So, funny story, you guys.
I was late to the party, and started my watch of this show when everyone else was well into Show’s middle stretch. I struggled enough with Hyun Bin’s character in this show’s first two episodes, that I was legit on the brink of dropping this show. And then, Show ended, and there was such a heated furore among viewers for Show’s reportedly terrible-horrible-couldn’t-be-worse-let’s-boycott-this-writer-forever ending, that I was so sure that I had dodged a bullet.
But then, I saw a couple of tweets by viewers who actually felt satisfied with Show’s ending. Well, now. That sure got my attention. If you’ve been around the blog for a while, you might know that I’ve been known to, on at least several occasions in the past, buck general audience trends by feeling completely differently about certain shows versus the majority of viewers. It was like that when I started the blog in 2012 (my first ever post was for Operation Proposal, which I really liked – and which most people hated), and it was like that recently too, when I’d been very solidly satisfied with the ending of The Third Charm – which most people also hated.
So this curious cat (with a reasonable amount of FOMO) decided to do an experiment. Instead of dropping the show, I adjusted my viewing lens using all the fragments of information I had, and jumped in for a marathon. The big question I wanted to put to the test was: With the right expectations and the right lens adjustment, would this show – could this show – actually turn out to be, well, good?
Here, in a nutshell, are the expectations that I adjusted for, for my experiment. Some are somewhat spoilery, but in this case, I feel that being spoiled a little bit actually helped me adjust my viewing lens better, for my watch.
1. This is an adventure-quest type story about one man’s journey. This is Jin Woo’s (Hyun Bin) story, and every other character is secondary.
2. Our male lead isn’t supposed to be nice. I was so thrown at first, by how abrasive Jin Woo comes across in Show’s initial episodes, but once I got it into my head that he wasn’t supposed to be nice, that helped a lot.
3. The romance is secondary. They really should’ve taken that into account with the teasers, which hint at romance more than it does adventure.
4. Park Shin Hye’s role is secondary. They really, really should have made this clear, so that everyone wouldn’t have been waiting for Park Shin Hye’s character to step up and have more to do. She was never intended to be front-and-center, unfortunately.
5. Park Shin Hye cries a lot in this. To Show’s credit, at least the tears make narrative sense. It would’ve been nice if Hee Joo (Park Shin Hye) had been written as more of a badass, but she’s wasn’t, so we just have to make the best of that.
6. The ending is an open one. Yes, that’s a little bit spoilery, but this helped me temper my expectations a great deal, as I neared the finale.
In a nutshell, these adjusted expectations did help significantly, and I ended up enjoying this show more than I’d expected to. Yes, this narrative still had its problems, but compared to writer-nim’s previous work W-Two Worlds, I thought the intra-fantasy logic held up much better in this show.
Also, since this story was always going to be the journey of one man, with everyone else being a secondary character supporting his journey, then it was probably the wrong move to cast Park Shin Hye, because of the expectations that creates in the audience. If they’d cast a lesser known actress – a relative unknown, or an up-and-comer – and then focused the marketing only on Hyun Bin, that could’ve gone a long way in terms of managing expectations, I feel.
STUFF I LIKED
1. A fresh and interesting premise
For all of Show’s patchy reputation, it is definitely different. Because of its Augmented Reality (AR) premise, it’s really out-there, in terms of what you can expect to see on your screen. Warriors wearing full armor, riding horses, flying down from tall poles with big swords, trying to kill you? You’d never see that in any other contemporary kdrama, for sure. So in a sense, this is futuristic, but also, because of the swords and fighting, it also has a bit of a period tinge to it too.
Show’s entire AR-gone-rogue concept reminds me of the Chinese phrase “走火入魔” (pronounced zǒuhuǒ rùmó) which is a phrase that can be used to describe the act of, or someone getting too deep into something and becoming obsessed and kind of.. losing themselves. Literally, the phrase translates as “walk fire enter magic/devil,” like, you walk into fire and get possessed by a demon. I find it very apt here. Jin Woo gets so deep into the game that he’s losing himself to it, against his will. Plus, 魔, as I mentioned, can be translated as magic or demon, and Jin Woo keeps referring to the whole game as “magic.” This whole 走火入魔 concept being taken literally, and being taken to the next level, intrigued me.
