The love story in "Pinocchio" is all right. Lee Jong-suk and Park Shin-hye have good chemistry together. I kind of have to remind myself of this sometimes, because the overall story is so tangentially related to the romance that it's easy to forget. To the credit of the production team, the whole scene in the street with all the snow, and the actual argument of what the relationship of the main two characters is? Pretty spectacular looking.
Just kind of irrelevant to the discussion of journalism ethics is all, which is where "Pinocchio" gets topical. I don't know what the weather is like wherever you are, but in Korea it's taken a rapid turn for the chilly and it's up to the newscasters to get at the real story here- how unpleasant it is to slip on ice. Oh sure, it's all fun and games watching someone else slip. Then it's just slapstick. But it's really a pretty unpleasant experience, especially when most people try very hard not to slip and end up failing anyway.
The scripting is pretty meta to boot. Note how we're introduced to the newsworthy story by clips, obviously produced by someone at SBS, demonstrating the exact same situation with people in real life. Regardless of how well In-ha and Beom-joo cooperate in regards to the footage we see being taken, the fact remains that real life news organizations behave the exact same way. Provided you've ever watched a newscast, you've probably seen evidence of this firsthand.
This all makes for a somewhat unsettling reminder that reporters are, by definition, passive participants in everyday life. They report, we decide. But passive isn't the same thing as neutral. Note the scene where Jae-myeong gets quite livid upon discovering that he's been deceived. Even though technically no harm was done, the man does not like being lied to, for good reason.
In greater context this makes for all sorts of interesting implications. While In-ha is, at times, superficially impeded by her inability to lie, in the long run truthfulness usually lands her in a better place. By contrast, none of Dal-po's lies to date have ended particularly well at all. While they start out with a hint of progress, ultimately we find that either the lies were irrelevant or they have somehow damaged his interpersonal relationships. There's a surprising degree of depth in the ethical arguments "Pinocchio" makes, which does a fair amount to keep the proceedings interesting even without the momentum-shifting cliffhanger.
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 8"
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