A good melodrama takes a central conceit and fleshes it out, allowing the narrative to morph as the characters develop and information is shared. A bad melodrama beats its one main purpose into the ground and stomps on it a few times just in cast we couldn’t tell what it was about. And in between these two extremes lays the majority of melodramas, spanning the spectrum of ambitious but falling short to stupid but interesting at the outset. It might take That Winter, The Wind Blows, a few episodes to find its footing, but generally I’ve gotten adept to sussing out potential right off the bat. A clear focus from the very beginning is usually a sign this drama at least knows where the starting line is, and a deft PD’s talent shines from the first frame and can’t be faked. I still think Noh Nee Kyung writes with honesty and deftness, but her dramas don’t necessary always rise to the level she hoped for. Padam Padam: The Sound of His and Her Heartbeat, was like a soufflé that didn’t rise, for reasons I’m not able to pinpoint. It just didn’t work overall. When I watch previews for TWTWB, I find Jo In Sung way overacting while Song Hye Kyo’s sort-blind-heiress routine comes off flat for me. Smirky brash Kim Bum and snarky sassy Jung Eun Ji fare much better even in snippets, but they aren’t the leads asked to carry the story. I think Wed-Thurs will be fascinating with three completely different genre dramas competing against each other, with this melodrama up against action thriller IRIS 2 versus spy rom-com 7th Level Civil Servant. TWTWB winds prettiest visuals hands down, but I also want it to win my heart with a very compelling story. Here’s to hoping in T-minus 2 days.
Fourth trailer for That Winter, The Wind Blows: