[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Night Light" Episode 20 Final 2017/01/24,
Of all the flaws that have dominated "Night Light", by far the most glaring is just that no one ever seems to do anything. The few times this drama manages to pull off anything approaching excitement is when action is involved. Usually courtesy of Tak, who gets all the fight scenes. But by and large, the characters are content to just talk about stuff they're going to do rather than actually do anything remotely flashy,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Night Light" Episode 19 2017/01/23,
With I-kyeong having thoroughly humiliated the previous villain into complete irrelevance, it's difficult to take the few remaining bad guys in "Night Light" all that seriously. Even all the rumblings about a possible spy are largely undercut by the fact that I-kyeong herself barely seems to care about the potential danger, and the problem goes away just as soon as she decides to put some actual effort into solving it. Se-jin, meanwhile, has learned to just accept that this is who I-kyeong is,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Night Light" Episode 18 2017/01/17,
In a somewhat refreshing change of pace Se-jin actually ends up working against I-kyeong instead of against her. That Se-jin's original plan would go so poorly was predictable. That the story itself would end up acknowledging this is much more surprising, and we appear to be going into the final stretch of episodes with I-kyeong as a genuinely sympathetic character. This nice, even as it calls unfortunate attention to the fact that so much of "Night Light" up until now has been a complete waste of time that didn't work in service to this point,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Night Light" Episode 17 2017/01/16,
I never would have thought, during the early episodes of "Night Light", that I-kyeong was going to emerge as the most sympathetic character. The thing is, she's already won. I-kyeong is just making normal business deals now. Yet Se-jin and Gun-woo still hover in the background wanting to bring her down for...some reason. Se-jin's attempts at backroom deals here are a lot shadier than anything I-kyeong has done in recent memory, so it's hard to want her to succeed,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Night Light" Episode 16 2017/01/10,
I realized, near the end of this episode, that part of the reason why "Night Light" is so boring is that the production team is very bad at figuring out terms of scale. When the early episodes play with Russian Roulette and violent hostage situations, the tension is real and powerful. People get mad and offended for good reason. Whereas here...a simple police investigation is treated like some sort of huge betrayal, when there's little indication of meaningful long term consequences,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Night Light" Episode 15 2017/01/09,
Once again, "Night Light" delivers on the goods with...more elongated scenes of I-kyeong discussing business plans with characters who at this point are only really borderline antagonistic. Even when the story moves to a crisis involving the medical security of a hospitalized old man, it's really hard to feel sorry for anyone. I-kyeong doesn't play nice, but she does play fair. Why do Se-jin and Gun-woo feel compelled to interfere with that, just because they're not into the whole cutthroat businessperson jam?,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Night Light" Episode 14 2017/01/03,
Enough of I-kyeong's plan has been brought into operation that we can finally get exposition of her motivation without potentially ruining it. I-kyeong, though, has not been fighting for the reasons we had assumed. It's hard to tell whether the truth is better or worse than what we've assumed. On one end the lack of emotion in I-kyeong's decision making process makes her pliable to reason. But then where does that leave Se-jin and Gun-woo, whose only arguments have ever really been emotional ones?,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Night Light" Episode 13 2017/01/02,
An unexpected snag comes up to interfere with I-kyeong's plans. To the credit of writer Han Ji-hoon, I-kyeong doesn't respond with the increasingly annoying cliché of "I anticipated your every move". I-kyeong is genuinely surprised to meet resistance. But she expresses only the most minimum concern and never drops the poker face for a second. I-kyeong has to consider whether she has the right counters to the situation, and alter the plan accordingly if necessary. In the end, this is just business after all,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Night Light" Episode 12 2016/12/27,
Now that Se-jin and Gun-woo have teamed up that sad, sparsely decorated office is...still pretty sad and sparsely decorated actually. In spite of the fact that they're the main characters, Se-jin and Gun-woo have almost no convincing drive. They're barely even slowing I-kyeong down. These two are so hilariously ineffective that at one point I-kyeong bails them out of trouble for the sole purpose of insuring that everyone's attention is diverted in the right direction without getting hung up on subplots,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Night Light" Episode 11 2016/12/26,
The tone takes a turn for the somewhat mundane here as I-kyeong uses business acumen to further drive a rift between the various members of the Park family without their really having any idea what's going on. The tendency of characters to underestimate I-kyeong is one of the finer subtle plot points in "Night Light". One reason it's so easy is because I-kyeong doesn't really have any kind of decisive victory to claim credit for. That makes them think they can come out on top of the double cross later on,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Night Light" Episode 10 2016/12/20,
Moo-sam (played by Lee Jae-yong-I) is the new acting chairman of the Park family's conglomerate, and it is with her political maneuvering to make this possible that I-kyeong has finally managed to advance major substantative change in the high level corporate power dynamics of "Night Light". Moo-il (played by Jeong Han-yong), the former chairman and Gun-woo's father, is down but not out. And it looks like I-kyeong is counting on it,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Night Light" Episode 9 2016/12/19,
