The K2: Style over Substance 

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Shifting to a new country has put a pause to my reviews of W Two Worlds – hope to resume and complete the last 6 episodes. Have now started on the K2 and wanted to jot down some quick thoughts on it.

If I could summarize my views on the show thus far in one phrase, it would be “style over substance”, which also seems to be the general sentiment about it.

The cinematography for the series is nothing short of amazing – it’s one of the most visually stunning shows I’ve ever watched. The first episode pulls all the stops with intense and swift fight sequences that take place in a Barcelona subway station, within a high rise building and at the break of dawn at Je Ha’s hideout. The car chase scene in Episode 3 is one of the most heart stopping ones I’ve ever watched, including those in Hollywood movies. The most recent scene of Je Ha accompanying Yoo Jin out of the family meeting with an umbrella was also beautifully shot. The cast is excellent – am especially impressed with Song Yun-ah’s portrayal of the ice queen Yoo Jin. There’s just such intensity and maturity in her performance that the energy on screen is just crackling in every scene that she’s in.

However, beneath the shine on the surface, there’s really not much going on. The plot has really been crawling over the past six episodes. Sure, for the first episode I could kind of let it go, but even at the fifth episode, we didn’t get get any insights into the backstory between Anna and Yoo Jin and why the resentment between them is so strong. We get little insights into Je Ha’s back story but it comes just as tidbits in each episode, in between overly lengthy fight sequences that get tiresome eventually.

We know a Presidential election is coming up, which sounds like a big thing – but really, what is at stake for our characters? Why is it so important for Anna to be kept hidden, given that Assemblyman Jang is still continuing his philandering ways and isn’t exactly very subtle about it? How does this whole matter affect Je Ha, if at all?

In terms of relationships, there’s been little progress made too. At this point, Je Ha and Anna have interacted predominantly through a video screen and they are supposed to be the star couple of the series! I would rather we get more quality interaction between our protagonists instead of all the silliness at the JSS headquarters. We really need to see more beneath the surface of the main characters and understand their dynamics, their backgrounds and their motivations – at this point, I am not particularly invested in any of them and that includes Je Ha too.

Let’s hope things pick up from Episode 7 onwards, but even if they don’t, the K2 will probably be one of those guilty pleasure shows that’s fun and sufficiently engaging to keep you watching till the end.

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