[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Modern Farmer" Episode 20 Final 2014/12/27,
Hopefully you enjoy the romance between Han-cheol and Soo-hyeon, because that's what the last episode spends most of the runtime building up. In all fairness, of the myriad half-baked storylines "Modern Farmer" has picked up, this was probably the best one to devote attention to, on account of one of the main characters being involved. Also the whole imminent death thing. That probably should have been more relevant up until now,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Modern Farmer" Episode 19 2014/12/20,
The exact details of what's happening with Yoo-na and her management company are exposed here. With this information, the story from that angle moves in about as predictable a manner as possible, once again mostly leaving our main characters right where they started. I suppose it's an improvement over the meteor storyline, since there's at least some brief discussion of backstory and also one nice scene where Yoo-na firmly gives Min-gi a piece of her mind,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Modern Farmer" Episode 18 2014/12/14,
Given that the main characters of "Modern Farmer" have just slipped into major financial difficulties, now doesn't really seem like the best time for these guys to engage in goofball comedy. The entire middle portion here is a plot retread from "Golden Tower", except with substantially higher dramatic stakes. Consequently, what seemed funny in "Golden Tower" just comes off as cruel here, not to mention generally pointless. I really need to note that given all the wiggling they do in the car, it beggars disbelief that they couldn't just open the door and step outside,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Modern Farmer" Episode 17 2014/12/13,
As I suspected, the Hyeok-sik storyline is done. It is referenced a few times, but mostly all this does is establish the fact that Yoon-hee acted correctly in trying to prevent Hyeon-seok and Min-ho from becoming aware of each other's existence. From an ethical perspective I'm frustrated that the situation is being treated in such black-and-white terms. But from a narrative perspective this turnabout is even worse than that- it firmly establishes that Yoon-hee isn't getting any character growth. A woman who makes a difficult, flawed and albeit correct decision can learn from that experience. A woman who's the martyr in the face of an obvious villain can't,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Modern Farmer" Episode 16 2014/12/07,
It would appear that the Hyeon-sik conflict has been resolved. I hope I'm wrong about this. But the ending gave me the distinct impression that the purpose of this plot point wasn't to explore the contradictions in Yoon-hee's character so much as it was to provide more fodder for the love triangle. I've never particularly liked the love triangle in "Modern Farmer" and this is one of the reasons for it. Yoon-hee has issues with communication and relationships, and we're not seeing any character growth on this point,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Modern Farmer" Episode 15 2014/12/06,
Hyeon-sik (played by Lee Jae-woo) is not aware of the fact that he has a son. Moreover, the flashback that details his separation with Yoon-hee clearly establishes that they're both coming from understandable, sympathetic ground. At the time anyway. In the present, Yoon-hee's unwillingness to come clean about the current situation is terribly frustrating. While she's correct in stating it's no one else's business, Yoon-hee really doesn't have the right to withhold information like this. Not considering the way her son's been acting lately, and the fact that Hyeon-sik has once again taken an interest in Yoon-hee apropos of nothing,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Modern Farmer" Episode 14 2014/11/30,
The plot is mostly filler here. We do get a resolution to the whole musical storyline, but I got the distinct impression that this whole narrative movement was specifically designed to bring one character to the rural township. Not that I'm complaining. The cliffhanger promises that next time we're going to get a clear answer to a mystery that's been dogging this drama since the early episodes, and especially lately given Yoon-hee's weird attitude to male friendships and bonding,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Modern Farmer" Episode 13 2014/11/29,
The cliffhanger turned out to be a bit misleading- that was an artificial conflict and it looks like pretty much everyone involved knew it too. Once that's settled it's on the new storylines this week. The big event right now, surprisingly enough, actually involves music. This is really the most direct opportunity that the band members have had to use their trained skills in a helpful way. Although initially at least they're mostly just being the ones rude enough to state explicitly what's already obvious to everyone else in the room- that no one in the farm community has any musical ability at all,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Modern Farmer" Episode 12 2014/11/23,
Two new characters arrive on the scene this episode. One knows that she's a bit of an imposition, but is in such a miserable state right now that it just can't be helped. The other knows that she's a bit of an imposition, but doesn't really have the personality type to actually care about any of that stuff. While these two never meet, the parallel is an obvious one. Mostly all of this is just a vehicle for jokes, though,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Modern Farmer" Episode 11 2014/11/22,
By this point "Modern Farmer" has picked up about a dozen subplots that I can see, and this episode helpfully adds even more. I'm not complaining, exactly, since none of these stories are all that bad. It just gets kind of awkward having the drama so crammed full of plots that some of them get at most one short scene of exposition. We never do find out how Gi-joon got out of the closet. Seemed like a wasted opportunity for a joke, personally,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Modern Farmer" Episode 10 2014/11/16,
Perhaps I was a little hard on Soo-hyeon. Like Min-gi, while she seems pretty rough at first, it's pretty clear that the woman's not a monster or anything. Just a little self-absorbed, and understandably so given the very personal threat to her well-being. But oddly enough Soo-hyeon's not especially arrogant. Note the surprise and even gratitude she shows at being helped out by people who have just suffered from her abuse. Soo-hyeon is learning, bit by bit,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Modern Farmer" Episode 9 2014/11/15,
Apparently Hwa-ran's makeover is permanent, and along with it comes a personality change to something more bright and outgoing. I've heard that a change in personal dress can affect such an alteration, so I'm not too upset at "Modern Farmer" for upsetting continuity like this. It's just I liked her better the way she was before is all. Even in this episode, by far her best moment is leaping around the field at light speed to catch some grasshoppers,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Modern Farmer" Episode 8 2014/11/09,
The conflict takes two main forms this time. First is the natural crisis arising because Han-cheol rather idiotically decided to help Soo-yeon with her obviously suspicious nighttime skulking about. It's kind of am ambivalent situation. Han-cheol really should just get a clue and take no for an answer, but Soo-yeon is reluctant to push hard on this point because if pretty much any character aside from Han-cheol finds out what she's been doing they're actually going to investigate further,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Modern Farmer" Episode 7 2014/11/08,
This episode moves into obvious romantic territory, as the number of potential couples is clearly defined as five. I can't remember having ever seen a drama before that had five potential pairings, all given roughly equal weight in terms of storyline presence, but here we are. Far from being crowded, though, "Modern Farmer" actually makes a pretty good go of it because the five romances build on each other with different explorations on attitudes toward love,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Modern Farmer" Episode 6 2014/11/02,
The writing here initially moves into really, really short sub-plots. Remember the scene in the preview where Min-gi sets up a boxing match between children? There isn't any extended focus on that. He gets the idea, organizes it, and before we've even realized what's happened everybody's back at Yoon-hee's house going over the lessons learned. "Modern Farmer" is so rapid-fire with narrative shifts that this episode feels a lot longer than it really is. The episode also gives the impression that much more has happened than actually did,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Modern Farmer" Episode 5 2014/11/01,
In an odd shift, this episode starts out with two jokes that aren't really very funny to us watching at home, but are obviously funny to the characters that tell them to each other. This is actually better than it sounds, as it signals a new, effective trend regarding characterization- the guys in the idol band and the actual farmers are starting to relate to each other on a personal level. There's only really one fight this time, and unusually, the slip-up this time was actually a fairly understandable one,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Modern Farmer" Episode 4 2014/10/26,
There's a bit of a lag in plot this time. The athletic games have been identified as a key sticking point, but the progress characters make toward success there or even a basic understanding of what's going to be happening is pretty limited. This is a training episode with surprisingly little actual training. I suppose this is intended as a set-up for the idols' likely loss- they have nothing going for them but relative youth after all. But the parallel is...hm....,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Modern Farmer" Episode 3 2014/10/25,
This episode firmly establishes that "Modern Farmer" is firmly entrenched in its own continuity. The whole gag with the deer last episode wasn't just a final one-off joke. It was an event with serious long-term consequences. Goodness that sentence feels ridiculous. Mostly because right after the huge angry lecture we're treated to the deer's wall of fame and why in the world would so many famous people have their photograph taken with this random deer?,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Modern Farmer" Episode 2 2014/10/19,
When last we left off, Min-gi (played by Lee Hong-gi) had finally convinced all the old members of the band to team up on his scheme to get rich by farming. This includes Kang Hyeok (played by Park Min-woo), who quite literally showed up at the last minute. At the beginning of this episode Min-gi is clearly agitated by the presence of this interloper, mostly because he hasn't figured out yet that his terrible plan will require as many helpers as he can find.
If the first episode was vague on this point, the second episode of "Modern Farmer" clears everything up,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Modern Farmer" Episode 1 2014/10/18,
The drama gets immediately to answering that all-important question- how does a band of idols end up working on a farm of all things? I'd just as soon not ruin the answer to that, since the basic explanation of the premise is by far the best part of the episode. Suffice to say, it has less to do with how these specific idols are bad people as it does wth the entire idol band format in the first place. The story here isn't just a gimmick- "Modern Farmer" actually looks like it has something to say in terms of famous lifestyles,...More
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