Checking in with The Duo
The Duo finally had the adults debut a few weeks ago which helped the ratings front runner to firmly establish its hold. I, of course, initially tuned in to watch Chun Jung Myung and was quickly sucked into the drama with its good story, acting, dialogue, and pacing. The initial disappointed of not seeing Chun Jung Myung early on died down quickly as the kids did a pretty fabulous job of showing layers to each character.
And then the “10 Years Later” sign finally flashed and the stars showed up on screen. ‘Finally’ I thought to myself. As much as I had been enjoying the kids story, I was ready for some adult action. Unfortunately, the crop of adult actors are doing no justice to the still great drama. Han Ji Hye is a total bore – it’s like she’s playing a different character than Jin Se Yun (child counterpart) as the compassionate and arrogant Dong Nyeo. Sadly, Chun Jung Myung first foray into a sageuk hasn’t been a good one [yet]. He seems confused and befuddled as Chun Doong, the lovable slave turned shoemaker turned merchant, after he was fabulously played by the child actor No Young Hak. Also, am I the only one who’s bothered by the oddly teased hair?? Lee Sang Yoon is quite one note as the fake son of nobility, Gwi Dong. Seo Hyun Jin is probably the best as the feisty shoemaker, Dal Yi. Besides all having their own issues, whether its robot-like delivery, ineptitude at sageuk talk, or downright bad acting, it’s the chemistry between the leads which has dropped off the planet.
Thankfully, the story is as juicy as ever with the slow unveiling of the birth secret and the rise of the peasants. Kim Woon Kyung, who also penned the brilliant My Sister’s March (a short drama from last year), has done a fine job of developing characters with depth and an intriguing plot. The direction has been pretty good so far as well. And I’m a total sucker for period piece cinematography.
The “stars” of the drama has been the 4 kid actors leading the charge for the first 8 episodes. Mostly newbies on the scene (except No Young Hak who’s had more sageuk experience than the adult stars), their efforts did not go unnoticed. Sites and blogs in Korea have lit up with searches for the child actors and one blog even did had readers poll their favorite aspects of the characters, with Chan Doong coming up on top.
All in all, The Duo should not be missed. And at WITH S2, you can do good and watch a great drama with the Exclusive Sageuk Package through the charity drive. Go check it out here.