International Dramas: Imitation Episodes 10 and 11

Promotional image of Jeong Yunho from ‘Imitation’. Copyright goes to KBS and Kakao Entertainment.

Hi! It’s Annie!

Obviously, I’ve been gone for a little while and wow did I miss a lot! Once again, thank you for enjoying the posts that we pre-wrote for a week and I’m sorry about the additional week of silence. But we’re back now and hopefully that won’t happen again for a while. Anyways, one of the things I’ve been the most behind on when it comes to writing is literally anything associated with ATEEZ. So, you can bet that my next couple of posts will probably be related to them. I do love them so much and I hope you do too, so hopefully these will be posts for everyone to enjoy. Of course, the most immediate order of business is that there have been two episodes of ‘Imitation’ that aired while I was gone and the finale is supposedly this week. So, I want to tackle this first. However, I do think by far the most important news was what made me cry on and off for the entirety of yesterday. MINGI IS BACK!!!!! I’m so happy, I can’t even describe these emotions. But my next post will probably be more about that and, of course, their new amazing Japanese single that absolutely brightened my summer. I am listening to ‘Dreamers’ as I type this. It’s such a beautiful song! But enough about my next post, let’s get into the most recent episodes of ‘Imitation’! SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

So because I used my usual opening paragraph to talk about ATEEZ, I’m going to do an additional one so that you guys still get my initial views on it before I go into the more in depth review. I will mostly be talking about general things for both of the episodes, but I will say that most of this review will be about episode eleven. Because, for the life of me, I still cannot fathom what the point of episode ten was. Episode ten seemed to be largely a showcase of some of the projects that a few of the characters have been working on. We finally got to see Riah and LeeHyun sing together. That was something at least. But the entire episode format was really odd and there was something very filler-ish about it. I thought that there would be a huge fight between some of the characters at this event considering many people who aren’t getting along right now were invited. But we really didn’t see too much of that, or too much of anything really. Oh and Ryok and Maha got back together. Their break up lasted all of two seconds, so I wasn’t particularly surprised. Episode eleven had some interesting moments, but for me it served as a reminder of what this show could have been and just wasn’t. Now that all that is out of the way-

The Good:

Eunjo and Annie- Coming out of the most recent episode, I noticed that there seemed to be more response to that than any other episode before it. I actually saw the most recent episode a little late, so I saw the response first and was a little confused. Until I watched the episode. A good chunk of this episode is spent on flashbacks developing the former and tragic relationship between Eunjo and Annie. This is the relationship that caused the untimely demise of Annie and Eunjo’s withdrawal from Shax. This episode simply didn’t have enough of them. And the universal consensus after this episode seemed to be that people would have much rather seen a show featuring these two characters as the leads instead of Maha and Ryok. And why wouldn’t you? In the little we saw of them, you could clearly see how deep their feelings for each other were. (Him singing to her was so cute!!) Something that seems to be barely focused on with the main romance despite how much time we get with Ryok and Maha. Not only that, but the show took steps to completely villainize companies and CEO’s who force idols, especially women, to make their way up in companies in disgusting, deplorable, and unforgivable ways. Though I still have major issues with the way this show presents realistic issues and then completely falls back to safety, I have to give them props for addressing this issue.

The Reaction- There is a moment in episode eleven where Maha plays Hyunji and Riah the last voice mail Annie had ever sent Eunjo, basically detailing everything she was put through by the last person who managed them. By the end of this, all the girls are absolutely sobbing. There is no touch ups or pretty crying here. This scene felt incredibly raw and real and you couldn’t help but cry with them.

The Acting- As always, I have to commend the actors for their work. Especially for the intense emotion this last episode demanded.

