After today there are two more episodes left of Joseon Gunman and it’s been a really steady and satisfying ride. It makes me ponder whether I like the epic crash and burn excitement or this type of slow burn reliability in my dramas. Probably both and depending on my mood, but if I were being rational then the latter is a better choice because I’m not going to be aggravated. I really do appreciate JG for everything it’s delivered so far but it’s impossible to deny that it hasn’t lived up to its potential. The romance has been beautiful but not very passionate, and goodness I need passion in my lead couple! I suppose Yoon Kang and stare with longing at Soo In until the cows come home but that lacks the oomph which elevates the pining into something more concrete. I’m also getting the weird feeling like many deaths are in store, yet there is not the lack of worry that would accompany it because both the leads and the villains have escaped the chopping block one too many times. It’s easy to criticize JG for being too rinse-and-repeat and which sageuk hasn’t done that since ultimately the same dangers abound merely wrapped in different clothing. That is true here but the kickers is keeping Merchant Choi as the one main villain through the entire narrative.
He’s fantastic, don’t get me wrong, but now I think he should have died in episode 14 and then Hye Won is elevated to the big bad in her daddy’s stead. Keeping him around makes ever dangerous encounter feel like a retread, and it shoves her into being just a cackling minion and honestly she was much more than that. Episode 20 felt like even more filler to set up the big revolutionary coup, and I can’t even support the revolutionaries all that much because history tells me they fail and even if they succeeded there is this niggling sensation that nothing will ultimately change. Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. Only Yoon Kang and Soo In remain my beacon of hope, an innocent and pure hope from the first few episodes when they dreamed of a future together that was exciting and filled with curiosity. Now they are left a shell of their former selves, hardened by loss and disappointment but still clinging to each other and the promise that together everything will be okay. I sure hope that happens in the end because this is a drama where I’ve stuck around this long with the promise of real romantic satisfaction. Continue reading