Rating:
Average user rating 4.4
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Kolorful Palette: Island sunset [Pinocchio]

Pinocchio is a drama I actually had my eye on (primarily due to the cast) and although it hasn’t exceeded my expectations just yet, it’s a fun show with likable characters and even some details here and there that I found pleasantly surprising. It has its cliches and flaws, but sometimes those are the dramas I end up enjoying the most, and so far there’s been more than enough charm to keep me happy.

The main things I’ve struggled with so far are the pacing and the overall believability of the premise. The first episode was a total whirlwind that jumped from high school, to quiz show, to heartwarming past, to tragic drama, to childhood romance, to revenge plot… all in what seemed like a matter of minutes. The tone kept changing so quickly that I ended up not getting very emotionally invested in any of the story lines, although I found that started to change pretty quickly in the second episode. It’s really not proper of me to complain in this case since usually my complaint with dramas is that they drag the backstory out over four or more episodes and I’ve lost interest before the real story even begins. It may be better in the long run that Pinocchio got it out of the way, so I’ll reserve judgment.

As far as the premise goes, I’m not fully believing Dal-po’s revenge angle. I don’t care about the plausibility of Pinocchio syndrome since that’s just something that’s been established as existing within this world, and I’m always far more interested in plausibility on an emotional level. No matter how hard I try, I don’t completely buy Dal-po’s extreme hatred for TV over all else. I even agree that the media is far too speculative, but I have a hard time thinking that if I were in his shoes, the media would be my primary focus. His father’s scandal involved four witnesses, which even in a court of law goes far beyond speculation. Why isn’t he pursuing those witnesses, or trying to find out what actually happened to his father? I feel like a desire for the truth would be much stronger than any desire for revenge, especially in Dal-po’s case (he just doesn’t seem like the revengey type). It does look like his brother is following more fruitful leads though, so hopefully their story will become more about that.

Dal-po’s hatred does have its positive aspects though, like how well it creates a contrast between him and In-ha. I absolutely love that she sees television as some wonderful beacon of truth, and it’ll probably create more tension between her and Dal-po than her parentage does. I’m guessing they’re both in for a reality check, and hopefully Dal-po understands the irony of going on a quiz show to do exactly what he thinks TV never does (tell the truth). I’d rather see him become a reporter to change the system than because he wants to take it down.

As far as In-ha’s mother goes, I hope she’s rehabilitated in her approach to journalism rather than having her career destroyed, and I hope it’s In-ha that changes her instead of Dal-po. I think that’s a result that would create more character growth all around, and it’s certainly a lot less dark.

On the surface this show is fairly rote, but there were a few unexpected bits that really made me take notice. For one, In-ha is smart! I feel like every time the male lead is a super smarty-pants in a drama the female lead is a ditz, and has to become successful through sheer willpower and goodness of heart. It’s refreshing to see two characters that really feel like peers both intellectually and emotionally.

I also really like that In-ha didn’t hiccup when asked about liking Dal-po because their backstory completely set her up to be the twitterpated one (and I fell for it). The reveal of Dal-po’s lovey-dovey motivations at the end of Episode 2 was the perfect opposite, and it took the whole tone of their romance somewhere I didn’t expect. I thought he would focus on revenge and deny his feelings for about 10 episodes first. Instead In-ha is the one denying her feelings, but I like that her Pinocchio syndrome accommodates denial and doesn’t reveal the truth to herself when that truth is buried deep (unlike her more transparent desire to defend Dal-po’s cheating).

Thinking back, there really were quite a few little moments I enjoyed, like In-ha freaking out in the ambulance, or Grandpa denying that he went in In-ha’s room. I’m pretty sure he’s faking his confusion at this point because he doesn’t want to lose Dal-po as a son, and if that’s the case then that is SO freaking heartwarming I can hardly stand it.

This show is quite often very pretty, and it’s no surprise that I love that. Some of the island moments gave me Spring Waltz vibes and it’s pretty hard to deny how great that sunset was (which is why I drew it!). I also liked that whole sunset sequence because it revealed that even as teenagers they feel quite close and comfortable together (no matter how much they pretend otherwise). When Dal-po sees In-ha limping they don’t even need to exchange words for him to offer her a piggyback ride, or for her to accept it. Technically it’s probably easier for them that way so they don’t have to admit to caring, but that doesn’t make it any less clear to us that they have each other’s backs.

