I was recommended this drama by Murphy and it was a good recommendation. I feel like she hyped it up a little for me though so I wasn't as impressed when I had finished it as I initially thought I would be. It was good, but I wasn't overwhelmed by the awesomeness of it all like she was. This drama was very different from many popular dramas because it is a shorter with 8 episodes, which works for the story because I think that condensing it was a far better idea than putting it into the usual sixteen episode drama pattern. It also deals with the human mind and brings some interesting questions to the table.
I love stories like this that really strip down the human spirit and show the audience what is underneath; seeing the why behind the actions is fascinating which is probably why one of my favorite research papers that I wrote in college was about the tragic villain. I got to read all of these articles on killers and dissect why my case studies did what they did and whether the monsters that they became were born or created.
Our drama takes place at a school in the mountains that only the top 0.1% of students are allowed to attend. They are allowed eight days off every year and those are the days that encompass Christmas and the New Year, hence the title. Seven of these students decide to stay at the school during these eight days for one particular reason, they have all received a strange letter saying that someone will die at the end of their break. I am glad that I watched this drama when I did because I already knew a lot of the actors from other things that they have done since White Christmas and may I say
Seriously, there are so many good looking people in this drama, it is just one big pretty party with a side of murder. I watched this with my friend Kris and we both decided that almost all of the guys in this drama were prettier than the one girl. Not that she wasn't pretty, she was suppose to appear plain, but those guys were just way too good looking for their own good. I think that if I had to pick a winner for the prettiest person in the drama, that award would go to Lee Soo Hyuk with Sung Joon taking a close second.
He wasn't just a pretty face either. He did a really good job as the drug addled, unstable, rich kid and I think that it is pretty safe to say that he has the saddest story out of all the characters.
While doing some research on the drama, I found that the director's main goal in casting all the men for the drama was that he wanted them to be tall which seems like something that should be at the bottom of your priority list when casting for a drama. This turned out to be a good idea though because as Kris and I were watching, she couldn't keep track of who all the actors were. When discussing the characters, we opted to speak about them through their attitude or a defining feature. We also gave them nicknames, they were: Vampire Idol (Lee Soo Hyuk), Ear piece (Kwak Jung Wook), the girl, (Esom), Moo Jin (Hong Jong Hyun, since I had just watched him in Cyrano), Kim Woo Bin, the main dude (Baek Sung Hyun), Sung Joon, and the jerk or that guy from Love Rain (Kim Young Kwang). Oh yeah, that's the way to do it.
Back to why this is all important, the students at this school aren't there as individuals, they are there as an IQ number and no one seems to care for each other. Everything is about you and how well you do so you don't fail and bring dishonor upon everyone. All of the students are basically the same, but only on the surface. As we get deeper into the story, we really are able to see their personalities more and they slowly become individuals, for better or for worse. The only person who started out with any individuality was Kang Mi-reu (Kim Woo Bin) and his red hair.
He is the only character who, at the beginning, refused to conform and secretly stayed at the school even though he was technically expelled. He is like this ticking time bomb and neither the audience, nor the other characters, are ever quite sure what he is going to do next.
With the introduction of Mi-reu, we start to see more individuality, but also more of a sense of togetherness from the other characters. There is a bit of a paradox in this because as they learn that their individual actions are bringing them closer as a group, their actions in their group work shows the audience more of their characteristics as individuals.
The beginning of the end really starts at episode five, that is when the "experiment" begins and all the characters begin to crack. You really get to see all of these students true colors as they are each brought to their limit, and it is up to them to choose whether or not they will cross that line and do something that they might regret later.
The thing that really bothered me about this drama is that there were some continuity issues and there were some serious suspension of disbelief, especially with the last episode. Kris and I actually paused the episode at one point and had a quick talk about what had just been discussed. That is not to say that the last episode isn't a very good and thought provoking one, it's just not done in the best way.
Overall, while I didn't like this drama as much as Murphy, but I still thought that is was a good story that brought forward an interesting plot and theme of is a monster born or created. It is a real life question with real life application that we can all think about. I would suggest that people watch this drama and decide for themselves what they think of this question, and beware of the monster in the corner.
What else am I watching?
Cruel Palace: War of the Flower - I will finish this someday, it may take the rest of my life, but I will finish it, dang it!
Who Are You - I'm getting use to the acting of our main characters and they don't bother me as much any more. I do like the story though, especially now that Kim Jae Wook has finally shown his ghostly face! Let the confusing love triangle begin!
The Master's Sun - This is definitely a Hong Sister drama and I am absolutely loving it. I just hope that it doesn't crap out in the end as I heard Big did.