[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Family Outing" Episode 20 2015/03/15,
The cliffhanger is resolved mostly unsurprisingly and uninspiredly. This much is to be expected given that "Family Outing" has now gone into full epilogue mode. Kkeut-soon has dementia, and as we see, it only really gets worse as times goes on. The main interesting hook here is that the dementia element actually does end up getting used in the larger storyline rather well- we finally get to see the full animated short than Dong-seok made, and it's probably not quite what you're expecting,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Family Outing" Episode 19 2015/03/14,
There isn't really much conflict left to speak of at this point. The main remaining article of contention is whether or not Joon-hee and Dong-seok will get together. And for what it's worth, Jeong-sook's opposition to the relationship comes off as pretty well-founded. Joon-hee can't exactly dispute that the way she's acted up until now has at all been appropriate. It's really just a question of whether or not her newfound sincerity is to be believed,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Family Outing" Episode 18 2015/03/08,
Whereas the last episode dealt with the more tangible questions of the future, like how the characters plan to live professionally once all the drama is over with, this one deals more sharply with personal issues. The heart to heart discussion between Jong-tae and Kkeut-soon is really sweet. While Kkeut-soon herself has always been really recalcitrant about candidly considering her own needs, there are multiple sequences here which establish why that's important too, and why that's the real meaning of family,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Family Outing" Episode 17 2015/03/07,
The abrupt disappearance of Kkeut-soon doesn't...create a crisis exactly, but her actions do make it quite clear that the inheritance game is soon to come to an end. Interestingly, in contrast to the antics that have characterized "Family Outing" to date, everyone's instructions are actually to behave like mature adults and plan for their long-term future. And it's hard to escape the fact that the family really is having fun, thinking about a future where they can live instead of bumming around from one paycheck to the next,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Family Outing" Episode 16 2015/03/01,
The storyline is mostly simplified here. We have the core of the family unit generally arguing about the extent of Joon-hee's betrayal, and this is for a time interrupted by the marriage considerations of Dong-joo. While the advantage of this more streamlined storytelling is that it's fairly easy to figure out what's going on, it does lead into another rather awkward problem. I genuinely just really don't care,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Family Outing" Episode 15 2015/02/28,
The difference between this episode of "Family Outing" and every other episode that's dangled the threat of exposing Joon-hee's true identity is that this time the drama actually goes through with it. There's not even much of an intermediate period of hand-wringing. Joon-hee just goes, you know what, forget it. I'm sick of acting like this. I'm going to say my apologies and just leave. It's a much easier thing for her to do now that there's other things in life that Joon-hee can enjoy aside from the con,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Family Outing" Episode 14 2015/02/15,
There's almost something approaching a coherent theme here- mommy issues. First and most obviously foremost, Joon-hee confronts her birth mother. The process literally makes Joon-hee feel ill. It's clear that Joon-hee has suffered more from the separation than Joon-ah did. I imagine this is because, as a woman, Joon-hee has spent life more desperate for a feminine influence. It's actually an interesting contrast with Joon-ah, whose plaintive calls of mommy are clearly designed under the assumption that Kkeut-soon should be taking care of him, not be an actual parental figure,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Family Outing" Episode 13 2015/02/14,
Near the beginning of this episode, we almost have a nice scene where the older family members have fun with their great grandchild. Then abruptly halfway through the tone completely changes to one of the very stark serious storylines again. I feel like this is what watching "Family Outing" is like writ large. Frequently it almost comes close to being somewhat enjoyable, then it's an abrupt jump away to one of the other myriad storylines, usually one of the overly serious ones,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Family Outing" Episode 12 2015/02/08,
Luckily for Joon-hee, the reason Dong-seok's suspicious about Joon-ha is because of romantic jealousy more than because he genuinely suspects something. Unluckily for Joon-hee, for this same reason Dong-seok doesn't stop being suspicious just because she's able to hurriedly come up with an explanation that's maybe almost believable. As the title card notes- the difference between reality and sincerity is an important one,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Family Outing" Episode 11 2015/02/07,
So much for the strong points...this episode dips right back into the convolutions that typically have made "Family Outing" tiring to watch- a scam that doesn't make sense, an emphasis on debt collection, and jokes that just aren't funny. There really isn't anything amusing about a man bemoaning financial woes on top of a high rise building when many people do in fact make those kinds of frightening decisions on short impulsive notice,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Family Outing" Episode 10 2015/02/01,
