1. The Humour
Despite Pinocchio having a dark undertone, it manages to balance the witty and comical so well. I think all the characters are quite distinctive even if we don’t have much time to flesh everyone out. From Yoon Yoo Rae’s crying, which she blames on allergies, or the grandpa’s slick thieving skills, the humour is spot on when it needs to be. In certain instances, I actually think the writer of Pinocchio pokes fun at certain drama stereotypes when he has Bum Jo’s mom act like a witch mother in-law but really it was Dal Pyeong’s imagination. Or, the joke that Bum Jo doesn’t “look” like a chaebol neither does he act like one. It would be quite unbearable if Pinocchio didn’t have these lighthearted scenes to balance the melo ones, so this effect is refreshing.
2. The Second Leads
Rarely can I ever say I enjoy the second leads as much as the first! Yoon Yoo Rae is so hilarious as the unconventional second lead, I love her to bits. Unconventional meaning even when Dal Po is away, she takes their work into her own hands and can handle it. She clearly states she doesn’t have time for romance and I’m ok if she never falls for Dal Po..actually I hope she doesn’t. Yoo Rae is rash and smart in her own way and it wins. Seo Bum Jo is also a wonderful second lead and a great help to In Ha especially when Dal Po can’t be there. I love that he approached In Ha not because he somehow fell in love with her over 10 years worth of text messages (that would be a major eye roll), but because he feels like he owes her for not telling her she had the wrong number. Bum Jo is also a nice foil to Dal Po because he has been sheltered all his life and knows very little about how cruel the real world can be.
The scenes for when both Dal Po and In Ha are together are quite beautiful. I’ve seen much prettier camera work in other dramas, but i’m a sucker for gorgeous cityscapes. I also love the tones in Pinocchio, lots of pastels mixed with an icy blue. It fits the mood and season of the drama, which has a sad element to it but also a hint of warmth and hope.
4. Park Shin Hye as Choi In Ha
FINALLYYYYYY. Park Shin Hye has won me over. I threatened to stop watching if she looked like a dead fish again in a kiss scene! She is capturing the heart of In Ha and portraying her to be the Pinocchio that she is. As for her chemistry with Lee Jong Suk, well it sells…but i’m more excited from the fact that I can finally say I really like Park Shin Hye, and I won’t grumble the next time she is rumoured to be in a drama with another hottie (her luck is off the charts).
5. The Central Conflict
It’s expected that Pinocchio dramatizes certain aspects of the life as a reporter, but it does fairly well in constructing the central conflict that reporters alike have to conquer. Sometimes doing a career that banks on making sure people are tuning in to your program makes one lose sight of what’s really important, and that is to provide factual, raw news. What better way to set this up than to have a girl who hiccups every time she lies as well as when she senses some untruth in a situation. To have the series of unfortunate events begin with a Pinocchio who convinces himself that what he saw was the truth makes me believe that In Ha not only can, but has to become a reporter, and she’s going to help Dal Po out of the hell he’s been in all these years. The conflict of whether to be a human first or a reporter is consistently battled by every character, and it’s one of the questions I’m hoping the drama can give it’s answer to by the end. Lastly, in the words of the wise Dr. House: Everybody lies.
*All credit goes to SBS for the screenies.