in

[K-Drama Review] ‘Lost’: 3 Reasons Why We Gradually Fall for It Despite the Slow and Dark Plot

Edited by Hwang Hong Sun
Translated by Kim Hoyeun

Lost made headlines as the TV series by Christmas in August and The Last Princess director Hur Jin Ho. The story of the two protagonists with wounded hearts becoming aware of each other’s existence flows plainly and affectionately. But the narrative unfolds too slowly, making it a bit boring. If I’m being honest, even the synopsis is simple and plain. Even after six episodes, the two main characters never cause an important incident. Nevertheless, why are we falling for this drama? We’ll answer the question with the following three elements.

 

Ryu Jun Yeol & Jeon Do Yeon‘s Poker Face

Lost korean drama
Credit: JTBC

The two main characters. Boo Jung and Kang Jae, are not who they really seem to be. Boo Jung, a ghostwriter who wanted to be a good writer, gets entangled in some sort of incident with actress Ah Ran and is pushed to the brink of her life. She lost her job, miscarried her baby, and although not directly related to the incident, her husband Jung Soo had an affair. Because of all that happened, Boo Jung suffers from depression but does not express it to the people around her. Her heart is breaking, but she tells everyone that she’s doing fine, eventually destroying herself.

Kang Jae, like Boo Jung, keeps his distance from others and lives in his own world. Perhaps it’s because of his job as a male host. Everything about him is surrounded by lies. He only satisfies the desires of those who seek him, but he has no dreams or goals. If the guest wants laughter, he smiles, and if she wishes sadness, he cries for them. In the meantime, he doesn’t even know where he had put his real feelings. 

The drama calmly draws out the poker faces of two people who are in the sense of loss. Jeon Do Yeon and Ryu Jun Yeol flawlessly show emotional performances, narrowing the distance between the viewers and the characters. They appeal to the sadness within Boo Jung and Kang Jae without any emotional outbursts or out-of-the-line actions. In particular, seeing the two being honest about how they feel to each other delivers strange excitement, which leads to a deeper immersion in the affectionate emotions unique to the drama.

 

Attitude Towards Life

Lost korean drama
Credit: JTBC

No matter how much effort they put into the story of the main characters, the affair cannot be justified. However, the attitude towards life portrayed by the drama is a waste in many ways to be buried in the provocative subject of infidelity. And that’s because it deals with the preciousness of life and the value of life in such a serious and thoughtful way.

First of all, the series highlights infidelity and a relationship with a father. Although they don’t show their feelings, Boo Jung takes pity on her father, who showed early symptoms of dementia. On the other hand, the father secretly sheds tears as he sees his daughter struggling with various things. The affectionate relationship these two have is so delicately drawn, making us sad just from watching it.

It’s quite touching to see Kyung Eun, who had an affair with Boo Jung’s husband Jung Soo, sincerely caring for her dying husband. Kyung Eun, who we once believed to be a villain who only cares about herself, calmly prepares to say goodbye to the precious person and hides the pain inside. In the process, she makes us reconsider the meaning of those who leave the hospital and those who remain in the hospital where life and death exist. The density of the narrative increases as the story that only spotlights Boo Jung and Kang Jae is expanded to the relationships between the people around them.

 

Carefully Built-Up Emotions; The Story Begins in Earnest

Lost korean drama
Credit: JTBC

Lost is meticulous in handling characters and atmosphere, but the overall flow is slow and dark. Rather than hastily developing the relationship between Boo Jung and Kang Jae, the show concentrates on illustrating the subtle emotions between the two. In addition, it builds up the narratives of the people around them, such as Boo Jung’s husband Jung Soo and Kang Jae’s friends, implying that they will affect the relationship between Boo Jung and Kang Jae. In the end, it turned out that the person Boo Jung leaned on the most after the miscarriage was Kang Jae’s acquaintance, hence the fully laid-out big picture of the drama.

In particular, Boo Jung and Kang Jae met several times and shared their feelings, but they rarely did anything together. In episode 7, Boo Jung needed a “role service” to comfort her wounded heart, and the story marked a big turning point when she figured out that that person was Kang Jae. In other words, the story, which had been stagnant until episode 6, will speed up in earnest. I wonder what kind of events will unfold in front of the love or the strange relationship that the two will draw in the remaining episodes. The real story of Lost beings now.

 

Verdict: The emotions of the two characters carefully captures in the slow and frustrating plot (6/10)

Editor Hwang Hong Sun: A Korean movie buff who wishes that the warm messages in good works will warm up this world at least by one degree Fahrenheit.

Translator Kim Hoyeun: If you are a fan of K-drama, K-movie, and K-pop, I am your guy. I will continue to provide you with up-to-date K-entertainment news.

What do you think?