The picture above speaks volumes, doesn’t it? It captures in an instant that very ephemeral thing called acting. Critics and audiences can discern good versus bad acting (unless fangirling gets involved and then that becomes like a veil of denial in itself), but its hard to really describe. I fall back on Justice Stewart’s enduring line from Jacobellis v. Ohio “I’ll know it when I see it”. The upcoming tvN cable ghost melodrama Who Are You released its first preview on the heels of a concept teaser that showed the two leads So Yi Hyun and Taecyeon frolicking in the yard with a hose. This one actually contains scenes either from the drama or at least touches upon what the drama is about. So Yi Hyun wakes up from her six-year coma and narrates that when she woke up she could see dead people. There is then a flash of Kim Jae Wook standing behind Taecyeon. I know he plays a dead dude and all and his glower and pallor is scary conceptually but I just can’t be scared because all I want to do is paw him. Then Taecyeon narrates that as a man who doesn’t even trust the living, suddenly she appears before him, a woman who can see ghosts. The ask each other “Who are you?” I like this preview a lot because it captures the mood of the drama. A bit scary, a bit melancholy, a bit mystical, we’re asked to buy the two leads engaging in a life journey that requires a suspension of disbelief.
I’m not going to harp on Taecyeon’s limited acting skills, he’s like Song Seung Heon‘s hoobae in looks and talent, but when asked to play earnest and endearing characters he actually can deliver the goods. He was adorable in Cinderella Unni and tried his darndest to keep up with that cast littered with acting wunderkinds. Here he has to contend with Kim Jae Wook, an actor of immense charisma and talent onscreen, and try to win the audiences’ goodwill and affection. I hope he can do it because I do not want to spend my six weeks shipping leading So Yi Hyun with a dead ex-boyfriend, I still want my dramas to deliver catharsis and satisfaction. I was fine with the doubly depressing ending for 49 Days because that drama built it up as the journey of appreciation of life rather than an end goal to live happily ever after. Here I feel like the story will be about returning to the land of the living with respect to So Yi Hyun’s character, and then about her finding the next happiness in her life so that her ex can move on. Taecyeon’s look in the drama highlights his boyish charm and he does appear to have chemistry with So Yi Hyun, but visually he definitely looks like her younger brother. Nothing wrong with that, I just hope this drama keeps the tension believable and gives us the payoff on all the high concept stakes about seeing spirits.
First preview for Who Are You: