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Posted by beansss AKP STAFF Thursday, April 19, 2018

[Drama Review] 'Great Temptation' - episodes 23 & 24

Moon Ga Young, Joy, Kim Min Jae, Woo Do Hwan

The war between two friends-turned-enemies gets really intense in episodes 23 and 24 of 'Great Temptation'.

It really is tragic to think of what a close, more-than-friends but less-than-family relationship Kwon Si Hyun (played by Woo Do Hwan) and Choi Soo Ji (played by Moon Ga Young) had before this whole mess started. But now, all sorts of feelings and events have turned more sour and sour until these two friends have become, almost mortal enemies.

This death glare match is REAL and boy, Si Hyun is getting his bootie kicked.

Both Si Hyun and Soo Ji are fighting and struggling to protect the relationships they treasure. In Si Hyun's case, what he's struggling to protect is more or less simple and singular - his relationship with Eun Tae Hee (played by Red Velvet's Joy). Now I know that we all want to batter Si Hyun for abandoning his best friends for some girl he's only known for a few weeks. In real life, that's definitely not right, so don't ever try that at home, ever, kids.

But if I were to defend Si Hyun's actions a little more in this particular series, I would still argue that Si Hyun is a child whom a lot more bad things have happened to, than a child who has caused bad on others. To Si Hyun's old self, the only things worth protecting in his life were his mother (who died), and his two friends (who were there for him when his mom died). And then, two factors change him into the person he is now. For one, Si Hyun grows to disassociate himself with his original enemy - his father Kwon Suk Woo - after finding out that they are not biologically related. After finding this out about himself, Si Hyun learns to set himself apart from the issues surrounding his father and his family, while also discovering healthier reasons to live (these things, he learns from Tae Hee). Next, Si Hyun comes to confront the fact that the person Soo Ji wants to hurt is Tae Hee, the girl he grows to love. No matter how much Si Hyun tried to avoid it in the past, the circumstances call for Si Hyun to choose between his friends or Tae Hee, and not in a "simple misunderstanding" sort of way. In a very grave and serious, might-never-see-one-another-again way.

Okay but what about Grandma? Is she good or evil?

Compared to Si Hyun, Soo Ji is a child who suffers from a lot of bad in her life too, but she reciprocates by causing an almost equal amount of damage on others. It's not that Soo Ji was "bad" from the beginning, we all know that. But over the course of the past 24 episodes, Soo Ji played a key role in bringing misfortune to not only Si Hyun and Tae Hee, but to herself, to her mother, Si Hyun's father, and more. And to be clear, Soo Ji's motives, as selfish as they may be, aren't unreasonable. What Soo Ji wants to protect most of all is for the trio's friendship to stay the same. And then there's also the matter of her mother. And as viewers, unfortunately, we know that the things that Soo Ji wants to protect, are things that are meant to be broken and changed. It's very sad to watch Soo Ji struggle so hard for things she won't be able to achieve.

But man, I LOVE Soo Ji's bad girl look from these two episodes.

Even in a situation where she's doomed to fail, Soo Ji really manages to appeal to viewers. I personally think so. Her character is, as I've mentioned before, so focused on detail and so rich. Her level of deepness makes it impossible to see her as just an antagonist. So I just don't understand why, the drama's scriptwriter, or director, or whoever it may be, can't pour the same amount of attention and detailed-direction for Tae Hee?

Sometimes, Tae Hee's character comes off as just not very interesting when put next to loaded characters like Soo Ji. I mean, I want her to have a happy ending in the end but, like surprisingly, I would still be kind of okay if she and Si Hyun ended up parting ways for good at the end of the series. They haven't done a fully convincing job of relaying the depth of their relationship to us viewers yet. I hope to see some real growth and maturity in their relationship in the next episodes to come. (Because let's be honest. They're gonna get back together again next week anyway, right.)

When the flower petals aren't even effects from the drama crew and they're getting in the actors' way...

Something else I wanted to bring up after finishing this week's round of episodes was how 'Great Temptation' failed to appeal to teen generation viewers, despite its original aims. I think the biggest factor lies in the uncomfortable story set up where we have to watch these children clean up after all these messes that their parents made.

Like these two kids who literally just turned of legal drinking age within a year, they're sitting in a bar sipping drinks and talking so seriously about the "right thing to do", while their parents are off having open affairs and not giving a doodle about their kids' futures. Episodes 23 and 24 especially got a little hard to watch for me. Teen dramas aren't supposed to be about kids who pick up their trouble-making parents from hospitals.

"Our kids are just not behaving man... wait. We're the kids here!"

And last but not least, Se Joo confessed his feelings to Soo Ji~!!

Kind of.

It honestly snuck up out of nowhere for me! But I was still happy to watch Se Joo just come out with his feelings so calmly. It was very appropriate for him. But the flower petals (which were actually used for cinematic effect this time) said, not yet. Se Joo and Soo Ji aren't ready to become official yet, and Soo Ji was the one to ultimately decide that. And Se Joo accepts those feelings from Soo Ji so nicely and calmly... like what a nice guy. The entire confession scene was just a nice ray of sunshine in a couple of episodes otherwise just very depressing and frown-inducing. (Secretly hoping for more Se Joo & Soo Ji interactions next week, over anything else at this point.)





  1. Moon Ga Young
  2. Joy
  3. Kim Min Jae
  4. Woo Do Hwan
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