27 February, 2015

A Note about Hyde, Jekyll, Me & Kill Me, Heal Me


There has been much chatter in the drama world about these two dramas and constant comparison (often at the expense of Hyde, Jekyll, Me). Now I want to get something clear. Both dramas are not good. Both dramas are fairly mediocre in many ways. Neither of them are exceptionally well-written nor amazingly entertaining. The latter of course is a completely subjective opinion, the former less so. Of course, we can all watch dramas and love them and be passionate about them, but that doesn't mean that they are of good quality. There are many dramas that I unabashedly love, but they aren't necessarily good quality dramas. I also know that we don't necessarily all watch drama with the intent to analyze or to determine quality, but some of us do. Sometimes I watch drama just for something to watch, or to be entertained, and there is nothing wrong with that. I do however have a big problem with someone bashing a drama and saying it's bad just because they don't like it. You can like something and still know it's bad, and also hate something and still acknowledge it is of good quality.

I think that what is happening, is that people are enjoying Ji Sung's performance (which is excellent), and then equating that with being good drama. I take issue with that. Ji Sung is doing an excellent job, he really is, but the other actors are not measuring up. There have been some scenes where Park Seo Joon has been great, and even some scenes with Hwang Jung Eum have been great, but there is some awfully hackneyed acting happening in this drama. The editing and production quality is also not great. Even some of the editing cuts between scenes and even within scenes are rough. This is also likely part of the live-shoot phase of the drama, but the drama has had issues with it from the beginning. I'm not saying that your editing has to be perfect, but that is what makes a drama (or any version of film) good. Good writing, good acting, good directing, good editing, good production, good sound, good scoring. It's all part of parcel of something being quality. And it isn't easy to achieve.


As far as the writing goes, it's not exactly brilliant and the writer certainly has not used the multiple personalities of Cha Do Hyun to the best effect. With 20 episodes, I was expecting to see more of the personalities and how they add to the story. They haven't. Sure, there have been some really funny and moving scenes with the personalities, but only Se Gi's story has truly added to the unravelling of the story and maybe also Yo Sub's storyline, somewhat. And the lip-locking scene with Yo Na and Ri On was ad-libbed, so the writer can't be credited with that. For the multiple personalities to be worth it, they have to be used well and not just for occasional comic effect. The writer also has not done a good job of justifying just why there have to be so many personalities.


Some people have also complained that the story is too confusing. I haven't found it particularly so, just not as well explicated as it could have been. So far I haven't been terribly surprised by any of the backstories etc. More just a little confused as to why Cha Do Hyun is the one with multiple personalities, when Oh Ri Jin is the one who endured the greater amount of physical and emotional abuse. Of course, we might see parts of the story unfold where we learn Cha Do Hyun endured more physical abuse than has been implied.


The drama also took about eight episodes until it found its groove and about another two episodes before Hwang Jung Eum calmed down enough to do some less frenzied acting. That is too long. I know that K-drama's don't often start off well, which is why I normally give them about four episodes to get going, but to be a really good drama in terms of quality, it needs to get off the ground earlier. As far as this sort of pacing problem, it is a result of lazy writing and poor direction, but also billing the drama for 20 episodes. In my opinion, both Hyde, Jekyll, Me and Kill Me, Heal Me would have been much better dramas with only 16 episodes each, but this is not a problem unique to these two dramas - it happens all too often in K-drama: insufficient editing and too many episodes, especially episode extensions. I especially thought that at the end of episode 14 of Kill Me, Heal Me. There just isn't enough story to fill six episodes, though I am sure they will find some way of stretching things out. I mean, the writer is Jin Soo Wan, who wrote The Moon that Embraces the Sun, which basically had a plot that went no where. When I realized that they're the same writer, I felt like the whole pacing of the drama becomes self-explanatory. The drama also has two directors (Kim Jin Man and Kim Dae Jin), which I am sure adds another element to what's going on behind the scenes.


Now for some Hyde, Jekyll, Me criticism. I wouldn't want to leave it out. I feel like the drama is unfairly compared to Kill Me, Heal Me, mostly because they are totally different stories, being told in two completely different ways. Hyde is also running four episodes behind KMHM and of course that means that their pacing and tension levels are going to be different, even if they were remotely similar. Just because they share the DID element, doesn't mean that all of a sudden KMHM is better because they are further along in the story. It's absurd.

If anything, the production quality and editing in Hyde are actually much better than in KMHM. They might have allocated a bigger chunk of the budget to that, or just have a more experienced editing team as well. The drama certainly has a much slicker quality to it, that KMHM lacks. Of course that cannot make up for all its other failings, of which there are many.


Hyun Bin is doing fine, and for the most part I am content to watch him because I love him and the camera seems to think he's as beautiful as I do, but again, that doesn't make the drama good. I don't think his performance is anywhere near good as that of Ji Sung's, but that in part is how his character is written. It's an okay performance, nothing groundbreaking. I also think that the casting choice for Han Ji Min is problematic. I really loved her in Rooftop Prince, so I know she can act. And she was great in The Fatal Encounter, so I wonder if that was the impetus to cast her with Hyun Bin, which hardly makes sense to me because they were certainly not lovers in that film. This is also a case where there seems to be a mismatch between actors, directors, and characters as written. Sometimes all those factors don't gel and you end up with a lacklustre product like Hyde, Jekyll, Me.

The drama has also suffered from the ratings game of Korean television. The Korean public hasn't responded well to it, which is neither here nor there, but because of it, the writer has had to scramble to change things, and I don't think that it's doing the drama any favours. Sometimes a drama doesn't find a niche viewership, and then it's pretty much toast for it. Even well-acclaimed films (which Hyde is most certainly not), sometimes suffer from this effect and only become famous much later on. This also ties the director's hands to some degree, but I certainly don't know all the details of what is going on behind the scenes. Maybe they all can't stand each other. I do know that the writer's (Kim Ji Woon) only other credit I can find is Cheongdamdong Alice, and we all know the train wreck that was. The director (Jo Young Gwang) does have some popular dramas (and somewhat well-acclaimed) dramas under his belt. And then there's the whole producer thing. Making TV or film is a complicated thing.


All that aside, Hyde, Jekyll, Me has been quite boring. I thought that the warehouse scene where Seo Jin saves Ha Na was one of the better scenes we've seen so far, and there have been some good ones. Overall though, even the bad guy isn't super bad, just really messed up. Perhaps it's because Sung Joon lacks the skills to really bring the full creepy off, but the drama for the most part goes through the emotions without getting to the next level or layer of potential emotion. It stays on the surface for the most part and that is a big failing of the drama. The only story that really has much depth is Seo Jin and Seo Jin alone. Even his interactions with Ha Na, whether as Robin or as Seo Jin are just not deep enough. It's all very surface level. And the supporting cast as well. KMHM does a better job overall with the supporting cast, though not much better. There is also way too much PPL in both dramas.


