Doc: Shouldn’t it be “The Doctor is JIN”?
Ha-eung: Sure, sure. There’s a 100-nyang bounty on your head, but we’re not at all worried about that, are we? Why don’t you just march to the police bureau and give yourself up? Save the officers there the trouble of hunting for you. In fact, I might as well take you there myself now.
Doc: All right, no need to flap; it was just an innocent question. Back where I come from, it’s basic courtesy to tell people your name.
Ha-eung: I don’t know what backward village you hail from, but over here you lie low and stay out of trouble, you hear? You treat the people who come, I collect the payment, and together we…
Doc: But I’m not a psychiatrist, I’m neurosurgeon Dr. Jin Hyuk!
Sit tight. Because what you’re about to read is a tale so fantastical it’ll leave you alternately reeling and hooting. If owls (and diaper-clad chickens) are your thing, and if you enjoy intrigue and romance (and also a spot of comedy, intentioned or not), you’ve come to the right place.
But first, a disclaimer. Any resemblance in this story to old or current TV fare is purely coincidental and should not be misconstrued as mischief (punishable by hard labor on a treeless and TV-less island). If there’s any mischief at all, you’ll find it in this extremely tall tale, all eighty-two episodes of it. And now we begin with Episode 1.
If anyone is looking for a feel-good drama, I suggest checking out Surgeon Bong Dal-hee (2007).
Light but not fluffy, deep but not heavy, the drama is a pleasant blend of action, comedy, and romance. It does not make my Top 10, but I liked it enough to miss it when it was over. Certain scenes I even replayed ad nauseam because they made me feel all warm inside. Of particular note is a love confession where the three standard words aren’t even uttered.
[I’m delighted to present to you a guest review of Giant by its biggest fan, supah. Some of you may know her from the Dramabeans Open Threads. I’m sure you will enjoy reading supah’s loving tribute to this epic drama as much as I did! -thundie]
Sorry it had to be me, folks. I’m just as gutted that we couldn’t have Ockoala coming back after her amazing, amazing mid-point review. But since no one else was up for it, I was not going to let Giant go without a wrap-up review. Guess this is far from being an epic review but what I will do, in this review, is try and pay justice to what was an absolute epic, ha!
Giant is one example of how a show of colossal magnitude can remain firmly grounded. There was a glowing warmth and tastefully instilled wit in the midst of the devastating human tragedies that shaped this tale of rags to riches, revenge and one man’s rise to power.
Let’s start this review off with a bold proclamation. After watching the first 24 episodes, I am unequivocally in love with Giant. With that said, I shall attempt to justify my sentiment with a semblance of reason and logic (but if you look at that kiss above, I think it says enough by itself).
The first thought that sprung to mind as I watched Giant (SBS, 2010) was that I had seen the drama before. It felt familiar, but not the kind of familiarity that envelops you like an old friend or a childhood haunt. No, it felt like a dreamscape where scenes from a dozen disparate places assail you all at once.
I tried to shake off the thought, but it grew stronger. An opening scene felt like an eerie blend of two long-forgotten scenes from Oldboy (the confrontation) and… Batman (that grotesque make-up). A nondescript office looked just like the tabloid office in What’s Up, Fox; any moment I expected Go Hyun-jung to fling the door open. A group of boys shine shoes on the street and immediately I recalled Count of Myeongdong and… Oliver Twist. Most disconcerting of all, Giant had East of Eden stamped on it, even though I really had no reason to make that association, having watched just two episodes of the latter. That same East of Eden-esque feeling of gloom.