By trying to hide her fake personality by using her true personality, Joon-hee has managed to accidentally deliberately give Dong-seok the impression that she's romantically interested in him. Which is true, but totally inconvenient for the sake of all these other schemes Joon-hee is trying to juggle at once. I really like how Joon-hee is genuinely, completely confused about what she actually wants, and the issue isn't really an external one. Whatever circumstances have forced Joon-hee into this situation, at this point it's just a lifestyle choice,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Family Outing" Episode 9 2015/01/31,
Joon-hee has progressed to doing the right thing for the wrong reasons. I guess it's an improvement over what she was doing before, but the whole issue regarding her potentially being exposed by Dong-seok really does outline the inherent silliness of the story. Dong-seok is easily dissuaded from believing Joon-hee's motives are sinister because it remains really hard for him to guess what her angle could possibly be. Joon-hee's actual dream of being a fashion designer is simply much more believable and workable than whatever it is she's trying to do subversively,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Family Outing" Episode 8 2015/01/25,
One overly dramatic ends, then another one begins, and just as quickly ends. I doubt any of these plot points are gone forever, but the rapidity with which these characters depart really emphasizes how "Family Outing" utilizes the revolving door style of storytelling. While this can work for a sitcom, and particularly for jokes, in the context of criminal domestic behavior the effect is rather poor. I mostly just feel awkward watching these people bumble through awful emotional turmoil,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Family Outing" Episode 7 2015/01/24,
The whiplash from the last cliffhanger is in full force here. I really need to make clear- a storyline about an awful crime that happened before Kkeut-soon left Korea has dramatic potential. There are also decent comedic stakes involved in having Joon-hee fake amnesia. Neither of these plot points at all mesh well with the other. We can't just go straight from furious, angry crying to wacky sitcom hijinx. It just feels awkward,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Family Outing" Episode 6 2015/01/18,
Joon-hee, apparently having realized that her storyline is too ridiculously convoluted to keep track of, spends most of this episode panicking about how she can possibly keep her story straight when so many basic facts threaten to unravel the whole scheme. "Family Outing" actually manages to do a generally decent job with her...until the ending abruptly decides to have Joon-hee try to escape from this mess with one of the most infamous clichés in all Korean drama,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Family Outing" Episode 5 2015/01/17,
Why does this drama have so many characters? The more I watch "Family Outing" the more this question bothers me. There's a huge cast here, but time and time again the only ones we really explore in any serious detail are Joon-hee and Dong-seok. The greater part of this episode is just a huge, apparently pointless derail into Dong-seok's backstory, specifically his first love. Isn't there enough going on here without having to drag even more characters into it? Even the police officer apparently relates to all this personally somehow,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Family Outing" Episode 4 2015/01/11,
It would be really nice if "Family Outing" would just stick to a single plot thread and fully develop it instead of just jumping around everywhere. Keeping track of everything that's going on is genuinely difficult. Take the guys who are hassling Joon-hee for money. Who are these people? How did they find Joon-hee? How much do they actually know about her? And more importantly, why do they wait several days before coming after her again?,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Family Outing" Episode 3 2015/01/10,
There's less comedy here as "Family Outing" moves into mostly straight-faced drama. Given the general absurdity of the situations involved I'm surprised no one was even really hamming it up for the camera. We're pretty clearly expected to take, at face value, the tragic circumstances of Kkeut-soon's departure from Korea, as well as the general reactions of other characters to discovering this information,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Family Outing" Episode 2 2015/01/04,
It would seem that Kkeut-soon knows exactly how pretty much everything works. One simple declaration and that's all it takes to change the expressions on her family members' faces from mildly hostile bewilderment to adoring affection. If Kkeut-soon is in any way bothered by the fact that this about-face is obviously a result of her willingness to solve problems by literally throwing money at them, she certainly isn't showing it,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Family Outing" Episode 1 2015/01/03,
Kkeut-soon (played by Park Won-sook) is just returning to Korea after a long sojourn overseas. It isn't until the end of the episode that we find out why, but it's to the credit of the storyboarding of "Family Outing" that, given Kkeut-soon's behavior to date, this is actually a pretty rational explanation. Normally an obviously zany premise like this is just a thinly veiled excuse for wacky sitcom antics. For better or worse, Kkeut-soon appears to actually want to live in a sitcom,...More
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