Two Worlds

“Just because something is not a lie, it doesn’t mean that it’s the truth.” –Kang Chul (W, 2016)

“Everyone looks at the appearance instead of looking at the context, and they believe it as a fact.” –Kang Chul (W, 2016)

“You know a lot about me and I don’t know anything about you. So you have to give me a chance to catch up with that.” –Kang Chul (W, 2016)

“Thank you for not forgetting me, and for missing me.” –Kang Chul (W, 2016)

“I am one of those people who want your life to have a happy ending.” –Oh Yeon Joo (W, 2016)

Talking about the drama series that became my savior last year, “W” was also one of them. First time I watched this drama series was last year, and this was the first drama series I watched back then since I began the long distance relationship with my partner. Back then, I feel related to this drama series at some point (I will explain later on in this review). And now when I re-watched it again in order to make this review, I found some new perspective is related to my current situation. I guess it’s true that we can find different meaning by watching the same thing in different times. Back then and now, this drama series gives me a sense of escapism. And indeed, escapism is often needed when the reality bites us too hard. However, in that escapism, we also often can find meaning for the reality. Hence, the escapism is not just merely a place to run away or hide, but rather a place to help us clearing our mind in order to prepare us to face the reality. And this is what I found from “W”. This is a story about finding a meaning; a story about life, and finding its purpose.

"W" official series poster | source:

Title                        : W/W – Two Worlds/W – Two Worlds Apart
Genre                      : fantasy, romance, action, suspense, thriller
Starring                   : Lee Jong Suk, Han Hyo Joo, Kim Eui Sung, Lee Tae Hwan, Lee Si Eon
Channel                   : MBC
No. of episodes        : 16
Original broadcast    : July – September 2016

