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?
- Pinocchio: Episode 1
- Pinocchio’s fluffy fantasy posters
- Pinocchio teases small-town high school romance
- Who wants to be a Pinocchio
- First script read for Pinocchio’s newbie news reporters
- Newsroom drama Pinocchio secures rookie reporter cast
- Pinocchio courts Lee Yubi and Kim Young-kwang to play reporters
- Lee Jong-seok and Park Shin-hye courted for Pinocchio
- I Hear Your Voice writer and PD reunite for fall drama