JTBC drama “Chocolate” has concluded it’s run a pair of days ago; it had been led by Ha Ji Won, Yoon Kye Sang, and Jang Seung Jo. It received average ratings fluctuating between 3% and 4% during its runtime.
Since I’ve confirmed this drama, I wanted to speak about it but because of the bulk expressing what quantity they liked “Chocolate,” I wondered if it had been necessary for any respect but after giving it much thought and watching the drama, I made a decision to speak about it because I believe it’s a motivating case-study of how far some writers have evolved since the Hallyu wave gained momentum and the way a number of them are stuck at a standstill.
Note: as you’ll read from the title, this review is subjective and it’s about my opinion, not anyone else’s. Take it with a grain of salt and please know that I’m not trying to diss/hurt anyone but discuss the drama.
Before we start, I would like us to get on the identical page on what the word ‘disappointing’ means during this case, it doesn’t mean that “Chocolate” was hell for leather bad or an awful drama, it’s an emotional drama for several, but to me, the story fell in need of expectations, thus I’ve come to the conclusion that “Chocolate” was disappointing.
My biggest issue with “Chocolate” was the way the characters were structured and it’s the rationale why I couldn’t take “Chocolate” as seriously as many have, I just thought it absolutely was too convenient and cringy from time to time.
Writer Lee Kyoung Hee who wrote “Chocolate” is thought for doing cheesy overly emotional/dramatic scripts and during this case, it’s no different. It’s sad that JTBC gave the green light to such a drama considering how they’ve dominated 2019 with amazing scripts like “SKY Castle” and “Be Melodramatic.”
It’s also very concerning that Writer Lee Kyoung Hee has almost never changed the way she writes. She’s a veteran writer but I can hardly notice any changes to the way she constructs her scripts 10 years ago versus now. Times have changed and for Writer Lee Kyoung Hee to continue using the identical tropes over and yet again during a similar format is unhappy with all honesty, but not unlikely considering the very fact that she’s a veteran writer who’s been within the industry for therefore long, some writers just can’t break away from the mold they created for themselves.
She was chargeable for many hit kdramas I liked but as I grew older such styles of scripts are hardly as interesting or as innovative as they want to be. I feel if “Chocolate” was released in 2010, the ratings would’ve been double of what it got.
“Chocolate” in its format and structure is incredibly kind of like a K-drama that will probably be a good suited the first 2000s yet it absolutely was somehow released in 2019, very puzzling considering how people’s taste changed over time and the way little such kinds of scripts gain attention nowadays. The 3-4% ratings are literally good for a cable drama; I would’ve expected it to try to worse considering the script direction but I do know that individuals came for the actors and stayed for the heartwarming- cheesy at times- story.
The 2D characters
“Chocolate” has such a big amount of 2D characters, I don’t know where to start and what to handle first. they are doing grow and alter over time but, for a start, the characters and their surroundings are annoyingly repetitive.
I was especially disappointed with Ha Ji Won’s character especially else, she’s straight out of a Cinderella story and feels so foreign and distant from a sensible portrayal of the fashionable woman, she’s so kind and then perfect in her own way that she doesn’t add up as a sensible character. Almost princess-like and that I mean it within the least compelling way possible.
She’s hit with many tragedies growing up and that they play in a very way that’s very dramatic and repetitive. She’s treated so poorly by her surroundings yet rather than adapting, she stays identical, so effortlessly kind, it doesn’t make any sense. She’s the classic damsel in distress that needs saving by a hot and bothered male lead who treats her- oftentimes- like shit. what percentage more K-dramas are writers visiting pull out with the identical scenario over and over again? I’m shocked that in 2019, we still have such styles of scripts coming out….
I was so shocked when a well-liked actress of Ha Ji Won’s caliber chose this character; I don’t mind sensitive vulnerable characters as long because the circumstances that led to the formation of such a personality be, and during this case, they hardly do.
The second character I found to be absolutely annoying was her brother, Tae Hyeon, which felt sort of a vehicle designed to form us fall crazy with Cha Young and pity her, a classical move by writers but it’s exhausted the way that couldn’t have made less sense.
He treats her like his wallet; he’s stupid, clingy, and annoying. Despite such characteristics, he manages to seek out her when she’s in Europe and anywhere else, and for a few very odd reasons; she’s still forced to appear after him as if Europe is analogous in its structure to South Korea…. As someone who lives there, I used to be shaking my head the whole time…
He’s an absolute jerk and yet somehow for the convenience of the plot becomes all mushy and type when he finds out that his sister could probably find herself losing her sight. He stays 2D for the bulk of the drama runtime and when we’re at the top, he modifies to the current kind brother who cares about his sister.
The same goes for each main character in “Chocolate,” they’re all 2D and really kind of like characters Writer Lee Kyoung Hee wrote previously if you don’t believe me, take a glance at her works.
Applying the identical character description to all or any of your works is with all honesty lazy writing. How about writing eccentric characters that are different? How about experimenting a bit?
