Sometimes a drama comes along that looks like it is something you would really enjoy watching. It has a sci-fi concept and a great leading man. Sure, the leading lady might annoy you with her very existence. But…for a good story, that isn’t going to stop you from watching. But then you start the show and everything is just…off. Which, in turn, requires you to share your thoughts on what you just watched. And that is how this post came to fruition. So sit back (or avoid if you actually enjoyed the first two episodes) as I share my unfiltered thoughts about The Item.
Panties in a can
Regardless of what I feel in regards to underwear being popped out of cans like my favorite popcorn snack, I found this scene so awkward. Not only is it super odd that Ju Ji Hoon’s coworker would gift him panties (if one of my coworkers did this I would possibly look into restraining orders), but it was horribly done PPL. Why couldn’t you have flashed the brand name as our hottie hero gets dressed after taking an angsty shower? That is the proper way to pimp underwear. Opportunity missed.
Why are the cops so dumb?
I am very sick of the kdrama trope of having all the cops being idiot kiss-ups except for our main lead. He or she is the one character that seems to have their head on straight and doesn’t partake of the bribes that flow forth through the ranks. I’m not saying you can’t have corrupt cops. But do they have to be shocked at every little thing and have a constant expression of confusion stamped on their face?
Stiff leading lady
And while we are on the topic of dumb cops…no, our leading lady isn’t one of those. However, the absolute lack of expression on her face makes me feel like she is less intelligent than the show wants me to believe. There are many examples of female cops that buck the system and are total badasses doing it. Think dramas like Signal or Forest of Strangers. Those leading ladies rocked. Instead, this drama has a rock as a leading lady. Yes, I know there are a ton of people (or so I am told) out there who love Jin Se-Yeon. I am NOT one of those people. I was hoping that a miracle would happen and she and this director would click. Sadly, no such luck. She is as stiff and unbelievable as ever.
Directing styles from the 90’s
So… we all know I am a bit of a cinematography snob. But that doesn’t mean I can’t deal with cheesy special effects if everything else is moving smoothly. That wasn’t the case with The Item. There were a ton of moments that felt super clunky and awkward in transition. For example, there was a delinquent hyped up on “super powers” that was fighting our sexy prosecutor. Instead of the action seeming exciting and engaging, I kept wondering why we were being subjugated to awful CGI and awkward grunts by the bad guy. Yes, we got the fact that he was super strong, but the way the director did it reminded me of afterschool Nickelodeon shows from when I was a teenager. I would rather give up the CGI for some good fight scenes with a broken wall here or there. If you try but fail to do something better, then it tears me from the action. By the time the director shook the camera to indicate our leading lady was having some kind of panic attack…yeah… I was done.
Our bad guy be pimping
You know it is bad when our big bad guy’s wardrobe tells us more about him than his actions or facial expressions. While his facial expression rarely changed, his style was all over the place. I especially laughed at his giant brown fur pimping jacket.
It’s not all bad
While you might think that I hated everything, you would be mistaken. I only hated 90% of everything. I really enjoyed the scenes between Ju Ji Hoon and his niece, whom I found adorable. They actually had a ton of chemistry together and I cared about their story.
Even the writing itself had the bones of a good story. I just think the directing and acting (by multiple characters) takes away from it. I also noticed that the director was maybe taking too literally from the webtoon format. I could easily see most of the scenes being translated directly into a webtoon visual. Which works as a webtoon, but not when you are trying to flesh out the material into a drama. I needed more and I just wasn’t getting it.
So my opinion is that this drama is a hot mess (at least so far) and it is going to be an easy drop for me. If you disagree, that is fine. Everyone has different opinions and maybe your love of Joo Ji Hoon can keep you going. Sadly, that is not enough for me. Instead of wasting my time watching this mess, I might go check out the webtoon. I suspect it will be more my style and I have the added bonus of not having to suffer Jin Se Yeon on my screen for 16 hours.
Til next time,
Dramas With a Side of Kimchi