, shamrockmom! I wanted to love it, but I only really loved the first half. I couldn’t make satisfactory sense of the remaining half, and felt like even with effort, it wasn’t hitting the (or any) spot for me.. A pity, since I really wanted to like it. You’re very right though – it was daring and much different from the average kdrama. Respect to the folks who dared to approve this and run with it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh my gosh my dear friend… so spot on. Remember when this blew our minds in the beginning and then… pfffft? I haven’t watched the last episode actually. I just read a recap somewhere–that’s how uninterested I got. And i may be biased (of course you know why hahahaha) but the OTP at the end didn’t sell it for me. The love story was too rushed and shallow. It had it’s moments but something about them didn’t quite stick. Made me almost wish I didn’t have a bias… I would have loved to see what the legions of OTP fans were seeing and squeeing about. Individually, they moved me but together? It drained me because of all the back and forth and resets.

    You know what I absolutely loved? Soo Bong and the amazing acting of the Dad.

    Thank you for this review!!! Happy to comment again after SO SO LONG. ❤


    • Jo!! Thanks for stopping by again, I know life’s been really busy for ya. HUGS. ❤

      It’s not that you’re biased, honestly. I’m not biased (as in, I don’t ship the same OTP you do – or any at all, for that matter), and even I didn’t feel convinced of this OTP. I feel like Show threw them together and had them fall in love way too fast. I rationalized it to the best of my ability, but even then, I wasn’t ever really convinced that this OTP was in love for any other reason than that they were supposed to be. The reboot didn’t help matters, since Kang Chul 2.0 had even less reason to love Yeon Joo. So yeah. I don’t think it was your existing bias that made it feel hollow for you, if that helps. 🙂

      And omigosh YES, Soo Bong is ❤. I loved his flaily nervouse wide-eyed ways. So very cute! I want Soo Bong to have his own show now. 😂


  8. Once again, your review is on point! I agree with all the things you liked and disliked.
    It started on a high and I was loving it so much. Then it started throwing all these curve balls and my brain was working too hard and not getting answers…aiyo…I had to put it on hold at Ep 11 cos RL and then couldn’t muster any enthusiasm to pick it up again. I really wanted to finish it.


    • Aw, hi5 SOSsy, that we felt so similarly about this show – and commiserations that it left you so disappointed in the wake of its initial awesome. 😝 I felt pretty let down by how Show fizzled down to its loose-threads-everywhere sort of finale. After such an awesome start, this wasn’t the show that I thought I’d signed up for. You’re not missing much by not finishing this one, but it’s still sad that there was so much wasted potential in this. :/


  9. I dropped it after a few episodes (it feels as if I’m on a dropping spree!). There were way too many questions and surprises without explanation of anything and no rules to rule this fantasy world. Also, the romance happened way too fast (even if it was sweet) and I didn’t care much for any character.


    • You were quick on the uptake with dropping this then, snow!! I loved the first half, and that’s why I stayed for the second half. But Show never did recover and was never as good as its initial episodes. And you’re so right, the romance happened so fast that I didn’t really get how they fell in love. I rationalized that people become close much faster when facing life-and-death stakes together, but still, that only halfway convinced me. You didn’t miss all that much by dropping this one! 😅

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I think the showrunners initially wanted to risk an underused genre like science fiction, but balked at the start of the 2nd half as the ratings dropped, and went all-out fantasy-romance 😛 anyone who watches a lot of sci-fi would immediately pick-up the tropes used in the show, but the flip-floppy way they dealt with time was most noticeable. I also think Professor Park Min Soo was the showrunners’ interpretation of the audience feedback, but now I’m convinced he instead reflects the emotion of the screenwriter herself xD basically, the show addressed it’s own shortcomings by inserting a fanboy commenting about them. personally, I loved how they break the 4th wall with humor like this, but the show in general wasn’t as phenomenal as I had hoped, it’s just OK.


