MBC‘s Mon-Tues drama Triangle wrapped up today in what I like to call “shuffling off to the dustbin of dramas to be forgotten.” Truly terrible dramas like Fashion King and Dr. Jin continued to be name dropped long after it’s been exorcised from existence, and perhaps Dr. Stranger will join that unlofty group. But for the majority of forgettable and mostly bad dramas, it’s fate is to disappear into the collective ether without even drama veterans mentioning its name either as a drama to watch or avoid. All of Triangle’s badness can be laid at the feet of being so boring it can be used to naturally sedate drama surgery patients. The entire plot revolved around three long-lost brothers and their quest to be reunited and revenge the death of their father. To hit those narrative markers the screenwriter padded the package with boring gambling scene after boring psychiatry session scene after boring stare down scene after boring male pain scene. Maybe one interesting scene might pop up per episode, if lucky, and the rest of the time was wondering when this episode will end.
The only reason to stick with it is for Jaejoong, playing the most alive and interesting character in the drama with a performance that was a major improvement to boot. Fans of Lee Bum Soo can watch his myriad other better dramas and performances and just chalk this one up as hyung giving Jaejoong acting lessons for 26 episodes and succeeding masterfully. Im Shi Wan was neither good nor bad, his character was such an annoying twat it rather hampers the ability to view his performance objectively since the first reaction is to punch his smug face in. The OST was mostly uninspired except for a few stand out tracks and the directing was mediocre. This was PD Yoo and screenwriter Choi Won Kyu‘s attempt to do gambling like they did in All In, but eleven years later all they delivered was a half-baked tinny Giant knockoff without any excitement or originality. Jaejoong gets a major thumbs up but everything else is a pass.
The scene at the end of episode 24 where the three long-lost brothers are standing in an actual triangle made me chuckle. The was the only instance where this drama elicited some sort of reaction from me.
This screencap is just here to show Lee Bum Soo and Jaejoong running. Unfortunately it wasn’t presented in slow motion with the wind blowing through their hair.
The final episode of Triangle was as toothless as the drama has been all along. The offing of little brother Yang Ha was executed dreadfully, with a fight scene that came out nowhere and then Yang Ha gets shivved in slow motion followed by middle brother Dong Chul running over to sweep him into his arms. Then Yang Ha promtly has three long minutes of screen time to say his final farewells to Dong Chul and oldest hyung Dong Soo, all the while both cry for him to hang in there but neither calls the ambulance. There is even some shaking to tell him not to die, at which time it probably sped up his dying. This drama is so arbitrary in that Dong Soo can get shivved in a dark alley and have laid there for god knows how long until he was discovered and taken to the hospital and lives, yet Yang Ha is shivved and dies three minutes later.
In the end little brother Yang Ha died, for no narrative purpose other than have one of the brothers end up dead. Since everyone thought eldest hyung Dong Soo would die, and middle brother Dong Chul clearly isn’t going to bite it, perhaps offing the maknae was an attempt to subvert expectations. I wished the writer would have spent time trying to subvert my expectation that this drama’s ending would be as tediously dull as the entire drama has been leading up to it, and therefore actually deliver a kickass to surprise me. Sadly that was not to be. Goodbye Triangle, may you never be reincarnated as a Square in a future drama.
With a final brotherly hug, Triangle signs off to the dustbin of dramas that didn’t even try hard and consequently failed with a with the sound of engines creaking for a train that never even left the station.