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 Pride And Prejudice
(오만과 편견) (2014-2015) MBC 21 Episodes
Crime Melodrama, Romance, Grade: B+



Korean Drama Review by Jill, USA

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THIS Pride and Prejudice (as opposed to Jane Austen's) was about a group of lawyers and prosecutors working to solve various criminal cases, the primary one of which, having to do with an innocent child's murder, personally affects several key people on the team. While the acting from the whole cast was exceptional in the extreme, just superlative, unfortunately the writing was sometimes a murky mess, confusing, and in my opinion the last ten minutes of the drama ruined it, because it was one of those "three years later", nebulous, hurried, indefinable, poorly written endings which do not update you on the fate of all the characters you've grown to care about for 21 episodes!

Most of the older, classic shows gave you definable, clear cut endings: did someone get married, or not? did someone die, or not? When the last ten minutes of a show looks and sounds like something a typical twelve year old could have come up with, your show has a really big problem! What's worse is that you know these incredible actors deserved better, especially brilliant actor Choi Min Soo (Sandglass) as the Chief, who really made this show compelling in the first place. You want to see a REAL ACTOR perform his craft? Look at the older guys like him who are over 40 and working for decades in the K-drama medium, those actors who actually relish becoming their characters and are not just playacting for a salary.



Actor Choi Min Soo, older or younger, is the consummate actor and a joy to watch
I invested 21 hours of my time on this new drama (and you can only watch it in the first place if you pay for Premium on Dramafever) and they never confirm if the Chief character, above, whom I never once saw as a bad guy, was killed, or not. They suggest it but it's not confirmed. These people rarely bring you sequels, so what is the point of an indefinable ending? With the abundant acting talent involved in this drama this is just not acceptable. Let me make it clear that the endings don't necessarily have to be happy ones for me - I'm not that shallow or silly - but they have to reward the audience with absolute clarity. If someone is murdered, SHOW the murder! Don't just imply it. We are not toddlers. We can take it!

The last episode of Pride and Prejudice had one scene that made me cry, however. In the past there had been two little boys with similar clothes on whom the bad guys had kidnapped because they couldn't tell them apart. One boy had survived, the other was murdered - that little boy ended up being the brother of the female prosecutor in the drama, so she wants to solve who killed her little brother. She ends up working in the office with the surviving boy, now a man. He feels very guilty that he survived but the other boy, her brother, was killed. Then the mother of the murdered boy puts her arms around the man who was the kid who survived and tearfully tells him he is not to blame and to move on with his life. "I am sure you provided my son with some comfort in his last moments and I am grateful." Tears were streaming down his face and that's the only scene in the drama where I broke down and cried hot tears. Acceptance and forgiveness are such powerful things!



Jin Hyuk Choi gives another great performance in Pride and Prejudice; he will be entering the military in March 2015 for two years - we will miss him!

Yeol Moo Han (Jin Hee Baek) lost her little brother who was supposed to be in her care when she was a schoolgirl, he was murdered, and she has spent her entire life trying to find out why and to find the criminals who kidnapped him and murdered him. She grows up to be a lawyer and then a prosecutor and she is hired as a fledgling prosecutor under the watchful eye of her direct boss Dong Chi Koo (handsome Jin Hyuk Choi from Gu Family Book), whom she had once had a romantic relationship with briefly when she was younger. Although he's very professional toward her there are some moments where he watches her and one feels he might be interested in picking up with her where he left off; however she keeps her emotional distance with him and concentrates on her new job. Later she even confesses to him that she feels she doesn't deserve to fall in love because of what happened to her brother. Not until her questions are answered about him will she feel free enough to consider romance or love.



Yeol Moo Han (Jin Hee Baek) holds her own in the prosecutors' office, surrounded by older guys who snap out orders to her

In training she learns a lot as the team solves various cases. The team includes Jang Won Lee (Woo Shik Choi) a rather pompous fellow who seems to think he always knows best, Gwang Mi Yoo (Hye Sung Jung) a no nonsense lady who deflects Jang Won's attempts to get closer to her, Kang Soo (Tae Hwan Lee, in a wonderfully emotional performance for only his second K-drama) who is perhaps too nice for the job and tends to get steamrolled by the others' ambitions, Dae Gi Yoo (actor Hang Sun Jang from many dramas) a veteran who acts as a go-between between the regular office and the office of the Chief Prosecutor Hee Man Moon (Min Soo Choi from Sandglass, who gives the best performance of all in this drama). There is also former prosecutor and lawyer Chang Gi Jeong (Chang Min Son, Road Number 1) who quit awhile ago for personal reasons but who keeps in touch with most of them because he's become more of a "man on the street" who can keep his ears and eyes open regarding criminals and their accomplices whom the team is investigating. For awhile he also acted as surrogate father to Kang Soo while he was growing up. Later in the drama he reinstates himself as a lawyer in a dramatic fashion, to represent someone no one likes.

 

Kang Soo and Dong Chi Koo walk the beat together on a case

Up to around episode ten we walk through several unrelated cases, but then after that the main case the show focuses on is Yeol Moo's little brother who was murdered and the case that was never solved. The statute of limitations is about to run out so the team works on the case feverishly, several of the prosecutors a lot more reluctantly because they may have something to hide.

Now. It's theoretically possible that most of these prosecutors working together could all be tied together because of one little boy, but it's not very probable in real life; but hey, this is fantasy, so just go along for the ride, right folks?! You need to suspend your disbelief for this one! Go with the flow, even if it's crazy! New evidence is uncovered that should have been uncovered at the time of the crime and the writers lead you to think it's possible that Chief Moon could be behind it all and kept quiet for years, that Dong Chi could have actually murdered the murderer at the scene of the crime, that Kang Soo could suddenly remember details about being locked in a trunk with the victim for hours before he escaped while the other boy died, that the murderer had an identical twin who is falsely accused of the crime because they aren't sure the real murderer is dead, that through all this turmoil romance blossoms, etc. etc. etc. See what I meant earlier by messy writing?



To me this looks like a final cast memory picture, because all these characters butted heads more than they ever smiled at each other!

Then the end of the show becomes bizarre and artsy-fartsy in the extreme! The cameramen seem to want to act like Fellini, wasting minutes having the camera travel down empty hallways, looking into empty offices, before it lands on the picture, above, which tells us nothing about the fates of these people; then the writers have the main couple obliquely referring to sex in an empty courtroom, with words that really make no sense - "Want to do it outside?" "Sure, let's go!" Huh??? Do WHAT outside? It's never explained but it must mean sex, right? LOL. Crazy!

Watch this if you like legal dramas, or like the stars, but the writers need to find other jobs.

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The typical eyes open K-drama kiss finds its way into Pride and Prejudice as well!
But don't worry! Later on in the drama there's a far more passionate one!