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K-Drama Premiere: “Private Lives” Peeks On To The World Of Con Artists Waging Risky Schemes

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Coming a bit bland for its opening chapters, hopefully the next episodes would pump up the promising picture of Private Lives.

I struggled finishing the first two episodes of Private Lives because I was expecting some smartly sketched caper elements. Instead, a faint melodrama tracing the female lead’s swindler evolution story stretched the premiere episode.

It eventually picked up a decent bearing when Go Kyung Pyo showed up in episode 2. However, the series hopefully pushes for more coherence on its trajectory as more details unfold.


Premiere Week Recap

Growing up in the business dealings of her con artist parents, Cha Joo-eun (Seohyun) hopes for an ordinary life. Unfortunately, when her father got involved in a big-scale fraud through the minstration of Jeong Bok-gi (Kim Hyo Jin), she enters her parents’ world with the goal of making her pay the price for making her father take the fall for the scam she orchestrated.

After years of guidance from her mom’s acquaintance Uncle Hanson, her preparations didn’t come to naught upon the news of Bok-gi’s return. But, dealing with top-tier con people is not that easy, the shrewd Bok-gi together with her partner Kim Jae-wook (Kim Young Min) see through the trick being pulled on her, and let it backfired to Joo Eun and company.

That led to her incarceration albeit the help of Chief Yang In-sook (Yoon Sa Bong), a police officer who also harbors resentment to Bok-gi. After serving jail time, Joo-eun hopes to turn a new leaf but Uncle Hanson insists on working for a new con.

Pretending to be a regular company employee, she meets Lee Jung-hwan (Go Kyung Pyo) who showers her with warmth and romance.

Gambling on a new life she feels she deserved, she agrees to his marriage proposal. But at the day of their wedding, he vanished.


Premiere Week Afterthoughts

I was once fixated over Neal Caffrey in my mid-20’s. For me con artists are fascinating characters in any story because their lives amuses and engrosses effortlessly.

We don’t have much K-Drama references focusing on caper elements. Switch: Change the World, Task Force 38 and Leverage are on the top of my head as Korean series I can compare this new series. Hopefully, Private Lives can sprint to a more energizing spirit just like its predecessors.

What kinds of featured scams to parade in the series is also something to look forward to. Based on the trailer unveiled for week 2, more character details are set be released. I’ve learned from The Good Detective this year to be patient if the first two episodes are sapless. So, I’m taking a shot that this series is also meticulously preparing to that angle.

Honestly, Private Lives‘ premiere week didn’t leave an impressive note on me, but it interestingly left me curious to delve more on its hinted direction. Somehow, I think the series has also pulled a con on me. *chuckles

Seohyun always scoring dramas is definitely because of her willingness to deepen her trench as an actress. The first episode of the series displayed quite a swagger of personas she took as a con artist. Her character’s pain and yearning to escape the life she has been leading would be one of the drawing points of the story.

Go Kyung Pyo, on his post-military service project, is looking dapper and committed to his new role as always. We seem to be going to no other direction, but amazement to his predicted complex role in the series.

Private Lives airs on jTBC every Wednesday and Thursday.

Global fans can watch it on Netflix.

private lives


Photos: jTBC | Netflix