I’ve come to the realization that I’m in a bit of a drama slump right now. Or maybe it’s dramaland itself that’s in a slump? Whatever the reason, none of the current dramas have really sunk their claws into me. Angel Eyes has its flaws (okay…many flaws) but at least it has that pretty soft lighting that I’m such a sucker for. I didn’t think I was going to make it through Episode 3, but I actually found myself enjoying the show a lot more by the end of Episode 6.
The back-to-back plot contrivances and drama cliches were very difficult to stomach initially. The male protagonist grows up to be a genius doctor who puts all other doctors to shame? The female lead is feisty and judo-throws people who annoy her? They can’t be together because of circumstances regarding their parents? How original. Those things don’t honestly bother me much though, since they’re easy to forget on a scene-to-scene basis. What bothers me is the forced drama and emotion within the scenes. I don’t think any sane grown-up would laugh with joy for no reason while washing a vehicle at work, but I guess it’s convenient if your first love is watching you after not seeing your face for 12 years. I also don’t think that any one of the many obstacles standing in the path of the OTP is strong enough to realistically keep them from trying to be together, so it’s hard for me to feel a lot of empathy while they pine away. In general, it feels like the characters are constantly changing for the sake of generating story, and that’s not how real people work.
All that being said, this drama does have moments that feel honest and poignant, and I find myself feeling surprisingly emotional at times. I do still miss the younger cast, but I’m thankful that we’re getting some new flashbacks that include them, along with scenes like the one above. I like that the leads haven’t really connected as adults yet, and are still more invested in their memories than they are in the present versions of each other. The fact that they’ve changed gives their story somewhere to go (outside of dodging plot contrivances). I’m hoping the story will be more about them falling in love again and less about boo-hooing when they learn of the various connections between their parents.
The greatest tragedy so far is that Dong-joo picked up a Seoul accent as an adult, but I’m hopeful he’ll revert to his country accent when he’s with Soo-wan. At least we have Seungri’s odd pidgin-tongue to listen to in the meantime. His part is small, but I’m thoroughly enjoying it. Another tragedy is that Kim Ji-seok (as Ji-woon) is once again playing the perfect second lead that you can’t help but root for. I felt bad enough for him in I Need Romance 2012, and in Angel Eyes he’s such a good friend to the competition that I feel even worse. Can someone please give this guy a lead role?
I already mentioned the pretty lighting (which reminds me a little of Yoon Seok-ho’s Endless Love dramas) but the scoring has its moments too, and it’s probably been largely responsible for the scenes I’ve appreciated without me even realizing it. Bust out a cello and it doesn’t really matter what’s happening! I will have all the feels.
The only drama that really hooked me recently was God’s Gift, and we all know how that turned out. The ending was so soul-crushing (primarily due to its lame execution) that I think I’m going to have trouble feeling committed to a drama for quite some time. This has happened before, and I know that one great drama is all I need to be cured. I’m counting on you summer dramas!