The Empire: Episode 1 (Initial Impressions)
JTBC’s authorized melodrama The Empire premiered above the weekend and it is entire of political scheming, damage to arrive, and sumptuous chaebol breakfasts. I just can’t say I loved the episode a lot, but that is fewer mainly because it was improperly accomplished, and extra because it feels like a plot I’ve noticed a hundred situations currently.
Editor’s observe: If there is enough fascination, drama coverage will keep on with weekly hangouts.
EPISODE 1 Very first IMPRESSIONS
Before we satisfy our heroine, we satisfy her partner NA GEUN-WOO (Ahn Jae-wook). He’s clearly a person of electric power who commands respect — SNU grad, handed the bar exam in his 20s, was a judge, a attorney, and now is a legislation professor who looks to get pleasure from getting addressed as a godlike determine. We initially fulfill him at his e book live performance, in which he is surrounded by adoring fans and the push, but the exact same motif continues into the classroom — and everywhere you go he goes, actually. I don’t like him a person bit.
But he seems like the fantastic “national husband”? Our heroine HAN HYE-RYUL (Kim Sun-ah) will come residence to their beautiful home stating how drained she is and carrying on about the stunning meal he cooked for her. They’re really sweet and playful together and it is all pretty nice… right until the camera pans to widen the scene and we see that there is a film crew capturing them. Yep, their extremely possess chaebol truth program. Barf!
The demonstrate has carried out wonders for Geun-woo’s acceptance and inspite of not staying a politician he’s #1 in acceptance for the upcoming presidential race. Yeah, no. We’re revealed in extra depth than vital that he’s having an affair with a different female — and that girl turns out to be a pupil in his class who has him wrapped all around her finger. I’m entirely getting A Couple’s Earth vibes right here, and that does not make any of this bode effectively.
The good thing is our heroine is a lot more likeable. Hye-ryul — or as she’s additional usually called, Prosecutor Han — is a authentic force to be reckoned with. She’s just as impressive and revered as her spouse, but in distinction she appears to have some integrity guiding her. When the drama opens, she’s deep in an investigation of a chaebol team that her household is in-lawed to. The reaction is possibly fury (her sister who married into the household in question) or regard (most everybody else, impressed that she does not allow “family” get in the way of justice).
My most loved scene of the initially episode was Hye-ryul out for drinks with a entire ton of prosecutors. Right after working with the taunts of a colleague (who promises she’s only fearless in her work since her family’s energy can defend her), she subsequently outdrinks him. And by that I imply mixing somaek in a huge bowl deserving of bibimbap and downing the full detail in a single shot. Her colleague is dragged out hardly mindful, and Hye-ryul stays driving for a lot more drinks, and an oath about truth of the matter and justice that she has the rookies repeat after her. It’s very clear she suggests each and every word she suggests, and it is distinct they regard her for it.
But we can not have this sort of a effective, gathered, and upright heroine with out throwing her some troubles — this is a drama after all – so there is a terrible scene where by she just about finds her spouse and his college or university university student floozy HONG NAN-HEE (Joo Se-bin) owning sexual intercourse in a restroom all through the intermission of a tremendous fancy orchestra efficiency. Uh, many thanks, JTBC?
This is probably my least beloved thing about the tale — not just the inexpensive affair, but the way the faculty scholar is so clearly manipulating Geun-woo, and so definitely going to burn his lifetime down all over him. He phone calls her his muse she claims she can be his defend, or his demon. Guess which 1 it’ll be by the stop of this drama? And to even more squickify items, Nan-hee looks to be friendly with and/or in the similar course as Geun-woo and Hye-ryul’s son and his girlfriend.
Speaking of Hye-ryul’s family members — it is enormous and bewildering and they all are living in the similar palace-like dwelling. But for all the preposterous prosperity that they stay in, they feel to be kinda usual? At minimum Hye-ryul and her mother (Lee Mi-sook) so much. In another great scene, we see the two functioning absent jointly late at night time on Hye-ryul’s situation. In a further drama, they would be squirreled absent at the kitchen area desk in The Empire, they’re sitting down at a gigantic banquet table that would have designed King Arthur proud.
With no significantly action — but tons of character introductions and political/ability setups which are too uninteresting to drill into right here — the first episode feels both of those overpowering and underwhelming at the same time. There’s hope, nevertheless, by way of our other supporting people. REPORTER YOON EUN-MI (Im Se-mi) would seem to have an in with the law enforcement and some magic formula details that she drops to close the to start with episode. Geun-woo may be #1 in the level of popularity race for candidacy, but there is a different man or woman who’s rushing up at the rear of him at an alarming speed: Hye-ryul.
It’s intended to be a mic drop instant, and I guess it’s possible it can be, if we get more insight on Hye-ryul and how a lot she definitely is aware, options, and intends to do. But ideal now there is not more than enough of the plot in motion to actually say no matter whether it’ll be fulfilling to see Hye-ryul go right after her partner and his scandal — or regardless of what other chaos waits close to the bend.
If I’m heading to enjoy a story of electrical power struggles and vindication, perfectly, there has to be some real emotion there in order for us to get behind it. Ideal now I’m not positive if Hye-ryul even seriously cares about her “perfect” husband, so will his scandal definitely split her? What does she want moreover to do her occupation properly? I believe I will need a very little a lot more emotional connection to these characters — any of them — if I’m going to comply with them all-around for the whole drama, be concerned about the collapse of the eponymous “empire,” and root for the superior guys’ good results. Or in the situation of Geun-woo, for his swift defenestration.
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