“The Heavenly Idol” is here at last, let us discuss the premiere episodes, episodes 1 and 2!
Generally speaking, I don’t review idol-themed kdramas as I don’t feel particularly interested in watching the same idea over and over again.
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.
I feel that, in general, everything that could be said about the idol world has been said and done countless times already. These kdramas rarely bring anything new to the table when it comes to the discussion about idols, the industry at large, the fanbases, the hate online and such.
What attracted me to this one is two things, the first leading role of two amazing underrated actors, Kim Min Gyu and Go Bo Gyeol.
With “The Heavenly Idol,” there is a ‘fantastical’ element to it, a heavenly man descends to an unknown idol group and must navigate it, we see it through his lens, which in theory could provide a level of cognitive dissonance and distance that would enable us to see the idol world for what it is, but the thing is… anyone who has been around kpop for a while and could think for themselves beyond seeing the hot idols has probably already seen and found out just how ridiculous it can be.
The drama is based on a webtoon of the same title. It will be 12 episodes long, good. I was worried it would be even longer, I think we could have been ok with 10 even for such a topic.
For premiere episodes, I have seen some conflicting opinions, some believe the drama was messy, others liked it. I personally thought it was ok, the fantasy element is definitely the only thing that would pull me back to it and make me watch next week’s episodes.
The CGI was dicey, as expected from tvN. I just don’t understand why they’d produce a drama not having the budget to do it justice, but I am assuming we won’t deal mcuh with such elements that require extensive CGI at least for a couple of episodes moving forward.
In terms of choices, I would say I am surprised but also not so much when it comes to why Kim Min Gyu and Go Bo Gyeol chose this drama as their 1st leading project. Let me discuss why.
I understand that such types of kdramas do well internationally and help build a sizable international fanbase that supports future projects. I would have personally loved to see at least in the case of Kim Min Gyu that he’d take on a serious project after a business proposal but I sort of understand why he went with this one. Its safer to go with a classical rom-com infused with fantasy about kpop idols, at least, even if it doesn’t do well domestically, it can succeed internationally.
I hope when he returns from the military we can see him in a serious project. For now, I’ll enjoy his beautiful face.
Go Bo Gyeol has been gone for 3 years, I am glad she’s back. I think she’s criminally underrated and definitely deserves more spotlight. She’s been doing some serious dramas in recent memory and even this time, it seems her role is emotionally demanding. She did great.
Everyone did a good job.
I think it would be interesting to see Pontifex Lembrary’s process of becoming an idol. But I don’t know to what extent that would draw me back in.
Regardless, I am sure this drama will do at least well with international audiences. I think if you like kdramas about such topics, you’ll find it easy to enjoy the premiere episodes. If you like any of the lead actors, I am sure you’ll like this one.
There is something inherently funny about a failed ‘idol’ disrespecting everyone around him because of his lack of understanding towards the idol culture, I am sure we’ll see more funny scenes of that in the coming episodes.
Around this time of the year, things usually move slower in the kdrama world, it should pick up around March to April.
So have you guys given “The Heavenly Idol” a chance yet? What did you think of the premiere episodes?