I also think that one of the failings of both dramas is to really tackle trauma and its effects. Both dramas are dealing with childhood trauma inflicted by chaebol parents. It is rather lazy writing to always blame the cold, rich people and contrast them with the the happy, peasant-like poor people. It's a tale as old as time, but hackneyed. If dramas really want to tackles issues of trauma and abuse, there needs to be more layering, more nuance, more realistic consultation. Dr. Kang in Hyde seems more medically sound than that in KMHM. Perhaps I am asking too much, but sometimes I wonder what the intent of the writers is. Do they just want to try and find an potentially interesting storyline, like trauma induced DID, or are they trying to explore those themes in a meaningful way?

Neither Hyde, Jekyll, Me nor Kill Me, Heal Me can even pretend to be excellent entertainment, let alone great art, but it's okay, just as long as we don't get confused with calling things bad or good just because we like it. Though what good and bad are could be a whole other philosophical debate. As I wrap up this post, I am wondering why I even started it. We all watch drama for different reasons. We all have different tastes and approaches, and that's fine. Perhaps I just wanted to complete a task in comparative film analysis. It's not as thorough as it could be, but hopefully it goes beyond just saying why I think these dramas are good, but also explaining to some degree why I think so. Maybe you disagree with me, and that's totally fine (as long as you have good reasons ;P). Leave your thoughts in the comments below and let me know why you're watching, or even why you're not watching, or if you dropped either of these dramas. Yup, that's about it I think.

◀ Announcing the Healer OST Winner!!!   Drowning in Drama: a dewaanifordrama update ▶

62 comments:

  1. I am in love with Kill Me Heal Me. However, as you say, I know it isn't a good drama. Your post sums up what I tell my students in their "introduction to the discipline" course. I tell them that a sign of a mature critic is someone who can distinguish between what they like and what is good and to acknowledge things that are good even if they do not like them. This is something I have to do all the time teaching literature majors because they fall in love with books or hate books with a passion and that is why they become lit majors, yet we know that love and hate sometimes bars people from making rational judgments. I also do not think the online discussion of shows really encourages rational judgments or at least the fan wars don't.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I LOVE your comment!!! One of my minors for my undergrad was comparative literature, and the university I attended made sure that we investigated many avenues of thought that we were guaranteed to disagree with, and yet still have a civil conversation about them. And the teacher in me is perhaps more inclined to want people to have rational and thoughtful conversation about things. There do seem to be a fair amount of teachers here online in the K-drama world now that I think about it.


    The reason I wrote about these two dramas in particular was because of just that sort of irrational conversation happening about these two dramas in particular. I'm enjoying Ji Sung in Kill Me, Heal Me, and I am hoping for a somewhat decent resolution, and I'm still watching. And I love Hyun Bin, so I am trying to support his drama.


    I am all for fun entertainment though, just so long as everyone plays nice ^^

    ReplyDelete
  3. I know you are "all for fun (and sometimes not fun) entertainment"! How else to explain getting through Fall in Love With Me?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Haha. Actually, I never finished Fall in Love with Me. I got to about episode 12 and stopped watching. As much as I don't mind watching for fun, most of the time I am critiquing drama heavily. I just don't always write about it ;) I even go back and drop drama rating scores occasionally because I rethink things too much. Haha.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I just finished watching ep 15 and 16 of Kill Me Heal Me, and I was thinking of your post the entire time, well except for the times when I was crying because even in my snot-filled eye-linking state, I could still see the faults in the show. What is with all the slow flashbacks? Why did they spend so much time on slowmo fights ans not on actual character and plot points? This is usually when people say to me that a drama did not have enough story to tell, but I actually don't agree. I think there is plenty of story to tell, but they are choosing not to tell it or they are in such a production frenzy that there is not time to tell it. There could be more done with the roles the particular personalities play in making up CDH. I actually want to know more about that household now--with the two kids but also the relationships between the parents. However, with the rate they are going with story telling, I don't expect to get many answers to any of those things. I think the problem with many of the dramas is the same problem many of my students have even the really good ones at times; they can come up with a really good thesis/initial argument but they do not follow through. They may even have really strong statements throughout, but do not know what should be developed, dropping essentially really strong points, but dwelling on things that do not really help the argument. Sigh. So much potential. Not just here, but as you mention in a lot of dramas.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I remember. You are the one who told me about the Liking Necks Doesn't Make Me a Vampire blog because she was still watching for Aaron's neck:) I am grateful though.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I disagree completely. I think Kill Me Heal Me is a good drama and all the actors are doing an outstanding job. I love the fact that it has completely captured my attention and keeps me guessing. Your comment is so arrogant, it's funny. What you call failings seem to be doing really well in the ratings department which equates to making millions of dollars. Since you seem to criticize writing techniques, what have you written lately that has garnered millions of fans and earned millions of dollars? Or evoked heart felt emotions from those watching or reading your work?

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm watching both the dramas. I'm loving both. But I know that both aren't going to my top 5 most favourite dramas even though I'm eager to watch it. I had no idea why. I guess I got a few answers in your post. There is something lacking in both the dramas.


    When episode 14 of KMHM ended, I had the same thing in mind, What are they going to do for 6 more episodes? I really didn't want the noble idiocy thing, but guess I can't escape. I didn't like Oh Ri Jin's loud character in the beginning. It's not like I hate loud people, considering, I'm a loud person myself :P :P and I loved Lee Gun in Fated to love you. But as you said, I started liking her character only when she cooled down a bit. The point of Ferry Park and all the other characters are what is confusing me. I really want a good backup story for them. Oh Ri On's character somehow gets on my nerves. It's kind of weird for me to see a sibling(doesn't matter if it is adopted sheesh!) having romantic feelings towards the sister. Nevertheless, KMHM has me watching it. I love it.


    Hyde, Jekyll and me, ufff.. I really wish the writer did some justice to the story. I'm finding the story creative and beautiful, but something in the writer's part is missing. I think Han Ji Min can do an awesome job because of her previous projects, I think the lazy writing of Jang HaNa's character is just putting her down. I really hope to see some developments in her character for the rest of the episodes. I absolutely loved the cinematography of first few episodes. It was quite spectacular. The live shooting and the yellow dust must have given them some real hard time yet the manage to amaze me with the camera work. I really can't stand the father of GSJ though...sigh... Even his eyebrows are evil (as Robin said ) ...


    At this moment, I am really looking forward to what would happen in Hyde, Jekyll and Me because in KMHM is pretty much wrapping up. I'm pretty sure the loose ends are going to tie up and the someone will knock sense into the noble idiot track. and I hope it is a happily ever after, unless the writer wants a tragic twist in the end.


