Watching Korean dramas is one of my guilty pleasures. The plot is almost always unrealistic and the acting usually over the top and most of the dramas are downright cheesy. Saying that, this combination makes K-dramas very watchable.
I recently finished watching Padam Padam on Netflix. If you have a Netflix subscription you would have noticed that they started loading more East Asian dramas/series. I also have a NowTV subscription but it does not have an Asian collection which is why I keep both subscriptions.
Padam Padam has 20 episodes, each about 50-60 minutes. The story revolves around Kang Chil (Jung Woo Sung), a man who wrongfully convicted of a crime and served a sentence of 16 years in prison. It is mainly a fantasy drama as throughout the story he will be given several chances to correct certain past decisions. He is constantly accompanied by his sidekick Gook Soo (Bum Kim) who claims to be his guardian angel. As the plot develops, he discovers more about the events that surrounded his past conviction and also learns how to love and care.
Even though some bits of the drama are cheesy, there is an element of seriousness that could lead one to reflect on the simple joys in life that many of us may take for granted. In the story, Kang Chil gets imprisoned at a very young age so he was not able to experience a lot of things like going to the zoo or eating, eating at fancy restaurants or even how to properly court a lady. By the time he was released from prison, he is already in his late thirties and is just about to experience these things.
There is enough complexity in the characters of both Kang Chil and his love interest Ji Na (Ji Min Han) to keep the viewers guessing. Kang Chil is unrefined, in your face, and mostly rough in demeanor is quite offputting at first, even annoying, but as the drama unfolds, there is a side to him that makes you hope with the character. Ji Na, on the other hand, is not your typical Korean lead actress character. She is aloof, almost snobbish but in a quiet manner. And as both characters develop a relationship, it starts to make sense why they were meant for each other.
For a Korean drama, Padam Padam managed to develop most of its characters quite well. And this goes to say for the minor characters as well which allows the viewers to appreciate different perspectives of the story as seen from the other supporting roles.
Kang Chil’s mum reminds me of a typical Asian mother — loud and overbearing but all with good intentions. Ji Na’s dad is also quite stereotypical — domineering but protective. These personalities add to the charm of the story as it makes the drama very relatable.
I enjoyed watching Padam Padam because it made me pensive at times — made me think about what I could be taking for granted in my life currently and that I should be more grateful for all the experiences I have had so far in my life.
Have you watched a worthwhile K-drama recently? Please share your thoughts here.