Today, I’ll be pissing off many fangirls, because today I am smashing and tackling tvN’s “Bride of The Water God”.
Be prepared, this ain’t a nice review.
Some of you are here because they wanna know what went wrong and where and why, today I am discussing the drama in depth.
So lets start with the list of all the bad things that led to “Bride of The Water God” becoming the joke it currently is.
DISCLAIMER: I for a person haven’t read the manhwa so I won’t judge based on the fact that it was an adaptation; I will judge it as if it was a story on its own.
Minor spoilers ahead!
So tvN was all over the place for the past couple of months, after Goblin ended they promoted “Bride of The Water God” heavily as the drama that shall surpass Goblin… ouch! (all I can say here!)
tvN proceeded to release teaser photos, teaser videos, and teaser stills. They gave everyone the impression that this was THE next big thing.
But there is one slight problem…. The script sucks. (will talk about it in more details later).
This is the problem with excessively advertising anything, it builds up expectations for the drama. The more you hype something the higher the expectations. This spikes people’s interest and they will tune in. If it sucks that same audience that tuned in will opt out.
So suddenly the ratings will decrease and it’ll be downhill from there.
It was promoted for such a long time and hyped by every streaming website out there, sadly even international fans weren’t too happy about the drama when it aired (we’re usually more forgiving and have different taste in kdramas compared to Korean audience)
So far this hasn’t been tvN’s year, none of its drama this year were as good as they’ve promoted them to be.
I was one of the people who were excited about the drama not because of Krystal or Nam Joo Hyuk but because of the writer.
Screenwriter Jung Yoon Jung worked on tvN’s Misaeng. That drama is one of the best Korean dramas of all time, the script is fascinating, Misaeng is a drama I’d recommend everyone I meet, its that good, you don’t even need to be a kdrama fan to enjoy and appreciate it.
So I had good expectations, because I trust writer Jung Yoon Jung, but seriously, is he going through a slump or something? What the hell is going on?
The script sucks, the script is so bad not even Song Joong Ki can save it. The script is so bad not even the entire band of BTS can revive it. The script is so full of gaps and cringyness (if that’s even a word). The script should be taught to beginner writers in a course called “how to avoid pissing off your audience”.
I am so disappointed in you sunbae-nim, seriously, I had high expectations, he ruined the drama.
“Bride of The Water God” is a drama based on the very popular manhwa of the same titled, but that manhwa backdrop was in the historical period, this drama is a modern adaptation. It still sucks!
The main characters are so annoying and difficult to like or understand.
The character played by Shin Se Kyung is so irresponsible and annoying, I doubt she’d survive a day out in this crazy world, the one human main character in the drama is anything but a real human living in this world.
She is messy, irresponsible, forgetful and all over the place not to mention she’s one bad doctor and anyone treated by her will probably kill himself if he hasn’t already tried to do so. (One of them actually did!)
In the drama she screams all the time (due to various situations); she is always put in danger and in constant need to be saved by the hero of this drama. She cries all the time and is extremely rude, sometimes coming off as bipolar (I am not joking).
Shin Se Kyung tries hard and she’s cute but the lord know she is not the one to play this character. She plays a character that is very difficult to like or relate to.
Onto Nam Joo Hyuk’s shitty character (sorry for my French), Nam Joo Hyuk plays Habaek.
Now since we’re discussing the script in this section I won’t talk about his acting, but his character is awful.
As a rookie writer myself, I am careful when writing characters, a writer needs to make sure that the main characters aren’t difficult to like, because if the main characters of this drama don’t capture audience attention or sympathy, we have a problem.
Habaek is annoying, pretentious, cocky and very stupid as well. There is nothing charming about his character, he’s the magnification of every cliche and repetitive lead-male characteristic you’d want to avoid.
I get it, he’s a god but he’s dumb, the character of Habaek knows nothing about this world, he has lost his powers and remains cocky even after everything that makes him who he is is stripped away from him.
How on earth is he a god? And how on earth can he rule the gods one day?
So he is supposedly 2800 years old, what I see is a 16 year old cocky handsome delusional man who was spoiled all his short life. Nothing about his character even remotely indicates his age.
I like Joo Hyuk but the character he’s playing… not so much! Habaek is the least likable character in this entire drama.
The characters of Krystal and Gong Myung are actually the only thing that’s interesting about this goddamn excuse of a drama. Their chemistry is whats keeping some kdrama fans watching.
In short, the script doesn’t really help. We might have an excellent cast, all of which are great actors, we need a killer script and we have something that’s similar to what you don’t want a script to end up like.
The writer wrote a drama that is so similar to every other cliché basic drama out there. A poor struggling girl finally finds two equally attractive men, one is mean and one is nice. They’re both rich and of good status
The nice guy treats her well while the mean guy treats her like shit but ends up with her anyways. Eventually, in the drama the mean guy starts becoming better and nicer to her and everybody around her, which doesn’t really make any sense.
A guy who has lived for 2800 years is not going to change entirely for a mere human. It doesn’t really add up, I know its fantasy drama but still there is logic, don’t you agree?
This manhwa shouldn’t have been made a drama to begin with. It is a difficult material to work with. This is the problem with fantasy dramas, the line of whats real and whats not is faded but it doesn’t mean we won’t notice when logic should be applied.
The special effects are okay, and rope work is too obvious, its like it was edited by a beginner editor. If you don’t have the budget to do such drama, then don’t.
I watched about 9 episodes and I had to give up, it was becoming so hard to watch. The drama lags so many times and nothing big happens, you have to wait until the 10th episode to see some major events taking place. Waiting 8 episodes for that is too much!
