tvN’s Liar Game (kdrama) episode 6

It’s time for Liar Game episode 6’s recap! This was meant to come out the other day, but life got in the way so it’s a bit late. Sorry about that.

liar game

I really wish they’d stop with the two-three minutes of recap. If it was for the first episode, then that’s understandable. But for the one that comes the day after seems a bit excessive.

This is simply a minor complaint though. So in the original, Nao competed in the reinstated game in order to make her way back into the Liar Game and help Akiyama out in the next round and save everyone in the process. Akiyama ends up showing up, in an awesome way through a window, and helping her win the game.

With that in mind, let’s see how the kdrama version did.

Like the original, Professor Ha, who I really should be calling Woo Jin but I won’t, ends up disguising himself as a member of the TV crew and sneaks into the game to help Da Jung. After hearing about the card game trick, he gives Da Jung a sure fire way to win the game. It works and Da Jung gets half of Jamie’s stars as her prize. She’s still losing, but at least now she’ll have stars in her bank.

Professor Ha tells her that now that she has some points, her way to win is now open, but as Do Young announces the results for the 8th round. Da Jung questions him about the game and says, “Why does anyone have to be laid off? Why can’t we just change the rules?”

Do Young calmly explains that this is a game that she signed up for and agreed too, so the rules won’t change. Considering that this is a game show and at this point, only Da Jung is suffering from debt (that we know of), I find it weird why she wants everyone to win. No one would be going into debt or suffer from losing a game show. Even though I like the game show idea, I find Da Jung to be incredibly naive here. This isn’t a life or death game, so it doesn’t make sense why she wants to save everyone and have everyone win.

Anyways, back to the game. Da Jung goes to everyone and asks for nine stars for her remaining 150k. Due to this, she comes into the lead with 75 stars, while everyone else is tied at 21 stars. Professor Ha then shows up, once everyone starts to question how Da Jung will pay the money that she promised. He tells them that there will be an action for her stars. Otherwise, they’ll end up losing and have to leave the Liar Game.

Plus, viewers like watching people lose. Also, since this is a TV show, when people find out that people are sharing the money and not trying anymore, then ratings will go down. In that sense, Do Young will try everything in his power to make sure that people double cross Da Jung to increase viewers. Since this is a game show, people will think for themselves and want to win and not share. And when they don’t, it makes for great TV.

I’ve never watched Bachelor Pad and I don’t watch the Bachelor, but this moment made for great TV.

Even in dramas, no one likes shows with only happy moments. We need some angst or conflict in order to make things interesting, so I don’t get why Da Jung is questioning the game and Do Young by asking why everyone can’t just win. It kind of makes me dislike Da Jung, because this goes beyond being gullible and naive. And it’s not her fault. I mentioned before that the show is trying to make Da Jung like Nao by wanting to save everyone, but considering how the show changed things it’s harder for them to do this while making sense to the show that they’ve created.

Enough of that.

With Professor Ha showing up and Da Jung having the most stars, things just got a lot more exciting for the Liar Game, but the Director is having none of it and keeps calling the Producer. The producer is also wondering why Do Young is allowing everything to happen, so she calls for a halt in taping for a moment while she speaks to him. Bad timing for her to do this, it was just getting interesting.

When she questions him, Do Young just says “Isn’t this what the Director wanted? Entertainment? Excitement? Ratings?” He also says that all of the pieces have come into their roles and now all they have to do is capture it. The producer still isn’t sure about this, but Do Young does some sweet talking and she jumps back on board.

The other players are still cautious about this auction. One of them says that they shouldn’t buy anything, but Jamie says that someone might get one star and everyone else loses. Professor Ha also ups the tension by mentioning how out of the thirteen eliminated people from the last round, only five returned the original money. Another five used bank loans and/or loan sharks to repay the money and remaining three are missing. Without a trace, including Lee Myun Jin who was the last woman eliminated in the Minority Game. Professor Ha tells them that she ran away and even left her dog behind. The lawyer also says that he met with her after the game, because she already spent half of her prize winnings and wanted to see if she could sue the station. He told her that she couldn’t and would lose in court. Since then, he’s lost all contact with her.

The players now realize how important the stars are, but Professor Ha refuses to let anyone have any stars unless they pay the big bucks for it. There’s a montage of characters coming forward and making the exchange.

Liar Game - Nam Da Jung & Professor Ha Woo Jin

In the end, everyone is saved except Director Jang. This is sad, because he’s been taking care of his sick mother and lost his job in the process. He’s desperate for money to pay off the hospital fees and his growing debt. He throws a bit of a hissy fit and asks Da Jung why she eliminated him. First, she thanks him for talking to her when no one else did. She then tells him that with her winnings she’ll pay off his debts. According to her, what he needs right now isn’t the prize money but time with his family.

