Kolorful Palette: Lee Dog-wook [Iron Man]
Out of context you might think this is an image of a man pretending he’s a dog, and you wouldn’t be too far from the truth. Hong-bin is more obsessed with smelling things than my actual dog, and he certainly has worse manners. I get the impression that this is going to be more of a Beauty and the Beast type of tale, and less of a superhero story, but I’m okay with that.
Probably like a lot of people, I’m not sure if I hate this drama or like it. One big issue is that I’ve never liked Lee Dong-wook, to the point of actively disliking him. I don’t even know why exactly, but I pretty much view him the same way I view raw tomatoes. Based on their immense popularity I know they must be good, but no matter how many times I try, I am utterly incapable of changing my personal distaste. Thankfully Hong-bin is supposed to be somewhat dislikable, at least at this point, so it’s sort of working out. Overall, the vibe of the show somewhat reminds me of a quirky indie piece I might see at a film festival. I don’t think Iron Man will ever see widespread success, but I could see it developing something of a cult following. I actually think this drama is going to have to be careful not to get too normal now, since most of the people still watching are probably sticking around for the crazy.
I have to admit that I’m pretty confused about Hong-bin’s powers in general. Did he always have them and they’re being triggered because of his emotions, or did they originally manifest as a result of his emotions? Will his powers disappear if he becomes a better person, or will he be able to use his powers for good once he changes? His array of powers is a bit confusing too. Blades and storms work so well symbolically with his tempestuousness, but what’s the deal with the smelling? What does that represent?
As far as the comedy goes, it took a while to really feel the style of the humor and appreciate it fully, but it kept getting funnier the more I watched. The regular cues that tell us we’re supposed to laugh aren’t there (such as sound effects, camera editing) so it reminds me a bit of watching U.S. shows like The Office. It takes a bit of getting used to and it’s not for everyone, but I’m at least glad to see something so different attempted in the realm of Korean dramas.
I chose to draw this scene because it really seemed to capture the oddness that is Iron Man, and it would have felt like a lie to draw a mundane-looking shot. It was weird enough that Hong-bin went through such excessive lengths to track down Se-dong (a girl he’s never properly met) but smelling her (twice!) really made it clear that he has no self-awareness regarding social norms. I’m glad that she eventually treated him like a creepy stalker because that one bizarre ballet pose alone should have been enough to send her running.
I doubt I’ll watch this until the end, especially since I’m up to my ears in unfinished dramas this year, but I’ll probably check out a few more episodes just to see where all this wackiness is headed (not to mention my love of Secretary Go; I’m a big Han Jung-soo fan). I’m not on the edge of my seat in any specific way, but it’s certainly fun to have no idea what could possibly happen next.
- Iron Man: Episode 2
- Iron Man: Episode 1
- Iron Man’s hero and his literal knives of pain
- Han Jung-soo cast as Iron Man’s loyal bodyguard
- Lee Dong-wook becomes Iron Man
- Park Shin-yang offered lead in Iron Man
- Ji Sung decides not to become Iron Man
- New KBS drama Iron Man casts Ji Sung, Shin Se-kyung
- New drama Iron Man to follow Joseon Gunman on KBS this fall