[review] DramaFever: The Fugitive Plan B…Flawed but enjoyable, with a brilliant lead actor.

A completely fair assessment of one writer’s view of The Fugitive: Plan B drama series, which began at the end of September and ended the second week of this past December.  As far as I’m concerned, she hit the nail right on the head.  And let me add that the entire Fugitive cast did a bang-up job bringing their characters to life—congrats to them all.

That’s all we’ve ever asked for when it comes to not only Rain and his projects, but all of the hard-working celebs out there—people being fair when judging their work.  Thanks, DramaFever. 🙂

Enjoy this most excellent read, fans.

— Stephe ^@@^

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DramaFever Blog 1/5/2011Claire Hellar, Correspondent

2010 Korean Drama Year in Review, Part Three / Runaway: Plan B

Flawed but enjoyable is how I would characterize this one. I was disappointed in Runaway as a vehicle for Rain’s return to dramas -to my eternal surprise, the superstar actually is a brilliant actor, and his past two dramas, A Love to Kill and Full House, have both become classics. He delivers a fantastic performance here in the most overtly comedic role he’s done, as a zany, slightly sleazy private detective, underscoring again his incredible range. His monkey, mobile face can also switch instantaneously from over-the-top comedy to bleak longing or emotion and back again, a quality possessed by only one other actor I’ve seen, Japanese actor Kamenashi Kazuya.

The drama, however, was too taken with itself as an action comedy, spending much of the first half straining against and avoiding the darker plot elements that pointed inevitably toward romantic thriller. The action sequences were impressive and Rain successfully pulled off the zany, over-the-top hijinks (ably supported by Lee Jung Jin), but the fundamental trauma which was underlay much of the drama – the execution of all of Jin Yi’s family over the course of her childhood and her subsequent quest for revenge – was too serious to gel with the comedy of the rest of the drama.

Ironically, the drama was almost self-defeating by a)setting up a genuinely horrific tragedy – take notes, Bad Guy! The death of a dog is not that bad – the execution of first your parents and grandparents and then your foster family/adopted parents is – and b) explicating it well, showing Jin Yi’s past in a concise, black-and-white flashback which skipped straight from the initial horror of her parents and grandparents death to the much later horror of her adoptive parents death, revealing the horrific repetition that she experienced. Most dramas exhaustively explicate the past tragedies of their protaganists and reiterate them to the viewers over and over – Runaway showed simply the manner of the deaths and moved on. Jin Yi’s trauma was vastly more compelling as a result, allowing the viewers to fill in the blanks about what that must have felt like and what drives her now.

Given such a darkly compelling story at the heart of the drama, it seemed like a waste then for the plot to spend so much time focusing on chase hijinks and the missing money. Had the drama actually been about a mysterious, highly capable revenge-seeker who teams up with a PI who has his own reasons for revenge, it would have been a much more interesting story. At the least, I would wish that the main storyline from the beginning had been Jin Yi, and to a lesser extent Ji Woo’s, quest for revenge, with the cat-and-mouse games and treasure hunting the secondary storyline to add action onto this the emotional heart. As it is, the action took center stage and so for its first half Runaway was a fun but slight drama. When it got down to the serious stuff and upped the emotional and physical stakes in the second half, it became much more compelling – a change I only wish had happened sooner.

By: Claire Hellar

Watch Runaway: Plan B online at DramaFever.

» Check out Part One and Part Two [of Claire’s drama year-end review] if you missed them.

~ by Cloud USA on January 6, 2011.

11 Responses to “[review] DramaFever: The Fugitive Plan B…Flawed but enjoyable, with a brilliant lead actor.”

  1. @stephe & Teri
    JUST A FLASDH BACK of Jiwoo most EXTREMLY ROFL .. LAUGHTHING OUT TTEARING !! u would not wanted to miss this again he bring the laughter smile all day enjoy everbody!!
    i myself still have a CUM and Rolling so hard ehre !!

