So I have watched a few dramas since my last review but not many stood out for me and therefore, this is a very special piece on Pinocchio that just ended last Thursday. I wish to commend the drama for its very realistic character portrayals and the fact that I think I’ve found a new addition to my never ending Korean actors crush list: Lee Jong Suk.
Pinocchio’s predecessor was You’re All Surrounded, clearly because of the similar plot
line of rookie cops/reporters and their coming-of-age at the workplace. Yet, I feel like
Pinocchio had more resonance with me than the latter because somehow the story weighed much heavier by mixing up relationships and family in the most convoluted way possible.
There were some extremely broad themes: corrupt parents, truth and lies, the innocence of children etc. We had our leads: Choi In Ha, Gi Ha Myung (alias: Choi Dal Po) and Seo Beom Jo who represented the idealism and purity of a child, despite being around 27-28 through most of the drama. Therefore, their view of all the adults around them was that they all had good hearts and were trustworthy. The setbacks that they experienced very gradually throughout the drama were truly heart-rending at times.
Now to the other side of the spectrum, are the adults: Song Cha Ok (In Ha’s mother), Gi Jae Myung (Ha Myung’s older brother) and Park Ro Sa (Beom Jo’s mother). Cha Ok, a ruthless yellow journalist represents all the aims and ambitions of In Ha’s life and as she makes her way into the world of reporting she hopes to get support and encouragement from her now-divorced mother who she hasn’t met since she moved away with her father. The blows that come to In Ha’s ego are pretty harsh and cold considering that her mother doesn’t even want to own the fact that they are remotely related.
Ha Myung has always considered himself abandoned and an orphan having accepted that his brother probably never wants to set eyes on him again but he still thinks that his brother must be a good person at heart, possessing the same innocence as he does. For him to have doubts about hyung’s actions followed by proof that he truly is a murderer is just the worst thing that could happen to a child who has lost every relation in his youth. The way Ha Myung turns into a 10-year-old in front of his hyung is very moving for all those watching because in front of everyone else, Ha Myung is a strong pillar of uprightness and truth. To see him break down and cry like a baby has a great effect on the audience and Lee Jong Suk displays that beautifully while acting.
Lastly, we have the spoiled and coddled, Beom Jo and his mother, the mastermind of a great many murders and arsons. The chaebol-born boy has absolutely no clue where his mother’s money comes from and as any other child he just accepts the fact that he’s rich his mother is influential. The way that all the reporters start piecing together Ha Myung’s story with an arson attempt in the present day makes the pampered and ignorant Beom Jo start questioning his mother and very gradually comes to learn the truth about how evil and misguided his mother is. His ultimate sacrifice when he hands himself to the police is again, an act of immaturity, yet shows his own uprightness and his sacrifice of all the luxuries he grew up knowing. In fact, in some ways, I think his sacrifice is the greatest show of standing for the truth because giving up on the world’s luxuries for mental and emotional peace is the most difficult thing for anybody to achieve.
Regardless, I think the drama as a whole was one solid piece of art with every episode having the right amount of happiness, sadness and outright absurdity. The icing on the cake was the fact that Ha Myung happens to be In Ha’s uncle since her grandfather adopted him as his son. This aspect of the drama reminded me greatly about the ridiculousness of the relationship of Oh Dal Geon and Kim Yang Ah in Bad Family. Nevertheless, after the disaster that was Heirs, I do truly believe that Park Shin Hye’s drama love life has definitely improved and her dynamic with Lee Jong Suk matches the one she had with both Jang Geun Seok and Jung Yong Hwa in You’re Beautiful and Heartstrings respectively. The actor and actress had great chemistry on set and they were so natural from beginning to end that I’m still rooting for In Ha and Ha Myung even when the drama has come to an end. The two had the right amount of fluff and realism to each other that made them relatable and just very human. Here’s to wishing In Ha and Ha Myung a very happy life together in the drama’s future (not that there’s any chance we’ll get to see it)!