The character of Bi Ryum is interesting and fun, he’s different from everyone in this entire drama. Gong Myung pulls off the character beautifully and overshadows Joo Hyuk.
The conclusion is that this drama isn’t really worth it. Its so difficult to watch, the dialogue is at often times very stupid it made me wonder if this writer had actually hired a ghost writer to write Misaeng, there is no way he wrote this excuse of a script.
I wonder and ponder (a lot!)
When Nam Joo Hyuk read the script was he like genuinely convinced it was good? I am so curious, I seriously am, did they offer him a ridiculous paycheck and he was like “K!”? or did he for real think it was a good script?
Because anyone in his right mind wouldn’t be able to sit through one hour of this drama. Imagine just reading it on a piece of paper, would you still read the story?
Nam Joo Hyuk’s so-called “God” performance
Now onto the other huge factor why this drama is such a disappointment.
Nam Joo Hyuk is cast to play a God…. Bad move tvN… bad move…
Nam Joo Hyuk is cute, I like the guy, I have watched all his drama since he started back in 2014 in “Surplus Princess”, I watched him grow in front of me and watched him ruin this drama as well.
I have nothing against the man, I don’t hate him and I am not an anti. Having said that doesn’t mean I won’t go down on him for his shitty performance in this drama.
Do you know whats wrong with so many Korean actors out there?
The fact that they become so different once they date. As someone who has watched so many kdramas for so long, I have seen many kdrama actors who can’t perform properly after finding a girlfriend.
Joo Hyuk is making it so obvious he has a girlfriend, even your non kdrama friend who is watching with you can tell… Why is he so stiff, I’ve never seen him this stiff before!
Chemistry is key in each drama. Those two couple have the worst chemistry of the year so far, and I have seen plenty of dramas this year.
Aside from the chemistry, he seems to be struggling with the character. I don’t think he has any idea what he’s doing. He isn’t fit to play the role of a God.
He is handsome and has nice abs but this doesn’t mean he can play and pull off a ‘God’ image properly. Looking at him right now, I realize he still needs to work on himself. This role should have been given to an older Korean actor.
There are various moments in this drama that his facial expressions are out of context; or overly done, sometimes he overreacts and it just doesn’t add up. I can’t handle watching him in this drama. He is not entirely bad at acting, but it seems like he cannot understand or act out the script he was given so well. I cannot really blame him, since the material he’s had to work with is so messed up.
The writer really wrote the character wrong, many Korean fans have been complaining about how bad Joo Hyuk’s portrayal of Habaek is.
He is often overshadowed by Gong Myung’s performance. Even Koreans praised Gong Myung’s performance; people were pleasantly surprised by it.
The fallout of “Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo”
People fell in love with “Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo” and international fans made a big deal of the drama; they loved Sung Kyung and Joo Hyuk together.
Their chemistry was off the hook, Sung Kyung and Joo Hyuk had fascinating chemistry, Joo Hyuk looked comfortable and seemed to be having a good time while shooting.
Even when there was conflict you could still tell that he was enjoying his time. Its an energy you feel from the actors and its what makes or breaks the drama, unless the drama theme is supposed to be tense and uncomfortable.
People in general (international kdrama fans) have problems with Se Kyung. She is always awkward around all her male co-stars, she suffers when trying to establish chemistry with them while acting.
This is why me and many others weren’t too happy with the casting choice. Krystal and Joo Hyuk make a better pair to be honest.
Its just that all the people who expected this drama to be just as good as “Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo” were in for a shock. Its nowhere near how good “Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo” was.
The Lack of chemistry (in more details)
The entire cast doesn’t seem to feel comfortable around each other and that’s also a problem, its like there is subtle tension always present in each scene.
They seem awkward around each other, Se Kyung does that, she is very awkward around every male co-star she’s been with (believe me I watched/ tried to watch her dramas), she is cute awkward but the entire cast isn’t helping.
I feel like Krystal and Gong Myung have an okay relationship, there is that sexual tension surrounding them and I like it. Gong Myung out of the entire cast seems to be enjoying his time; you can see it through his lively performance.
As we’ve discussed before Joo Hyuk and Se Kyung lack chemistry badly. The vast majority of people prefer Krystal and Gong Myung. I have seen countless comments talking about how some kdrama fans are skipping the drama scenes until they get to Krystal and Gong Myung scenes.
I for a person like to understand the entire story so I rarely skip scenes, but with this drama it was a struggle.
Lim Ju Hwan puts on an amazing performance (as usual) and he is the hidden gem of this entire drama. I hated the fact that he had to fall in love with the lead girl; it doesn’t make any sense why he’d fall for her.
I still think he is also written well, he is both good and evil and the struggles he’s facing was also a nice touch. It would’ve been a lot better if he were the main character and Haebaek was the secondary main character, then the drama might’ve sucked less.
And that’s why my friends this drama sucks. Now if you’re watching and enjoying this drama, I hope this harsh review won’t hurt you and your viewing experience.
If you’re enjoying it then I am happy for you. I am this annoyed because I expected more from the writer, I wasn’t too excited about Joo Hyuk being paired with Se Kyung, but I trusted the writer and was disappointed.
If you’re new to kdramas you’ll probably love this one. Since I have been watching for such a long time I became pickier.
This is merely my opinion; and remember just like everybody else, I have the right to express my opinion, and I would like to hear your opinion.
Do you agree or disagree with me? What do you think went wrong with the drama and why? Lets discuss this in the comment section below.