Designed to be light, easy and feel-good, Show tends to lean more simplistic than I would like, particularly in the areas of business and technology and how that all works. The characters took a while to grow on me, but I did eventually grow fond of almost all of them. At the same time, there are definitely some stand-outs that endeared themselves to me early, like Kim Hae Sook as Gran.
Ultimately, Show manages to be uplifting and aspirational (if you can overcome the over-simplification of everything), and ends up being a reasonably pleasant coming-of-age – or rather, coming-into-your-own – kinda story.
PS: Most viewers have strong feelings about this story’s love triangle, but I didn’t.
Show is easy on the eyes, with high production values that bring a creatively conceptualized fantasy world to life, a fabulously rich wardrobe for female lead IU, and several handsome leading men to top it all off.
IU delivers a strong performance, and her character’s personal journey fittingly forms the backbone of this story. On the downside, I did not enjoy the OTP connection between her and Yeo Jin Goo, and I also felt the writing weaknesses quite keenly. ‘Twas still worth the while, though, for various endearing characters whom I became quite fond of.
A pleasant enough watch, if you’re able to look past Show’s shortcomings.
If you’ve been around the blog for a bit, you might know that I like to give shows a chance to win me over, and I often give shows more time than they might deserve, while trying to adjust my lens to find a winning setting that allows me to enjoy the show in question as best as is possible. However, given the current drama landscape where more shows are popping out than ever before (I can hardly keep track of ’em all!), drama quality is more patchy than ever (some wonderful gems, but also, so many duds!), and everyone’s drama tastes are just so varied, I’ve been burned more than a few times, trying to love dramas that I never ended up loving after all.
Case in point, my recent foibles with Chinese drama Well Intended Love, which lots of folks loved, but which never ended up working for me (spoiler: I actually legit hated it).
Now, I don’t hate Absolute Boyfriend, but, I do think it’s time that I learn how to quit while I’m ahead. That’s why I’m dropping Absolute Boyfriend, just 10 episodes in.
What a solid, surprising little gem of a drama, you guys.
There are so few kdramas that attempt the science fiction genre, that off the top of my head, I can only think of one other drama – 2010’s Joseon X-Files (also known as Secret Investigation Record) – as a show somewhat in the same category. That in itself makes Circle a bit of a special snowflake, in my books. In addition, whether or not you’re into science fiction (I’m not super into it myself), Circle manages to be consistently interesting, compelling, & mysterious; sometimes rather exciting, and almost always emotionally engaging.
When I started this one, I wasn’t all that sure I would like this odd science fiction duck of a drama, to be honest, but now that I’ve emerged on the other side, I can sincerely say that I’m glad I made time for this one.
A well-plotted, solid story from start to finish, The Crowned Clown is a show that has quite a bit to offer. The palace intrigue isn’t always the most compelling, but on the upside, there’s a real king, a fake king, a forbidden romance, all the complications that arise from it all, a touch of levity to lighten things from time to time, and a stirring OST to score it all.
Our main cast is excellent all-around, but it’s Yeo Jin Goo who knocks it out of the ballpark and then some, playing both king and clown. I’ve always considered Yeo Jin Goo an excellent actor, but Yeo Jin Goo has never been more amazing to my eyes, than in this show. Some minor lens adjustments are necessary, but once you’ve got that down, Show is such a good ride.
Meaty enough to chew on, yet affecting enough to deeply engage the heart.
Warrior Baek Dong Soo is an odd creature of a show that just adds up to way more than the sum of its parts.
Show’s got flaws galore – it’s not all that well-written, logic fails abound, pacing is uneven in spots, and the ending, uh, leaves a lot to be desired – but in spite of it all, somehow, it works (for the most part). It managed to keep my attention, creep under my skin, and eventually worm its way into my heart, when I wasn’t looking.
In the end, this show grabbed my heart way more than I’d expected – and I’m not just talking about the easy-on-the-eyes male leads either.
I almost ended up not watching Orange Marmalade, to be honest.
I mean, so many of my dramaverse friends were so thoroughly weirded out at the episode 3 and 4 mark (after squeal-out-loud loving episodes 1 and 2, mind you), that most of them ended up dropping the show right there and then. I figured Show must’ve pulled some Majorly Bad moves, to elicit such a strong reaction from viewers who had actually been loving it prior.
After that, though, there were just enough positive whispers about the show, to make me curious enough to check it out for myself. And I’m glad I did, coz Show turned out to be not a bad watch, after all.