I-kyeong's plan somewhat manages to come into focus this episode, and to the drama's credit it is a mostly logical escalation of all we've seen I-kyeong do so far. Rather than act in an apparently decisive manner, I-kyeong intends to needle all the antagonistic presences into going after each other. Considering how many of them are genuinely horrible people, all I-kyeong is really doing is conspiring to get them into the same room and destroy each other. Then, presumably, I-kyeong will pick up all the pieces,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Night Light" Episode 8 2016/12/13,
Tak (played by Jung Hae-in) works for I-kyeong's crew as the general errand guy- driving, fights, what have you. He gets annoyed enough this episode to briefly take his fortunes elsewhere, as I-kyeong's vaguely antagonistic behavior has been starting to frustrate him. Tak is the character I empathize with the most at this point, because I too would rather be doing something else right this moment instead of trying to keep track of "Night Light"'s glacial pacing,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Night Light" Episode 7 2016/12/12,
And so, once again, I-kyeong's elaborate plan...doesn't really start just yet. We're still in the phase of manipulations so incredibly subtle it's impossible to guess what I-kyeong is trying to do in the short term, let alone the long. The woman has a pretty insane sense of patience. I-kyeong wants the job done right or she doesn't want it done at all- hence the (hopefully) final test where I-kyeong determines just how much resolve Se-jin has in the face of impossible odds,...More
[Interview] Kim Nam-gil, "My current interest is the Blue House" 2016/12/12, Source,
Pandora's Box is open. "Pandora" was released on the 7th and an estimated audience of 1.5 million went to see the movie over the weekend. In the middle of it all is actor Kim Nam-gil. He plays Jae-hyeok who throws himself in the middle of a nuclear explosion to save his family. He's no Hollywood hero. He's just an ordinary man.
As we met Kim Nam-gil for an interview, he didn't look sophisticated or comical. He just wore a black shirt with a cap and we listened to what he had to say about the movie,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Night Light" Episode 6 2016/12/06,
At the end of this episode I had an annoying moment of realization. Technically the story hasn't actually started yet. We're still in the set-up. I-kyeong is still "training" Se-jin who, true to form, is slow to adjust when past actions catch up to her and the younger woman is completely unsure as to the extent she can or should lie. Nothing turns out too badly but ultimately all we've learned is another important aspect of the backdrop- the rules can change, if temporarily, provided enough money changes hands,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Night Light" Episode 5 2016/12/05,
After a fairly dramatic cliffhanger "Night Light" fails to deliver on much of that promise this episode. The general personalities of its characters do not gain any new dimensions here. Even the big central scheme ends up being fairly lackluster, since all it really amounts to is Se-jin acting cool and confident thanks to the afterglow from I-kyeong's aura. While that's all well and good, Se-jin was able to do plenty of that before she ever even met I-kyeong,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Night Light" Episode 4 2016/11/29,
We finally get some detail into Gun-woo (played by Jin Goo). Technically he's I-kyeong's love interest and rival, although that's a very misleading way to describe his character. The main obvious reason for this is that I-kyeong is stone cold and mean to everyone. She was like that even in flashback. But Gun-woo is the antithesis to I-kyeong in other ways too. He thinks constructively. Moreso in flashback, obviously. In the present day, though, Gun-woo hates the game more than he does any of the players,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Night Light" Episode 3 2016/11/28,
While the literal plot is I-kyeong educating Se-jin on the finer points of what exactly is this concept we call "money", metaphorically, there's a frequently educational tinge to the presentation of "Night Light". Writer Han Ji-hoon seems to be speaking to us more than he is telling a story- and the lessons are valuable. Time and again we see that what makes the rich people in this drama powerful is precisely that they do not throw their weight around unless they absolutely have to,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Night Light" Episode 2 2016/11/22,
Se-jin is pretty well-seduced by the glamorous cool promised through I-kyeong's slick in-charge attitude. Of course, this predictably goes badly because really, if the job was so easy I-kyeong would have just done it herself. So what we're left is a tense and frightening hostage situation as Se-jin desperately tries to negotiate herself out of certain disaster. I-kyeong's hilariously blasé reaction to the entire sordid affair is, unsurprisingly, pretty enraging. At least until Se-jin gets back to her normal job,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Night Light" Episode 1 2016/11/21,
I-kyeong (played by Lee Yo-won) is a brutally tough businesswoman. Se-jin (played by UEE) is a street tough who's good at business. Together they...have an antagonistic countenance as part and parcel of an ominous flashforward before the action rewinds to a week earlier. It's fairly evident that "Night Light" is planning to toss us into the middle of a high-stakes upper class financial war, but as of yet, the exact motivations of its characters are left unclear,...More
"Night Light" Lee Yong-won and UEE behind the scenes 2016/11/20, Source, Lee Yo-won and UEE have contrasting expressions in the pictures. In the picture, Lee-kyeong takes a liking to Se-jin who has done her work well and meets her again to give her a bigger mission. This scene was released previously in the teaser in which Lee Kyeong introduced herself and asked Se-jin, "Ask yourself if you want to be me, even for a little while".
