[DISCLAIMER: SOME SPOILERS AHEAD!]
This week, “The Item” and “Haechi” join the long list of dramas that are currently airing. One has a relatively slow beginning, and the other has shown viewers exactly what they should expect from the drama within its first 4 episodes (each episode is 30 minutes long.)
Both deal with corruption and have fights between the good and bad. Right away, we know that the good will prevail in the end, but how will these two dramas fare in making the story interesting to watch? To ensure that our time remains well-spent and enjoyable while digging through a whole pile of new dramas, quick reviews of both dramas based on its first 4 episodes are made!
THE ITEM (32 episodes) – airs on Mondays and Tuesdays
“The Item” has a unique plot that makes one excited for it, but even after its first 4 episodes, the story hasn’t really taken off yet—the drama is still stuck in its character introduction phase.
The series started out intense, Prosecutor Kang Gon (Ju Ji-Hoon) appears with a trail of blood on the side of his face, telling everyone in the train station to leave the place anxiously. After jumping onto the train tracks, he watches Shin So-Young (Jin Se-Yun) fall from a rooftop at a distance. Then, he tries to stop an approaching train with the help of a mysterious bracelet that seemingly has supernatural powers.
But the intensity simmered down almost instantly when Kang Gon wakes up panting, indicating that it was all just a dream.
The story moves on to slice of life moments with Kang Gon sending his adorable niece, Kang Da-In (Shin Rin-Ah) to school. Then, it introduces the bracelet that Kang Gon was wearing in his dream. He fights someone who has the bracelet, Ko Dae-Soo (Lee Jung-Hyun), and gets to witness the mysterious powers of the bracelet through the fight.
Ko Dae-Soo isn’t the main villain, however. The main villain, Jo Se-Hwang (Kim Kang-Woo) is a powerful and rich businessman. Jo Se-Hwang is a rather typical villain character—imagine a cunning and devious villain who is brutal, listens to classical music, and has a hidden room in his house—that’s pretty much who he is, judging from the beginning episodes.
An polaroid camera that stopped Jo Se-Hwang from breathing for a moment and printed out a picture of where the bracelet is.
I… don’t think I would want to own a supernatural item that forces me to stop breathing for a moment at random, no matter what its powers are.
While Kang Gon is looking for Ko Dae-Soo, criminal profiler Shin So-Young investigates a serial murder case with snippets of bible pages found near or in the victims’ bodies.
Certain emotional scenes aren’t too impressive in this drama.
You have Kang Gon’s brother telling him that he’s feeling sleepy when he’s about to die while the paramedics are just watching by the side. And Shin So-Young talking to her mother while looking up at the sky.
Many questions are still left unanswered while the fantasy drama is busy introducing its characters and setting up the story. All these could be necessary and it may pick up its pace later on. But for now, we’ll need to give it more time before determining if the drama is going to turn out good.
STAR OF THE SHOW: Adorable Kang Da-In who shares sweet little scenes with her uncle, Kang Gon.
OVERALL RATINGS: 6/10
Watch The Item on KOCOWA here!
HAECHI (48 episodes) – airs on Mondays and Tuesdays
This has everything viewers can expect from a historical drama, politics, high-ranking officials abusing their powers, princes fighting for the throne and intense sword fights. Despite that, the first four episodes turn out to be much lighter and brighter than the average historical dramas.
Saheonbu (equivalent to the prosecutor’s office in the present times) suspects Prince Mil Poong (Jung Moon-Sung) to be the culprit of a series of murders as all his victims have connections to him.
Prince Mil Poong is confident that he will never get caught, he has high-ranking officials covering for him and pushing him to be the next king. But he has one huge weakness, he records all the victims he has killed in a Death Record book.
The main characters come together naturally.
Prince Yeoning (Jung Il-Woo) happens to be the substitute for exam candidate, Roh Tae Pyung, a victim of Prince Mil Poong. Park Moon Soo (Kwon Yool) is bent on capturing Prince Yeoning for being a substitute. Yeo Ji (Go A-ra), a competent investigator, is looking for conclusive evidence to catch Prince Mil Poong red-handed. The three ended up working together as a team with a single aim, and that is to look for Prince Mil Poong’s Death Record book.
The fourth lead Dal-Moon (Park Hoon) hasn’t really come into the picture yet, but judging from the first few episodes, Dal-Moon seems knowledgeable and he knows everything that happens within the Hanyang capital. His character would definitely be an interesting addition to the team.
Prince Yeoning was never interested in the throne, or perhaps he knew that he isn’t worthy of it because his mother is a lowly peasant. The king, however, shows interest in passing on the throne to Prince Yeoning. He sees qualities befitting of a king in Prince Yeoning and asks him to show the world how talented he is. This is most likely going to be Prince Yeoning’s motivation to fight for the throne in the later episodes.
The historical drama has several adorable and funny scenes right from the beginning.
Prince Yeoning admitting that he is interested in guys to wriggle out of the situation he’s in.
Park Moon Soo about to collapse after realizing that Prince Yeoning is a prince.
From the first four episodes, “Haechi” seems to be off to a promising start. And hopefully, it will continue to be as good as the beginning episodes. Despite that, historical dramas are known to be heavy on political storylines in the later episodes which might not be favorable for some. “Haechi” may not be an exception throughout the series. But fans of Korean historical dramas can expect to get their dose of political drama fights through this.
STAR OF THE SHOW: Comical character Park Moon Soo who shines the most when he’s with Prince Yeoning.
OVERALL RATINGS: 8/10
Watch Haechi on KOCOWA here!
What will you be watching? Or, what are your favorite scenes in these dramas?