tvN’s newest fantasy drama is here and I am here to talk about it.
Considered one of the most anticipated kdramas of 2020, “Tale Of The Nine-Tailed” delivered a fun premiere that stands out in a sea of newly released October dramas.
While typical at times, “Tale Of The Nine-Tailed” has no boring moment and I am here to discuss the premiere.
Note: this will be a spoiler review of the said episodes in the title. This is a subjective review.
1Lee Dong Wook’s tumultuous career
Lee Dong Wook is an excellent actor, and like any other actor who’s been around for some time, he’s had many ups and downs. The issue is his ups are over the top and so are his downs.
In 2019, Lee Dong Wook’s performance in “Strangers From Hell” landed him in my top 10 performances of that year. Nothing short of brilliant. I could see that he didn’t mind thinking outside the box but now seeing “Tale Of The Nine-Tailed,” I feel he still yearns for that viral success similarly to what he’s seen with “Goblin.”
Lee Dong Wook’s performance in “Tale Of The Nine-Tailed” was lots of fun; he’s playful and not so serious which I like. I liked the contrast between serious and comedic scenes he’s had and how they played out.
2A Predictable Fun Plot
After reading this section you might find me annoying but if you’ve watched many kdramas specifically fantasy dramas then you’d understand. “Tale Of The Nine-Tailed” is a typical tvN fantasy drama and I can already tell how it’ll end.
Usually, Korean fantasy dramas; especially involving mythical creatures; tend to follow a certain format. While I am not going to suggest that “Goblin” started it but rather popularized it, I still think the majority of fantasy dramas tend to follow a typical format and that’s obviously the case with “Tale Of The Nine-Tailed.”
A powerful mythical creature who was bashed to earth due to his involvement with a human (breaking the gods rules). After 500-1000 years, he reunites with her reincarnation and a new cycle begins. He struggles between atoning for his wrongdoings and his feelings for her.
This doesn’t mean I mind it or hate it, not at all, as long as it remains fun and the actors do a good job, there shouldn’t be an issue. Koreans like fantasy dramas and they tend to do well in ratings, “Tale Of The Nine-Tailed” has scored 5% in ratings which is impressive for a Wednesday-Thursday tvN drama. Some public channel dramas are struggling to get 3%.
I think there is potential for explosive growth, it’ll depend on how crazy it gets but I think it can stay around that mark (5%) as long as it stays at the same fun pace. It can fall behind if it becomes boring. The screenwriter behind “Tale Of The Nine-Tailed” is new and this is likely his/her debut project. I hope he/she surprise me but I don’t have high expectations regarding that. I like fantasy dramas and I’ll continue to watch as long as it remains fun.
I think what slightly surprised me was just how quickly they got over that introduction/getting adjusted to the paranormal. It saved us lots of time and made the premiere more fun. Jo Bo Ah’s character is already onboard because she’s been suspecting this for so long. I also liked how Lee Dong Wook’s didn’t care enough to hide it. That easiness in their interactions was surprising and made it more fun to me.
3Jo Bo Ah’s big break?
If you’ve seen your fair share of kdramas, you’re probably well acquainted with Jo Bo Ah. She’s one of those actresses who are popular enough to lead a drama but still, not that mainstream.
I think Jo Bo Ah is a terrific actress. She has range and can do a variety of characters. It’s been fun watching her grow since 2014 when I first stumbled on one of her dramas. But she still hasn’t found that IT project, that project that would elevate her status and I think “Tale Of The Nine-Tailed” could be that. It’ll depend on the script for the most part because she always puts 100% into her performances.
Her chemistry with Lee Dong Wook is amazing. I’ve seen it in their pictorial to promote this drama. I think this is one of the better pairings Lee Dong Wook has had with a female co-star. They don’t feel awkward around each other one bit and they seem to have gotten comfortable pretty fast which makes watching their banter and interactions more fun.
4Kim Bum’s return
Kim Bum has had an interesting career too. He’s playing the villain in this drama as well but I can already tell there is more to his character than what meets the eyes, he seems to be causing issues because he wants his brother’s attention and I assume there is more to his story. I don’t think he’s THAT villain in the story either.
His chemistry with actress Kim Yong Ji is too cute and I desperately want to see more of it. I hope they progress into lovers later on.
The first thought I had seeing his face on screen for the first time in a while was just how much I’ve missed him. I can’t wait to see more of him.
5The CGI could use more work
If I had a nitpick regarding “Tale Of The Nine-Tailed” it would be the CGI. I think they can do better. I am of the mindset that if you can’t do an expensive idea justice with a big budget, then it’s better not to do it.
The CGI thus far is slightly below average, I certainly hope it gets better but so far, its not annoying me to the point I can’t take it seriously. I just wish the same team who worked on Netflix’s “School Nurse Files” had worked on this one too.
So these are my thoughts on “Tale Of The Nine-Tailed” episode 1 and 2. What about you guys, have you seen the premiere yet? What are your thoughts on it?