더블유 (W – Two Worlds Ep.1)

Kang Chul is an Olympic gold medalist for target shooting but the pistol that once gave him glory is the same weapon that killed his entire family. The society that used to look at him with great admiration now looks at him with disgust, as he gets imprisoned for parricide, and his life hits rock bottom. It’s a dark and intense set-up for our strong-willed manhwa hero which suddenly, smoothly transitions to a bright world where we meet “real life” quirky heroine Oh Yeon Joo, a resident at Myungsei University Medical Center. She doesn’t look like she has Yoo Hye Jung’s IQ level (Park Shin Hye’s character in Doctors), but she has an advantage over the other residents since their hospital superior, aka Crazy Dog, is a huge fan of her father’s W — a famous manhwa about the young man who was falsely accused of being a psychopath but has turned his life around and became a multimillionaire in search of his family’s killer.

To fulfill her dream of opening up a chest during a surgery, Yeon Joo rushes to her father’s work place to get Crazy Dog’s request for W spoilers. Her father is nowhere to be found but she discovers the spoiler that is completely different from her expectation: the hero, Kang Chul, lying in a pool of blood. DEAD. And on her dad’s messy desk lies an eerie picture of Saturn Devouring his Son, with her father’s own handwriting at the back of it, saying,  “I’d rather slaughter than be slaughtered.”

According to Wikipedia, “Various interpretations of the meaning of the picture have been offered: the conflict between youth and old age, time as the devourer of all things, the wrath of God and an allegory of the situation in Spain, where the fatherland consumed its own children in wars and revolution.” In this case, it seems that Oh Sung Moo is determined to kill his own brainchild, Kang Chul.

Things get stranger and more complicated as Oh Yeon Joo gets suck into the world of manhwa and instinctively saves a dying patient. Upon her return to the real world, the manhwa just suddenly writes its own story (her story!) by itself. The chapter that is supposed to end suddenly changes into “to be continued”.

 

If that introduction isn’t intriguing enough, then I don’t know what is. It’s only the first episode and I’m officially hooked!

Prior to watching the premiere, I checked the comments and I always come across one that says, ” I had goosebumps.” I thought it was just an exaggeration but it’s amazing that before I reached the end of the first episode, in that moment of Lee Jong Suk’s very little eyebrow movement, I literally had goosebumps too.

 

I felt like the drama sucked me in, gave me genuine supernatural thrills as dumbfounded as Oh Yeon Joo was when she found out that the actual man she just saved is the main character of her father’s creative work.

I’m an avid manga reader and I can’t count the number of times I’ve imagined my favorite hero stepping right out of 2D to sweep me off my feet but I have never wished to enter the manga since most of my favorites are set in a violent world (Rurouni Kenshin, Shingeki no Kyojin, Tokyo Ghoul,etc.), I’d die before I even realize that I have come to an alternate dimension. Lucky for Oh Yeon Joo, Kang Chul’s world is just a fabricated version of Seoul.

Lee Jong Suk  and Han Hyo Joo seems to have good chemistry and I look forward to their love story as much as I look forward to the unraveling of the mystery especially the ones that surround the characters Oh Sung Mo ( Yeon Joo’s father, the manhwa artist) and Han Chul Ho ( the prosecutor who sent Kang Chul to prison). The rest of the supporting casts are familiar and it’s great to see them together in one show. Lee Si Un who played Nam Goong Min’s doormat secretary in Remember: War of the Son is now geeky drawing assistant Soo Bong; Jeong Eu Gene who used to wear boyish clothes and do martial arts in Moorim School is looking all glamorous as Yoon So Hee, Lee Tae Hwan, the tough guy cutie who had a crush on  Hong Nan in Come Back Ahjussi, and Kang Ki Young, one half of the funny duo in Let’s Fight Ghost.

Parallel universe in fiction has been used in various forms of media so it’s easy to compare this show to something you have read or watched before; but W-Two Worlds has the strength of both good writing and directing that it comes off as fresh and exciting even with a theme that has been around for a long time. With eye candy lead actors, decent performances, beautiful cinematography, and a gripping background score, W shows a stylish collision of two worlds and a meaty story line with just the right balance of cute and creepy.

Lee Jong Suk continues his streak of good series choices that on my list of Top 20 all time drama faves, he starred in 3 of them (Pinocchio, I Can Hear your Voice, School 2013). Now make that 4!

 

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