Saturday, March 21, 2015

[Drama Review] Pinocchio

Pinocchio is a 2014-2015 South Korean television series starring Lee Jong Suk and Park Shin Hye from November 12 to January 15. 

In the year 2000, Ki Ha Myung is leading a happy life with his parents and older brother Jae Myung, until his father Ki Ho Sang, the captain of the firefighting squad, dies in a factory explosion during a rescue attempt along with several of his men. When Ho Sang's body is initially missing, the media sensationalizes the case by scapegoating him. In a battle for ratings, cold and calculating MSC reporter Song Cha Ok alleges that Ho Sang survived the blast, and is currently in hiding because he was responsible for the deaths of his men. This causes the Ki family to become outcasts in their neighborhood and objects of national scorn. Ha Myung's mother attempts to kill herself and her younger son by jumping off a cliff, and Jae Myung blames their deaths on the media, particularly Cha Ok.

But Ha Myung is alive, having been rescued from the water by Choi Gong Pil, a kind elderly man who lives on Hyangri Island. Dong Pil, who may either have Alzheimer's disease or trauma-induced memory loss, believes that Ha Myung is his older son Choi Dal Po, simpleton who had died thirty years ago. Ha Myung, who has no one else in the world, embraces that deception and treats Gong Pil as his father. Gong Pil officially adopts Ha Myung, now named Dal Po, and places him in the family register as his eldest son. So five months later, when Gong Pil's younger son Choi Dal Pyung moves to the island with his daughter Choi In Ha, they are flabbergasted to be told by Gong Pil to address a mere boy as their 'older brother' and uncle, respectively. In Ha has 'Pinocchio syndrome,' which causes her to hiccup whenever she tells a lie. She idolizes her mother, and hates living on the island after her parents' divorce. The fledgling friendship between Dal Po and In Ha is dashed, however, when he learns that In Ha's mother is none other than Song Cha Ok.

Five years later, Dal Po and In Ha are high school seniors and classmates at their small-town high school in 2005. Dal Po, who is actually a genius, pretends to be dumb (like the real Dal Po) and gets all zeros in his test scores. With his last-place class standing and scruffy, country bumpkin hair, Dal Po is friendless at school while In Ha is the most popular girl. Dal Po secretly likes In Ha, and he is forced to join a televised quiz show at first to prevent Ahn Chan Soo who has a crush on In Ha from confessing to her on national TV, then later to protect her from losing a bet. At the TV studio, he runs into the show producer Hwang Gyo Dong, who had been a YGN reporter and one of Cha Ok's rivals, but changed careers after what happened to the Ki family. After seeing Dal Po on TV, and despite knowing that her Pinocchio syndrome limits her career choices, In Ha decides to become a journalist. 

In 2013, the Choi family has moved back to the city. While In Ha has spent the last three years after college studying to become a reporter after failing her job interviews 35 times, Dal Po works as a taxi driver. Cha Ok, who hasn't seen her daughter in a decade and is now MSC's nightly news anchor and section chief, fails In Ha at her final interview, saying a reporter with Pinocchio syndrome would be useless. Seeing how hurt In Ha is at her mother's rejection, Dal Po becomes a determined to help her achieve her dream so he announces that he wants to become a reporter as well. A month later, In Ha and Dal Po apply at YGN's "blind" audition for broadcast news reporters, but only DAl Po gets hired. When confronted by Gyo Dong, now chief of YGN's news desk, Dal Po confesses his real identity as well as his real motive for taking the job: he wants to find his older brother Jae Myung and clear their father's name. But what he doesn't know is that Jae Myung has taken revenge on the factory workers who lied about their father by killing two of them and framing the third one. Meanwhile, withMSC's credibility rating at an all-time low, Cha Ok hires In Ha, using her Pinocchio syndrome in a publicity stunt. Thus, Dal Po and In Ha becomes rookies at rival networks, and among their colleagues are Seo Beom Jo, who comes form a rich, sheltered chaebol background and has a connection to In Ha via a wrong cellphone number, and Yoon Yoo Rae, once an idol sasaeng fan who now uses those obsessive and determined traits in her new job. 



Lee Jong Suk | Park Shin Hye


Kim Young Kwang | Lee Yu Bi

Lee Jong Suk plays as Choi Dal Po and/or Ki Ha Myung. Ki Ha Myung decides to froget his past and start a new life after being rescued by Choi Gong Pil, as the latter's eldest son. He adopts the name Dal Po and hides his brilliant brain and past memories with the pretense of being a simple old-fashioned country bumpkin. His feelings for In Ha have always been conflicted with his hatred for her mother, but he finds that he cannot deny them as they grow older. After years of being a taxi driver, he decides to become a reporter with In Ha to prove to reporter Song Cha Ok his family's innocence and to show what a true reporter is. However, Dal Po soon realizes that a reporter must constantly struggle with the idea of justice and truth in a world where everyone wants to hide the facts. 

