As dark as it is, and as flawed as it is, The Devil Judge is quite the rollercoaster of a watch.
I will say that Ji Sung and Kim Min Jung are both magnetic enough in their deliveries, to command your attention all on their own.
That said, there is a lot that one might find problematic in this show’s writing and execution, not least Show’s propensity to try to shock its audience, as often and as deeply as possible.
Some folks love this one, and others hate it. It’s hard to say where you’d land, until you give this one a try. That said, I do think that certain lens adjustment would help yield a more enjoyable watch experience, which I’ll talk about shortly.
A warm, heartfelt little show, Mystic is sometimes a little (or a lot) sillier than I usually like, but is, on the whole, so sincere and full of heart, that I can’t quibble with it too much.
Hwang Jung Eum is quite wonderful as our protagonist Wol Joo, and importantly, displays zero screechy tendencies in this role.
Choi Won Young and Yook Sung Jae round out the little Mystic team really nicely, and these three make a surprisingly endearing trio, as they strive to help their customers resolve their grudges – for heavenly credit, of course.
The overarching backstory is bittersweet and poignant, and Show does a nice job tying it in with our grudges of the day, with an impressive degree of consistency.
Importantly, Show starts strong and manages to end strong as well, making for a solid and satisfying watch, overall.
A drama that’s fantastically cracky in its first half, but unfortunately meanders into Sad Angstville in its later episodes and never quite recovers fully from its detour.
Fated To Love You is extremely easy to fall for in its early episodes.
Fabulously committed and nuanced deliveries by Jang Hyuk and Jang Na Ra not only bring the funny, but also land the emotional beats extremely well. Their lovely, very believable chemistry as our OTP is also a big draw.
All of this, combined with a story that clocks a brisk pace, and finds time to serve up a variety of cheeky meta, makes Early Show one deliciously addictive package that charmingly sweeps us off our feet as it engages us in its confident, off-beat dance.
Unfortunately, the brisk pace slows to a crawl in the show’s last stretch, and it feels like our story gets weary from doing time on a Going Nowhere treadmill.
On the upside, The Cute eventually comes back; Show’s just not quite as cracky at its end as compared to its glorious beginnings.
Depending on your love &/or patience levels, your mileage with this show as a whole is likely to vary.
A drama that’s got a light, frothy and often comedic outer shell, but harbors an inner core that’s poignant, stirring and heart-in-your-throat moving.
To be sure, if one put on a hard logical lens, this show’s flaws may be too glaring for one to overlook.
But for those who can turn that logical lens to a blurry soft-focus, and amp up the emotional lens to a setting high enough to engage with the characters on a more visceral level, that touching inner core is the satisfying, gratifying reward.
Separately, Jeon Ji Hyun and Kim Soo Hyun are both truly excellent in their roles. Even better? Together, they are pure magic.