[K-DRAMA] Goodbye Mr. Black (2016)

warning: may contain spoilers

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When your best friend backstabs you and steal everything from you.. it’s time for revenge..

Plot:

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Cha Ji Won and his best friend Min Seon Jae are soldiers in the navy. Seon Jae hated his dad and abandoned him since he was young. He was taken in by Cha Ji Won’s father who’s rich and owns a company. They were practically childhood friends and like real brothers since then. One day, Ji Won was sent to Thailand for military training, but things started to get messy in Korea when Seon Jae was assigned an important document in the company. A businessman named Baek Eun Do came and asked him for the documents and he had no choice but to follow his orders. This led to the killing of Ji Won’s father. All of these happened in Thailand too. Unknowingly, Cha Ji Won was framed and accused of killing his father so he was on the run. He met a Korean lady named Khaya who lost her parents during the tsunami years ago. Since then, she was making a living by herself. She helped him in fleeing from the police, but was out of touch when Cha Ji Won was escaping. Fast forward to five years later, Cha Ji Won came back with a new identity called Black to seek revenge.

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Opinions:

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Basically, this is a revenge drama with the male lead Cha Ji Won wanting to get back to the one who killed his father. It’s really unfortunate that things started out of hand after his father’s death. What’s more was when his fiancee got married to his best friend  while Ji Won was gone, and his sister was missing too. Unexpectedly, his best friend Min Seon Jae was behind these along with an old man. Seon Jae backstabbed him and lied to him until the end. It’s true that Seon Jae was pushed to his limits and had no other choice but to join hands with the old man, but he was one of the people that Cha Ji Won trusted the most. At least we could see how Cha Ji Won uses his skills to the fullest to revenge for his family.

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The main reason that I’m watching this is because of Lee Jin Wook. And what’s more is that the poster and the title sounds so intriguing. I like action and dark themes, so I had watched this with anticipation. The first few episodes were really great. It gave us a glimpse of the happenings five years ago and most of the scenes were filmed in Thailand. I love the scenes there, since it was about fighting and running away. I think it was shot beautifully too especially the night market scenes. But suddenly, the story just went downhill when they were back to Korea five years later. So many things had happened in between and suddenly Black just appeared out of nowhere. I wished that he did things discreetly instead of showing himself. I also hate the fact that they kept on talking about business/chaebol stuff. I’m okay with revenge dramas, but not so much with sitting down and talking in the office. I prefer action and fights. lol

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I think it would have been better if the drama shortened it into 16 episodes instead. It was obvious that the writing and pacing of the drama weren’t smooth. It’s funny how they end scenes with a phone call or someone interrupting. I’ve noticed it so many times that it became disturbing. I am also often left confused when they were in Korea and suddenly they were in Thailand. I thought that things happened so fast like Korea and Thailand were so close that it’s only a bus stop away. I thought that the writer should have proof read or ask someone to recheck and edit his work. It’s a pity because the plot was good and it started well, but it became messy somehow in the middle.

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If Black is the heart of the drama, I think Meutong is the soul of the drama. Sorry, but I didn’t quite ship Black with Swan, but I ship Black with President Go. lol President Go is just so funny and uplifts the dark mood of the drama. I can’t help but look forward to his scenes since he seems to always have something up his sleeves. I love Lee Jin Wook and Moon Chae Won, but I did think that they shined better as individuals and not as a couple. Swan can do things on her own while Black has other priorities. It’s sad that the romance wasn’t appealing and they just rushed to add a lot of their scenes at the last few episodes. It’s funny how they suddenly kissed at the villain’s home after the fight? The timing wasn’t right. I couldn’t feel the love between the two except for the last few episodes. These two are very good actors, but sad to say the storyline didn’t call for any chemistry.