The Bad:

Realism- Here’s my negative thoughts on the Eunjo and Annie storyline. Firstly, this was the first episode that talked specifically about Annie and what she was going through. We needed that character development a long time ago. On top of that, instead of just devoting this episode to what Annie went through, they decided that they had to have several characters step up and do things in the name of Annie at the end of this episode. And they didn’t do this in the way that they decided to stand up to the men who did what they did to her. They decided to basically keep their group going in her honor and made a huge deal about a place they would perform at for her. As if that was a good tie up to everything that was revealed about her. The only person who seems to be doing anything about the CEOs is Ryok, who is doing it more for Eunjo than Annie. Even though it was Annie who died because she felt she was forced into a corner by these men. It felt like the show completely downplayed Annie’s struggles so that it wouldn’t feel too sad and then also decided that the women in this show couldn’t do anything to help get retribution for the memory of their friend. I guess we’ll all have to leave that up to the men. Because that makes this situation so much better. Every time this show has the opportunity to talk about something real and do something bold, it takes it for a little bit but then takes five steps back in what seems like fear. They need to commit to what they are trying to expose about the K-Pop industry.

Sparkling- Oh, look. They’re here again. It pains me to put them here every single time. Recently, we saw some of the backlash from Sparkling’s company deciding that they may not want Hyunoh as part of the group anymore. Hyunoh stared around an empty room while carrying his packed belongings, reminiscing on all the good times he apparently had with the other members of Sparkling. That was immediately odd. From what the show has been telling us, I definitely thought none of them had ever been on good terms with Hyunoh. I thought that he had been bitter ever since he didn’t make it into Shax, but a couple of random shots in this show prove me wrong I guess. And then despite everything that happened, all of the members of Sparkling, including Yujin, smilingly told him that they would make sure he stays in the team. There was no moment where they even had a talk about what Hyunoh had been doing to Yujin. Nothing. Just a weird scene that was so out of character that it felt like it was from an entirely different show. And that’s it. Nothing else from them. What?

Shax- Still doing nothing. I love these characters but we don’t get nearly enough of them.

La Rima- I put her here because I have honestly no idea where to put her. Her sudden change has made for a really pleasant character to watch. She has some of the most personality on the show. But she still doesn’t seem to fit in anywhere or do anything much. I want to see more purpose from this character, but considering there’s only supposed to be one more episode I don’t think we’re going to get much of that. And there’s also the fact that she’s almost entirely different from the way she was at the beginning of the show.

The Sub-Plot Romances- I desperately want to see more of LeeHyun and Riah but we never get anything from either of them. They are cute on screen together but there’s been no relationship development. And Yujin and Hyunji are even worse. Yujin started off as one of my favorite characters in this show, but now even his subplot romance isn’t getting screen time. Where did all the side characters and sub-plots go? It feels like all of them were just left hanging for no reason. Because it’s not like Ryok and Maha do anything.

The Main Romance- There is still no sense of urgency or deep connection in the main thing that is supposed to be driving this show. It barely feels like they have chemistry anymore. All of the plot lines that focus on their relationship mostly focus on some dramatic thing that happens to the relationship instead of actual development of the relationship itself or even the singular characters. Drama doesn’t necessarily mean development. And that’s a concept this show hasn’t seemed to grasp. There’s nothing wrong with drama but there should be development and bonding written in there too.

So, I’m not a hundred percent sure that the show is ending next week. Most Wikipedia related pages about this show says that it only has twelve episodes. But that could just be a guess? I haven’t heard any official announcements. And it’s possible that they want to gear up for a season two. Though, considering how many actual idols they hired for this season that are in featuring roles, I’m not a hundred percent sure how making a season two would work with their already busy schedules. If I were to make a guess, I would say that a season two isn’t necessarily something that anyone’s counting on. If the next episode is actually the last one, I have no hope for them tying up any plot points. I don’t see how they can at this point. But even if there were more episodes coming, the writing doesn’t give me the confidence to say that they would be able to wrap up any of the plot points anyways. I’ve said this a lot, but at least I got to see ATEEZ acting and Yunho’s adorable smile!

See you across the pond!

Sincerely, Annie

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