Ohohohoho. You have no idea how happy it makes me to spend this much time with W again. The first few days after the show ended I didn’t know what to do with my life… this show really highlighted my week. Now, I get to spend my morning rewatching all my favorite scenes while I search for good screencaps to add. Which, I must say, is so fun.
***(W) arning! A rant is just that, a complete expose on my feelings for a piece. SPOILERS abound and I’m not gonna try and stop them. Read at your own risk.***
Daddy Oh Seung Moo/Kim Eui Sung as Oh Seung Moo
What perfect show would be complete without a terrifying, mind-blowing villain? Not any top show of mine, that’s for sure. As much as I love hotty-but-naughty villains a-la The Girl Who Sees Smells and My Love From Another Star, I’m a real sucker for unhinged, make-me-cry-in-my-sleep variety. And W Two Worlds certainly delivered on that score. The beginning was terrifying enough, with a faceless shooter. But when our faceless-ninja-assassin-of-doom (Nazgul killer for short) takes on Daddy Oh’s face, he reaches a whole new level of freaky. I don’t want to get ahead of myself, though, so let’s take it from the top.
It’s brilliant to me how seamlessly writer Song weaves story and trope and character all together. When we first heard of the faceless killer I didn’t expect him to come back and bite us in the backside–I honestly didn’t know who’d be the villain at all, other than the webtoon (which I believe still stands). Well, I got the other memo real quick. As soon as he left the webtoon and showed his… pixels? I knew we were in trouble. Dealing with a webtoon villain inside of his lair is one thing… dealing with a self aware webtoon villain in the real world is quite another. Just the idea of it is genius: hanging a lantern on the “identitiless killer” trope while at the same time leading up to a major plot point and still developing his character as a desperate, soul-searching villain. The very terror came from the idea that he killed because he was written to… and then because he could. How terrifying the things we do when given the choice. This fear only amplified after the Daddy Oh makeover–it drew out the similarities between the two even more. This only served to unnerve me, because I could also see Oh Seung Moo in Chul–or the Oh Seung Moo he’d like to be. They say every writer puts a little bit of themselves into every character they create, and they definitely showed that here.
The acting definitely reflected the juxtopositions being made between Oh Seung Moo, Chul and the killer as well. Kim Eui Sung wasn’t on my radar at all before this show, but you can bet I’ll be looking for him in dramaland now. It’s a rare occasion that I watch a scene and go “Oh. Oh. This is why he was chosen.” Me having a feeling like that means they’ve really knocked it out of the park: two thumbs up hands in the air I’m sold. Well, Oh Seung Moo definitely had a scene like that for me–when he first shows up at the W station and kills everybody, I had chills. Serious chills. The man’s a maniac! Kim Eui Sung played the villain so well I could see the crazy in his soul through those tvs. And yet as soon as he switched, I could feel the helplessness and regret and utter pathetic-(icity?) that radiated from Daddy Oh. Two so different people, but so connected.
I’d like to mention one last aspect of this character before moving on. Consider this: Oh Seung Moo wanted so desperately to be like Chul. Tall, handsome, strong in his character and values… a hero in every sense of the word. But he couldn’t help the villain that festered within himself–the destructive, jealous creator who believed he could never be the hero and so wanted to revel in Chul’s downfall. And the more he hated his creations–both hero and villain–the more he was consumed. Eventually nothing remained of himself… and even at the end of it all as he tries to be a hero for his daughter, he cannot succeed without murdering others and becoming a further villain for himself. So firmly entrenched in his bad character as to become a villain himself–and the webtoon rules with a firm hand. No character can go against their written precepts, and so he disappears, torn between the man he envies and the man he fears. Oh, I just love his storyline.
Su-bong and Crazy Dog
Su-bong and Crazy Dog. Omo. I think what I loved the most about these two was the ridiculous amount of meta they lent the show. It wasn’t enough to give the viewers veiled analogies about real writing and breaking the fourth wall–no, we got our own outlets into every aspect of the show. Su-bong became our fangirl for the drama itself: he was the in-the-know freaking out fangirl that worried over our OTP and stressed about happy endings as much as we did. He screamed when we wanted to scream:
He cried when we cried
And yelled right along with the best of us
Su-bong, You’ll be missed. Lee Si-Un, where did you come from? Your comedic timing was spot on. You made scenes perfect without overtaking them. Really, you might take the throne as favorite side-kick ever. I’d say fight for it with Crazy dog, but he wasn’t “in the know”.
Let’s talk about Crazy Dog. How fun is it to have a representation of myself inside of the drama? So fun. It really made this show feel like I was watching an extension of the real world, not dramaland (which ties into my ending theory, wait for it tomorrow!). I think Crazy Dog represented the fangirl of every drama, getting frustrated over endings and dying for the next episode. He got excited:
And intense about his shows (webtoons):
And did embarrassing things for his love.
Argh, he’s just so beautiful! Not to mention the character development they still managed to give him (that scene at the end where he gives Yeon-joo a handkerchief… broke my heart. And I wanted to say thank you from every single viewer).
I’ve never watched a drama so aware of its audience as this one was. Not only through the camerawork and near breaking of the wall into our reality, but even the characters themselves represented us as viewers. They relieved our frustration to other characters when we could not. Heo Jung-do was an unexpected gift in this role–I’d never even noticed him in Mrs. Cop. I still don’t know where he was–or why they’d waste acting talent like his! That’s one thing everyone did well in this show–so fitting to their characters, so fitting to the show. The acting just… fit. It’s nice too that not so many high profile names were attached to the show: each of the actors has enjoyed great success in their careers, I’m sure, but Han Hyo-Joo and Lee Jong-Suk are the only true giants I noticed (I don’t watch so many movies, so I can’t speak for KES long credits list).
All acting and meta-meta aside, Su-bong and Crazy Dog were the absolute best (…ok sure, I did like our OTP better). They provided a much needed comical break to an otherwise intense and mind-boggling show. They might not have had the deepest characters (I mean, compared to the crises trio Kang, Oh and faceless) but they were lovable and relate-able all the same. Thanks, guys! I’ll definitely be looking for your next projects.
We’ve only reached the halfway point for this drama rant, next up I’ll discuss the writing, directing, philosophy and other drama trappings. It’ll be a long one, so be prepared. But it’s W, so… more is always better? ^^ See you then!
Thanks for reading,