    • I’m not sure about whether the show actually changed directions, now that you mention it.. I read somewhere that this particular writer had her entire script mapped out very early on, because it’s just that twisty and bendy of a story. If that’s the case, then it’s less likely that the story got switched out for something else partway through. It’s still possible that certain tweaks were made in response to ratings and audience feedback, but I guess we might never know the truth of it.

      I did feel the Professor’s reactions mirrored the audience’s, particularly when things went extra wonky and he started tearing his hair out, haha! 😂 Sigh, if only Show hadn’t given him – and us – reason to do that. The if onlys and could’ve beens with this one, seriously. 😛


  11. Thank you, fangirl! I have been looking forward to your thoughts about W.

    I diid watch the entire show, and I was absolutely enthralled by the world-bending story, but especially by the philosophical questions it posed…… and I ended up having way too much fun imagining other protagonists rising up against their creators, Heathcliff, Anna Karenina, etc! There was such an amazing brilliance to the first half of W.

    I felt there was a triple whammy that affected the story arc; the partial pre-emption for the Olympics (which threw it off kilter) followed by the reboot of Kang Chul (without enough time spent for our OTP to re-establish their relationship) and lastly, yes, the gradual, hissing leak of world logic.

    For me, the production, direction, art and acting were flawless and I would normally look to the writer for story issues. She did release the script and I will probably try to read, if I can find it translated.

    Side note: I had such a hard time watching, and re-watching the rooftop stab scenes of Kang chul…and I wondered if that was done deliberately? To make us empathize with him and see him real vs. manwha character?

    As always, I so appreciate the insight and thoughtfulness you give to these reviews.



    • Those stabbing scenes were very hard to watch, and I hated early on the constant replay of his family getting gunned down in their house. That was just unnecessary.


    • I’m so sorry this reply is coming so late, Mary!! October was a crazy month for me, Real-Life-wise, and I’m only just now catching up on all the comments!

      Thank you for your encouragement on the reviews, it really does make me happy to know that you enjoy reading them! HUGS. ❤

      How fun, that the first half of W tickled your imagination so much, that you started imagining other protagonists rising up against their creators! That’s a mark of creative success in my books, and it’s a crying shame that the second half of W went downhill the way it did. Not with a bang (which might’ve been more painful – or perhaps less, I can’t decide), but with a slow hiss, just as you described. I definitely felt the loss of pre-reboot Kang Chul, and I found Kang Chul 2.0 a different person, somehow. Perhaps it was the fact that he never had Kang Chul 1.0’s memories. And yes, Show didn’t take the time to rebuild his relationship with Yeon Joo. I always felt like Kang Chul 2.0 was acting more out of loyalty and a sense of keeping Kang Chul 1.0’s word for him, than out of an organic, self-grown sense of love and care for Yeon Joo. That’s probably also why I felt a sense of detachment from this OTP. I wanted a happy ending for them, but I wasn’t ever heart-in-my-throat right-there-with-them like I wanted to be.

      That’s a really interesting take on the repeated stabbing flashback, Mary! If we keep seeing Kang Chul getting stabbed, it reminds us of his mortality – and you can only really have mortality if you’re.. well, mortal. That, or they spent a lot of money filming that scene and wanted to milk every last possible drop of screentime out of it as possible, ha! 😂


  12. Nice review!!

    I was underwhelmed by the ending, after being so blown away by the first half. I love, love, love stories where characters come to life, or ‘step off the screen’ or out of a book. Overall it was a very good drama, but I hated that the leading lady lost all her steam and she was merely sitting there listening to plan after plan after plan by Kang Chul, but too weak and exhausted to do much. I got a sense of show and tell. Too much telling, but at least they had showing of the plans. But I get the feeling the writer was crazily trying to tie up all the loose ends, and she did, but in the end, they didn’t give reasons for major developments in the plot. Logic slips and unanswered questions like you said.

    I don’t like when I can’t be bothered to figure things out because that’s just the way the show flows. Be as fantastical and whimsical, science fiction as you like, but I need rhyme and reason.

