First impressions although important when deciding whether to continue with it, leeway must be given as well and the true reflection of whether it’s a good drama comes into play within the next couple of episodes. Just finished watching the first two episodes of both “Robber” and “Hong Gil Dong” over the weekend and these are my first impressions of them.
Robber has been very endearing especially when Jang Hyuk appears on screen. His ways of charming women are really interesting and fun to watch. The way how he charmed the airport lady was ingenious. It was fun to see him hit a brick wall in Da Hae’s character. His MISA parody of So Ji Sup had me in stitches. He also showed another side to him when despite his sister pleas, refuses to see her at all but yet is concerned about her well-being. With my obsession over Wonder Girls, I was surprised to hear JYP’s “Honey” being played and used as Jang Hyuk’s character theme song when he is on a roll.
Still not entirely convinced over Da Hae’s character potrayal although the end of episode 2 which was kind of dramaatic showed how fine of a actress she can be as she went from heaven to hell in a matter of minutes. Her relationship with her mother-in-law was heartwarming and equally so with her daughter. The side characters of Jin Gu who is so dead-pan and behaves like a robot is so funny and the debt-collector boss, Ho Jin who tries to make it seem like he’s running a legal business without much success in front of his first love. This drama is more down-to-earth, realistic and tugs at your heartstrings.
Initial response to Hong Gil Dong has been mixed and I am one of them unfortunately. As much as I liked Hong Sisters previous works, I have yet to get hooked on this that much. They tried to infuse several new concepts into this drama and termed it as fusion saeguk. I was frankly horrified to see scenes I thought that belonged in a comic book come to life and it was simply overdone in the opening scene. They might be hoping to start in a grand manner but that scene fell flat for me. Then we have techno dancing in the brothels later on with dancers baring their mid-riffs, I was like “Wow!”, for real? The CG of the ducks flying the sky (yes, ridiculous) and poor action scenes (they barely touched the person and he flies away like he’s got hit by a tonne of bricks). It was slightly better in episode 2 with slightly more drama element.
As for the acting, Sung Yuri definitely does a better job from the last I saw her in “Snow Queen”. Her brash tombyish potrayal of her character comes off very well indeed. Jang Geun Seuk portrayal of a royal family member hounded out of the palace by his ambitious brother wasn’t that good, his wooden face can’t really emote or cover his pretty face. The most impressive potrayal must belonged to Kang Ji Hwan, the reluctant hero who will no doubt bring back memories of his character in “Capital Scandal”. His range of emotions from being a bad-ass scoundrel to showing tears when faced with his father was great. He looks extremely stylish as well with his garb and that yellow sunglasses.
Robber slightly edges it over for me over Hong Gil Dong at the moment but neither is still special enough for me to warrant a “Must See” tag over it. Let’s see how it pans out in the coming weeks and the ratings war.