I also appreciate that because of Show’s daring premise, Show is more difficult and expensive to film than the average drama. This is especially so with the scenes when Jin Woo is in the game-world and it’s raining, and then we flash to what everything looks like to everyone else, where it’s not raining. It happens multiple times, and I can imagine how much longer it takes to finish those scenes coz they have to film the rain and non-rain versions.
All in all, the meticulous care pre-, post- and during production really shows, and Show presents its futuristic, period-tinged, hi-tech AR world consistently. Yes, there are some logic lapses, but we’ll talk about those later.
2. Hyun Bin as Jin Woo
Like I mentioned earlier in this review, I was initially very put off by Hyun Bin’s character Jin Woo. Adjusting my lens to accept that this was a quest story that just happened to feature a less-than-likable protagonist made it a lot better. Also, happily, Show unveils some of Jin Woo’s more appealing layers, in later episodes.
Hyun Bin does an excellent job of the role, and there were some scenes where I found myself with my jaw dropping in awe. Big kudos. Yes, the spotlight was heavily in Hyun Bin’s favor, but that’s not his fault, and he took what was given to him, and rose to the occasion impressively.
Times I really felt rubbed the wrong way by Jin Woo
E1. I find Jin Woo’s lack of empathy and manners to Hee Joo a bit much. He’s the one who insisted on staying at the hostel, so he’s the one who basically barged into her world and started finding fault with the place and lashing out at her for it, when she’d offered, multiple times, to direct him to a nicer hotel. So abrasive and unpleasant.
E2. Not only does he treat people badly, now he’s lying about it, after he’s found out that Hee Joo is important to his plans? UGH.
E2. Jin Woo is so unnecessarily nasty to his secretary, telling him that regardless of race or culture, a face like his has never been considered handsome. That’s mean. Also, he was actually in a hurry to get to the train station, yet he lingered in order to insult his secretary. That makes it even worse, coz it tells me what’s important to him, and it’s important enough for him to delay his departure to the train station, that he inform his secretary exactly how ugly he thinks he is.
E3. I dislike how Jin Woo is purposefully working to manipulate Hee Joo into selling the hostel to him. He’s basically tricking her into losing the patent that her brother registered for his game, and he’s doing it deliberately. Not cool.
Times when I found Jin Woo more appealing
E4. I’ll give Jin Woo some credit for paying the same price for the hostel, that Cha Hyeong Seok (Park Hoon) was offering Se Joo (Chanyeol). Although, he had used the amount to pressure Hee Joo, with the dropping offer price. That wasn’t cool.
E12. Well that’s the nicest thing I’ve seen Jin Woo do; go to keep Min Joo (Lee Re) company because he knew that she was scared on her own, and then make toast for her so that she wouldn’t go to school hungry. Aw.
E12. That’s smart of Jin Woo, to dare Professor Cha (Kim Eui Sung) to log in and form an alliance with him. Since Professor Cha is so convinced that Jin Woo is crazy and that he himself is right, it would look stupid for him not to perform the task, which is so simple and straightforward.
E12. I must also say, Jin Woo’s not a bad person. As frustratingly insensitive as he can be, he doesn’t take life and death lightly. Even though Professor Cha’s working to take him down to the lowest low, he still hesitates to form the in-game alliance with Professor Cha, because it would put Professor Cha’s life at risk. That’s really decent of him.
Times when I was just really impressed with Hyun Bin
E7. Seriously. Hyun Bin has serious dedication, to walk most of the show with a walking stick and a limp. I actually worry about his muscle imbalances.
E15. OMG. I thought Hyun Bin’s death-by-suffocating-in-an-elevator scene in Secret Garden was impressive, but his death-by-dislodging-a-weapon-to-the-heart is even more impressive. I felt like he was going to literally collapse from the effort and the pain. Eep.
Also. As a general rule, once Jin Woo gets more skilled at the game, Hyun Bin gets to be pretty darn badass, wielding swords, guns and other weaponry with panache. I was suitably impressed.
3. Min Jin Woong as Secretary Seo
OMG I just loved Min Jin Woong as Secretary Seo. He started out as an almost peripheral character, simply taking orders from Jin Woo and running errands and being a little bit klutzy and goofy about it all. But my word, did he grow on me, and I am left with a big, gaping Secretary Seo-shaped hole in my heart, as I finish my watch.
