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[Drama 2018] The Third Charm, 제3의 매력

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13 hours ago, chickfactor said:

 

I feel like nothing can surmount bad writing.

 

I once read a quote by George Lucas from the book "Easy Riders, Raging Bulls."

It's excepted here: (https://www.vulture.com/2010/12/george_lucas_will_choke_a_cat.html) - just for verification.

 

The quote is: “If you want me to make you feel something, that’s not hard. I’ll choke a kitten in front of you, and you’ll feel something."

 

So whenever I feel like I'm watching a gratuitous plot element thrown in just to provoke a reaction, I think to myself - they're strangling the cat. Basically, when I feel like the story is manipulating me to feel emotion that doesn't feel earned.

 

I can't help but conclude that that is what Sori's death was. (And it was almost a cruel cosmic joke that a cat was involved.)

 

I tried to give this storyline a chance, I really did. I wanted to see the whole show before passing judgment, but in the end, it … did not work. This element of the story was clearly put in there so that we can find a reason to forgive Young-Jae and to give Joon-Young a reason to blow up his life for her.

 

The writing is also bad because they did not “show their work.” You know how when you do math problems in school, you have to show your work? It doesn’t matter if the answer is correct, you also have to show how you solved the problem, or else you did not complete the assignment. There were a lot of these holes in this story.

 

We need to know why Young-Jae married Ho-Chul. We can always fill the blanks in our imagination - for example, maybe because she spent the past 7 years taking care of Soo-Jae, both emotionally and financially, she was tired, and she wanted someone to take care of her for once, and Ho-Chul seemed like a better bet. Or maybe she just thought Ho-Chul was more attractive, and more her type of man. If that was her emotional journey, let's SEE that. Otherwise, it's cheating. It's just an answer without working through the problem.

 

Instead, you had the child's death become the catalyst for everything. An emotional bomb. It made it impossible to blame Young-Jae for anything (how can you blame a bereaved mother?) but it also made it impossible for any emotion after that point to feel organic, and took time away from developing Ho-Chul as a full-blooded human being, instead of a handsome and saintly mannequin.

 

They already used tragedy (Soo-Jae's injury) to push that MELO button on the story. Then they pushed it at least one or two many times.

 

They strangled the cat too many times.

 

It really wasn’t all bad. I still really liked the show in spite of everything. The good:

 

The actors were all pretty great, right? I feel like that’s one thing everyone agrees on. Let’s hope they all get better roles in better projects next time.

 

The YJ-JY chemistry was really terrific. Even just seeing the earlier scenes in the flashbacks made me smile. It’s not easy to make two attractive people falling in love in a K-Drama feel fresh and adorable, but they did it. It’s probably why about 25% of Ep.16 was devoted to flashbacks. The writers wrote themselves into a corner and ended up with nothing much to say, and they needed to fill the time. It was like them saying to us, “Remember when we made you feel good emotions instead of the vague dissatisfaction you feel right now?”

 

The Ohn parents may be the coolest, most easygoing parents ever in K-Drama. Their daughter shacks up with her boyfriend and raises a kid, refuses to get married. Their son quits college, becomes a detective, then quits that job on the day of an awards ceremony, and ends up in cooking school in Portugal? Your average weekend makjang parents would be having conniption fits, their heads wrapped and curled up in bed. But the Ohn parents just grumbled, shrugged, and went about their lives. What an awesome example of parents who respect their kids and do not treat them like vessels of their own ambitions.

 

The music was great.

 

In general, the writing was not all terrible. Some of the dialogue was pretty good. And whatever happened, I was completely obsessed with this show, and it got under my skin. That doesn't happen with every K-Drama I watch, so ummm, yay?

 

The bad:

 

Well, the writing was... they clearly did not think it through. Too much tragedy, not enough follow-up.

 

Underused HSH. Wasn't he JY's awesome, loyal bestie? Also, his ONLY friend? JY can't sit down, crack open a soju bottle and talk things over with him? Like... once?

 

 

Yes! Great analysis! I'm familiar with the "strangling a kitten" quote and concept. You're 100% spot on! It fits the writing of the drama perfectly!  They went for the cheap, heavy-handed, and easy melodrama. There were no nuances, no depth of character development,  not even for the main couple, and many strings left dangling. Every character was basically a cipher. Even the "funny" side story, the best friend who goes from sexy player to frumpy Mr. Mom was a cheap joke badly done. 

 

Love your point that it's hard to blame a bereaved mother. That's a great insight into the meta of the writing. I agree totally that it's a cheap trick. It's either unskilled writing or just plain bad writing.  

 

Yes, I do think we all agree that the actors were very very good. Excellent, in fact, but all the supporting cast was underused and not fully developed. One of the reasons the bad writing bothered me so much is that it wasted the talents of all these excellent actors. I've seen HSH and MWH act before, and both are really excellent, and very capable of turning in deep,  nuanced, multi-dimensional performances. So to see them both have to play characters that were not allowed deeper development was truly painful.  I kept thinking,  "Surely the writers have more in store for their characters..." only to be disappointed, again and again. For a brief moment, there was a light at the end of this tunnel when HC finally breaks down and yells at YJ "You should have bought her the cat!" But that light turned out to be a coming freight train. 

