DRAMA| Hwayugi – My Final Thoughts and Opinions

Hello, hello~ I’m back from my mini vacation and ready to continue my live action posts for you all!~ I’ve previously talked about my first and mid-series impressions of this Korean drama. The series has finally come to an end as it’s final episode aired on March 4th, 2018. Today will be my final post on the series.

But before we get into that, let’s do a brief recap of my previous posts. We all know how much I loved the Goblin drama series. It raised the bar for me, and I honestly had a difficult time finding a drama that was just as enjoyable. Hwayugi started airing a year after Goblin. I love supernatural type of stuff so I thought I’d give it a try. While it didn’t seem as perfect as Goblin, the first few episodes of Hwayugi seemed promising. The actors, characters, and premise of the story truly seemed promising (despite the horrible CGI work). However,my enthusiasm and hope started to fade as it reached the middle of the series. I wasn’t really feeling drawn to the two main characters. It started to feel very repetitive and at times inconsistent for me. The enjoyment I felt was pretty much gone by episode 10-11. At this point I was just forcing myself to watch it. The only interesting things that kept me going where the supporting characters. I will say that I did appreciate a few little things the series touched up on, such as cyber-bullying and child abuse. Overall, I just felt more frustration and disappointment than enjoyment while watching the series.

MFW this drama became more and more of a mess…
I won’t lie. I put off watching the last like 4 episodes for weeks. I really wanted to just drop the series, but I was basically already at the end. Plus, I really liked Lee Hongki (PK) and Bora (Alice/Jade Dragon). I loved FT Island (Lee Hongki’s band) and Sistar (The now defunct girl group that Bora was in). Yes, I’ve been K-Pop trash for a long ass time. Anyway, I literally struggled to finish the episodes. 2-3 weeks later, I’ve finally forced myself to finish them all. Though, I will admit I abused that 30 sec fast forward button to speed through the episodes. I was hoping that maybe there would be some improvement. I was wrong. Honestly, I’m mad at myself for forcing myself to finish the series. It just felt like WTF and like I had wasted my time.

[Warning: Spoilers Ahead! It’s the finale, so I’m going to go spoiler heavy here]

I said it before, the series did initially have some potential. It was an interesting premise with interesting characters, and a pretty solid cast. But as the series progressed, it felt like the story and characters were just so weak. My biggest issue was Jin Seon Mi/Sam Jang. I touched on it before, it was just really odd how Sam Jang was. The thing is she’s in her early to mid thirties, and we’re supposed to believe that she’s quite a smart woman. We’re supposed to believe this because despite the shit she’s been dealt, she managed to make quite the fortune from her “unfortunate” ability. We’re shown that she’s smart enough to not fall for some tricks. And yet, most of the time she’s shown to be incredibly naive and dumb. I get the whole trope of socially awkward characters with traumas can have some sort of innocence and naivete. But as I’ve said, Sam Jang is in her early to mid thirties. It was often at a point that seemed very unnatural and cringey. I’m sure it was meant to come off as cute and innocent. But I felt really awkward watching this kind characterization. I felt like I was watching a woman in her 30’s act like a dumb and incapable teen (or preteen) at times. My biggest example is the damn bells. This woman has lived her 30+ years amongst and aware of the supernatural. She is experienced enough to know that she needs her umbrella that has a charm against spirits. She’s experienced enough to know that red beans and salt can deter spirits. But tell me, why the fuck does she think a black bell must be good luck and a bell of fated love?? Literally after the peddler’s grandson said the red bell was the bell of love, but he freaked out over the black bell. It doesn’t take rocket science Seon Mi.

Seon Mi just didn’t feel like a consistent character for me. I honestly didn’t care for her at all. Her stupidity made it hard for me to like her, because I was constantly face palming. Also, throughout the majority of the series she’s going on about how she wants to be normal. Literally through half of the series, she makes a point about wanting to live a normal life free of the supernatural. In fact, she willingly gives up her powers at one point. Yes, she ends up reclaiming her powers and is more accepting of her abilities and who she is. Yay for loving yourself!~ However, it’s just a bit odd that she did a complete 180. After the whole thing with Ah Sa Nyeo, Sam Jang is suddenly all “Look at me! I have powers! I’m a badass!!” I was just like “WTF???” with the sudden change.

Also, I just want to say the whole scene of Sam Jang and Oh Gong finally sleeping together felt so…awkward? I mean yay for the main characters getting together and all. But it just felt so…random? It just kinda felt like it was forced in the flow of the drama? Mostly, it just felt hella awkward. I think what just really made it weird and awkward was how they decided to show the scene. Of course they didn’t show Sam Jang and Oh Gong actually doing the deed. Instead they showed these sensual types of shots of things like water drops slowly sliding down a glass or some shit. It was just like “…uh…what the fuck…??”

I also have an issue with the how quick they were to kill off just about every character in this damn drama. Yeah, I’m salty about it because I liked those supporting characters (more than the main character…). It was sad to see Summer Fairy go. I was taken aback to see that they really did kill off Sam Jang. It was hella surprising they actually did it, but at the same time who the hell kills off their main character…?

