Oops, we did it again! We finish up a drama, ready to try a new one, a new one we’re bound and determined to be one title and yet when it comes down to actually sitting down and watching the show? We suddenly veer off course and watch something else! When we watched Moonlight Drawn By Clouds we KNEW, we knew in our hearts of hearts, our next drama would be W. What did we watch? When A Snail Loves. When we watched Snail? Yep, the next drama was going to be Goblin! We reaffirmed this every time we talked. We told others. And yet, when it came down to actually sitting down and watching? Even though we knew how much everyone was loving it? Yep. We decided to tackle the recently started, Voice.
But now we’ve watched the first episode and we wonder? Do we like it? Should we stick with it? We should probably figure that out before we have another When A Snail Loves on our hands where neither of us really like it, yet we’re determined to finish what we start. (I say we, but Leila will tell you, it’s all me. ‘No, no, we should just keep going, we’re almost done…” then I’d bitch about it every podcast.) So Leila. What do you think about what we’re doing here? How did you like the first episode of Voice?
Leila: I like a good thriller. It really does grab you from the start. The violence, the hysteria, the strong characters. The most important thing for me at this point is the female lead. She’s kind of amazing – even though I was a bit surprised by her random super power.
I was a bit thrown by the “We’re cops, but it’s hard to tell us apart from gangsters.”
Stephanie: LAUGH! Her random super power. Right? She’s all meek, mild and innocent in the beginning and then suddenly she has this super hearing? She couldn’t have explained that at the hearing? (court hearing) And to go from her being an innocent, to having this whole, “my dad just died” intrigue… The beginning had me going ‘huh?’ a little. Not to mention, the ‘hero’ is pretty terrible. You can really tell this is a cable drama, not just because of the production value but because they allow him to be so freaking flawed–and not just because his wife died. We can tell, just from those moments before, he wasn’t a great person, or he at least wasn’t a great husband before the action started. But for him to act the way he does after, and for others to enable him? Is a bit of an eye roll for me. It really is hard to tell him apart from the gangsters.
Leila: Yeah… Why didn’t she bring up her super hearing at the… hearing? I mean, they could have tested her. /shakes head. Whatever. Plot device. We didn’t know she had super hearing at that point, so, OK. Then they kind of drop it on us in this weird way – she had eyesight problems. Either develop that or don’t. But that’s a small thing compared, like you said, to the male lead. He’s kind of shitty and careless? I mean, I don’t think he’s evil or anything. And it’s a great baseline to develop his character from, but yeah, part of me was thinking “For god’s sake! Get your shit together!” Bless his cute little friend for being his mom.
Stephanie: His little friend, the enabler. I really liked him and thought he was cute until he used the re-emergence of our heroine, the call center woman, as a way to drag the detective out of his downwards spiral. “Hey, that girl is back. You know the one, the one who let your wife’s killer get away? I bet she was sleeping with him or at least took money from him for her testimony so she could get away and be some swanky detective. Yeah, that girl. Go get her!” Ugh. That made me think all his cuteness is wasted on him. Sure he wants to help his friend, but doing that at the expense of someone else? Uncool man, uncool. As for her hearing, I think I would have been more accepting of it if it had just been something she’d fought for and worked on since the trial and the death of her father. That I’d give more leeway to. I’m giving her and her storyline side-eye.
Leila: Oh right! I had forgotten the younger cop was the rumor-monger. Grr. Yeah. What did I keep calling him? Robin? To our hero’s Batman. But, its only the first episode and they have a lot of character building to do – everyone is front loaded with all these great qualities and flaws. Our heroine, we need to look up her name or this is gonna be like Moonlight, is stubborn and a bit prideful and not a very good communicator. But, I loved that standoff she had in the hallway with the cop, where he had a hold of her shirt and she just stood there coolly, not really taking his shit. Though I would have been happier if she’d broken his wrist. And when she stands up to the administrators too? She’s terrible at politics, but she knows she’s good at what she does. Do you think she really did want our drunk cop hero to lead her team? Why?
