Lee Do Kyeong is so awesome. I wonder if the creators watched 'The Divine Move'. He has great chemistry with Lee Beom Soo. Let's see if his character will lose his tongue again. That would be quite a funny inside joke for those who have watched the film. Ahaha. No.1 is sassy, but Jung is unmatched in the sass department.
Speaking of 1, he keeps trying to fish out the relationship between Jong Goo and Mi Joo. He is clearly jealous in some way. Why else would a guy who chops up his own care if her face got bruised. He probably sees her as precious properly or then has one messed up sense of "love" in his head. He is treating Jong Goo and her in a special way, so I am curious as to why.
So the subtitles are out and I watched this. I'll have more general thoughts in my first look piece but so far, it's nice action fluff. But it needs to go deeper on an emotional level. Also, Tae Ho needs to fall hard and gain some humility. He is quite an unlikable hero. Most such heroes go after baddies for revenge and for justice and everything. Tae Ho worked with gangsters, got burned and got his partner killed and now he wants to endanger his own life again, just to make money and prove he's the boss. I know he also wants revenge for his hyung, but his arrogance and idiocy (in terms of acting when he can, not when he should) are annoying. Realistic, perhaps, but not great for gaining much needed sympathy.
This is nothing new here, the cocky hero is a typical character archetype, but such heroes usually need to fall in order to gain some perspective. And if his first big fall did not do it, I wonder if anything will. Something has to, like another important death or something happening because of him. It is not easy to emotionally invest in a hero who just wants money and is so in love with himself and his belief that he can get it. They are trying to balance it out with him being fair and caring for the homeless and all, but it's not enough. Not enough for a true hero. And while a 2-hour film can work with an antihero or an unwilling hero or those archetypes (not-so-great people against bad people), a 16-episode drama needs someone who actually gets one's justice-juices going.
I hope something will happen in the next two episodes which will knock him down so he can be a hero we can root for, not just one who wants his man-pride back.
As for the rest, I am interested in why Jong Goo (Mr. 2) is working for people who kill and harvest even their own. He is clearly a nice person and also seems to be doing nothing in there. I can understand Mi Joo. She is almost captive there, she could not escape in time and without the resources to do so etc. She probably did not realize how stuck she would be when she joined, if she did join willingly. But Jong Goo does not make sense. Why is he there, why does Heung Sam tolerate him and what use does he have for him? I am thinking it has to do with Jong Goo's daughter. Maybe Heung Sam provides him with resources to try and find her? Would a man work with murderers just for some help with that, when he could get it elsewhere? And what does he do in there that Heung Sam needs so much, enough to make him No. 2?
Aside from that, the series has good action, really great score and the cast proves it does pay off to have talented people, rather than picking among flower boys and girls who can't act. Yoon Kye Sang fits Tae Ho perfectly and makes the journey fun, despite the issues with his character at the moment. Seo Ye Ji is doing ok too, she was my only worry here. My favorite character so far is definitely Hae Jin though. He's funny, scam-happy, but kindhearted, loyal and he cares a lot about the homeless too. I hope they don't kill him. I reeeeally like him.
Guilt because of how cruelly he spoke to him, anger for those who wronged him. I personally have no trouble understanding his emotions, I just think his transition from those to creating this whole takedown plan was rushed too much, especially in its logic. No matter how angry he is, he is not just barging in to beat Sang Pil up. It takes planning and time to get in there, and devotion. No matter how angry, he would have calmed down and thought before that. I assume it takes more than a few days to just casually stroll in and ask for such a position.
Who exactly has presented him with proof that Sang Pil betrayed his dad and everyone? That he did not try to help them with his actions? His dad's coworkers don't even know Gyoo Hwan's face. It's not like he knew them all and knew the situation full well and with all the details. Does he believe his never-met-her-before aunt? And the "Oh, I heard him saying he did it to the reporters" bit is just not convincing. Sang Pil was clearly emotional at the funeral and angry at the reporters. Does Gyoo Hwan really think an assemblyman would admit to a crime in front of the press and at his victim's funeral?