Characters:

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Lee Jin Wook as Cha Ji Won / Black — I became a fan of him after watching Nine, so I was looking forward to another drama from him. I was excited that he was casted as Black. Black seems to be a badass character and I was imagining a character like Lee Min Ho’s in City Hunter. I realised that he isn’t too tough since he was sent to jail, endured a lot of attacks from the villain, so I somehow pitied him. Like why does things go against him? Despite of this, I love Lee Jin Wook’s take on the character. I think his acting and visuals are not what everyone would like, but I guess that’s his charm and I think he’s lead worthy. I’m glad though that he’s trying different characters and genres. I hope he picks a better drama next time!

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Moon Chae Won as Kim Swan / Khaya / Baek Eun Young — I talk about her elegance every time I watch her drama. I think she has a distinct elegant face and probably one of the few plastic surgery free actresses. I was wondering if she cut her hair short for this drama or not since I prefer her long hair before. Her scenes in Thailand with slightly longer hair was bearable, but after five years, the shorter hair didn’t suit her. Well at least she has the visuals and acting skills to backup for it, so overall she did well as Swan. I just love the character since she grew up independently and it seemed like she didn’t need a man’s support. Like Jin Wook, she has been taking up different types of roles, but she needs to choose wisely for her next drama.

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Kim Kang Woo as Min Seon Jae — It’s my first time seeing him in a drama and I found him appealing portraying a handsome antagonist. I mean we get old antagonists most of the time, so it was nice to see these two eye-candies Lee Jin Wook and Kim Kang Woo together onscreen. I thought that he really did a great job on the character Min Seon Jae since he didn’t get overshadowed by the male lead. And I don’t know if it’s his first time to play a bad guy role, but he suits the role for me.

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Yoo In Young as Yoon Ma Ri — I’m happy that she’s been consistently starring in dramas these recent years, but I guess it’s time for her to step up and take a different role. Apart from her role in the Three Musketeers, all her other roles seem to have the same gist– being the mean girl. It’s kind of repetitive to me that she’s always clinging to the guy or being whiny. This character too as Yoon Ma Ri, I felt that it was so similar to Mask. Instead of pitying the character, I found these types of characters to be annoying. I love her acting but her roles are very overused already. It may take some time to adjust if we see her in a happier and positive role, but I can’t wait for her to expand her acting skills than just being stuck as the mean queen.

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Ending:

It was a nice twist when we thought that Swan’s father is Baek Eun Do, but actually Baek Eun Do murdered her parents and used her father’s name. It was purely an evil act that we can’t wait for the day for him to rot in jail. Baek Eun Do fled after he was in jail, but he died when Black shot a gun on him. Black was innocent and it was an act of self defence since Baek Eun Do also shot a gun on him. Luckily, it was a miss. It’s weird though that Black was able to chase and handle him even if he just got up from the surgery. It didn’t happen once but twice! Please tell me your mysterious powers! lol It could’ve also been nice if Baek Eun Do was actually Swan’s father, and Black would be conflicted into making a choice. On the other hand, Min Seon Jae was sentenced in jail for 10 years. He deserved it. It’s sad that he seems to be a good man, but Baek Eun Do ignited his hidden desires, so he just messed up and literally dug his own grave. The father of Ji Won, their father, left his will to the lawyer and finally it was revealed. Their father actually planned to divide his wealth equally among the four. It’s just pitiful to see a once happy and simple family shattered in just a day. For the couple, I felt that they were making up for the romance that they lacked since they kept on showing their extra fluffy scenes during the last few episodes and I thought that they were filler scenes. The drama was well wrapped and it was happy. They had a lot of extra time for the ending too. I was contented with the ending. We could say that the revenge was a success, but the whole process was really pitiful for the characters especially our Black.

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Final Thoughts:

Goodbye Mr. Black is a drama with potential– a good cast and plot. I just don’t know why the story went downhill and draggy as episodes passed. I love action and revenge dramas, but the script is like written by a rookie writer. I can only feel pity towards the actors because everyone exerted effort, and it’s so unfortunate that it was aired at the same time as Descendants of the Sun, so it didn’t get the spotlight. I think if you are fans of the actors, although not their best dramas, one would enjoy this show, but if not, it’s worth a skip.

 

Rating: 5/10

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