Since Director Jang already spent the 400k from the last game and used his 300k in this round to buy stars from Nam Da Jung. This means his debt to the show is 700k. Da Jung has agreed to pay that off. She also agrees to give everyone back 250k, since she feels like the money isn’t really hers.

Da Jung then says she’ll participate in the next round of the Liar Game, because she believes that the game isn’t about tricking people and lying to get ahead. It’s a test to see if people can really trust each other. Director Jang also gives a speech about how bad it was to betray such a kind hearted person like Da Jung.

His words move everyone to tears. Even Do Young has the sniffles from all of the emotion that is coming through. So he asks Da Jung what her plans are for the future. She doesn’t know, so he asks Professor Ha what would be better for Da Jung, working in a charity or running a non-profit organization. The question isn’t an innocent one though, because Professor Ha’s mother worked for a charity/non-profit organization (orphanage) and died, so it’s not a surprised that Woo Jin glares at him before walking away.

Troll Do Young strikes again.

The round is over so everyone goes back to their lives before the next game comes into play. At the jvN station the Producer goes to Do Young and tells him that she believed that his intentions were pure when he came up with this game, but she’s suspicious that there’s another reason behind it.

Liar Game - Do Young

While she’s speaking, Do Young’s facial expressions were kind of funny. For example, when she said that his intentions were pure he looked like, “You think I’m a good guy? Awesome. Thanks for that.” All the while, he’s silently laughing to himself about her poor judge of character. She questions him further, but he just says that it seems like there’s a Liar Game now happening between the two of them, along with some other things, before walking away smiling.

It’s funny how much I love the addition of Do Young when he’s completely new character created for this version of Liar Game. It’s just a shame that while he’s written in a great and entertaining way, the others are still lacking. I’m still indifferent towards Professor Ha and don’t really like Da Jung all that much.

Speaking of Professor Ha and Da Jung, they go visit his mother’s grave and then the orphanage that she used to help out with. He then tells Da Jung that he’ll eventually throw her away if she doesn’t win, since she’s a heavy burden for him. Just like his mom.

We’re back at the station where Professor Ha is being interviewed by Do Young about the controversy about his entry in the last game. Woo Jin calls for a time out and while his mics is off, he questions Do Young about the L Company and whether all of the participants, along with Do Young, are connected to it. We don’t hear an answer to it, because Professor Ha changes the question and Do Young continues his trolling by asking him “Is it wrong to trust another person?”

Liar Game - Do Young & Professor Ha Woo Jin

I seriously love this character!

Meanwhile, the producer is forced to talk to a disgruntle caller who is threatening the show because they are tormenting Da Jung. Surprise! It’s Da Jung’s father. Instead of trying to help Da Jung by being there for her, he resorts to tactics like this. He doesn’t like how the show is causing people to be harsh to a kind, sweet girl like her, when he ran away and made Da Jung inherit his debt.

He cries about what’s happening to her, but I don’t really feel all that sympathetic to his plight.

Overall: I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this already, but I really love Do Young. I think he provides a little excitement to an otherwise average show. I don’t blame the actors or the characters so much, but the writers for placing themselves in a corner. Hopefully they’re able to understand their characters more, especially Da Jung, and find some sort of balance with her.

I was able to forgive this when the show first started, but now that more of Nao’s characteristics are being introduced to Da Jung, it’s starting to show more and more why the changes don’t work here. I still like the TV show idea, but Da Jung’s character  is a change that’s put the writers into a bit of a pickle.

Professor Ha does come off as smart and calculating, which is great, but he also seems to be a bit of a jerk which kills whatever charm he may have had. His words to Da Jung were uncalled for and I felt angry at him on her behalf. I don’t even know why she apologized when she had nothing to be sorry about. You could say that he’s providing her with some tough love, but he did the same with his mother and look at what happened to her….

Even though I’m still finding the characters to be lacking and the game in this round to be a bit meh, I still find myself enjoying the show. I think Nao’s case for saving the guy in the original was a lot more heartfelt though, unlike here. The drama behind jvN and Do Young is still entertaining though, so I’m curious to see how that all turns out.


5 thoughts on “tvN’s Liar Game (kdrama) episode 6

  1. Pingback: LIAR GAME. TVN. | IKurate

  2. Steven

    Hello there.

    it’s refreshing to see a review of the Korean Liar Game episodes that’s also critical of its flaws. I think that the mystery surrounding Kang Do-young and L Company become the strength of this adaptation. Kang Do-young manners and words are very good in conveying a charismatic, smart man outside but with darker motivations inside. I’m also curious about how the producer and the reporter will do when they keep digging abut his motive and past connections. Woo-jin line about “I’m her dog’ is very good, I wish that Matsuda Shota said it first. The backstory of Director Jang is convincing enough that viewers (in the show world) can understand why he’s the one who was saved. And amazingly, the manner in which Da-jung saves him is closer to the manga than the Jdrama.

