• Drama: Imitation
  • Country: South Korea
  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: May 7, 2021 - Jul 23, 2021
  • Aired On: Friday
  • Original Network: KBS2, Viki
  • Duration: 1 hr. 10 min.
  • Content Rating: 15+ - Teens 15 or older


  • Score: 8.1 (scored by 9,811 users)
  • Ranked: #1221
  • Popularity: #327
  • Watchers: 24,365

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Imitation (2021) poster
Your Rating: 0/10
Ratings: 8.1/10 from 9,811 users
# of Watchers: 24,365
Reviews: 97 users
Ranked #1221
Popularity #327
Watchers 9,811

Lee Ma Ha is a member of the new K-pop girl group Tea Party, formed by Ji Hak, who was once the manager of the famous boy group Shax, but resigned after the sudden disappearance of member Eun Jo in the middle of a concert. Prior to joining Tea Party, Ma Ha was a member of the group Omega III, which disbanded on its debut day due to a tragic incident involving a former trainee at the group's company. This led Ma Ha to support herself by performing as an impersonator of the popular solo singer La Li Ma, gaining her public notoriety. Starting anew with Tea Party, Ma Ha finds herself repeatedly crossing paths with Kwon Ryok, the center and most popular member of Shax who is still haunted by Eun Jo's disappearance three years later. While Ryok initially dislikes Ma Ha due to her imitation of Li Ma, the two eventually begin to grow interest in one another and start a secret relationship that could put both of their careers in jeopardy. Meanwhile, Lee Yu Jin, Ma Ha's loyal friend who is the center of the rising boy group Sparkling, has been in love with Ma Ha since their idol trainee days. When he notices the budding relationship between Ma Ha and Ryok, he determines to protect her from Ryok and lead Sparkling to beat out Shax as the most popular boy group in the industry. (Source: Wikipedia) ~~ Adapted from the webtoon "Imitation" (이미테이션) by Park Kyung Ran (박경란). Edit Translation

  • English
  • Русский
  • Português
  • Türkçe
  • Country: South Korea
  • Type: Drama
  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: May 7, 2021 - Jul 23, 2021
  • Aired On: Friday
  • Original Network: KBS2 Viki
  • Duration: 1 hr. 10 min.
  • Score: 8.1 (scored by 9,811 users)
  • Ranked: #1221
  • Popularity: #327
  • Content Rating: 15+ - Teens 15 or older

Where to Watch Imitation

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Cast & Credits


38 people found this review helpful
Jul 23, 2021
12 of 12 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 7.5
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 5.0

Steady story with a simple plot; not bad.

To be very honest, I assumed Imitation would be a musical Kdrama just because I saw that the major cast are all singers, but to my utter disappointment it turned out to be a drama on the life of kpop idols which casts real kpop idols. But anyways, judging as a drama, IMITATION is not a bad drama and I actually liked it even though it had nothing much to offer. I mean the plot, story and screenplay are in fact not something very new to the industry of Kdramas.

As the synopsis says, Imitation is all about the life of Kpop idols, on individual levels as well as a group, the kpop industry, it's management and also the kpop fandom culture. The major plot involves 2 kpop groups: "SHAX", a 6yo boy group of 5 members who are well established and considered the best kpop band AND "Tea Party" a rookie girl group of 3 members who go through back to back mishaps to debut and struggle in the huge ocean-like industry of kpop. They have some past, separately and together and they help each other grow while facing odds from the management, industry happenings, media and their fans. While the 2 lead characters fall in love and go forward in their relationship secretly, they also find unsaid truth about their pasts and with the help of their fellow teammates, try to resolve it through music.

Well, I am not sure about others but I honestly did not expect much in regards of acting since the people casted for the major characters are either rookie actors or are with less experience in the industry. So judging from that pov, they've actually done an moderately average job playing their respective roles. SF9 Chani despite playing small roles in many dramas has actually improved a lot and I loved him the most in the drama. After him was Park Ji Yeon noona (T-ara) who is somewhat experienced
also did good in her supporting role. I have seen Jung Ji So in some other dramas and I actually like her acting. Lee Jun Young (U-kiss) and Jung Yun Ho (Ateez) as main characters were good if not more.

I think Danny Ahn (Ji Hak) is the most experienced actor in this drama but he had very less scope to perform. I was a simp for this drama because. Additional character actors like Choi Jong Ho (Ateez), Im Na Yong (IOI), Hwi Young (SF9), Kim Min Seo, Ahn Jung Hun, Park Seong Hwa (Ateez), Lee Soo Woong (Boys Republic), Choi San (Ateez), Park Yu Ri, had very less role to play and they were not actually bad but I won't judge their acting, haha.

I night actually look funny while mentioning all these names but I am a kpop hardcore multifan as well and this drama is like an eye candy for me, particularly because of my love for ATEEZ (cries under the blanket).

Not sure whether I can tell much about it but I think it was moderately average because there was no scope in the story to begin with. It's not bad but as a Kdrama fan I can't say it's something very good as well. It could have been unique if it were a musical Kdrama and they had that chance because of this huge kpop idol starcast but I think they somehow failed to utilize the resources well. But for the screenplay editing, I'd say it's okay-okay and not flawed. One episode in between (don't remember which one now) felt a bit off, like slow development but manageable.

OST and Edits:
Ummm, yeah! OSTs are good; some are catchy, some are heart touching and some are melodious but again, not something I can call very great. I am happy with the SHAX tracks though and I have grown fond of "If We Were". The bg score and OST edits in the drama are good and have been done properly. Screenplay edits and organization are okay too.

