DRAMA| Hwayugi/A Korean Odyssey – Mid Series Thoughts and Opinions

I originally slated a review on a live action movie, but decided I wanted to talk about Hwayugi instead. As per usual, everything I post is solely my opinion, and it doesn’t reflect the opinions of the entire BAYOG crew.

I’ve previously talked about my first impressions of the Hwayugi series a while ago. 20 episodes were slated for the series, and episode 10 was aired not too long ago. That being said, I thought I’d discuss my views now that we’re at the halfway point.

Me at the beginning, thinking this would be a promising drama.
I have to say that despite a few things, I had some hope for Hwayugi when it first aired. Hwayugi seemed rather promising. It was an interesting concept, they had some really great actors on their roster, an eclectic mix of interesting characters, and the comedy was enjoyable. My only main issue at the time was the poor CGI work. It seemed to be a pretty decent, dare I say good, quality drama.

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What is this??? Like why?? This looks like a low-budget parody…
I am quite sad to say that my hope for Hwayugi started to wear out. I found myself feeling more and more disappointed as the new episodes aired. It sounds harsh, but it just felt like it started to become very repetitive, drawn out, and half-assed. I thought the CGI was bad before, but it somehow got even worse. To be specific, it seemed like the production just gave up on any effort with the CGI. The ghost in the SNS (social media) case was a complete joke.

[Some Spoilers Ahead]

Story-wise…I’m starting to tire of Sun Mi and Oh Gong’s relationship. I’m particularly wary of Sun Mi. The thing with Sun Mi and Oh Gong keeps going around and around in circles. I feel like this whole push and pull thing is starting to feel really overdone. Rather than running around in pointless circles and beating the bush, just be straight forward dammit! As much as I did find the characters interesting at the beginning, I can’t say the same at the current moment. I mentioned it before, I didn’t quite feel the love or attraction in their relationship just yet. Though there have been some growths and cute moments, I still don’t quite feel anything that makes me really believe or want to support their ship just yet.

My main issue lately is that Sun Mi kind of annoys and pisses me off. I personally find her character to be so inconsistent at times. She’s shown to be quite a clever and smart woman. Yet, often times she’s incredibly naive to the point where it’s no longer cute, just dumb. I get that she’s a bit socially awkward, but it just feels more like plain stupidity than social awkwardness. I find it cringey that the way she’s portrayed is more like a stereotypical dumb and naive teenager, rather than a grown adult. Sun Mi is shown to be in her early to mid thirties. There is literally no reason for her to be -THAT- naive and dumb.

I know…I pulled a gif from the teaser, but you get my point.
You have Ma Wang going crazy because Oh Gong spiked his drink with Sun Mi’s blood. Ma Wang is trying very hard to keep calm and not hurt Sun Mi. It’s quite obvious something isn’t right and he’s trying very hard to stay away from her (for her own protection). In fact, at one point he literally tells her she needs to stay away because he can barely keep control of himself. One would think she could read the atmosphere and see something was amiss and heed his warning. Instead, Sun Mi keeps trying to get closer or go after Ma Wang. Like….really Sun Mi??

Star-crossed lovers with a seemingly bleak fate…
Homegirl here thinks the black bell=soulmates… (-‸ლ)

My main example is when she finds the black bell from the peddler’s grandson. Lady…how the hell did you think that one meant it would sound off when you find your soulmate??? Again, Sun Mi should be old and smart enough for her age. Especially when you consider that she’s had experience with the supernatural her whole life. One would think it’s pretty obvious that black is a hella ominous color and not a lucky auspicious color like red. Even if she didn’t, the peddler kid clearly said the red bell was the one for soulmates, but freaked out very negatively to the black bell. Yet, she still believes the black bell is a good sign that they’re soulmates… I can’t even with this girl…

TBH I find their interactions more interesting than the main ship
Rather than enjoying the show, I just found myself getting agitated and feeling more and more disappointed. It was the point that I contemplated dropping the series. However, I’m not much of a quitter. And honestly, I want to stick around because I’m more interested in the subplots involving Ma Wang and Princess Iron Fan, as well as Bu Ja (the zombie chick) and P.K. (aka Pal Gye). I do really love the supporting characters and find them much more interesting, Also Dae Shik is like the purest character in this drama. It’s like watching this adorable, pure, and sweet little grandpa. It’s also pretty funny to see Bora’s character, Alice, be possessed by the Dragon Prince. Plus Ma Wang’s being hella extra is pretty funny (as usual).

I will say that on a positive note, I am quite happy about some of the issues that Hwayugi has brought up. Scenarios like cyber-bullying and losing yourself on SNS (social media networks) are a very real thing that many people go through. Those who follow Korean entertainment and celebrities will also know how ridiculous and harsh it can be. The scenario of people having their lives ruined due to harsh (and often ridiculous) criticisms and judgement on social media is not far fetched. Yes, Hwayugi does present it with some comedy. However, it still stands that there is a lesson to be learned.

I’m dying at Bora’s character and acting though haha~ Dragon Prince be possessing Alice and all “Look at my boobs!!” ㅋㅋㅋ


I’d also like to mention how much I appreciate the real estate ahjusshi. I know he’s mostly comedic relief and portrayed as just a silly dimwitted character. But he really is a good guy. I was really touched and nearly cried as he comforted the little boy.
Have you been watching Hwayugi? What are your thoughts and opinions? What are your favorite things, and what are your disappointments?

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