A new ENA drama is here, let us discuss the premiere episodes of “Longing For You”!
I was initially excited about the drama because of the cast and the director who worked on “Again My Life,” which I liked. So how were the premiere episodes of “Longing For You”?
Note: this article is a first-impression review, it doesn’t mean this is the writer’s final thoughts on the drama. This is a spoiler review.
a mixed bag, to say the least! But I liked it.
I think if you watched “Longing For You” premiere, you either liked it or not, probably no in-between. I think some people went in with expectations this was going to be a proper thriller and murder mystery, but it had a lot of comedic elements to it and some absurdity which cuts the seriousness of the show.
I like the directing of the drama and I think in combination with the actors’ performances, it has a very ‘homy’ feel to it, I can tell the screenwriter wants to cramp in as many scenes with the young brother as possible to establish a connection before he gets killed off.
But I ran into many problems watching “Longing For You” premiere, particularly with the story’s structure in specific scenes! It goes in circles for a bit too long, and in a way, spends a lot of time on some introductions that could have been delayed for the next episodes while cutting down on the run time [14 episodes] and not telling us the younger brother dies when releasing press releases about the drama.
Let me explain!
So the screenwriter behind this drama is named Kwon Min-Soo, he’s written dramas since the early 2000s and took his time in-between projects after the 2010s.
The writing for the premiere episodes of the drama is a mix between old-feel and new-feel kdrama writing and its not always balanced.
I think one of the biggest mistakes made by their production team is the fact that they revealed Ren’s character will die soon. Its in the plot synopsis. It does feel the screenwriter is adamant about including scenes of them bonding and trying so hard to establish a connection between us and the character, so we feel more sad when he dies, its sort of obvious, but I still would’ve loved if this plot point was left hidden from us.
Also, 14 episodes for what is likely a singular story about one serial killer is way too much, I already have some fears regarding this. I can tell from the premiere episodes structure too.
Additionally, there are a number of ridiculous scenes in the premiere episodes of “Longing For You” that come off a bit too funny and not in a way I think the screenwriter intended, for example, a scene where Kwon Yul’s character’s watch beeps due to his heart condition and his mother is alerted via a HUGE screen, I just laughed out loud, it came out of left pocket and is honestly so absurd and dramatic. Its also so funny.
I think there seems to be this mix between the writing style used in the 2000s and the 2010s, its as if they’re fighting for attention so to speak, I don’t know if its him only or one on his writing team if he has any, but you can tell from certain scenes this drama gives off an old kdrama feel in terms of certain plot points and its execution.
Aside from talking about the story’s structure so far as objectively as I can, I personally liked the premiere despite some of its flaws. I think it has great potential.
Na In Woo appears to be having fun on the set and his charisma is infectious. He also shares great chemistry with everyone. His character is a bit over the top and absurd at times, but he’s fun to watch. I think some might find his character annoying which is okay because he is meant to be annoying and, in your face, but I don’t know if everyone will necessarily ‘tolerate’ the character’s antics.
I lean towards Lee Gyu-Han’s character being the killer, and Jung Sang-Hoon character being somewhat involved in what could be another case, THAT or in cahoots with Lee Gyu-Han’s character.
Both actors are amazing, but like many have said online, I highly doubt Lee Gyu-Han would just play what appears on surface to be an insignificant reporter character, I think his role will grow bigger as time goes by. His caliber as an actor is bigger than this.
It would be interesting if it turns out that the duo killed these people.
I think this drama has potential, however, it also could turn sour in terms of writing, it’ll depend on what angle the screenwriter takes the drama in. I hope he won’t lean in too much towards the 2000s kdrama cliches, I also hope he won’t focus heavily on an unnecessary love triangle either.
If the screenwriter has a clear vision for the drama, I think it’ll do just fine, however, if the screenwriter happens not to have enough material, in theory, to cover 14 episodes, then it could stall and become stale fast.
We’ll see over the next couple of weeks!