Flash Review: Mute [Web Drama]

So I realize that I haven’t covered a whole lot of shorter dramas, like web dramas and drama specials, on this blog, although I’ve reviewed a number of them in the past. I’m going to try to remedy that, starting now, because I’m getting the impression that more of you guys are interested in these shorter dramas than I’d originally thought.

Maybe it’s coz you like the occasional palate cleanser between longer dramas; maybe it’s coz the pandemic’s affected your desire to watch full-length dramas; maybe it’s coz you simply don’t have time for a 16-episoder. Whichever it is, I wanna be here for ya, so you’ll be seeing more of these quick reviews of shorter dramas here on the blog, going forward.

For a start, Mute turned out to be a surprisingly fun little drama interlude, and I’m here to tell you alll about it.

WHAT IT’S ABOUT

Our female lead Han Na (Bae Yoon Kyung) has the ability to hear the thoughts of another person, if she likes them romantically. She has a chance encounter with our male lead Je Won (Won Hyung Hoon), and finds, to her surprise, that she can hear his thoughts pretty much right away. She also appears to have a very special impact on Je Won, whose sound-related struggles seem to disappear in her presence, and he seems drawn to her very quickly. However, as they spend time together, she loses the ability to hear his thoughts. Is he really her destined love after all?

RANDOM FACTOID: THE SCRIPTWRITERS

I was very surprised to realize that this little web drama is written by Jung Jae Won / One (who acted as Park Min Young’s idol crush in 2019’s Her Private Life) and Kang Han Na (who all too often plays the unsuccessful second female lead, like in 2018’s Familiar Wife).

First of all, I’m intrigued because I’d never thought of them as people behind the camera, until this web drama. Second of all, what an unexpected pairing, yes? How did this even come about? If you know, please tell us about it in the comments below!

ADJUSTING YOUR VIEWING LENS

This web drama is only about an hour long, and it took me about a third of my watch before I realized that this one is best consumed while wearing a manhwa lens.

Sometimes the character reactions are weirdly large and exaggerated; sometimes the characters behave in ultra simple, slightly dim ways. The manhwa lens takes care of it all, and makes this fun instead of cringey to watch.

STUFF I LIKED

1. Our story is a sweet, light, easy romance that’s easy to slurp up.

2. Given Show’s short run-time, it doesn’t feel like too many tropes are used (vs. fellow web drama Timing, for example, which had felt quite heavily sprinkled with tropes. For the record, Timing was still a solid little watch, despite it).

3. The music is very pleasant. In particular, there’s a song that Je Won sings in Show’s first half, while he plays the guitar, and I thought it was really quite lovely. I wish we’d had more of that.

4. He falls for her first, and is obviously quite delighted by her. His leaked smiles were a very nice highlight of my watch.

STUFF I DIDN’T LIKE SO MUCH

1. Can’t lie; the acting leans green and awkward, and if it weren’t for the manhwa lens, I would’ve found this much more difficult to watch.

2. Our OTP relationship does feel like it develops very fast, but I rationalize that sometimes people do develop feelings and jump into relationships very quickly. I also rationalize that Show doesn’t have much choice in the matter, since it’s only about an hour long.

3. There’s a fundamental mistake in the piano scene in episode 3 that’ll be very obvious to people who understand a bit about how pianos work. (Our OTP plays a duet, and he’s supposed to play the more difficult portion, which is on the lower registers. But, in the scene, he sits on the right, which puts him smack in the higher registers, so when we hear the music being played, the visual doesn’t match in the least.)

4. We aren’t actually ever given a real explanation for why she can’t hear his thoughts anymore.

THOUGHTS ON THE ENDING [SPOILERS]

I felt that our ending was a little rushed, but it was still sweet.

Han Na getting so confused about whether she truly likes Je Won, just because she can’t hear his thoughts, strikes me as a little strange, because besides the question of whether she can hear his thoughts, there’s also that other, much more common barometer that the rest of us use – feelings – which is also fully available to her. But ok, I rationalize that she’d second-guess herself, because she’s so used to being able to hear the thoughts of the one she likes.

The other thing that made this ending feel less than elegant, is how everything is resolved in an almost deus ex machina sort of fashion. I mean, all we see is Han Na running away from Je Won and not actually telling him why, and after this has gone on for a while, Han Na’s roommate Ji Eun solves everything by telling Je Won exactly why Han Na’s avoiding him, thus giving Je Won the confidence to pursue Han Na anyway, and overcome her insecurities. It’s narrative magic, basically. Everything’s solved in a quick snap of the fingers, pretty much.

That said, on the upside, I do like he goes straight to Han Na, gives her hug, and proceeds to tell her the truth about everything about his own identity and struggles with misophonia. I like the idea that he puts across to her, that even though he can’t hear her thoughts, he can tell what she thinks and feels; that she doesn’t need to be able to actually hear his thoughts, to know what he feels, either. He kisses her on the forehead, and tells her, “This is the true sound of my heart.” Aw.

I like Show’s ultimate message, that rather than superpowers like being able to hear someone else’s thoughts, the true miracle in life, is finding someone who becomes special to you. That’s a sweet sentiment, and one that I’m happy to end this little watch on.

