Just Bananas About: Week of 5/2/16

Master: God of Noodles just started airing last week.  Despite the fact that Master is yet another dark drama about revenge, I will say that I am very intrigued by it.  It’s a bit early to say whether the drama will be a success but I do think that the story is interesting enough to keep watching.  Plus, I’m glad that I’ve got another Wed/Thurs drama to invest my time in as I just recently quit Ddanddara/Entertainer which wasn’t holding my interest.

Master starts off with a man named Kim Gil Do (Jo Jae Hyun).  He was abused as a kid and grew up to be man who is cold and unfeeling.  As a young man (played by Baro), he covets the life of people who have a better life than his own.

He steals their personalities and lives their lives.  However, his life goes in a different direction when he messes with the wrong.  He steals from a well-connected military guy but gets caught in the act.  He kills the housekeeper and goes on the run.  This sequence plays out beautifully in the first episode as he goes from identity to identity.  It’s like a very dark version of Catch Me If You Can.

Unfortunately when he comes across the man again, he goes on the run again into the wilderness.  Cold and starving, Gil Do comes across a wooden shack where a man named Ha Jung Tae (Noh Young Hak).  Jung Tae’s goal in life is to make the perfect bowl of noodles.  He invites the stranger in and eventually teaches Gil Do the craft.

Their brief happiness doesn’t last long as Jung Tae discovers Gil Do’s wanted poster.  Jung Tae keeps it silent from Gil Do.  However, Gil Do has other plans and tries to kill Jung Tae and takes his recipe to create his own successful business.

Jung Tae doesn’t die but falling off the cliff has caused him to become simpl, not even remembering his own identity.  Jung Tae eventually marries the woman that saved him that day and they have a son together, Soon Seok.  One day, Soon Seok’s mom discovers a newspaper in which Kim Gil Do has a won a noodle competition, under the name Ha Jung Tae.  She goes to see that man thinking that he would be able to help their family out.

However, Kim Gil Do has other plans and kills the family by setting their house ablaze.  The sole survivor is little Soon Seok who not only bears the scars but remembers the face of the man that set them on fire.  Instead of going to the police, Soon Seok decides to head to an orphanage instead and takes on the name Moo Myung Yi (Chun Jung Myung), meaning no name.

He grows up at the orphanage growing close with the other kids there, Chae Yeo Kyung (Jung Yoo Mi), Park Tae Ha (Lee Sang Yeob) and Ko Kil Young (Kim Jae Young).

One day, a man shows up at the orphanage to volunteer his time there.  Myung Yi is asked to help the man out in the kitchen and discovers it is the man from his nightmares.

Kim Gil Do has become quite the successful but ruthless businessman over the years.  He’s married into a prestigious family but things do not appear to be happy in his marriage to Ko Kang Sook (Lee Il Hwa).

What’s even more, it appears that his father-in-law, Ko Dae Chun has grown suspicious of his son-in-law causing him to check out his past.  However, Kim Gil Do is already steps ahead of Ko Dae Chun and deals with him.

As for Myung Yi, it seems that Kim Gil Do has been going from orphanage to orphanage in an attempt to see if Soon Seok is still alive.  In order to make some money, the director at the orphanage provides Kim Gil Do with information about how the kid he is looking for might be at his orphanage.

The first two episodes were done in such a stylistic fashion that I’m hooked.  Who knew noodles could be so deadly?  At first, I didn’t quite grasp the themes of the drama but the more you watch, you begin to understand how the metaphor of noodles goes hand-in-hand with the revenge plotline.  Noodles often represent “life”.  For Myung Yi, he’s trying to get revenge for his parents’ lives which were so cruelly cut short.  For Kim Gil Do, he’s been able to live multiple lives from cutting the lives of others.  I’m interested to see how Myung Yi will try to get his revenge.  It seems like he’s been biding his time and waiting for the right moment to do so but that doesn’t mean that Kim Gil Do hasn’t been waiting for him to appear after all these years.

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