K-Drama Review: Goodbye Mr. Black (2016)

With a plot inspired by ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’, the recently concluded (2016 May 19) Goodbye Mr. Black is a story about Cha Ji-won, a Navy Seal and a member of the Underwater Demolition Team — that is betrayed by his best friend who also took away his fiancée, then was denounced as a traitor and sent to another country — but escapes and returns with a new identity to take revenge against a well-played villain in Jeon Kuk-hwan as Baek Eun Do.

The Cast
The Cast

Oh, the lead stars were just a good match. While Lee Jin-wook was always dashing in his dramas, Moon Chae-won has always been a good dresser from dramas to public appearances making them a chic couple — and then especially romantic in their filming in Thailand.

Originally scheduled for just 16 episodes, the drama was extended to 20 — and it’s certainly worth it as it got more interesting every week, that fans just couldn’t wait to see. Nonetheless, while some of those who have seen the drama found parts of the first episode a bit cheesy (which made viewers shy away and contributed to its initial low ratings), we thought t’was the end that had a little slack — like, after the recovery of Ji-won and Swan from their operations — before bursting again into that ecstatic feeling you’ll love.

Still, here are some engaging points..

1. The actions scenes and sets were good and nicely chosen and timed. From those building and maze-like chasing to the time when Cha Ji-won fought off the bad guys trying to get hold of his father’s body — save for the angle on the final blow to Ji-won’s head in another episode which wasn’t so neatly done.

2. The fact that Kim Swan was not only an orphan that had to survive in a foreign land — but grew up illiterate was real touching. Not only could she be taken advantaged of but could you just imagine the emotional bruises she was carrying all those years?

Yet she eventually became a reporter when she went back to South Korea. Thanks to her innate talent and determination, and in part to Kim Ji-ryoon (Kim Tae-woo who acted as her sworn brother) who took care of her after Ji-won disappeared from the explosion.

3. That Cha Ji-won developed some kind of life-threatening head condition after surviving an explosion was pretty unfair being a good person that he really is. But that’s what makes us more attached to the story, to see how life will turn out for the ‘pure’.

And fortunately unlike other dramas, the lead star survived. Huh, could you picture the disappointment of viewers if he didn’t make it? He just had to go through a lot in life — give him a break! In the end, having that someone who truly cares for you, who’d stand by your side and not take over you just makes you want to keep going.

It’s not being naive. It’s a reality that only a few truly fights for.

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