Eve: Episode 1 (Initial Impressions)
Meloholics, alert! tvN’s Eve pulls all the components we know and like from the revenge melo genre, but requires its content material from the PG we’re utilised to (from now-classics like Good Guy), and ups the ante with a 19 rating. I was not prepared.
Editor’s note: Drama coverage will continue with weecaps.
EPISODE 1 Initial IMPRESSIONS
I’m a sucker for a revenge melo, and I like ’em with as a lot angst and yearning as feasible. Since if you are going to drive me up a wall with your overwrought feelings and plot machinations, at least give me an angst I can appreciate as a viewer.
A major element of that revenge melo package is the setup, and that is what we have — understandably — in Episode 1. The drama opens with the token revenge melo music, and if you know, you know. It sends all the signals that this is going to be a messy, angsty ride ahead. So far, I’m onboard.
We meet our hero (hero?) KANG YOON-KYUM (Park Byung-eun) at a press conference exactly where he’s speaking about LY Group, the very wealthy chaebol conglomerate that he’s married into (he’s not only its CEO, but also the wealthiest man in Korea). We get a smattering of critical specifics as we hear from the press and see what’s circulating on the interwebs: the tabloids are reporting that he has a mistress.
Does he? Uh, most likely, thinking about the setup of our drama. And the reality that we see him getting into an opulent space exactly where a lady descends from her seat and approaches him like a goddess. They embrace.
The loved ones behind LY Group is every single bit the evil chaebol stereotype, which is kinda half the enjoyable. The head of the loved ones is HAN PAN-RO (Jeon Gook-hwan), and he’s the epitome of evil. As in, he tortures some whistleblowers through his preferred sport (golf, natch) and then has them doused with blood and sets his dogs loose on them. It is vile, and he’s also vile, and that is the only message to get right here.
His attractive daughter is Yoon-kyum’s wife HAN SO-RA (Yoo Sun), who’s also every single bit the stereotype of the cold and calculating lady who gets restricted edition every little thing and tosses priceless vases when angry. And she’s angry more than the news of her husband’s affair (naturally), and her father instantly humiliates her for not becoming in a position to “control” her husband. But adequate of them for now.
How did this entire mess start? We jump back to 3 months in the previous, at a super duper duper elite kindergarten that is essentially funded by LY Group. Amidst the wooing of the wealthy households present at an occasion there, we have a concert — and one particular of the numbers is a pretty sensual tango featuring the mother of one particular of the kids who attends.
Our dancer is LEE LA-EL (Seo Ye-ji), and it is a testament to her abilities that she can dance beautifully in stilettos even though nonetheless staring out at the audience at one particular man in certain: Yoon-kyum, who’s clearly taken with her.
We do not know a lot about La-el however, but we do know adequate that she’s got some severe secret scars, and they center on the leaders of LY Group. Initial in speedy cuts, and later in a complete flashback, we meet La-el as a young girl, when her father was brutally tortured (and at some point murdered) by one particular of LY Group’s head creeps KIM JUNG-CHEOL (Jung Hae-kyun). It is an icky and awful scene, and we can see why the trauma of it has come to be La-el’s complete identity.
Nonetheless in this flashback — which was 13 years ago so she was about 15 at the time — a human rights lawyer assists her and her mother escape to the U.S., right after which they “disappear.” The lawyer is the sort and sincere SEO EUN-PYEONG (Lee Sang-yub). He tells young La-el he desires to support people today, but right after her case, realizes he cannot do that unless he has energy, so he’s going to switch careers. (We meet him briefly in the present and he’s certainly climbed the ladder to results, and we can anticipate him to rejoin the story forthwith.)
Back to the present, it is clear La-el has her eyes/plot set upon Yoon-kyum. In the course of the very same celebration right after her tango overall performance, she ingratiates herself to the other mothers (how can they not see by way of this?) and gleans as a lot information as she can from them about Yoon-kyum and his wife.
Later that evening, La-el even finds a way to strategy them — basically two. Initial, each females have daughters about the very same age. Whilst La-el encourages her daughter to befriend So-ra’s daughter, So-ra tells her daughter not to make good friends that are “beneath” her.
But aside from the daughters, they have yet another thread in typical. La-el’s “regular workplace worker” husband turns up, and it turns out he was heading the Argentina branch of LY, so he and Yoon-kyum share a semi-awkward greeting. Why so awkward, Yoon-kyum? Could it be for the reason that you are coveting this man’s wife? Properly, yes, but it gets even far more uncomfortable than that.
Ahead of La-el’s husband arrived, we discover out that La-el set this entire plot into motion. She not only created confident to be the concentrate of Yoon-kyum’s consideration (even though pretending to not notice him, of course), but she strategically dropped a bracelet when she passed him, somehow understanding he would see it, choose it up, and attempt to return it to her.
And then this is exactly where factors reside up to their 19 rating. La-el’s cute hubbie arrives late, and she whisks him into her dressing space, and swiftly undresses him. She says she’s all turned on from her tango and he does not resist for far more than a hot second. Even so, it is all a plot, for the reason that even though they’re in the thick of it, shall we say, Yoon-kyum pops his head into the dressing space and sees it all. And there’s La-el, staring straight at him.
Uh, is this a K-drama? Outdoors of becoming entirely caught off guard by this scene, it is also fairly unscrupulous of La-el — she’s not only applying her husband (who appears to definitely like her) like a pawn, but she’s willfully seducing a married man. Of course, that is the point of the complete drama, and she knows that she wants Yoon-kyum’s heart in order for her take-down program of LY to perform. But her strategies do leave one particular questioning.
It is very the ending for our initial episode, and it comes with a couple of observations from yours definitely. Initial, I want that Park Byung-eun looked a small far more entranced by La-el and a small significantly less shocked/constipated, but we’ll give him time.
Second — and this is just a hazard of the revenge melo genre — we seriously do need to have a giant assisting up the suspension of disbelief. How could La-el be confident that Yoon-kyum would be so attracted to her? That he would see the dropped bracelet? That he would scurry off to the dressing space and catch her obtaining sex with her husband ideal at the precise moment he did? Or even that her husband would comply and have her in the fantastic vantage point to stare out the open door?
If we’re prepared to take on this suspension of disbelief, I’m confident we have very a ride in retailer, as the drama has confirmed it is prepared to take the revenge melo genre and make it as mature as it can. Even so, I’m left a small undecided at this point — why upgrade the drama’s content material if you are not also going to upgrade the plot machinations, or even select actors that do not generally play irredeemable terrible guys? And however, I like the tropes and the predictability of the genre, so I stay interested.
Episode two must give us a improved sense of exactly where the drama will go from right here, but ideal now I discover I’m not as sympathetic towards La-el as I want to be, and a small far more: a) feeling sorry for her random husband and b) excited to see what occurs when she reunites with Eun-pyeung.
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