Show is, till the end, essentially a story of mothers and their daughters. There’re so many different mother-daughter relationships shown, and the story is propelled forward by all the different interactions. It is also a story of sisterhood, as we see how as the story unfolds, being one’s sister holds such a vital clue to solving the mystery.
Because of the inclusion of the supernatural element, suspension of disbelief is required when it comes to the tight bond between the various blood relatives, and especially between So Yoon (Moon Geun Young) and the sister she’s looking for, Hye-jin (Jang Hee Jin). Most of the times So Yoon realises a clue only after the dead Hye-jin appeared in her dreams. We gradually learnt that Hye-jin was looking for her mother in the sleepy little village named Achiara, and Hye-jin eventually died of mysterious circumstances. Hye-jin’s death becomes the central mystery of Show, part of the secret which the village of Achiara keeps silent for years.
Maybe because I’m not one who pays alot of attention to details, I don’t really find the loopholes in the plot that obvious, hence I thoroughly enjoyed Show from beginning till the end. Granted, I sometimes do wonder is So Yoon is really that brave or just plain stupid as it’s pretty obvious that the cross-dresser, Kang Pil Sung (Choi Jae Woong), or better known as Agasshi in Show, is nothing but creepy trouble, yet she more than once appear at his shabby hut (located in the wilderness no less) alone. As mentioned at dramabeans, So Yoon is probably the least well-written character in Show, admist the more complex and layered supporting characters.
The villains here are written with such complexity that they’re really a joy to watch, and one can’t help but sympathize with them, and it really brings me to the question, “are monsters born or made?”. As we learn of Hye-jin’s lifestory, we’re told that her biological mother treats her as a monster, but Hye-jin is anything but. She is sensitive and even empathizes with Agasshi (although her empathy probably created a monster as a result), and instead is willing to go all the way out to expose the monster in Achiara, which she told her students Yoona and Ba-woo.
Shin Eun Kyung plays the role of Yoon Ji-sook, a multi-faceted character that makes one hate and sympathize her all at once, which is not an easy feat. It is easy to label Ji-sook as a monster because her actions are mostly self-preservation and she often blackmails and manipulates others to do her bidding. But once we learnt her darkest secrets, it is difficult to hate her with a passion. Kudos to Shin Eun Kyung for her superb portrayal of Ji-sook.
The secret of Achiara is not just one secret, but a whole string of secrets linked to one another. The writer has managed to weave one intricately linked story made up of seemingly unrelated people, who turns out to be part of the secret that Achiara has kept quiet about for years. Sometimes perhaps a secret is better to be left alone, although we’ll probably all die of curiosity if we don’t unravel the mystery behind it.