There’s just something so good-hearted, trusting and loyal about him. Jin Woo can be mean to him, but he still smiles a goofy smile, even while there’s a flash of sadness in his eyes. My heart just started going out to him, then latched on and didn’t want to let go.
One of the things I really like about Secretary Seo is that he really seems to care, genuinely. Even after all that Jin Woo puts him through, with insults and other abuse, Secretary Seo sincerely worries for Jin Woo when Jin Woo gets seriously hurt, and even sheds tears and worries whether Jin Woo will survive in America. Plus, he sticks with Jin Woo even when Jin Woo tells him to just resign and leave.
Later, when Secretary Seo joins the game and becomes Jin Woo’s ally, it occurs to me that he has to do way more than any secretary would need to, what with fighting alongside Jin Woo, and protecting him, and literally risking his life in order to protect his boss. And yet, he does it without complaint, and he seems to genuinely want to protect Jin Woo.
In the end, it’s so tragic that Secretary Seo dies while loyally following Jin Woo to Granada to attempt the quest. Afterwards, it’s even more more heartbreaking, that even in death, he’s Jin Woo’s ally, and shows up to protect him when he’s in danger. OMG. My heart.
I think that out of everything that happened in this drama, I feel the loss of Secretary Seo the most acutely. He had no idea what he was getting into, when he started playing the game, or when he asked Jin Woo to be his ally. At least Hyeong Seok knew he was entering into a duel with Jin Woo – though he didn’t know it was going to be for real. I feel like Secretary Seo was like a faithful puppy who simply believed that he needed to follow his master to the end, not knowing that he would literally meet his end. Sob.
As tragic as Secretary Seo’s final lot is, it’s painfully fitting for him, to be Jin Woo’s guardian angel in the game, just like he was in real life. Poor, sweet, loyal Secretary Seo. <3
Special shout-out: Lee Re as Min Joo
Although Min Joo is quite a minor character, I really liked the happy energy that Lee Re gives her delivery. She really made Min Joo feel like a chirpy middle-schooler, and her sunny presence was always a nice change of pace from Show’s intensity. Also, what a casting coup; Lee Re really does look like she could pass for Park Shin Hye’s younger sister.
Other random highlights
E7. I like the idea of the game being adapted for Korea. Not only is there a bit of callback comedy – this time, it’s the Subway restroom that hides the first sword – but there’s also the cool factor of Joseon warriors to fight.
E7. The whole concept of how a Subway customer gets in-game benefits from buying and eating a sandwich. That’s possibly the best PPL I’ve seen – it pokes fun at the whole concept of PPL and Subway, WHILE ACTUALLY BEING PPL FOR SUBWAY. HAHA. I love it.
STUFF THAT WORKED OUT TO NEUTRAL
1. The fragmented storytelling technique
Show has a way of playing with timelines that does make the watch feel more interesting and less linear. Basically, information is given to us in fragments, and not in a linear fashion. So it’s only later, when enough fragments are given, that certain pieces of information finally come into focus as something whole. I found this approach quite mentally stimulating, and I liked the thrill of stuff coming into focus, from time to time.
For most of Show’s run, I was happy with this approach, and felt that it wasn’t too much, and didn’t mess too heavily with my perception of time. Instead, I found it interesting to see the puzzle pieces fit together, as I saw how each scene fit into the overall timeline.
[SPOILER ALERT] For example, in episode 9, Jin Woo’s theory about what really happened to Se Joo makes a lot of sense, now that we’ve learned a lot more about the game’s inner workings. I like how the fragments that we were given before, now make perfect sense when pieced together with the right lens. [END SPOILER]
However, as the tension mounts in Show’s last stretch, Show also goes a bit hammy with this technique. By episode 15, I felt that the flashbacks were quite excessive, and because the information is presented from more than one person’s point-of-view, sometimes we see variations of the same flashback. This felt rather tiresome – and a little confusing – to watch, to be honest.
Still, I get the kaleidoscopic effect writer-nim was probably going for. With each person’s recollection of events, things shift into focus slightly differently for us as viewers. For the sake of that concept, which is pretty interesting and an effectively intriguing storytelling device (even when overused as it is here), I’ll withhold too much complaint.
2. Park Shin Hye as Hee Joo
I mentioned this earlier in my review as well, but Park Shin Hye was, er, heavily under-utilized in this show.