Speaking of pretty, when I initially checked out a description for Pinocchio it described Dal-po as having “a handsome appearance, but his ugly clothing and hair style hide that fact.” I literally laughed out loud when I read that. I could maybe see mistaking him as a girl at certain angles, but bad hair does not make him look any less modelesque. It hasn’t been made clear either way, but do the other characters on the show really see him as unappealing? Or are there even viewers suffering from his hideous visage? I think they need a much uglier wig for that.

Although high school is always a fun place to be in dramaland, I’m very much looking forward to the reporter world and seeing where this story is really headed. There are so many different trajectories the characters could follow, and what paths they choose will probably ultimately determine how much I like this drama.

There have been tons of new shows lately, and even a couple I have yet to check out. What are everyone’s current faves?

 
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Where did Dal Po say that he wants revenge? I think you misunderstood somewhere...yes, he hates reporters and all but he never said anything about a revenge...he is simply happy wherever he is....

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I got the impression he was there for revenge too. I don't think he ever came out and said it, but I'm pretty sure it was implied. . .

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First and foremost, Dal-po doesn't know that Grand-pa is related to the family of the news anchor that destroyed their family. How can you say that he is taking revenge, if he wants revenge, he would have done it long time ago, know he is a genius.

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I don't think his revenge is family based (ie, that he's after the woman-anchor, and ruining her family). I was under the impression the reason he was hiding in the country, faking death, living with grandpa, secretly studying, is because he has a larger purpose (long-term goal) that involves taking down the media. Just like how at the end of episode two, he talks about how he should've kept his distance from In-ha, because (I'm assuming) his feelings interfere with his larger purpose. Plus, I thought it said in the synoposis that he becomes a reporter to get revenge, so my comment isn't *that* surprising.

But like I said, that's just the impression I got. It never came out and said it.

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Well I guess you're under the wrong impression. And what you've said at the end is merely a speculation. That's what people did to dalpo's father. They speculated that his father abandoned his men and went into hiding thus ruining not only dad's reputation but the whole family in effect. Dalpo bears hatred to the media that's why he chose to give up the opportunity to be the winner to keep himself from going back to theTV station. But he never show any sign of intention to take revenge.

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Wow, harsh. Now I'm suddenly some evil news-monger, because I dared make an assumption? Alriiiiight. Whatever.

I highly doubt he becomes a reporter because his hatred of news broadcasting is miraculously cured... and if you've ever watched a korean drama before, you'd know most characters are motivated by revenge. It's not *that* much of a stretch. Especially since he faked his own death, is hiding his identity, and studying in secret; not to mention it's what his brother did, and they were portrayed very similarly as children. Plus, if he was that happy with his life with Grandpa, why not just continue to live as Dal-po? The fact that he's consumed an entire library of knowledge tells me he's smart enough not to be content hiding in the boonies forever.

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We must be watching a different drama then. He's not there for revenge. Is he angry with the news reporter? Yes. However, it seems to me that he'd rather forget his previous life than to go back and reclaim his identity.

That's why, he might like In Ha but he's not going after her because she's the daughter of the woman who ruined his family. It's a complicated role since he likes her but she's the daughter of the woman who ruined his life so he's doing what he could to make her life miserable but not too much because he does like her and he's legally her uncle.

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Yeah, that's it, we're watching different dramas, lol.

Agree to disagree.

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Yeah, I agree. I don't think he's quite to the point of wanting revenge. In fact, in the 2nd episode he explicitly states he just wants nothing to do with the broadcasting station. He literally doesn't want to take a step in there and only does so for In-ha's sake. And I certainly understand having at least that much hatred for the place as to not want to go there. If I had such a horrible experience with reporters, I'd be the same way.

