February’s K-Drama: Pinocchio

screenshot from Pinocchio
Pinocchio screenshot

This week I’m reviewing what is easily the best I’ve watched this year and though it’s only January, I’d go so far as to say that Pinocchio (피노키오) could easily be one of the best dramas of 2015.

Pinocchio screenshot

Originally airing on SBS from November 2014 – January 2015, Pinocchio follows the story of Choi Dal Po/Ki Ha Myeong (Lee Jong Suk, 이종석) and Choi In Ha (Park Shin Hye, 박신혜), two intern news reporters who struggle to make their mark in the competitive world of broadcast journalism while simultaneously battling the demons of their past.

Pinocchio screenshot

While the premise of this drama is basic enough, there are several twists that make Pinocchio a bit more… special. The biggest of these twists would be the fact that Choi In Ha suffers from a rare (fictitious) disorder, aptly named “Pinocchio,” which causes her to hiccup any time she tells a lie. Because she’s forced to tell the truth at all times, she’s been rejected for over twenty different news reporter positions. (Apparently news reporters only report lies…) Eventually In Ha lands a job as an intern at the same station as her cold-hearted mother and as you would expect between a mother and daughter who’ve been estranged for thirteen years, there’s a lot of conflict between the two.

Pinocchio screenshot

To complicate matters, Dal Po, who was adopted by In Ha’s grandfather when he was just a kid (and is technically In Ha’s uncle), is hired as an intern for the station in direct competition with In Ha’s. To further complicate the matter, Dal Po’s birth family was utterly destroyed by In Ha’s mother thirteen years ago, when she falsely accused Dal Po’s father of being responsible for the deaths of several firemen who died in an explosion, after following the orders of their chief. (Because apparently firefighters aren’t supposed to rush into a burning building when they think innocent people are inside and need rescuing.)

To complicate the matter even more, Dal Po and In Ha have a thing for each other. (Which means In Ha has to take on all kinds of unnecessary guilt and mope around saying, “Woe is me, it’s all my fault” for a while but eventually she learns to get over it and Dal Po has to run away for a while to get his head on straight, which he eventually does. Oh happy day!) And Dal Po starts out seeking to clear his father’s name and bring honor back to his family by taking down In Ha’s mom. Naturally, that complicates things even more and by the end you look back at this drama and just kinda shake your head as you ask yourself, “Could this have gotten any more complicated?”

Pinocchio screenshot

The good news is, despite all of the complicate relationships and inner turmoil in this drama, there were a whole lot of really great moments and the story itself progressed in such a way that you came to enjoy the complicated mess. Even better, the characters in this drama (as in ALL the characters in this drama) were very well written, lovable (for the most part), dynamic individuals who changed and learned and grew as the story progressed, so much so that by the end, you walked away feeling very satisfied with the way things turned out.

I think this is why I liked Pinocchio so much, because the characters did grow, they did learn lessons, they did become something more than they were and in the end, most of them became better people. When you give characters such as these a story that is well-written and is wrapped up nicely by the end, you’ve got a drama worth talking about and that’s what Pinocchio is. It’s a drama worth talking about and most definitely one worth watching.

at the hospital
Pinocchio screenshot

It’s rare when you can walk away from a drama feeling satisfied but with Pinocchio, that’s exactly what I did. I thoroughly enjoyed watching this drama and the fact that it starred Lee Jong Suk (이종석) just made it that much better. I would definitely recommend this one to anyone looking for a good drama to watch, just don’t judge it by the kisses. (I keep telling myself someday Park Shin Hye (박신혜) will learn to kiss a boy but I don’t know… I’m beginning to have my doubts.)

happy ending
Pinocchio screenshot

So tell me, what did you think of Pinocchio? Did you enjoy this story as much as I did? Were you satisfied with the way things played out? Did you have a favorite character? A favorite moment? Personally I loved Choi Gong Pil (Byun Hee Bong, 변희봉) and Cap Hwang (Lee Pil Mo, 이필모) has been a favorite of mine for quite a while now and I totally blame Emergency Couple (응급남녀) for that; though Yoon Yoo Rae (Lee Yoo Bi, 이유비) and Seo Bum Jo (Kim Young Kwang, 김영광) were also high on my list of favorites. (See? I told you there were a lot of characters to love!)

You know how much I love hearing from you so let me know your thoughts on this one by leaving me a comment below!

2 thoughts on “February’s K-Drama: Pinocchio

  • February 4, 2015 at 4:42 pm

    Hey Leah, great review! 🙂 I finished half of this series and I’m just preparing for an exam right now but soon after that’s done I’ll be on another marathon…Woohoo! I love all your side comments in parentheses! Funny, coz they are all so true!

    Anyway, one thing I like in the drama is the way they try to keep the characters as ordinary as possible. Yes, their circumstances are different but how they go about their lives is the same as every body else. Even Dal Po with his super genius mind drove a cab for a living… and Shinhye’s struggles as a late twenties girl still living with her father and grandpa really made the drama feel relatable. Their messy “modern family” set up is quite funny — how Dal Po is technically In Ha’s dad’s hyung, making him her uncle! Aigoo!

    And can I tell you I cried when Grandpa took Dal Po for a make-over! That action seems like something that a real proud parent or grandparent will do for a really bright kid, you know? My heart melted, I became mush in that scene.

    I was not a Jongsuk fan before, but this has converted me to a real admirer. I can’t wait for when I write that test so I can finally see how this one ends.

  • February 6, 2015 at 4:33 am

    This k-drama..makes me cried the whole time i saw dalpo and inha being apart and the love of dalpo to his family..a big..big like for this..makes my 2015 and my february inspiring!!!MORE FROM DALPO AND INHA!!!

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