Style prompted such strong reaction from me that I am even bothering writing something about it.
Never have I been so annoyed from watching the first episode of a drama. Whatever reservation I had when just watching the trailer has been magnified ten-fold into sever dislike of this drama, or at least the first episode. I know the first episode is way too early to tell if a drama can be enjoyable or not; Partner is a good example of this. But Style’s first impression is so horrid that I admit I don’t even want to see what the second impression would be like.
What is the problem? First, the general feeling I get from the drama is that it is very superficial and smack dab in-your-face. Everything is just made so obvious and hammered in. We are just to sit there and swallow, we are not allowed to chew and absorb the implications of something. It’s like it’s all written in stones.
The drama also comes off as fake and shallow. Sure, some might argue that the fashion and beauty world IS supposed to be superficial, but the superficiality in this drama is not from portraying the fashion world, but it just comes from the acting, the characters, the setup, everything. If you see the predecessor movie, The Devil Wears Prada, the superficiality is used to portray what the fashion world is all about, but the characters all have hidden depth, they have their own problems, their own fears, their own insecurities, they are all human. Style, however, is barely scraping the surface.
We get to see a brief moment of Park Gija, the devil Editor, in the confines of her own house and she is a feminine, caring woman, miles apart from her Devil persona in the office. This is pretty much the only time I feel there is something more to this drama. Kim Hyesoo is great, but it doesn’t help that her costar Lee Yongwoo, who is her younger lover in the drama, is such a bad actor. He’s got some similarities with Joo Jinmo, but acting skills and charisma, or lack thereof, are definitely not one of them.
Of course, we just have to have a character (or two in this case) who just come home from abroad, notably the overused New York City and London. Now, I normally don’t mind it, but I’ve just lately seen way too many dramas with this setup. Brilliant Legacy was one using New York too, City Hall even had its main character supposedly close friends with Obama, Triple had characters coming home from Canada, at least a country less often mentioned, That Fool/Just Looking had one from Australia, and I believe Boys Over Flowers also used New York. What is up with this obsession of returning from abroad thing? I know Koreans are now scatterred in so many different countries in various continents, I get that, but must you all do the same thing?
Ryu Shiwon is handsome, but he is a little bland that I don’t know what to make of him. Was that part of his character, Seo Woojin? Or was that just Ryu Shiwon, the boring actor with little screen presence? He seems to be the male version (only nicer and less brash) of Park Gija, but Kim Hyesoo has got that pulling factor to draw attention, while Ryu Shiwon…does not.
Last, but the most severe of them all, Lee Jia and her unbelievably painful acting. I have never seen Lee Jia acting before, but I have heard of her a lot of times, she was talked about a lot the first time she appeared in Legend. But now that I am actually watching her on screen, I thank god that I never touched Legend or Beethoven Virus (well, technically, I did see a weeee bit of BV before, but 5 minutes can hardly tell you anything). Seriously, I have come across so many actors overacting their happy go lucky personality on screen, but this is one of the rare moments I actually get super irritated and plainly annoyed. To make matters worse, she spends like half of the first episode screaming, yelling, and generally creating sound pollution.
Will I be watching episode 2? Certainly….not in the foreseeable future. If for some magical reason, Style turns out to be great, I’ll just sit back and enjoy…other dramas.