It's back to form here as "Golden Tower" gets back to its more relatable subject matter- problems that could only ever possibly exist in a rural area. It's funny how that works, really. I think it's because the drama's very good at not being pretentious. There always seems to be a new variation on a dumb joke that they haven't done yet and it suckers me in with a new laugh every time. "Golden Tower" is, if nothing else, a great mood reliever.
The focus here is actually less on the farming as it is on school. The troubles the teachers have to go through and the way the community as a whole is able to respond to this. And this ends up tying in with adult illiteracy. Yes that's a thing- what a lot of people in the developed world don't get is that the only reason we all read is because words are literally everywhere. You're even reading this review right now, just for fun. Somebody in the middle of nowhere with no books and other ways to enjoy themselves has no obvious use for literacy, especially if they grew up back when South Korea was a third world country.
So that's where the main thrust of the jokes are this time. On the efforts characters make to teach the older cast members how to read and write. The reason it works so well is because even though the implication is clearly that some people are dumb, and this is even stated outright by other meaner characters, we the viewer genuinely want everyone to succeed and be happy here. Besides, there's such wonderful absurdity in an old Korean woman taking Korean language lessons from the always wonderful and obviously not Korean Sam Okyere, in his own special way.
Then everything's cut short. Which is appropriate. "Golden Tower" is a sitcom after all, and half hour episode probably make more sense than the forty-five minutes we've been getting. I'm still not really sure what to make of the last part though. Was this actually episode 7, or just an unusually long preview? Also, was this part 1, or is part 1 going to next week presumably followed by part 2 after that?
In any event, that's just a technical complaint. "Golden Tower" is very consistent and effective in being able to put out fun interpersonal humor, conflict, and just general empathy even though I'm not sure any of the characters even have names. But then what's in a name, really? It's being able to get along with people that matters- not any of that deep personal secret stuff. Here's to hoping that the Chuseok episode is able to continue in the same vein.
Review by William Schwartz
Staff writer. Has been writing articles for HanCinema since 2012, having lived in South Korea since 2011. Started out in Gyeongju, then to Daegu, then to Ansan, then to Yeongju, then to Seoul, lived on the road for HanCinema's travel diaries series in the summer of 2016, and is currently settled in Anyang. Has good tips for utilizing South Korea's public bus system. William Schwartz can be contacted via email@example.com.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Golden Tower" Episode 6"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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