    In my opinion, both the dramas can be way way way better than it already is. And Hyde Jekyll and me is definitely unfairly judged in my opinion. I've seen a lot more worse dramas getting better ratings (I really shouldn't talk about the ratings)

    ReplyDelete
  9. I still need to watch episode 16. There have definitely been moments that have made me teary-eyed and I am sure episode 16 is going to be a doozy. That's the downside of blogging + RL = less time to actually watch drama. Haha.


    Flashbacks are a tricky device to use, and in my opinion should be used sparingly. I totally agree with you that they have plenty of story to tell, but they just haven't gotten to the sort of depth that they need to tell it. It's like they were just content to skim the surface. I also don't think we're going to get an ending where everything is explained (mostly because we rarely get that in K-drama), but hopefully at least some of the main points are covered. I think your analogy with students is a good one. Having good ideas and a good thesis is not enough. You need to be able to write the supporting detail and support throughout. I really think though that a lot of it comes from the heavy emphasis on ratings and the live-shoot. There just really isn't room to be contemplative about how a story arc is going to play out with that sort of schedule. If the actors are barely sleeping at this point, I am sure the writer isn't either.

    ReplyDelete
  10. And that is your prerogative, to disagree. I would ask however that you find other reasons other than popularity and the ability to make money to judge whether something is good. Neither of those things means that something is good in terms of quality. I am glad for you that the drama has captured your attention, that is partly the purpose of entertainment. It is well known that ratings don't necessarily mean that something it is good, merely that it is popular. And many things make millions of dollars, that also doesn't mean that they are good. While I do not make millions of dollars, or any money from this blog, I do make my profession teaching writing (among other things), so I am more than qualified to critique writing. And this blog has a large readership and fans from around the globe. So please don't insult your own intelligence by insulting this blog just because you happen to disagree with my post. If you would like to know more about the hectic system of Korean drama producing, writing, etc. I would suggest that you watch "The Lord of the Drama", and perhaps you will see a little of why I wrote this post.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I am glad you are loving both dramas. I am also enjoying parts of both. I also think that Hyde is starting to get more interesting. I really enjoyed episode 12 as it ramped things up a bunch.


    I am glad I am not the only one that wondered what else they were going to do for six episodes, so we will just have to see. I wonder if Oh Ri Jin's manic, crazy character partly came from poor directing and poor writing. Ji Sung is a great actor and can do a lot of things, he is also a more seasoned actor and can handle poor direction and writing a little better than Hwang Jung Eum. And as far as the supporting characters go, I just think it comes down to writing. There just hasn't been enough to establish the reason for them, or who they are, and how they play into the story. As far as Oh Ri Oh goes, fauxcest is a common K-drama trope, particularly in chaebol centered family types of drama. I am sure that the drama isn't going to deal with it well. They have sort of painted themselves into a corner because technically, on the family register, Oh Ri Jin and Cha Do Hyun are going to be siblings. Even though they aren't blood related. We shall just have to see.


    I think that Hyde, Jekyll, Me was put at great disadvantage because of the similar premise of KMHM. They are just such different stories. Another big problem is that what they were originally trying to do had to change because the Korean audience hated it so much. They had to rewrite large sections of the drama to try and garner higher ratings, and I don't think it's a good thing. The writing also seems like it is not sure where it wants the story to go. Episode 12 finally got to where I wish the drama had gotten in the first four or six episodes. This is where the real tension lies. It just way too long to get there. Lee Duk Hwa (who plays Seo Jin's father) is really a great actor. He plays bad guys really well. I do love his eyebrows because they are so wild. In Shine or Go Crazy, the other drama he's in right now, he also plays a bad guy, but because they made his hair super grey and his eyebrows as well, they are combed so they don't look so wild. It kind of makes me sad. Haha.


    And yeah, we shall just have to see how both dramas progress. I hope that Hyde, Jekyll, Me can pick up ratings a bit once Kill Me, Heal Me finishes up, but we'll have to see. And yeah, noble idiocy is part and parcel of K-drama. The big three broadcasting stations are already in talks to change the way dramas are broadcast. Ratings across the board have been dropping for everyone. Once upon a time, dramas pulled in ratings over 20%, but smaller cable stations have changed the drama landscape, among other things. The ratings game hurts everyone in the system in my opinion. They need the ratings, to get the advertising, to get the money, to make more dramas, and to pay the actors and drama staff.


    And I totally agree that Hyde is getting unfairly judged. It's just the luck of the draw I guess.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I am quite fine for people to disagree. I tried to clearly state that just because we enjoy something or are entertained by something, does not mean that it is of good or high quality. I have been watching closely, which is why I find the drama predictable, and that is also why I am able to see that there are major issues with acting (except for Ji Sung). Hwang Jung Eum has gotten better as the drama has progressed, but she started out really rough.


    And that's a great thing to know what you like and what you want to watch. And I find that most overhyped dramas are just that, overhyped. I actually don't watch drama just to be entertained, but I fully support others who do. To each their own.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Lee Duk Hwa is a good actor. I should have stated my sentence in a better way. An actor has to play his role amazingly to make me want to hate him right? If the villain is making me hate him, then I would say that he is doing a great job. I do want to see that actor in a non-villain role, though. Right now, when I see him, I get irritated on why does he have to treat his son like that. But in the last few episodes, I see him melting a bit. I'm glad about that.


    I don't know if the ratings would pull up. But I really don't care any more. I'm tired of the fan wars and talking about both dramas. I do understand that it would reduce their sources of money. What to do?


    I'm interested in the plot. I started watching both dramas due to my high interest in psychology.


    I have this love/hate relationship with Oh Ri On. I love what he does for his sister:supportive and caring... but the thought that he has romantic feelings just dumps everything in the trash yard. It makes me feel that he is manipulative sometimes :O.


    To be honest, I do understand noble idiocy. I've seen a few of my relatives who never share their pain even if they are on their deathbed just to not "bother" us. But I'm tired of it in dramas. But I have to just deal with it, I guess.


    I actually did like the writing of the first 4 episodes of Hajina. Episode 5 was perfect in my opinion(well-balanced). I think the response of the viewers were mainly due to the fact that KMHM had already finished its 4 episodes, it was already on track and on the groove. People would have found Hajina slow. But every drama needs the first few episodes before judging.
    I'm really hoping that the next 8 episodes have a good balance in everything.

    ReplyDelete
  14. thank you for the reply :)
    I just wonder If you really find the drama predictable, does this also mean that you predicted the ending of Episode 16?..
    I'm just curious, because as far as I know, nobody saw that one coming...haha..thanks

    ReplyDelete
  15. Haha. He has been melting a little, so I hope we get to learn about why he's so harsh on his son. I'm sure that somewhere there has to be a movie or a drama where he's not a villain.


    I'm not really sure how we can do anything much with the ratings. I think that K-drama is in a state of flux right now and we will just have to see what happens. I am also tired of the fan wars.


