“The Glory” Part 2 aired recently and it calls for a review, lets talk about it!
I have been very excited about the drama like I’d assume 99% of whoever is reading this was, the roll out of the 1st part was a smashing success that revitalized Netflix K-content roll out and we finally have part 2. so does it live up to the hype and is it worth the wait?
Note: this will be a spoiler review of the said episodes in the title. This is a subjective review.
The short answer is yes, but lets expand on it!
in the previous 1st part review, I said that screenwriter Kim Eun Sook is not personally one of my fav screenwriters for the choices she makes in her scripts. I realize I am in the minority with my opinion but I always felt her dramas were elevated not due to the scripts being anything particularly special but rather the star-studded cast doing the heavy lifting.
This is the 1st drama of hers in recent memory that I’d be comfortable saying that even if the entire cast was replaced with unknown; but equally talented; actors I’d still have the same opinion I am about to say below.
This is, in my opinion, the best script she’s written in recent memory. A far cry from The King: Eternal Monarch, and for the better.
There are many points in the drama that I absolutely loved. The characters structure is one of them, she does an amazing job this time expanding on the dynamics between them and does a good job setting the mood for what to come too. The characters might be the arc-type of the bully character we’re used to but this time, its not so one dimensional. The bullying remains as is but the characters and the circumstances surrounding them have more depth to them, the more you pay attention, the more you see interesting things.
Despite the depth, I wouldn’t say that at any point did she try to excuse them which I absolutely loved too.
I also loved the awareness Dong Eun had about how what she’s about to do was f*cked up and she’d be more than willing to handle the consequences of her actions. I found that refreshing to be honest with you. Dong eun also apologizing to the child of the mother who abused her was a nice touch, despite the harsh reality she experienced, she still realizes a child’s life is about to be ruined forever.
There are also numerous plot twists that land very well, and many were surprising, in a good way. This includes the identity of the killer of Myeong-O.
Despite what I’d say a mostly well-written script there were some things I personally didn’t vibe with and this includes the love line in the drama.
I had this opinion in the 1st half review and it remains the same. The only instance in whichI felt his existence was justified was the scene where he extracts DNA from Yeon Jin to place on Myeong-O’s body. The ending more so justifies why he exists because its his time to take revenge but given how grounded in reality the drama is and how it tends to mimic real life when it comes to bullying the love line is rather very ‘simplistic.’ A man is so in love with a deeply wounded woman who is hell-bent on revenge without having his feelings reciprocated in any way shape or form.
It just does not make sense. I would get it if they had dated and he still cared for her, but thats not the case either. Which makes their entire relationship feel rather an insertion of a supportive unrealistic character whose there to serve one purpose. In turn, this makes it a disservice to whoever is playing it. I’ll expand on Do Hyun’s choice below.
This particular point is very crucial for the drama to work. I would have rather seen more scenes of Dong eun and Do-Yeong.
Another point was how Do-Yeong ends up killing Jae Jun which also didn’t make much sense to me as it felt something so out of character for him. He would be caught sooner or later so him killing Jae Jun was definitely unrealistic and didn’t make sense.
Do-Yeong has a daughter to look after and her mother is already a murderer, given his personality it does not make sense that he would go out of his way to kill someone like that. They can easily expose he’s not the father and has some what of a connection to his murder.
Do yeong character involvement was also not what I expected. It felt the screenwriter was preparing for him to take a more aggressive action but what he did turned out to have been ‘tame,’ maybe I overanalyzed. Its not a plot flaw but something that didn’t go the route I expected.
I don’t know where to begin with this part to be honest with you. I don’t know whose performance I prefer the most because they’re all so amazing.
For starters, Song Hye Kyo puts on her best performance in recent memory, PERIOD.
In a recent interview they did, she mentioned she ‘let go of being pretty while acting’ which tracks well with what I have been saying for like 5 years now but for some reasons some fans can’t see it.
Its pretty obvious she’s very aware of her aging and is always trying to look as pretty as possible at the expense of her performances. I get the industry is very centered on beauty but there is a lot of room for people who act well but don’t look the best doing so. People will appreciate the hard work, and if you make fun of someone’s face while they’re giving an amazing performance, then you’re just a douche, its very easy to signal out such people and sue accordingly.
If I am watching an actor, them looking pretty acting is the least of my concerns. I am glad she let go.
In the 1st half I felt she was still a bit hesitant but as the filming went by I could feel she let her walls down and acted as she should for the character which meant letting go of any idea of looking pretty for a scene. If she had done the same acting she did in the past for Dong Eun, this drama would have not worked in the slightest.
I hope she sees this and sees how people appreciate the work she put in. I only wish for this not to become a one-time thing. I hope next time we see her play something even more shocking and unexpected. A villain role perhaps? A woman can dream.
Lim Ji-Yeon puts on her best performance to date, the look in the character’s eyes was nailed so darn well. Even at times where she should put on ‘an act’ for people, you can still see that crazy look in her eyes. Truly marvelous. I bet that was difficult to execute, she makes it look easy but its not.
Yum Hye-Ran is definitely one of the stand-out performances in the series. I felt so bad for her character and I am so happy to see the actress receive the praise she’s getting. Such a talented woman.
Park Sung-Hoon has always been underrated in my opinion so I am glad he’s getting attention. I always love it when he plays villain roles, I just know I am in for an amazing time. He does not disappoint.
Kim Hieora also gave a stunning performance despite having the least screen time among her peers.
I’ve been watching Cha Joo-Young for some time now but I never truly paid attention to her until this drama, this shows you just how the writing for a character can make or break a performance. I was pleasantly surprised by how good of a performance she put on, she’s one of the most-talked about actors of the drama for very good reasons. I am so excited to see her upcoming projects.
Seriously, whoever cast the actors deserve a raise.
Jung Sung-Il is also getting a lot of attention, as he should. Loved his performance in the drama. I look forward to what type of projects he picks in the future.
And now onto Do Hyun. One of my fav rising actors in recent memory.
On one hand, I am glad he got the chance to starr in a Kim Eun Sook drama, and on the other, I feel bad that he didn’t get a good character in the drama. This does not mean his performance was bad, because it wasn’t. He was amazing as he usually is but I felt he deserved a character that felt like it belonged in the scenario, this remains the main ‘issue’ with the script.
I don’t blame him at all for accepting it since this will only further his career and give him more exposure internationally, but since I loved the drama so much and enjoyed it so much, a part of me wishes this part in the script was handled better.
Another issue I had is the fact that he does not share any chemistry with Hye Kyo which is unfortunate. They look awkward together and that awkward energy does not leave at all. Seeing Hye Kyo and Jung Sung-Il’s chemistry solidified just how much she lacked it with Do Hyun.
“The Glory” is one of those kdramas that will be talked about for some time to come. The drama has been performing well everywhere and I love reading positive headlines about how much everyone loved it and how much its been topping charts all around the world.
There were certain points I thought could have been done better but none of them affect the plot to a degree that I’d consider ‘concerning.’