Sunday, July 10, 2016

Monster Fail: When Characters "Grow Up" Badly

I guess this is going to be the closest I get to reviewing Monster, because I couldn't take it and dropped it, which is rare for me because I am a finisher.  But unlike all the other stupid shows that I finished when I should have just dropped them (like My Barfable Girl and Boorim School) I knew when to quit with this one.

Escape! There are 30 more episodes!!

Maybe because it is 50 episodes long and I couldn't even force myself to watch episode 20... That might seem like too long already, but I did want to give a chance, because Park Ki Woong, but it wasn't enough.  One of the biggest reasons I couldn't muscle through was that I couldn't like the main couple.  Well, I honestly didn't like the main dude.  He just wasn't right for that role, and the biggest reason was because he was too old and nothing like his younger self.  For the first time, the younger selves were better and everything was ruined when the show time jumped our OTP (and I use that term loosely) into a pair of less likable peeps.


I started the show against my better judgement.  Because I was bored and because Park Ki Woong.  I was curious.  And then the first two episodes gripped me.  Lee Ki Kwang goes blind within the first 10 minutes and he does a good job.  His sexy jawline makes even his bandaged look ok.


Yes, it was super makjang, but it seemed like the good kind (like Mask or Geum Sa Wol, which was nuts, but I loved it) so I wanted to keep watching.  Maybe because of how great this cute little blind kid love story was going.

So, we've got little paranoid, blind Gook Chul (Lee Ki Kwang), whose parents were murdered and whose staff is constantly taking advantage of, because he's blind.  But he has great hearing now.



He then ends up interviewing the girl (Lee Yeol Eum) whose father he just fired at the hospital, who was very rude to him to be his assistant.  Obviously set up for love.



But being paranoid, he set's her up to fail the interview.


She is super honest.


So he takes her on probation, because he likes how honest she is.


She takes the job, but obviously just for the money.


But I guess that job also has perks.


The great part is that Ki Kwang does a great job being blind and there is still some great chemistry.



But because of his paranoia and super hearing, he starts to mistrust her and fires her.


She tells him off.



What he's actually scared of happens when he's locked in his house and has to escape.


And she happens to be there to help him... despite her better judgement.


Motorbike rides always lead to forced skinship and heart beatings.


Speed bump = tight hugging = dugeun dugeun.  I love his reaction when he realized his heart is beating because of her.


She still doesn't like him.


He wants her to come back to work.



This is all in the first episode, darn it.  For some reason, its really gripping, even though it's super typical.  I think it's partially because these kids are going a great job.

He does get her to come back, in a nicer sort of way too.  He gives her father his job back.  Then this beautiful moment happens:


His expectations:



Getting cocky:


Boom.


Poor little crushed blind kid, haha.


But he's such a cute paranoid kid.  Look at him trying to confess... so badly.

Practicing.  Nope.


Reality, all he can say is:


She thinks he just wants her to put it on him (maybe willfully interpreting it as such, I don't think she's an idiot).  That face though, when he realizes she doesn't understand.  Wah!


Then to throw salt on the wound:



Of course she doesn't throw it away.


And he knows she doesn't either, which is another cute moment.


Until the shiz really hits the fan and ruins everything.

Besides this cute love story, there is the background makjang.  You know, the murder and stuff.


And the fact that this kid doesn't have to be blind (which is probably why I didn't know going in that he was ever going to be blind... because in the future he won't be).


Yeah right, dude, you're the bad guy!


Oops, another murder.  Now the aunt's dead too.  He's completely alone.


Cute heartbreaking moment where they both try to save the other one from certain death by mutant virus.  Oh yeah.  The good stuff.



Maybe blame City Hunter for this shot.  Aw.


But of course everything is still blamed on the blind kid.


Something about a blind kid in jail is really compelling...


Especially when he is bat shiz crazy.



And five minutes later he breaks out and ends up on this bridge, ready to jump.