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  2. i loved the drama. i didn’t have a problem following any of it. not even the first 10 episodes that pretty much focused on JiHoo’s silliness and his companions throughout different countries.
    yes, there was a dark side but i’m glad it wasn’t deeply focused on, after all Jinny had gone through the growing up stages of life which afforded her time to handle her life changes to a degree. yes, she wanted revenge, but she wanted judicial revenge, not harmful revenge. so playing into the darkness of her feelings would not have been who she really was in this drama. for me the beginning episodes showed a group driven by making money, but who functioned on limits as to how far they were willing to go. the first episodes allowed me to get to know each of these people, and a little of how they lived etc., until Jinny brings her world into contact with JiWoo’s world. and then the game begins to change. Jinny’s connection with JiWoo also serves as a turning point where JiWoo is able to face his own tramatic lost and because of their connection he get’s exposed to people who have removed all limits. i guess for some going one way (more emphasis on the darkness) it would have been more enjoyable. for me,i enjoyed this mix up. not to heavy and not to light. and it was quite interesting to see how the writer tied all those different elements together. however, i do think after the car accident with one of the cast the script was changed. had time permitted, i would have loved to have seen this drama extended to maybe 2 more episodes to wrap it up nicely. but taking the accident into consideration (which normally would have dictated a break in shooting), i say things ended up good.

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  3. I loved this drama because it is not the cookie cutter kind that are most dramas out there, this one had all elements of a good tale, adventure, comedy, drama, action, and a pretty good plot, so no, I was not disappointed in the least, I see more dramas are taking notice of these and copying it already, so yeah I’d say it was excellent!!

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  4. Great point of view and I think it is correct. This lady view the series from the other side of the coin. Lol! I thought the first part of the series was better and she the last but that’s ok. Eather way Rain did a magnificent job at the comedy, action and drama parts showing a range you don’t see often in the same actor. Rain can do it all and sometimes ib the same scene!!! He is that good!!! The flaw of the series lay on the story; to me the story needed like two episodes more to be completed. They took their sweet time in the first part and then rushed the last part in a bad way leaving to much to solve in that last episode. Anyway, I love Ji Woo, again, is a character that stays with you and I think that later on, Rain could go back to it for another great adventure.

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  5. to me i very love rain in this drama he surly nile his character all face yet to conedy and then become serious i very love from the beging start to ending i am talking about rain and the story line everbody took thei plot and that was shopwing who and what they reveal of thir abilty of acting
    anway, jiwoo give us such fantastic jiwoo betray of him he craking me alot when it come to his laughting and also when he angle trun drak i even slauted him in that darkside of him he did well good for what he acting are.
    it was amazing that he give us another yearround good drama and that waht i said rain truly intelgent acting i love this drama alot i mean ever peaces of his show and act u would never resist esp when he is so funny!! he give us the SUPERB dram ever!!

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  6. ahn nyun ga se yo Cloud. Thought you said they were comceptualizng a US or N/A versions of this show? what up? and dont say ‘cloud’ neither! 🙂 jal ga. 검은 비 평화 peace out.그들이 미국 comceptualizng이거나 이것의 N/A 버전이 보여준ㄴ다는 것을 당신이라고 생각하는 말했는가 (도망자)? 위로 무엇? 그리고 ‘를 말하지 말라; clouds’ 어느 쪽도 아니는 없다!

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  7. That was a pretty interesting review of the drama. I personally loved the drama from the first episode to the last episode. I was immediately hooked from the first episode and stayed that way until the end. I felt Rain acting was subperb. I also felt other fellow actors were awsome.

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  8. I enjoyed it from beging to end I cryed and laughed the whole show.

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  9. Well that was a pretty good take on this show. I love Rain in it but I too expected something else. None the less I just purchased the show and can’t wait for it to come. In the comfort of my home I can fastforward to the parts I like the best. All Rain All Day. Thanks for the report.

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