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I said this before watching the first two episodes of new KBS drama Curtain Call and I felt it while watching too — it has old school drama vibes, in a good way. (The setting of the family, the hotel business, the disguised identity trope and the execution.) The drama boasts a strong cast, quality production and a story spanning decades and two countries.

Brief Synopsis

Go Doo Shim (Dear My Friends) plays Ja Geum Soon, who got separated from her husband and son while trying to board a ship to South Korea many decades back. Currently, she is remarried and owns a huge hotel empire. She lives with her three grandchildren from second marriage — Park Se Joon (Ji Seung Hyun; Search: WWW), Park Se Kyu (Choi Dae Hoon, Extraordinary Attorney Woo) and Park Se Yeon (Ha Ji Won; Secret Garden). She has terminal illness and only 3 months to live. Her last wish is to see her grandson Ri Moon Seong who is in North Korea. Unable to bring the real grandson because of certain reasons, her right hand man Jung Sang Chul (Sung Dong Il; Reply 1988) employs an unknown theater actor Yoo Jae Heon (Kang Ha Neul; Misaeng) to pose as her grandson.

Characters and Execution

The drama sets up a strong emotional foundation from the very first scene. You feel for Geum Soon and it’s heartbreaking to watch the family being separated. The younger versions of Geum Soon and her husband are played by Ha Ji Won and Kang Ha Neul. I’m not sure how the modern character is connected to the latter as they both have same faces.

The real grandson is played by Steven Noh (Pachinko). Moon Seong is living a reckless life doing illegal things. I’m curious to see what happens when he gets to know about Geum Soon and the fake grandson.

I love how as opposed to my initial expectation that Jae Heon would be a serious broody guy, he is this cute, bumbling and charming person. Same goes for Se Yeon. One example is how she loves arranging stationery when in stress. She is not the typical rich serious, cold woman. She is candid, sweet and cheeky.

I also liked how the three siblings are so different but all have heart even if they don’t show it all the time.

Curtain Call has one of my favourite supporting actresses — Jung Eugene (Snowdrop) as our heroine’s friend. I’m looking forward to see more of her.

I’m not sure how the romance would play out here but I really like Jae Heon and his friend and fake wife Yoon Hee (Jung Ji So; Doom at Your Service). They are a bickering pair and super cute — is it too soon to ship them?

I don’t have a lot of interest in corporate politics track and I hope it’s kept minimum. The show also requires some bit of suspension of disbelief. For example, what if anyone recognizes the hero? And the legal risks involved? When Sang Chul was explaining everything to Jae Heon, I kept worrying about the danger or risk involved. I do like their bromantic interactions.

First Impressions

All in all, a solid start for Curtain Call.