tvN’s Liar Game (kdrama) episode 4 – what went wrong?

Liar Game (kdrama)

One of the best things about this Liar Game adaptation is that it comes on twice a week. I watched episode 3 yesterday, so now it’s time for episode 4.

I don’t like that it has three minutes worth of recaps, but oh well. You win some and you lose some. Thankfully, they did bring on something new to keep me interested. Turns out that the director brought on Betrayer X into the mix, but he didn’t tell him any of the details about the game. Considering the fact that we don’t know all of the details either means that Betrayer X in the same boat as us.

I also mentioned another change that happened in the last episode. In the original, Da Jung’s character wasn’t eliminated yet. Seeing as she is here, I was curious to see how the show would address this fact and how it would proceed.

It doesn’t take long for Professor Ha to figure out what is going on. He recruits the help of the other members of his team who lost in the first round. Their job is to keep track of all of their remaining team members. Da Jung will keep track of the security cameras and watch everyone through there and Professor Ha will speak to the man everyone thinks is Professor X.

They don’t find anything out and there’s no more time to speculate on what to do, since the voting time is about to start. Professor Ha’s team decide that Jung Ah and Professor Ha will vote yes, while the other two vote no.

Now that there are only four people left, with the fake Betrayer X still there, I feel like the show is dropping the ball with the reveal here. Everything about Betrayer X has been so heavy handed that I can’t even describe it.

I haven’t hated on this show since it first came out, in fact, I’ve been actually enjoying it. Yes, it’s different, but I didn’t mind it all that much. But the Minority Game is one of my favourite games in the Liar Game universe. I mean, it introduced us to the awesomeness of Fukunaga! But I feel like everything has been so obvious here that I can’t get excited. Fukunaga’s Kdrama counterpart is Jung Ah, who also happens to be Betrayer X. For the most part, I feel like she’s been doing an okay job. But I think everything we’ve seen from her makes it obvious that she is just using Da Jung.

I mean, she rolls her eyes every time they talk and makes a disgusted face when she walks away. It’s not just from an acting standpoint on Jung Ah alone. Professor Ha made it obvious. The direction of the show made it obvious. The camera work made it obvious. The writing made it obvious. The Minority Game is one of my favourite games in the Liar Game universe, but there was no suspense here. And it isn’t because I already knew the outcome. I watched both the jdrama and manga so I know story already, but while watching and reading both, I was still excited to see what happens next.

Not so much here.


But I’m not going to compare the two shows anymore. It’s clear that tvN’s Liar Game is more focused on drama and the TV show. And thankfully, the TV show is what is saving things for me. Do Young already knows what is happening and who Betrayer X is, so he uses his position to basically troll Jung Ah. He asks her to say something to her mother, since she voted yes while the other two (who are not named Professor Ha) voted no. Professor Ha told Jung Ah that he was going to vote No, so we know that she’ll be the “winner” in the end.

So Jung Ah decides to reveal her true self to everyone, before Professor Ha reveals his vote, and explains that she was lying about everything. Her name isn’t Jung Ah, it’s Jamie. And she’s not a country bumpkin; she’s simply a spoiled city girl.

Anyways, Professor Ha then gets his answered revealed and it’s a tie! Not good for Jung Ah, because she just revealed all of her cards. The four remaining players have to vote again and Professor Ha ends up winning.

The Director calls up and tells Do Young to reveal that Jamie’s contract is valid, since she used a nickname for the signing of the contract. The Producer talks about integrity, but again makes me question what kind of producer is she. Having someone hated and winning something, even if it’s only a small prize, will generate buzz. People like seeing villains and sometimes root for them more than those who are edited as being good.

The Director said it best, “Why are you talking about legality and schemes when its entertainment?” It sounds heartless, but it’s true. At this point, any publicity is good publicity.

In the end, Jamie gets her money and gives some of it to Bulldog as well. The two of them join the other winners and head to the next round. Unfortunately for the losers, they get nothing and are now out of the Liar Game. As the winners walk by, the losers beg the players to ‘save’ them and give them some money. I don’t really understand the saving part. It’s not like anything happens when they lose, so they don’t need any saving.

Da Jung does get conflicted though, but Professor Ha grabs her hand and takes her away from them.

While on the way there, Da Jung tells Professor Ha that the game would be better if no one fought and everyone shared the money. That way, everyone can be happy and no one will be in debt. But what debt are they talking about? The only two that we know who were in debt was Da Jung and her teacher. The others, for all we know, are just contestants on a game show trying to win money.

If you’re eliminated, you simply have to return your prize winnings. Unless you spent it all, you wouldn’t be in debt.

Da Jung heads home and puts her money down in a random spot, while her loan shark is sitting there watching. He isn’t really a bad guy, he just wants to save her from the bad predicament that she’s in. So the episode ends with him stealing her money.

To be honest, this was my least favourite episode thus far and the main reason is that it didn’t feel like the Liar Game of the originals or even from the first three episodes, it felt like a regular kdrama with a reality show subplot.

Don’t believe me? Da Jung is the typical kdrama heroine who is good, but also looks like she’s on the verge of tears. Professor Ha is the arrogant guy who likes the heroine and wants to protect her, but is also a jerk. He also likes grabbing her arm and leading her off to different places. The loan shark is the understanding nice guy who also likes the heroine, but is too much of a wuss to confess. So he stays in the background and helps her, even if it means hurting himself in the process. Jamie is the other girl who hates the heroine for whatever reason. She’s usually a spoiled city girl who is easily gets annoyed and acts like she’s better than everyone.

I know this sounds like I’m bashing kdramas, but I don’t want to come off as that way. I have no problem with kdramas as a whole, but I do get bored when the formula is always the same. I thought Liar Game would be different with a kdrama spin to it, only the actual story seems to be growing less and less every week.

On one hand, this is a bit annoying because the games are what made me want to watch the show and the reality TV aspect of it too. But on the other hand, it is helping me see this as a different entity all together and not just as a remake of the Liar Game.

I dunno. I might just be feeling bummed because the Minority Game wasn’t all that great and the obvious nature of everything was just…… Hopefully things get better in the next episode.

And sorry for the ranting.


One thought on “tvN’s Liar Game (kdrama) episode 4 – what went wrong?

  1. Pingback: LIAR GAME. TVN. |

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