Thursday, June 14, 2018

Afterthoughts: Hwayugi (A Korean Odyssey) [SUPER SPOILER]

Hwayugi (A Korean Odyssey)

Okay, so I loved this drama.... for the most part. But even though I did like it, I have to admit that there were so many problems with it that by the time the drama ended I was left feeling unsettled and kind of just frustrated that I wasted so much time on this drama. But I feel like if a season 2 came out, then all would be right in the world and I wouldn't nearly have as big of a problem with it as I do now. Now, I want to go ahead and warn you that I'm not keeping spoilers out of this. This will be a full on spoiler fest because I'm giving my thoughts on this drama.

So for starters, I'll start with the OST. Which was GOLD, by the way. This was one of the best OST's I've seen in a drama.

Specifically Bumkey's 'When I Saw You'

Which I mean, you can't really go wrong with Bumkey anyways... But the song just perfectly matched up with the drama. It easily became my favorite OST of 2018. 

As for the casting, I believe the casting was perfect. I heard a lot of different opinions on this one, but to me I think the casting of this drama was just perfect. Because they're all so different, it just works. It's dysfunctional but amazing at the same time.

As for the storyline, this is where I have some problems with. 

For starters I will say that this drama could have been AMAZING if they had tweaked a few parts of it. It started off really well in the beginning and it wasn't until episode like 14 that I had problems finishing the drama. I think this drama could have wrapped up in 16 episodes rather than dragging onto 20. So after about the 16th episode, it really just seemed dragged out. 
So I will start with the problems I had. 

Problem #1. Bu Ja's death. 

I really love this actress. Her ability to play 3 different roles in one character was just great. She did amazing. From idol to zombie to evil priestess, she did amazing. My favorite of course was the zombie (Bu Ja)
The problem comes in when the priestess comes and possesses Bu Ja. Which I think was a nice touch. But we were all hoping and wishing the priestess would be cast out of her body and Bu Ja and PK would be reunited. And in the end, the priestess stayed and PK had to burn her. Which was just crap because I really wanted her to come back so bad. That's probably one of the things I was waiting for the most with this drama was Bu Ja and PK to be reunited and that the stupid squid prince would go back home. So when it came down to the priestess being defeated and lost all her powers and energy, she started rotting and couldn't do anything. And the problem is that you know deep down that Bu Ja was still in there somewhere because when Sam Jang(yes i'm just going to refer to her as this) was talking to her, she showed her how the idol girl had died. So you know when PK burned her, Bu Ja was still in there somewhere and just couldn't come out. So it was just a really sad ending to a good story. 

2. The Dragon Prince's death. 

It seems I have a problem with everyone's death. I do. I really do. Because this isn't the last one.  But the problem I have with his death is the fact that it was more impactful than probably any other death in this drama. Isn't that something? The other death's in this drama had less impact on me than this one. Just the fact that PK told her to go get Ma Wang and she/he/? refused to do so and just threw herself on PK to save him just tore my heart to shreds. 

3. The dragon fight. 

I'm sorry, if you lead up for 4 episodes about this amazing evil dragon that's going to come and end the world, don't you think there should have been a bigger dragon fight scene? And also a better dragon? Because guys, that dragon CGI was just awful. I mean that probably ruined the whole thing for me. If it looked realer, I probably would have enjoyed it more. But then also the fact that it was over within a 10 minute span. And that's including the cut scene where he takes her away from the fight and she dies. Like 3 hits and it's gone. And he isn't even seen fighting it. Just hitting the air in front of the camera. I guess this comes from my being an American and our movies like this would have had this big badass dragon and the fight would have been so amazing. Instead it was like a Dragon Ball dragon who got hit 3 times and it was over in the blink of an eye. I just feel like if the drama was going to be based on the fact that this evil creature was going to come and rule the world and she had to be the sacrifice, the fight should have had more of an impact. Which brings me to my next problem.

4. Sam Jang's death. 

Now, I don't have a problem that she died. I knew it was coming. It was inevitable. The problem I have is that honestly Dragon Prince's death had more of an impact! Her death was like this:

Evil dude stabs
Sam Jang Bleeds. Ow. Hurts. Blood everywhere.
Monkey comes and hits dragon once
Monkey takes Sam Jang to forest
Sam Jang dies.
Monkey goes and kills dragon.