I think in the beginning we're supposed to think that maybe him joining the quiz show has something to do with a revenge plan or something because we're left in the dark about his motivations and since we think he still might resent In-ha and her mom, we aren't really thinking of the possibility that he's doing it all for her. But then, as soon as we're shown that reveal at the end of ep 2, it changes everything (for me). Because here I am wondering just what he's up to...and then it was all just for his little crush!?! I was charmed.

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yup definitely agree he said he doesn't want anything to do with broadcasting stations or reporters at all

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Basically what ajewell said is correct, as far as the impression I'm getting. At this point none of us know for sure either way, which is why I'm hoping that he plans to change the media, rather than take it down.

There are a lot of things that indicate that he's not just angry or frustrated, and that there's more to it. The way he's been biding his time for years, and the fact that he's going to become a reporter make it clear that he's got a plan. His narration at the end about how he should have stepped away from In-ha indicates that whatever he has planned will hurt her, so it's got to be something a little nefarious.

From a storytelling standpoint, we've practically been beaten over the head with his anger towards the media, which means it's probably going to be very relevant to Dal-po's motivations and story arc. Perhaps "revenge" is too strong a word for what he's plotting, but I do think he has a plan that isn't all that pure-hearted.

I totally understand his dislike of the media, I just don't buy it outweighing his desire for the truth, or his anger at the witnesses who lied (he should know his father well enough to know they were lying). If he was trying to figure out what happened AND and super angry at the media I would be totally content, but it seems strangely one sided so far.

If he really just wanted to stay away from the media like he said, he certainly wouldn't pursue a career in journalism, although I guess it's possible he does that to follow In-ha (although that would be pretty disappointing from a character standpoint).

Either way, I think a large chunk of it should unfold next week. I hope youre' all right and he's all good intentions because I like a cheery Dal-po!

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Episode 3 Preview
Subtitle: The Snow Queen
Eight years later, 2013, Seoul.
Leaving their home on the island, Inha’s family has now moved to Seoul. Since she is determined to become a broadcast journalist, Inha has been interviewing for television stations for three years since she graduated from university. But due to her Pinocchio Syndrome, she hasn’t been able to get far.
Finally, she managed to get to the final interview stage at MSC, the television station where her mother worked. She is practically swelling up with anticipation that she will see her mother again for the first time in 13 years. On the other hand, Dalpo has taken to driving taxis to help the family financially; he is increasingly worried and conflicted as he observes Inha’s excitement. Cr. Hitoritabi

To enlighten you.

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"His narration at the end about how he should have stepped away from In-ha indicates that whatever he has planned will hurt her, so it’s got to be something a little nefarious."

Not necessarily. He might have had good intentions when he was younger, but as he grew up, life took him in an unexpected direction that ultimately ruined his peaceful undercover life and hurt her in the process.

At this point in his life, he doesn't seem to want more than live a quiet life with grandpa and stay away from the media. Of course this will change, but it doesn't mean he has had a plan all along. The character doesn't have that vibe.

But yes, it's still too early to tell. We should wait for this week's episodes.

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It's you and me against the world. You get the car, I'll get the cash, lol.

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He did make note of his hatred for televised anything, but his internal dialogue said that his love for In Ha overrides his need for revenge.

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I agree with everything you said. It was fun, but it didn't exactly draw me in an obsessive, fever-pitched way - I really didn't get Dal po's hatred for tv stations either, at least not to this extent. His brother I could understand a little bit more, though I'm still confused as to why Dal po never contacted him to let him know he was alive - considering he doesn't have amnesia, that seemed weird and unnecessary to me. But either way, I am curious to see where it goes from here!

And of course, gorgeous picture, as always.

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Idk if my family and I were seen as hated by everyone because of reporters I'd hate them just as much as him :'( They ruined his family T^T. Plus tv stations are where all the reporters are. I shouldn't be taking this too seriously but my feels!! poor Dalpo TT.TT

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I think Dal po never seached for his brother because he thought his brother abandoned him and his mom, remember the scene in the kitchen when he was asking when is brother would come back and the mom said vaguely that he was spending time at a friend. He didn't know his brother was looking for In ha's mom in order to make a statement about their father. He thinks his brother just left.