So to me, watching HSH and MWY being so flatly used was like the writers having a Ferrari and a Lamborghini yet only drive them at 5 miles an hour to the supermarket just down the street. Beautiful, but a total waste of potential. 

 

On top of that, HSH's character's personality was totally changed both badly and unrealistically.  He was totally unrecognizable in the 2nd half from what and how he was in the 1st half. 

 

LOVE your comments about the Ohn parents. So funny, and so true!

 

Yes. the music was good,  but I still can't believe they had one of the most popular musical actors in Korea right now and didn't include him singing a song for the OST. It's also kind of ironic, since Min Woo Hyuk was actually originally "discovered" by a K- drama producer who was walking by a karaoke place and heard MWH singing. The product walked in, asked who the singer was, and hired him to sing on that drama's OST on the spot. So another example of a missed opportunity for this drama.

 

Ah, well. It's over now. I really hope all the cast gets better writers next time. Thank you for such I great post! I loved reading it.

 

On 11/18/2018 at 1:19 AM, chickfactor said:

The scene of the two walking together at the end made me feel like I was watching a French New Wave movie. No clear answers, just a whole lot of “Such Is Life…”

 

And then we get that long photo montage recap of the entire show, which jolted me right back into K-Drama Land, reminding me that I am watching a K-Drama and a whole lot of K-Netizens must be super-pissed right now, pounding their keyboards with rage. (haha)

Omg! You're killing me! :lol:. So true and so well-said! You're hilarious, and I mean that in the best way. Lol

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The Third Charm: Series Review

 

For my inaugural post in this new blog, I have decided to do a series review of this realistic romance drama starring Seo Kang-joon and Esom. I was really looking forward to this show ever since the casting news was confirmed. It was not promoted as a romantic comedy, but somehow it made me hopeful to see Kang-joon and Esom flex their rom com muscles in this project. Never did I expect that the “comedy” I was hoping for was a tragedy in the making.

 

THE FIRST CHARM

 

The drama started during their early college years. On Joon-young (Seo Kang-joon) is a straight-A Chemistry student who lives a very systematic life, and writes down all his achievements in a portfolio. His parents work in the academe. He cooks for the family, and cleans the house during his free time. He is not your typical as he is not a loner in school. He has his own set of friends who brings him to blind dates.

The heroine Lee Young-jae (Esom) is a hardworking part-timer at a beauty salon, who dreams of becoming a professional hairstylist some day. Her older brother Soo-jae (Yang Dong-geun) is his only family left because their parents died when Young-jae was just a baby. Since Young-jae doesn’t have the means to go to college, she balances her time working at the salon while studying a vocational course in hair-styling. Nothing can stop Young-jae from chasing her dream.

 

After a not-so pleasant first meeting and a roller coaster of events, the main couple got together eventually. Joon-young thought Young-jae was also a college student when he met her during a group blind date. Even though Young-jae’s background didn’t really bother Joon-young, the poor heroine still did not want him to know. But then, as if it’s a premonition that this relationship would be doomed until the end, Joon-young and Young-jae broke up just a day after they officially became a couple. Joon-young was devastated after Young-jae asked him to break up with her. He thought this was because of a simple misunderstanding at the department party wherein Young-jae’s petty secret was revealed by another petty individual. It was revealed later on that Seo-jae met an accident which caused his legs to be paralyzed, and made Young-jae the family’s breadwinner overnight. She didn’t tell Joon-young about any of this, until they met again in their mid-20s.

 

What I liked about this first charm was how the story depicted Joon-young to be the grand youngster with a plan but no definite dream, and Young-jae as the persevering orphan with big dreams but no elaborate plan. But then, the drama seems like it’s really in the mood to toy with us because the systematic Joon-young dropped out of university and enrolled in police academy. When everyone thought he is out to become the next great chemist, he entered the police force and evolved into a tough criminal chaser – a far cry from what everyone imagined him to be.

 

THE SECOND CHARM

 

This is where the show picked up: the year 2013. After clearing out their seven years worth of misunderstanding, Joon-young and Young-jae gave their love another chance. Joon-young is now the team leader of a violent crimes unit, while Young-jae works as a head stylist in a premiere salon. And since they are making up for lost times, the couple is almost always inseparable. This is my favorite stage of their relationship… the honeymoon phase. Joon-young and Young-jae are all lovey dovey with the countless skinship and kiss scenes. Joon-young’s tantrums. Their cute kiss and make-up moments. The admirable yet sometimes poignant scenes with Soo-jae. This is the drama’s saving grace for me. It’s what convinced me to continue watching just when I was about to drop it.

 

But here comes the formidable forces that eventually led to Joon-young and Young-jae’s break-up: jealousy, insecurity, and lost of self-love. The couple’s second charm introduced us to Choi Ho-chul (Min Wook-hyuk), the persistent (borderline annoying) dermatologist who hits on Young-jae whenever he could; and Min Se-eun (Kim Yoon-hye), the rookie police officer who has crazy similarities with Joon-young.

