This photo sums Abyss up for me: it’s two likable young actors in search of a better plot. You could also say that the Ahn Hyo-seop’s oversized jacket on Park Bo-young fits her as well as the pairing of these two. I wanted to like them together, I like them individually just fine, but when all is said and done there were just too many times that I wasn’t convinced that they fit well together.
Her character is a little too bossy and abrasive and fails to grow as a person in significant ways* and his youthful boyishness is not quite in keeping with that of a slightly older man his original persona was — though to be fair, as the man (boy) who was pretty virginal (due to his natural homely looks), appearing to be younger and more innocent works better with the premise of the ‘back to life matching your soul’ concept than does hers.
I wanted to like this; it started out with enough plot to be different and intriguing, but by the 4th or 5th episode I began to feel the plot wearing thin already. I sat it aside for a good long while, but I resolved this week to finish it (with a healthy dose of fast-forwarding, I confess), though I can’t exactly say that I’m glad that I did.
Where are my issues with Abyss? The biggest one is the whole murderer(s) hunt back and forth business episode after episode, with relatively little progress and the same kind of mistakes and near misses happening over and over. Will Cha Min’s ex-fiancée tell the truth or betray them? Was it 3 or 4 times that the result was the same? I lost count and interest and fast-forwarded thru a good chunk of her scenes. Was there a good reason for the murderer(s) to act the way they do? There’s no real answer to this (sorry if this is a spoiler) other than “they are evil people” (unless I missed it in fast-forwarding thru scenes that looked pretty repetitive.
I did enjoy the work done by Lee Si-eon as the detective used by Park Bo-young’s character to get to the bottom of things, and the actress who played the real Mi-do, once she was part of the Scooby Gang. In her small way, Song Sang-eun as the cosmetically changed Mi-do, added some vitality to the sagging repetitions of the plot.
Overall, I wanted more and got less. I found the junior cops and pseudo science of He Is Psychometric more enjoyable and a better use of my time and yours.
*Character-related spoiler follows, after the break.
Throughout the show they hint (and then basically spell it out for us) that Se-yeon had always liked Min, so why would she — a woman who’s been given a second chance at life (and 3rd, etc.) — waste it by not being more forthcoming with her feelings? I found it implausible that she could not tell Min of her love for him when he so sweetly tells her of his — why would she begrudge him that happiness? That she would wait to tell him again and again in a diary after he’s disappeared (to her knowledge probably dead) seemed a waste and showed a shocking lack of understanding of the benefits to good fanservice at the end of a drama!
Also, how he came back to her was weakly explained and acted and regrettably PG (fully clothed on the bed under a throw blanket — what… didn’t they have any twin beds in the prop department?)