Pinocchio is off to an excellent drama start after the second episode solidified the heart of the story without losing a beat from the quick first episode lead off. This particular story has picked a thematic conflict with broad based appeal, who hasn’t dealt with rumors big and small both as the spreader and as the recipient. News reporting is basically a public audience to pass along information which may or may not be fact but nevertheless eagerly consumed by a society constantly bombarded with news bites. Every person at some point contributes even when withholding judgment is the ideal choice.
What happened to Dal Po’s real family is tragic with a preventable element whereas the deaths of all those firefighters was the type of bad luck confluence of events that feel beyond control. Dal Po’s life isn’t necessarily meaningful because it’s all that tragic, it hurts because he didn’t have a choice and was too young to face the hard realities of life. Now that he’s grown up into someone actively living a lie, it’s interesting to watch him start to do things for himself and his own feelings. Even better is seeing his decision to show the world his real self all because of his undeniable affection for In Ha.
Thoughts of Mine:
On one hand I’m happy so much substantive plot and character interactions happen in every episode of Pinocchio so far. On the other hand it certainly ups my recap length and time spent when the recent batches of empty drama filler fluff have been shills for product placement rather than storytelling. I don’t think I’ve spotted a single obtrusive PPL in this drama yet, but it certainly makes a compelling case for disliking mass media operating for ratings at the expense of journalistic integrity. I don’t think it’s an either/or choice and in many ways Pinocchio makes broad assertions for the sake of its story that don’t hold up to closer scrutiny. But it does so in a fluid rather than hamfisted way so the moralistic pill is easier to swallow. I also think the story doesn’t want to take sides but aims to show that the very act of casting judgment, whether real or rumor, contributes to the infliction of pain on others.
The bookending Quiz Show scenes from episode one was so seamlessly woven into how episode two explained the backstory and fleshed out Dal Po’s character through it. I can see how the Dal Po cheated on the quiz exam rumor plot was intended to elicit the same memories of how his father’s reputation was shredded by a series of false statements taken as fact. It is a tad obvious but the writer managed to make it work because the high school setting is so often the ground zero for rumors to thrive and mutate. I can’t even blame the classmates for thinking Dal Po cheated since he went from 0-to-100, but the lack of investigation by the teacher before judging Dal Po was ridiculous.
I don’t find Chan Soo an annoying twat because the young actor played him perfectly and the character is nicely written with depth even as a supporting role. The thrill was watching how Dal Po managed to reveal the truth himself (and one-up Chan Soo) by showcasing his intelligence, yet it also highlighted the conundrum of when there are rumors with no effective weapon to disprove, like Dal Po’s dad being labeled an incompetent coward of a firefighter. Poor older brother Jae Myung has it even worse than Dal Po, IMO, since he really is all alone and wallowing in the weight of his father’s ruined reputation. I hope the brothers will reunite sooner rather than later and work through their issues together.
I adore Dal Po’s character so much it’s not even funny. I like him not for being smart and snarky, or sweet with Grandpa and self-sacrificing, I like him most for being such a resilient young man soldiering on in life despite all the pain of his past. He’s not perfect and doesn’t always do the right thing, but he tries so darn hard and keeps his past hidden but not forgotten. In Ha is conversely a less accessible character because she’s still so reactive most of the time. I don’t feel what she’s feeling even if she’s written to be an open book. Perhaps it’s the lack of angst in her life so compared to Dal Po she feels like a kid still while he’s an old soul inside.
I am sweet on their uncle-niece relationship, both in the “I got your back” attitude as well as the clear stirrings of romantic interest in each other. There isn’t even any icky fauxcest since everyone knows they are not related and treat the uncle-niece front as just a pink elephant everyone ignores. I’m not seeing much angst later on either since whatever In Ha’s mom did is not attributable to her nor would her choosing to walk in her mother’s reporter footsteps necessitate Dal Po keeping away from her. The story probably has many more future layers to come and that’s the good stuff I’m expecting to keep this romance ever changing as they grow and brave the real world together.
My Note: please visit the site for more and also comprehensive recap of the second episode..........
Thank you everyone for detailed coverage of the episodes.........
I really think we have a winner on our hands....