    Lee Jong Suk wasn’t kidding when he said he did a lot of talking in this drama. After a while it felt like he was just spouting lines in that ultra casual, kind of stiff way reset Kang Chul had.

    The special effects were cool, and I liked how you could just draw stuff and it would pop up in the W world. The underwater sequence in the restaurant was amazing.

    I felt bad for the father, I guess writernim was bringing home that he’s the creator of this world and character and he has to pay the price for literally murdering Kang Chul himself. Not only that, two or three people in the real world were murdered by his killer creation. And so sad for their families, to get no closure on the killer. I guess they can chalk it up to some crazy in a costume based off the W manhwas. Kind of like here in America being terrorized by killer clowns right now.

    I really don’t know how the killer took the father’s face. I get that the drama is fantasy to begin with, but at least explain the mechanics of that. It felt put in for shock value, but it wore after a while and you’re left scratching your head on how this man could survive.

    And our OTP got their quiet, bittersweet, ending, but what happened to the rest of W world? Did they fade out of existence like the father? The story ended! 😦 How sad! Or is this like the Never ending Story, where as long as people keep reading, the stories never stop or die? Again, no explanation.

    I really wanted Kang Chul’s besties to become a couple, or come into the real world with him! Remember when Soo Bong claimed to have the biggest crush on the female character? He did so much, he deserved to meet her in person!

    And another thing, I would’ve liked to have seen the reaction of more readers, besides that crazy doctor. The story went off the wall crazy! Where was all the media reaction, since it was a best-seller and flying off the shelves?

    I was hoping for some real meta, with the Media announcement of a W movie or drama in the making and the casting of actor Lee Jong Suk as the hero. Hahaha. And then Oh Soo Yon could casually say, “Kang Chul, he looks nothing like you.” LOL. The show could’ve used a little levity like that. If i were writernim I think you know I’d throw that in. hahaha.


    • I’ll try to answer some of your questions, as I’m also working on analyzing the “rules” of this drama on my blog:

      1) There ARE Two Worlds ( Yeon-Joo’s and Kang-Chul’s. the W manhwa is a “window” to the other world, while Sung-Moo’s drawing tablet is the gateway. the manhwa-ish fantastic phenomena we’ve seen like the disappearing of limbs is simply because it can happen in either worlds. it’s a consequence of forgetting WHO you are or WHY you want to live. it can be a metaphorical approach by the screenwriter, all I’m saying is there’s no need to dissect it further, it just happens in this show (

      2) Only one can exist in either World. be it a person or an object. this was tackled quite subtly, but I hope it’s a given that the show never allowed the same item nor character existing simultaneously in both worlds. this explains Sung-Moo’s missing face–in YJ’s world it ceased to exist as it was “borrowed” by Not Dad in the other world. why did they make SM monster-like or pretty much a golem? not entirely sure, but it must be the screenwriter’s artistic (or ironically, literal) interpretation of losing one’s face. it’s kind of lazy writing for me, they seem to just went, “OK, SM gave his face to Not Dad, so his body still exists in YJ’s world, but the rest is in KC’s world, so SM is not human for now but it’s OK we’ll just hide him in a room because he’s scary to look at”

      5) The interdimensional events only matter to those directly involved, because Apathy Killed the Cat ( the showrunners made sure to keep the circle of interdimensional travelers small, because they seem to not want to expound on the plot or make things more complex for viewers who are already losing interest. this is why I believe the show started off as science fiction but eventually switched to generic fantasy romance, and left a lot of loose ends.

      not sure if that helps, and I’d love hear everyone’s thoughts because this show legit made me crazy 😛

      Liked by 1 person

      • I like the explanations you gave. I’ll check out your blog post too. I was left feeling unsure if there were actually 2 worlds, but that works. So I can assume the W world still exists without Kang Chul.

        That’s a cool interpretation. “Losing one’s face” literally. It didn’t cross my mind.