I kept thinking while watching Young-jae and Joon-young’s honeymoon phase – how on earth would their relationship gets shaken up when they seemed to be head over heels in love with each other? But then I realized that where lies the problem: both of them are so in love with each other that they lost their sense of individuality. They got caught up by their own love without building a strong foundation of self-love. Joon-young was constantly anxious about Young-jae and Ho-chul’s non-existent relationship, and Young-jae could not bear the pressure of being in a relationship. It did not help that she also saw how Joon-young seemed to click with Se-eun. All the emotional pain piled up that the relationship couldn’t be saved anymore.

 

FULL: https://sojulady.wordpress.com/2018/11/21/drunken-nights-the-third-charm-series-review/

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Thanks to everyone who has posted and especially to those who have recapped.  You've convinced me:  Removing it from my Watch List.

 

Such a shame; I had really hoped that this would live up to the hype.  

 

I'd rather watch a drama that heals me rather than harms me; I thought this would be the former but it sounds a whole lot more like the latter.  Open endings can be good sometimes and it undoubtedly is the most appropriate one here but Third Charm should not have needed an open ending if the story had been told in a better way.  Instead, it just sounds like a terribly twisted way to torture both the cast and the audience. 

 

There's enough pain in my real life.  I don't feel like going through the agony that is Third Charm.   Using my good common sense to run away!

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I’m glad my instincts were right. I dropped this drama after the third episode aired because I felt that the main couple was painfully incompatible and no amount of writing could convince me otherwise unless they changed their personalities. I’m actually surprised though that the writer didn’t try to force them together. :sweatingbullets:

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also dropped at 5 eps. it was boring/couldn't feel the chemistry between the leads. Only thing I was interested in was Joo Ran's blind dates but it was upsetting when I read a spoiler about her :( well actually I've read spoilers about the entire drama anyways. They should've just ended it like Architecture 101 (if anyone remembers that movie)

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On 11/23/2018 at 1:06 PM, thistle said:

Thanks to everyone who has posted and especially to those who have recapped.  You've convinced me:  Removing it from my Watch List.

 

Such a shame; I had really hoped that this would live up to the hype.  

 

I'd rather watch a drama that heals me rather than harms me; I thought this would be the former but it sounds a whole lot more like the latter.  Open endings can be good sometimes and it undoubtedly is the most appropriate one here but Third Charm should not have needed an open ending if the story had been told in a better way.  Instead, it just sounds like a terribly twisted way to torture both the cast and the audience. 

 

There's enough pain in my real life.  I don't feel like going through the agony that is Third Charm.   Using my good common sense to run away!

While the writing and story arcs were bad, the acting performances all around - main actors and supporting  actors - were great. I honestly stuck with it as respect for the all the really hard work the cast put in. I think many of us here kept watching for the same reason, to not abandon,  and keep supporting, the actors who had to deal with the material they were given. 

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On 11/25/2018 at 3:57 PM, Ayame said:

Just posting this here in case anyone didn't see it. Apparently the ending to the drama was changed:

 

 

Wonder why they changed it....

Edited by Jillia
Please do not quote IGs! Thanks! :)

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Wow I had some time and wanted to start this. It took me a few go before I realize the husband's name is wrong on the 1st page.

 

Can't work out what the heck ending that was? Even with reading the spoilers.

 

I am ONLY commenting because the Netizens comments have been the most hilarious comments I have ever read. The utter bitterness and disgust.

 

And of course the fact that the other actor is a musical actor. Will go google him now.

 

In the meantime, good golly, feel sorry for you all. Lol. Goodness me. And I did want to check this out because of Esom.

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2 hours ago, ck1Oz said:

Wow I had some time and wanted to start this. It took me a few go before I realize the husband's name is wrong on the 1st page.

 

Can't work out what the heck ending that was? Even with reading the spoilers.

 

I am ONLY commenting because the Netizens comments have been the most hilarious comments I have ever read. The utter bitterness and disgust.

 

And of course the fact that the other actor is a musical actor. Will go google him now.

 

In the meantime, good golly, feel sorry for you all. Lol. Goodness me. And I did want to check this out because of Esom.

Well,  if you want to see a drama about deeply, and realistically flawed main couple, underused great supporting cast, and an unsatisfying ending,  BUT actors who do their best to give great performances despite a bad script,  then this is a drama to watch. Lol

 

Look up Min Woo Hyuk also on YouTube. His singing is amazing -- octave range, ability to change keys mid breath, and his voice alone are ridiculous! His story-telling abilities are off the charts. Lots of great performances by him on "Immortal Songs," some fun ones from "Singing Battle," and there are even some from his musicals (Le Miserables, Aida, Wicked, etc.). He was also on "House Husbands," in 2017, but this show isn't subbed. (It's a reality show that shows popular celebrity men in their daily lives at home with their families.)

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Lol @tali58 you distracted me,  I don't  watch any of the shows.  However I am now hunting who he sang this  꿈삭 에서 with now. Driving me nuts. 

 

If I have  time will do HH- its ok I can  watch Korean shows without  subs,  we usually  watch Superman  returns.

 

In order not  to be out of point, will give this a miss. Since I am not sure I even want to support  any character.

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