Not as good as the first episode, but not as bad as I thought it would be.
Professor Ha leaves prison and Da Jung is there waiting for him. She follows him and instead of going into a strip club or something to lose her, he pulls the same move the old ajumma did in the first episode. “I have to use the washroom, wait here.” And she waits.
Since it’s not a good place and it’s night (she waited for a long time) she starts getting picked up by two drunk guys who are up to no good. Soon enough, they start making trouble in her neighbourhood. One little touch and Da Jung got scared, so Professor Ha saves her and agrees to help her in the game.
The TV station is struggling with the controversy of the game, but Do Young is unfazed by it.
Just like in the original, Professor Ha scopes out the teacher’s home and begins his assault. There is a fake kissing scene where fluffy music plays and Da Jung’s heart starts pitter-patter. Nothing happened and yet it makes me nervous for what’s to come.
Professor Ha and Nam Da Jung keep the teacher under 24 hour surveillance. This is to make the teacher paranoid and guarded. People are easier to manipulate that way. And manipulation is what Professor Ha does as his scheme gets the money to Da Jung.
First round of the Liar Game goes to Da Jung!
Even though she won, she does feel conflicted, so she goes back to her teacher’s place. For those who are familiar with the manga and jdrama, this is the scene where Nao gives the money to the teacher and tells him to live honestly. She basically saved him from a huge debt that was dealt by losing the Liar Game.
Here, we don’t really have that problem. If you lose the Liar Game, then I’m not really sure what happens. Da Jung only wanted to win and was desperate because she had a growing debt to pay. So, welcome to another change in the kdrama version. When Da Jung confronts her teacher, a group of loan shark/gangsters raid his house (under the cameras of the Liar Game crew) and destroy the house and threaten to take a body part in compensation for the teacher not paying off his debt on time.
A body part as compensation is pretty heavy, so Da Jung agrees to pay off the debt so that all of his limbs remain intact.
Meanwhile, Do Young approaches Professor Ha and asks him to take a ride with him. While in the car, a proposition is laid out on the table. Do Young wants Professor Ha to join the game as a player and if he makes to the end, he’ll find out the truth about his mother’s death.
When Da Jung was on the bus with Professor Ha, I was wondering why no one was saying anything to her like, “Ah, are you Da Jung? That’s so cool! But you’re kind of stupid for trusting your teacher.” Or, “Did you actually wait 6 hours for the old lady? You didn’t right? I mean, no one can be that stupid right?”
So far, this feels very Korean. The main guy is arrogant while the main girl is naive and poor. He helps her and grabs her by the arm a lot. But that doesn’t mean that this is a romance. At least, I hope not.
In terms of the change to the story, with Da Jung not giving the money until we find out that the teacher is in debt and getting roughed up by gangsters, it’s a change that I didn’t like. Da Jung is someone who needs the money desperately. Her father is in a lot of debt and she has to pay it off. For her to then pay off the debt of her teacher isn’t something that I saw as righteous or stupidly good. It seemed more like something anyone would do in that situation.
I mean, the gangsters said that the teacher would have to pay off his debt with a body part. It’s not that hard to then say, “Hey, I don’t want any body parts to be flying about. I’ll pay off the debt.”
It’s weird though, why would gangsters come in like that when there’s a camera crew around and why would they tell Da Jung, “What are you going to do? Pay off his debt?” I’m not a gangster, but if I was one I wouldn’t want my face to be on camera. That would mean jail time, but these gangsters seem okay with that. I guess this means that Do Young planned this all from the start. I wonder why though?
I still like the reality show idea. Sure, it’s not like the original, but it’s an interesting spin to an already great story. Considering how popular reality shows and social media is, it’s a good addition to the show. People like watching people compete and win money. It’s the reason why Big Brother is so popular even though it is trashy TV. People also like to see people manipulated and work their magic on others. To the people being fooled, it clearly sucks. But to the viewers at home, they comment on the amazing game play of the player.
In Liar Game, it’s all about that which is why it is so popular. Changing things to a reality show is actually a clever idea. Not sure how it will work overall though. I know, I know. I just spent a paragraph praising it, but there are some issues.
In the fictional JVN reality show, it’s already making waves as being controversial. Contestants have to cheat each other in order to win money. Unlike say, Survivor or Amazing Race which is filmed in advanced, it looks like the Liar Game is in real time. If that’s the case and the show is getting a lot of buzz, then wouldn’t people be tweeting about what is happening to the contestants? Not only would the contestants know what others thought of them, but they’d also know where the others are doing and saying. We did get hints here and there of this, but not enough.
Overall: There are some problems, I’m not going to deny that. And I think this version will focus more on drama and forgo the comedy bits from the original. I don’t think it’s as bad as my fellow blogger, Princeytay, thinks it is. But I do agree with some of his sentiments about how the game doesn’t really make sense. So far, it seems like instead of being in debt due to the Liar Game, the contestants are just in debt with gangsters and loan sharks.
I do like some of the changes, especially when you think of the market that this is targeted towards. This is for a Korea market and tvN has made it feel Korean. This does make me nervous about romance, but I’m going to keep my fingers crossed and hope for the best.