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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Heard It Through the Grapevine" Episode 14


This episode really highlights how much the pressures on Beom have changed her, and the family dynamic along with her. The change is realistic given her situation, but I'm dying to see more of how she is feeling and thinking.

Beom comes off so coldly now. Every once and a while we can see the toll her new social status has taken on her, but those glimpses are not powerful enough to suffice. I want to see the internal struggle and how that leads to her choices, how it affects her marriage. We see very little of her marriage with In-sang save for the conversations that pertain to whatever nefarious plan Jung-ho and Yeon-hee have cooked up. Beom seems to be turning into Yeon-hee. She is shown to suffer when scolding her sister for her reckless behavior, but it comes off as unfeeling despite the fact that we see her break down on the phone later. Perhaps it's the portrayal of the character that makes her seem so stiff and unyielding in comparison to her personality at the start of the drama, but my money is on the writing and directing. We only see the surface stuff - how she behaves, what she says. There is very little camera storytelling so that we can see Beom's expression change when she's alone. We don't even get to hear her inner monologue. Nothing.

In-sang is hardly developed at all. He remains as merely a foil for Beom. Where ever she turns down the character development maze, he turns the opposite direction. He does little on camera to help her adjust save for comfort her. While comfort is important, we don't see him guiding her through the changes at all. It's a little strange. They gave each other more direction at the start of the show.

Jung-ho and Yeon-hee have gotten what they want for now. The show has stopped mocking them for the time being and has allowed them full agency over their actions rather than having them behave like buffoons. While this is a nice change of pace, I find the whole show to be disjointed from episode to episode. There is no rhyme or reason to the changes in characters. The plot seems to have a direction it's trying to take, but it loses steam with the boring characterizations and dull plot threads.

For example, there are a dozen plot threads going on with the staff and employees under Jung-ho and Yeon-hee. Not one of those employees has pulled my heartstrings with his or her plight and suffering. There is a general sense of separation between the characters and emotions. This is not a show that incites a visceral reaction. It attempts to be of a more cerebral variety of dramas.

Written by: Raine from 'Raine's Dichotomy'

"Heard It Through the Grapevine" is directed by Ahn Pan-seok, written by Jeong Seong-joo, and features Lee Joon, Go Ah-sung, Yu Jun-sang, and Yoo Ho-jung.


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