So I admit that I started this drama after Secret Garden for Hyun Bin. I’ve never seen Worlds before but did hear quite a bit about the initial buzz and the resulting rating failure. Pyo Minsoo’s work can be a hit and miss, but overall I have a good impression. Especially after news broke out that the leading actors Hyun Bin and Song Hyekyo hooked up after doing this drama, I had it on my radar as one of the To Watch.
The biggest factor that always kept me from starting is the fact that the drama is written by Noh Heekyung. Now, I know she’s a popular writer, critically acclaimed, and all, but from the few episodes of Goodbye Solo that I saw, her writing struck me as overly heavy, pretentious, and self important. I mean it’s great that she always explores deeper into human connections, her characters’ emotions and interactions, but at times she just rambles on and on and I’m left wondering what is the point of all these narrations and lengthy lines??
It does happen in Worlds too, lots of conversations, lots of narration, sometimes I get lost as well. But I think in general she’s easier to swallow this time around. They still get long and confusing, but I do appreciate that Noh really takes great care in her script. Her dialogues can be a bit trying. But at the same time, her lines are just firecrackers, they’re lots of fun. They’re daring, they’re witty, and sometimes they’re crass. I love it!
Plot is secondary and to be honest, almost irrelevant. I have read a lot of comments saying how boring the drama is. But for me, Worlds is SO far from being boring. It is such an engaging drama, one you can’t tear your eyes from. I fall asleep to a lot of dramas, but this one, you can’t stay away. Keep in mind that plot moves at a snail pace. And really, there is few plot points to boast about anyway. But it grabs your attention and keep it.
Worlds Within is about the daily life of people working in a TV station doing dramas. Song Hyekyo is the cool but fiery new drama director. Hyun Bin is an idealistic director who approaches drama making passionately. Basically the drama is them navigating through their work life, love life, and possible future. They are surrounded by family, coworkers, friends, and rivals, who all have distinct personalities and make an impact throughout the drama.
You can say that it is a slice of life drama. Doctor Champ is also a slice of life production, but man, it’s 50% sleep inducing. Here’s the difference. Worlds can be meandering in making a point, but it has a slew of solid actors and wonderful characterizations. While let’s face it, Champ’s interesting parts are really a)Jung Kyeowon and b)bromance. But I’m not here to stab Champ. I’m here to emphasize that unlike Champ, Worlds line up of characters are WAY stronger, more eccentric, more passionate, and better acted.
Worlds is probably 90% propped by wide variety of characters alone that literally, THEY are all the stars. Sure, the drama’s top billing actors are Song Hyekyo and Hyun Bin, but at the same time Yoon Yeojung’s presence cannot be ignored. Likewise, I remember almost every single one of them. From the aging glamorous leading lady played by Bae Jong-ok, womanizing director Uhm Kijoon, dedicated Kim Gabsoo, meddlesome Kim Changwan, crazy dude Daniel Choi, and kickass writer Kim Yeojin. They are what makes Worlds so intriguing.
For someone with a pretty short attention span and a general impatience, I think Worlds proves that it is not boring, it is not dull, in fact it is past paced, it is sharp. I started the show, being on the fence about Song’s character Joo Joonyoung. She can be really selfish, stubborn, and it’s like ME, ME, ME all the time! But throughout the drama we get to see her growing a heart. She becomes friends with people she initially hated, she learns to be more tactful dealing with people, and she learns to love deeper.
Hyun Bin’s Jung Jioh, on the other hand, came off super perfect in the beginning. He’s a caring friend, he’s so good to his mom, he’s passionate about his work, and he’s so freaking hot (and not underweight like Secret Garden’s Joowon!!). Little by little, we get to see that really, he’s just human. He can be a coward, a hypocrite, and he can be cruel with people. I really appreciate this contrast because it brings us, viewers, back to earth. Early on, the scale was tipped in his direction (the ‘He’s too good for her!’ sentiment), but by the end, we see a more balanced relationship.
Overall, this is definitely a must watch. It’s such a refreshing drama, laced with wicked realism that after hours of watching fairy tale-like dramas, this is a completely welcome change. 9/10! Recommended!