Now that Se-jin and Gun-woo have teamed up that sad, sparsely decorated office is...still pretty sad and sparsely decorated actually. In spite of the fact that they're the main characters, Se-jin and Gun-woo have almost no convincing drive. They're barely even slowing I-kyeong down. These two are so hilariously ineffective that at one point I-kyeong bails them out of trouble for the sole purpose of insuring that everyone's attention is diverted in the right direction without getting hung up on subplots.
A decent subplot or two would go a long way to making "Night Light" more engaging. I'm at the point where the main highlight in certain scenes is just women's earrings. I kid you not- at one point I-kyeong and Se-jin are wearing these really cool earrings and then they just disappear, leading me to wonder why they were in the wardrobe at all. I'd suspect product placement except that making a scene boring solely so that the jewelry stands out more would be a bit of an odd tactic.
The wardrobe department does get some credit for at least making matters look lively. On closer consideration I'm not sure I-kyeong and Se-jin are any better written than their male counterparts, they just have more distinctive clothes so it's easy to assume they have distinctive personalities to match. It helps, naturally, that they are played by high powered actresses who are talented enough to give decent characterization that does not appear to have been spelled out in direction.
Everyone else in the cast is on autopilot and honestly, I can't blame them. These are all supporting roles with strictly defined narrative roles too dry to really be improved by any kind of obvious output of skill. Consider Jong-gyoo (played by Song Young-kyu), whose only apparent purpose in the story is to relay messages between characters who are actually important. I'm assuming I-kyeong is going to twist his arm into treachery at some point, since Jong-gyoo's master talks to I-kyeong directly all the time.
I can't even tell whether I'm guessing about the story because the plot is well-worn or if I'm just making up silly fan theories in the desperate hope that they will somehow make "Night Light" more interesting. On top of everything else I really just can't fathom why this drama is so long. How is the main plot so consistently out of reach? How long is it going to be before someone actually does something?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Night Light" Episode 12"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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