Essentially, Show is a diamond in the rough; emphasis on diamond, and emphasis on rough, heh.
Show is rough around the edges, with one of those rough edges being a pretty scattered sort of approach to storytelling, but the warmth and community feels that it delivers are so good, and so strong, that you end up being more than willing to look past Show’s shortcomings.
The young cast really shines in this, and the adult characters are mostly there as sources of guidance and support, and that’s one of the things that I enjoy most about this show.
Our young crew is earnest and competent, and all-around believable, not only as their individual characters, but as the team that they form.
The stand-out for me, though, is Tang Joon Sang, whose character kinda functions as our protagonist. He really brings a lot of dimension to the role.
Wholesome and quite excellent, in spite of its flaws.
Show takes the heavy, delicate topic of death, and gives it a warm, tender and hopeful sort of treatment which I personally find extremely soothing. It’s true that some of the cases are painful to watch, but Show always finds a way to bring a heartfelt, healing touch to each case, which makes the journey feel worthwhile.
On top of this, we also get meaningful character and relationship development for our key characters over the course of the show, and this ties everything together in a way that feels meaningful.
Our cast is excellent, but the stand-out for me is Tang Joon Sang, who does a fantastic job of portraying Geu Ru, a character who’s on the Asperger’s spectrum. I also love that Show often makes Geu Ru our MVP, because this demonstrates so well, that Geu Ru isn’t disabled; he’s just differently abled.
It’s true that Show makes my heart ache, but even so, my heart aches so good.
Show really is everything that many of us have come to love in kdrama.
It’s gorgeous to look at, our actors are pretty darn capable all-around, our characters are mostly endearing, there’s amped-up, epic romance to be had between an OTP that shares solid, sparky chemistry, and, well, Hyun Bin is appealing in this, to a rather staggering degree. Flail.
As a bonus, Show possesses a cheeky sense of humor around drama tropes, even as it revels in them. In addition, the glimpse into North Korean life feels fresh and novel as well, and is a major highlight.
On the downside, there’s a bit of drag in the mid-to-late episodes, which is compounded by rather heavy-handed narrative angst, and Show’s long episodes. That can feel a bit or a lot hard-going, depending on your appetite for angst.
Overall, though, Show does a great job bringing the feels, and is well worth the watch.