Lee Yo-won has UEE standing in front of the mirror and is holding a red dress in front of her. UEE seems to be deep in thought with the dress in front of her. However, Lee Yo-won is smiling as if she's reading UEE's thoughts on wanting to spread out her passion. UEE recognizes something deep inside of her that is about to erupt,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Preview] "Last" 2015/07/18,
After romantic melodrama 'My Love Eun-dong', jTBC has something quite different coming up. "Last" is not looking like the kind of show which drama audiences are used to, but its cast, approach and the fact that it is based on a popular webtoon might deliver something substantial or at least entertaining. On the other hand, it might be shallow and messy, but one can hope,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Temptation" Episode 20 (final) 2014/09/19, "Temptation" has come to a hopeful end without resolving a lot of questions. Some of those questions don't need resolution, but some of them have become loose ends. Most of the focus was on Seok-hoon and Se-young's relationship and how it weathers the storm of her cancer. Se-young's cancer did give Hong-joo and Seok-hoon a chance to say goodbye at the silent behest of Se-young,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Temptation" Episode 19 2014/09/19, "Temptation"'s penultimate episode sketched the paths the characters are going to traverse at the end after all the trials and tribulations of the show. Three of the four main leads can now look back with perfect hindsight 20/20 vision and see their roles in causing the havoc that befell their lives. It doesn't completely dispel the bitterness, but it does give some sense of viewer satisfaction to see the growth. The other person, Min-woo, remains selfish to the end, a true villain of the story in which he imagined himself the hero. Min-woo's ego rules his life and thus far, he has run relatively unchecked,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Temptation" Episode 18 2014/09/13,
This episode of "Temptation" was another turning point. The characters laid bare their truest feelings and stopped the pretenses that made their relationships so twisted. Despite the medical dramatics, the honesty of emotion was very refreshing. Hong-joo has been a highlight for the past several episodes as she realizes that revenge harms her as much as it does Se-young and Seok-hoon,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Temptation" Episode 17 2014/09/12, "Temptation" is a whirlwind of deceit, lies, and omissions that keep the tension high and the characters and viewers in a constant state of confusion. There is so much betrayal that there is hardly a moment of respite. Not one character is truthful or forthcoming, which shrouds all of their doings in shadow. Hong-joo, despite her moment of clarity at the end of the last episode where she realized that she is in way above her head, has turned back towards Min-woo for another attempt to keep her marriage from falling apart,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Temptation" Episode 16 2014/09/06,
Paths and minds have been twisted beyond repair in "Temptation". Trust has been willfully manipulated by all parties so that nobody trusts anybody else. It's very tense, but a wickedly clever way to keep the plot going. The tension causes fissures that grow into cracks, exposing the characters' true personalities and thoughts. It is a relief because up until now, it has been difficult to read many of them. The biggest character revelation was Min-woo's,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Temptation" Episode 15 2014/09/04,
Falling into temptation and seeking revenge are never what one expects. Temptation the noun is more than loving someone one shouldn't. It is also the desire to taste revenge, to ignore one's moral code for an expected feeling of satisfaction. "Temptation" the show is exploring the destruction that follows in the wake of taking the darker path. Instead of feeling satisfaction, Hong-joo is suffering just as much as her revenge makes Seok-hoon and Se-young suffer,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Temptation" Episode 14 2014/08/30, "Temptation" is no longer at a standstill. The showdown between the three women has begun, and despite the fact that is is very ugly, it spikes the activity and interest levels upwards. No longer are the characters standing around a posturing. Things are happening and its much better than the wearying setup we were subjected to for the past few episodes. Unfortunately, "Temptation" took a very long time to warm up and switch gears,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Temptation" Episode 13 2014/08/27,
As "Temptation" weathers on, it becomes a more exacerbated version of what came before. Characters change, especially Se-young, but true growth avoids them in favor of more dramatic happenings like feverish revenge. It is sad because there are so many issues that were carefully placed earlier on in the drama, but they are woefully underdeveloped. The biggest issue that has been mishandled is that of Min-woo's children,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Temptation" Episode 12 2014/08/22, "Temptation" has stagnated in forward movement and become a massive gray area. Anger and hurt fuel half of the characters while the desire to avoid the problems at hand keeps the other half withdrawn from reality. The plot is made up of characters making constant, consistent mistakes without any sign of improving. Although the mistakes create tension between characters, they don't do much for plot movement. Hong-joo is a seething mass of righteousness and a desire for revenge,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Temptation" Episode 11 2014/08/21, "Temptation" is