But I was devastated to see the Jade Dragon die. The Jade Dragon was one of the characters I really liked. The sacrifice he made was so heartbreaking. I wasn’t happy with it, but I will admit that this was one of the moments that truly added some emotional depth to the series.

This was soooo fucking sad…( ╥ω╥ )
I wish there was some more closure in regards to Bu Ja/Se Ra. We’re just told that she was already gone at some point when Ah Sa Nyeo was possessing her body. But I wish there was more closure to that. I wish there was more closure in regards to Se Ra x PK.

Speaking of Ah Sa Nyeo…she could’ve been a great character. If only it hadn’t been so frustrating to see her deny being an evil spirit. Like giiiiiirrrrrl….how are you in so much denial when you’re doing very obvious evil shit like killing dozens of people?? She could’ve been great if it showed her showing more guilt, a part of her humanity still shimmering through, and ultimately growth of her trying to make amends. Yes, they did try to show that she had a bit of good and humanity somewhere there. But ultimately she went dark side. After the fighting and bullshit she put everyone through, she finally gave in to having PK burn her. I felt like it wasn’t so much due to remorse, but the fact that there’s nothing left for her. She went dark side, which lost, and ultimately lost her powers. This just led her to becoming a rotting meat suit.

I’d also like to say, “I FUCKING KNEW IT!”
The series may have ended, but I felt like there were just so many loose ends and unanswered questions.

Exactly what or who is the peddler lady/grandma? Seriously! It seemed to show that there was more to her than meets the eye. But they never really expanded on it!
Exactly why and how is Ma Wang and Princess Iron Fan’s son alive? Despite what was said, I doubt the heavens aren’t aware of it.
Why is Ma Wang and Princess Iron Fan’s son with the peddlar grandma?
Why was Princess Iron Fan reborn as flower petals?
Will Ma Wang’s family ever be re-united and able to live like a happy family?
What about Alice? Does she really not remember anything? What will she do now? Also didn’t Alice originally have a big crush on PK?? Is she really not gonna question that half baked lie from PK?
What about PK? What will he do?
What about Dae Shik??
Basically what will all the other characters do now??
Exactly why was Ah Sa Nyeo betrayed? For a “great” King who was loved and respected, why did he act so shady?? Seriously though. He promised to marry this girl once she summoned a freakin’ dragon for him and made him king. At the time she wasn’t evil at all. Just a girl who wanted to be loved. Dude doesn’t sound like a very noble king to me.
More info or flashbacks to the previous Sam Jang and the White Heron? Yes, they said that the White Heron had to kill Sam Jang. Yes, they implied that there was something more between them. But that’s the thing. It’s all just implied, and it’s rather vague. It could’ve been shown and built up on a bit to show more into Sam Jang and Oh Gong’s fate at the time.

I basically have a ton of questions. The ending just didn’t seem that satisfactory to me. I didn’t really feel like there was closure on a shit ton of things. The only thing that felt somewhat satisfactory was how the politician Kang Dae Sung got what was coming to him. Yes, it was pretty cliche and I could see it a mile away. However, having evil shitheads get served karma is just so satisfying.

She went from cinnamonroll…

To sultry evil bissshhh who didn’t give a fuck…
Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t have issues with the acting or the actors. I’m actually impressed with some of the acting. Particularly with Lee Se Young. She basically had to portray a pre-zombie Se Ra, Bu Ja (aka zombie Se Ra), and then Ah Sa Nyeo. She showed how versatile she is considering how Bu Ja and Ah Sa Nyeo are like complete opposites.

I was also impressed with my girl crush Bora. She’s so pretty!~ But it was fun to see her kind of be a parody of an idol (since she was an idol herself), and then play such a fun character like the Jade Dragon.

Shitty CGI is shitty…
From what I see, it’s the writing and production execution that really irked me. I said it already, the drama had potential. However, it ended up being so half-assed. Minus the shitty CGI, the production quality was fantastic. Yet, Hwayugi ultimately just seemed nothing more than a pretty production (with shitty CGI). The premise of the story was an interesting take on Journey to The West, and there were some very interesting characters. However, the story and characters ultimately became so half-assed that I felt like there wasn’t much depth. The story felt so shallow to me, and I just ended up not really caring anymore. It felt like it lacked substance. I hoped that maybe there would be some improvements with the finale, but it just felt haphazardly slapped together. Honestly, I could barely process what the hell happened. It also felt like there were way too many questions and loose ends. There were things that the drama could’ve definitely built on or utilized to create a better drama and overall story. Yet, it didn’t happen. I’m incredibly sad that this drama ultimately felt unfulfilling and like a complete waste of time for me. And so the search for a good drama continues. Did you finish Hwayugi? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!~ Also, I’d love to hear some drama recommendations!

Seriously though…I’m pretty pissed. I legit feel like my emotions and time were wasted during the last half of the series…

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