At first blush, Player seems like a light-hearted heist fest, much like Ocean’s Eleven or Leverage (American) or even Switched from earlier this year. Come see if it lived up to the hype!
Karie the Maknae: So we have a team consisting of a genius hacker, the confidence man, the muscle, and the getaway driver. Stereotype boxes are all checked off. They work together in a quasi-Robin Hood way to steal money from rich people who can’t report it as stolen because THEY stole it, essentially. I have to insert a confession here. I’ve watched 1.25 episodes of this drama. I would have continued on, but this is an OCN drama that is not shying away from the extended violence and darker themes, and I can only take so much before I feel like it’s not worth my time anymore.
Kmuse: I openly hated this drama before it aired. Many of you who follow the blog know that I am not a fan of Song Seung Heon and an almost anit-fan of Krystal’s acting. So imagine my shock when I have to be the Fangirl pushing for everyone to check out this drama. The conning money from the evil rich concept totally works for me. And not only do I not hate either of the actors (so far) I actually am really enjoying Song Seung Heon’s performance. Something that hasn’t happened since My Princess.
Karie the Maknae: Out of our ensemble cast, I found Tae Won Seok the most interesting. Won Seok plays the muscle, but with the way he’s written, he’s quick on the uptake and doesn’t need much explained to him. Having just watched Train to Busan, I laughed when a character said that his arms were as big as Ma Dong Seok’s. Anyway. Song Seung Heon is a lackluster confidence man, and–surprise, surprise!–he has an ex-girlfriend tucked away who’s successful and to whom he turns to in a pinch. Yet another stereotype box checked off. Kmuse was probably delighted to note that Krystal knows to what to do with her hands in this drama–they’re busy with either driving or picking locks. And, of course, she grew up on the streets. The cliches abound in this one, my friends.
Kmuse: I am surprisingly, yet again, OK with the cliches. I think that since this is an OCN drama I went in knowing exactly what to expect. They are very traditional with their crime procedurals. They have gritty bad guys doing bad guy things and slightly less gritty good guys have to go in and stop them. And if they look really good in glasses and a suit while doing it than I am totally OK with that.
The First Villain
Karie the Maknae: Kim Sung Chul plays the first truly awful bad guy–a chaebol who literally gets away with murder. ALL. THE. TIME. He is the main perpetrator of the aforementioned violence. A lot of it happens off-screen, but I saw more than enough to be convinced that this isn’t the drama for me. Toss in the fact that Kim Sung Chul was my favorite reformed inmate from Prison Playbook (Je Hyuk’s sort-of assistant who could talk the ear off a donkey), and I was just left cold.
Kmuse: I actually didn’t think The Player had a lot more violence then many shows of a similar genre. I might be more used to it since I have seen hundreds of variations and the Maknae is called the Maknae for a reason. It might just not be her cup of villain tea.
Karie the Maknae: As I clearly stated above, I am out. I could see where the story lightens up and improves after the first two episodes, but I can also see where the villains maintain the same dark theme through the entire drama. Since I’m not willing to put up with it, and since there are about a thousand new dramas with more compelling story lines and less blood, I’m dropping it like a hot potato.
Kmuse: I am keeping this drama as my filler show. It isn’t one that I will be sub stalking but I enjoyed the overall storyline and the characters enough to continue on. I did like that these specific bad guys where tricked into confessing and arrested by the end of ep 2. I personally didn’t think they had the bad guy charisma to keep going for 16 episodes and I look forward to a future better bad guy.
Until next time, we remain–
Karie the Maknae & Kmuse
Dramas with a Side of Kimchi