THE FINAL VERDICT:

Light, fluffy and quite enjoyable – given the right lens.

FINAL GRADE: B+

TEASER:

You can check out the teaser on Viki here.

WHERE TO WATCH:

You can watch this little series on Viki here.

23 thoughts on “Flash Review: Mute [Web Drama]

  1. Table122000

    Re: The Scriptwriters. This web drama is the result of the Variety Show/Reality Show “The Romance”, which brought together 2 sets of celebrity scriptwriters and followed both sets as they went through the process of creating the script and then filming the script. Jung Je Won and Kang Ha Na were one team and the other team was Kim Ji Suk & Yoo In Young. I have no idea as to why these 4 celebs decided to participate in this variety show, but that is how the pairing came about. The resulting dramas were “Mute” and “Timing”.
    You can watch “The Romance” on Viki if you are interested:
    https://www.viki.com/tv/37082c-the-romance

    Reply
    1. kfangurl Post author

      Oh wow, thanks for the info, Table122000!! 😃 I find this so interesting! And now, I’m going to share this information with everyone, coz I think there’d be folks who’d be interested in checking this out. Thanks again Table122000! ❤️😘

      Reply
    2. merij1

      What a great piece of intel to share, Table12200. I will definitely watch it.

      So all four are K-drama actors trying their hand at writing a web drama.

      I remember Kim Ji Suk as the sort-of bad guy on Another Miss Oh. And I see Kang Han-na was the “new” cell0-playing wife in Familiar Wife. And I certainly remember One as the sweet but not deep idol star in Her Private Life.

      Mute was written by the Kang Han Na + One team.

      Reply
      1. merij1

        My bad. Kim Ji Suk was not the bad guy in Another Miss Oh. He was the lawyer friend whose advice was invariably awful. Ha. Then he ends up with the Eric Mun character’s really cool older sister, played by Ye Ji-won.

        The fourth actor in Romance was Yoo In Young, whom I don’t know, although I see she had a support role in You From Another Star.

        The premise of Romance appears to be that one writing team consists of total strangers in the industry while the other two are long-time friends/acquaintances.

        Under the heat lamp of reality TV, which will prove to be the better combination for script writing — comfortable friends or awkward strangers? Inquiring minds want to know!

        Lest you wonder, Kang Han Na and One (aka Jung Jen Won) were the awkward-strangers team.

        Reply
        1. kfangurl Post author

          Hey MeriJ, in case you missed it, I wrote a quick post about The Romance, after Table122000 told me about it. 🙂 You can check it out here, if you like. 🙂

          Reply
          1. merij1

            Not sure how, but yes I totally missed this post. I just searched my email for the notification. I wonder if I’m not fully signed up for certain kinds of new posts.

            Anyhow, thx for the heads up!

            Reply
            1. kfangurl Post author

              Hm, I’m not sure what happened there.. WordPress did give me an alert saying it was sending emails to subscribers, when I published the post. 🤔 Maybe it was a glitch of some sort. 😛

              Reply
    1. kfangurl Post author

      Yes, that’s exactly what it is – even better if you used the manhwa lens I suggested. I found this little show surprisingly enjoyable, so I hope it comes in handy for you sometime! 😊

      Reply
    1. kfangurl Post author

      Aw, thanks for noticing, Elaine!! ❤️ I’m doing my best to stay on top of things, while experimenting with putting out content more regularly. It’s a learning curve! 😄😅

      Reply
      1. kfangurl Post author

        It mostly involves more planning & forecasting than one would like to associate with something as deceptively fluffy as drama blogging – and it also entails falling behind on comments from time to time, heh. 😅

        Reply
  2. snow

    Somehow I have never watched a webdrama. I just have the feeling that they tend to be more like a vehicle for idols to increase their popularity (i may be wrong!) 😁

    Reply
    1. kfangurl Post author

      Fair point, snow – I do think that web dramas are often used to give idol-actors, as well as less experienced actors a chance to flex their acting chops. I’ve seen my fair share of meh ones, but there are some little gems out there! If this one doesn’t appeal to you, you could also consider Queen of the Ring, Star of the Universe, and Two Lights: Relúmĭno. I thought all 3 of those web dramas were nicely done. 😊

      Reply
      1. merij1

        Thanks for this review and the list of three other web dramas to consider! Sometimes we need a palate cleanser after a long show, so these might serve nicely.

        Reply
        1. kfangurl Post author

          Yes, these little web dramas do very nicely as palate cleansers! Jeff was saying that he’s also enjoyed Splash Splash Love and A Sharply Graceful Girl as palate cleansers. 😊

          Reply
        1. kfangurl Post author

          Of the three, I think Two Lights: Relúmĭno is the most surprisingly affecting, because it’s technically an extended CF for Samsung’s visual aid app for the visually handicapped. It’s touching and sweet, and Park Hyung Sik and Han Ji Min are lovely in it. Also, it’s so rare to see a drama featuring visually impaired leads. If you only pick one of the three to check out, I think this is a worthy choice. 😊

          PS: Watch through to the end for bonus scenes!

          Reply

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