Lee Seung Gi and Lee Se Young’s Characters Prepare for Final Showdown in First Hwayugi Stills for Final Episodes

For a high profile K-drama like Hwayugi with a big name cast including my faves Lee Seung Gi and Cha Seung Won, it’s dispiriting that the drama is limping towards the finale weekend with what feels like no buzz. It barely squeezed into the top 5 most buzzed about dramas for February and took an inverse journey of splashy premiere to what will likely be a whimper of a conclusion. It’s ok, ultimately this isn’t even up there with dramas I’ve hated, and I don’t hate it merely find it so frustrating in narrative and lackluster in onscreen acting chemistry.

Poor Seung Gi actually comes across like he’s going through the motions of acting while Lee Se Young could vy with leading lady Oh Yeon Seo for the top billing slot with how much combined screen time she got as Bokja/Ah Sa Nyeo. Even the first stills to come out for the final two episodes are of Lee Se Young and Lee Seung Gi’s characters drumming up the action. I hope whatever dragon/fires of hell/heaven rendering showdown happens it wraps up the drama with a satisfying ending for the viewers who still really enjoy it.

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Lee Seung Gi and Lee Se Young’s Characters Prepare for Final Showdown in First Hwayugi Stills for Final Episodes — 19 Comments

  1. What I am hoping for is that the supernatural elements have a satisfactory closing that makes sense. (ahem Black) Different viewers will have their own perspective on the romance, but I am in it for the genre and various relationships.

    I will take @ockoala at her word that the lead appears to be sidelined because I am not as far in the drama. If so, I wonder what behind the scenes stuff is happening because I don’t recall the Hong Sisters doing that to other leading ladies though perhaps having such a large cast and both LSG and CSW was too much for them to handle. On the other hand, I have no knowledge of the source material at all so could be they are following a path somewhat of the original concept.

    Overall it’s been an okay watch but certainly not living up to the first episodes which I loved.

    • Koala always uses very harsh words with dramas she doesn’t like. Without the bias though, she does make some good points. I never liked Oh Yeon Seo as an actress that much, but I thought this drama would change that. The plot is getting a little messy, and I think the Hong Sisters are really bad at dealing with a lot of characters at once, which is why everything is just so mediocre. Lee Seung Gi is really the star of the show though because the lines they get are just so bland, and he is the only one that can make them sound interesting.

      • Back in the day (about 3 decades ago I am so showing my age lol) in New Zealand one of my favourite tv programmes on a Sunday afternoon was called ‘Monkey’ it was dubbed in English but was from Japan under the name ‘Saiyuki’. I followed every episode and have fond memories of Monkey, Pigsy, Sandy and Tripitaka. So when I read that the Hong Sisters were doing a Korean version I was stoked. However I knew the context and was really open minded about the story and had no reservations watching until the 3rd episode I couldn’t persevere with it anymore. So after reading Soya’s post it made sense why. I was trying to find the similarities between my fond childhood memories of Monkey and resonate with Hwayugi and it wasn’t connecting because either I was out of synch or the storyline was. However I am at peace so thank you Soya for the clarification I am now at peace.

    • This Korean adaptation has zero similarities to the source material or to any other adaptation I have ever seen. Journey to the West is basically about learning Buddhist values and having those values tested.

      The story is about a monk who goes on a Journey to find Buddhist knowledge. He is give three disciples for protection (monkey, pig and sandy). During their journey they encounter demons, these demons showcase human sin and desires. By subduing the cause of those desires, learning to leave those human desires behind and resisting temptations, they start to understand the meaning of Buddha’s words and attain holiness.

      The Korean adaptation is completely contradictory to the source material. For the monk to fall in love with the monkey is ridiculous and so wrong. If the writers had decided to read the Bible and adapt it into a romantic comedy that’s the level of wrong this is at.

