So THIS DRAMA, I SWEAR.
I watched this because my friends were telling me how great this drama was. So yeah, I was like, why not?
Mask was released by SBS in 2015 and ran for 20 grueling episodes. I think y’all know how this review is gonna go.
Synopsis: Desperate to distance herself from her father’s crippling debt, Byun Ji Sook (Soo Ae) begins to pose as Seo Eun Ha (Soo Ae), a wealthy socialite with an eerie resemblance to Ji Sook. While playing her new role, she has a chance meeting with Min Woo (Joo Ji Hoon), a cynical CEO desperate to escape his privileged world. Invigorated by her atypical “rich girl” personality, Min Woo quickly falls for “Eun Ha,” but how long can Ji Sook keep up the charades before Min Woo discovers she’s an impostor?
So, technically Ji Sook wasn’t running away from the debt. In fact, the debt collectors were coming after her because she had seen them assault someone and they were trying to kill her.
Her father’s crippling gambling debt had driven the family into the ground, and Ji Sook was having to pay them so they wouldn’t physically take it out on the family.
But a few days before that, she was working and inadvertently ran into her doppelganger, Seo Eun Ha.
Ji Sook doesn’t really realize it, but Eun Ha does. In fact there is a saying, ‘whoever sees their doppelganger first, will be the first to die.’ Ironically enough, that’s what happens.
When she does die, the brother in law, Min Suk Hoon (played by Yun Jung Hoon) sees her and hatches the plan to use her as a double for Eun Ha. He approaches her and first offers her a deal: to pose as Eun Ha and be married to the next CEO, gaining wealth and security. When she refuses, he threatens her with the safety of her family.
So, back to her running away from the debt collectors. She ends up being kidnapped by them, and they are on their way to kill her. However, she escapes for a short period, and when they get out of the vehicle at some point (it’s been awhile since I watched it), she gets back in and steals their van.
One guy is still inside, but as they struggle for control of the vehicle, they end up driving off a cliff and hanging by a wire.
The man falls to his death to the icy waters below when Ji Sook receives a call from Suk Hoon, offering her one last hope, or die.
Well, as you can guess, she accepted, albeit unwillingly. She is forced to fake her death and take on her new life as Eun Ha, whose fiance is Minwoo, the son of a CEO who is handing control over to him.
Throughout the series the way Ji Sook and Minwoo’s characters were written frustrated me to no end.
Ji Sook is a wishy-washy whiny baby and Minwoo is an emotionally abusive asshole, who likes breaking furniture and throwing shit.
However, they also write in that he had a traumatic childhood and Ji Sook makes half hearted threats sometimes.
She is put to work in the family company along with Minwoo’s sister, Mi Yeon (Yoo In Young), who is Suk Hoon’s wife.
She absolutely despises Eun Ha, probably because before her death, the real Eun Ha was gettin some Suk Hoon booty on the side. And Mi Yeon knew about it. So when she died while Mi Yeon was there, she didn’t do anything.
Mi Yeon doesn’t figure that out that Ji Sook is Eun Ha until later on though. She too uses her family against her and…(spoiler alert) ends up causing the death of one of her relatives, on purpose.
To be honest, I was rooting for Suk Hoon for most of the drama. HOWEVER, (major spoiler alert) after all the shit he pulls and everything, Ji Sook outs him at a press conference, thus outing herself (which I found to be really cheesy and stupid) and he runs from the authorities.
Even with their marriage not turning out how she wanted, Mi Yeon calls him and offers him a way out, she has a ticket to where they took their honeymoon. She tries to convince him that they can start life anew and be happy like when they first got married.
However, Suk Hoon is too full of himself and his pride and says that he never loved her in the first place, that he was using her as revenge for when the company fired his father for an accident that left him permanently disabled when Suk Hoon was still a child (there’s his motive and tragic background story for you).
So she leaves, and so does he. However, when he’s at the airport, he has a change of heart (oh god) and tries to call Mi Yeon, only to discover that in her despair (oh please) she has committed suicide.
So at the funeral, he shows up, crying like a baby. Minwoo punches him in the face and tells him if he’s really sorry he’d turn himself in, and he does.
He ends up in prison, and is reading a book. A guard finds Mi Yeon’s picture and asks if she’s waiting for him. He replies something to the extent of, ‘no, but I’ll be joining her soon.’ Like he’s gonna commit suicide.
Which I find to be a cop out. Like way over the top ‘taking-care-of-the-villian-justice’ cop out.
On the other hand, Minwoo and Ji Sook write to each other in prison and he waits for her, and they continue their relationship and have a baby after she’s released.
Oh, and to top it off, her debt collectors are captured and thrown in prison as well.
Overall, it’s an okay drama. I usually judge how good a drama is by how often I cry, and I cried once, when that relative died. However, there was plenty of suspense and turns, mystery and a chuckle every once in awhile. So I give it 7/10.
Watch the trailer here: