Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Lie to Me Korean Drama Review

I disappeared for a week to watch sixteen episodes of a Korean romantic comedy. I needed a shot of feel good nonsense to deal with life. Now my family will disown me. Telenovelas are a crime here.

Of course I’ve seen bits and pieces of telenovelas before. In this drama obsessed country, they’re unavoidable. Remember the time when those flower boys, who had smoother armpits than real females, were on TV? They were so ever present that even the tattooed musclemen at the wet market secretly watched their show, but even then I did not watch in full. This series I’d watched recently was the first I’d completed.

Lie to Me Korean Drama
I'm guilty. I watched this drama. Feel free to disown me now.
My official excuse is that I was stressed out. I engage in so much mental weightlifting that I’m convinced my brain now has a six pack. I needed some form of therapy that didn’t have to make me think, hence, my venture into this Korean drama.

Lie to Me is the story of Gong Ah Jung, a civil servant who lies to her friends about being married. By some misunderstanding, it becomes widely circulated that she is married to the rich, stuck up business executive Hyun Ki Joon. The lie spirals out of control, turning their lives upside down.

In Korea, the story hit rock bottom ratings and some say it’s because of the implausibility of the plot. I’d argue though that viewers really look for the implausible. Otherwise, a show would approach real life so closely it’d have the appeal of a root canal. I dare say the secret to a series’ success is in the proper execution of the implausible.

This is where the series fails. Even the love story which is at the core of it all is forced upon our consciousness like Dionisia Pacquio in her latest gown disaster. The struggling civil servant and the snobbish executive are given little excuse to fall in love but we are required to accept it.

The rest of the characters and their relationships are equally underdeveloped, served uncooked to viewers, thereby causing some fair amount of food poisoning. To make matters worse, there is so much drinking going on that the show deserves the award for most characters under the influence of alcohol in a romantic comedy. It increasingly looked like the abundance of alcohol was a precursor to the crying parts. No alcohol, no crying.

Still, there must have been something in it to have made me watch up to the end. I must give the credit to Kang Ji Hwan (Ki Joon) and Yoon Eun Hye (Ah Jung). Ji Hwan is the anti thesis of the meek, feminine boys that are now taken as a standard for male beauty and yet he is smooth as silk himself. All of a sudden you realize that this is how you want your man to be, not some kid who’d gone gung-ho over his mom’s waxing kit.

If I were asked, “When did you realize you were female?” I’d say it was right when I discovered Kang Ji Hwan in Lie to Me. Prior to this I had no clue of my gender.

Eun Hye, though seemingly overpowered at times by the physically and emotionally charged Ji Hwan, is at her element and promptly makes short work of the comic relief that is her job to dispense like an old veteran.

Then there’s Jeju Island which they shamelessly exploit to set the mood for the perfect romantic close. The running from opposite directions to meet at the middle of a cliff overlooking the sea scene makes you want to hurl the writer (or director) over the cliff as a sacrificial offering to Poseidon, but Jeju ultimately tugs at your appetite for scenic beauty and before the credits roll, you’ve forgiven the writer.

But I would have forgiven the writer anyway even without Jeju Island because I know that the show’s primary goal is to entertain. If I wanted something more real, I would have just watched the six o’clock news.


  1. naku, I so love this one. I like the girl...she's so beautiful.. their story reminds me of Full House...

  2. That's too bad for the series, i often thought any korean telenovela is worth its salt when its reaches our shore. Lately, I've been stuck to this korean action telenovela "Runaway". I am enjoying it somehow despite that I haven't really been into teleseryes :-)

  3. I enjoy koreanovela's. They're quick and very entertaining.

  4. Oh wow Gracie you actually finished the series? ehehehehee..Can't imagine you spending so much time on romantic series like this :)...I did finish it long time ago and I must admit it tickled my girly bones! lol!

    Jeju Island is love!!

  5. I envy you for having the precious time to watch that korenovela. I find refreshing to indulge in koreanovelas but I just don't have the time :(

  6. Wow,,I really love korean movies,,Its very thrilled and very exciting movies, especially heart's string .Have you already watch it???

  7. Waaahhh. I want to watch this one..

  8. just by looking at the photo itself made me conclude that this telenovela must be that good and so romantic. na kilig ako prang feeling ko ako na nakisan. hahahhaha i'm not really fond of watching neither local nor international telenovelas.

  9. can I have a copy please.. hehehehe

  10. wow its been a while since I watch a korean telenovela. this one sounds good. i should check it out. thanks for sharing!


  11. I have noticed the growing Korean TV series and I found them greatly done and directed. In fact, it has influenced the way the Phil TV series is being done.

  12. Hahahaha... All I can say is that I read your whole post and your comments up here. What can I say... HOLIDAY!!! LOL!!!

    Anyway, when Korean teleseryes haven't hit the Philippines, I was already quite addicted to it. I watched them at Arirang, a Korean channel from our cable TV. But when it started showing in our local channels, I didn't had the opportunity to constantly watch one. I didn't even watched Meteor Garden and Boys Over Flower. But except one in which I forgot the title of the series but just like you, I wasn't able to watch the whole series, only a few episodes.

    In short, I like Korean shows but I am not that addicted to it as I am before.

  13. I love watching this series, very romantic and funny.

  14. its very interesting one i love it!

  15. I am yet to finish the series and I actually agree with you that the plot is so implausible and a bit predictable - rich guy falls in love with a not-so-rich girl but this time around, guy's relatives are supportive. That was a relief.

    I am already at the half of episode 15 and I there are these moments when I just want to die of jealousy, not because he is rich but because he knows how to fight for her and he acts like how a real man should. :)

  16. " Ji Hwan is the anti thesis of the meek, feminine boys that are now taken as a standard for male beauty and yet he is smooth as silk himself. All of a sudden you realize that this is how you want your man to be"

    You just read my mind!!! I also my man to be a Kang Ji Hwan doppelaganger!
    He is a drama saver indeed.

  17. I enjoyed this drama all the way through the 14th episode. I was not impressed with the last two episodes. The last episode where Ah Jung moves to Jeju Island was an indication that she wanted to be left alone. Although the couple ended up together, I felt that some of the spark between the couple was lost.

    Maybe I took the story too seriously, I felt a little sad.


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