This is to not say that Lee Kang didn’t bother me but as a personality, I could explain the rationale he clad this fashion, there was a logical explanation for the way his character ended up. He’s still a jerk every now and then and disrespectful towards the feminine lead but understood.
When I was 18 years old, I fell head over heels for characters like Lee Kang, but as I grew older, the bad-rich-hot guy trope doesn’t do the trick on behalf of me anymore because it’s so overdone that’s it’s becoming annoying at this time. I don’t find the new rich guy who’s often rude hot anymore, he’s simply a jackass that’s disgraceful of respect.
I won’t dive deep into how kdramas tricks women into believing they will ‘change’ a person or how women are often these vulnerable weak and poor characters that always need saving, but I can tell you the way it’s been bothering me more as time goes by as a lady. We’re quite that and to imply that we always love those bad boys is additionally wrong.
Many women who have self-respect wouldn’t soak up or tolerate a personality like Lee Kang or Lee Jun in the real world. And for a drama like “Chocolate” which deals with real-life scenarios and therefore the topic of inescapable death, this scenario doesn’t fit the vibe the author goes for.
The script and therefore the use of the many classical tropes
Every single meeting and lots of the key moments in “Chocolate” has been already re-created a minimum of 300 times in other kdramas over the past 30 years. right down to the foremost crucial moments, the way Lee Kang is treated by his family, the way he treats Cha-Young or the way life treats Cha-Young throwing her from one place to the opposite during a dramatic fashion.
The thing I liked about “Chocolate” was the subject of hospice, that’s a stimulating concept that will keep the audience attached because there are such a lot of ways you’ll spin the script to your benefit to forming sure the audience sticks around. It’s an idea that has been explored previously in other kdramas but it’s not overly used, yet.
“Chocolate” did a good job integrating stories of individuals at the hospice and tying them to our characters that I would’ve loved for it to own been the most focus even more rather than the cliché scenes we get in between stories about struggling families who must coup with the approaching death of a lover.
Everything is simply too convenient with “Chocolate,” there’s little room for a surprise; I could tell how everything will pan out from episode 5.
The writer uses the cliché love triangle that was so uncalled for to assist both characters to realize their feelings. Lee Kang and Cha-Young spend almost the complete drama unaware or denying they need feelings for every other, such kind of scenario is anticipated from a teenage drama not a drama about people in their mid-thirties. The characters behave oftentimes like kids despite how old they give the impression of being, that’s to not say there isn’t an abundance of such people in real-world but the way it plays out is odd and uncalled for.
I want to talk about the pacing of this drama briefly; I found that occasionally we were hit with too many happenings all without delay, and from time to time, almost nothing happened. There are around 3-5 episodes that had many scenes that usually served no purpose and were repetitive.
“Chocolate” also didn’t must be 16 episodes long; the identical material could’ve been crammed into 12 episodes and it might have probably ended up serving the drama better justice.
Why it’s the foremost disappointing Ha Ji Won adds recent years
I am an enormous fan of Ha Ji Won, I’ve seen most of her kdramas and have seen her growth as an actress, and her choice here is that the reason I’m penning this article in the first place. I’m just very disappointed.
Ha Ji Won may need questionable drama choices but a minimum of they were always interesting and fun despite all their flaws. Following her hiatus for pretty much two years, I expected an epic comeback with a novel drama, she incorporates a loyal fanbase and lots of would watch any work she puts out, I feel she has the luxurious to be picky, despite that, we ended up with “Chocolate.”
Taking a glance at Ha Ji Won’s filmography I noticed quickly that “Chocolate” is out and away one in all her most boring and least compelling works in recent years, in my opinion, and what I’ve explained above is why I’ve reached this conclusion.
“Chocolate” is by no mean a terrible or awful drama but to me, it fell in need of expectations which were high, to mention the smallest amount, I trusted Ha Ji Won would pick a more interesting project, something that’s not so repetitive, something more interesting and unique.
“Chocolate” had many great scenes and tells heart-wrenching stories. All the actors were amazing, I’ve got nothing but nice things to mention about everyone’s performance, it had been easily what carried the drama despite its flaws.
Because of how well they embodied their characters, the drama came to life even when every now and then their dialogue was too repetitive or unrealistic, they did their best.
I think I would’ve liked “Chocolate” more if it had been 12 episodes long and if it had focused on the aspect of the hospice aside from the family feud and their thirst to regulate the place. The ideas that might start of a hospice are a dream for writers because there are lots you’ll be able to do with such a setting.
There were repeatedly I felt bored or forced myself to observe because everyone was saying all those nice things about “Chocolate,” I felt that I might’ve misjudged the drama so I kept returning to do and see what I’ve missed, I feel that the characters really threw me off and prevented me from immersing myself in “Chocolate,” if they were a small amount different or less stereotypical, I would’ve never written this text.
So these are my thoughts on “Chocolate,” what did you guys consider it? did you prefer it or not?
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