Freitag, 12. Mai 2017

Hyde, Jekyll, Me

Okay, at first I feel like I need to warn all of you. You will read my personal opinion on this drama below (I think I should change the style a bit but you will see that soon) but I've read quite mixed reviews about this drama.
This is solely my opinion in this entry. I see why some people maybe don't like it at all but I've seen much worse.

하이드 지킬, 나 (Hyde, Jekyll, Me) is a South Korean drama series that was aired on SBS from January 21st to March 26th and consists of 20 episodes. The drama is based on a webtoon.

Story: Gu Seo-jin is the Director of an amusement park called "Wonderland". He's very cold and rude towards most people while trying to please his father. Only very few people know that he suffers from DID, more commonly known as Multiple Personality Disorder. Robin, the second personality, is the total opposite of Gu Seo-jin; polite, always smiling, caring and "saving others is just his personality". Five years ago, Robin disappeared after an incident but suddenly he struggles to come through again on the same day Jang Ha-na arrives at Wonderland.
Jang Ha-na came back after spending five years in the USA to take her fathers' position in Wonder Circus, one of the attractions at Wonderland. Gu Seo-jin plans on closing the circus and firing the people working there but Jang Ha-na fights back as much as she can. Right on the day she arrives the fate of Gu Seo-jin and Jang Ha-na becomes more and more entangled as Ha-na is the only witness in the case of Dr. Kang Hee-ae, Gu Seo-jin's psychologist. Ha-na is the only one who saw the culprit and suddenly Gu Seo-jin needs her to find the doctor and finally get rid of his second personality.
- I personally don't know much about DID and how treatments work or the way people behave but I believe that this was just one point of the story and it was not totally ridiculous what happened, at least if you're not an expert. There is much more to it and while the writing could've been better it was quite nice to not have a purely evil second female lead. Also, the side stories where not the best but definitely interesting enough to make me finish this drama within 4(!) days. It is true that it loses its pace towards the end it turns more into a melodrama than the comedy drama it is supposed to be though. 

Cast: Hyun-bin as Gu Seo-jin and Robin. I'm not really sure what I should tell you about his acting. While he did have some chemistry with the female lead Robin and Ha-na seemed more like kids playing around in the beginning. Also, the character Robin seemed just overacted but that might be because of the writing. So between Ha-na and Robin there was no romantic chemistry whatsoever. On the other hand Gu Seo-jin's change was well-portrayed, and he did have a way better chemistry with her than Robin. I don't know, maybe two totally different personalities were a little bit too much for Hyun-bin as an actor but he was way more realistic as Gu Seo-jin, and it was way easier to believe it. He definitely improved towards the end as Robin, too, but I think it was not the best role for him.
Han Ji-min as Jang Ha-na was - excuse me for being straightforward - bad. Between 70% and 80% of the time she looked lost and dumbfounded. I kinda see that her character might have been confused often because of Robin and Gu Seo-jin but this definitely was not a good role for her. As mentioned above she does have some chemistry with Gu Seo-jin but it's not strong. Also, I did mind her character being a little bit slow and stupid partly. Again, something to criticize about the writing but it could've been slightly better if they chose another actress.
Lee Seung-joon as Secretary Kwon Young-chan was one of my favorite characters. He's caught between a fear of losing his job and his sympathy for Robin who was like a younger brother to him. As the responsible person trying to connect Ha-na with both worlds his acting was sometimes too much (I know, I'm repeating myself but writing - can't blame him for that) but in total his performance was one of the best ones.
Sung Joon as Yoon Tae-joo was the better villain in this. As he is a charismatic actor in a strong role he managed to shine in his spot as a side character. Now if you plan on watching this you won't understand why I wrote "villain" but just wait. At first I wasn't really suspicious of him but in the end this is a K-Drama and he started to seem too nice at some point.
Hyeri as Min Woo-jung was totally not my style. As a quirky, playful little girl she took over an annoying part at first but I believe she was supposed to be like that. She would be the one that is the closest to a second female lead but not as bad as others. I also think she had a great chemistry with Eun-chang.
Speaking of Lee Eun-chang, Lee Won-geun did a pretty good job in my opinion. Being part of the circus he met Min Woo-jung and eventually became the person watching over her. He was a ray of light more than once and definitely did a good job.
Han Sang-jin as Ryu Seung-yeon was - again - simply bad. Now I don't want to believe that it was actually the actor but the character and the way it was portrayed in the webtoon. As a villain I can't take him seriously, the music, the acting - he just seems like the "I-want-to-be-a-villain-and-I'm-jealous-as-hell-but-I-can't-do-it"-character you see in comics. A villain that is bad at being a villain.
Other actors in this drama include Lee Deok-hwa, Kwak Hee-sung (who is quite good-looking btw, need to check him out!), Oh Na-ra, Shim Eun-jung and Lee Joon-hyuk.

Sountrack: The very first thing I would like to say is that the instrumentals in Han Sang-jin's scenes were terribly chosen. No, it was literally horrible. It made the comic-like villain come out even more and it would've been funny if it didn't make me facepalm all the way through.
As for the songs sung for this drama there are two songs you keep hearing all the way through: Baek Ji-young's "Because of You" and Park Bo-ram's "Falling". I can't say that I didn't like the songs (I even have Baek Ji-young's song stuck in my head) but they are also not really special. To be very honest those songs are the typical ballads you hear here and there and everywhere in K-Dramaland. The only thing that really stood out was Snuper's "하이드 지킬 (Hyde Jekyll)". While it is for sure not the best OST song it is the most listenable outside of the drama and the most unique showing also Snuper's cuter style.

I know many people will actually have a "What in the world..."-moment now reading my rating. I did have things to criticize, mainly about the characters and the writing but also the soundtrack. But as I mentioned in my very short, small written introduction I have seen worse and I legitimately enjoyed this drama until episode 16 at least. Well, I enjoyed the majority until then. After that it did make a melodramatic turn that I personally didn't like that much but it's still okay and it was obvious that things needed to be resolved.
I don't know who I should recommend this to. As I also mentioned above it might depend on your expectations but many people dropped this drama, found it too slow-paced or simply poorly written. I checked some profiles on MyDramaList (sorry not sorry) and some of them seem to like dramas I loved as well while others who liked this drama didn't have much in common with me at all.
I'd say: If you want to watch this, keep your expectations low. Maybe that's the whole point, that after reading so many bad reviews my expectations were so low that I found this to be way better than I expected. And maybe that works for other people, too.

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