    Yeah, I have had issues with Oh Ri On's manipulative side, or when he kidnapped her. I just want him to respect his sister as an adult and let her make her own choices. Same with Cha Do Hyun being all noble idiot. I think that there are times and places where the noble idiocy can work well in a drama. I am also wondering now if Koreans get as frustrated by it as non-Korean viewers. I have been thinking lately that I should interview some of my Korean friends and get their perspectives on Korean drama tropes and what they get agitated by when watching.


    And I was okay with the first few episodes of HJM as well, They were pretty standard and average. I do think though that the drama has taken way too long to get to the crisis point in episode 12 that we're at. I think they could have gotten there in the first six episodes. It's a little too little too late. Hopefully the drama picks up a bit for the final eight episodes. Here's to hoping!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Oh no... should I really reply to this question?
    Before I say something, I would like to say I love KMHM and HJM... Infact I love KMHM more than HJM. That's clear...


    The ending of Episode 16 wasn't predictable. Ofcourse! I totally agree...


    but...


    I don't see what change it makes to the plot. Obviously Oh Ri Jin wasn't her birth name. She was adopted. But certainly no one thought it would Cha Do Hyun. I totally agree. I was mindblown. True that.
    But again, it doesn't change the plot much. It's not a plot twister.
    I think Cha Do Hyun (JS) is still the main personality. His name was changed during the incident to make him the heir.




    I hope you are not offended by my answer in anyway.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Yup, that's my buddy MarLubsGD. We watched the first episode of Fall in Love with Me at her house. As well as other K-drama and stuff. She is also much better than I am at finishing dramas.

    ReplyDelete
  18. The ending for episode 16 didn't surprise me at all actually. It was one of the few ways to make the family register work with two children. Does that mean that I knew exactly how the writer was going to write the whole episode with every piece of dialogue, of course not, I'm not a fortune-teller. A drama being predictable means that it follows predictable lines of thought and action, which this drama does. Of course, the drama still hasn't explained the other personality, Na Na, and I wonder if perhaps that is going to help explain why Cha Do Hyun (male) would project all the abuse onto himself because it was happening to Cha Do Hyun (female). There are also still lots of untied ends with the family register and we still are not 100% who Oh Ri Jin's biological father is, for all we know, it could be Secretary Ahn, jk, who all of a sudden knows about heartache. But I don't even feel that we learned a whole bunch of things this episode. It wasn't shocking to me at all. I don't know if that answered your question or not.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Just for the record, I don't hate either drama. I am just doing some analysis in this piece. And we already knew that something weird was up with the family register because his biological mother was never put on it, but because she knows the family secret, she was allowed to stick around. We learned that fairly early on in the drama.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Ramona SousanidouFebruary 28, 2015 5:27 AM

    I completely disagree on all the points made against KMHM. For me ( emphasis on ME) is a completely amazing drama and not just because of ji sung's performance. Firstly, the story is amazing.it's something new to me thematically and the story is so tightly written that after ep 16 even the first lines shin se gi said to ri jin are starting to have a whole new meaning now. The writer is always giving us amazing twists when we dont expect them at all( like who expected the whole name ordeal that happened in the last scene of ep16?) which makes the line that was said so many times " im Cha Do Hyun " so ironic and make us feel trolled in a good way by the writer. So i think that there are indeed a lot of things to cover till the end and 20 episodes are definitely necessary. Also the general approach of the drAma feels fresh and modern to me with the humour, the directing and the dramatic and funny scenes complimenting each other perfectly.Additionally the acting is superb by every character, not only ji sung. I dont get it when some people compain about Hwang jung eum's acting. Her character is writter like that, as an awkward doctor with her own psychological issues to desl with and who aspired to become a wrestler. Some say she screams a lot, i think i would scream a lot more if i was in her shoes. I even remember in a bts video the director telling her to scream more when she was with shin segi. Also, the male lead not being a complete and utter asshole for a change is something to cherish. As for do hyuns alters not appearing that much, wasn't that the whole purpose of the drama? For dohyun to heal and mend his personalities into one and for him to need his altets less and less? I know that when most of his alters appear it's entertaining to watch but if they appeared all the time it would have turned into a circus. I think i made it obvious that i looove to pieces this drama which has me wrapped around its finger, for which i dont complain. As for hyde jekyll me, oh jesus!! for me it's a complete snoozefest. The story doesn't make sense, even the DID is not explained well, the hypnosis thingy is too convenient, the circus is basically not a circus, hana is just a clueless plot device, the chemistry is nowhere to find and han ji min's acting is disappointing to say the least.

    ReplyDelete
  21. First of all, thanks for the post.

    As I am not watchng KMHM right now -saw 6 eps, liked Ji Sung, thought I'd come back to it later as I can't watch too many ongoing dramas at the same time...- I can't really discuss it: for what I saw, I agree with what you wrote but, I've not seen as much of the drama as you did so our opinions are on different "scales" -if that makes sense-. I was very glad to read what you wrote about comparing both shows as the constant comparisons are really getting on my nerves, esp since one is mostly used as an excuse to basically put down the other. When I feel that really, they're different things and, as you said, none of them are really good. But mostly, they're not the same.

    Now, I'm enjoying Hyde Jekyll and I a lot -okay, some episodes more than others-. I don't feel it's boring, it's actually entertaining to me -not in a "woohoo action and fun everywhere" way, more like a "I care about those characters so I'm interested" way- but the writing is awkward -the warehouse scene didn't really work for me either, though I lked the consequences of it-, the drama looks nice but there are careless editing errors, the female lead is meh, the OST is annoying, etc. It's not good but I like it. And so the comparisons bothered me ... I would maybe care less if I liked HJI less but seing "my" -as "the one I'm watching right now", ... this drama is not gonna end up in any "favourites" list of mine- mediocre drama being constantly put down compared to another mediocre drama -which I didn't hate at all, it was fun and, screeching heroin aside, I liked most of it- when they have different tones, intentions and stories,... it didn't feel right.

    Anyway, ... that's it \O/

    ReplyDelete
  22. *waves* Hi there fellow KMHM lover!


    Sincerely,
    A (dewanni) fan from all over the world who happens to love KMHM right now, but also recognizes (based on her English literature background among other things) that KMHM has some pretty glaring flaws despite being absolutely entertaining.

    ReplyDelete
  23. What wasn't there to love about FILWM? Except everything post-Wheelie. LOL.


    I picture dramas like making a pot of soup. Recipe, ingredients, simmer time, adjusting spice levels. Any one of those goes wrong, and you end up with a comment like this, "Well, my daughter, this isn't....bad. But maybe you should try doing (action) next time."


    - Shukmeister

    ReplyDelete
  24. Sunset -


    Oddly enough, KMHM garners more tears and emotional upheaval when I watch it, but I find myself wanting to watch HJM as soon as the raws come out. Why? [shrug] I don't know, but it grips me in some visceral way that KMHM doesn't.


