Da Jung is still feeling conflicted (not really) about the reveal behind Woo Jin and the L Company. Should she trust him now that she knows he’s the one who destroyed her father’s life, or should she betray him for what he did? Spoiler Alert, she trusts him. In fact, at no point in the show does she really blame him for anything.
Even during the game, when Woo Jin is forced to shoot her because Do Young threatened him to, she shoots him. Not because she’s angry about what he did to her family, but because he shot her first. But then she says, “He probably has a reason for shooting me,” and turns her gun on Do Young.
While the game is going on, Do Young tells everyone about his past with Woo Jin and Da Jung. Turns out all of them knew each other as kids. I hope something really horrible happened to explain why Do Young is doing all this.
Sadly, it’s kind of a lame reason.
Woo Jin’s mother needed money for the orphanage and even though the philanthropist that’s helping her seems shady, she still agrees to give him Do Young. Do Young overhears this and also hears that the orphanage will be getting a lot of money because of the adoption. He isn’t happy. He’s pretty much being sold off in order to save Woo Jin’s mother, the same mother who all the kids call mom.
The philanthropist sells Do Young to the Walden Two group and his life as a human experiment begins. His anger towards Woo Jin’s mother is understandable. So when he comes back to Korea he seeks out the philanthropist and gets him to sweet talk Woo Jin’s mother. Long story short, Woo Jin’s mother dies because Do Young pushed the philanthropist to do his bidding.
By this, his revenge should be over but it seems like he wants to also ruin the lives of Woo Jin and Da Jung too. Because they were there and knew what was going on? Because they were his friends?
Dal Goo saves Da Jung’s father, who I’ve grown to dislike quite a bit. He runs away when the debt collectors come leaving Da Jung to shoulder all of the hardships caused by him. That’s pretty bad. I can’t sympathize with a father who would let his daughter inherit his debt like that. This isn’t anything new though. When Da Jung was younger, he place her in the orphanage that Woo Jin’s mother kept. His reason for doing this was because his wife was sick and he needed to get money in order to save her. Since he couldn’t support Da Jung while doing this, he brought her to the orphanage hoping that someone would adopt her and she’d have a good life.
In the end, he comes back before anything happens but still. I didn’t like this very much.
Back the present, it’s the final shooting round. Whoever wins this wins the entire thing. Woo Jin and Da Jung both aim for Do Young and Do Young aims for Woo Jin. Do Young placed a live bullet in Da Jung’s podium, so when she shoots her last shot it isn’t a blank. It’s the real deal.
I guess Do Young wanted to die by Da Jung’s hands, kind of like how he ‘died’ by Woo Jin’s mother’s hands. As he awaits the final bullet to end his sorry existence, Woo Jin jumps in just at the nick of time to save him.
Woo Jin recovers at the hospital, from an arm wound, and sees Sung Joon who isn’t dead. Do Young is currently being held on suspicion for various crimes, but won’t talk to the police unless Woo Jin speaks to him first.
In the end, the 10million prize money didn’t happen but everyone got 500k instead. Bulldog has a boxing gym, the former actor is still acting, and Dal Goo and Jamie hooked up. Don’t know how I feel about that, because I feel like she could do so better than him. As for Da Jung, her life is back to normal. People still recognize her and her father is back and looks happy. He should be back and happy too, because there’s no more debt. He should be thanking Da Jung every single day for saving his family. He should also thank Do Young for making his daughter play the game in the first place.
Speaking of Do Young, he’s charged, but goes missing during an accident. He says that the Liar Game show is over, but the real game is beginning. I guess this would be the underground version of the Liar Game. Does this mean we’ll be getting a season two? If we do, I know one person who is ready to go.
I have no idea what the stylist was thinking with this, but it’s funny.
I’m kind of at a loss for words on how to describe this episode or this series in general. There are some good points here and I loved the addition of Do Young. He’s a pretty intriguing character that made you want to see him more, even when you knew that he was up to no good. I truly believe that Shin Sung Rok stole every scene that he was in and made me really like Do Young. At least at first, the last couple of episodes kind of left my feelings up in the air, but he was still the best thing about this show.
I also want to reiterate that I did like the reality show idea. I know there were some grumbles out there, but as someone who is a huge fan of the manga and loved the jdrama, I welcomed the change with open arms. I know this sounds weird since this deviates from the original, but as long as the kdrama had an interesting enough story then I didn’t really care. The show would have to work a bit more in order to make sense of it all, but if they did a bang up job then I would be happy.
Sadly, it didn’t work out that way.
Even though I liked the idea, I feel like the reality show concept was what stunted Liar Game from fully coming to its own and living up to its potential. There’s two reasons for this. The first is the fact that Da Jung would have to convince a group of people to work with her, so that she could win everything in the end. Alliances happen in game shows like this, so I didn’t mind it all that much. But when the players would talk about saving each other, or how they would split the money even though Da Jung would always get more than everyone else, or how people allowed themselves to lose so that she could continue on, or how Do Young is evil because he won’t share the money (even though he did before), then I got a bit annoyed.