I actually don't know what else to say because it didn't have much content either. It is a 12 episode drama with almost nothing new or unique to offer but It was at least a good watch. I won't come to rewatch it ever but it's definitely worth a one time watch. I started because of the kpop idol full starcast and thinking it would be a fun musical which it actually wasn't hence the disappointment but go ahead and watch it if you're into Ateez or a hardcore multi. At least this ended well and didn't feel rushed.

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37 people found this review helpful
Jul 24, 2021
12 of 12 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 6.5
Story 6.0
Acting/Cast 6.5
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 6.5

Idols With A Twist…

With a predominantly idol actor cast ( aside from actual actress Jung Ji So) and respectfully a lot of hyped fans of these idols watching the drama, it does objectively brand the question for a lot of drama-watchers ( especially those who aren’t interested or a part of idol fanbases), whether ‘ Imitation’ is actually worth watching as a storyline , or is a waste of time.

There is a balance of good things and more critical points when it comes to ‘ Imitation’. On a strong note ‘ Imitation’ has a prominent message about problems with the idol industry and does not shy away from tackling themes such as corruption, the media, toxicity present in idol fanbases , mental health and hardships . What resonated even further was undeniably having a predominantly idol-cast playing in those roles. However, the show often did fall short with how consistent it was trying to be with conveying these messages through writing and character writing also.

Let’s start with the main female lead Ma-Ha. Ji-So is a good actress, however, although initial introduction wasn’t terrible, it didn’t quite embody her role either. It had nothing to do with Ji-So not being an idol. After all she takes on roles in order to adapt herself to becoming someone else onscreen whilst the cameras are rolling. That’s her job. Instead, its rather the fact that Ma-Ha was always a character who you should’ve felt sorry for with her hardships, but often it was easy to grow detached from the FL with Ji-So’s lacking vitality invested with her given - performance. This isn’t entirely the actress’ fault, as this was also sparked by screenwriting problems also .

As viewers there’s a lot we are supposed to like about Ma-Ha. She’s not only the female lead of the drama, but the “ underdog” archetype who takes a central position as a member of her girl group and desperately yearns for the group to become famous. These goals were easily likeable traits, but then when we actually exposed to her reasons for “ becoming an idol” as well as her “ will they, won’t they?” lacklustre onscreen chemistry with popular Shax boyband member Ryeok ( Jun from U-KISS), her character simply became uninteresting for the most part. This is because rather than depending Ma-Ha’s own sense of purpose outside of the group in early episodes , the female lead’s entire being was pretty much defined by romantic tropes, than actual character development.

Oh boy, this leads us onto the romance elements and setups of the show. Tackling this topic in a drama about idols evidently isn’t a crime. After all, a lot of idols have love lives and date in secret but the problem with “ Imitation”’s depiction of the turbulent love lives of idols was that it lacked a lot of depth. There were multiple opportunities for us as viewers to perk up and take note of what really happens in the lives of idols, when the spotlight and cameras aren’t rolling. However, instead “ Imitation” was focused nearly entirely upon bringing in pairings which were fairly dull.

This is even case and point with our main pairing between Ma-Ha and Ryeok. Jun is a really good actor alongside Ji-So but the tropes and cliches soon diminished a lot of onscreen chemistry between them. This was because similar to Ma-Ha, Ryeok’s original character was fairly interesting. He had clear goals and motives, as well as presenting an evident contrast to Ma-Ha due to being successful and suffering under a lot of emotional burdens. Yet rather than connecting these characters under their similarities and learning to symbiotically “ lean” upon one another gradually from their “ hate to love” relationship , the drama attempted to present too many cliche “ differences” between them, which often fell short due to questioning why on earth these characters should have been together if this was all their relationship equated to.

Similarly one of the most poorly-written couples in this drama was Hyun Ji ( Lim Nayoung )and Yoo Jun ( Hwiyoung). Hyun Ji was by herself an interesting character alongside fellow member of Teaparty Ri-A ( Minseo). However, her pairing with Yoo Jun? It was incredibly enforced to say the least. Hyun Ji’s feelings for Yoo Jun were fairly unrequited as Yoo Jun, rarely reciprocated them romantically. Their screen time interactions were minimal and when they were together, the topic was usually just about Ma-Ha. If the show had developed this couple more, or had just disregarded entirely and explored Hyun Ji’s relationship with her fellow members then it would have been a lot more coherent than the pairing we were presented with onscreen .

Aside from the romantic factor, the biggest flaw in this show was undeniably disregarding the seemingly “major” established storyline around Eunjo and Annie. Now this was an interesting part of the show, however, it was nonsensical and seriously bad writing to disregard these characters, bring them up for a few seconds when it was called for and then anticlimactically solve the case, without rhyme or reason .

Perhaps the one character who you surprisingly grow to love as a viewer is solo singer La Li Ma( Jiyeon from T-ara). Ji Yeon really gave a dynamic performance as the soloist, and her character takes some surprising turns away from the stereotypical “ catty second female lead” trope that she was presented within in the first few episodes. It was oddly refreshing and enjoyable to see this character grow.

So, is “ Imitation” worth watching? The drama presents some fairly hard-hitting issues about the idol industry, but sometimes struggled to convey these meanings due to the heavy investment of romance as well as disregarding major plot lines and character development also. The acting is a mixed-bag. There are times where the acting front is really good, and other scenes where it is questionable . The OST is okay also -a little generic, but certainly nothing wrong with it either. Overall, certainly not a bad show but dependent on what you’re looking for. If you’re watching for the idol cast and themes about music, idol and cutesy couple moments, then you’ll absolutely love this one. If you’re not a major fan of them and where enticed by the darker storyline topics, then you may be a little disappointed.

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