    Out of all my Asian drama watching, these are the only two in production that I am currently watching. Neither one will be written as "epic" in my book, but I am satisfied by their entertainment value.

    ReplyDelete
  25. - whups. These are the only two SK shows. :)

    ReplyDelete
  26. I think you haven't seen the 16 ep before making this article, right?
    The DID that do-hyun suffer will explain or given a big clue at ep 16, and that's what the buzz is a lot

    I agree that the drama look pale in cinematography comparing HJM, but that more laying in get a lead like 3/4 week before aired time and lower in budget comparing the other one
    I see that KMHM deserve the popularity or even being called great drama by their audience
    They start as romantic-comedy and that's all make them special in 6 ep, turn bit melo and mystery
    They success garner the audience because what comedy do better than fluttery romance+good view is that comedy please wider audience when it done good, this show and the writing give more light heart feeling on 1st half
    They all throwing cheesy line and all random act, keeping viewer attention to at least check every week and introducing some of the character

    later when they near 2nd half, they give the hard and darker element in the story and keep the pacing more funny when it turn the lunar year holiday.
    The show did excellent job on pleasing the viewer every week, and watching every week is another feel then watching 1 ep a day.
    They give fun, romance, and great ep on lunar holiday because they aim for local viewer, but they still did explain the cheesy line , the title meaning and give some meta-critique some can argue but understand

    I also thinks it has too many flashback than it have to until I watch ep 16 and I kinda feel something different,
    it maybe just me but it told me how our memory work on bad memory, so viewers have a payoff regularly, for rijin character, a comedy in SK tend to be more loud than it have to be, but being loud makes her memorable, it kind of you knew she loud then you remember she is loud

    16 ep might work better than 20 but maybe it aim for 20 because all show already have the schedule
    the show isn't that stellar but what makes it popular, well loved , even getting a chance to have popular PPL is the way they give the enjoyment and watching experience not just for their loyal viewer also for anyone that maybe just stay for another fun, another romance, another inflicted pain, another plot, or just another yo-na.
    They kind of just being a happy show, but still give a clue for their mystery or just give it last goodbye

    for HJM the main problem is they let the viewer go, they loose it and they can't get it back,
    overall the slow pacing and change the route so the one who stay for romcom can't stay for the thriller and the one who stay for thriller feel inflicted with the romance, the balance is out,
    instead of having understand each ep, it just feel they just wanted to have a big shocking revelation then went flat cause nothing back it up before, they give villain 1 ep to just give it all being a bad villain but he is overpower to the point that he always can be danger yet vulnerable because viewer knew who he is already
    it more like they make ro bin is 2nd lead and like 2 guys fight for 1 girl later the guy fight the bad guy but 3 of them attract to the same girl

    HJM it's hard to digest cause the attention keep loosing in HJIMin or any scene other than the boys scene and remember the last ep of HJM when they aired the new one
    while KMHM surprisingly throw it all out to became it is well adore show that just spreading love and cry
    HB doing good and JS doing great, HJM flat but HJE become more loveable than her before, HJM keep changing the route when KMHM already move in and out since 1st
    if anyone said that KMHM is their 1st all out drama, I presume because they love their journey together and nothing can recall that moment back,
    just like how HJM viewer still regretted/remember the show that let them loose interest

    for a drama, an execution an enjoyment is what makes it remember rather than only well written plot when it supposed to let you enjoy every 2 days a week
    so I think KMHM team done strangely better work when they give an entertainment

    ReplyDelete
  27. Ramona SousanidouFebruary 28, 2015 8:44 AM

    Loved your post!!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Things that make a million dollars that are not quality television in anyone's book.
    1.Keeping Up with the Kardashians
    2.Baywatch (any given season with international fans all over the world)
    3.The Brady Bunch
    4.The Jerry Springer Show
    I chose American shows because these are the ones I know best. All of these shows had or had multiple seasons and have a wide variety of fans, but even the people who were/are in them (with the exception of the Kardashians) agree that the shows are not "good" even if they are entertaining.
    This is what I was trying to talk about above. I really love Kill Me Heal Me, and I will be really angry if Ji Sung's performance does not garner some sort of award at year's end. However, to say that the writing, editing, etc. is up there with top quality dramas is something else altogether and to assume that it is of that quality because we love it doesn't really make sense.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Oh, that English lit stuff will make any person start noticing all sorts of narrative flaws. I have had people leave the major and tell me they are switching because we are making them notice flaws about things that they love! My response is that you can love them anyway. I don't want someone to love me because they think I am perfect. I want them to love me despite knowing that I am not.

    ReplyDelete
  30. One day I'll get to finishing FILWM, mostly because I just want to look at Aaron ;)


    I think your soup analogy is an excellent one ^^ As all your analogies are Shuk. You are a gem among the Internets (and in RL too of course).

    ReplyDelete
  31. Hi Wei! Thanks for your support. I am also enjoying the drama (and HJM), so I don't know why all these people felt the need to come and be all up in my face about it. There are many dramas that I love despite their flaws. And I was really just trying to write an analysis.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Haha. That's funny that they would leave the major because of it. Do people not realize that we are all incredibly flawed human beings and that's part of the joy of life? (and it's headaches). I am also trying to figure out ways to describe dramatic analysis and critique to people who seem to have no idea between enjoying something and doing a critical analysis of film.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Yes!!!!!!!! I also hope that Ji Sung gets some sort of an award. He has been so wonderful in the drama!!! Maybe I am a weirdo, but I can analyze a piece (to death perhaps) and still love it. Perhaps it's my comparative lit background. Oh well. This really was a wonderful comment! Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  34. I also find myself reaching for the HJM first Shuk. I am really excited to see what happens post episode 12. There are all sorts of interesting things to think about now.

    ReplyDelete
  35. I am really glad that this is new to you and that you find the story lines interesting. And that's great that you're entertained. What I wrote was not about what individuals feel or whether something is new and fresh to some people. I wrote an analysis and critique of the dramas separate from how I am enjoying them. The drama has not been particularly fresh for me, and the name reveal at the end of episode 16 did not come as a surprise to me. It was a predictable outcome because of all the previous fuss made about the family register.


    What you, and some of the other commenters seem to be confusing is critical analysis and personal enjoyment and pleasure, which are separate entities. While the effort and energy I am expending here are about as efficient as Don Quixote's exploits against windmills, I will attempt to explain. This is not a Soompi comment thread where you can come and complain that I am wrong to write an analysis that you do not seem to understand. I am not going to capitulate into suddenly being blind to the flaws a drama might possess just because some people love the drama. I am enjoying the drama. I am still watching it. Just because I am enjoying something, does not mean that I, on my own blog, might write a piece that critically analyzes something. I don't do this just because. This is what this blog is. It is a space to critically analyze and talk about Korean drama and film in a more film study focused way. Sure, sometimes I get more fangirly, and there's nothing wrong with that, but I am a long time film study enthusiast as well as writer. I have watched many a drama and seen many a film from all around the world. So if you don't like the style of critical analysis displayed here, why are you even here reading this piece? You sought this blog out. I didn't post this anywhere except on my personal Twitter and Facebook page (and Google+). I purposefully didn't post it to be turned into some sort of target to be harangued at by neophytes. And yes, I am being harsh because I do not appreciate this approach of "I love the drama, so how dare you think about it in any way that displeases me". It is unpleasant and immature.


