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WWATD?! 49 Days: Taking the Elevator

July 18, 2011

49 Days Korean Drama

Ironically, Sunnie and I got seriously behind on our drama watching while we were in Seoul this summer. As I previously blogged, we headed over to Seoul following The Duo and 49 Days. Ultimately, we decided to give up on The Duo. The adult cast never really pulled us in as their younger counterparts did in the first few episodes, and given the length of the drama, we ended up just calling it quits.

As for 49 Days, the pacing was strong and consistent, and we couldn’t wait to figure out what would happen. I did have one horrible moment when I was flipping through channels in the early afternoon in Seoul, and evidently they were showing reruns because in that split second, I saw a shot that was unmistakeably 49 Days and gave away a huge element of the plot. I’m trying to be careful here for those who haven’t finished it, but if you want to see what flashed horribly across the screen in that split second, click here.

Despite one “hiccup episode”
(some dramas have these strange episodes that seem like they were written and directed by someone different, where the whole tone is just off, and what was working great is absent or just not working – and then the next episode, everything is great. For example, the Dream High episode where the kids go to Japan was just excruciatingly bad, and next episode, everything was back to normal like it never happened – weird!)
toward the end of the series, we were racing to the end of the series. Ultimately, the last episode was a little flat for us. Despite the shocks and twists and turns, it was the execution of the final episode that seemed off. It lacked the tension of the previous episodes, and wasn’t bad, it was just kind of there – flat. I understand why the series was hard to wrap up, and it’s a fine line between bring trite or overly sentimental, and they certainly didn’t do that, but it was almost like they were going through the motions. Something undefinable that made the show great was just missing.

Despite a weak finale, we both really liked this series. For me, it’s been the drama of the year so far, and I would put it over any of the dramas I watched last year. This drama dealt with difficult issues and handled them well. It did an excellent job creating the rules of its world, and not making them seem manipulated but consistent and “believable” as a fantasy. I pretty much enjoyed every actor in the drama more than I ever had before.

Lee Yo-Won was so strong playing the roles of both leading women, and Nam Gyu-Riplayed a sweet, bubbly, innocent while remaining likable. We just loved the wickedness of Bae Su-Bin as Ji-Hyun’s scheming fiancee. He was so much more interesting and enjoyable as a tortured and hateful character than his usual “the nice guy” roles. Having been thoroughly unimpressed by Jeong Il-Woo in the weak Take Care of Agasshi, he was really great as the obnoxious Scheduler. A really strong cast throughout that did a great job.

I just wish they could’ve hit it out of the park on that final episode. It should’ve been the bow on a great series, and just wasn’t quite there. Nonetheless, great drama. It’s great to have a drama that makes you think and sticks with you while still being fun and exciting. I would definitely recommend checking it out if you haven’t yet!

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. BarbwireCowgirl permalink
    July 18, 2011 9:08 pm

    Hahaha!!! You are so funny, Bill. Accidentally flipping channels and catching an unwanted spoiler, you made me laugh. But I am glad you were able to finish it, interesting I thought the same thing about the last episode.

    • Bill permalink*
      July 19, 2011 8:46 am

      I was absolutely horrified. I hate knowing the ending to things. I’m obsessive about it. I couldn’t believe it when it happened. Of all the moments to flash by…what are the odds??!!! :P

      • July 19, 2011 11:19 am

        Bill, me, too! I avoid spoilers like the plague. Don’t ever read book-jacket copy, by the way, which I’m sure you know if you’re like me. They give away half the plot in describing the book.

        I was interested in watching the HBO series “The Wire” for a long time and was planning to someday watch it on DVD (I don’t have cable). So I tried to avoid any mention of that show. One day I happened to glance through an online review that referred obliquely to the fate of one of the characters, and it hit me right between the eyes. I did end up watching “The Wire,” but the entire time, whenever I saw that character, I would think, “I wonder how he’s going to {plot element}?” :)

      • Bill permalink*
        July 19, 2011 12:18 pm

        So uncool. Spoilers bug me to death and so many movie trailers and other things just totally give endings away now. I loved the Sixth Sense, but it would’ve been a totally different movie experience if they hadn’t given away the whole “I see dead people” thing in all of the trailers. Ticks. Me. Off!

  2. July 19, 2011 1:04 pm

    Funny, but the “Sixth Sense” trailers didn’t spoil the movie for me. Or maybe I didn’t see what you saw. I was SO STUNNED by the twist. That was a good one. I’m sorry you didn’t get to experience it! Booo.

    • Bill permalink*
      July 19, 2011 1:58 pm

      It wasn’t the end twist that was spoiled for me, it was the fact that he could see dead people at all. I thought it would have been interesting if you went into the moving just thinking he was a disturbed kid, not knowing what his “secret” was, and then he laid that out on you. Would you have thought maybe he was out of his head like Bruce Willis’ character did? I was caught off guard by the final twist, didn’t see it coming at all. Although, my dad had heard there was a big twist at the end and that was enough for him to have figured it out. :P

      • July 20, 2011 10:25 am

        Oh, totally. I didn’t think of that. Yes, I would like my mind to be left alone to process the movie as it reveals itself, too. I mean, films are, in principle, standalone works, right? not “experiences” that start before you ever enter the movie theater. Just show me the dam’ film and let me make up my own mind as it goes along. I don’t need to be told ahead of time. ;-)

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  1. WWATD?!: 2011 Kdrama Awards (March Madness Edition) « The Vegan 8 Korean

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