By: Sara A. Layne
Melodramas should be watched with caution. Why you may ask? Well because by episode 12, you’ll probably be so depressed and frustrated with the show, you’ll need therapy. Okay, maybe not that bad but you have to admit, melodramas are filled with so much angst, you’ll need to open a window and air out the room. Even through all of that, they are still amazing shows to watch and for that reason, I am shining my spotlight on them.
Let me start of by saying THANK YOU to dramafever for releasing this on their site. As soon as I saw it pop up, I knew it was going to be good. The Devil, or Mawang, is a 20 episode drama that ran back in 2007. Gang Oh Soo is a detective investigating a murder where someone sent a tarot card to the victim and to himself. He is baffled at the lack of clues and is in desperate need of help. He is then introduced to Seo Hae In, a psychic librarian who can “read” objects and people. She helps him realize that the first murder (and the several that follow) are actually all connected to an incident in his past that he doesn’t want to remember. Oh Seung Ha is the lawyer that defends the people Oh Soo brings in for questioning in the murders and Oh Soo begins to suspect that Seung Ha has more to do with the case then he lets on.
Here’s what I love about this drama. It’s not the typical rom-com which you know I like on occasion, but often crave something else. Right at the beginning you have a pretty good idea of who is the master mind behind the whole thing and it’s interesting to watch how much he’s invested in manipulating Gang Oh Soo. As the episodes continue on and you start to get the back-story as to why he’s set to ruin Oh Soo’s (and others) lives, you feel sorry for him (enter the angst). Also, the music is AMAZING! I will admit I am a sucker for classical music, especially the dark brooding kind. I wish I could tell you the particulars of the songs but all that I’ve been able to find are two YouTube videos with the music which you can enjoy here
. Getting back to the drama itself, I simply could not get enough of it. I stayed up until 2am almost every night until it was over. The ending, though expected, left me floored and walking around my house in sadness for days. I can go on and on about this drama, like how there seems to be a lot of use of blacks and blues which could represent how dark the show it, but I won’t. Be sure to watch this if you haven’t yet and make sure to have your supply of tissues for the last episode.
Bad Guy was actually the first melodrama I’d watched. I remember like it was yesterday. I had just finished watching Playful Kiss and Coffee Prince and was thrilled to learn that Jung So Min and Kim Jae Wook starred in a drama together. That was it. I had no idea what I was in for. Oh my gosh, someone should have prepared me for this! I wanted to look away but I couldn’t. It was like watching a car crash in slow motion. I wanted to look away but I couldn’t.
Here’s a quick rundown. Bad Guy ran for 17 episodes back in 2010. Gun Wook is out for revenge against the Haeshin Group. The reason why he hates them so much was because when he was a small child, the chairman of the group told his parents that he was his child Tae Sung, and paid them to have Gun Wook live with him. The chairman’s wife hates the idea that her husband had a child by someone other then her so she creates this elaborate plan to get rid of him. After a few months she tells her husband that he made a mistake and that Gun Wook is not Tae Sung. They throw Gun Wook out on the streets (literally) and have the new Tae Sung replace him. Somehow Gun Wook’s original parents die in an accident on the way to pick him up and he is now homeless and alone. If that isn’t bad enough his dog dies. Flash forward to adult Gun Wook and you see him as a stunt double, doing everything he can to get back at the family. He starts with the younger sister, Hong Mo Nae, getting her to fall in love with him, before moving on to the older. While this was happening, he crosses paths with Moon Jane who is trying hard to woo the current Tae Sung. Are you following me so far? The whole who loves who thing got me confused at points so I found a chart that helps.
There’s a lot more to this drama but if I tell you everything, you wouldn’t watch it and I want you to. I will say that contrary to how much I hated yet understood the ending to The Devil, I just flat out hated the ending to this drama. As a matter of fact with the exception to Jane and her little sister, I found it hard pressed to like anyone in this drama, no matter how cute I thought the actors were(love you Kim Jae Wook and Kim Nam Gil!). Oh and the mother in this drama? The actress, Kim Hye-Ok, should have gotten an Oscar (or whatever the Korean equivalent is) because she played such an awful person that I have trouble watching other dramas she’s in because I flash back to how she was in Bad Guy.
I wanted to write more about melodramas but just reliving these two makes me want to mope around the house for a while. I will leave a list below of more melodramas you should check out and let me know what your favorite melodrama was.
Love To Kill
(Bi *fan girl screams*)
90 Days, A Time To Love
Sara A. Layne contributes to the kpop and kdrama website Blackwomenlovebi. For other entries in Sara’s Spotlight series and more, click here!