    This is not the first time I have watched Hwang Jung Eum's acting, and the thing that made me particularly criticize how her character was written was because she has been acting completely differently post episode 10. Her acting was also excellent in episode 16, but this shows that her characterization has not been consistent across the drama. Ji Sung has been consistent from day 1. One does not run around shrieking like a five year old when one is a doctor and psychologist. For characters to be well-written, they require internal consistency. And the drama has not been consistent. We can talk until the cows come home about plot devices and internal consistency and writing approaches and acting, but only separate from how we personally feel entertained. Also, what is the purpose of coming here and being all negative? I really don't understand. If you don't agree, well then, just let it go.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Thank you for commenting. I am actually enjoying HJM and this was more an exercise in analysis more than anything, which sadly some commenters don't seem to realize. I am also tired of the constant comparisons (and perhaps you noticed that this post wasn't really a comparison at all, but rather discussing two dramas in one post). I am enjoying HJM a lot more now that the fall out from episode 12 has happened and I look forward to seeing how it's going to play out. I also thought that Han Ji Min did a great job in episode 12. I think there are a lot of things going on behind the scenes that are creating issues for the drama, but the writer is also not the best writer out there. And you are right. The stories are completely different and I wish that people would stop dissing HJm just because they happen to love KMHM. It is possible to like both dramas at once without disparaging the other.

    ReplyDelete
  37. I Agree with you. in my percentage i have 60%:40% to each KMHM and HJM. Yes, KMHM has poor editing and crowded when Yo-Na kiss ORO is the weirdest scene in this serial. And HJM give a fair screen time to all character.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Perhaps I have just seen too many dramas, but the big name reveal at the end of episode 16 was not that surprising to me. It really wasn't. It seemed a natural fall-out to all the fuss made about the family registry beforehand and I knew that something was going to come up about the name because the writer had made sure not to tell us Oh Ri Ji's name before. It's a logic thing for me.


    I am not sure where you are getting your information about lower budgeting, but both dramas come from large network companies in South Korea and therefore have a decent amount of money to their name. Cinematography and editing have more to do with expertness and artistry than money, though they help. KMHM is also in the live shoot stage of the drama, so it is understandable that they have suffered a quality loss in editing, but it hasn't been there from the beginning. Editing is a skill that requires a good eye, and it's not necessarily something that money can buy. Most watchers of TV and film little realize the key importance a good editor plays, and that is why a lot of television and film suffers as a result.


    Also, I think you and some of the other commenters are getting confused between popularity and quality. They are most certainly not one and the same. KMHM has also not been that popular in South Korea, where it has barely broken 10%, which is not that great for Korean television. So as much as it might enjoy popularity in the Soompi thread, that does not mean that the drama is actually all that popular. Also, you and other commenters seem to think it's your business to come on a crusade here and convince me of trying not to analyze drama. I don't understand it. This is not a popularity contest. I just wrote a dramatic analysis about two currently airing dramas. I am also going to say again: popularity and personal preference are NOT what my blog post were about. If you are solely interested in dramas that make you happy or are popular, then this is perhaps not the space for you.

    ReplyDelete
  39. HJM has been good about giving more equal screen time to its characters, which KMHM seems to have abandoned. I thought the Yo Na and ORO kiss scene was a funny ad-lib and I really didn't mind it.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Ramona SousanidouMarch 01, 2015 2:32 AM

    Are u sure this reply was intended towards me? What's up with all the " if u are being negative, why come here, this is not soompi etc" attitute. I read your post and found myself diasgreeing on everyrhing about KMHM, is it so bad that i posted here my opinion? Should i just delete my posts altogether cause i dont find any faults in kmhm?

    ReplyDelete
  41. It is more that you don't seem to understand critical analysis. You don't need to delete anything, but please don't pretend to be offended when you are the one who commented here. This is not a forum.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Ramona SousanidouMarch 01, 2015 2:40 AM

    Do u seriously think that han ji min did a good job in episode 12? I mean she just stands there with 2 expressions max! It's like someone sucked the life out of her. She wasn't this bad in padam padam. What the heck happened to her?

    ReplyDelete
  43. Ramona SousanidouMarch 01, 2015 2:45 AM

    Im nit being offebded believe me. I just thought that maybe you dobt want pists here when nothing bad is being said about a drama. So i had to agree with you or find flaws in something for my pist to be considered a " critical analysis"? I even emphasized the ME in my post.. And of course you are entitled to your opinion, to each his own at the end of the story

    ReplyDelete
  44. As she is not a particularly talented actress and needs a good director to bring out a good performance, she did a much better job of actually eliciting emotion in episode 12. Direction has a lot more to do with acting than most people realize.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Thank you for your answer =)

    I did notice the post wasn't a comparison at all. The few lines you wrote about other people comparing both just really stood out for me because of the way I feel about all the comparisons flying around. I watched HJM ep12 last night, really enjoyed it, especially the end. As for Han Ji Min -whom I usually really like so I'm a bit confused as to why I don't here... I don't hate her in this drama, I just don't really "feel" her and it's partly because of the writing, partly because of the acting-, I thought she mostly looked bored through the episode but I really enjoyed the episode itself. And I think the title of the drama is finally starting to make sense, or is it just me? I thought at first that the "I" was either Robin+Seo Jin as a one entity or Ha Na, now I'm starting to feel otherwise.

    Anyway, I like exercises in analysis =) I often lack the ability to "take a step back" to actually do them myself but it's always a good read.

    ReplyDelete
  46. The difference between critical analysis and personal opinion is a certain level of experience and objectivity. One can enjoy something (as I am enjoying both these dramas) and still critically analyze something and explicate its flaws. It's not about liking the drama. That was exactly what I am saying to you and to everyone who loves the dramas. It has actually very little to do with personal enjoyment and entertainment and everything to do with the basic building blocks of film production.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Thank you for recognizing the exercise in analysis ^^ I also really enjoyed the episode 12 ending. I think that the Han Ji Min issue largely has to do with direction and writing. Some actors and actresses need a particular director to bring out a certain level of performance. There could also be other tensions behind the scenes on set because the drama is not performing well in South Korea and that could add to the less energetic performance she's giving. I think that people are giving her too much flack. It would be really interesting to see the production notes from BTS and to know more of what's going on. I think that the major re-writes are also causing havoc.

