Mask [review]

MASK [Review]

“I guess we all need someone to lean on. We need someone, not medicine.” Min Woo (Mask)

Where did it go wrong? The directing was great, the drama was so hyped up at the time, the acting definitely felt confident but at some point, it lost its appeal. Mask is another makjang drama from the writer, Choi Ho Chul, the one who also wrote the super makjang yet amazing drama called Secret. I don’t know where it went wrong. The two dramas are definitely makjang but one is beautifully written and one feels like choppily written. Mask was off to a great start, it was strong and fast-paced. The first few episodes were fun to watch then –if I’m not mistaken- on ep 7, the story went downhill. It did pick up on ep 9, but few episodes later the story wasn’t fun anymore.

There is this one formula that I think most of k-dramas do, it starts with a bang, gets stale in the middle and either give another bang at the end or completely ruin it. Mask followed the formula even though I have mixed feeling about the final episode. It was good, but it didn’t succeed in keeping me entirely focus watching it. Trust me, it took me WEEKS to finish the final episode.

CAST + ACTING + IMPRESSION (10 out of 10)

I loved everyone in this drama. everyone did great job in doing their own role and I seriously lost it at Yeon Jung Hoon’s acting on his last few scenes.  Yoo In Young was also very great. I don’t know but these two’s acting in ep 20 tore me apart maybe because I was more attached to them than to the leads. Their acting in ep 20 seriously amazing, it blew me away in one try and I cried like a baby because they delivered their last few scenes very beautifully. That yearning look that Yoo In Young pulled off was so natural and heartbreaking and don’t forget Yeon Jung Hoon’s poker face and crying scenes!

Soo Ae was great but I wished her character was a bit cleverer during the first few episodes. She was fab as always though. I love watching Joo Ji Hoon in his other works (I Am The King and Confession you guys have to watch those two movies!) but in Mask his acting didn’t appeal to me at all like something’s lacking something’s not right. His performance didn’t move me maybe because of Min Woo character but he always looked like he was going to doze off in just seconds. That lazy gaze, those sighs at the end of his sentences, and it felt like he could have done better but he couldn’t because of his character.

The two leads had great chemistry together but once again, I was more attracted to the second leads, Mi Yeon and Suk Hoon.

PLOT/STORYLINE (6 out of 10)
Mask managed to keep me watching even though I was never emotionally engaged with it. I was just watching a show, it didn’t leave any special impression, didn’t move my feeling and kind of frustrating at times. But hey, I managed to finish it YAY for me.

Up until ep 6 everything was really fun to me. The acting from everyone blew me away plus the plot was moving so fast. It was makjang already but it was bearable, watchable and on top of that, it still had its charm that pull me in. But ep 7 completely ruined my mood. I can’t recall why but ep 7 was a turn-off for me. Ep 8 was another headdesking episode and ep 9 did pick up and fun again but after that the story got lost in the mountain. It started to get soggy and draggy and the charm that it once pulled me in just suddenly no longer there. The writer exploited the characters way too fast and that’s why the fun I once had also disappeared way too fast. It felt like the writer only depended on Mi Yeon and Suk Hun’s evil schemes to keep the drama alive. And the writer succeeded. Let’s be honest, if s/he killed one of the second leads in the middle, the drama would flop so hard.

I do agree, what’s the point of Mi Yeon killing Ji Suk’s mother. Mi Yeon got tangled with the loan shark was amusing already to me then the writer started to paint Mi Yeon as an obsessive wife who would do anything for her husband including, killing whoever who’s giving him headache.

The writer painted Ji Suk’s family as one irritating, annoying family at times. And because of that sometime I really didn’t like seeing them on my laptop screen. Ji Suk’s younger brother really bothered me. It had nothing to do with the acting (although Hoya needs to practice more and more) but the brother suddenly showed up in a party and called Ji Suk “noona”. Then he made a ruckus and blah blah blah.

Ji Suk’s first days as Eun Ha were seriously frustrating. She always ran away/afraid/nervous everytime she’s in public. For people who knew Ji Suk, it’s obvious that the person they’re seeing was Ji Suk. But of course because it’s a drama everyone was stupid enough to know that it was her. At first it was, of course, natural for Ji Suk to be afraid to meet/see someone who she knew but after few episodes passed she was still like that and I wanted to slap the writer so bad. Ji Suk needed to get her act together because she only embarrassed herself. Thankfully, after few painful episodes she finally grew a backbone.

The two leads’ story didn’t move me that much. Instead, the second leads’ story attracted me more. It’s been a while since the last second leads’ story is better than the leads’ story. The lying game that the two second leads played felt real and I ended up pitying them two. The biggest victim in this show was not Byun Ji Suk, but Choi Mi Yeon. She was stupid enough to take home a beast, call him her husband, covered up his crimes and on top of that, she loved Suk Hun with all her might. Mi Yeon and Suk Hoon characters were complex and onion-like(? can you understand it lol). Each of them had their own secret and Suk Hoon, especially, who could guess that he had such a past? He moved in to Mi Yeon’s family house to avenge his father. But by the end of the day, truth woke up from its long sleep. Suk Hun loved Mi Yeon too! It broke me apart knowing it.

OST (8 out of 10)

SBS is always generous when it comes to releasing OST. Mask came out with 2 different CDs and I can’t tell you how much I love CD 2. I will remember this as one of the best instrumental releases (of course my #1 is still Jang Ok Jung, Lives In Love‘s glorious instrumental album). CD 2 screams suspense, thriller, revenge, hate and this is Mask all about. Of course not all 17 tracks like that. Track #15-#17 are like the comical side of the drama.

CD 1 is not my fav. The only song that I like is 죽은 듯이 지낼게 which is the #4 (OST part 4). I like the melody even though i don’t know what it’s all about I don’t care to google the translation. LYn‘s song is the main OST here and I think it’s a great choice. LYn’s voice is heavenly!!! (Who can forget her songs for The Moon Embraces The Sun and YWCFS)

Overall rating :  8 out of 10
Will I Watch it Again? Nope.


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