Kang Chul (portrayed by Lee Jong Suk) led a tragical yet wonderful life. He was an Olympic gold medalist as a shooting athlete. But some time after that, his whole family was brutally murdered by unknown murderer. Moreover, he was sentenced in jail for being misjudged for killing his own family. When he got released from the prison, he intended to commit suicide, but then he was survived. Some years after that incident, he already moved on and successfully made his life by leading a broadcasting company, accompanied by his two best friends, Yoon So Hee (portrayed by Jung Yoo Jin) who became his secretary and Seo Do Yoon (portrayed by Lee Tae Hwan) who became his right-hand man. During his spare-time outside his formal job as a CEO, he and Do Yoon were acting like the town’s vigilante by helping the police to catch criminals, when it’s all actually a part of his effort to secretly investigate in order to find the real murderer of his family.
However, all of Kang Chul’s story of life was taking place in a comic book titled “W”, created by manhwa artist Oh Seong Moo (portrayed by Kim Eui Sung). Seong Mo’s daughter, Oh Yeon Joo (portrayed by Han Hyo Joo) was a resident doctor. One day, her professor who was a big fan of “W” ordered her to ask about the comic to her father. Due to her parents’ divorce, Yeon Joo had not met her father for a quite long time. Hence, she decided to make a visit as well as fulfilling her professor’s wish. However, she got into her father’s house only to find that her father was missing. Seong Moo’s assistant, Park Soo Bong (portrayed by Lee Si Eon) confessed to her that Seong Moo intended to kill Kang Chul’s character in order to end the comic book. As a fan of the comic book herself, Yeon Joo was against his father decision, and she barged into Seong Moo’s office. She suddenly found herself being dragged into the world of comic book and meeting Kang Chul for real. And with all of her might, she saved Kang Chul from dying.
I guess it is true when people say that we tend to fond of things that we feel related to. And there are things that I feel related to the storyline of “W” the drama series. However, first of all I will talk about creating escapism. Oh Seong Moo created “W” the comic book in order to ‘escape’ from his reality (besides that making comic book is his main job). He created Kang Chul, the protagonist that is a complete opposite of him; young and successful. However, no matter how opposite it is, a creator will always leave a trace of themselves in the character they make. Hence, the misery that Kang Chul had to get through in his life is actually based on Seong Moo’s own misery in life. It’s natural for human to look for or make escapism (particularly when reality feels too hard to bear), but in the escapism itself, we can actually find ourselves. This explains why when Kang Chul becomes alive in real world; there are traits from Seong Moo (who loves Yeon Joo so much and is bounded to be with her) and also some traits from Yeon Joo herself as his creators.
One thing that has successfully tickled my senses is the quiet rare theme brought by the drama series: questioning about our origin. As a creature himself, to be able to have awareness of who he really is, where he came from, and where he will go after he dies, is such a major breakthrough (as well as the major mental breakdown) for Kang Chul. Aren’t those human’s biggest questions? Aren’t we all are curious about the meaning of our existence? However, will getting the answer lead us to a happy ending? I guess as a human being, we’re still too small to understand this universe’s biggest mystery. When we do not have enough mentality strength, I think the knowledge would break us apart. And sad but true, we are weak emotionally. Humans are fragile. We may appear strong physically. We can kill, we can torture, and we can break things easily, physically. However, when it comes to an emotional strength, we are weak creatures. We have ego, we have love, we have hate, we have jealousy, and hence we should have known our own limits.
We should have known our limits, and that is how we could understand what and when to sacrifice things. Oh Seong Moo understands his limits, hence he gives up his life in trade for Kang Chul’s, for he knows it all too well that the person who can make his daughter happy is not him, but Kang Chul. Kang Chul understands his limits, hence he gives up his ego and follows Seong Moo’s wish to stay by Oh Yeon Joo’s side and be with her. Even though he knows he had hurt her before, even though he knows he could not protect her before, he finally takes the courage and confident to take responsibility, for he knows that Yeon Joo will only be happy when they are together; for he knows that Yeon Joo will be more suffered when they are apart. To love is to sacrifice, but most people are mistakenly giving up the love as the form of sacrifice, when it is actually the ego that they have to sacrifice. And thankfully, Kang Chul is able to understand it in the process; that to love is also to not give up, that to love is to keep fighting for it until the end.
The thing that hits me hard as well as hits me home is about the relationship of Kang Chul and Oh Yeon Joo. When I first watched “W” the drama series last year, it hits me home because Kang Chul and Yeon Joo who live two worlds apart; which at that time is not so different with my own situation (the long distance relationship). Hence I was crying so hard for I understood Yeon Joo’s pain when she had to separate with the man she loves (when all she ever wanted was just to live together with him). And though it doesn’t make sense to love him because of the different world they live in, the feeling is never wrong. And she is willing to do literally anything in order for them to be able to be together. And of course, she can’t be the only one who’s fighting for it. In the end (SPOILER ALERT!) when Kang Chul does his best to find his way towards Yeon Joo, I feel so touched. That’s how it should be. For a relationship to be able to go on, two people must work it out together. That’s how they meet each other half way. That’s how they could be together.
When I watch “W” the drama series this time, it hits me hard because it makes me understand better about the male ego. I understand why Kang Chul made his decision to let go of Yeon Joo in the first place (before they finally reunite again). Before, I couldn’t understand why he had to let her go (and even worse, made her suffered because Kang Chul lost his memories of her), but now I understand. It is not simply because he wants to protect her (because it doesn’t make sense; how can you protect someone when you are not with them?), but it’s more about his male ego that is hurting when he know he cannot protect the one he loves. It is his male ego that is hurting because the fact that he may put the woman he loves in danger. This male ego has often led men to let go of their woman for the sake of their safety, but they don’t realize that it’s merely their ego. This male ego has made them think that it’s the best decision to separate, but they don’t realize the aftermath it may cause for the woman. Following the ego is not solving the real problem in the relationship.
If you are too afraid that your woman will be hurt because of you, letting go is not the solution. If you are not confident that you are able to protect your woman, being separated is not the solution. It’s just running away from the real problems, because the real problems can only be solved when we are together. Just see what happened to Yeon Joo after the separation. She’s suffered even more. She’s hurting even more. She’s dying even more. Sadly, most men are too blind to see this reality. They care about their ego more than they care about anything else. Kang Chul made the same mistake at first, but then he realized that his decision was wrong; that his decision had made misery for the one he loves. I guess most men in real life must learn from it. It is not your incapability that drives you apart from the woman you love; it is that you’re just holding on too tight onto your own ego. And I think that men must learn how to let go of their ego. It is not your love that you have to let go, but your ego instead. And letting go of your ego doesn’t make you less of a man; it only makes you human. And that’s a humane thing to do, if you’re really in touch with humanity.
“W” the drama series really has an outstanding storyline, in my opinion. It may seem confusing because the plot is going back and forth; however, in the terms of suspense and action thriller, it really hits the point. I have to note that I really love the couple of main characters here. Lee Jong Suk and Han Hyo Joo successfully build a strong and intense chemistry. I really love to see them together. And I also have to note the outstanding performance from Kim Eui Sung, as he plays the dual character of the protagonist Oh Seong Moo and the evil murderer. In a nutshell, the storyline of “W” is well-built. And along the drama series, we can enjoy wonderful soundtracks too as the companion to the mood of the storyline. “W” has satisfied me in every sense. We can get the drama, the humor, the suspense, the action, and the romance, of course. Just name it! It is able to fulfill us in the time of loneliness and pain. It gives entertainment as well as inspiration and enlightenment. And of course, it is highly recommended to watch.

“I think she has the key to find the reason of my existence.” –Kang Chul (W, 2016)

“You just have to keep your promise. I trust you. That’s why I’m letting you go.” –Kang Chul (W, 2016)

“Now that you gained money, honor and success, you don’t need me. You created me and made me suffer. You became successful by making my life a roller coaster ride.” –Kang Chul (W, 2016)

“Stop looking for reasons and look for a solution.” –Kang Chul (W, 2016)

“Even a hero can fall in love.” –Oh Yeon Joo (W, 2016)


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