JTBC’s “Lost” is one of those kdramas I have been begging to turn out as good as I had anticipated, however, results are disappointing so far.
This is a review of the first half of JTBC’s “Lost,” my thoughts might change watching the second half, if my thought on it change or I happen to find something worth speaking of, I will share a second half review.
JTBC’s “Lost” boasts a star-studded cast, it can’t get any better than the casting you have at hand. Due to how many eyes are on you already because of the casting, you could have done so much, yet.. this is how it turned out.
Note: this will be a spoiler review of the said episodes in the title. This is a subjective review.
The screenwriter- a jump from writing movies to dramas
JTBC’s “Lost” is written by a screenwriter who has only done movies up until this point, and this screenwriter thought it was time to start writing scripts for 16 episodes. Writing a movie script is one thing, writing a 16-hour long drama is another, and it appears to me that she doesn’t have much to talk about.
JTBC’s “Lost” started out rather spectacularly, it had one of the best premieres of a 2021 kdrama in my opinion. I was so hyped about the premiere. I teared up in the first episodes, they tackled topics that were so heartbreaking and relatable, things that struck a chord with me personally.
JTBC’s “Lost” started out as a breath of fresh air, among the sea of kdramas with fast-paced content, this drama was taking the slower route. I knew that walking in and was expecting that pace.
Contrary to what many people think of me, I don’t mind slow-paced kdramas, but I like the good ones, not the terrible ones that disguise a poorly written script as a ‘healing/slow-paced drama.
One of my favorite kdramas EVER is “My Mister,” which is as slow-paced as they come. It also has a similar vibe to JTBC’s “Lost.” However, “My Mister” turned out to be a masterpiece.
“Lost” ratings have been falling steadily and despite a very promising start, it has slowly lost the interest of people. Korean ratings aren’t always an accurate indication of a good or a bad drama but they do offer helpful insights, low ratings don’t just fall from the sky. “Lost” was also well-promoted and highly anticipated by k-netizens as it features some of their most respected Korean actors, Jeon Do-Yeon. I have a feeling that neither did JTBC expect the drama to reach 1%.
How “Lost” became utterly frustrating
“Lost” is frustrating and slow with information. The perfect word to describe this drama is ‘frustrating.’
“Lost” episode 1 to 4 were amazing, episode 5, 6 and 7 basically had zero plot development. Even for a slow-paced kdrama, that was SUPER SLOW.
Now, if you’re the type of person who is deeply immersed in this drama, you’ll find what I have to say to be ridiculous. It might be a total different experience if you’re deeply immersed in the world of the drama.
The screenwriter introduces intriguing plot points early on, this excited me because all of the points she introduced felt relevant and interesting. She had interesting takes on somewhat taboo/rarely discussed topics. Yes, she took her time as one does with a slow-paced kdrama, but the things the characters were figuring out were super interesting.
Then, the screenwriter abandons or slows down the plot points shown, she puts them on a halt and it was frustrating to witness.
People don’t realize just how tough it is to write 1 hour worth of engaging content 16 times, so imagine going from writing around 1 hour and a half worth of content in a movie format to writing 16 hour-long episodes, the jump is too high and it feels like she falling.
“Lost” would have worked better if it was a movie. Even if it was two hours long, I think the messages it would have tried to convey would’ve made it a classic.
It is so frustrating to watch “Lost” because it feels like I am waiting for something to happen, but nothing does. I am waiting for something to explode and nothing happens. It’s like watching water about to boil but it never does. And what’s sad is that I know everything will explode around episode 13 because we have 16 episodes…..
And don’t get me wrong, there were some moments in episode 5, 6 and 7 that were good, but mostly, it felt empty.
Things pick up at episode 8, that episode was heartbreaking.
The dilemma of Bu Jung
Bu Jung seems so pitiful at first and I understand she’s in pain but she’s so frustrating and difficult to like, as time went by, I found myself emphasizing with everyone but her. The actress herself asked fans to be patient with her character in the press conference which was in hindsight…. not a good sign.
I understand Bu Jung’s circumstances and why she’s behaving that way, yet, that doesn’t mean I like her at all. Not liking her is making the watching experience so much more difficult. Her indecisiveness despite being so emotional and head on doesn’t make sense to me. The fact that she chooses to trap herself in that marriage despite hating her husband is so frustrating at first.
I know, I know, there are probably even better explanations that will come out later but what about now? If you have a very frustrating unlikable character, the audience will abandon the show, it’s as simple as that.
If she’s unbearable, then at least make her environment interesting enough to either mask or undermine how boring she is. Then, even if she’s unlikable, at least, the things that happen around her warrant attention and force her to come out from her shell. I know she’s trying to reach out to Kang Jae, but the way she does it is so uninteresting.
I know many people like her exist in real life but they don’t make for a good TV show, now do they?
I was understanding at first, but her lack of will to communicate dooms whatever relationship she could have with anyone. The only reason why she can still be still tolerated by me to an extent is because of her connection to Kang Jae who truly is the saving grace of this drama.
The way she’s written is so frustrating despite the screenwriter efforts to make you sympathize with her. The screenwriter lack of plot development for the married couple makes her even more annoying, I know there are good reasons for her actions but its taking so long, and in that process, I really don’t care to see what happens to Bu Jung anymore.
Thus far, “Lost” has sadly lost me [I am sorry for the pun]. I might stick around to see till the end but I know I am not excited anymore. I had high expectations because I knew Jeon Do-Yeon is very picky with her dramas and Ryu Joon-Yeol is picky as well. The first episodes were great and really made me excited about what to come. It is so sad how its shaping out to be.
“Lost” would’ve made an amazing movie or an amazing short drama of 8 episodes. I don’t see why this needed to be 16 episodes long.
So these are my thoughts on “Lost”, so what about you guys? did you like the episodes? let me know what you thought in the comment section below.