I think it’s time to admit that this show just isn’t working for me, you guys.
To be clear, I don’t hate it. There are definitely some things that brightened up my watch, and like I said in my 2020 Year In Review, there’s quite a bit of potential in this show, to examine why people might behave a certain way, with its mockumentary approach giving its characters regular airtime to talk about events that happened in the past, and reflect on them.
It’s just.. Show’s not floating my boat the way I want it to. But y’know, just because this show didn’t work for me, doesn’t mean it won’t work for you?
MY TRAJECTORY WITH THIS ONE
I started on this one because I’d heard varying reactions to Show’s mockumentary, mock-interview style of storytelling, and I was curious to see how I’d take to it. Long story short, I kinda-sorta liked it on first impression, but mostly for the analysis the episodes triggered post-watch, than for the watch experience itself.
I figured that Show was just taking a while to get settled, and that I’d grow to enjoy the watch experience itself more as Show found its feet, but.. I didn’t. At this point of my watch, which is 6 episodes in, I realize that I just don’t like this one enough to keep on keeping on, unfortunately.
STUFF I LIKED
1. The post-episode analysis.
Like I mentioned earlier, I do find the idea of people reflecting on their love lives from a distance quite interesting. That’s the kind of thing I can empathize with, that’s also the kind of thing that I find thought-provoking.
[SPOILER] For example, it makes sense to me that both Jae Won (Ji Chang Wook) and Eun Oh (Kim Ji Won) would have been different versions of themselves while on vacation. It’s interesting to me, to compare the Jae Won from the flashbacks, to the one in the present day, because he’s so prim and proper and polished in his office setting, but so cheerful and carefree in the flashbacks. It makes me wonder which of these is his truer self, and by extension, it makes me wonder how much of the people we see around us, is of their truer self. [END SPOILER]
2. The happier beach flashbacks.
I saw that some viewers commented that they didn’t like how this beach romance arc vibes more westernized than the average kdrama. While the beach romance arguably does feel like a westernized sort of fantasy, I rather like the way Show shows us these flashbacks, and then has our mockumentary participants comment on it as if they’re in the same room having a conversation. That brings the perspective back to Korean values and society, and the tone that we get, is something that’s quintessentially Korean, but still rather frank and no holds barred.
Also, most importantly for me, both Jae Won and Eun Oh are happy in the beach flashback scenes, and that made their beach scenes a lot more fun to watch.
3. Kim Min Suk looks surprisingly trim and fit.
On a completely shallow note, I was a little startled by how fit and healthy Kim Min Suk looks in this show. Dang, he’s bulked up. Very nice, and I wholeheartedly approve, heh. He looks so cute in uniform, in the flashback in episode 6.
4. The backstory of Kyeong Jun and Rin Yi.
The arc for longtime couple Kyeong Jun and Rin Yi (Kim Min Suk and So Ju Yeon) is quite cute, at least as far as I’ve watched. There’s a lot of bashful cuteness in the flashbacks that we get of their earlier relationship days, and I enjoyed those a lot.
5. The various cameos in the flashbacks.
I was very pleasantly surprised to see Park Jin Joo, Lee Sang Yoon and Lee Sang Woo appear in the beach flashback scenes. I actually got more excited at their appearances, than at the main cast, oops.
STUFF I DIDN’T LIKE SO MUCH
1. Both leads in the present timeline don’t seem very likable.
I hate to say it, but I did not find either Jae Won or Eun Ho very likable, in the present-day timeline. Eun Oh’s mostly just studiously avoiding Jae Won and being evasive in the mock interviews, while Eun Oh is mostly quite grumpy, jaded, rather standoffish and a little bit caustic, in his mock interviews. On a shallow note, I also realize that Ji Chang Wook’s grumpy face is not endearing to my eyes. Oops?
[SPOILER] One of the things that I didn’t like so much about Eun Oh, is how she’s not shown to have any consideration for Jae Won’s feelings, whether she’s planning to ghost him upon his departure from Yang Yang, or whether she’s considering him with the benefit of distance and hindsight. I mean, even after she’s had lots of time to think about things, she doesn’t seem all that sorry for what she did to him. I thought that was weird, and quite cold.
I felt that she should have come clean, back in Seoul, if only to give Jae Won some closure – and his cameras back. The fact that she left him hanging, even after having had time to think, is not cool. The fact that she didn’t think he would mind her hanging on to his cameras, is not cool either.
Eun Oh saying she kept the cameras because she realized Jae Won’s related to Kyeong Jun is kinda understandable.. but honestly, she could have easily removed the film and sent him just the cameras via a courier service, along with a note. That wouldn’t have been very hard to do, and yet, it never occurs to her to do it, because she’s too busy thinking about herself and her own feelings. I didn’t like that much at all. [END SPOILER]
2. Kang Geon’s connection with Seon Yeong.
I really did not like the way Seon Yeong (Han Ji Eun) treats Kang Geon (Ryu Kyung Soo).
[SPOILER] E5. I really didn’t like how Seon Yeong forces Kang Geon to take off his jacket, sweater, shoes and socks in the middle of winter, leaving him to freeze on his way home. I get that she must be angry with him, but this deprives him of the basic need to be protected from the winter cold, and that’s not cool. It makes me think that, in this moment at least, she sees as less than human. I don’t know if this was supposed to be funny; I didn’t find it funny. And I didn’t want him to have anything to do with her, henceforth. [END SPOILER]
3. It’s not very tight, for a short format show.
For a show that’s only 17 episodes of 30 minutes each, this show feels like it could be tighter. For example, the scene in episode 4, with Jae Won and Kyeong Jun at the office with Jae Won’s dad felt like protracted filler to me, as did the card game in episode 6.
In a show that has so little screen time to begin with, why do we even need any filler?
4. Not a lot seems to happen.
Honestly, it felt like nothing much ever happened in this drama world. After 6 episodes, I felt like all I’d been watching, was these people just talk to the camera and not much else. I felt bored.
I realized that even though Show’s episodes are only 30 minutes long, while watching each episode, I’d often be checking to see how much more I had left of the episode – not because I was sorry to finish it, but because I wanted it to be over faster. 😝
I also realized that among the various dramas I’m watching right now, I dragged my feet the most, when it came to this one. This is why it’s taken me literal weeks, just to watch 6 little 30-minute episodes. And then when I did click ‘play’ on an episode, there I’d be again, checking the clock to see how many more minutes I had to go, before I finished it.
All not good signs.
After dragging my feet post-episode 6 for what feels like forever, I realize that I don’t actually care what happens to these characters. I also realize that once I decided to write this Dropped post, I felt a lot happier, because I didn’t have to persuade myself to watch more episodes of this. 😆
..And this is why it’s Goodbye, Show. I hope that the fans who love you, will love you extra for me, since I wasn’t able to. 😅