    Those compliments aside, I think this episode also highlights the weaknesses the Kdrama has compared to the Jdrama. The stakes feel flat to me, because I still can’t see why do you fear that much about not being able to pay the debt. Even though 3 people are missing, I can only assume that they ran away. In the Jdrama, they could have been kidnapped and sold to pay their debts (because of mafia, not realistic but makes handwaving much easier). Is it more realistic, and fear of those thugs in ep 2 is justified? In my country there are laws that prohibit debt collectors to threaten their debtor physically, and the cameras would make it very easy to paint the debtor as the victim and prosecute those guys.
    A bit of a rant from ep 3: if the debt is very heavy, why in the hell you showed interviews on those guys who lost in round 1, still cozy on their homes, no tears, no pleading? It sure looks like they’re okay with 250k (or 125k?) dollars debt. The Kdrama doesn’t make it easier to be sympathetic to the losers of round 2 either. There’s no mention that the studio or the contract explained that the money they got was still the studio’s money. If there was one, it means they spent the money knowing the consequences. If not, there’s still a chance to win in front of a sympathetic judge/jury. Does the studio really want to risk their reputation (and their stock prices) by mounting legal battle for an already controversial show?

    I also agree with your opinion about Woo-jin and Da-jung. The writing on their characterizations feels weaker compared to the Jdrama, which I like even better than the manga. SPOILER ALERT (for those who haven’t see the Jdrama). In the Jdrama, Akiyama helped her to make her out of this game. He saw that Nao wanted to help him, that she would also want to help others. He didn’t want to get Nao involved any further. Yet Nao defied him. She thought for herself, handled the buying by herself in the end, and she didn’t let Akiyama know her choice. She helped one escape, in other words, dooming herself, in spite of what Akiyama wanted. In the manga and Kdrama, the choice Nao/Da-jung made feels flat, because until her choice was revealed, she relied to Woo-jin/Akiyama all the time, never taking the initiatives by herself. The impact lessened A LOT. SPOILER ENDS.
    Woo-jin here takes the cake: like you said, he’s too mean to Da-jung. By the manga we can assume that Akiyama thought she still had more uses. Looking at the Kdrama you wonder why he helped her even in the round 2. Why would you help someone you view as a very heavy burden, to stay in a game you know very well yourself that she alone would fail miserably?

    Sorry if I rant too much about this part of Liar Game. I like this arc on Jdrama very much, because Nao got more developed in the end. But the comparison ends here, because what followed is the Jdrama’s weakest arc IMO, and from the previews it looks like the Kdrama will stray from the template. Here’s hoping that Kdrama find its own foothold using its mystery and complex connections, and makes a more worthy adaptation of Liar Game in a whole than the first 6 episodes.

    Oh, and thanks a lot for reviewing this! 😀

    1. mochirochi Post author

      Thank you for leaving such a detailed comment!

      I think that’s the biggest issue that Liar Game needs to address. After round two, the losing members kept screaming, “Save Me! Save Us!” and it didn’t really make sense because all they did was lose a reality game show. I think the show is trying to help us understand that the situation is a lot worse though. Some of the losers are struggling with debt or spent their money on other things and can’t pay it back. The thing is, all of this is slowly being revealed when it should have been shown to us right when Da Jung got her contract. We should have seen something that said that the prize money belongs to the company and if you don’t pay it back then something happens.

      Woo Jin and Da Jung are a bit annoying in this, but for a kdrama loving audience their interactions make a lot of sense. Guys who are cold but protective are very popular, so I can understand why he’s written in such a way. It does feel a bit mean though, but now that we know about his mother and how he acted the same with her it does make a bit more sense. She is a consequence, or a causality if you will, of his revenge tactics so I can understand why he finds her to be a burden. Seeing the face of someone whose life was ruined because of you is a heavy thing to deal with. Plus, she said that it would be hard to forgive the person who ruined her life so maybe he’s being cold so that she’ll hate him like she’s suppose to and not care for him when she finds out the truth? I dunno. This is simply speculation on my part.

      I’m sure the show will find its own footing soon enough. They have Do Young and the drama surrounding the L Company/jvn too, which has ended up being one of the more satisfying things about the show.

  3. Steven

    Ah.. Now that you mention it, I think I can see it a bit clearer. If what you speculate comes true it will make a good point in my book. Tough love, as you said, is very good if executed well. I only hope that at least in story Da-jung will understand or Woo-jin will explain it so it makes sense.

    Guess my judgment is clouded because the Jdrama is one of my most favorite serial, rated season 1 excellent until the last arc kinda dragged it down a bit.. Changing theme about “Nao trying to save everyone with Akiyama’s help” into “Woo-jin trying to solve mystery of his mother’s death and save Da-jung along the way” is almost good, just.. make it bearable and not out of logic. Well, we shall see about that 😛

    Anyway, thanks for your response!


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