“A Piece Of Your Mind” aired its last episode last night and since I’ve seen it and completed the series successfully, I thought it would be a good idea to talk about it and why I personally couldn’t fully support it despite the actors’ stellar performances.
Now I know some of you are already triggered but there are reasons for what I said above, so before you judge, read this article. I know I am probably of the few who liked this drama but not enough to call it a ‘great drama.’ Those who stopped watching did so because of valid reasons and those who persisted and loved it also have valid reasons.
Note: this will be a spoiler review of the series.
Of course, we’re talking about the script here; I have no issues with the acting or the directing or anything else pertaining to production for that matter.
Before we begin, I would like to point this out:
Dismissing Koreans decision to stop watching this drama is honestly very childish, it’s very understandable in this case, in this case particularly.
Sometimes its competition, or terrible acting and shitty marketing but this time, there were clearly reasons valid enough for people to stop tuning in. Just because you decided to continue and felt rewarded in having done so, doesn’t invalidate the decision of those who decided to drop the drama.
“A Piece Of Your Mind” was reduced from 16 to 12 episodes due to poor reception. A very terrible thing to happen to any production but I understand why it happened, today, I will discuss my personal issues with the series and explain why I believe it could’ve been one of the best but ended being average.
The problematic creepy Ha Won
I’ve stated this before, but Ha Won’s way of thinking is deeply flawed and concerning. My issue with “A Piece Of Your Mind” wasn’t that he behaved this way, but the way the show portrayed it felt problematic.
It’s okay if the show recognizes he has deep psychological issues but they briefly address it then dismiss it and move on. A lot of things he says and does in the first half of this drama were very creepy.
Ha Won lives his life longing for a person he’s never been romantically involved with; he misses her for 10 years after she clearly rejects him and tells him she’s getting married to another man. If their relationship was platonic, I think I it would’ve made more sense, they spent a long time together, they’re like family.
Ha Won is stuck in the past refusing to move on from her, he’s unable to love another woman and continues to dream of one day meeting her, he stalks her on social media and eventually enlists the help of Seo Woo to make this happen.
The show portrays Ha Won like the hopeless romantic but if you’re not fully aware and paying attention you’ll almost fall for his toxic and creepy way of thinking. At some point in the plot, we found out he told her to come find him if she’s miserable, like dude, are you serious? How full are you of yourself? She doesn’t own you shit.
Nothing explains why he behaves that way and continues to do so despite being a levelheaded human being in all other aspects of life. “A Piece Of Your Mind” is about why its characters behave a certain way, we find out the way they think throughout the drama, but Ha Won, the one who needed to be explored the most, isn’t even explored.
His qualities contradict each other fundamentally. Ha Won is a ‘nice’ character but if a man like him showed up to me in real life, I’d put out a restraining order.
I also didn’t like the fact that he recorded his first love voice without her knowledge or consent and continued to use her voice as an experiment and a project to work on among his peers.
If this happened to my family, I’d be livid. Saying he wants to know and wants to speak to the device to understand Jisoo and live through her perspective feeling everything she felt is very weird and creepy. Aside from being an unattainable goal since she’s already dead, it’s very selfish and problematic.
And even after her death, Ha Won is still unable to move on until something switches in his brain or to put it precisely the writer decided so after finding out people weren’t going to stick around to see this, he falls for Seo Woo against all odds and starts a romantic relationship with her.
“A Piece Of Your Mind” is about moving on from tragedy, it’s about choosing to live and finding solace in the people you love. It’s also about communicating your feelings to others. however, the entire premise of “A Piece Of Your Mind” relies on a man who couldn’t move on from someone, the fact that shortly after she died he begins to have feelings for another woman is odd to me, like how could he just change like that? The fact that she’s dead should make him feel even more miserable and lead to more problematic behavior but his love for Seo Woo suddenly heals him…. get outta here!
The ‘Healing’ Device
“A Piece Of Your Mind” has a plot point that was very confusing. I learned that Koreans don’t like confusing plots, “The King: Eternal Monarch,” too, is facing backlash for being too confusing, it even saw a dip in ratings because of this, there is no way “A Piece Of Your Mind” was going to survive that critique point.
“A Piece Of Your Mind” doesn’t explicitly explain but shows you, which I actually like but the thing is, it’s showing something that is very difficult to comprehend unless explained.
Eventually, we learn that Ha Won is working on devices that could help humans move on with their lives and heal; the devices are AI machines of people’s thoughts. The device eventually picks up on the owner’s habits, speech and personality.
There is also something called ‘a point of reaction,’ something that needs to be said in order to fully activate the device.
The bigger issue than Ha Won’s behavior is this plot point which is by far one of the most absurd I’ve seen for a plot that’s about life and reality.
