[Review] Big Man – 빅맨


Lowlife Kim Ji Hyuk (Kang Ji Hwan) has no family or no education. No one has much faith that he’ll turn out to be much. That is, until he encounters the rich Kang family.

Kang Dong Suk (Choi Daniel) is the chaebol son of a big conglomerate who has a weak heart. When his heart fails, the family attempt to try and kill Kim Ji Hyuk in order to transplant his heart into their son. However, Ji Hyuk manages to survive his accident and becomes embroiled taking down the corrupted forces around him with the help of So Mi Ra (Lee Da Hee), Dong Suk’s girlfriend.

I get it. The plot is really out there but I have heard worse plots before. And admittedly, my weakness for Kang Ji Hwan means that as his *coughfuturewifecough, I have to be there for him, for better or for poorer. I think the metaphor of the heart plays a big part in the drama overall. Ji Hyuk has a good heart, which makes him warm and caring; while Dong Suk has a bad heart, which makes him selfish and immoral. However, the biggest issue with the drama is that simple metaphor isn’t enough material to take you throughout the entire drama.

The good thing about the drama is that Kang Ji Hwan’s Ji Hyuk has a larger-than-life personality which leaves room for him to be pretty wacky. I have always felt that Kang Ji Hwan is at his best when he gets to push that 4D personalities of his characters.

Kim Tae Woo – Con Amore Mio

김태우 – Con Amore Mio

On the other hand, I never really warmed up to Choi Daniel. He would often play that nice guy next door and I could never quite get past his smug expression. That is, until Kang Dong Suk. This role seems to suit Choi Daniel like a glove. As Kang Dong Suk, he’d mostly exude a calm exterior but you could see what was simmering underneath. Choi Daniel does a good job in showing all the devious layers to Kang Dong Suk balancing the superficial face he shows to the world with that of his real persona.

Unfortunately, I didn’t quite feel the same about the female characters on this show. I get that the show’s title is Big Man but the female characters sorely felt like mere set decoration. Lee Da Hee not only lacks chemistry with Kang Ji Hwan but also lacks any personality.

Mi Ra is an incredibly lackluster of a character and if she wasn’t actually responsible for helping Ji Hyuk on the business side of it, she would have served no purpose at all.

Speaking of which, Kang Jin Ah (Jung So Min), Dong Suk’s younger sister who comes to loathe her family, is simply a useless character.

She has no power to influence her parents or her brother nor does she get her family henchman, Director Do Sang Ho (Han Sang Jin), to realize the error of his ways. Did I mention that Director Do has a crush on her even though she’s never reciprocated his feelings? So I don’t understand what the point of her character is.

Overall the drama is a preachy lesson about good triumphing over evil. While that in of itself doesn’t make it terrible, there isn’t enough substance in the drama to make the underdog story here unique or multilayered. It’s evidenced by the show’s choppy editing which drags you through scenes of heightened emotion followed by extreme composure.  The drama felt very bi-polar from moment to moment.  What you’re left with is an implausible fairy tale of a hapless lowlife becoming a CEO of the people and by the people.



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