Just as I was about to write a lengthy rant about this gem of a K-drama, I preferred not to. Grumpy Ahjumma is furious, but for the sake of those 16 hours we shared, I hereby declare that Misty (despite its horrible ending) was still one of the best Korean dramas ever filmed. It definitely deserved its Best Drama nomination in this year’s Baeksang Arts Awards.
Be prepared for a roller coaster ride as Misty lived up to its title until the drama’s end. It’s vague, and full of twists and turns. It will give you anxiety and bring you harm. You will forever be wounded, but you would love every moment of it.
Misty revolved around the life of Go Hye-ran (Kim Nam-joo), an anchorwoman who was at the peak of her career. Throughout the drama, she would repeatedly talk about the “realization of a just society” as her ultimate dream in life. She never lost even once, and she was ready to go higher in this rat race called life. But everything turned upside down when her ex-lover Lee Jae-young (Go Joon) came back into the picture.
Go Hye-ran was the heroine nobody knew they needed. It just felt so refreshing to finally get to watch somebody who was hardworking yet manipulative, without relying on some prince charming on a white horse. She worked her way up to win the much coveted position as JBC News Nine’s main anchor, eliminating every single hindrance that gets in her way. I don’t want to spoil the good parts because her fight against the evils of the mainstream media and the corrupt in politics are what made this drama so precious.
Grumpy tidbit: Kim Nam-joo won multiple Best Actress awards for all her past three dramas Queen of Reversals, Queen of Housewives, and My Husband Got a Family. Now, she is up for yet another Best Actress nomination in the upcoming 54th Baeksang Arts Awards! She is Go Hye-ran personified!
Hye-ran’s husband Kang Tae-wook (Ji Jin-hee) was the “perfect” complement for the feisty heroine. He was the ethical prosecutor-turned-lawyer who defended the abused. Tae-wook and Hye-ran was the picture perfect couple everyone envied. But underneath their seemingly flawless relationship lies a deep wound that has yet to be healed.
The complicated story started with Jae-young’s return to South Korea as a successful pro golfer Kevin Lee along with his wife and Hye-ran’s high school friend Seo Eun-joo (Jun Hye-jin). Hye-ran, desperate to keep her spot as News Nine’s main anchor, tapped the elusive Kevin Lee for an exclusive one-on-one interview. As you all know even before the drama started, Kevin died in a car accident but the investigators concluded that it was murder. The drama revolved around the chase for the real murderer, and Hye-ran being the center of the investigation.
Grumpy tidbit: Jun Hye-jin is also married to top actor Lee Sun-kyun who currently topbills tvN’s My Ahjussi opposite IU. Remember him in Coffee Prince, anyone?
I may not like the ending of this drama but I still won’t deny these supporting actors the spotlight they deserve:
Ha Myung-woo (Im Tae-kyung)
Hye-ran’s childhood friend who liked her. He served his sentence in prison for killing a man who wronged Hye-ran in the past. And now, he cleans up every single mess that Hye-ran and Tae-wook get involved with. I love Myung-woo so much, I can’t forgive the writer for giving him a very undeserving end.
Han Ji-won (Jin Ki-joo)
Hye-ran’s hoobae and News Nine’s new main anchor. Her character transformed from being the most hated one to the one who I rooted for in the end.
Jang Gyu-seok (Lee Kyung-young)
Chief Jang was my favorite newsroom personality aside from Hye-ran! He may be harsh as a leader but he surely deserved his position. He knew when to use the right cards at the right moment, and protected his own people like family. I never doubted his loyalty to Hye-ran for a second and vice versa.
— ✖ SEMI HIATUS ✖ (@novaturientwish) April 6, 2018
Jung Ki-chan (Lee Joon-hyuk)
Tae-wook’s ever trusted assistant who never left his side until the end. After the show revealed that he knew everything from the start, my confusion skyrocketed to space. He knew about Tae-wook’s secret but kept mum while Hye-ran was being dragged by the prosecution. Don’t talk to me about loyalty anymore.
Kwak Si-yeok (Koo Ja-sung)
Reporter Kwak was also Hye-ran’s hoobae. I initially taught he liked Hye-ran (I know, poor character judgement) but his conversation with Ji-won about respect changed my perception of him. Kwak Si-yeok can talk about how he much admired his senior but will never appear as flirty or perverted.
The not-so-shocking ending
Kang Tae-wook was biggest flop of this drama. He was introduced to us as the admirable lawyer born with a silver spoon. He loved Hye-ran so much that he was willing to give up everything for her. However, the show decided to turn its back on all of us when they revealed the real killer was the principled Tae-wook. The writer even mentioned in one of her interviews that she made it clear that Tae-wook is the real killer since the beginning.
Nevertheless, despite all the loopholes, Misty was all about life’s ambiguities. In all honesty, I think Misty‘s ending was lazy writing. How could you even write a perfect character who showed how much he loved his wife and then reveal that it was all part of a frame-up? And while we’re at it, Tae-wook showed no mercy for Hye-ran (and all of us) with his ultimate decision of taking his own life. Really? That was it? I really did not expect something magical or that the drama will give us a happy ending, but the suicide as the final act of this show was just too much. It’s like the sacrifice of Myung-woo was put to waste. Hye-ran was still unhappy. And the realization of a just society never materialized.
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