Monday, February 9, 2009

Damo; A Review

 damo5 Recognizing that my review process is more than a little tongue in cheek, I think it might be difficult to lump Damo in with so many other k-dramas.  I remember feeling similarly about “Thank You” after having watched that show.  Damo has been the only k-drama that I’ve put my head down in my arms and out and out wept wracking sobs.  It was unlike anything I have seen to this point and it almost feels wrong to apply my typical k-drama review formula here. 

But my reviews are my reviews.  Let’s see what I can make of it.

Ponder Angst – There was a lot of ponder angst in this series.  Our characters went back in their minds and pondered over moments of each other pretty frequently.  It may have gotten a little tired, but I never rolled my eyes.  I’m giving it the full 20 points.

Love “ – “ Angles – Woof.  Chae Ohk loves Hwangbok Yoon, Hwangbok Yoon loves Chae Ohk, Chae Ohk also loves Jang Sung Baek, and he loves her back.  Nan Soo, the daughter of the police chief sincerely loves Hwangbok Yoon and another guy really loves Chae Ohk, “Marry me and I will spend the rest of your life making you smile.”  Maybe she should have picked him in the end.  Six angles makes 24 points.

Sizzle – The lead actors in this series Ha Jin Won, Kim Min Joon, and Lee Seo Jin were exquisite from the first scene to the last.  Whenever they were together in any combination, heat came off the screen.  Hwangbok Yoon struggling with his love for Chae Ohk, her desire to serve him and not to love him, her struggle to do her duty as a Damo and arrest Jang Sung Baek or to give in to her growing feeling for him.  Jang Sung Baek and his love of his people.  They all had sizzle and I’m giving them 30 points for it. 

Physical Intimacy – The most we ever get of physical intimacy for any of our protagonists is an embrace.  No kissing, no baby making.  There was enough intimacy when Yoon tended to the wounded Ohk and whenever Sung Baek looked at Damo for me to give this 20 points.

Tragic Heartwrenching Disease and/or Character Death from Same – Not a lot of disease, aside from leprosy, in the series.   There are so many scenes where someone is wounded, infected, bullet-ridden, or slashed with a knife.  The intention of the metric is for cancer, anorexia, or constipation, but I’m giving it 10 just for all the wounds.

Tazza Factor – The Tazza factor is about being spellbound from the first episode of a series, as I was with Tazza.  Tazza, I watched in just over 24 hours.  I was absolutely held in this series’ thrall, though it took me a week to watch all 14 episodes.  10 points.

Going to the Beach – Jae Hui and Jae Mo’s dad offs himself, a bad cop kills himself by butting his head against the wall, a Japanese killer for hire commits hari kari.  If there is more, I’ve forgotten it, but there was no suicide at the waterfront.  15 points in the bonus round for Damo. 

Damo6So Damo gets a 129 on the E-scale, the highest any series has gotten to date.  It was a neat 14 episodes, the sound track was at times sad and gentle, at others, filled with energy and action.  The look and feel of the series was wonderful, and even I got some of the more arty and beautiful shots. 

The kung-foo was very “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon” but didn’t take me out of the story at all, indeed, was very much a part of it.  Many k-dramas boast a tragic ending, few are as worthy of Shakespeare as this one. 

Will I watch it again?  I just don’t know.  I’ve said no before; particularly to “Thank You” and “Coffee Prince” and I wound up buying the box sets for both those series.  I’ve had to go back already to get a couple of quotes correct and I burst into tears again. 

I’ll have to let you know.


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