I’m absolutely overwhelmed with all the choices in new dramas this past week. It’s a good time to be a drama fan! But if you’re like me and just can’t squeeze ALL the new shows into your schedule, that also means it’s time for some ‘tough love’. Join Kmuse and me to see if Jang Hyuk’s new drama, Bad Papa, is a worthy contender for your watch list.
ROLLING WITH THE PUNCHES
MiataMama: Based on the synopsis and teasers for this drama, I expected that there would be a lot of fighting, and there was. Cop and culprit fights, underground boxing fights, husband and wife fights, as well as the daughter picking fights at school. The first hour jumped from scene-to-scene without much backstory (and a lot of cursing, in Korean) and I found myself struggling to connect the pieces. By the end of the second hour, though, there seemed to be a glimmer of how the story would move forward.
Kmuse: There was a lot of fighting but half the time I didn’t actually know why everyone was fighting. The constant jumping around to plot points was very confusing.
THE HITS KEEP ON COMING
MiataMama: Jang Hyuk has an unexpected charisma that captivates me and he’s nailing his role as Yoo Ji Cheol. After his fall from boxing glory, he doesn’t even try to reclaim hero status. Instead he’s aiming for average, wanting only to be a decent provider for his family and a good papa. But that goal seems so discouragingly out of reach! For all his trying, his character just can’t seem to catch a break–it’s one loss and/or failure after another. He is the epitome of hitting rock bottom. And starting at the bottom means there’s no place to go but up, right?!
Kmuse: It was hard to feel that bad for him. As sucky as his life was, he didn’t look like he was trying to fix it. Other than running around and working more. Add the fact in that he doesn’t communicate with his wife and spoils his bratty daughter with money he doesn’t have…. I will say his on screen presence is off the charts. But I am not at all liking his character.
MiataMama: Some of the other key players in the story are introduced, but are not very well fleshed out, which left me with a lot of questions. Son Yeo Eun stars as Ji Cheol’s wife, a worn out part-time worker by day and aspiring writer by night. And Ha Joon plays a boxing hoobae turned famous fight star, who seems singularly focused on making Ji Cheol’s life miserable.
Kmuse: I felt equally bad and annoyed at Son Yeo Eun. Yes, she has a hard life. But working part-time and writing bad romance stories is not going to improve her situations. I also was annoyed that she was flirting with Ha Joon when she is married. But again, there really isn’t enough of either of their characters to explain their actions. Sometimes that is for the best and I watch because I’m intrigued to find out more. With Bad Papa I was more wondering when their scenes were going to end and Jang Hyuk was going to reappear on my TV screen.
WATCH OUT FOR THAT LEFT HOOK!
MiataMama: A big pharmaceutical’s not-so-above-board drug trials bring about a rather key plot point: mysterious blue “multi-vitamins” with special side effects. Um, okay. Interesting twist, but I’m still trying to figure some things out here: What’s the actual purpose of this drug, why does it affect Ji Cheol in such an unexpected way, and what is the deal with the drug company’s eccentric, young, executive-in-charge?!? Based on how these first week’s episodes have gone, I expect it will be a while before we get any answers.
Kmuse: Can we just skip all the stupid plot that involves the entitled drug CEO and skip to Jang Hyuk looking sexy while boxing? Then I might actually continue watching this drama.
THE FINAL SCORE
MiataMama: Because this role seemed such a good fit for Jang Hyuk, I really wanted this drama to be good. However, the writing and casting seem mediocre, and I’m not so confident this drama has what it takes to make the cut for my watchlist. But, on the off chance that it was just a rough start and needs a bit more time to pull together, I plan on giving Bad Papa one more week before I declare it a winner or loser!
Kmuse: I always claim that I watch a drama for the writing and not the actor. I love Jang Hyuk and I think he looks hotter than ever in this role. But the plot is all over the place and I dislike a good 95% of the characters so far. This is going to be a dropped drama for me.
MiataMama & Kmuse
Dramas with a Side of Kimchi