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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Modern Farmer" Episode 17

2014/12/13 | 737 views | Permalink

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.

All this might be more tolerable if this was a better episode overall. Unfortunately most of the other storylines are pretty weak right now too. About the only one I found enjoyable was what happens to Gi-joon and Hwa-ran. The flashback montage was a nice remider of how far they've come. I couldn't help but notice that through the haircut, Hwa-ran made it much easier for herself to be identified by immigration authorities, since they can now easily see her face. This is pertinent and relevant.

It's not particularly funny, though, and that's another big weakness this episode. The kiss was pretty good, but everything else mostly just served to remind me that all this time later I'm still not particularly invested in any of the romantic storylines. And in many cases I've straight up forgotten other important plot points, because until just recently certain issues like money haven't been much of an issue at all.

The entire problem with the cabbage market, for example, is a curious about face toward seriousness that really doesn't work that well mostly because none of the characters seem to understand how markets work. In the first place you try to sell high- selling when the market is at its worst is exactly the wrong way to go about it. In the second place, unless you're at a farmer's market, you sell to stores. You don't do it personally.

The issue with the cabbages also brings up another question- how did a gang of seven people manage to dig up an entire cabbage patch without noticing the money? Is the money located in a different cabbage patch? Or did writer Kim Ki-ho just forget that plot element because it wasn't directly relevant this episode? Relevancy is getting to be a serious problem as "Modern Farmer" nears completion. While there's plenty of conflict, there's almost no real tension.

Review by William Schwartz

"Modern Farmer" is directed by Oh Jin-seok, written by Kim Ki-ho and features Lee Hong-ki, Lee Honey, Lee Si-eon, Park Min-woo, Kwak Dong-yeon and Lee Han-wi.

 

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