        Yes, it would complicate things to have a bunch of inter-dimensional travelers. But, but, they could’ve added just 2 more. Lol.


        • thanks!
          just a disclaimer, (which I should have posted instead of a duplicate reply) none of those is an original idea. I don’t regularly blog about my analyses on the shows I watch (I have friends who take the brunt of my rants lol), I just so happen to be most intrigued with W because it’s the first Kdrama that I’ve seen that ventured into science fiction tropes. though I’m more of a science fiction geek, I have been watching Kdramas since 2001, so imagine my delight when I thought I finally found the drama that directly speaks to my soul, and then realize it doesn’t.

          anyway, about the show avoiding adding more interdimensional travelers, I think that’s where Prof Park comes in: { “…when attention is drawn to something that is so strange it threatens to break the Willing Suspension of Disbelief.” I think the show blatantly called out any possibility of Kang Chul’s world being as real as Yeon-Joo’s world in the form of Prof Park (heavily done in episode 13). so passersby who might have witnessed any of the interdimensional stuff can’t be any more curious, surprised sure but they’ll move on quickly, because in this show only the Main Characters care (

          I think I’ll add that one to my blog post, thanks 😀

          Liked by 1 person

          • I know that feeling, where you just have to get your thoughts out there. I don’t have a drama blog, but it’s good to find blogs where you can freely vent and rant in the comment section. Lol

            Wow, in all those years, no major sci-Fi? That’s sad. My Love From another star seemed promising. It had its moments, but then all the promising Sci Fi ideas were just a cover for a Noona romance at its core.

            There’s also Joseon X Files, but I couldn’t get truly invested with that. I tried.


            • lol if not I’ll just tweet stuff, my blog is mainly for making gifs and fanart 🙂 I read reviews to check if there’s anything I missed or if I’m just the only one who thought of this or that, and thefangirlverdict helps me a lot to see things at a different viewpoint.

              none that I know of…My Love From the Star, Queen In-Hyun’s Man, even a recent one like Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart – Ryeo have elements of science fiction, but their plots do not revolve around exploring or gaining knowledge about them. just as W stopped understanding how the two worlds work or discovering how and why the tablet does what it does. I have yet to watch Jang Youngsil ( because I love Song Il Guk, but it’s factual historical drama centered on the main character doing science, I think, so I guess it’s still not sci-fi 😛

              Liked by 1 person

    • I’d like to try and answer some of your questions as I’m also trying to analyze some of the rules of this drama on my blog:

      1) There ARE Two Worlds ( Yeon-Joo’s and Kang-Chul’s. the W manhwa is a “window” to the other world, while Sung-Moo’s drawing tablet is the gateway. the manhwa-ish fantastic phenomena we’ve seen like the disappearing of limbs is simply because it can happen in either worlds. it’s a consequence of forgetting WHO you are or WHY you want to live. it can be a metaphorical approach by the screenwriter, all I’m saying is there’s no need to dissect it further, it just happens in this show (

      2) Only one can exist in either World. be it a person or an object. this was tackled quite subtly, but I hope it’s a given that the show never allowed the same item nor character existing simultaneously in both worlds. this explains Sung-Moo’s missing face–in YJ’s world it ceased to exist as it was “borrowed” by Not Dad in the other world. why did they make SM monster-like or pretty much a golem? not entirely sure, but it must be the screenwriter’s artistic (or ironically, literal) interpretation of losing one’s face. it’s kind of lazy writing for me, they seem to just went, “OK, SM gave his face to Not Dad, so his body still exists in YJ’s world, but the rest is in KC’s world, so SM is not human for now but it’s OK we’ll just hide him in a room because he’s scary to look at”

      5) The interdimensional events only matter to those directly involved, because Apathy Killed the Cat ( the showrunners made sure to keep the circle of interdimensional travellers small, because they seem to not want to expound the plot or make things more complex for viewers who are already losing interest. this is why I believe the show started off as science fiction but eventually switched to generic fantasy romance, and left a lot of loose ends.