snowballing into a massive knot of churning emotions and erasing any clear line between right and wrong. Everyone is in an agitated state of mind and not thinking very clearly. This is when the fallout from the divorces can truly be seen, in the aftermath of the emotionally messy affair. It can best be seen in Hong-joo who is no longer a meek flower who never defends herself,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Temptation" Episode 10 2014/08/15, "Temptation" has firmly set up the secondary couples and the blame and the bitterness sets in. It is really the aftermath of divorce that moves the couples emotionally - the rebound effect. It is not only the couples who suffer, but their families. "Temptation" is slowly reaching out to encompass what happens to a family structure when cheating and divorce are involved, but focusing mostly on the illicit romance. That is the weakness of the show as well is its strength, the focus on the romance that neglects thorough development of other elements,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Temptation" Episode 9 2014/08/13,
The relationships between the four main characters have made huge shifts after the married couple, Seok-hoon and Hong-joo, settle on divorce to solve their problems. The divorce highlights weaknesses in characters and how they deal with decision-making and their relationships. An emotionally tumultuous time isn't the best circumstance during which to make major decisions, but it often happens,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Temptation" Episode 8 2014/08/09,
Seok-hoon and Hong-joo's relationship continues to collapse while Min-woo and Se-young meddle in attempt to help. The more unstable the relationship becomes, the less rationality plays a role in decision-making, especially on Hong-joo's part. Hong-joo has officially snapped - she can no longer handle the stress of her crumbling marriage,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Temptation" Episode 7 2014/08/07,
While "Temptation" is still full of moping and brooding, the characters are breaking out of their dark cycles and doing things - for better or for worse. Mostly for worse. Hong-joo, in particular, is cracking and becoming irrational and emotionally unstable. She's keeping things interesting as Seok-hoon and Se-young dance around their feelings for each other and Min-woo deals with his family issues. Almost every relationship in the show has some connection to Hong-joo and her instability,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Temptation" Episode 6 2014/08/05, The players take steps towards trying to fix the problems in their lives. While the solutions aren't the most well-advised, efforts are definitely being made. These efforts have taken the story from a mopey stall towards invigorating forward motion.
Seok-hoon has decided to challenge his feelings for his wife Hong-joo and the deliberate temptress Se-young by forcing himself into a position where he sees Se-young everyday,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Temptation" Episode 5 2014/08/03,
The angst has begun in its fullest glory. Doubts have been seeded and have taken deep root in the hearts of the married couple. Also, affections are given where they shouldn't be given, pulling the couple further apart and making those around them take greater interest in what they shouldn't. The side stories are cute, but not cute enough to dampen the intensity of the angst. Hong-joo has taken the brunt of the emotional pain as she was betrayed by Seok-hoon,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Temptation" Episode 4 2014/07/24,
Episode 4 of "Temptation" was cyclical. It mirrored episode 3's events in reverse and sported more manipulation and betrayal. The small feelings that were planted have started to grow insidiously like weeds and are affecting decisions. It is a distinct lack of communication that is causing the breakdown of what once were solid relationships and promoting the growth of unhealthy ones. Seok-hoon and Hong-joo are the main victims of a lack of communication,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Temptation" Episode 3 2014/07/24,
The illicit relationships that were formed in the first week of "Temptation" have now begun to develop at frightening speed. Each character has been hurt and is looking for the comfort and security that they can't find in their spouses, their family, or their work. Se-young is the only main character of the four who is experiencing her first love,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Temptation" Episode 2 2014/07/17,
Unlike it's premier, the second episode of "Temptation" delved deeply into the heart of the characters' issues and made for a much more interesting watch. It seems like the show was trying to bypass the setup as quickly as possible. Melodramas garner interest because of the moral dilemmas they inevitably posed, the the dilemmas in this show are worth exploring. Seok-hoon chooses to accept Se-young's proposal, which hinted at strong sexual implications that never played out,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Temptation" Episode 1 2014/07/16, "Temptation" started with no lack of dramatics and speed. There was suicide, crippling debt, wandering eyes, illegitimate children, illness, chaebol heirs, a foreign vacation, and more - the necessities of every self-respecting melodrama - all packed into one hour. This set-up was quickly, efficiently done with very little spared for character development. It was incident after heavy-handed incident. Each character had a burden to shoulder and a sob story to share. Choi Ji-woo as the no-nonsense business woman Yoo Se-young led the pack with her layered performance,...More
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