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“Faith” and Its Flaws

Young is not too happy with me, is he?

People have asked why “Faith” is not a ratings hit in Korea and why there seem to be just as many people who don’t like it as there are people who do. So let me take this space to offer my conjectures and review.

I love “Faith” dearly but it is far from perfect. I have written many times before on the directorial flaws. Perhaps it is due to the choppy editing but the soundtrack tends to start and end abruptly and sometimes, the music choices are not always suitable. The fantasy elements of this drama are sporadic and aren’t incorporated well into the overall story. They seemed to there for the spectacle but the execution isn’t always exciting. The political storyline is overly simplistic and repetitive and while some characters get a lot of attention, many are underdeveloped. The acting in the drama as a whole is uneven with wonderful performances by some actors and mediocre from others.

These flaws become more apparent as we get closer to the end of the drama because the same plot devices keep being used, such as the poisoning of Eun-soo. Eun-soo also just kept too many things to herself, revealing them very late. Her love for Young wasn’t apparent until way past the mid-point. Also, even though we are close to the ending, there is still so much we don’t know about Eun-soo and her story. This leaves so much room for error in the last two episodes, which can bring down the quality of the writing as a whole. What I am fearing most about the last two episodes is Writer Song throwing us balls from left field to quickly wrap up the story and we are left going “Huh? Where the heck did that come from?”

I can see why this drama is not a hit in Korea. This writing and the directing does not succeed in creating a drama that is meant to be watched at a evening primetime on two weekdays over the course of three months by a wide Korean demographic. This drama started off with too many things going on at once- fusion, sageuk, fantasy, love, politics, and romance without being properly integrated. While it showed potential, it wasn’t immediately grabbing because the character arcs and background were strangely placed. I think Director Kim Jong-hak does well when he has a lot of time, such as for “The Legend,”  but his directing suffers when he is working in a live-shooting timetable. Song Ji-na is also writing a story that isn’t easily digestible. With “Faith,” you have to do a lot of mental exercise to get to the heart of the story but most viewers don’t have the time or energy to do that. I’m not calling most viewers dumb or lazy. I’m arguing that Song Ji-na failed to find that perfect balance of writing a story that the masses can consume right from the beginning without first caring about the characters. We have to work a lot to understand and love these characters because so many things are left unexplained. A writer shouldn’t need to have her characters explain their thoughts and actions all the time, or have to lay out every single context and personal history, but there is just too much untold and unexplained for the vast majority of viewers. All these holes leaves room for viewers to complain, to get nitpicky, and to drop the drama. I think this story would have done better in novel format rather than the drama format, actually.

Not every part of this drama is good but the parts that are, man-oh-man do I love them. I know some people complained about Young and Gongmin’s relationship and how they seem to revisit the issue of trust and loyalty over and over but I actually love it because I don’t think trust and loyalty are built over one dramatic episode but continuously through various challenges. The best part of the drama for me is the character development and relationships between Gongmin, Noguk, Eun-soo, and Young. The growth and connection between the four main characters are detailed and gradual (and I have written numerous posts on this), but of course that means the average Korean viewer is not going to have enough interest or time to do the mental work to see it. Thankfully I was recapping it and interested enough from the beginning to take the time to ponder and fall in love. And I fell in love hard.

Yay! Young’s smiling at me again!

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92 Comments Post a comment
  1. Fairycutter #

    as always, well written Joonni. thank you for clearing this issue.

    yay, i fell in love hard too… despite always questioning why Faith didn’t well received but then nodding to my self about all the flaws..

    too bad korean people who had remote to control the tv didn’t have the chances to enjoy this ride…

    October 27, 2012
  2. Yes Faith has its flaws but there’s something in this show that makes you want to keep watching…I think it is because Faith showcases the growth in the characters that keeps one watching…even though the storyline might be repeating, but at least because of the growth of the characters, you see them handle things differently…

    Love your analytical posts (so different to my fluff ones!).

    October 28, 2012
    • Pam #

      It’s the Faith crack factor! Lol!

      October 28, 2012
      • so does that make Joonni the Faith crack dealer?

        October 28, 2012
        • Pam #

          Yes, several of us were joking around a while back about Joonni being our dealer because her Faith blog was so addicting…a joke though, so don’t kick me off your blog, Joonni! LOL!

          October 28, 2012
  3. Pam #

    I agree, Joonni. Faith has its major flaws, but despite that, I fell in love with Faith. I hate comparing dramas but can’t help but it. Faith came out the same time Arang and the Magistrate did and Arang kicks Faith’s butt in the ratings in South Korea.

    Even though technically Arang is so much better than Faith, as a fan, I fell in deeper love with Faith. Yes, Arang had all the bells and whistles: better directing, editing, picture, OST (better management and flow of background music), equally beautiful/talented OTP and cast, but I didn’t care. Faith had my heart and I couldn’t figure out why.