      not sure if that helped, but I’d love to hear what everyone thinks 🙂


    • You know what, you are such a writer, my dear! I can totally see your writer juices going to work when you don’t like how a show is working. You automatically come up with alternative ideas, which is very cool. I love your idea of Soo Bong getting to meet his big crush. He was already fanboying so hard when he met Kang Chul, can you imagine how he would’ve flailed to have met So Hee? OMG the potential awesome! 😂😂

      I totally agree that writer-nim didn’t provide enough rhyme and reason for the events in this show. I get that sometimes it’s preferred for audiences to figure things out themselves – but that’s provided that things can actually be figured out, right? As far as I can tell, there are a lot of things in this show that just have no explanation whatsoever, and that writer-nim wouldn’t have an answer too, if the questions were posed to her, I suspect.

      I do think Faceless Dad was a plot point that was inserted for the shock value more than anything else. And I did sort of gasp out loud when he first appeared on my screen. But when that wore on and there was no explanation given, I grew weary of the zombie angle pretty fast. It didn’t make sense to me, coz Killer Guy had taken his face, not his brain. Killer Guy was still operating on his own brain, as far as we could tell. So logically speaking, Dad should’ve still been able to think rather than reduced to a zombie without any personal agency. This is why I think some stuff wasn’t very well thought through. Which is a pity, coz if better handled, this show could’ve been so cool.


  13. I totally agree with you! At some point the show is too much for me. I actually watch kdrama to feel good but for this series it made me think too much that it was difficult to follow and understand the rules. It became too much of a chore to me watching this series! Too bad at the start i have high hopes for this series. But you are still nice for giving this a final grade of B


    • Lol. This is definitely not a mindless watch type of drama, you’re right about that! 😆 What worse than making me put in so much effort with the thinking, though, is that Show never does offer much in terms of answers. In comparison, I thought the writer did much better with Nine, which forced me to think really hard, but which at least was more consistent and provided more answers than W ever did. It’s just too bad, since this had the potential to be really special in how different it dared to be.


  14. I think W world still exists after the story ended. In order for Kang Chul to safely transfer to the “real world” his story must end first. I have this theory that the W world has a new lead character or something hahaha 😀
    Nice review 🙂


    • That’s an interesting idea, that the world of W has a new lead character after Kang Chul’s departure 🙂 I think it’s true that the world of W continues to exist after Kang Chul leaves, but I feel like Show never answered the question of how or why W went from being a cartoonist’s creation to becoming its own world. So many questions, and so few answers! Glad you enjoyed the review tho 😉


  15. Hello
    Omy, this drama was so good at the beginning, but I ended up feeling kinda used and mad, like “I had all my feelings in you and you dissapointed me”

    I love all the actors this show had, all the freshness that had in the first part was mind blowing,. I honestly believe that after episode 8 there’s nothing else to watch.
    I agree in most of everything you think, the two worlds portrait and the comic factor was really outstanding, omy the production really nailed with that, specially how Kang Chul and Tae Hwan look like they really come out from a manga, they are so prince like, only beautiness.
    With so many answers to make and so much that was not responded, I conclude my comment.

    Take care :3


    • Aw. Hi5 that we feel so similarly about this show, Tef! This show could’ve been much tighter in offering up answers to all the questions it raised. And absolutely yes, Lee Jong Suk and Lee Tae Hwan were very lovely to look at indeed. I didn’t mention it in my review, but I did enjoy gazing at Lee Tae Hwan very well, ahem. 😉


  16. Loved how this drama portrayed a creator and questioning ” what power he had to manipulate a character because he held the pen”. *Ehnm hi fangirl not sure this is the right place to ask but will you be reviewing Doctor Crush any time soon am really looking forward to it?*


    • I do plan to review Doctors, raspberry! I’m not sure when, because I’m currently juggling 3 reviews at the moment (Moonlight Drawn By Clouds, Doctors and Cinderella and the Four Knights). But I hope to post the review within the next couple of weeks! 🙂


  17. I give so much credit to this show for being inventive and different. It skips a lot of the tropes (love triangle etc) for a refreshing type of drama. However, around the time dad lost his face, I found myself disassociating from it a bit without even realizing. (I don’t know what episode that was.) I looked forward to without being totally addicted to this show, but at around 20 minutes into episode 13, I took a break and it took me a long time to get back to it. I then hurried through episodes 14 and 15 and just finally got the gumption up to watch 16 yesterday.

