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[HanCinema's Drama Preview] "Hyde, Jekyll and I"

2015/01/17 | 6657 views | Permalink

Last, but not least in this season's psychiatric race comes 'Hyde, Jekyll and I'. The series marks Hyun Bin's return to drama since 2010 hit "Secret Garden" and viewer expectations are sky high. With a typical Korean drama outrageous premise and a popular talented star, very little can go wrong, at least entertainment-wise. Whether it will actually be good is not easy to assess at this point.

Premise

Goo Seo-jin (Hyun Bin) has two personalities. One is a cold and Hyde-like director of a theme park and the other a Jekyll-like kind and sweet person. Jang Ha-na (Han Ji-min) is the master of a circus featured in the theme park. When Seo-jin's cruel personality decides to discontinue their contract, the two, or rather three meet.

The Worrying

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Competition and Mental Illness

While the show airs at the same time as similar-themed MBC drama 'Kill Me, Heal Me', Hyun Bin's name will probably play a big part in this competition. Despite this, the other drama has a head start and with the premise being similar, there can be competition. As both shows handle the serious topic of mental health, rivalry could affect their plots and winning could become more important than telling a nice story.

Unestablished Writer

Kim Ji-woon-II has worked in 2012 drama 'Cheongdam-dong Alice'. That alone is not really enough to have confidence in her or her handling of both a pretty famous cast and a premise which requires some good skill to manage coherently and successfully. Difficult subjects need talented people and whether she can handle it well is uncertain.

The Reassuring

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Good Main Pairing

Hyun Bin and Han Ji-min are reuniting after 2014 film 'The Fatal Encounter' and both are quite loved and known actors. The main pairing being enjoyable is an absolute essential of romantic works, so when it consists of capable equals, a great part of the appeal is already achieved. While the actors alone cannot make a work good, they are the ones who need to carry the writing well.

Forgiving Genre

Romantic comedy and especially romantic comedy in Korean drama is quite an easy genre to please audiences with. The tropes are known, they work every time and even heavy subjects like violence, trauma and mental illness do not need to be treated realistically or with a great deal of respect for the shows to be embraced by viewers. It would be nice if they show that respect to their premise, but the show can succeed in terms of ratings and popularity even if they do not.

Final Thoughts

For many overseas fans, 'Hyde, Jekyll and I' will surely translate into Hyun Bin, more Hyun Bin and romance. For those who are not fans of the man or only fans of him, the premise and pairing still sound interesting enough and the genre is exactly what most viewers love. If the series is a quality work that handles its story with respect and good writing, it will also earn all the love it is about to get.

'Hyde, Jekyll and I' begins its run on January 21st and will air every Wednesday and Thursday at 22:00, on SBS.

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Written by: Orion from 'Orion's Ramblings'

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