I think many of us were hoping that Hee Joo would turn out to be a badass female ninja, fighting alongside Jin Woo as he navigated his quest in this game gone rogue. Unfortunately for all of us, that was never writer-nim’s intention. Hee Joo was written as a supporting character, and an often bemused, confused and teary-eyed one, at that.
Even when Hee Joo is allowed to show some steel, Show is swift to soften that steel, to the point of negating it. [SPOILER] For example, in episode 2, Hee Joo finally breaks under the stress of Jin Woo’s verbal abuse, and unleashes a tirade at him, basically calling him out for every single instance of bad behavior he’s shown. But, within the same episode, we see Hee Joo apologizing for what she’d said earlier, when Jin Woo offers to buy the hostel. I dearly wished that she hadn’t apologized, because I agreed with everything that she said, AND, her apology means that she’s basically taking it all back. [END SPOILER] At this moment, I’d felt frustrated with Hee Joo because I wanted her to be stronger and more sure of herself. But this is a writing thing, not an acting thing. Writer-nim could’ve given Hee Joo more steel right off the bat. That would’ve made her – and the dynamic between her and Jin Woo – much more interesting.
Still, I want to give credit where it’s due, and Park Shin Hye did an admirable job with what she was given. In particular, I thought that her delivery of the guitar piece Memories of the Alhambra, and the Spanish dialogue sounded very natural and authentic (not that I’m any expert on either).
Last but not least, I also wanted to say that adjusting my lens to expect Hee Joo’s tears only got me so far. I mean, yes, her tears make sense, but despite getting used to Hee Joo’s tears, and despite understanding that there are valid reasons for her tears, I couldn’t help but look at her at the episode 14 mark and think, “Wow. She cries A LOT.”
What a waste, I say.
3. The loveline between Jin Woo and Hee Joo
I’ll be honest; I never actually felt anything for this loveline. Which might be apt, since this loveline was never Show’s main event anyway.
In the beginning, I was actively opposed to the loveline, and wanted Hee Joo to just run in the opposite direction of Jin Woo. There were so many red flags screaming that this was not a good nor healthy relationship choice.
[SPOILER] In episode 6, her feelings for Jin Woo are clear to see, but I was absolutely not on board with it. Seriously, when you stack it up, she should run from Jin Woo, and fast. Even if we give him a pass (which he completely doesn’t deserve) for the horrible way he treated her when he first met her, and if we discount the deception of how he bought the hostel without giving her full information (because she still doesn’t know about it), there are so many other things she should take as serious signs that he’s bad news. He’s uncommunicative unless it suits him; he treats her like a beck-and-call girl, asking her to leave when it suits him, and making her go everywhere, when he needs her. Not to mention the fact that he’s keeping an emotional distance most of the time (except when he’s drugged or in mortal danger), and therefore sending a whole bunch of mixed signals, blowing hot and mostly cold. Plus, the fact that he would leave without warning. I really didn’t think it was a good idea for Hee Joo to give him her heart, especially since he was actively trying to leave her behind. [END SPOILER]
There’s more unacceptable behavior that Jin Woo shows Hee Joo, but.. I’ll refrain from dwelling on the negatives too much.
I’ll just say that by the episode 11 mark, I found that I wasn’t as opposed to the loveline as before. I wasn’t really into it, and I do think that this story could possibly be just fine – maybe even better – without the development of the loveline, but at the same time, I found that I could finally believe why these two people would fall for each other. [SPOILER] I could rationalize that Hee Joo’s grown attached to Jin Woo from early on, and cares even more about him now that she knows that he literally risked his life to find her brother. And I could also rationalize that Jin Woo, who’s already expressed before how grateful he was for Hee Joo who cared for him and cried for him with pure intentions and a pure heart, would choose to cling to her, now that she’s the only one left who is willing to stay by his side. In this way, the kiss and the moving forward of the loveline made sense to me in a narrative manner. [END SPOILER]
One of my main beefs with this relationship, once it was cemented, was that Jin Woo remains highly uncommunicative with Hee Joo about important things.
[SPOILER] For example, he doesn’t tell her the details about how the game is invading his life, nor prepare her for sudden erratic behavior for when the game logs him in against his will and starts throwing enemies at him that put his life in actual danger. I mean, I get that he’s got a lot on his mind, but if he trusts Hee Joo the way he says he does, and trusts that she believes him no matter what, then he needs to tell her things, so that she can actually help him rather than get in his way, when things go crazy. [END SPOILER]
Because of these reasons, the importance of this relationship to both Jin Woo and Hee Joo remained a cerebral understanding for me; I never actually felt this connection with my heart, which is why I’ve parked this loveline in the neutral zone.