Park Shin Hye plays as Choi In Ha. While most people with Pinocchio syndrome choose to withdraw from the world and choose their words carefully, In Ha does the complete opposite. A straight-shooter, she believes in telling it like it is, no matter how painful or embarrassing it might be. Coupled with her stubborn nature and strong-willed personality, In Ha's nickname is the 'bluntly speaking witch.' After debating on her career path, she chooses to become a reporter because she believes that all news must be completely truthful and it might bring her closer to her mother Song Cha Ok. While she was initially baffled at her 'uncle' Dal Po's coldness and antisocial attitude, In Ha eventually discovers Dal Po's warm heart underneath the aloofness and his sharp mind beneath his pretenses and comes to embrace him as family. However, her growing feelings towards him grow undeniable with her hiccups.

Kim Young Kwang plays as Seo Beom Jo. As a young man born with a silver spoon in his mouth, he grew up never wanting to needing anything that wasn't within his grasp. Raised in such a comfortable and warm environment under a doting mother, he lived an unexciting but satisfied life until he started receiving texts form a girl name In Ha. The texts weren't meant  for him, but Beom Jo became intrigued as the texts steadily came over the years, piquing his interest to meet this girl. Abandoning his job as a fashion magazine editor, he decides to join this In Ha girl in becoming a reporter. While he had originally become a reporter to meet In Ha, Beom Jo quickly discovers the power of the media and the thrills of seeking out the truth. 

Lee Yu Bi plays as Yoon Yoo Rae, a past sasaeng fan who decides to become a reporter. 

Supporting Characters:

YGN Newsroom

Lee Pil Mo plays as Hwang Gyo Dong, the chief of the YGN news desk. Always stiff-faced and a workaholic, Gyo Dong works with the motto 'the truth can change the world.' He looks out for Dal Po and tries to discreetly help him in proving his family's innocence. 

Min Sung Wook plays as Jang Hyun Kyu.

Kang Shin Il plays as Lee Young Tak.

Jo Deok Hyun plays as Jo Won Gu.

Choo Soo Hyun plays as Im Jae Hwan.

MSC Newsroom

Jin Kyung plays as Song Cha Ok, In Ha's estranged mother. A cold, merciless woman who chose to abandon her family for her career. Not many people like her due to her cold attitude but no one can deny she is one of the best news anchors in the industry.

Kim Kwang Kyu plays as Kim Gong Joo, chief of the MSC news desk. A man who think she has the charisma and leadership of Song Cha Ok but in reality he turns timid around her. 

Kim Young Hoon plays as Lee Il Joo.

Im Byung Ki plays as Yeon Doo Young.

Yoon Seo Hyun plays as Lee Joo Ho.


Jung In Gi plays as Ki Ho Sang, Ha Myung's father.

Jang Young Nam plays as Ha Myung's mother.

Yoon Kyun Sang plays as Ki Jae Myung, Ha Myung's brother.

Shin Jae He plays young Ki Jae Myung.

Nam Da Reum plays as young Ha Myung/ Dal Po.

Byun Hee Bon plays as Choi Gong Pil.

Shin Jung Geun plays as Choi Dal Pyung, In Ha's father.

Noh Jung Ui plays as young In Ha. 

Kim Hae Sook plays as Park Rosa, a wealthy CEO who owns several malls and seemingly a doting mother who spoils her son Beom Jo. But Rosa hides a darker side, having conspired with Song Cha Ok to deliberately diver the news. 

Extended Cast:

Lee Joo Seung plays as Ahn Chan Soo, the high school student who have a crush on In Ha. Also grows up to be a police officer.

Park Soo Young plays as Jung Gi Bong.

Yoon Jin Young plays as a firefighter.

Yeom Dong Hyun plays as the factory supervisor.

Choi Jong Hoon plays as a factory worker.

Kim Young Joon plays as the neighborhood boy with Pinocchio syndrome.

Ahn Sun Young plays as the broadcast station writer.

Woo HYun plays as Dal Po's homeroom teacher.

Im Do Yoon plays as Go Ji Hee.

Lee Jung Soo plays as the lost hiker.

Hong Hyun Hee plays as Teacher Yoon.

Lee Seung Woo plays as Ahn Joon Ki, Chan Soo's eldest child. 

Cameo Appearances:

Im Sung Hoon as quiz show host in episode 1 and 2.

Jang Gwang as the high school principal in episode 2.

Jung Woong In as Min Joon Gook in episode 2.

Jang Hang Joon as the director in episode 2.

Kim Min Jung as Dal Po;s blind date prospect (photo) in episode 3.

Lee Bo Young as Hye Sung Car Navigation (voice) in episode 3.

Kim Heechul as Yoo Rae's cellphone wallpaper (photo) in episode 8. 

Bae Suzy as Beom Jo's blind date prospect (photo) in episode 12.

Yoon Sang Hyun as Cha Gwan Woo, Jae Myung's public defender in episode 12.

Lee Joon as Fama, idol singer investigated for propofol use in episode 19.

Kangnam as Cha Ok's student in episode 20. 


From the moment of news release about this drama and the cast, I wanted to watch this drama form the very start. Why? Because of the cast, I mean Lee Jong Suk and Park Shin Hye working together is was something I wanted to see, because I love them as actor/actress. The drama itself at the beginning was not sort of confusing but it sets the mood to the rest of the story. Through out the drama more exactly since they become reporters, they relationship and story line of her mother and Lee Jong Suk keeps on going on forever to the point where at one point I was like it need to stop because I feel like it was too long.

Rate: 9.5/10

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