Drama Review – Mask (SBS, 2015)

Show certainly had been a crazy 20 hours long ride, entertaining on the whole, as long as we throw the logic out of the window. I think our four main characters had been interesting in the own rights, especially Choi Mi Yeon (Yoo In Young) and Min Seok Hoon (Yeom Jung Hoon).


Quick recap: Soo Ae plays two characters, Seo Eun Ha and Byeon Ji Sook, unrelated to each other, except that they both look uncannily alike. Seo Eun Ha dies in the first or second episode, and Byeon Ji Sook is coerced by Min Seok Hoon to take up the position left empty by Eun Ha. Turns out that Seok Hoon and Eun Ha were lovers, but Seok Hoon is currently married to Choi Mi Yeon, and Eun Ha is supposed to marry Mi Yeon’s younger brother, Min Woo (Joo Ji Hoon). Min Woo appears to be mentally unstable, requiring constant psychiatric help.


For most of the time, Seok Hoon is obsessed with killing Min Woo, although it turns out that he only wants revenge against Min Woo’s father, Chairman Choi. So why kill Min Woo? Because that would hurt Chairman Choi most? We don’t know. Show is like that most of the time – just go along with the flow and don’t ask any questions, because that’s the best way to enjoy Show. I had been wondering why Seok Hoon doesn’t seem to know Ji Sook has been going back to Eun Ha’s old apartment pretty often from the middle of Show onwards, because what good would it be to him if Ji Sook finds out about THE plan? But she does anyway, and goes all out to protect Min Woo and sets herself against Seok Hoon.


I find Mi Yeon the most interesting character, because she has so much doubts, and she loves Seok Hoon so much it impedes her judgement. Mi Yeon is mostly the misguided chaebol daughter who probably grew up somewhat spoilt, but she does have some sense of self-awareness, although perhaps most of the time no one really dared to tell her where she went wrong. So she ends up going a little too far in some instances in her petty revenge, but at the same time she doesn’t truly wish anyone harm. It doesn’t justify her actions, as people actually died from her pranks, but from the point of view of character study, she is a character to sympathize with.


Show mostly tied up the loose ends, though there were still many questions left unanswered. I’d say the ending is a little too neat – all the villains were either apprehended, or died, and the good people get their happy endings. I suppose it’s a good thing that Show repeated the question is posted in Episode 1: Can one be happy even when wearing a mask? Ji Sook tells us that she’s truly happy without her mask, and we see in the epilogue that she’s living the happy life that she wanted since the beginning. I’d say Show is worth watching if you just want a drama, but if you want something with more logic or action (and a cliffhanger being a real cliffhanger, not one that turns out to be some near miss), there’re better dramas out there.

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