Pinocchio: Korean Drama Review

Pinocchio23It took me a while before I finally broke down to watch the final two episodes of Park Shin Hye (The Heirs, He’s Beautiful), and Lee Jong Suk’s (I Can Hear Your Voice) Pinocchio series. Its not because the drama was horrible, but because it was actually too good. I didn’t want to say goodbye to the characters so I held out for as long as I could (two weeks) before finishing the drama.

Pinocchio revolves around Ki Ha Myung/ Choi Dal Po (Lee Jong Suk), who was orphaned at an early age because his father was wrongly accused of causing the death of nine firemen under his charge during a chemical explosion. His family was ostracized by the public because of unethical media coverage led by MSC’s star reporter Sung Cha Ok, who happens to be the mother of Choi In Ha (Park Shin Hye), a girl with the (fictional) Pinocchio syndrome which prompts her to hiccup uncontrollably when she lies. Their paths intersect when Ha Myung is adopted by In Ha’s family. They grow up together and fall in love and embark on a journey to become reporters, In Ha so she could get close to her mother and Ha Myung to find justice for his father.

I loved that this drama worked in so many levels. It worked as a love story because the lead characters had excellent rapport and chemistry. It worked as a workplace drama, as it delved into the world of journalism, and the ethics in performing the job of a reporter. I loved that it was able to chronicle the mistakes that journalists sometimes commit and highlight its impact on public opinion. Not only that, the series was also able to showcase the amount of influence viewership plays in the overall scheme of things — which stories to run, what angles to use, which really happens in real life newsrooms. It also worked as a family drama.

I loved that the entire cast came out with excellent performances — from the lead characters Lee Jong Suk, who I think has the potential to be the next Kwon Sang Woo. This kid is a gifted actor. I don’t know how he does it but he approaches every scene with a certain level of intensity that it just comes naturally for the audience to believe whatever it is that he is portraying. Park Shin Hye, on the other hand, was very good in her role, but even better than in previous roles because she seemed more comfortable with Jong Suk than any of her other leading men. These two are so charming on the light scenes and so heartbreaking in the heavy drama stuff that its magic when they get together. The secondary characters were perfectly  cast — its hard not to fall in love with them but my favorites were Lee Yu-bi as Yoon Yoo Rae, Kim Young Kwang as Seo Bom Jo, Yoon Kyun Sang as Ki Jae Myung and of course veteran actor Byun Hee Bong as Choi Gong Pil, Dal Po’s adoptive father.

There was also a great balance between the drama and the comedy, so much so that I sometimes feel like a nut fighting back tears one moment and laughing wildly in the next. There was a great core story that enabled the characters to become better connected with the audience, even those who were purported to be villains in the beginning. And the wardrobe — I’ve never seen better dressed reporters (even interns) in real life.

All in all, I loved Pinocchio. It was one of the best Korean dramas I’ve seen in a while and I have a feeling I will be rewatching it soon if only to visit with the characters again. Oh, and I do have one complaint — that Yu Rae and Cap’s story didn’t seem to have closure but that’s about it. All I can say is — watch it if you haven’t yet. You won’t be sorry.