Daily dramas aren’t my cup o’ tea, but here’s one way to make them more engrossing: Make it dark and vengeful, with lots of blackness and blood-red accents to evoke a vaguely horror-like thrill. That’s what we’ve got here with Thorn Flower, the upcoming daily offering from cable up-and-comer JTBC, which released its main poster this week.
The drama stars Jang Shin-young as a femme fatale out for revenge, which sounds pretty close to her Empress description. She starts out as a sweet college student who’s betrayed by the man she loves, her dreams trampled, culminating in rape and the death of her family. She emerges from the trauma with hardened heart—transforming “so much that it’s difficult to believe it of herself”—and vows to get some payback.
In the still below, Kang Kyung-joon (To the Beautiful You) is locked in a kiss with co-star Jung Ji-yoon (The Traffickers). He’s the villain of the piece, playing the son of a chaebol who’s driven by selfish desires and the cause of our heroine’s misery. I presume it’s his demise we’ll all be rooting for.
While the term makjang gets thrown around a lot disparagingly, this drama seems like the kind that embraces its makjang nature and goes full-out for it, Temptation of Wife style. This kind of makjang is a version I actually have no problem with, because it’s baked right into the premise. It IS the premise. If you’re gonna do it, then own it—make it soapy and addictive and hard to resist. Granted, we don’t know yet whether Thorn Flower will be able to pull that off, but its writer DID pen A Man Called God, so we know he’s familiar with over-the-top camp. Even if I’m not entirely sure that was intentional.
Thorn Flower premieres on February 4.