STUFF I DIDN’T LIKE
1. Show’s general treatment of women
As a general rule, women don’t get treated all too well in this drama world. Our female lead is relegated to a supporting role with not much more to do besides cry, and Jin Woo’s ex-wives are painted in broad caricature-like strokes. Yu Ra (Han Bo Reum) is made out to be an awful piece of treacherous work, while Su Jin (Lee Si Won) is regularly verbally abused by her father-in-law.
[SPOILER] I must say, I was surprised to see Su Jin in a doctor’s coat in a middle-ish episode. The way she’s treated by her father-in-law, and the way she’s almost always on the brink of tears, and the way she was miserably torn between two men, I’d placed her as a stay-at-home wife and mom, rather than a professional at work who is respected.
The moment Hyeong Seok had outed their relationship to Jin Woo out of spite, completely ignoring her feelings and her request to step back from the relationship for a while, Su Jin should’ve broken up with him and walked away. Instead, we see that she ends up marrying him, and then getting treated suspiciously by her husband, and coldly and cruelly, by her father-in-law. Her life is so miserable, that I wasn’t even surprised, when she attempted suicide towards the end. [END SPOILER]
During my watch, it continually surprised me, that this show was written by a woman, because the women in this show just aren’t treated right, and it’s this drama world’s norm. I don’t get that.
2. The lack of visibility into key characters’ emotions
During my watch, I realized that while I found the main narrative interesting and twisty, I didn’t find myself really connecting emotionally with our key characters. I’d felt this way with a number of works by this writer as well, namely W-Two Worlds, and Nine.
I think a big contributing factor, is a lack of visibility into key characters’ emotions. Importantly, I feel that we should have had more insight into how Jin Woo felt. The regular voiceovers where Jin Woo narrates the story is largely limited to simply telling us what happened, and occasionally, what he thought. But we rarely ever got a glimpse into how he felt, and I feel like that’s a big reason why I found myself feeling quite distant from him, even though he’s our protagonist.
To Show’s credit, there were some occasions where I felt more connected to Jin Woo than average, and that’s better than my experience with both W-Two Worlds and Nine.
[SPOILER] For example, I felt like I should feel more for Jin Woo being abandoned by Professor Cha and the company, but it all registered for me mostly at a mental level. I did feel my heart pinch in episode 11 though, when Jin Woo mourns Secretary Seo, as he looks upon his body, and as he thinks upon all the times that Secretary Seo showed his loyalty and earnestness. Sniffle.
The moment that stands out the most, for me, is in episode 14, in the church, where Jin Woo wearily hopes in voiceover that this really will be the end, with tears glistening in his eyes. This is the first proper true moment in the show, that my heart goes out to him. He’d been rather sympathetic before, with the game closing in on him, and him desperately working to survive it. But this time, maybe because he was a little more vulnerable, I really felt for him. [END SPOILER]
3. Kim Eui Sung as Professor Cha
Credit to Kim Eui Sung, I really disliked him as Professor Cha.
I was intrigued by Professor Cha pretty early on, from the episode 6 mark. He looked like a legit villain, and the way he spoke to his daughter-in-law was quietly menacing, almost.
[SPOILER] Turns out that Professor Cha is truly despicable. In episode 15, we see that he’d set a trap for Jin Woo even before heading to the hotel, and then activated that trap, with the hope that Jin Woo would die fighting the NPCs, while he himself hid in the toilet. Cowardly scum. I have to say, I didn’t feel at all sorry for him, that his own trap – which basically triggered Hyeong Seok’s appearance – brought about his own death, and by the image of his son, no less. He got what he deserved, I say. [END SPOILER]
QUESTIONS, LOGIC LAPSES & INCONSISTENCIES [SPOILERS]
Taking away questions that are answered by Show’s fragmented style of storytelling, and inconsistencies that are likely due to meaning being lost in translation, there are still some things that remain unclear to me, now that I’ve finished my watch. Here’s them, for the record:
E2. Question: how is Hyeong Seok able to play the game if the smart lenses are by Jin Woo’s company?