    ReplyDelete
  48. True, direction is also a huge part of how an actor performs. Some really good actors end up failing in the hands of a bad director and some "can be good" actors can only be so with good direction. Just to say it again: I do not particularly hate Han Ji Min in this, she doesn't bother me. She could be better, just like her character could be more interesting, but the character's still nice, the actress is not bad. I'm just a bit unmoved. And as you said, influencing the performance itself are the director and the writer.

    And then, there's how the performance is perceived. How it's presented in the finished product. Some scenes don't quite work because of not so good editiing for ex. It's a "whole". In some scenes the feeling doesn't get through because a situation hasn't been written tight enough, because we're distracted by loud music, ...

    ReplyDelete
  49. I haven't been too distracted by loud music. Maybe I just have my volume turned down too low. Haha. But yeah. There are all sorts of ingredients that go into the mix. I also get the feeling that the cast doesn't have super great chemistry. It's one thing to have leads that have great chemistry, but a whole other thing when the whole cast have great chemistry. It really makes a difference. I don't Han Ji Min either and I think her performance is so-so. Episode 12 seemed to pick things up for everyone though, so we shall just have to see how it goes.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Ha ha right choice maybe for the music! It's been bothering me quite a bit in HJI, it's actually one of the major problems I have with the drama. They have this one song that comes blasting a lot and it's giving me "Love is the moment"/Heirs flashbacks. So some emotionnal scenes end up making me laugh :(

    Anyway, yes, let's see how it goes! I have still enjoyed every episode until here and I'm enjoying it more and more as things seem to get moving faster.

    Have a nice day =)

    ReplyDelete
  51. Luckily I managed to avoid Heirs, but I do know that song...and I have totally been reminded of it while watching HJM!!!


    Have a nice day too!

    ReplyDelete
  52. i agree some of your opinion about kmhm. it have flaws especially the too much flashbacks but it doesnt bother me at all..i still love its imperfection...though i dont know about editing,directing etc but for me its well done excpt for those noticible editing scenes due to live shooting...maybe bec im just too fascinated how the bgm music suit to that particular scene..and they know how to leave impact cliffhanger w/ powerful bgm w/ great acting w/c i often seen in kdrama ive watch..its actually my first time seeing the 2 leads in drama..

    i just love this scenes though it might not good for you:
    >first scene of ep1..compilation of seungjin group news articles
    >basement scenes of little rijin and cdh
    >during cjp "abuse" rijin&cdh
    >confrontation bet ssg and grandma in her office(house)
    >emphasize of grandpa big picture
    ----dis always give me shiver even w/o d bgm
    (sadly this are also keep on repeating through flashbacks maybe bec they lack of scripts for that particular ep(?))

    about ep16 ending,i think viewers have already expected it but didnt see it coming that the name that suppose to be uttered was not what the majority think of...and thats why it gives impact knowing cha do hyun name is suited for males and the host doesnt have a real identity as of now..i just cant help imagining shin se gi's(Jisung) first love is cha do hyun(Jisung)...lol

    even ep14 cliffhanger (best scene)have big impact eventhough we already know the truth...but the way they execute it..the camera angle,the flashback,the auditory hallucination song + bunos jisung acting...makes it wow(for me)..

    and i dont think jisung amazing acting only makes it good but its also how they film,edit,direct it overall..not to forget the supporting actors and the lines/phrases/dialogue in here(i dont know how to explain it perfectly)

    yo-na's world(ep13) its actually tribute to the fans who came..the director promise not to edit it out so the quality of the video looks like taken from a fancam.lol

    for hyde jekyll and me, i only watch 2 episodes..its not fair enough to judge if i havent seen the entire episode..so forgive me if i dont have anything to say about it.

    ReplyDelete
  53. I just mention briefly about quality since I can't compare if both is on going drama
    quality wise : for half episode
    KMHM is way better than HJM, but then my comment gonna be so long
    Overall, we need to wait for complete ep of both
    Regarding cost production or editing, KMHM rush their production/shooting when barely managed the lead 4 weeks before air time, that's why I think from time wise, they have little time than HJM, their editing is fine for me but the view HJM crue for 10 ep is more beautifully capture but only for the background

    About 10 rating, yes TV 10 % but the online is about 37 %
    when HJM in 5 % and online 14%
    even other show which is 13% or 9% not getting that much in online
    I pointed about why KMHM and HJM gather much fuss because clearly that what make yo interested about comparing them
    I don't mix up between quality and popularity cause I can't do much about on air drama but just pointed out the way everything happen for audience of both of the drama

    because it seems in your post, it's all about how KMHM is called superior than HJM by most viewer when in your opinion it wasn't
    I don't mind if you don't like it or you think it's mediocre but I want to give you my though about what happen in rating since you have problem about how people bashing a drama just because they don't like it, or even degrading each drama since the popularity is what makes it happen and the only thing I can compare right now,
    watching experience is what matter by audience and that effect can judge fairly by the time they aired which more likely reflecting in rating or lot of comment online
    it is not about a thread, I appreciate your POV, but I mention about what make the 2 of them distinctive, personal taste is every one opinion but there's general likeness and general disappointment and reason why KMHM is more popular than HJM is my fair way of comparison, not going to convince you or anyone, merely an observation since the popularity is what makes you write or maybe start analyzing the drama when editing or more technical is not most viewer see when they watching a drama.
    last, why I comment is because I think it needed to make clear the situation between what happen to general audience both drama, why they choose one over another at this moment

    ReplyDelete
  54. I just mention briefly about quality since I can't compare if both is on going drama
    quality wise : for half episode
    KMHM is way better than HJM, but then my comment gonna be so long
    Overall, we need to wait for complete ep of both
    Regarding cost production or editing, KMHM rush their production/shooting when barely managed the lead 4 weeks before air time, that's why I think from time wise, they have little time than HJM, their editing is fine for me but the view HJM crue for 10 ep is more beautifully capture but only for the background

    About 10 rating, yes TV 10 % but the online is about 37 %
    when HJM in 5 % and online 14%
    even other show which is 13% or 9% not getting that much in online
    I pointed about why KMHM and HJM gather much fuss because clearly that what make yo interested about comparing them
    I don't mix up between quality and popularity cause I can't do much about on air drama but just pointed out the way everything happen for audience of both of the drama

    because it seems in your post, it's all about how KMHM is called superior than HJM by most viewer when in your opinion it wasn't
    I don't mind if you don't like it or you think it's mediocre but I want to give you my though about what happen in rating since you have problem about how people bashing a drama just because they don't like it, or even degrading each drama since the popularity is what makes it happen and the only thing I can compare right now, there will always that kind of comment, even by drama that not air in the same time when its including a big fandom (in mean big possible audience), but the bashing or more bias toward others is not likely what make KMHM or HJM audience stay or leave,

    watching experience is what matter by audience and that effect can judge fairly by the time they aired which more likely reflecting in rating or lot of comment online

    it is not about a thread that popular I appreciate your POV, but I mention about what make the 2 of them distinctive, personal taste is every one opinion but there's general likeness and general disappointment and reason why KMHM is more popular than HJM is my fair way of comparison,


    not going to convince you or anyone, merely an observation since the popularity is what makes you write or maybe start analyzing the drama when editing or more technical is not most viewer see when they watching a drama.
    last, why I comment is because I think it needed to make clear the situation between what happen to general audience both drama, why they choose one over another at this moment and not because they just wanted to degrading one for a favor of the other one, hope the situation is understandable

