Sorry folks, I just can’t do it. I really tried my best to stick this one out, but between the increasingly repetitive action sequences and the lack of plot advancement, I just couldn’t hold on any longer. Here’s why I dropped The K2.
Repetitive action, yet the show seems to drag on: We have had a TON of high level action scenes. In fact, when I commented on the first episode I noted how shocked I was at all the action. No longer am I shocked. We get action every episode, so much so that I think 90% of each episode relies on action scenes rather than character or plot development. As much as I enjoy seeing Ji Chang Wook beat the crap out of people, it gets a bit old after a while, especially if you’re being overexposed to it. And so now, even when I watch the show, I don’t even blink or question the action scenes. I already know they’re coming, and that they’re coming in waves, which makes the show kind of dull and hard to get through.
Piecemeal character development, or none at all: All of the characters were pretty much a mystery until we started learning a few things in episode three and onward. However, I think there is a huge imbalance between the characters getting developed and the characters falling behind. I’d argue that we have found out a lot about Yoo Jin and Se Joon, but we still don’t know a lot about Anna. We just hear about her, and she didn’t start speaking until episode six. Episode six was also the first time she even made any kind of significant move. I feel as though her character is just there to provide the potential romantic interest, and to advance the interest and plots of Yoo Jin, Se Joon, and Je Ha, who I’d assert are the three main characters.
Uninspired acting from our leading lady: This is my first time seeing Yoona act. So far I’m very underwhelmed. I can’t seem to connect with her at all and I don’t think she understands how to convey emotion on a realistic level. Although her efforts seem sincere, the product, unfortunately, doesn’t come across that way. To make matters worse, Song Yoon A is putting on a very strong and compelling performance, which only emphasizes Yoona’s ho-hum portrayal of Anna.
Who even is the leading lady?: Yoona’s acting might not be the only thing at fault here. I must admit it’s hard to act out a character that is poorly written in comparison to another. Yoo Jin is a very complex character and Song Yoon A plays her very convincingly. Not only does this cause Yoo Jin to overshadow Anna, but also makes us question who the main character of our story is supposed to be. Is it Anna, who barely appears in each episode and even when she does, never has anything significant happening surrounding her? Or is it Yoo Jin, who, from the start of the drama has commanded attention and made a series of bold movies. For me, Yoo Jin has been the most effective and alluring character out of everyone. She has the most story development so far, and she probably has most of the screen time as well. The only person with more screen time is Je Ha, and I still don’t feel that I know a lot about him yet either.
Has the plot ever advanced?: Some dramas take a while to build up. However, usually that’s the case when we’re talking about a fifty or more episode historical piece that needs to put the politics in place. This is merely a sixteen episode political action drama, and we are now at episode eight and not much better off from where we started. The first two episodes of this drama, though full of action, did absolutely nothing in terms of setting up the plot or getting it going. They showed so much material, yet we barely got a sense of what was going on. Now, here we are finishing episode eight, and I’m left wondering how they are going to wrap things up with only eight episodes left. There is still so much about Anna that’s left in the dark. Most of the episodes follow the same pattern of a small conflict, major action scene, a tiny blip of Anna and Je Ha, and then the usual scenes of Yoo Jin combating her enemies and husband. The next episode will most likely follow this format as well, which makes me lose hope in the final product.
Lackluster music score/use of music: I think this drama is a great example of how music can absolutely destroy the moment or feeling of a drama. If I had a penny for every time they’ve played that one piece (I think it’s in latin, but we don’t have a name for it yet) I’d be richer than Bill Gates. Honestly, they have overworked that piece and not only used it too often, but in places it just doesn’t belong. I don’t think we need to hear such dramatic music when there isn’t even anything dramatic going on. They have played it so often that I’m beginning to think it’s the only piece of music they have aside from the two songs sung by the ladies. I honestly get annoyed every time it comes on because it’s become so recycled. Otherwise, I think the OST by Spica’s Bohyung is great, and I think Yoona’s ‘Amazing Grace’ was fit for the moment, but the instrumental and action music scores need new material ASAP.
I’m a fan of Ji Chang Wook, and I think he does a great job playing Je Ha, but there isn’t enough to this drama to make me want to keep watching it. I think that Yoo Jin and Se Joon are very interesting characters and extremely well portrayed. There was definitely potential for things to be very dark and interesting, but the direction the drama is moving in has only disappointed me and fallen short of my expectations.
What I find most interesting is that this drama is from the same director that gave us Yong Pal. There are definitely some similarities, such as the female leads being trapped and wearing the classic white dress, etc. But somehow Yong Pal is much more fast paced, intense, and gripping than The K2 despite not being an action drama. Where The K2 lacks in character development and surprises, Yong Pal does not. There were a lot more characters in Yong Pal, yet all of them had compelling stories and backgrounds, and the drama is much more straightforward about presenting vital information. However, Yong Pal also ended up flopping for me in the second half. While the beginning felt invigorating, it started to tank by the eighth episode and continued to plummet from there. Maybe, The K2 will be the reverse of Yong Pal, starting off poorly and finishing strongly, but I no longer have the willpower to see if it ever will.
Are you watching The K2? What are your thoughts on the way it’s progressed so far?