      • yes agree totally!! I have said from the very beginning… a Monkey kissing a Human is so so wrong! what the heck with the Korean so-called-adaptation here… the writers are sick and those who cheer for the OTP is ?? LOLOL… Koreans cannot adapt to any J-manga and C-novel, those dramas are guaranteed failures, go develop your own drama and stop Copying!!

      • china copies in a different context… please don’t think I don’t know… you make me laugh… LOL…

      • Very well said soya, what kind of humiliating adaptation is this ? The original ” journey to the west” has so many deep meaning and lessons, it’s one of the masterpieces in Chinese literatures and Chinese film adaptation; this Korean adaptation was just wrong in many ways.

  2. the direction of this drama has certainly changed… I don’t see much Special Effects now, either the production team didn’t try after the accidents or if the writers have forgotten to pen those in. This drama has become a low budget rom-com about a cheap bracelet (except for those nice clothes), boring and draggy… I am only staying for LSG. Glad it is finally over so I can pack it away as completed! I will look forward to the next LSG 🙂 I know some delulu will comment “why continuing watching if you don’t like it”… but hey, that’s the way I want to…

  3. Seung Gi’s movie topped box office for the second day as well. It’s getting good reviews so I hope it’ll do well. I also hope he’ll take Vagabond if the plot is good.

  4. if there are no chemistry between leads, drama suffers and second leads shine. Proved in While you were sleeping too. Hope Lee Se Young gets lead roles from now on.

      • Lee Se Young and Chae Soo Bin are two actresses (among others) who really deserve to get more lead roles in public channel dramas. She’s been stuck in supporting roles for years even though she doesn’t lack beauty or talent.

        It’s rare for second lead females to shine this much, especially in a Hong sisters drama, it speaks highly of LSY’s abilities.

    • Chemistry is subjective as its about the interaction between the characters…..Some like that type of interaction some dont. Lol the second leads here are no where good at acting at all with 0 nuance nor depth as they struggle to emote and have lots of over the top acting & they have quite alot of screen time compared to second leads of other parts and those side cast are just pure fillers with 0 plot value which causes this drama to have 0 continuity and tanks. Check the ratings for the mid episodes and real time ratings. Those fillers side cast are the times the ratings drop like hell……This causes people to become uninterested in the drama.

  5. This is the one of THE most stupidly ridiculous show I have ever watched in my 15+ years of Kdrama addiction. I don’t even know it’s worth me criticizing it. But that Mawan’s house is stunning 😉

  6. I found the premiere episodes very good. The scary part is scary, the first meeting of adult Jin Seon Mi with Oh Gong at the traffic light, the directing and the use pf music there together with the scene when Oh Gong float down the umbrella towards her, i remember i kept replaying those scenes many times. It was lovely and memorable.

    I guess the original director was maybe quite a perfectionist, thats why the product was good in his hands, but due to limited time, thats why it caused the accident to happen. Since the production got more directors on board, thankfully the drama manage to continue safely and smoothly with no more accidents or delay, but it clearly affects its quality.

    Anyway, its an okay drama. Eventhough im a fan of Seunggi, there are his works that i dropped midway or didnt even bother to check. Since im still watching this, it means its not that bad then. But i watch Mother and Misty first, Hwayugi much later.

    I hope Seunggi picks a promising quality drama next. I think he got a great comeback already coming out of the military with a quite a hit project through Hwayugi and Master in the House, coming next his movie. He can follow up with something that can improve him as an actor, much like King 2 Hearts where a scene with just a few lines took 5 days to film because the veteran actress was not satisfied. And Seunggi even dared to keep bothering her to learn from her haha. I hope Seunggi got a chance to work with that kind of project next.

  7. After seeing so many asian dramas since 2003, I became really picky about dramas and I just love the feel of entertainment. This drama is great for that. About the actors Lee Seung Gi is the biggest surprise in it. I wasn’t fond of his acting before but he’s great in this role. Lee Se Young is also a nice surprise but her priest character doesn’t come out well. Anyway,I can’t wait for Friday when it comes to Netflix!

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