    ReplyDelete
  55. In the end, what matters is which drama engages you, not so much the quality, or how good-looking or good in acting, the leads are. i watched episode 1 of HJM first because when it started airing i just finished watching Secret Garden and i was looking for something new to feed my Hyunbin craving. I never watched the following episodes, sitting through one hour of that awful opening is enough for me. A few weeks later I decided to see what the competition, and the constant comparison being made to HJM, is all about. And I loved it. Can't say it was love at first sight, but I was certainly engaged enough to want to watch the next episodes. And now I can't seem to get enough of Jisung and HJE. I'd be the first to claim there are faults in the production - but it certainly won't stop me from watching until the end.

    PS - if anyone tells me a few weeks ago that they I would someday prefer Jisung over Hyunbin, i'd probably laugh in derision. Serves me right for forgetting that for an actor, you're only as good as your next project.

    ReplyDelete
  56. It's not that I don't understand that people have different tastes, or that other people like one drama more than the other (I like both these more or less the same). What I am frustrated by is that because I watch dramas critically and from a technical aspect, somehow I've turned into this bad guy and this thread has exploded into comments that I am not allowed to do that because other people like the drama. One person even told me that because I don't make millions of dollars from writing, that means I am not qualified to critique something. That is BS.

    ReplyDelete
  57. To each their own. I am glad that you are enjoying the drama ^^

    ReplyDelete
  58. Interesting post. I agree with your point that KMHM is a drama partially elevated by Ji Sung's acting. In the hands of less capable actor, I don't know how the show would have turned out to be. But, as you yourself wondered, why did you write this post? Is it perhaps to convince yourself? Comparing the two is not unfair, since the author of HJM himself accused KMHM of plagiarism. But to say KMHM and HJM are at equal levels of mediocrity is being unfair to KMHM in my opinion. I don't know what HJM was destined to be if not for the rewrites. But what was presented to me was not very interesting. Since HJM seemed to want to avoid the "campy" vibe prevalent in KMHM, the fake zipline, non-existent circus, kidnapping which hijacked the plot, en masse hypnotism, a dumb heroine and yes the god-awful gorilla stood out.
    On the other hand, going in blind to watch KMHM, I saw a show which does not shy from making fun of itself, had a whip-smart heroine, Ji Sung in all his avatars, a lot of side-splitting laughs and thankfully an evil perpetrator who was not forgiven.
    The annoying trend of showing the leads have a fated connection from their childhood, followed by trauma and then amnesia and then re-connecting in present is indicative of lazy writing, but since its there in all dramas (Healer, HJM, KMHM) I have to discount that from the comparison.
    One more reason to like KMHM was the female character. Notwithstanding her screeching, she was someone who immediately clued in to the hero's disability, who was aware that she was crossing professional boundaries by falling in love with the patient and finally she called bs on the whole noble idiocy plot CDH and her brother cooked up behind her back. I love my shows with strong female characters, and for that alone I would rate this higher than HJM.
    Where I felt the show could have done better is in establishing rules for appearance of each personality and following through with it. That would have led to a more cohesive plot.

    ReplyDelete
  59. My "wondering" was a rhetorical sort of "why did I bother to write a film analysis", which I also then answered. It wasn't to convince myself, it was a film analysis exercise. Both dramas are mediocre; my opinion hasn't changed. And just for the record, it was the webtoon author, who had authorized their work to be used to make HJM that accused KMHM of plagiarism. The HJM makers were really clear about distancing themselves from the comments of the webtoon writer.



    HJM has actually developed into a more introspective take on childhood trauma, forgiveness, etc. in a slightly less hyper-realized makjang setting that KMHM, which bears the markers of a weekend drama. Ji Sung's avatars were poorly used and were merely a vehicle for laughs, which seemed at odds with the serious subject matter of the drama. I have still to finish the last four episodes because watching a mediocre drama with low production value is not my favourite cup of tea. I will eventually get to it, I hope. The KHMH female lead was grating to my nerves (and many others as well) and it was only in the third act of the drama that I appreciated her more. I wish she had acted like that in the first two acts of the drama.


    Both dramas suffer from weak writing, which shows in pacing, and how the story unfolds. HJM also just has really slow pacing in general. I am actually current with that drama as it has at least been more or less consistent in tone.

    ReplyDelete
  60. I'll just say that I disagree with Kill Me Heal Me being not good. I'm immensely enjoying it and as far as I am concerned, I've read the article in the beginning that the story will be more about the birth secrets and as to why he got the DID and the journey ahead of how he will be healed. The actors are also great in the portrayal of their characters and if you really watch closely, you'll understand why they act that way. I know there are faults in the show but I would never say it is not good.


    But nevertheless, I told myself that I'll only take my word for any drama. Many Kdramas that others labeled as meh,I've enjoyed tremendously and those overhyped ones just bored me to death. I guess we all watch kdramas to be entertained because overly finding faults in them makes you not enjoy watching them. KMHM won't be this popular if many people don't like watching it so I'm okay with that.

    ReplyDelete
  61. In the end, what matters is which drama engages you, not so much the quality, or how good-looking or good in acting, the leads are. i watched episode 1 of HJM first because when it started airing i just finished watching Secret Garden and i was looking for something new to feed my Hyunbin craving. I never watched the following episodes, sitting through one hour of that awful opening is enough for me. A few weeks later I decided to see what the competition, and the constant comparison being made to HJM, is all about. And I loved it. Can't say it was love at first sight, but I was certainly engaged enough to want to watch the next episodes. And now I can't seem to get enough of Jisung and HJE. I'd be the first to claim there are faults in the production - but it certainly won't stop me from watching until the end.

    PS - if anyone tells me a few weeks ago that they I would someday prefer Jisung over Hyunbin, i'd probably laugh in derision. Serves me right for forgetting that for an actor, you're only as good as your next project.

    ReplyDelete
  62. Thanks for commenting. I am sorry it took so long to reply, but we were having a Blogger comment migration issue with Disqus.


    I think we all watch dramas for different reasons, some of us like to critique as well as watch for enjoyment. I am glad that you enjoyed Kill Me, Heal Me so much and that it was a good watch for you :) What's important is how we all personally decide to watch drama, and that we respect others' ways of watching drama as well.

    ReplyDelete