We open up with a dark blindfolded meeting with one connected couple. The conversation is painfully awkward. Initially, this all seems rather at odd with the grander romantic statement that "Access 2014" is generally trying to make. Is this kind of distant, unknown love a total does it all break down when these people are forced into a room together, without having to survive on the various romantic cliches?
To understand that much we need to first consider why the romantic cliches seemed to work in the first place. And I quickly realized why- it was the amount of effort involved. Making romantic gestures is hard. You have to put careful thought into what you want to do, and also bear in mind that the other person may not be receptive to the gesture. Every one of the gestures we see this episode bears a certain amount of risk. It's easy to see that the other person may not like it.
And yet it never feels like this in the program's actual presentation. Why is that? Well, because everybody's optimistic. Every time someone gets a gift from their romantic opposite, they're excited and curious. "Access 2014" makes it look like this is the natural state of affairs for such romantic gestures. But consider the first episode, where it's noted that most people are in fact unwilling to engage in a romantic relationship with someone they can't actually see.
More than that, though, consider your own life, and the kinds of sacrifices we're supposed to make for the sake of our love lives- and one of these is quite explicitly, pretending like we don't care. Don't act desperate, don't be too interested. Nobody likes it when people get too emotionally involved over nothing. And nothing can cover a lot. There's plenty of people these days who don't even consider sex to be a justifiable reason for someone to act emotionally attached and clingy.
Consider all of that, and then think back to the opening of this episode, that awkward conversation in the dark. Are awkward conversations really so terrible? Do they really prove incompatibility? Aren't they just a natural excess, of a modern dating culture that encourages us to keep our feelings guarded? "Access 2014" never directly asks any of these questions. It's very committed to the mission statement of just examing the possibly of making contact from a distance and still being able to find a connection. The idea is abstract and interesting, and offers up a lot to think about.
Review by William Schwartz
Staff writer. Has been writing articles for HanCinema since 2012, having lived in South Korea since 2011. Started out in Gyeongju, then to Daegu, then to Ansan, then to Yeongju, then to Seoul, lived on the road for HanCinema's travel diaries series in the summer of 2016, and is currently settled in Anyang. Has good tips for utilizing South Korea's public bus system. William Schwartz can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Access 2014" Episode 2"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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