It just feels forced for the sake of plot progression to have a guy start off to destroy another guy (and his own future his father wished for him) without some research and solid evidence that said latter guy did commit a wrong. A few extra scenes of Gyoo Hwan being given enough circumstantial evidence to be almost certain of what happened would have made his misguided plan a bit more reasonable.
It reminds me of the 'Prime Minister and I' revenge plan a bit. But at least in that one, Mr. Revenge was testing the prime minister. It was still kind of silly to assume guilt and plan someone's downfall without proof, but at least he seemed cool-headed enough to think and doubt. Gyoo-hwan is still at the "Destroooooy!" stage. I hope his own doubts over the logic of his plan and over Sang Pil's nature kick in fast, because it will just seem too silly if they keep him stubbornly trigger-happy for the sake of drama. This is really the only issue I had so far. Not a major one, if they treat it carefully, but it did stand out, since everything else has been given enough time and attention.
Dropping by to leave my first look piece and also say that, while I love what is happening between Sang Pil and In Kyeong, I personally wish it will remain as friendship. I think so far, they are starting to respect each other as people and realizing that they are both good politicians who want something better for the country. I won't mind a romance, but I do hate it how most dramas assume men and women can only like each other if their hormones act up. It kind of reduces all the other emotions and makes one doubt whether there is true respect, camaraderie, loyalty etc or whether it's just "feels" because they started fancying each other.
If this gives us an epic friendship and partnership between the two, they can add a romance later, no problem. Or no romance at all. As long as they do that first part. So far, they are and I love it. I also love that the women in this series are competent and that In Kyeong has her own story here, which is about work and ethics and her becoming a good politician too. She matters in the story beyond just making the "oppa" (oppajeossi?) better or hotter and that is very important and rare for dramas in general.
Enjoy watching, folks! I hope the ratings will at least stay where they are and not fall. I don't want the production getting "ideas". We know what happens when they do. And this is KBS2...
[HanCinema's Drama First Look] "Assembly"
Politics in Korean drama can be a tricky subject, as ratings for KBS2's "Assembly" have shown. Perhaps catching audiences at a bad time for intrigue and government drama, the series has not been doing well in the numbers. For international fans, this is only important if changes are made due to it. What is most important, however, is whether the series is actually good and consistent in what it presents itself as. "Assembly" is both. Some dramas use politics as a frame for romances and revenge stories, but this one makes it an integral part of its identity. This means that, while there is engaging character-driven drama, the show is heavily political. Writer Jeong Hyeon-min has personal experience in politics, so viewers can expect a thorough approach. For viewers who do not have an interest in it, it can be hard to follow at times. However, its human element is rewarding. >> Full Piece <<
Which the article calls unsatisfactory. Frankly, this is not a popular genre and given it airs at the same time as ratings monster 'Oh My Ghostess', it would never go higher. I just hope jTBC were prepared for this and that the production has prepared for it too. No cutting down episodes, please. That has happened enough on cable. It's horrible.
Dramafever has picked the series up. It starts next week.
Watched the highlight in its entirety too. It seems we have confirmation of ex-girlfriend as a traitor and our villain might have a thing for Mi Joo. I mean, if he's into organ trading, I don't see why else he'd mind violence against women. Let alone the very woman he turned into a "Madam". This also explains why No. 2 will want to bring him down even more. It's going to be a mess all around. Good! Well, for us viewers anyway.
And Dramabeans covered the press conference. Press conference day for JTBC’s Last by javabeans | July 21, 2015 It’s premiere week for action-noir drama Last, which held its production press conference on the afternoon of July 21 with its main cast and producers: Yoon Kye-sang and Lee Beom-soo as the two leads who face off in a fierce fight in Seoul’s underground society, with Seo Ye-ji, Park Ye-jin, and Park Won-sang in supporting roles. Everything I’ve seen about this show so far points to stylish, dark, and action-packed, and audience interest in the show comes from a few factors, such as the popularity of the webtoon on which it’s based and the credits of the director, PD Jo Nam-gook, who previously helmed lauded thrillers Empire of Gold and The Chaser. Writer Han Ji-hoon has a few solid shows on his resumé as well (such as 2007’s Time Between Wolf and Dog), even if that record does also include Road No. 1 and Dr. Jin. Does anyone ever get a mulligan in dramaland? >> Full Piece <<