Imitation has finally hit our screens, full of drama and mystery and dancing, and so far it’s living up to our expectations! Come see the four reasons why MiataMama and The Maknae think you need to be watching this idol-driven drama.
1 – Lee Jun Young is Perfect as a Jaded Idol
The story of Imitation was intriguing from the beginning, dropping us right into a situation where a lead performer from the group Shax disappeared minutes before going on stage, never to be seen again. Lee Jun Young is playing Kwon Ryok, who has been dealing with the fallout of his groupmate’s disappearance in the three years since. He’s seen a lot of things since then, and manages to keep performing and keep his group together. On the other hand, he has very few reasons to smile.
Karie the Maknae: After having watched Lee Jun Young in Good Casting and Please Don’t Date Him, I know he’s a solid actor. I didn’t realize he was a member of U-KISS until this drama, though! His familiarity with the idol world and his performances are convincing, but I really like watching him be a darker, more brooding character. I just wish he had a little more chemistry with Jeong Ji So — I’m not buying their romance right now.
MiataMama: Normally I hate spoilers when it comes to my Kdramas! But in this instance, I’m really glad I read the Imitation webtoon prior to the airing of the first episode. Lee Jun Young is spot on with his interpretation of Kwon Ryok and I am really excited to see his character’s transformation as the show continues! While I was totally plagued with SLS during my initial read-through of this story, I’m hopeful that once Ryok’s heart begins to thaw out, the sparks will begin to fly! For now, I am over here swooning over Ryok and Ma Ha’s height difference – she’s SO TINY!!!
2 – Lee Ma Ha is All about Persistence
Jeong Ji So (who also has a role in Doom at Your Service, in case you’re wondering where else you’ve seen her) is doing a fabulous job as the sweet and doggedly determined Lee Ma Ha. She’s easy to sympathize with, and even though a lot of hard things happen to her, she takes them in stride.
Karie the Maknae: It’s easy to get annoyed with characters who are SO bubbly and SO determined to succeed, but Jeong Ji So dodges that. Instead, she brings a gravitas to the character of Lee Ma Ha that serves the character well. Even though Ma Ha’s current claim to fame is being an imitator of a more famous celebrity, Jeong Ji So doesn’t make her character dependent or subservient to that situation. Instead, I can see where she finds it necessary to do the imitations to keep herself active and keep food on her table. It almost feels like a stepping stone instead of Ma Ha trying to ride that celebrity’s coattails.
MiataMama: So I had NO IDEA that this actress was the same one from Doom at Your Service, until one of my kbesties pointed it out – that wig she’s sporting is just a tad distracting, yikes! Bad hair aside, Jeong Ji So is doing a fabulous job with her role of Ma Ha. Surrounded on all sides by actual idols, this former child actress has risen to the challenge to perform solidly alongside the industry pros. I also love that Tea Party’s story has deviated slightly from the original version. Not only are they pointing out the long-running flaws of the ‘idol-making’ system, but they are using this platform to show how the industry could step up its game to improve the training conditions for those who are passionate about becoming stars on the music stage.
3 – SO. MANY. IDOLS.
We have SO MANY idol groups represented in this drama, with quite a few of them coming from the pirate kings of our hearts, ATEEZ. YunHo is a natural fit as the second lead, sweet and humble and supportive of Lee Ma Ha. JongHo has it easy as the maknae of Shax — their choreography isn’t nearly as complicated as ATEEZ’s standard dances — and he’s doing a good job of being a bit of a troublemaker who still makes everyone love him. San and Seonghwa round out Sparkling, the group that Yunho is a part of, and watching how easy they are together is fun.
Karie the Maknae: I will freely admit that it was ATEEZ’s Yunho that brought me to this drama. Otherwise, I probably would have given it a pass. He’s doing a good job so far — it’s not a polished performance, but it IS a genuine one, and I will see him through this second lead role to the bitter, bitter end.
MiataMama: I find it amusing that ATEEZ’s JongHo and SF9’s Chani and Hwi Young are performing together as Shax on Imitation, while their real-life groups are concurrently battling it out on Kingdom: Legendary War! Off-stage and behind the scenes, they have nothing but compliments for one another and I’m so happy that this show has allowed for cross-group camaraderie. Indeed, this drama is packed with mulit-generational idols – fans of T-ara will recognize Park Ji Yeon in the role of solo singer La Li Ma. Other groups represented are I.O.I (Im Na Young as Tea Party’s Hyun Ji) and Boys Republic (Lee Su Woong as Sparkling’s Hyun Oh). Even Tea Party’s sweet new manager, Ji Hak, is being played by a first-generation boy-band member, Dany Ahn of g.o.d.! My favorite newly discovered actor, though, is Park Yu Ri – a Russian-born Korean, he’s most known as a model and is part of the newly formed kpop duo JxR. He’s just adorable in his role as the “foreign” member, Do Jin, of Shax!
4 – There’s a Mystery! Or Two!
In addition to that member of Shax disappearing, there’s a member of the group that Lee Ma Ha joins who ends up jumping into the Han River for mysterious reasons. There are two old, beat up cell phones at the heart of the situation, and it’s all pointing to something. And what is up with new girl group Tea Party’s manager? He’s paying the idols?? WHO DOES THAT?
Karie the Maknae: The plot description mentions the main mystery, but I feel like it didn’t get nearly enough attention. A good mystery will keep me hooked on just about anything! I want to know what happened to these two idols — forbidden romance? Maybe! — and why the cell phones are so important to the story. I’m also loving Tea Party’s manager and his revolutionary approach to forming a group. I’m rooting for him to succeed, but I also need to know how he ended up owning a coffee shop instead of staying in the entertainment system before.
MiataMama: I know the answers to all the mysteries!!! *insert evil laugh directed towards the Maknae* But I’m still excited to watch how everything unfolds and how they condense a three-season webtoon into 12 short episodes! It’s already going by far too fast and the single weekly episode makes the six-day wait between airings feel downright torturous. All-in-all, I’m loving my worlds of k-pop and k-drama colliding! And I will be here every week, even if it’s only to see my bias line from ATEEZ (Seonghwa and San) be onscreen for a few precious minutes each episode, lol!
What do you think, drama fans? Are you intrigued? Join us in watching Imitation every Friday on Viki!
Until the next performance, we remain —
MiataMama & Karie the Maknae
Dramas with a Side of Kimchi