E9. Since when do all injuries by NPCs result in actual injury and death? I thought that only applied to the duel between players? Or maybe the game just keeps getting glitchier.
E10. What does it mean that Jin Woo now doesn’t need his walking stick, during the quest? Is he already being sucked into the game, in part? Or is it a convenient thing, for the plot, because we need Jin Woo to be able-bodied for the quest?
E12. How weird, that after the police stop the car, it’s Hee Joo who ends up speaking with them, instead of Jin Woo, even though Jin Woo was the driver?
E13. If you have to be at least Level 5 to talk to Emma, which we learn early on when Jin Woo first attempts to speak with Emma while he’s Level 4, how is Hee Joo talking to her, since she’s clearly only Level 1?
E16. How is Hee Joo able to see the bug powder remains and the game reset information when she enters the church? Are we supposed to believe that these people just wear the game lenses all the time now?
THOUGHTS ON THE ENDING [SPOILERS]
So.. I don’t hate the ending, even though for a while there, I was kinda mad at Show.
First of all, I was mad that Jin Woo didn’t tell Hee Joo he was at her house, even though he knew that she was waiting for him. Maybe I wouldn’t be as mad if I’d had any access to Jin Woo’s thoughts about why he chose not to see Hee Joo, even though he’d said that he really wanted to, and even though he knew that she was right there, anxiously waiting for him.
Second, I was REALLY mad when Jin Woo headed back to the church, pretty much to offer himself up as a sacrifice. My thoughts about that were literally, “If he thinks that sacrificing himself will save the company and its employees, I hope he realizes that there is no guarantee. This game has gone so rogue, so hard, that it’s taken several lives. Who’s to say that after righting it this time, that it won’t go rogue again? Hello?”
I was a little less mad when I saw that he erased other bugs first, even though I had to rationalize that he was able to take over Emma’s job of deleting bugs because he’d been made the new game Master (coz otherwise all we know is that it’s Emma’s job to delete bugs). It made no sense that Professor Cha would appear as Jin Woo’s ally because according to in-game rules, these dead allies appear only when Jin Woo’s in mortal danger, and he wasn’t in mortal danger when Professor Cha (with no weapons to speak of) appeared.
ANYWAY. The moment that really gets me this episode, is when Jin Woo (it took me 16 friggin’ episodes to finally realize that Zinu is a play on Jin Woo’s name. D’oh!) deletes Secretary Seo. Augh. Even though I know that Bug 3 isn’t really Secretary Seo in the flesh, it’s still heartbreaking to see him destroyed. Jin Woo’s tears and his desperate hug, as the image of Secretary Seo shatters and dissolves, made my heart bleed a little.
My biggest issue with the entire (rather fragmented, rather slow-moving) finale is the big question of why Jin Woo’s considered a bug. There is literally nothing in the rest of the show that backs this up. He’s not a NPC created in the image of a dead person, likes Bugs 1, 2 and 3. He’s a player, just like Se Joo the previous Master was – and Se Joo isn’t considered a bug. Show gives no explanation whatsoever for this, so we’re forced to assume that this is just part of Rogue Game’s evolving insanity (or writer-nim’s evolving insanity, if you’re REALLY mad at Show’s ending, heh).
My guess is that writer-nim basically wanted an ending where Jin Woo would be a shadow of the night within the game world, probably mostly for the cool factor, and also, for the open ending it would give us, pointing to more possible adventures for our characters, and a possible second season. So she decided to make him a bug, in order to get him out of one dimension and into the next (or in this case, the Next, hur).
To Show’s credit, at least this reappearance of Jin Woo as a shadow player is given some form of explanation, with Se Joo talking about how a Master would likely be able to create an instance dungeon in which he’d be able to hide. That’s more than other shows with similar “post-death re-appearance” endings tend to give us, so it’s at least something.
Personally, I choose to believe that Jin Woo’s alive and well in that other dimension, and will one day be released from his instance dungeon by some other high-level player, and finally reunited with the people he cares for and who care for him. Hopefully that day will be soon in the coming, since there are clearly hordes of passionate players now that Next has been officially launched.
In the meantime, may Zinu continue to be the best dragon-slayer there is.
THE FINAL VERDICT:
Daring & different. The internal logic gets a little shaky, but Show’s not a bad ride – given the right (slightly blurry) lens.
FINAL GRADE: B+