Thursday, May 28, 2015

Mask Episode 1 - Dying Is Not Necessarily A Bad Thing

It was a dark and stormy night......... OK, not stormy, but certainly dark, I just always wanted to start a post with that phrase and it seemed apt.  A car races around the curve, going too fast for the conditions (Did anyone get distracted by the obviously planted purple and yellow flowers on the side of the road?  Beautiful, but obviously not natural and it distracted me).  A deer trots into the middle of the road, startling the driver who swerves to avoid the poor thing.  By saving Bambi, the car shoots through the railing and crashes over the side of an ocean cliff.  The only thing that saves the unfortunate passengers is the barrier cords that wrap around the tires of the car, keeping it from plummeting.
For those of you just discovering our awesome blog, I am Kmuse, one of the two main bloggers in The Crazy Ahjummas.  I am a mother of three and an avid kdrama watcher, in that I love to watch literally everything.  There are very few currently airing dramas that I am not watching so if you have any questions about them (or really any drama since I have seen an insane amount) feel free to ask me in the comments.  Or better yet come like our facebook page and ask me there. For those of you who have not read my past recaps, I am one of those bloggers that really likes to just discuss my opinions on certain scenes or concepts of the drama.  We don't go step by step through the whole thing.  So if you are looking for a more complete recap you might have to look elsewhere (and then come back and read ours of course).

So now that the introduction has been crossed off my to do list, let's jump into episode one and everything "Mask".  The most melotastic first episode I have watched in a long time.  I predict that this one is going to be an epic crazy ride.
We are back in our dangling car, with our heroine Byeon Ji Sook (Soo Ae) trying to unlock a pair of handcuffs that connect her to the steering wheel.  The keys drop from her fingers and are out of her reach on the windshield (Eeeek, am getting a bit sick from the height/impending fall).  The keys, the windshield, and the other passenger all fall from the car into the awaiting jaws of the ocean.  Ji Sook's phone rings and she is able to barely reach and answer.......while still dangling... ack so much dangling.
We see the name on the caller ID, "Lunatic", and as she answers the phone we hear a man ask "Have you thought about my offer?" Ji Sook tries to tell him about the accident, and is shocked when he says he already knows and the only hope of being saved is to join him.  Pretty much the mysterious lunatic says that he will save her if Ji Sook will agree to his plan and do anything he tells her.
Stuck between a rock and impending death, our heroine agrees but is speechless when the big bad tells her the first thing Ji Sook must do is die.  "You must die for our plan to succeed.  Don't  worry, dying is not necessarily a bad thing." 

Ji Sook stares down at the ocean below and with tears in her eyes, sends her parents and brother a goodbye message (sounds just like a suicide note), telling them to live better lives than how they have til now.  Tears stream down her face as the last bit of wire cord brakes and the car plummets into the ocean.  We next see the body of Ji Sook in the morgue (obviously dead) and her voice over cursing the moment she came in contact with this crazy guy.
SQUEEEEEE is anyone else feeling the crazy makjang vibes around now?
Enter our crazy guy, also known as hottie leading man Min Woo (Joo Ji Hoon).  And when I say crazy, it is not just a random descriptive word.  There is a good chance he is literally crazy.  Totally coo coo for cocoa puffs, crazy.  Min Woo sees hallucinations, has an extreme phobia of germs... which trigger the hallucinations, and is just all around a little off.   There is even a scene where Min Woo is seeing his psychiatrist and get's so upset that he just screams "I'm not crazy" over and over and over. Yelling "I'm not crazy"to your shrink usually means that you are either being drugged with hallucinogens to make it seem like you are crazy, or that you are just plain crazy.  At this point in the game, it could really be either.
At least it looks like Min Woo's insanity comes legitimately as we meet his power hungry father, his father's critical wife (He is the son of his father's mistress, but is recognized in the family registry), and his high maintenance sister who also claims that she is a bit crazy.  Add in a brother in law who is throwing out sinister vibes right and left, and you have the perfect lead of a melodrama. It's no wonder that Min Woo is seeing evil tar germ hallucinations coming to get him after that kind of upbringing.
It looks like Min Woo doesn't even have hope for normal within his marriage as we meet his cold, heartless, soon to be bride Seo Eun Ha.  A bride who just so happens to look exactly like our leading lady Ji Sook (A doppelganger plot line? How original ........... #WishIHadASarcasmFont ).  Theirs is an arranged marriage, an arrangement in which Eun Ha receives money and stock after the wedding.  This is not that shocking, but added into the contract is the fact that Eun Ha has a lover she does not intend to leave.  Also included is the clauses that there will be no sex, no kids, and no extramarital affairs for Min Woo.  Min Woo easily agrees and simply states that he pities the man who is sleeping with his cold fiancee.
Isn't she just a winner....
Before going any farther, let's meet our doppelganger leading lady Byeon Ji Sook who is
playing a waltz in her head as her supervisor rampages over her bad sale figures.  I kid you not, as the hulk of a woman yells at her, she is humming a waltz to the screaming.  Bwahahaha, the music goes on as we see Ji Sook's supervisor get more and more worked up while Ji Sook remains lost in her head. 
Ji Sook is a hardworking, if inefficient, employee who is always broke due to her father's huge debts to loan sharks.  The negatives of her life just continue to pile up as we see her deal with loan shark thugs, verbally abusive supervisors, a mother who wishes her husband would just die, a father who is trying to accommodate her mother (he even sucks at committing suicide) and a brother who is trying to get up the nerve to rob a bank.  Even after all of that, it is meeting a bunch of her mean girl schoolmates at a reunion and an ex wanna be boyfriend who tries to buy her charms, that break her.  What else is a girl to do but get totally soju sloshed?

ABS!!!  Abs, abs, and more glorious abs.  Yumm, Joo Ji Hoon really does have a beautiful chest, and we ahjummas thank him for his hard work on showing them off.
Falling down drunk on the side of the street, Ji Sook is spotted by Min Woo, who mistakes her for his cold fish fiancee.  Min Woo stops, but is about to leave his fiancee passed out until he begins to imagine that everyone is looking at him with disgust at his ungentlemanly behavior.  
He picks her up and drags her to a hotel, at which point Ji Sook pukes all over him.  Hahahaha... Due to his extreme fear of germs it is back into the shower and a seriously low pan of his abs, showing off more assets then you usually get in a kdrama. Kamsahamnida director!
Stumbling into the bathroom to throw up, Ji Sook is literally hugging the toilet as our, almost naked, leading man comes out of the shower.  Hahahaha, he tries to carefully grab the robe hanging on the wall, only to slip, fall, lose his towel, and end up naked hugging our leading lady on the bathroom floor. She rouses herself enough to look at him, look down the length of him, and say "Thank you sir" before passing out again.  BWAHAHAHAHA  I think we all are thanking him for his body right now.
Is it too much to ask that they unclothe Joo Ji Hoon in every episode?  Would be tragic if we get all the yummy moments in episode 1 and have a barren abless wasteland later.
The next day Min Woo is all set to confront his Ice fiancee over her faux pas, only to be confused when Eun Ha shows no recollection of the previous nights events.  Even more startling is that the scrapes on her knees have miraculously disappeared.
While Eun Ha and Min Woo are distracted over his inspection of Eun Ha's legs, we see a waitress coming towards the table while slipping a pill into the wine bottle.  WTH????  Now people are about to get doped?  What about the large crowd of servants and musicians that are serving lunch and playing waltzes (Seriously?  Who has a full symphony going on in the background during lunch at home?) Luckily for the attempted killer, Min Woo's sister and brother in law show up and amp up the hidden subtext meter a good notch.  Now, I am not aware of the future plot, but I am taking a wild guess that our dear brother in law, and ultimate big bad, is in fact having an affair with Eun Ha.  Either that, or he is really intensely interested in her couture outfit.  And judging from the evil glares and snarky comments coming out of Mi Yeon (the sister), she knows about the affair and is a scorned woman on the warpath. 
Mi Yeon and her husband leave to fight in the house, when a scream interrupts their argument.  They rush outside only to find a groggy Min Woo on the side of the pool and Eun Ha floating lifeless in the pool.
My Thoughts:
I am thoroughly enjoying this drama.  This writer is known for taking a typical kdrama stereotype or trope and feeding it a diet of red bull to up the notch of makjang.  Something which I personally love.  If you really look at the different segments you will see this in every aspect of the drama.  From the revenge, the characters personalities/actions, and even the music which is larger than life.  Why have dinner at a fancy restaurant, when you can have an elaborate french style picnic with full symphony?  Why have a car be on the edge of a cliff, when you can have it dangling half way down the side in full plummet?  Why have an emotionally stunted leading man, when you can go for one that is literally crazy?  Or for that matter, why have only a partial chest shower scene, when you can have the whole torso and then some?  This writer goes big and bold and I suspect it will only go larger from here.
The one complaint I did have is the scene where the two women come across each other in the mall.  It left me feeling underwhelmed.  Maybe it was the rush of the moment, or the lack of emotion in the actress's eyes.. Either way, it was the one moment I would have expected to be huge, and instead I felt it was a side note to the rest of the plot.
With that exception, I was thoroughly entertained and am looking forward to getting some of my questions answered.  Who tried to kill Eun Ha? Why does Ji Sook have to fake her death?  Is Suk Hoon really Eun Ha's lover and is he going to go on a crazy evil revenge quest?  Will we get to see more of Min Woo's glorious chest?  Hopefully these and more will be answered in episode 2. 
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1 comment:

  1. I thought that the "Crazy Man" on the phone was the brother-in-law but I may be wrong. I know he probably isn't the lead (because, you know, he's evil!) but I really like the look in that man's eyes!


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