Yeong-joo continues to dig deeper and Dong-joo continues to become more and more disgusting in episode three of "Whisper". Soo-yeon has picked up on the fact that Dong-joon is being blackmailed and she tries to weasel the culprit's name out of him. Meanwhile Jeong-il has his own revelations and things become clearer regarding the different alliances and conflicting interests within Taebaek.
Before getting to the current villain tally and their good and bad, I want to express a suspicion. It is the suspicion that "Whisper" will become trapped in the same cycle that "Punch - Drama" suffered from. Escalating the stakes and switching up how the push and pull of protagonists and antagonists happens is good, but when everyone backstabs one another in the same exact way for an entire series, things gets boring quite fast. We know neither side will win until the end, so there is no suspense.
Returning to the aforementioned villains, Park Kyeong-soo loves his flawed characters, but I think he may have reached a tipping point with Dong-joon (Lee Sang-yoon). Ruthless villains are easy to enjoy, but nobody likes a self-serving coward. Dong-joon is the worst possible type to expect viewer acceptance for. All is well so far, the story clearly wants viewers to hate him with the fire of a thousand suns as a villain protagonist, but if the romance element still stands, then we have a problem.
By now there is no conceivable way to turn Dong-joon into a romantic lead. If it happens, it will be unconvincing and derogatory towards those wronged by his actions. If you go through such a thorough cementing of someone as selfishly wicked and then ask viewers to swoon over the person you painted as the worst leech of society, you are asking for too much. Perhaps Dong-joon is supposed to be more nuanced, but Lee Sang-yoon is just not hitting those notes for me.
Speaking of romance, "love" is in the air and although Soo-yeon (Park Se-young) and Jeong-il's (Kwon Yool) relationship is not surprising, it forms a formidable duo with individual ambitions directly opposed to our leads. At the moment I am enjoying their characters due to how they torture Dong-joon; seeing villains suffer is one of the best parts in Park Kyeong-soo's writing after all. That being said, our heroine will have to face them as well.
"Whisper" still leaves a lot to be desired and the only cause for emotional investment is Yeong-joo's (Lee Bo-young) plight. We keep seeing Dong-joon sinking deeper, but our leading woman is not getting the same focus and attention. She just acts based on the story's needs for plot progression and very little about her matters outside of those actions. I hope to see her developed more.
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 email@example.com.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Whisper" Episode 3"
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