Have you ever wondered what would happen if Chief Kim and Fiery Priest got married and had a baby? Okay, me neither. BUT if they did, Vincenzo would be their lovechild. Now that I’ve piqued your curiosity, come see what the fangirls thought about this newest drama starring Song Joong Ki!
First a quick story synopsis from our friends at MyDramaList.com:
At the age of 8, Park Joo-Hyeong went to Italy after he was adopted. He is now an adult and has the name of Vincenzo Cassano (Song Joong Ki). He is a lawyer, who works for the Mafia as a consigliere. Because of a war between mafia groups, he flees to South Korea. In South Korea, he gets involved with Lawyer Hong Cha Young (Jeon Yeo Bin). She is the type of attorney who will do anything to win a case. Vincenzo Cassano falls in love with her. He also achieves social justice by his own way.
La Storia – The Story
MiataMama: I don’t know that I’ve ever been sucked into a drama faster than this one?! Between the opening scenes filled with lush Italian backdrops, and Song Joong Ki being a savvy, kick-donkey mafioso, I was SOLD! I’m really enjoying the directing style and how the story neatly balances the serious side of the plot with unexpected moments of humor. This writer is well-known for his stories of righteous victories by way of unconventional means, and I’m super excited to watch this one play out!
Karie the Maknae: The trailers were a bit of a snoozefest for me, I have to admit. Until I saw that ONE — the one that hinted there was the kind of humor in Vincenzo that I adore. The first episode was a brilliant contrast between the elegantly violent world Vincenzo was leaving and his entry into his homeland with an interesting group of people who all live/work in the same building.
Kmuse: So….. Let me say the positive first. I love the Italian aspect of the show and Song Joong Ki’s character. His attempt to steal a bunch of gold by having to demolish a building is very entertaining. But the lawyer stuff and the evil corporation story arcs are corny and are a typical bad guy trope.
Kdrama Jen: I was here for Song Joong Ki, but I am staying because I kind of like the quirkiness of it all. He is this hardened “fixer” from Italy, yet he gets drugged and taken advantage of by common con-artists. I also happen to like lawyer stuff. The female lead is over-the-top and I question her morals, but I think she might be kind of a good match for this mafia man.
I Personaggi – The Characters
MiataMama: Song Joong Ki is excellent as the Korean-Italian mob lawyer Vincenzo! He dazzles in his custom-tailored suits and is an absolute mood when frustrations get the best of him – his default is to begin spouting curses in Italian. It’s definitely a delight to see him back on the small screen again!
Karie the Maknae: It was the yelling in Italian when he’s frustrated that absolutely sold me on Song Joong Ki’s portrayal. He’s smooth, even when he’s frustrated, and he’s intelligent. BEST of all, Song Joong Ki’s comedic timing is perfect for this drama.
Kmuse: He is by far the absolute best part of this drama.
Kdrama Jen: I love to watch him. He is an artist. If you compare this role to his others, you can see the time and effort he put into creating this character. This is one of the aspects of Song Joong Ki I adore. From Wolf Boy to Nice Guy to Arthdal Chronicles, he is dedicated to his art.
MiataMama: This is my first drama with Jeon Yeo Bin, who plays the confident and determined lawyer Hong Cha Young. I can’t pinpoint it exactly, but somehow she’s also giving me sassy Italian vibes. She initially comes off as rather loud and self-centered, but I think the bold bravado hides a soft heart. I’m certain she will join the plight of our hero, on his unexpected mission for social justice.
Karie the Maknae: I really like how Jeon Yeo Bin is playing Hong Cha Young. She does not back down, she does not give in, and if she’s going the wrong way (literally, most of the time), she doesn’t spend any time worrying about it — she just keeps charging ahead. I like her.
Kmuse: I am not enjoying this character. Especially since it feels like she and Song Joong Ki are in two very different shows. It is just not working for me.
Kdrama Jen: I am usually with Kmuse on disliking dramas that feel like one is a gritty crime drama and the other is slapstick comedy, but I somehow feel like it works here. I am only two episodes in, though, so that could change with my mood.
MiataMama: I can’t leave out the motley crew of building tenants that currently stand between Vincenzo and living out the remainder of his life unbothered on Malta. They are a rag-tag bunch, but I suspect they will fully adopt our wayward Italian orphan before all is said and done.
Karie the Maknae: I love how warm and fatherly Yoo Jae Myung gets to be in this drama. He and Song Joong Ki are playing off each other really well. The rest of the crew — the piano teacher, the dance teacher, the restaurant owner, the MONKS who live in the basement — are just as warm and charming and hilarious without being over the top. I can’t wait to see more of them.
Kmuse: I am still warming up to this group. I do find them more entertaining and some of the interactions between them and Song Joong Ki are amusing. But, once again, I find the disconnect between the seriousness of the male lead and the quirkiness of the rest of the characters jarring.
Kdrama Jen: They play into that overall sense of quirkiness. They might push it too far, though. I feel like we are just a step away from poop wine, which is a reference to Strong Woman Do Bong Soon where we had a serial killer in the same show as some crazy over-the-top potty humor. I am not sure why I am not bothered as much in this show. Maybe I only have eyes for Song Joong Ki?
MiataMama: All the legal shenanigans are a bit of snooze for me. BUT at least I have the distraction of an adorable puppy assistant, played by Ok Taec Yeon, and Kim Yeo Jin, as a tough-as-nails ex-prosecutor. They both help keep the serious side of the story from getting too tedious.
Karie the Maknae: Agreed. The legal shenanigans feel like the plotting from a historical drama, which is not my favorite. But Kim Hee Won is directing those parts with a light touch, and they don’t drag the action down.
Kmuse: Uhm, as a fan of historicals, I would like to say that this snooze-fest is nothing like politicking royalty. But it is super boring in it’s own right. Also, I am dying about Taec Yeon’s bad hair. I need that poodle look to change ASAP.
Kdrama Jen: I like lawyer-stuff and court scenes, but that might be because it brings me back to my paralegal days. Still, even with that, I think the show will be better served if we focus on the non-legal parts.
Pensieri Finali – Final Thoughts
MiataMama: I will most certainly be sub-stalking this drama each week – don’t mind me as I bop along to fun Italian background music while watching Vincenzo cleverly outwit the bad guys!
Karie the Maknae: After finding out that the writer is Park Jae Bum, who also has Fiery Priest and Chief Kim/Good Manager to his credit, I was sold. Vincenzo has not disappointed — I am all in.
Kmuse: I will continue watching because I do love Song Joong Ki’s performance. Now if they would just tone down the cheesiness of the rest of the characters by 70% I would be so much happier. I am hoping it gets better but I have to admit it is on the chopping block if something better comes along.
Kdrama Jen: Song Joong Ki on my screen makes me happy. I am not usually a fan of slapstick comedy woven into revenge and death, so I am going to just keep watching and see if we get some balance. I was totally drawn into Vincenzo, though. I will watch even if it is to observe Song Joong Ki hone his craft with a new character. I find I am looking forward to the next episodes.
What do you think Drama Fans? Let us know if you’re watching in the comments below!
Dramas with a Side of Kimchi