[ K ] Melancholia

I made a vow not too long ago to stay away from revenge K-dramas for a while and guess what I ended up with last week?

Melancholia, a series I had assumed to be romantic melodrama with a little comedy thrown in.

And what did I actually get? Another revenge series centered around a math wizard and his equally brilliant teacher.

But look at the poster, does it give you any hint that it will be about getting back at your enemies? About getting the apology you waited for years?

If you are a big fan of Lee Do-hyun and Im Soo-jung, you won’t care as long as you get to see them, and preferably together. Ok, I admit they do have quite a bit of chemistry but they have even more roadblocks, many, I suspect are their own doing.

Sure they have a relationship that’s rather unconventional but are they really innocent? Are they also partly to be blamed for the scandals?

I won’t go so far as to say that Jin Kyung, the veteran actress, stole the show, but in mathematical term, we can perhaps express it this way:

Jin Kyung < Lee Do-hyun+ Im Soo-jung

So it takes two goodies to topple one baddie.

Wait, that doesn’t make sense. But neither do all the math jibberish thrown at me throughout the series.

This much I’ll admit: using math problems as metaphors for life problems, quite clever, even if not original.

At some basic level, yes, we get the parallels. But to push it to higher level philosophy, I doubt so.

So we are really back to the same ‘successful’ formula.

On one side, greedy parents, ambitious social climbers, corrupt politicians, helpless and malleable kids who have no issue taking advantage of their ‘gift’ of being born right. On the other, geniuses born smart but otherwise underdogs.

Luckily, there are some good talking points in this cliché.

The question that kept me thinking for a few day was – if you are born smart, nobody will fault you or accuse you of having an unfair advantage. But if you are born rich and have access to other advantages a financially poorer person doesn’t, why can’t you enjoy the edge?

In real life, I know a lot of people who hide behind their connected relatives to get ahead. Very often, they won’t bother denying but occasionally, you will meet some who will tell you they are actually unfairly penalized because they will never be recognized on their own merit. So poor thing.

Don’t guess, in almost all Korean dramas, the bad guys always lose. It is as if a clause has been written into the constitution that happy ending is a must.