As for hate for reporters I understand it because they accused his father of irresponsible leadership without knowing or investigating to know the full story, he knew his dad well enough to be convinced that his dad would never do anything like that, hence the moving speech he did about his family knowing ever single member of the firefighter team, and knowing everything about their lives.

Dalpo and his brother pleaded the media to wait and get his dad's version before making accusations, but the reporters didn't listen (mostly because of In Ha's mother she was inflexible), everybody in their neighborhood turned against them and harassed them because they believed the media blaming the whole incident on his dad without really investigating deeply in the matter they just accepted the witnesses account and they didn't listen to the family's side of the story, they ignored what Dalpo was saying, they didn't bother to give at the very least the benefit of the doubt to his dad.

All this pushed his grieving mom to a desperate act, since she didn't see a way out because she was under high stress and negative emotions, since she was receiving no support, and a lot of hate.

In his place I would hate journalist too. However he is not seeking for revenge he just doesn't want to have anything to do with them.He never said he wanted revenge.

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oh, that makes sense- i was confused about the lack of contact between the two brothers as well. although it seems like the students know about dal-po's family background, and it seems like a small town, so it seems strange that his brother never heard that he was alive and well...so i'm confused again. oh, well- i trust that these questions will be cleared up in due course.
yes, i love that in ha is smart too, and is still in denial about her feelings or simply not in love with him at this point yet. i love it when the male lead falls for the heroine first, and it seems like there's going to be a love triangle, based on what i read from the character descriptions. i know lots of people hate love triangles, and it's been done a million times in dramaland, and the likelihood of having two very attractive men vying for your interest at the same time is not such a common occurrence in real life- i have to admit that i have a soft spot for love triangles, and all the petty, searing, jealousy and angst that insues. it's one of my favorite tropes tbh
really love the cast so far, and i have high hopes for this, especially as i loved i hear your voice as well^^

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*ensues -_-;

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The student doesn't know about his past they were making assumptions, no one knows the real identity of Dal-po, that is one of his deepest darkest secret.

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I guess the problem I have with the brother-abandonment issue, is that it's played too lightly, and never addressed after that conversation in the kitchen. It's not like they were estranged or fighting, when he "died". If I was a genius, it wouldn't be too hard to track him down (especially since he didn't abandon them after all), and say, "Hey, I know you want nothing to do with me, but I'm not dead. Tootles."

I can see not doing it immediately, because there's probably frustration and anger and feelings of betrayal there (he wants to "abandon" him like he feels he was abandoned); but ALL those years is pushing the envelop of believability for me, so I hope he's at least been looking and we haven't been shown it yet...

I do understand his dislike of the media, I just think it's too exaggerated and extreme for one bad news report. I mean, thanks to the evil, lying factory hands, the ones responsible for starting the rumor in the first place were his neighbors (the same ones his mother loving cooked and delivered food to), so the betrayal there should run just as deep. Plus, as someone who's toted as a genius, you think he'd be smart enough to differentiate where the blame truly lies - rather than hate media broadcasting under some huge umbrella, you'd think he'd focus on either the female reporter, or the station that aired the story. Hating ALL media is what comes off a little forced to me. I'd be like hating all firemen because the profession is what ruined his father, or factories in general, because that's where his father died.

So though I *get* it, I just don't like the execution, and think it could've been done better.

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He thought his brother abandoned them as well, although what he was really doing was chasing down the reporter at MSC. It would've helped if he'd told them he was doing that, but that would've been too sensible XD

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haha, like drama heroes are ever sensible. ;)

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The first 2 episodes about their childhood were pretty good! Lee Jong Suk's acting, ughh so perfect <3 I love Park Shin Hye's character here, hopefully her character won't change when we see them grow up. Can't wait to see the episodes where they're adults! Just wondering it's 2005 right now in the drama so by the time it's 2014 () 9 years would have passed meaning In ha and Dal Po would be 24-25 maybe?

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Thank you, Fanderay~ I always enjoy your thoughtful commentary in addition to your wonderful art. (Beautiful sky, btw.)

