International Dramas: Imitation Episode 9

Promotional image of Jeong Yunho in ‘Imitation’. Copyright goes to KBS and ATEEZ.

Hi! It’s Annie!

I’m still not completely sure what keeps making me want to watch this show, other than I’m in it now and it’s difficult to stop. After all, there are only a few episodes left now before it’s over. And I’m not against watching this show; I am kind of enjoying it. I always do find something to enjoy when it comes to watching this show. But, like always, this episode seemed to have more issues with writing than things to enjoy. This isn’t even a case of it’s better if you turn your brain off. There’s nothing really for you to turn you brain off for. I still can’t see much of a plot here, and every episode there’s a new direction with a character that confuses me. So, I’m going to got through my regular review, obviously complete with MAJOR SPOILERS. And hopefully some of the storylines that I’m liking will at least be ok by the time the show ends.

The Good:
Riah- Finally! She’s back! I was worried she was just going to be a bad character for a while, and I can’t tell you how happy I am that she’s different in this episode. She’s much less angry and protective in this episode and much more understanding than she has been. The downside of her being that much better here is that it made some of her actions previously seem out of character. When it comes to her grudge against Shax, that’s entirely still in tact. She mentions in this episode that she still has a grudge and her relationship with LeeHyun is mainly softening because of their love of music and the song they are both working on. But what doesn’t make sense here is her specific vendetta against Ryok and Maha dating. Because she’s immediately sad and consoling when Maha admits that they broke up. Once again Riah was a supportive and badass friend this episode rather than being too over the top with anger, and it was nice to see her this way again.

Yujin- Another character that I am very happy to write about in the good list again. After everything that happened last episode and this show’s track record with character development, I was half afraid that Yujin wasn’t going to learn his lesson after Hyunji yelled at him. Fortunately, this was not the case. Hyunji yelling at him seemed to remind him of telling Maha that he was free from her after he confessed his feelings toward her a couple episodes back. He took the opportunity to talk to Hyunji and honestly apologize for how he acted and then ask her on a date. Or was it a date? I’m honestly not sure. It was the most awkward product placement I’ve ever seen in my life, that’s for sure. But I do think that it’s important to note that Yujin was back to his kind self that we saw at the very beginning of this drama. I can only hope that this is a trend that continues. Especially because the end of this episode made a huge deal about Ryok being on the same show as Yujin and everyone in Tea Party but Hyunji. So I’m not expecting any of this to last very long.

The Acting- I will never not mention this. Because I really want people to know that everyone acting in this show is talented. Even the people who haven’t acted before have some real talent. The faults in this show go in their entirety to the plot and writers.

Sub-Plot Romance Two- The sub-plot romance between Riah and LeeHyun is probably moving too slowly. But at least it’s moving. And it’s cute. The less we see of Riah’s grudge and the more time they are allowed to spend together, the more this becomes one of the major things I look forward to every episode. The way it took them forever to open the door because they were getting so into the music was cute, and admittedly a little cheesy, but still cute. The only roadblock here is how much screen time they’ve been getting. But they have at least been making some use of that screen time to make this couple look plausible.

The Bad:

Hyunji- Remember when I commended her character in my last review and said that I was afraid they would do nothing with her character development? That’s exactly what happened. Which is exactly what happens with this show in general, but I’ll get back to that later. Hyunji has one semi-strong moment at the beginning of this episode where she yells at Maha for breaking up with Ryok after everything the two had put everyone else through. It was a valid point and I’m glad someone said it. But it is immediately revealed that she only does this because she’s still hurt over what happened with Yujin. She did not say this because it was a concern of hers. This outburst was entirely male driven. And then once Yujin apologizes to her, she’s back to the way she was before. No agency and not much development to go off of. She doesn’t even say anything or tell Yujin how much he hurt her when she’s being apologized to. She just stands there, accepts it, and then becomes super happy because she believes she has a chance with him again. It was almost like last episode never happened.

The Plot and Development- I think I’m finally able to at least pinpoint some of what’s going wrong with this plot. And it has to do with the dropped development I was talking about earlier. The show has a tendency to start good development which gives the audience hope, and then drop it immediately for the sake of another plot point. And then they drop the development for that plot point and start another one. And this happens so much over and over again that all the characters are half-baked and all the plot points only feel half formed. No clear plot, no nothing. Just a lot of things that could have been that the writers didn’t move forward on because I’m not sure they knew how to.

Sub-Plot Romance One- From what you’ve already read about what I had to say about these characters individually, you can probably tell that they don’t work at all. Yujin is sweet, but he needs someone who will call him out on his bullshit. And Hyunji seems to dodge any possible character development that she’s given to the point that I can’t tell what her personality even is beyond her crush on Yujin. At this point in time, these characters are definitely wrong for each other. The scene where Yujin apologized to her was cute, but it only served the character of Yujin. Hyunji barely spoke or even reacted, so it wasn’t a scene that served their relationship as a whole. And the chemistry between them just isn’t there either. I know that this show is sponsored by a specific chicken place, because we see the characters order it at least twice an episode. So when Yujin and Hyunji went to this place on their date, I was already expecting to cringe. But it was made even worse by the fact that the scene was less than a minute long and they didn’t even speak to each other for most of it. It was, by far, the most awkward date I’ve ever seen in a K-Drama. I do not buy these two as a couple even for a second.

The Romance- Maha and Ryok both mainly operate under the banner of the main romance, which is sometimes frustrating and sometimes works for this plot because it is mainly a romance show. With this in mind, their break up was awkward and, as soon as they broke up, they spent most of the episode doing absolutely nothing. Especially Maha. Ryok was involved in a weird plot point that I’ll get to in a second. But most of the episode they both sulked and Maha told everyone that she was the one who broke up with Ryok so that people wouldn’t get mad at him. I’m assuming. They never really confirmed or denied that though.

HyunOh- I definitely thought they were abandoning his character, but apparently that’s not the case. Instead they decided that Ryok would overhear HyunOh treating his girlfriend awfully and then get offended and punch him so that they could shoehorn in a jealousy storyline with Maha. Now it seems like they are going to deal with the fact that HyunOh might be fired from Sparkling when Shax’s company overtakes theirs. This was nowhere where they were hinting about going with this character and this plot doesn’t seem to serve the story over-all either. In fact, when this plot started I thought they were going to explore some form of connection and rivalry between Yujin and HyunOh. And it’s very odd that they’ve gotten rid of Yujin completely in favor of throwing Ryok into the mix instead.

Sparkling and Shax- The members of these groups did nothing this episode excepting a few. Including Hyuk, unfortunately. These are the characters that I wish we could see more of, but we never get anything for them. I think this show overdid it when it comes to characters. The writers can’t balance this many.

La Lima- I’m so confused. So now she wants Maha and Ryok together? Then what was the point of that line that suggested she would fight anyone who tried to date Ryok? I seriously have no clue what’s going on here.

This show is mostly made up of confused writing. I, once again, have no idea what’s happening. But that’s usual for this. I don’t hate watching it, but I wish it was better. I’m at least glad that Yunho got something good to act out again! Yujin got some pretty emotional moments that caught my attention right away! As long as there’s more of that, watching this won’t have been a waste of time.

See you across the pond!

Sincerely, Annie

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