K-Pop and K-Dramas: Imitation Episode 5

Screenshot of Lee Junyoung in ‘Imitation’. Copyright goes to Kakao Entertainment and KBS.

Hi! It’s Annie!

This week was a pretty long one for my sister and I, which I might get into more in a later post. All I’ll say right now is that we went with a couple friends to a Korean barbecue place in LA that BTS recommended and our waiter had cooked for Taehyung before. It was absolutely insane. But it’s Friday again which means another episode of ‘Imitation’ came out and, of course, I always want to review these as soon as possible when they come out. Especially because of how much I want to show my love for ATEEZ after ‘Kingdom’. They did so well! However, in contrast to last week’s episode being one of my favorites, I think that this week’s episode might have been one of my least favorites. I think that’s it for my intro so here’s your regular SPOILER reminder!!!!

The Good:

The Acting- As always, everyone is amazing in their roles.

Hyuk- Going into this show, I was not expecting Jongho to get this much as Hyuk. Every episode I am more and more pleasantly surprised at how much he gets and how lovable Hyuk is as a character. In this specific episode it was revealed that Ryok is a little intimidated of him because Hyuk can read him like a book. I laughed out loud when Hyuk immediately deduced that Ryok had a crush on someone by the end of the episode. He’s such a sweet character with an amazing amount of insight. Definitely the type of character you can’t help but absolutely love. Every time Hyuk is on screen you feel like something is going right. He’s my new comfort character from the show, which I severely needed in this episode because a lot of this episode was a bit cringy. But I’ll get back to that later.

Ryok- I’ll give Ryok that he was really adorable this episode. We finally got to see a softer side of him, which I was really grateful for! In my last review I did say that the show needed to take the time to reflect with the main characters and let Ryok and Maha react to things. That’s exactly what they did with Ryok in this episode. Though Ryok did reveal himself to be a bit clingy, at least we saw that he didn’t know how to handle his emotions and we saw him react accordingly. I also really liked that it was revealed that he has a soft spot for Hyuk which also makes him slightly intimidated because he’s let Hyuk get to know him so well. We’re five episodes in, so almost halfway through the show, but I’m glad that they did decide to let us in on his soft side at some point.

Shax- We always get to see this entire team bonding in some way or another in each episode. I feel like I’m really starting to see and understand their bond!

Tea Party- I’m glad that the show isn’t just giving Maha all the spotlight. I loved that both Hyunji and Riah got offers to market themselves in their own ways and we got to see them doing things by themselves rather than just Maha.

Sub-Plot Romance- At Hyunji’s photoshoot, Yoojin shows up out of the blue and we get to see some genuine interaction between just these two characters. It wasn’t much, but it was something of an actual set up! If they are going to move forward with this romance they have to do it soon though. As I said before, the show is almost halfway done at this point.

Moving Plot- Finally! It feels like the show took a break from moving forward and we’re finally getting to see the show focus on plot. Of course, this means that the romance part of it has surged forwards considering this is a romance based show. I wish some of their other plot points would be treated with more urgency so that they also feel like they’re moving the show. But the romance moving forward did make the entire show feel like it was moving forward.

The Bad:

Maha- This character really frustrates me because I can’t tell what the writers intend her to be. I was happy that we got to see a lot more of Ryok’s emotions in this episode, but we still got almost none of Maha’s. The only reason the romance plot felt like it had urgency was because we at least saw something urgent about it on one side of the relationship. Maha doesn’t even feel like she cares about Ryok at this point, and it’s partly because the show still refuses to stop off with just her and spend time with her emotions. This is probably done so that the audience can project themselves onto her, but it makes her such a lacking character. I still can’t really pinpoint any of her personality traits. I want to get to know her, not for her to be a blank slate.

Sparkling- Again, they have to go here. We still got almost nothing of them. The members of Sparkling are complete non-characters right now excepting Yoojin. In the epilogue to this episode it was revealed that Hyunoh was originally a member of Shax before their debut. It was also revealed that Hyunoh has a girlfriend so his anger towards Yoojin is probably coming from jealousy of his position in the group rather than genuine concerns. But we don’t see nearly enough of his character for me to care about this yet. And then Minsoo and Seyoung got five seconds in this entire episode. At least they got a line each.

Yoojin- This one also pains me a lot. It was completely because of how underutilized he was this episode. We just started to see him get more time and characterization in the last episode, and then they completely dropped the ball. Hopefully this means we’ll pick back up with him next episode. But I want to see his issues beyond Maha. I want to see more of his rivalry with Hyunoh. We just starting seeing that before they decided to turn all of his problems into unrequited love again. His entire personality does not have to revolve around Maha and, really, it shouldn’t. If they keep portraying Yoojin in this way then it’s not going to be realistic if they try to pair him off with Hyunji. Because half his personality so far is pining after Maha. We need some other conflict for this character really fast. Also, I know that a lot of people freak out after stage kisses in media, but it’s so weird to see. Stage kissing is not romantic at all, it’s a semi-awkward blocking direction. So seeing Yoojin freak out over the stage kiss and even seeing Ryok obsess over it too was really odd to me. Speaking of which…

Ryok- Ok, I did mostly like him this episode! But there were a couple times where he border line crossed into stalker territory. Like showing up at Maha’s house uninvited at the end of the episode was weird. In his defense I guess they never figured out a time to meet.

Riah- She was barely in this episode and she’s one of my favorite characters in the show. I just want to see more Riah! She was also relegated to the protective friend and I hope they don’t start making her get super suspicious of Shax because of it. I’ve seen that done way too many times and I want Riah to continue being as unique as she has been.

Hyunji- I get it, she likes Yoojin. But she’s also running the risk of revolving around her unrequited love just like Yoojin is currently doing. It was unnecessary to show her sad conflicted face when Maha and Yoojin fist bumped at dinner. They just fist bumped!

Ji Hak- The manager of Tea Party was weirdly revealed to have a hand in the death of one of the original members of Tea Party. This was probably in the web-toon but there is no need for this. Firstly, this is turning the tragedy in the first episode into a plot device which is not my favorite thing ever. Also, we don’t need yet another character to focus on when the show is already struggling with the characters it already has. This is poorly placed and unneeded.

The Romance- The romance is moving the slightest bit too fast. I know I complain about slow plot a lot, but there should be a nice medium between slow and fast. We probably needed more of a development from when Ryok realizes he has feelings for Maha to the point he was in this episode. The progression all happened in this one episode. And it moving too fast makes me wonder if they’re going to do a misunderstanding leading to a break up or separation plot line, which I’m kind of done seeing in dramas. If they do it in a unique way it could still be good, but I’m really skeptical.

I know there is, once again, a lot in the bad category. I still enjoy watching this show, but it is still a bit of a mess. I always find things that I like in it, but it’s hard to not notice the mess. Once again, I’m going to say that the main thing that’s keeping me watching this is ATEEZ. Either Yunho or Jongho is emphasized every episode and it keeps me interested. But I’m not sure how much I would recommend this show. Especially to people who aren’t ATEEZ fans. It’s always nice seeing their incredible acting abilities every week though! I love the concept of this show, but they need to take more time to develop their characters and less time over-establishing conflicts that the audience already sees.

See you across the pond!

Sincerely, Annie

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