As I sit here in January of 2021, I’m remembering a time when I was an avid reader of a Kdrama blog called The Crazy Ahjummas. They were recapping a drama that I was deeply invested in called Mask. This drama had it all, mystery, doppelgangers, an OTP with amazing chemistry, and the best part, villainous villains! Stay with me as I run through the high points of why you should watch this masterpiece of mystery and intrigue. Beware, there are mild spoilers ahead.
Byun Ji Sook has always had a hard life with her father constantly going into debt and being chased by loan sharks. She desperately wants to know what life is like if she was born into a better family and didn’t have to worry about money all the time. When a series of circumstances brings Ji Sook to Eun Ha, a woman from a wealthy family who strongly resembles Ji Sook, she grabs hold of the chance for a better life and assumes Eun Ha’s identity and begins to live her elite life. She meets Min Woo, a chaebol heir who is mistrusting of the people around him. But when he realizes that Ji Sook is not like the other women he has met, he is drawn to her. How long can Ji Sook keep up the charade and hide her true identity? -MyDramaList
Talk About a Hook!
Once upon a time, dramas started off with a bang. We didn’t need to watch two episodes, or our now four episode rule, to give a drama a chance to hold onto our interest. Mask sucks you into the story as the heroine is faced with an impossible situation in the first five minutes. It’s so intense as we watch her decide between life and death. The writing in this drama reminds me so much of the whodunits from years ago, and that’s what makes it a must-watch. There are so many twists and turns that you think you know what’s going on until they surprise you again!
Red Hot Chemistry
When Ji Sook takes over Seo Eun Ha’s life, she inherits a life totally unlike her own. Eun Ha is married to a rich chaebol hottie named Choi Min Woo. He’s got his own laundry list of issues, including a handsome but slimy, brother in law who wants to get rid of him. While Min Woo and Eun Ha’s marriage is one of convenience, the relationship between Min Woo and Ji Sook is red hot. May I also mention how hot our male lead is and that we get a shirtless scene in the first twenty minutes? (The Drama Gods are very generous with skin and skinship in this drama.) You know who also makes my heart skip a beat? Slimy Brother in Law because even though we all know he’s the bad guy, he’s a hot bad guy with a dangerous gleam in his eye. You know I love a hot bad guy more than anything!
An Intricate Story
From the beginning, you feel like this drama is like a spider’s web. There are so many things happening and subplots that you have to pay attention closely. Everyone in this drama has a secret, and everyone has a backstory that makes you have conflicted emotions about them. That’s what I think I love the most, just when you think you don’t like a character, another layer is revealed, and you understand their actions (I’m looking at you crazy pants sister) and while they may not be completely redeemed, they make you feel for them.
Every Trope in the Book
I love my tropes, but y’all know that marriage of convenience and forced cohabitation are my absolute favorites. This drama also has rags to riches, family secrets, loan sharks, defying death, supernatural elements, noble idiocy, and everyone’s favorite trope, I’m not crazy when I’m with you. We tend to scoff at tropes, but let’s face it, dramas without tropes are pretty bland.
Hoya is Her Brother
Now that you’ve gotten this far, let me give you one more reason to watch this drama. Hoya plays Ji Sook’s brother, Ji Hyuk. Do I really need to say more? I love me some Hoya, and puppy brother Hoya is the best.
Final Thoughts and Suggestions
I’ve been on a huge murder mystery marathon. This got me thinking about some of my favorite mystery dramas and I realized that many of our newer readers may enjoy some suggestions of dramas in the drama backlog from a few years ago. Want to read the drama recaps for Mask? Our Kmuse recapped this drama for The Crazy Ahjummas back before Dramas With a Side of Kimchi was born. Heres’s a link to her Mask recap.
Comment below and tell me which dramas you loved from 2014-2016. What dramas would you like to hear more about? I feel like those two years were golden, we had so many great dramas to choose from!
Riding the Way Back Machine,
Dramas With a Side of Kimchi