Title: W (더블유 or Deobeuryu) (2016)
Also Known As: W – Two Worlds or W – Two Worlds Apart
Written by: Song Jae-Jung
Starring: Lee Jong-Suk, Han Hyo-Joo, Jung Yoo-Jin, Lee Tae-Hwan, Park Won-Sang, Cha Kwang-Soo, Kim Eui-Sung, Lee Si-Eon, Nam Gi-Ae, Heo Jung-Do, Kang Ki-Young, Lee Se-Rang, Ryu Hye-Rin, and Yang Hye-Ji
Country of Origin: South Korea
Original Language(s): Korean
No. of Series: 1
No. of Episodes: 16
Genres: Fantasy, Romantic, Suspense, Thriller
Running Time: 70 minutes
Original Network: Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC TV)
Cardiothoracic surgeon Oh Yeon-Joo’s (Han Hyo-Joo) father mysteriously goes missing while writing the last chapter of his webtoon “W”. Yeon-Joo goes to his office and is shocked to see a scene of the dying Kang Chul (Lee Jong-Suk), the main character of W, on her father’s computer. While reading a note left behind by her father, a hand from the monitor pulled her in and she finds herself on the rooftop of a building next to a bleeding man. She manages to save him and realizes that the person she saved was Kang Chul. Yeon-Joo later discovers that she can only leave the webtoon based on Kang Chul’s change in feelings. When that happens, the words ‘to be continued’ will appear and she will teleport back to the real world.
It’s been a very busy week, so apologise for the lack of posting. I will work my best to post more often. Anyway, let’s talk about today’s review. I have no intention or whatsoever to see W at first, but curiosity gets the best of me and I decided to give it try. I’ve read some reviews that said this Korean drama is good with its unusual concept. However, according to my sister, the story was rather weird. Now, by now, me and my sister sometimes have a different kind of weird. That is why, despite what my sister said about this drama, I still gave it a try. Did I make a right choice? I don’t know. The complication of the story is good but like my sister said, it’s weird. Like really weird. I never mind a little weirdness in a drama or film but this one, I have to admit, is really weird. In a good way or a bad way, you ask? Well, something in between, I guess. Let’s talk about the cast first.
I think by this time, I’ve seen enough of Lee Jong-Suk’s acting skill to know how good is he in doing his job. I’ve just recently watched his recent drama, While You Were Sleeping (2017), and perhaps that’s the reason why I decided to watch this drama. In W, Lee Jong-Suk played the role of Kang Chul, the main character of a webtoon named W. Basically, he’s a comic character who later on came alive. The story of W kept on changing unlike what the writer wanted. Somehow, Kang Chul seemed to have his own free will in the comic.
I like how Lee Jong-Suk showed his emotion, either angry, confused, happy, or in love. It’s nothing new, really, since I’ve seen those expressions many times before. Lee Jong-Suk’s acting is great, though his character in W wasn’t too different with other characters that he has played before. Although this time his character is a comic character, his personality was still basically the same. The difference perhaps was how he brought the character because each character has a different profession and therefore the charisma and the attitude must be different. At any rate, Lee Jong-Suk nailed his job in portraying Kang Chul in this drama.
After six years, Han Hyo-Joo finally came back to television series. Of course, I don’t know anything about her before I watched W—not that I know all about her now, but at least I know she has played a lot of film roles since 2010, W is her first came back to small screen. I think you shouldn’t doubt her acting skill because she portrayed her character really well. All of her facial expressions were spot on. She’s great at playing Oh Yeon-Joo. The chemistry between Han Hyo-Joo and Lee Jong-Suk was also very nice. They made a very good couple despite all the odds that had been happening in the drama. Lee Jong-Suk has always built a beautiful chemistry with other actresses and actors. It’s not a secret that he always able to build a sweet chemistry with his opponents and made the viewers believe his characters’ relationship with the female characters or other characters. Han Hyo-Joo has also built a very good chemistry with Lee Jong-Suk. Both of them really made a good couple. There are even some sweet moments happening between them.
Kim Eui-Sung played the role of Oh Sung-Moo. He was Oh Yeon-Joo’s father and the artist who created the famous webtoon, W. I think it was great of Kim Eui-Sung to play his role in the drama because somehow he must be able to play multi personalities. Lots of actors and actresses did that kind of role, of course. Still, it’s not an easy thing to do where you have to shift personality in instant. If you nailed it, it’s pretty much very impressive. Therefore, good job for Kim Eui-Sung.
I think the problem with W wasn’t from the actor and the actresses because they all played their part really well. However, it’s the story that concerned me. At first, I found the story unique, but as I watched it, W became weirder and weirder. It’s exciting and thrilling at certain points but at other points, W is weird. I never mind any weirdness while watching a film or reading a novel, that’s why those kinds of things always called as fiction. However, at some points, those weirdness were just too weird even for a wild imaginary mind like mine.
“If you lost your goal in life, you can set up a new goal.” – Oh Yeon-Joo
The story of W, in the beginning, is not that weird. It’s rather unique. Han Hyo-Joo who played the role of Oh Yeon-Joo can go inside the webtoon and can only out get out when the words ‘To be Continued’ appeared. However, when it happened to Kang Chul, that’s when the weirdness came. Well, I am not saying there’s anything wrong with it since it was all just a story, a fantasy story even. Nevertheless, it’s hard for my mind to grasp the story fast because personally, I don’t really like that kind of story.
When I watched W, I kept thinking what else did they have further because I felt like after five or so episodes, all the mystery in the drama have been answered. I felt like there’s no more mystery that made me curious about the story or questions that weren’t answered. It’s like they have finished the story in just a few episodes. But then, a new problem came up and the characters have to deal with it again. It happened not just once but several times. I don’t know if it’s just me or everyone felt the same. I, myself, wasn’t too excited watching it because like I’ve said, the story didn’t make me too curious.
What’s more annoying is the ending. It’s a happy end, alright, but there were still many holes. Many questions left unanswered. Never mind the weird storyline, if the ending was great, it’s enough to satisfy me. However, if the story is already weird and then the ending wasn’t satisfying, I will get annoyed even more. At some points, the ending of W was so anti-climaxing, both the drama and the webtoon in the drama. To this day, I still don’t understand why after all the suspense, the thrilling, the chasing, and such, the ending felt like it was being rushed. It’s like the writers wanted to end W faster. I do like the happy ending but I don’t quite feel satisfied. Oh Yeon-Joo was a second year resident of a cardiothoracic surgeon, so I was also hoping to see more about medical things but since W wasn’t about medical but rather about fantasy, I wasn’t too disappointed when I don’t see enough about doctors.
What I like about W was the way they combined reality and cartoon drawings. The webtoon drawings were so good and looked so similar to the real person or the actors and actresses who played the characters. I think this is one of the reasons why W is kind of unique because the drama combined reality and comic drawings. I know with all the technologies right now, it is not a hard thing to do to change real people to cartoon drawings. I do hope they really draw the comic instead of changing it with some sort of application, but if they did that, I don’t mind either since they still combined real people with comic drawings. The setting, the costume, and all the small details of W were impressive—as expected from Korean dramas. My favourite setting place was perhaps Oh Yeon-Joo’s father’s workplace because there were so many books and papers—things that I love the most. Anyway, good job for the production team because they have done their work really well.
Overall, W is thrilling and exciting at some points, at other points it’s weird. I don’t mind the weirdness because that’s what made a story unique and W certainly was unique. But, sometimes the story became weirder for my mind to accept the whole story. However, it’s the ending that made me very disappointed about this drama. Nevertheless, all the cast has portrayed their characters really well.
I give W 7 out of 10 stars.