2018 Korean Drama Quick Reviews: “Bad Papa” & “Room No. 9”
Relatable problems and strong characters are major hooks for the viewers to tune in to these Korean dramas.
Fortunately, we have plenty of these in K-dramas this year. Real-life conflicts and the quest for redemption and truths are the central themes of Bad Papa and Room No. 9.
An experimental drug that enhances one’s ability and characters swapping bodies make these dramas a worthy addition to your 2018 K-drama must-watch list.
Bad Papa (MBC)
A former boxing champion made a bad decision that altered his life and career. In present days, he sees an opportunity to redeem himself with the use of an experimental drug. Sounds trite? Maybe, but Jang Hyuk’s portrayal of his character, Yoo Ji Cheol, made Bad Papa a must-see drama.
Ji Cheol’s never-ending desire to provide a better life for his family and his struggles to redeem himself were all conveyed so well to the audience that you couldn’t help but root for his character. Even though he made a few questionable decisions, his heart was always in the right place. The flaws in his character made him relatable. Furthermore, Jang Hyuk greatly expressed and showed the complex characteristics of Yoo Ji Cheol.
Besides Jang Hyuk’s acting, the personal conflicts, character relationships, that mysterious drug and its effects all added to the drama’s hook. Overall, Bad Papa excelled in highlighting the consequences and significance of our actions. Because the things we do not only change our lives, they also influence those who we love.
Room No. 9 (tvN)
This drama features strong female leads and excellent plot. A woman jailed for a crime which she did not commit and the one assigned to ensure she stayed in jail have a mysterious encounter. This meeting results them in the body exchange. As Jang Hwa Sa (Kim Hae Sook), the woman accused, inhabits the body of Eulji Hae Yi (Kim Hee Sun), she tries to uncover the truth and learns the betrayal of the man she loved.
Meanwhile, Eulji Hae Yi, whose sole focus is her career and climbing up the position ladder, loathes their situation at first. However as she lives the life of the timid Hwa Sa, she realizes she had been focusing her attention to wrong things, and that there is more to life than her job and ambition.
It is nice to see Kim Hae Sook in this role. I am used to seeing her playing mother roles. Her portrayal of Jang Hwa Sa, from the timid and shy, to ultimately becoming a stronger person deserves strong praises.
Jang Hwa Sa’s life has never been hard, and she becomes an easy prey for the manipulative and vengeful Ki San. But no matter how shy and naïve she might have been, she shows strength in exposing the truth.
I also applaud Kim Hee Sun for giving so much life to Eulji Hae Yi. Her character in the beginning is someone you would really hate, but as the story develops, you eventually understand her motivations. In the end, she realized the things that matter and her redemption was done well.
The actresses both played their original and switched characters to perfection; that it’s not hard to get immersed when they are playing each other’s roles.
In summary, Room No. 9 has a great story and characters of which viewers would love and hate. This has indeed made the drama interesting and exciting to watch.