We open up with a scheme on Do-chan's part to trick Tae-woong into buying a fake diamond. What possible purpose this scam could serve was not made clear to me. Was the idea to deprive Tae-woong of funds so that he would be unable to mount an effective legal defense? Except that the big breakthrough in the case comes from Tae-woong's goons just arbitrarily deciding to turn state's evidence against their boss so...
You know, that's actually a pretty good summation of what the various storylines in "Switch - Change The World" have turned into. We've got this big con artist setpiece, with only tangential relation to any goal the characters are trying to achieve. Then completely at random the tools necessary to actually do something against Tae-woong just fall into the main characters' laps with minimal prompting.
This has created the very odd dynamic where the main characters appear competent, but their competence has nothing to do with the main story. Although apparently infinite resources are as much an important design point as actual skill. The diamond con not only requires the diamond, but also a couple of random foreigners as props. Aside from coming up with the con and explaining how the suitcase works, Do-chan's team doesn't actually do anything here.
Even the team itself is very poorly defined at this point. We watch them separate to the four winds for no apparent reason. One character is so perplexed by this turn of events as to break down crying. Then a few scenes later, they're all back together again, using their powers of con artistry for the sake of justice. What is even going on there? Was the production team so satisfied with the first scene that they didn't want to get rid of it, continuity error notwithstanding? Or were they just stalling for time?
It's all just so half-baked. Even the big climactic court scene wherein Tae-woong finally comes to justice barely takes half a half-hour episode to get through, and most of that time is just spent summarizing Tae-woong's crimes to date. There's precious little discussion of the evidence that the prosecutors have to actually prove he did those things, because that particular stumbling block was never gotten over. Indeed, the biggest obstacle the prosecution faces is apparently proving that Joon-soo is not Do-chan, a distinction which is not terribly relevant to Tae-woong's guilt and which the drama has already gone over far more times than was ever necessary.
Review by William Schwartz
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Switch - Change the World" Episodes 31-32"
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