Hope is often a punishing concept in Dramaland. The appearance of Seong-won as a possible antagonistic force gave me hope in light of a passive and lacking in focus Gwam-soo. Seong-won has sadly proven but an instigator of temporary drama. The series is at a point where it struggles to find a lifeline, be it in the form of forced romance and angst, unnecessarily extended scenes and dead-end conflicts.
First things first, let us talk romance here. The writing cannot seem to decide between innocent princess Ahn-na (Yoona), who needs blanket assistance and "Yong Pal"-like vengeful Ahn-na who must be turning wicked, because she now uses make up; the number one sign of evil in Dramaland. Her relationship with Yoo-jin (Song Yoon-ah) and their past had potential, but with Ahn-na turned into a political hot potato isolated in her romantic subplot with Je-ha (Ji Chang-wook), I no longer have hope to see it realized.
Yoo-jin's story and character are not doing much better. When she was rescued by Je-ha, we were led to believe that she had a deep reason for faltering and we were thus presented with a mystery to look forward to. Now the time has come for her to choose between Je-ha and political success, but without proper back story and development, she simply comes off as a sentimental fool. Someone whose "womanly feelings" over a rescue by a young hottie overthrow her ambition.
This is unfortunate, because one good thing about Jang Hyeok-rin's works has been the interesting and focused on women's characters. It feels as if the writer has shot himself in the foot with "The K2", because the nuanced and flawed woman is his villainess. She can therefore not be as central as the heroine. This is also love-hungry Dramaland, so said heroine is being infantilized for romance, leaving both women struggling in the constraints of the types of roles they inhabit.
As for Yoo-jin's aforementioned nature as a villain, Chief Kim (Shin Dong-mi) might now be adding an extra pebble in the pile of her mistress' innocence regarding Hye-rin's (Son Tae-young) death. If Kim can suddenly turn T-1000 on Je-ha for his disobedience and in turn show disobedience herself to achieve it, then Hye-rin's death could be her handiwork as well. I just wish this mystery was not lost in a clumsily stitched together plot.
"The K2" can be summarized as just a few scenes in each episode. Rather than filling the empty space with well paced drama, it is now fumbling about and juggling many things it cannot handle, let alone develop. With six episodes left, all I can do is congratulate the cast and crew for their hard work and rejoice that their and our struggle will end soon.
Written by: Orion from 'Orion's Ramblings'
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Vasia, also known as Orion or Ori online, is currently doing opinion pieces and database upkeep. She has a love for good TV and a penchant for rambling in written form. Vasia can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The K2" Episode 10"
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