    I would highly recommend this drama to fans who need a break from the same ole same ole chaebol/disapproving parent/which man should I pick Korean drama. Nonetheless, some of the emotional impact in the relationships is not there because so much is spent on the crazy crazy that character/relationship growth gets side-lined. And it definitely is a case of instalove though in the gal’s case, I guess one could say she was in love with the character.

    I thought this show did well with the comedic element with my favorite scene with the gal and her doctor boss arguing like two K-drama watchers arguing about any # of things. So funny. I also thought HHJ shined especially in the early episodes when only she knew what was going on in the alternate world. I agree, though, that the actor who played Dad was fantastic. What a great opportunity for often over-looked character actors.

    I just have one question. It seemed when the world opened, there was a card or something that was around/looked at that was going to offer some explanation to how it all happened. Okay, I’ll admit, I was probably loading my dishwasher in the later episodes and missed it, but was a reason for this world opening up ever offered?


    • I’m so sorry for this late reply, Kat! A combination of RL hectic, other backed up reviews, and a week of sore shoulders added up to me being woefully behind on comments! I’m only just getting back on track now. 😛

      W definitely is a show that dared to be different, and I did love the initial episodes very well, they felt so fresh and interesting. And that stretch where Yeon Joo was trying to figure out everything based on her knowledge of manhwa rules was golden. I absolutely agree that Han Hyo Joo did best in that stretch. It’s too bad that Show lost its way like it did, in the final stretch. I can totally understand why you’d take a break from it, only to drag your feet when it came to picking it back up.

      As for the card thing, I have to say that I didn’t notice it showing up in the beginning, and I don’t think it came up again. I wasn’t multitasking while watching this show, so if they’d explained how the world opened up, I should have noticed. The only thing I came away with, though, is the claim that W is a world that exists on its own, and not created by Dad, and Dad’s manhwa only serves as a bridge connecting the two worlds. I.. found that hard to buy, even with artistic license and suspension of disbelief etc. It just wasn’t much of an explanation, and I think that’s Show’s biggest flaw. It never really explained anything, in the end. 😝


  18. I dropped this in the middle of episode 5. At first it was intriguing and cute, I had high hopes. But then I just started to dislike Kang Chul. ALOT. I can’t get invested in a drama if I don’t like both halves of the OTP.


    • Oh my. Yes, if you dislike both leads, it’s definitely not worth pushing on, even if everyone else is loving the show. In this case, I feel like you did the smarter thing, dropping out early. I hung on hoping for Show to provide answers that it never did, and in the end, that disappointed me. It’s not a terrible show, but definitely not as good as I’d hoped it would be.


  19. Pingback: Year In Review: 2016 | The Fangirl Verdict

  20. It’s great to know we share the same sentiments! I just finished the drama recently, but I was still mind-boggled so I came to the internet, looking for answers. I thought they would already be answered since it has been months since it last aired. They seriously left a lot of plot holes because, if I remember correctly, my sister and I have been making theories the whole time and there were a lot of things we didn’t get that we just dismissed as something meta. But because the drama was made to make us viewers think, I can’t help but think about all these questions circling in my head.


    • Sigh. Unfortunately, W really did end up with a lot of loose ends and plot holes. Which kind of makes me feel like the initial awesome stretch is ultimately negated, coz all the questions Show raised in the beginning never do get answered. Oh well. I guess it was exciting while it lasted? 😝 My sympathies are with you and your sister, since you ladies spent a lot of time analyzing the show!


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