If this was a fantasy drama, my tone would be very different but “A Piece Of Your Mind” is about humans, life and death. It’s grounded in reality, so to introduce such a foreign concept that isn’t even clearly explained until episode 6 to 7 is a grave mistake from a writer who’s been working since 2001, yes, 2001.
I don’t understand the screenwriter decisions here, in my opinion; her decisions for the plot ruined what could’ve easily been an amazing project.
She took advantage of the fact that Jung Hae In has a huge following dedicated enough to be patient with the slow pacing and illogical theme, but eventually, it backfired because why would busy people waste their times when there are better dramas on?
The ‘healing device’ is an important point in “A Piece Of Your Mind” and is not something to be glossed over or poorly explained as well. It needed to have been fully established and explained as logically as possible so viewers could easily follow along and enjoy the ride instead of wondering what it all meant.
Jisoo’s Device Without Logic
This ties to the ‘healing device’ point and is something I haven’t seen discussed enough at all. It should be the center of a lot of conversations about the plot but despite its importance for the advancement of it, it doesn’t make an ounce of sense.
Jisoo dies and Ha Won programs a device with her voice, somehow the device replicates her feelings, thoughts and a bunch of situations there is no way on earth a device could’ve obtained.
And yes, I know the device conversed with Ha Won and Seo Woo and that’s how it got a lot of information but it’s still one sided and in no way a clear explanation of how it knows so much about things no one told it about…
This is me assuming the ‘healing device’ is an actual thing that existed in real life. I still can’t comprehend how the screenwriter thought of this. Jisoo died, she only recorded a couple of times, and no matter how sophisticated a device is, it won’t be able to generate memories on its own. However, it somehow converses with characters as if it knows Jisoo’s logic when no one knows, she’s dead.
It also knows about situations that Jisoo never mentioned such as the ones about her husband, or how she felt after ending meetings with Ha Won and Seo Woo. HOW?
I just can’t comprehend this part and every single time it’s brought up, it stands like the elephant in the room and I unable to take this drama as seriously as I should. A lot of issues happen because of Jisoo’s device and it creates scenarios and drives the plot forward so the least it could do is make sense.
What I liked
“A Piece Of Your Mind” is good, it’s not revolutionary or out of this world, it’s just fine.
It needs patience and if you wait until the second half, you’ll get what you were looking for.
It’s a good healing drama for those who enjoy such content; my favorite parts were the ones that didn’t focus on the device but rather on people’s emotions and insecurities.
My favorite character is Seo Woo. I just loved loved Chae Soo Bin’s performance here and felt so bad for her, her feelings felt genuine and real. She’s easily my favorite part about this drama. She and Jung hae in had good chemistry.
Every single actor performance in this drama is epic; I think they truly made this drama watchable. I don’t know if I would have stayed if the actors were different. You can feel their passion and that’s something to appreciate.
I also liked the flow of conversations a lot; it felt that these characters were human with flaws, every conversation felt unique despite some of them being so ordinary.
I also liked how much it focused on things all of us deal with, what’s considered trivial things are front and center. To someone who’s struggling with the loss of their loved ones, this drama will strike a chord.
The aesthetics are pleasing, the setting and attention to details is also amazing. The OST perfectly matches the aesthetics and feel of the drama.
Overall, “A Piece Of Your Mind” could’ve been better, it could’ve easily become one of the best of 2020 but the screenwriter took things for granted.
A little banter about Jung Hae In’s choices
If you don’t follow Jung Hae In, you probably won’t understand this section. But for those who do, you’ll easily understand what I mean.
Jung Hae In gives a Jung Hae In-ess performance here; there is nothing new or exciting about it. I’ve seen all of his projects since he became famous and this drama is very similar to the majority of characters he played in his recent works, which disappoints me because I expected a different approach or at least a different acting method overall.
This doesn’t mean he was terrible, he did pretty well but if you watched any of his recent projects, there is nothing exciting anymore about watching him basically play the same character.
Jung Hae In is a good actor but I am starting to wonder whether he’s too scared to get out of his comfort zone or confortable doing only these types of roles. It’s up to him to pick his projects but if he continues to play the same roles, people wouldn’t have a reason to be excited about what he puts out next.
He needs a shocking role to shake his image; an OCN drama would be nice. I want him to play a despicable character that is legitimately bad, I am so curious to see if he can pull it off. I don’t want him to play a stereotypical bad guy, but a 4D psycho.
What pains me the most about “A Piece Of Your Mind” is the potential it had, but at the same time, as I previously explained, I don’t blame those who decided to drop the drama. There are serious flaws with the script that can be easily noticed with the naked eye, but there are also lots of great things about this drama.
What did you guys personally think about “A Piece Of Your Mind”? do you agree or disagree with me?