Did I like this Drama? Yes, I did. I actually liked it very much. I must admit though that the first time trying, I wasn’t really sold on this show. I think I started watching it too late in the evening, when I was already tired, and ended up watching with double-vision. I’m glad I circled back 2 years later, once my love for Kim Go Eul, who plays the lead, Hong Seol, grew with much admiration.
However, this series is a great example of how subtle teen abuse can be. Not the physical kind that we’re used to, but the kind that we don’t even know is happening. This is the kind that you sense, but question, because you think you must be wrong. It’s a manipulation that even most adults can’t seem to grasp.
I think the writer, Nam-Hee Kim, did a wonderful job with this. Although you’re watching everything happen in real time, it even confuses you as to whether you should trust the villain(s) or not. The characters are so dimensional that you wonder if they have any good reasons from their viewpoint, or not. Until the end, you’ll wonder whether or not to like them, while awaiting the full story.
But there is something so honest about Kim Go Eul’s acting. If you‘ve watched her in Goblin, you will understand exactly what I’m talking about. She is really adept at playing it cool, calm, and humbly sincere. She brings something so authentic, that you can’t help but to tune in and see what’s happening next.
Park Hae-Jin, who plays the male lead, Jung Yoo, was intense, rigid, and sometimes mysterious to a fault. Although it was a challenge to understand him and what he wanted, Seol, seemed to tap into something that no one else could see, and allowed him to relax and unfold a little, even if it was short lived.
The ending was pretty hard to accept. I was totally invested until the very end but it failed to meet desires, hopes, and expectations. I think some of the love scenes could be viewed as manipulative and controlling. But would I watch it again? You betcha! This is still a cult classic for a reason. Good, bad, or indifferent… the characters stay with you for a long time.