This still happens in game shows though. People act stupid when an Alpha appears and takes them under their reigns. The problem with this is whenever something like this occurs, it makes for boring TV. No one likes watching people work together to help someone win and everyone hates it when players allow themselves to lose so that someone else can succeed.
Even though this is annoying and frustrating to watch, I feel like there’s an even bigger issue with the show. The social media aspect of it all.
We live in a world where twitter and other social media platforms run our lives. It helps when war occurs and to gush with other fans when a famous boy band win an award. So when the show introduced this aspect to the universe, I was looking forward to it the most. Only, it was never utilized properly and felt more like an afterthought than an integral part of the show. Even if you don’t show the bad side of social media, like say a fan finds out where Da Jung lives and steals the money or worse kills her in order to get it, then that’s fine. I can safely assume that all of the contestants of the Liar Game has security at their house to make sure this never happens.
But it seemed like the Liar Game only used social media to show how popular Da Jung was. Even if she’s getting popular and people recognize her, I feel like fans of the show would be telling the contestants about what they’re doing wrong or try to influence the game. I’m not happy to admit this, but I use to watch Big Brother and like the Liar Game, the show is done in real time and so fans can interact with the players if they try hard enough. Some overly zealous fans would even send planes with notes on it over the Big Brother house in order to get a player out or help another one out.
Korean fans are very passionate and so I don’t see them not doing something similar, albeit in a smaller scale, when it comes to the Liar Game. Fans interacting with the players and saying things like, “Why are you helping Do Young!” or “Your final move in the last game was really bad. I can’t believe you did something like that when this would have been a better idea.”
The show had a pretty interesting idea, but never capitalized on what it had to offer. This not only affected the plot, but the characters as well. Because just like the social media on-off switch, the players had on-off switches too. One moment they’d behave a certain way and the next they’d do something else. Even my beloved Do Young went from someone who was trollish, but fun, to a full blown antagonist.
It wasn’t only Do Young who changed, but all of the characters really. It was established that the players in the Liar Game are greedy, so it never made sense for them to happily lose and allow Da Jung to win. Since Do Young is now the villain, we’re told that he’d never share his winnings with anyone. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Just ask the former actor, the lawyer, bulldog, Sung Joon, and Assistant Kim. All of them got money from in during the President Game. If they just worked with Do Young, they’d get as much money as they want, but they chose to betray him for what exactly?
It seemed like one moment they only care about money and the next they’re pledging their loyalty to Da Jung. You could argue that it’s because she’ll win and share the money, but Do Young is still there and can easily crush them.
I feel like Da Jung also suffered this as well. She started off as spunky, but almost became a background character. We’re told that she’s kind and nice, but other than that time when she saved Director Jang back in episode 6, has she actually done anything that is nice or kind? I’m drawing a blank, which doesn’t really bode well for a character that is meant to ooze kindness. She’s sweet, I’ll give you that, but she doesn’t really do much. Instead of showing us her walk the walk, we’re just told this is how she is and how you should only view her. To me, that’s a huge disservice to her character.
Woo Jin is another story. I think they tried to take all of Akiyama’s attributes and put them into Woo Jin, but ignored his warmth and compassion and instead went for an Alpha male type figure. The character is very in your face, smug, and arrogant. He is consistent though, which I appreciate, but a lot of what he did in the show seemed to be about his bruised ego than anything else. Why else would he make it his mission to bring down Do Young? His ego was hurt, so he decided to lash out at the one person who was capable of taking it.
I think Liar Game had potential to be a fantastic kdrama, but when you compare the storytelling here to say Misaeng or Bad Guys then you start to realize that it fails in some of the basic levels. The actual games were fun to watch and I still like Do Young, but the character’s motivations, the actual plot, and the under utilization of social media and the reality of it all, really brought down the show.
You may say it’s because I’m a fan of the manga and jdrama that I’m only hating on the show, because it’s nothing like the original, but couldn’t be further from the truth. I expected changes, in fact I welcomed them. Plus, the jdrama is slightly different from the manga, so it’s not like I’m averse to change. Liar Game has to tweak some things in order to fit the market that its in. Just like how Boys over Flowers was changed from Hana Yori Dango. It’s to be expected.
Plus, the moment Da Jung slept on a bed filled with money I realized that this wouldn’t be like the original. The show isn’t the worse thing out there, far from it actually, but I had a lot of expectations that this would be the drama to watch and it ended up disappointed me instead.
If there’s a second season, then I hope that it fixes some of these things and comes out with something magical. Because even though Liar Game didn’t really do anything for me, I would still watch a second season of it.