*****THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS*****
W – Two Worlds is a South Korean drama that was released and aired in 2016. The drama stars Lee Jong Suk and Han Hyo Joo. Within the world of the drama, there exists another world, a world created by comic artist, Oh Sung Moo. This drama takes the concept of fiction and meta-fiction and plays with the bounds that exist in those genres.
I won't go into too many details about the storyline because you guys have already seen it and if you haven't I don't know what you are doing here. If you choose to continue, you have been warned, there are spoilers within the context of this review.
First and foremost, the storyline for this drama rocks. The concept of moving between the real world and the fictional world is just brilliant and probably something each and everyone of us has wanted to write a story about at one point or another. I could talk forever about the creative concept and story writing that went into this series but I won't. This series caught my attention just by the synopsis alone and kept me hooked for the most part throughout. There were certain rules that applied to the comic book world that seemed very plausible and made sense which is another factor for me liking this drama. World building is crucial when it comes to making up a story and every little detail counts. If you screw up anywhere, the audience will notice and your story won't be as effective and intriguing.
If any of you have heard of the allegory of the cave, this series is a direct reference to that allegory. The allegory goes as follows: a man sits in a cave staring at the wall of the cave. There is light being illuminated onto the cave wall. The light is coming from a fire that is behind the man. However, outside of that cave there is sunlight which is the original source of light. The idea is that there is the original concept which would be our world we currently live in now. Then there is the imitation of the concept which is the fictional world of the drama series we are watching called W – Two Worlds. Finally, the light on the wall illuminated by the fire is the imitation of the imitation of the concept. That is in essence, the fictional world within the fictional world of the drama, or the world that Kang Chul lives in. Sorry for the boring lesson on critical theory.
What does this all mean? It means that the writers took an idea, or a concept and developed it into a story which is what we consume everyday. The television shows we watch, the music we listen to, the stories we tell are all imitation of the concept of real life because they are reproductions of what has happened or what could happen in real life. The writers went a step further and developed a story within a story. This is called meta-fiction and is used in stories all the time; sometimes well-produced, other times not so well-produced. The story exists as an idea of an idea. I know it's confusing, this is what I majored in in college.
I find it so intriguing however, that the writers were able to take this idea of the allegory of the cave and reproduce it so well. Were they thinking of this allegory when they were writing the story of W? Probably not, but either way, it was well thought out. Along with the concept of the story, the chemistry that existed between the characters was real.
Kang Chul is a fictional character inside a fictional world inside a fictional world. He doesn't even come close to being real, but the interaction reproduced between Yeon Joo (Han Hyo Joo) and Kang Chul (Lee Jong Suk) was incredibly well done. While this drama didn't make me cry out loud as many other dramas have done, I felt myself caught in the moment.
Honestly, this drama series took several turns I wasn't expecting. They could have easily given the killer a face and had him killed off, but the way they went about the story was incredible, not to mention the way the killer came back into the story when the audience and viewers thought he was gone for sure. This drama came with a theme as well and that is that love doesn't have any bounds. Many k-dramas share this theme such as My Love From the Star, The Legend of the Blue Sea, and many more. I think it's a good theme to continue stressing in the Korean society. A lot of people fear what their parents may think, but these dramas let those people know that it's okay to love someone that is different from you. I don't think the shows are going as far as to say it's okay to date an alien, a mermaid, or a cartoon character, but the idea is great.
I loved this drama. It's definitely not my favorite ever, but it has a special place in my heart. I love that dramas, while sticking to their roots, are venturing away from the typical gender benders, love triangles and rich/poor stereotypes. I sincerely hope dramas get more and more complex similar to this series, Descendants of the Sun, The K2, and Goblin. My next drama review should be The Legend of the Blue Sea so look forward to it.
Kdramas are an important part of K culture, and therefore I use this section of my website to give my overview and review of certain Kdramas I have watched. I am really bad at keeping this segment up to date, but I try.