I'm really enjoying Pinocchio, cliches and all, and yes, the fact that the heroine is smart and strong is a big plus. What I find hard to buy is that In Ha never caught on that Dal Po was hiding his intelligence. Okay, he pretended to be dim at home and purposely got all 0s at school, but she had to have known he wasn't really that dumb. However, just like IHYV, this is a show that I know I can enjoy immensely if I just choose to let all of the implausible stuff go. As long as the characters' emotional journeys ring true, I'm good.

I'm glad you brought up Grandpa's denying that he went into In ha's room because that seemed rather significant to me too~ I hope your theory is right.

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I think both In Ha and Grand Dad "pretended" to see Dal Po as dim, but actually they knew he was smart. How can one think of a boy who makes a TV antenna or a cart as dim?

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TV, or media in general, as being portrayed here is really strong medium to change the world. It can bring justice and truth, but on the other hand, can also bring rumor, confusion, malicious gossip etc. As long as it brings ratings and audience.
Power-knowledge nexus: those who have knowledge, would have power and vice versa. So the media, because they have knowledge on business, politics, entertainment, etc they can wield the power over the people.

In Ha and Dal Po maybe seems like in polar opposite in their view over media. But they have common ground that they also seek the truth. On ep 2, In Ha wants to be reporter because she thinks she won't lie and only brings the truth. While Dal Po thinks TV is disgusting but he'd rather go on a quiz show to bring the truth about himself and protect In Ha, than let the rumor and lies continue.

Now I really like their interaction in High School but I'm looking forward to their adult lives as reporters.

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I understand Dal-po why he hates the media, in the eyes of him as a kid the innocence of his youth was tainted because of assumptions and lack of investigations. It cost the life of her mother, and what really hurts him all that his mother lied to him before she died. If I were him, I would acted the same way. But, I think he is not seeking for revenge, as he said in the elevator he just want nothing to do with the broadcasting station.

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Yeah I never got the feeling Dal Po wanted revenge either, he just wants to be away from the damage the media did to his family and hates tv reporters. Even hyung doesn't seem angry as a grown up, just very sad because he has no family :(

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So true about the wig.

in fact, from many angles it looks like Go Ara's Answer Me 1994 haircut lol.

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Yes, Dalpo is definitely angry with the media. Wouldn't one be when the family was cornered by journalists who were fast to accuse without any evidence? He tried to prove that his father was a caring man constantly with his colleagues in his mind but the TV station cut that argument off from airing preferring to put his father in a bad light. His mother decided to end hers and his life when she couldn't take the stress of public hatred. How did the public got so worked up even before the case is properly investigated? The media and it's sensationalized reports, of course.

So, yes, he is mad at the media. But revenge? There is no indication of that up to this point. If he is plotting a revenge he would probably do something to address his grievances by now.

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I don't usually comment here but wow Fanderay, this particular drawing is GORGEOUS! I'm not watching Pinocchio yet so can't comment on the story though, but this drawing of yours is amazing :)

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Correct me if I'm wrong as I'm using a small screen at the moment. But isn't that just a photo? The background looks like some water color effect from some programs.

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No, Fanderay's just THAT good. She really drew that.

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Oh, yes, now I manage to see this picture properly. Wow. Good job!

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From these two episode, I don't see a single sign that Dalpo wants revenge, he seems to just want to live a quiet life. After high school, he doesn't even go to college and becomes a taxi-driver to help the family financially. Nothing he's done up to this point screams revenge to me.

However, seeing how episode 2 showed a skeleton, I think it's a foreshadowing that it will eventually be found. Maybe that could trigger him if he finds out his father was dead along. Who knows.

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I really love this story so I'm taking my time to see what happens next. I love it so far.

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It would be fantastic if there was a sudden twist in the plot, and Dal Po ended up being a Pinocchio that mastered his inability to lie. But, since I doubt I will get that satisfaction in the drama, I'll be content with the current premise.

I'm intrigued more by Dal Po's older brother, and he is barely seen or heard throughout the first two episodes. But he looks pissed, depressed, bitter, and like he's out for blood. I want to see what his story will be, and if he will find Dal Po. I found my heart racing when he was staring at the television while Dal Po was onscreen, but instead, he was staring at the newswoman :( I kept saying "Oh my god, he's going to recognize him!"

This drama, seriously, this drama...

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