Stephanie: Yeah, I wish she’d be a little bit stronger with him. I’m not getting the feeling from her that she’s a really strongly written character. More a character that’s meant to be strong, but isn’t quite there yet. The detective from Signal? Yeah, she wouldn’t take none of his shenanigans. She’d have him on his ass. Which is exactly where his drunken ass needs to be. Did she want him to be leader? I’m going to go with yes, as in her muddled brain he has a reason for this task force to work too. She feels like she can convince him that she was correct. Or perhaps she’d just assume after all this time he would have come to the realization she was. I’m also just waiting on the higher-up political stuff to come into play–you know it has to–knew it the second they played the audio and what she heard was cut off. Someone higher up had to have done that. Why? Was it simply to discredit her? Was she giving the system a bad name? I just know in Kdrama, this can only mean one thing, political coverup.
Leila: Ugh. Politics. I didn’t understand why they had doctored the audio tape. They better give me a good reason further down the line. And the, what is he, the team lead for the violent crime unit? The one that keeps sort of flopping around her and trying to control what she’s doing? Annoying. BUT, what they did do really well that really had me hanging on to the story was the crime pieces – I was so tense and caught up in the story of both the wife at the beginning, and the abduction case later on. Very well done. My blood pressure was up.
Stephanie: They did a good job with that. The victim isn’t a Mary Sue. She made bad decisions, but throughout the action, you do feel for her, and through that, you can see more of the heroine (which, clunkily, was exactly what they were going for). I was chewing my nails a bit as to whether they would save her or not–it’s cable–it could go either way. They save her, our heroine uses that as a reason why they should have this team. She dies, the hero uses it as another thing against her. Bah! Barber shop. And who doesn’t know the barbershop pole? It was colors! Hrm. I’m wondering, realistically, what they can do in 10 minutes? Although I’m guessing this is one station, they are only responsible for one smaller area, not all of Seoul.
Leila: Good point. I think they did talk about that a bit – that this is the area where the crimes from both their pasts had occurred and she asked to be assigned there. But what if the calls come in from another part of the city? Or their killer moved to a different part of the city? I think there are some plotting holes there. Or maybe I’m thinking too hard about it. The countdown clock actually reminded me of the show 24, at one point. The 10-minute thing feels very contrived to ratchet up the tension, but sure, why not.
Stephanie: LAUGH. I was wondering, remember when they are in the room before the report of the kidnapping and the room is a hive of activities and calls? Then when this happens? They put her on the big screen and nothing. Did calls just stop happening or did they just put the answering machine on while a more important call went on? Hmm…
Leila: Hahaha! True. I’m trying to think of anything we missed. It was actually a very tightly packed episode – moving quickly from piece to piece… Oh! The hero having to prove he’s still a “good cop” by going out to rescue the girl. That was nicely done. The way you see him slowly pull himself together and demonstrate he still has what it takes. It did make me like him more, which was, of course, the whole point. I am interested to see the fallout of everything that happened in this episode, in the next one. They now have this semi-detente, but we know it’s not going to be that easy.
Stephanie: So I guess the question is, do we want to keep going? Or is it too soon to make a decision on it? Usually the rule for me (or at least it used to be) 4 episodes. On this episode, I’m truly on the fence. Which is a little disappointing for a show I had really looked forward to.
Leila: I liked it very much in the moment. Now, a few days out, I’m feeling less excited about it. But we really should give it a couple more to really make a decision, unless you’re really just not feeling it. There’s always W or Goblin!
Stephanie: I’m fairly certain this is exactly what landed us on Voice in the first place. I feel like we should not be allowed to make our own drama watching choices. Alright. If you’re in, I’m in. We’ll give it a solid effort and not bail on the first sign of mehs. Although we should have another check in later and swear, SWEAR that if we’re not enjoying it we’ll dump it. Or we’ll swear not to let me pressure us into continuing to watch. Deal?