Because jumping off this bridge only kills people 50% of the time.


And so episode 2 ends.


Yes, but that was the end of the good times.  It just goes down hill from here...  Maybe because that turns into this:


You're not Gook Chul!  You're an ugly old man!!!!!

Seriously, once everyone grew up, everything got even more stupid.  Those first two episodes weren't good, they were just easy to watch.  They were gripping enough to get me interested, but that soon died.  The only thing that made me continue on for 18 more episodes was Park Ki Woong.  Mmmmm.


Who started out already crazy.


Me neither, Woongi, me neither.

The promise of a bromance was compelling, but that was a lie.  There was no bromance ever.  I was pretty upset about that.


It was like the show was tricking us every time, but seriously, it was crazy Shunji the entire time.  Sad day.  It's a good thing he makes a good bad guy... but he makes a good good guy too!  Park Ki Woong for male lead!!!!!!!


Then we have that problem with Kang Ji Hwan being too old.  Seriously.  It's only been 10 years and the 17 year old turned 39.


And Kang Ji Hwan's strangely not good in this drama.  I mean, he's never been amazing, but he was lame in this role.  Like extra.

He just looks so out of place among the rest of the trainees.


What's that ahjussi doing there with the rest of the millennials?


Here is some more proof that this is problematic.

Secretary Ok in the past, 10 years ago.


Ok Chae Ryung 10 years later.  Now she has darker lipstick.  She must be older.


She looks like now she could be younger than Gook Chul. (She is, in fact).


I guess that's why she thinks it's ok to fall in love with him.  Why would she when she's been hanging around with this hottie for 10 years.


I guess getting a short haircut makes you look older... in a pig's eye.


He now looks younger than Gook Chul... like 9 years younger.

This crazy guy also seems to have found the fountain of youth.


Because all he did was dye his hair.


And he still somehow looks younger than Gook Chul, maybe because he is.


Gook Chul looks old enough to be her dad.


And she's as close as we get to second female lead, between her and Secretary Ok, because the real second female lead, this bad-a, cool, sexy woman...


Is barely in it.  Like seriously.  She is a freaking NIS agent and everyone falls for the suddenly stupid female lead.  WHY!!!!

That's right, I really hated how they made our girl suddenly dumb.  She was so sassy and cool when played by Lee Yeol Eum, but suddenly she's just awkward and pretentious.


And yet everyone is still fighting over her, even Chen Bolin.  Why!?!  I miss Yeol Eum!!!


I'm asking the same question, girl.


She only has hints of the girl she was.  Mostly in her tenacity, but I don't think this actress quite got it right... or maybe it was the writing.  But I didn't like her as much.


I definitely didn't like this OTP as much as the young OTP.


That doesn't light a candle to this:


So knowing that Park Ki Woong was just going to get crazier, and that the plot was just going to get more and more lame and stupid, I stopped.  I couldn't even finish episode 20, when he FINALLY figures out that she is Cha Jung Eun.  It looked like she wasn't going to figure it out until at least episode 24... yeah, it was just getting way too ridiculous and way too draggy, all at the same time.  Plus, he's too old.  At least she's also old now, so that part doesn't look gross.  They're like two of the oldest peeps of the younger generations.  Even Secretary Ok and definitely her hottie coworker are younger.  Weird!



Yeah, the bromance was a lie, and the romance couldn't compare with 2 episodes of the younger actors' story.  Also, it bothers me so much that he is old and less good at acting.  Top that off with nothing good about the plot that had potential to be beautiful makjang and was then just boring makjang, with 30 more episodes to go, and yeah you basically have this show.  Just so blah with nothing to show for it, because the only good actors a forced into either minor roles, crazy roles, or were only in the first 2 episodes.  Big nope.  For once in a long time, I am calling it quits.  If I had to rate it, it would probably get a 2/10, but only because Park Ki Woong is in it.

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