Carefully written, tenderly directed and richly layered in every aspect, Show isn’t for everyone, but those who love it, will likely love it deeply.
Show explores themes like isolation and connection, and what it means to be human, in the slow unfolding of its narrative, and it all feels more like a compassionate exploration of our characters’ states of being, than a typical story, which might be more event-driven.
Our entire cast is strong, but the stand-outs are absolutely Jeon Do Yeon and Ryu Joon Yeol, who both inhabit their characters so well, that I often felt like I could understand how they felt, without them having to say anything at all.
When Show is at its best, it manages to balance fun, comic moments with heart-hitting poignance and thought-provoking themes.
The episodes feel deft and efficient, the feels are served up fast and furious, and there’s a cracky quality that makes you want to watch episodes back to back. (Which is what I did, when I loved this show most.)
The problem is, to me, Show is at its best only in its first half. I think Show’s second half slumps somewhat, unfortunately.
For the most part, our story remains cohesive and the characterization of the people in our story world makes sense.
However, I was personally rather underwhelmed by how Show chose to handle its ending (though you might not have the same issue, since I know folks who actually like the ending).
Overall, a heartfelt ride that manages to feel worthwhile, in spite of Show’s flaws. Also, Go Joon is pretty great at playing a dorky guy in love, which is a treat to watch in itself.
The experience of watching this show is similar to what I imagine it would be like, to be on an exceptional winning streak in your favorite computer game: you are in disbelief as you clear round after round, trouncing the system in ways that you didn’t think possible.
You start to wonder if you will – gasp! – actually be able to pull off a perfect game – a feat that is only rumored to be possible. You make it to the final rounds – OMG am I almost there?! – ..only for the system to beat you in the end, after all. *sadface*
And then you console yourself that, yes, you didn’t make it all the way through this time, but you still did really well – and maybe, just maybe, you’ll make it next time.
Sigh. That’s how I feel about this show, you guys. There was so much to love in this one, and it felt so surprisingly fresh in so many ways, that I thought we might actually have a thoroughly amazing drama on our hands.
Alas, Show wobbled a fair bit in its final episodes, to my eyes. I’m disappointed about that, but just like in the analogy of the computer game, I’m consoling myself that being awesome for 14 episodes is still head and shoulders above most other dramas. Right?