by FreeWhirpool, May 8, 2018


When Misty came out earlier this year, not only did it pick up immediate traction with K-drama watchers for its fresh plot and strong characters, it gained wide appreciation for it's theme (family, loyalty etc.) Almost immediately after the show ended, viewers flooded MDL with 10 star reviews and praise, for the acting, directing, storytelling and such. 

But. Almost a month after it ended, I want to ask the community here: was it really that good?

I admit, I got carried away by the wave as well. Though I did give 7 stars or so to it, my review erred on the positive side of neutral than the strictly neutral tone I attempt to keep for 7 star reviews. I couldn't help it; I really, really wanted to love the show. 

The story is something we haven't seen on Korean television: a popular newscaster is accused of murder, but is defended by her estranged husband and begin to rekindle their lost love for each other. It's so unique and would have made for so many heartwarming/heart-wrenching scenes, not to mention some very lovely romance development. 

And that, dear readers, is one of the primary problems of the show: where the heck is the romance development?

#1. No Romance Development 

You could argue that the show wanted to focus on the investigation more than the bond between the leads, but that would make zero sense- 80% of Misty's unique plot is because of the romance between the two leads. If I wanted to watch a whodunit murder mystery, there are countless other dramas that could satisfy me, with more focused writing on the investigation aspect and tighter plot. 

I watched Misty for the romance and I got some writer's afterthought that probably went, "Next episode maybe we will reveal... hmmm... now wait, there was supposed to be romance. Oh well, here we go."

For the entire first half of the show, Go Hye Ran and her husband, Kang Tae Wook, were almost indifferent to each other. Even when they got together to get to the bottom of the murder, there was still a clearly defined emotional disassociation between them. 

And then, for seemingly out of nowhere, it goes from that to this: What did I miss???

Yeah. You can tell I'm still pretty mad about this. Damn you, false advertising! 

Which brings to me my next peeve of this drama...

#2. Sloppy, Inconsistent and Plot-Hole Filled Writing

By God, it was as if the writer didn't have a clue about where to take the story! There was so many holes in the plot, a trypophobic person somewhere just passed out. Where do I even start? 

The best example I could give is Tae Wook's reaction over the stream of evidence against Hye Ran for the murder of Kevin Lee. He is always seen either a) breaking down, b) getting angry or c) feeling betrayed whenever new evidence surfaces. He constantly oscillates between saying he truly believes her to silently doubting her innocence when there is a new development.

It's fine. It's normal. Until we find out that, in the end, after all this hullabaloo, Tae Wook himself is the killer.

What the screaming hell? What was all that for!

Why would someone go through all that heartache and doubt when they know who the killer is? When the killer is actually them? It makes NO sense. NONE. NADA.

#3. Ha Myung Woo

This guy is a violent version of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope, but not for Go Hye Ran, but the plot. He existed only to kill people who looked at Go Hye Ran wrong and propel the plot forward. He has no personality of his own, no ambition and no individuality- heck, every time we saw him, he was wearing black! 

And it's not like I'm just deriving this conclusion from far flung evidences and actions; the character himself continuously says it throughout the entirety of the show!

By the end of the drama, I got the feeling that the writers really didn't know what to do with him- do we finally let him live his life after spending 19 years in jail? Or do we make him burden Go Hye Ran with the promise of 'looking after her' silently (AKA killing anyone that looks at her the wrong way)  for the rest of her life? 

Hmmm...gee, I wonder what would offer more closure?

If you picked option 2, ding ding ding! Your prize is a bad ending, confusion and complete dissatisfaction!

#4.  Seo Eun Joo

Every good drama has a balance- balance between the good and bad things that happen to the characters. You can't have too many good things or too many bad things happen to pivotal characters, not only because it's so unrealistic, but also because it makes that character's happiness or struggle becomes extremely redundant and pointless after a while. 

Seo Eun Joo is that character.

God, what a poor woman she is.

Worked to her bones to earn money and support her boyfriend's pro-golfer dreams, married a narcissist who cheated on her multiple times, had a best friend who messed around with her husband for a while, became a widow, miscarried her kid, didn't find her husband's killer, ostracized by a childhood friend (Ha Myung Woo) who blames her for getting him into jail and putting Go Hye Ran into trouble (she didn't, the guy is just wack) and will never get justice for her husband because his killer killed himself (yeah, more on that later). 

Despite all this, the writers offered her no relief and simply wrote her off as an angry, revenge obsessed freak who is out to get Go Hye Ran. I mean, yeah, duh, of course she's angry, you didn't give anything to be happy about. 

On the contrary, you made her see Go Hye Ran let an innocent man go to jail for 19 years but yet still have his loyalty, reject a nobody in favour of a somebody and have that somebody truly fall in love with her, cheat on said somebody with a serial cheater, face no flak for all the shit she's done over the years and still become successful. Isn't that unfair? Wouldn't you be angry? 

You'd think that after all this, the writer would throw her a bone and atleast give her some closure and happiness- but that didn't happen. She was still resigned, depressed and hopeless. Her husband's killer committed suicide, so he won't ever be punished for his crime. 

Nice going, writers. You definitely hit the nail with that one.

#5. The Ending

Ummm, yeah, didn't see that one coming.  I don't think anybody did.

To be honest, I rewinded and watched the ending 3 times before I sorta understood what was happening. Go Hye Ran seemed oddly content and calm at knowing her beloved husband will kill himself the same way he made Kevin Lee's murder look- an accidental crash against the mouth of the tunnel. The scene moves back and forth between Go Hye Ran in the studio and Tae Wook frantically driving to his doom. Just as he closes his eyes and crashes, she is seen smiling sadly and asking herself, are you happy?

What in the blazes kind of ending is that? It makes nobody happy. Not Go Hye Ran, not Kang Tae Wook, not Seo Eun Joo, not Ha Myung Woo and heck, if Kevin Lee was alive, not even him. Then why was it there? 

It made my think for a while and the only reason I can come up with is because of consistency, which, ironically, the writers didn't give a rats-ass about till now. Go Hye Ran, despite her questionable choices, has a strong sense of right and wrong and Kang Tae Wook is a 100% or nothing kind of guy; had the writers gone with the happy-happy route and enabled them to escape abroad, while it would signify a fresh start in their relationship, it would be so 180 from their characters and very upsetting to us as viewers. 

 But while this ending marginally makes sense, it still offers absolutely no closure to the story or the characters, which is much more important than 'consistency'. The more logical and kinder option would be jail, which would make everyone involved happy (or at least, as happy as you can be). 

Shock factor and unexpected endings do not a good drama make.

So there you have it. An unpopular opinion that probably some people are thinking about but are too scared or unsure to voice. Misty wasn't that good. It's another K-drama that showed so much promise but failed to deliver because of the writer's incompetence. 

But that's not to say Misty wasn't good at all. There are some things about the drama that I will remember, like the powerful acting, the wonderfully dark atmosphere and the relationship of the actors with the supporting characters. The writing might have almost completely ruined the drama for me, but the drama was saved only because of the things mentioned above. 

Go Hye Ran, despite all her flaws, was an excellently tragic character- her resolve often mistaken for rudeness, her will to survive stronger than any obstacle her male-dominated world threw at her and the love she has for those loyal to her, all make up the unforgettable character expertly portrayed by Kim Nam Joo

Gosh, could you imagine anyone else play Go Hye Ran? 


Have any thoughts? Did I miss anything out? Or do you disagree? Feel free to comment below! 

Thank you for reading!

misty kim nam joo ji jin hee jun hye jin im tae kyung