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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Modern Farmer" Episode 6

2014/11/02 | 1409 views | Permalink

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.

The issue here is mainly just the humor, because with this kind of writing, every joke really has to hit. For me, maybe half of the jokes connected. And the ones that do are, for their part, excellent jokes. You might recall another scene in the preview, where two characters are apparently on the ground, kissing, even though a lack of mutual romantic interest has been clearly demonstrated. There is in fact a perfectly logical explanation for what they're actually doing, but that much is completely impossible to guess until you see the full context of the scene.

These kinds of jokes work because they mess around with expectations. Another intriguing plot thread pops up involving the return of one character's high school sweetheart. This is interesting because while the obvious direction for the drama to go is for these two to get back together again, there doesn't actually seem to be much interest in this from the point of view of the man. And it's not something as dramatic as how he was betrayed by her. It's just, you know, life goes on, and he's not the kind of guy to nourish these kinds of fantasies.

Then on the flip side of that we've got the blind date, which ends up going so predictably it's hard for me to invest any kind of interest in the situation at all. The brand of humor presented in "Modern Farmer" works best in doses of hit-and-run. The easier it is to predict where a joke is going, the less entertaining it's going to be in the end. In this case it's mainly a case of weakness in the cast. For the most part none of the actors are trained comedians, so they really need quality writing to hit the right notes here.

Overall the dip in quality isn't too severe. It's just that this episode is more of a highlight reel than it is an actual plot progression. Fortunately, at the end Min-gi and Yoon-Hee Do end up running into somebody that probably has some interesting things to say about what exactly happened to the boy band in the last seven years. The reason for the band's break-up hasn't been given much detail, and I'm hoping we learn more about that here.

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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