SBS's "God's Gift - 14 Days" started with a strong first episode that provided mystery, solid characterization, and beautiful camera work. Although the premise has been clearly laid out in all of the previews and teaser materials, the show still managed to make the first intrigue exciting: when and how will a mother's child die.
Lee Bo-young plays Kim Soo-hyeon, a happily married wife and mother of a precocious little girl played by Kim Yoo-bin-I. That little girl, Han Saet-byeol, is not strong in school, which is a sore point for her mother. Although their relationship is strained over the girl's weakness, small interactions make it obvious that Soo-hyeon loves her child. Soo-hyeon is an impatient, overbearing mother, however, which is something that I expect to see change as she fights for Saet-byeol's life.
Director Lee Dong-hun and writer Choi Ran-I pieced together an action-heavy and emotionally intense episode and made good use of camera storytelling, highlighting small clues (whether false or real), and built up a complicated web of relationships that will surely be important when the time slipping begins. Like the relationship between low-life private detective Gi Dong-chan (Cho Seung-woo) and his intellectually disabled nephew, Gi Yeong-gyoo (Baro). They are not in contact with each other, but they each have separate contact with Saet-byeol and strike up friendships with her. This complicated web continues to build throughout the episode as all the main characters are introduced, shown going through their lives and put into contact with Soo-hyeon and her daughter in some way. They will be ready to call on when the magic starts to happen. The organization of the reveals and relationship builds is what makes it strong, and the production team did that well.
The mood was also very well-wrought. There was a nervous tension running throughout the show that was dispelled with a few beautiful smiles from the adorable Kim Yoo-bin-I and some touching moments between Soo-hyeong and her lawyer husband, Han Ji-woon (Kim Tae-woo). There are constant mishaps and incidents that could've lead to the child's death that infuse tension into the show. On the day she disappears, it's a constant train of things gone wrong that build to the powerhouse ending. Lee Bo-young is intense and spot on as career-woman, wife and mother Kim Soo-hyeon. The entire cast slides naturally into their roles in this drama world where disaster and the fantastical combine.
A special mention must be given to Baro who has taken on the role a young man with an intellectual disability. It's a difficult thing to portray and a subject misunderstood by a lot of people. So far, Baro's energy level and subtle acting are spot on. His character has the mental capacity of a child, but a physical age of young man. Baro combines both the ability and life experience of his character and, so far, delivers a very solid depiction of a generally happy young man who suffers at the misunderstanding of society and who enjoys the friendship of a bright young girl who doesn't look down on him.
There is also a beauty to this show that makes it alluring. The episode opened with Soo-hyeon reading a story to her child and the animations of the story combined with Lee Bo-young's soothing voice set the tone for the rest of the episode. The physical beautiful shifts from animation to camera work, camera angles and filters, and clean editing. I love first episodes for that, the amount of time that goes into them to make them polished and attractive. Water was incorporated a lot into the mix by highlighting bodies of water, cups of water, rain and puddles because water is said to be an element of danger. I expect to be terrified of water throughout the show.
Great start for "God's Gift - 14 Days" and I'm expecting a lot from it.
Written by Raine from Raine's Dichotomy
Follow on Twitter @raine0211
Journalist, drama lover, and foodie, Lisa enjoys exploring Korea, speaking the language, and soaking in all that dramaland has to offer. Her Korean husband laughs that she knows more than he ever will about dramas and K-pop. Lisa Espinosa can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "God's Gift - 14 Days" Episode 1"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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