Temptation (2014) #Kdrama Initial impressions.

Hello. This is a Korean in America. Today I'll be doing a preview of the first 2 episodes of a new Korean drama, "Temptation" (2014). This will hopefully be a short article.


Introduction
This year we have been seeing a revival of the "over the top" romantic comedy and new emergence of the classic thriller shows in the Korean drama sphere. Most of the shows were not very good in general although some might have found something interesting in them considering the hoopla in the Internet about how hot the actors are.

While this trend seems to be continuing, there are a few interesting shows currently airing. One of them is “Temptation" (2014).

The plot
If I were to describe this show, I do not know if I could do it justice since it reads on paper like your typical Korean cooperation themed soap opera. With this type of show, the melodrama comes from to three sources. The first is the rich people acting a according to how Koreans think they generally are. This means sex, throwing money around, talking in big business-y words as if they actually meant anything, more sex, demeaning poor people, drinking, and more sex.

Oh, I forgot about making bastards!

Well, that does fall into the whole sex category. What's with Korean rich people’s dislike with condoms?

And "Temptation" (2014) does not actually deviate from this a lot. There is even a bastard. The show follows essentially 3 plots about 3 different groups of people at the moment. This could change.


First, you have the rich typical guy who, like all rich youngish Korean male characters, is married to someone his family forced him to marry. He had a relationship with a singer overseas which seems genuine but, as all in his position do, caved in to what was expected of him.

While the show is not explicit, this guy is overall a douche that thinks he is different from his peers because he tipped his "tip" in inexpensive ink. However, I view this as him having a fantasy of slumming it.


The second group centers around the rich female who seems damaged to a degree and has accumulated enough power to live her own way unlike the rich guy. However, she seems to have lost something important in the process.


Then there is the poor couple. You have the poor guy who is the typical Korean guy who is over educated and over entitled for either his status or his smarts. His wife, while loving him, seems to be at her limit with him. "Temptation" (2014) does a two way "Indecent proposal" on this poor couple with both the rich guy and girl pulling at each ends.


What I liked...
If we get into the details of the show, there is nothing that special about the show. What is special is that a lot of stuff was executed properly. It is the most solid first week of a show I've seen in years.

During the first two episodes, there is not that much plot. However, they did enough to fully setup all the characters and how the show will proceed for the rest of the show.  At the same time, there is enough that were only hinted such as the relationship between the rich guy and girl. I do not know what is it and I want to know. This is what is required from a first act which the show nailed.

Another thing is that the show did well was that there was a lot of effort put into character building that is not that common in recent Korean dramas. This fills in the gaps in the plot's pacing and keeps my interests.

Additionally, I like the fact that this reduced the need for the show to dip into over melodramatics which I tend to hate especially this early in the show. This approach seems to fit the actress who plays the rich girl well as she is more subtle and less dynamic in her acting style.


What I did not like...
I like most of what the show offered especially when the rich girl was on screen. However I have two main problems.

First, I do not think the actor playing the rich guy is dynamic enough an actor to play that role. I have seen him in several shows over the past few years or so and he was never the best part of the show.

Second, the show does seems to barely containing its “over the top” melodramatics at the moment. And I do mean barely! And I do like the sense of balance this restraint is providing. However, I am not sure the show will maintain this in future episodes. Whenever the rich guy is on screen, the show tends to veer seriously close to being over the top.


At the end.
"Temptation" (2014) seems to be my favorite new show. The characters are interesting and given time to develop. The setup of the show, even though slightly vague at the moment, does not seem to veer towards the convoluted relative to the shows we have been getting

It is a classier version of a night time Soap and I mean Night and Class time! I wish it remains that way.

I give the first two episodes a A-


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