Like it was literally so not what I would have expected saying the whole drama was based off the fact that this was her destiny. So this problem really goes along with the dragon fight. Because they're both the same thing. The worst part is that the evil politician dude was the one who stabbed her with it... The death bell rang... Which should have meant that monkey was the one to stab her. Now, I know they were all for switching the destiny and making the death bell not work... But... I still think that was not a good way to go. I think what should have happened is Sam Jang Stabbed herself in a different area that way she wouldn't have bled out so easily and fought off the dragon some rather than just sitting there because she's dying and bleeding out so fast. Just the whole scene was a massive let down. Now admittedly, when monkey has her in that forest and she's dying/dies.. I cried so much. Because it just was so sad. I really wished she didn't have to die. So when she did (even though it wasn't an amazing scene) it still sucked. 

5. The end. 

This was by far the worst. With all the reincarnation that goes on in this drama and the deities and the demons and all these different magical beings.. Sam Jang was just dead. She just was. And monkey's memory was shattered. Of course, because this wouldn't be a kdrama without some amnesia. You would think because Sam Jang saved the whole world, she would have become a deity and he could have accepted his call to the heavens and they could have been reunited. Instead, she's just gone and he's left by himself broken and doesn't even know why he's broken. So she comes back for a day. A whole day. To help him remember the memories he has lost... And the literal last 5 minutes of that day before she disappears, he remembers everything. 5 minutes. They have a whole effing 5 minutes to fully appreciate the fact that they're together again. 5 minutes, guys. Then he gives her one of his eyes and she disappears and the drama ends by him driving his car.... ARE YOU SERIOUS?!?! Guys, this was probably one of the worst drama endings I've encountered. I liked City Hunter's ending more than this one and I hated City Hunter's ending. This one just blew my mind on how bad it was. Now, if it turned out there was a Hwayugi 2, then I would be 100% content with that ending because I know there's more story line coming. And we can find out if that new Sam Jang would be their kid because everyone kept saying it looked like the monkey. I just feel like no one at all in the drama or the readers got closure from what happened. It just happened and was over with. I do feel that if the writers were smart, they would capitalize on that and even if they weren't planning on making a 2, they should because everyone wants it. 

Now that we've got the problems I had out of the way, I'll go onto nicer things. 

1. Summer Fairy's death. 

I feel like Summer Fairy's death was very necessary. I still hated it because Summer Fairy was my favorite, man. But I thought it was a really good plot twist that made for a better storyline and really made Winter Fairy's character stand out and become something great. Major kudos to this actor also because he just did the greatest. 

2. Sam Jang and Monkey's love story.

I wasn't sure how I felt about the Geumgango for awhile. Like I really loved seeing him be annoyingly in love with her and I thought it was hilarious but also really nice. But in the end, it turned out that he didn't need it anyways and could have taken it off halfway through the drama had he wanted to because he was already fully in love with her. (Which I totally saw coming and glad it happened) Their love story was all sorts of dysfunctional and far from normal, but it made for a really good drama. The willingness to die for the other one or die so that the other one can live and be okay is just amazing when it's a literal situation. I just really wished there could have been more of it and that after she died, something happened like she reincarnated later and they found each other again or something that could have shown more of the relationship. She didn't even know he could take of the thing by himself when she died. How sad. 

3. Monkey and Bull's Bromance. 

These two were constantly hilarious and equally lovable. And how much Ma Wang missed the monkey after he left was just heartbreaking. 

4. Ma Wang as a whole. 

The whole Ma Wang character was just the best part of this drama. Everything the man was and did was just great. His whole reason for wanting to become a deity, having the dog secretary, finding his son... All of this was just an amazing story line and I loved every minute of watching him. He was hilarious and cocky and childish and even when he went blind, it was just hilarious. His reactions were golden. Hell, I might watch a whole movie dedicated just to Ma Wang. I loved him that much. 

5. The whole concept of the drama. 

I do love this whole concept. I'm not normally into the supernatural side of things, but this drama had a REALLY GOOD concept. Just what happened could have been a little better.

Let's not forget PK and Bu Ja's story. I loved that so much but I already relayed on that in my problem section.  

All in all, I did like the drama. I know it doesn't sound like it, but honestly I did like this drama. I would give it about a 6/10. So not the greatest, but I was absolutely obsessed with this drama until around episode 14 so that definitely counts for something. 

On to watch another drama!


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