Like the last big news story featured in "Pinocchio", this one is over in the blink of an eye. I don't know why I was expecting Jae-myeong's plan to be something more complicated- what we get instead is astonishingly simple and elegant, and captures the exact sense of narrative cohesion I was looking for. Jae-myeong and Ha-myeong fight back against journalism by turning the power of the press directly against Cha-ok. Now she's the one with a lot to answer for against a basically cruel and hostile audience.
It's almost enough to make us feel sorry for the woman. Then we get to the afterword and as it turns out, in Cha-ok's long and storied career there have been plenty of other dirty dealings that can be used against her. "Pinocchio" has found one heck of a way to mock journalistic integrity. Even the relatively clean In-ha and Beom-jo come off as vultures, surveying the wreckage to try and find something they can turn into a news story that doesn't make their organization look completely vile.
The overall change in the story arc is a fascinating one. While Jae-myeong obviously turned to the dark side by choosing to murder the man who told the big lie that started all of this off, he's less bothered by the prospect of facing justice as he is by having to go in front of the cameras again to set off the frenzy necessary for his revenge. That's quite a feat for the drama- making an actual murderer come off as sympathetic simply because he's willing to acknowledge guilt.
At the same time, the process for Dal-po isn't as a extreme as it seems at first glance either. What we've seen of the TV journalism in "Pinocchio" indicates that this is a very cutthroat industry. This is exactly the move Dal-po needs to make for the sake of his career. The main sacrifice from his perspective is that of his adoptive family, but they've always been a liability except in the sense of emotional support. Hm, what other character in this drama achieved conventional success at the expense of a relationship with the people who cared about her..?
There's a lot of interesting material here- definitely enough to sustain the rest of the drama's run. The only lingering problem is the romance. Eventually Dal-po and In-ha are going to get together, but from this vantage point it's difficult to see how or whether they even should. For what it's worth, such concerns are beyond their thoughts too. The true battle has just begun, and that outweighs any other considerations.
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 email@example.com.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pinocchio" Episode 12"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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