“Tale Of The Nine-Tailed” episode 3 and episode 4 have honestly surprised me more than I thought they would and I am so happy they did.
In last week’s review of the premiere, I talked about how interesting-but-typical the idea was, of course, that was just the premiere but I didn’t have high expectations and I would’ve been fine if the drama played to the same typical stereotypes of fantasy kdramas, but it’s honestly proving itself to be not just another fantasy drama and I am here for it. It’s getting me more excited about next week’s episodes.
Let’s talk about “Tale Of The Nine-Tailed” episode 3 and episode 4.
Note: this will be a spoiler review of the said episodes in the title. This is a subjective review.
A raunchy dark fantasy drama
You guys know that Korean dramas tend to be more PG than American dramas typically; they have certain rules and boundaries they either set or follow in the industry which isn’t bad in itself but can be quite limiting at times. I think what shocked me about this week’s episodes of the “Tale Of The Nine-Tailed” was how much it hinted at sexual topics so casually.
From Hyun Ui Ong talking about how he was forced to date and then marry Taluipa to Yu Ri shockingly stripping in front of Shin Joo asking him to play around with her. I found a couple of instances in those episodes honestly surprising and in a good way. I like how they didn’t sugar-coat it and presented it for what it is.
Onto the dark side of “Tale Of The Nine-Tailed,” honestly, its kinda creepy and not in a PG way which I also like. It has a hint of OCN dramas creepiness which reminds me of Lee Dong Wook’s work in “Strangers From Hell” which remains one of my fav ever, and I can honestly talk about that performance for two more hours but I don’t want you to click off this article guys.
There were certain disgusting scenes in “Tale Of The Nine-Tailed” episode 3 and certain creepy scenes in “Tale Of The Nine-Tailed” episode 4; they were integrated so naturally and seemingly into the script. The balance between romance and seriousness was done so well. The editing team is doing a good job. I still don’t know how to feel about the CGI but it isn’t distractingly bad and so I shall not comment on it. I am enjoying the story too much for me to nitpick on this part.
I am so so happy “Tale Of The Nine-Tailed” didn’t take the so-called ‘dark’ fantasy route but actually grabbed it by its throat and applied it so literally. I like horror and gore dramas so this is a great fit for me. When used properly, the disgusting ideas can deliver powerful messages, especially in the case of Rang killing all those humans [the good and the bad] because of the shit the bad guys did, not to make it sound like its ever okay but you actually begin to understand why he’s reacting/acting that way.
If the humans had been respectful and didn’t destroy his home and kill the innocent dogs, none of this would’ve happen. It’s an extreme choice but you begin to understand how Rang descended to madness.
Also, that baby part was super creepy and a twisted addition to the story.
Kim Bum is back and back better than ever
I wanted to comment on this previously, but at certain scenes in the premiere of “Tale Of The Nine-Tailed” Kim Bum’s actions and acting like the bad guy wasn’t so convincing, its as if he’s exaggerating but I know he’s a very good actor so I was kinda taken aback but now I get it.
When he meets his brother, his actual demeanor shows and its way more genuine and interesting. It’s a huge contrast between the silly crazy brother who’s harassing Ji A and the hurt wounded brother who was nearly killed by his own older brother whom he loved so dearly.
This my friends is called acting, being able to balance those two things and show a ‘weak’ performance in one part of your character but a serious one in another part was so much fun to see.
The scene where Rang cries meeting his brother broke my fucking heart, I can see he isn’t the bad guy in this story, although he may seem like it, I think there is a bigger problem behind him, he might be knowingly or unknowingly helping out the real bad guy.
Regardless, if the writer ends up killing Rang we goin have issues, and I’ll sue tvN for emotional damage.
Lee Dong Wook’s career resurgence?
Lee Dong Wook has had an interesting career in my opinion; he’s a veteran in his own right but also has had many ups and downs more than the average hallyu star. He’d find success with one project and fail to live up to expectations with at least two more and the cycle repeats itself, but this time, it seems that he’s picking the right direction and pressing the right place.
“Strangers From Hell” might not have been that big, but anyone who’s watched it will tell you that Lee Dong Wook shined. He took the backseat as the second male lead to an idol-turned-actor which can be hurtful to some actors’ bride but it didn’t bother him. He excelled and showed a different side of himself and returned again with “Tale Of The Nine-Tailed” which might seem another typical story on the outside, however its anything but that.
I see dedication in his eyes; I see a spark that I didn’t see in his 2018 and 2017 dramas. It didn’t mean he ever once gave bad performances, not at all, but simply picked the wrong projects. This is up his ally and exactly what he needed at this time in his career.
His acting in “Tale Of The Nine-Tailed” is thus far amazing. Everyone is putting their own efforts and in his scenes, you can see dedication and that’s something I’ll always recognize and respect.
I wish for this drama to be more successful than it already is, it definitely deserves to score 10% in ratings, I think it can.
Jo Bo Ah is freaking amazing here
Jo Bo Ah is; like I previously said; one of my fav underrated actresses who has yet to pick the right project. I like Ji Ah so much so far and I like how Jo Bo Ah is playing this role.
Ji Ah is cool but not in a pretentious way, it doesn’t appear as if she’s trying to convince us she’s THAT bitch, it feels like she’s not trying so hard when she is but the right way.
This reminded me of Kim Go Eun’s performance in “The King” and how she was over the top and how they tried so hard to make her likeable and to me, it just failed miserably. They tried to set certain moves and gestures to make them her own but it came out so pretentious and over the top that I honestly hated the character. Kim Go Eun is not a bad actress but the way she played that character really got me questioning how versatile she really is.
The reason I compared is because those two characters are similar and a lot more similar than what you’d think but in the case of Ji Ah, I feel like she’s a boss bitch in all the right ways. She’s kind but doesn’t take shit; she’s witty and quick on her feet.
The writing plays a big role in how an actor does his/her job and I think Kim Go Eun was definitely cheated in that department in “The King.”
The screenwriter didn’t create certain scenarios to just show you how kind Ji Ah is, she integrated it naturally into the plot and it comes out a lot more palatable and believable, Ji Ah helps out those in need but in the right way at the right time, instead of creating exposition scenes to show you her traits, they jump straight into it and I appreciated that so much.
And you know what’s shocking? The screenwriter behind “Tale Of The Nine-Tailed” has no other credits to her name, this is her debut project and she’s already this good.
I think this could be it; this could be Jo Bo Ah’s breakthrough project that gets her the attention she deserves. I hope to god the drama continues to be this interesting.
Also, side note, her chemistry with Lee Dong Wook is a lot better than I had initially expected. I ship.
The supporting characters
Beyond existing just to drive the narrative, the supporting characters in “Tale Of The Nine-Tailed” do well as standalone characters aside from their connections to the main leads which I absolutely love. Hwang Hee and Kim Yong Ji are amazing, in fact, every single actor supporting or minor, is doing a great job. The casting director deserves a damn raise.
“Tale Of The Nine-Tailed” episode 3 and episode 4 were beyond amazing and interesting, there is still so much more to explore and the writing is getting better, coupled with the actors performances and the editing, I can confidently say “Tale Of The Nine-Tailed” has one of the best premieres and introductions of a 2020 kdrama, let’s hope it stays this good.
What did you guys think of this week’s episodes of “Tale Of The Nine-Tailed”?