Interesting how some dramas seem so effortless. They get the message across in a fresh engaging style that keeps you coming back.
Falling for Innocence is a drama bringing a twist to all your Kdrama tropes and foibles. There’s always room for some paranormal elements and this drama series is no different. Why don’t you fall along with me?
Sometimes you need a drama to just be. It doesn’t have to have itself all sorted out. You just want something with that sense of knowing where it’s going. Falling for Innocence aka Fall in Love with Soon-Jung isn’t trying to ‘wow’ you with its storyline or cinematography. Most of the action takes place behind a boardroom desk since it’s a corporate type drama. Still it gets you sucked in without really trying.
Meet Kang Min-ho. He’s the kind of guy you don’t want to run into if you’re a company ripe for a takeover. Because he eats businesses like that for breakfast. He’s some kind of corporate mastermind known for his killer instinct. So they call him the corporate serial killer. Because he just is.
He’s also bagging a lot of childhood issues after losing both his parents as a young boy. There’s more to his story but it’s pretty simple: his family was betrayed and he grew up with only one aim: to make the culprits pay.
And he’s not going to let some terminal illness hold him back.
Kim Soon-jung is our leading lady with a difference. She’s cool-headed yet warm hearted and dependable. She’s almost too good to be true. A woman without obvious flaws? I don’t know how that works, but it does.
There is one thing though – she can be a tad naive. Working in that cutthroat world of bonds, stocks and steel towers a girl has to be one step ahead. But sometimes Soon-jung lives up to her name only too well (her name means ‘Innocence’. Because why not). And she gets caught in the middle of everyone else’s mind games.
I like that she’s beautiful and smart with a good head on her shoulders. It’s hard to like a perfectionist but she’s easy to relate to. Everyone seems to gravitate to her and she has a way of pulling you in. She inspires trust and affection but you also feel she’s hiding behind a wall.
Secondary characters include Lee Joon-hee who works as a lawyer in the same conglomerate where Soon-jung plays the ever efficient Secretary.
They’ve known since childhood and just like most of the main players they’re connected from way, way back. And like our leading man Min-ho, Lawyer Lee has some inner scars. Make them major psychopathy. But no one seems to guess what really goes on in that fine, nicely coiffed head of Joon-hee.
Now that we’ve met the three major players we’ve only scratched the surface. Like any smooth rolling company everyone has a role to play and there’s a lot going on in terms of subplots. Min-ho just wants to get his revenge but then there’s everyone with a sob story and a half trying to change his mind.
He may have a second lease on life but he’s staying true to his long-term ambition: take them down. No half-measures.
If only life was so cut-and-dried.
All in Good Time
The pacing of the storyline is perfect. Not too fast, not too slow. Multiple cliffhangers all through the episode till you realize you’re holding your breath half the time. You want more, and more.
When it comes to building tension and chemistry Fall in Love with Soon-jung has it down to a science.
With just a sentence the male lead played by the electric Jung Kyoung Ho makes the scene turn steamy. Even when he’s doing the angry coat grab where he seizes our leading lady by the scruff of the neck. Well she’s so frustrating isn’t she! He believes she’s some tight laced innocent but he can’t help but keep wondering whose side she’s on.
You might ask yourself all through each episode why all dramas can’t be like this. Simple and yes simplistic, but fulfilling all the same. What do you do when a heart transplant gives you feelings and memories that start to take over your life? You deal with it. Or it takes you under.
Impressive casting makes viewing Falling for Innocence a painless delight. If you haven’t started then you’re truly in for a treat.
Falling for Innocence doesn’t suffer from first episode syndrome where you wonder if you care enough to continue. This drama makes you care, or you’re as much a cold-thinking machine like our hero Min-ho tries to be. He wants to play a man without a heart. He doesn’t want to be the weak idealistic man his father was. He wants to be the one making others cry this time.
If you’re looking for humor, stirring moments of bravery, honor and friendship then this drama has it by the hose-full. It never gets ahead of itself to having you rolling your eyes at yet another Kdrama gaffe. Understated as the drama is, it’s still one of the best I’ve seen this year.
Of course only by my own definition of what ‘best’ is. When a drama has me invested in the characters, the soundtrack meets expectations, and the filming is unpretentious and zany then yep, that goes for best in my book.
The top four leads are showing for the first time on my radar. Friends in real life Jung Kyoung-Ho and Yoon Hyun-min are rivals in Falling for Innocence, while there’s Kim So-Yeon and Jin Goo giving an impressive performance as an onscreen couple for the first few episodes.
When it’s good, it’s good. Don’t mess with it, please. That’s what I’d like to tell this drama if I could. It’s on a roll, and there’s so much to work with going forward. As we now reach the 10-episode mark let’s not lose focus and definitely not lose the freaking plot. The drama is spazz-worthy indeed but I’m reining it in why? Because it’s all too easy to get hooked and then be left hanging.
Maybe that won’t happen with Falling for Innocence. If possible it just might get better. That would be super duper awesome and almost too much to ask for. But it’s everything…or nothing, as our ruthless whizkid investor Kang Min-ho likes to say. Whatever it takes. I’ll certainly be watching to see how things play out for the good and bad guys and those who can’t decide which they would rather be.