Whether it’s bad luck, pure coincidence or 2 writers plagiarising each other’s work, it is hard not to put Kill and Hyde side by side when they air. Especially since they aired kinda back-to-back. Imho though, it isn’t fair to compare them apple to apple, since their approaches are juz too disparate. Other than being tenuously linked by having a central character with dissociative identity disorder (DID), Hyde and Kill should be watched as two separate shows.
1. Rom-com or ?
Frankly, Hyde is squarely in the rom-com field. But, I won’t say the same for Kill. Yes, Kill is indeed comedic (hilarious in many parts, actually), but underneath that lightness is a dank, smelling evil mess. There are heavy topics of child abuse — the “whipping boy” motif, one of the vilest, there’s a Grandma who definitely needs to see a shrink for her Oedipedal complex regarding her son, adultery (assuming Mdm Shin is the one who did the seducing to enter the Cha empire), and (i really hope not) hints of incesteous love. Normally, I’d avoid such shows since they stink of melos.
In contrast, Hyde is rather plain vanilla. There’s a strange Daddy who thinks his brand of tough love is “beneficial” for his only son and sole heir. And maybe some excitement from that kidnapping of Dr Kang and the more-pathetic-than-villianous Tae-joo/ Soo-hyun. Seo-jin’s competition (Seung-yeon) for Wonder Group’s throne is also a laughable Capt Spock wannabe.
That leaves Hyde with nothing much to focus on other than the rom-com. And probably Ha-na being fought over by Robin and Seo-jin…but then again, both are the SAME guy(s). It’s almost similar to Se-gi and Do-hyun competing over Ri-jin, but with more intensity. We know Se-gi is gonna lose that battle anyway, since Ri-jin likes Do-hyun and not him. (and Se-gi is juz an overgrown kiddo) But Ha-na is poised to fall in love with both personalities — as two separate entities. She has already sorta fallen in love with one — Robin. That’s where the “rom” and the “com” will start.
2. Who’s sicker?
Assuming we have a wacko Psychology major who is looking for a kdrama piece to write his thesis on DID, likely we will point him to Kill. It is the closest to a textbook case of DID — a personality comes out during periods of stress, the core personality is unaware of what happened during the emergence of the new personality, the emerged personalit(ies) can be male/female, younger/older (i.e. totally different from the core personality), the split(s) occur due to a traumatic childhood experience, usually that of sexual/ physical abuse.
Hyde isn’t that interested in getting their medical facts straight. I’ve pointed out earlier that Robin is quite weird for a split personality. Seo-jin and Robin can work out a wake-sleep cycle between themselves and literally time each other’s appearances. How convenient. I can imagine how it will work towards benefiting Ha-na — she will have two hot guys romancing her, one in the day and one at night. (SO envious)
Dr Kang’s explanation of Robin’s emergence due to Seo-jin’s guilt at not being able to save his childhood friend is also kinda flimsy. Seo-jin has shown in ep10 that he is capable of performing selfless deeds, but that doesn’t spell the end of Robin. Unlike Do-hyun — I’m quite sure that when he receives Se-gi’s memories, Se-gi has successfully merged himself with Do-hyun.
3. Secret? What secret?
Everyone in Hyde knows Seo-jin has DID — from his parents, to his secretary and his bodyguards. His arch enemies know/ strongly suspect. And now, even Ha-na knows. (ok, technically at end of ep10, she is on the verge of knowing) That kinda juz brush the social stigma of having a psychological disorder out of the door. Other than Seung-yeon who will materially benefit from outing Seo-jin’s secret, the rest of the characters either have taken it in their stride or are preparing to deal with it. Hyde clearly isn’t out to make a big deal of Seo-jin suffering from DID, it uses the psychological condition only as a tool to drive the romance between Ha-na and Robin/Seo-jin.
Kill clearly places a strong emphasis on the social stigma surrounding Do-hyun’s condition. As early as eps1 and 2, we already learn he chose to exile himself in order to seek treatment in secret. He’d also rather not tell his family members (not even his mum) and suffer alone, cos he is partly afraid of the repercussions it would have on her (and himself, by extension)…and possibly, also shame. The focus in Kill is placed on Do-hyun + his multiple characters, and his eventual acceptance of his condition, relaxing enough to share all his odd personalities with Ri-jin and Ri-on (and not feel afraid or ashamed), and the final mergence of all his 7 personalities into himself. (and oye, where’s Nana and Mr X?)