[Review] Triangle – 트라이앵글

A TROUBLING TRIFECTA

Three brothers lose their parents and become separated. Twenty years later, the two younger brothers have new names and they barely remember their birth family. Jang Dong Soo (Lee Bum Soo) is the oldest of the brothers. He’s a hot-tempered cop that wants to seek justice for the death of his father and hopes to be reunited with his younger brothers again. Jang Dong Chul, who goes by Heo Young Dal (Kim Jae Joong), is the middle brother, who grows up on the streets after failing to protect the youngest at the orphanage. Jang Dong Woo, who goes by Yoon Yang Ha (Im Shi Wan), is adopted by a rich family and although he comes off as an apathetic playboy, he’s afflicted with self-esteem issues.

The premise had a lot of promise and it’s not clear exactly where this drama steered wrong. Lack of chemistry between some of the actors, a writer who didn’t really understand the characters that they’ve written into the story combined with a very predictable ending are some of the main reasons why the story falls flat.

By the drama’s end, the writer ends up going with the only ending they could in order to garner a reaction from the viewers but it was so predictable that I had predicted it in the first week. Sure, I had been trying to convince myself that I would be wrong and people could say that the two episode extension disrupted the schedules of some of the cast members but it’s a flimsy excuse to lean on.

I’m not really sure what’s going on with Lee Bum Soo these days. I can still see that he’s a great actor but the choice of dramas following History of a Salaryman have been quite disappointing. From Time Slip Dr. Jin to Iris 2 to Prime Minister and I and now you have to add Triangle to the list. In terms of just purely his acting, I think his performance in this drama was by far the worst. His character wavered between two different emotions: Ragey Jang Dong Soo and Indifferent Jang Dong Soo. Too bad I didn’t like either version.

Jang Dong Soo’s love interest was his first love, Hwang Shin Hye (Oh Yeon Soo). However, Oh Yeon Soo and Lee Bum Soo didn’t have any on-screen chemistry as they barely showed any emotion towards each other. In fact, her only role in the story was to as act as the shrink for our main characters whenever it served purpose for the story. She wasn’t a character that I really cared to see. Although she had to leave the drama early, her absence wasn’t largely felt.

As for Im Shi Wan, he has improved since The Moon that Embraces the Sun but I do think he’s still got a ways to go. However, I like that he took on a more dynamic role which gave him to a chance to experiment as an actor. Not all of those risks are going to pay off but with each new experience, he has the potential to improve. As an idol actor, I don’t want to see Im Shi Wan typecasted in a certain type of role just because of his good looks. Sure, he came off as appearing awkward in his final scene in the drama but I’m not worried about his future as long as he’s got the courage to take risks.

Ailee – 하루하루 (Day by Day)

에일리(Ailee) – 하루하루

As a down-on-his-luck gambler, Heo Young Dal had the best character arch out of the three brothers. He had the most to gain and everything to lose and so he’s the underdog that viewers wanted to root for. I even though his chemistry with Baek Jin Hee, who plays the love interest Oh Jung Hee was decent, even if their storyline was pretty obvious.

I’ve only seen Kim Jae Joong previously in Protect the Boss and while I didn’t think he was a terrible actor, he didn’t have a lot of substance to work with in that drama. Cha Moo Won was merely a sketch of a character that’s typical to K-Dramas. As Heo Young Dal, he’s been able to show what he’s capable of showing a wide-range of emotions like he showed here. My hope is that if he does head into the army, his talents won’t fade into a distant memory.

The only saving grace for this drama is Kim Jae Joong and seeing how he’s improved as an actor. However, I don’t think that’s enough for me to recommend that viewers spend 26 hours to watch this.  More power to you, if you’ve got the time.  The antagonists come off as a really bad joke (hair and all) and some veteran actors whom I’ve faithfully followed from drama to drama come off looking bored as if they’re merely doing this job for the paycheck. I’m really disappointed with the latter and just have no patience for that.

Rating

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