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Melancholia korean drama review
Ongoing 5/16
2 people found this review helpful
by callmebookaholic
8 days ago
5 of 16 episodes seen
Overall 7.5
Story 6.5
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 4.0
This review may contain spoilers

Here's an honest review to ease your frustrations about the drama.

The drama's aesthetics are so pretty and well done, especially the scenes where Seung-yoo stares at the scenery and you can see a multitude of numbers and equations from this perspective. Honestly, a brilliant portrayal of the mathematical view that pulls us, viewers, in too. The subject matter also seems very well researched and applied in the scenes. Personally, I'm not very happy with the pacing of the episodes. Believe me, the story is perfectly paced but the pace of the scenes in the episodes itself seems a little off. Some scenes are too in-depth where not required and others have not been properly elaborated.

We all thought that they would show the time skip sooner but it makes sense to build upon their past first. Seung-yoo almost gave up on math. Without giving a proper resolution to this personal conflict with his mathematical abilities, we will not get him as a competent math teacher in the future. It was a good decision to expand this arc because there is a lot to unpack even in terms of the ongoing corruption at Asung. Only then can we see the two leads fight together against the authorities in the future.

Secondly, there is a long thread of causes behind their scandal, one that involves many of the other characters and their reactions. Especially Sung Yerin who seems the most affected by Seung-yoo's performance. I can't help but appreciate how beautifully her character's personality and context have been written and portrayed. It truly shows that what fueled her revenge was the extreme pressure and expectations imposed on her by the adults. Then we have the Principal at Asung and her need for power and dominance over her own sister. We are only 5 episodes in but the birth of that scandal was likely a joint effort. So far, this extended arc from the past has given us well-explained reasons for their actions because let's admit it, there are multiple people (in positions of power) that feel threatened by the two leads. In this process, the show has grabbed the opportunity to discuss the modalities of privilege too! I can see why Im Soo Jung must have chosen this drama.

Regarding the whole controversy about the age difference and pedophilia, I do think the drama cuts it too close with a few romantic scenes. It is also possible that Seung-yoo is already 20 years of age (Korean age) based on a few calculations of my own. Seung-yoo was 10 (Korean age) when he went to MIT (Ep. 2) and based on the synopsis on multiple sites, he dropped out in two years, by the age of 12 and this incident took place 8 years ago (Ep.2) so he must be almost 20 now. Still too close for comfort. Based on the events of Ep. 5, Seung-yoo is the one who has romantic feelings for his teacher and they seem unrequited. Regardless, it's an adult's responsibility to sit the kid down and explain to him why it's wrong (since adults are the ones in power in any relationship involving a minor). I just hope Yoon-soo can clearly convey this along with her (unrequited, I sure hope they are unrequited) feelings to him in the upcoming episodes.

I feel that there is a lot more in store for the viewers in the future episodes and I'm going to give this drama a chance to complete a full circle, to explain and correctly address its sensitive topic by the end.
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