    I finally realized that it was the characters and character development. I loved how Faith organically portrayed the relationships aside from the OTPs, from G to Y, to Lady Choi to Y and even Woodalchis to Young and now ES. Come on, even Faith fans like the baddies, i. e. KC. Even miniscule details, like Do Chi’s heartbreak when N lost the baby really wowed me.

    Like I have mentioned before, for me, heart trumps the technicalities…the heart wants what the heart wants…

    October 28, 2012
    • CallieP #

      Pam, you are so right. In Faith, there are more likeable characters than other dramas. Do Chi, Dae man, Woldalchis, the 4 main OTPs, Lady Choi, Ki Chul, Eum Ja, the villians and the minor characters also are likeable and you see them grow with the main. Oh, yes even the Suribang. And all of them are invested in the love of the OTPs

      October 28, 2012
      • Pam #

        Oh, CallieP, I’m glad you agree with me. What are we going to do when Faith is over? I’m going to miss these characters so much. It’s sounds crazy but they seem like they are more than just characters but friends and family! I can’t even watch any other Kdramas in between Faith because they are just plain boring (can’t finish the last 5 eps of Arang) I’d rather re-watch the reruns of my fave scenes in Faith!

        I’ve got it BAD! Lol!

        *Hugs*

        October 28, 2012
        • That’s the million dollar question right there, gutterbud. What are we going to do after Faith???? How will my day be without Faith and you faithbuds???? ***sobbing and pouting****

          October 28, 2012
        • CallieP #

          Hugs to you too. Did not finish Arang, just saw the first few and the last so I know what happened. Skipped the in-between. The characters are like one big family at the palace.

          October 28, 2012
  4. zainab ghani #

    hey i was under the impression that the show was a big hit! it’s not a hit in Korea??? that is sad!!!

    October 28, 2012
  5. Chepie2 #

    Having said that, thank you for the diligence in sharing your love for this drama (thanks to Softy, too). Exact sentiments here–your narratives helped me to understand the emotions behind the story that made me (likewise) fall in love with the characters more than the drama itself. Kudos to you and Softy!! 😉

    October 28, 2012
  6. Nadine #

    I am equally surprised that this drama is not a big hit in Korea.. It is a BIG hit with me.. And i am not easy to please.. lol
    I was not planning to watch Faith at all.. But somehow i accidentally flipped into it on One TV Asia and got hooked.. I guess the rest is history..
    I am so looking forward to the upcoming two final episodes!! I hope it is happy ending for ES and Young.. Or else i will cry buckets!!

    October 28, 2012
  7. I am afraid it will have a rushed end where we are left saying ” what in the world?” I also kept waiting for ES to really open up to CY like she did with Dr Jang. and for CY to be a little softer with her when talking about his feelings and not everything be an order. I think the editing is also too choppy. KC was starting to show a softer side of him when he gave the king the seal and now he is crazy again.

    October 28, 2012
  8. CallieP #

    Joonni:
    Faith biggest flaws are the directing and editing. Many scenes are great but the choppy editing prevented the scene from being as effective as it should have been. I read from dramabeans that the director Kim used a no name co-director to handle a lot of the directing. I don’ t know how accurate that is though. The story tries to handle too much. The technical and the fighting scenes could have been so much better. They seem to rush through the fight scenes. BUT this drama has heart. The love story is more real and I guess in the end everyone loves a good and straightforward love story. Somehow the internet viewers fell in love with it, was it initially the love for LMH that started it?

    Do the Korean ratings affect the final success of the drama? YAB seems to still be one of the hottest dramas and made JGS the most popular hallyu star today but I recently found out that the ratings were even worse than Faith. I read from some posting that Faith had sold out all its advertising slots so isn’t that the goal of a drama? Maybe the advertisers did not get the viewers they wanted but then I read that the advertisers were targeting women in their 30’s who are the ones watching Faith and they are the ones with the most disposable income so Faith probably made the advertisers happy and isn’t that what ratings is all about?

    Apart from that, isn’t it better to get an international crowd? The hallyu stars are ambassadors for S Korea. Think of the tourism dollars, the positive images enhancing Korean cullture. Faith increased the amount of interest in Korean history during the Goryeo period, foreigners now know about the great General Choi Young. They know somewhat about science and worm holes, poisons and antibiotics, Asian medicine and acupuncture. Has any other drama increased such interest in other topics? I don’t know as this is the first drama I have followed on blogs but it does seem to be the case that the interest to find out about things related to the series is more apparent in this drama. The drama has increased general knowledge in its viewers. It also puts Korea on the map and probably an affinity for Korean products e.g. Hyundai, Samsung, etc.

    Rooftop prince ratings was average but it seems to be a hit and YoonChun won the best actor on the Seoul International awards even beating City Hunter. (Personally, I cannot understand why? I saw RTP but did not finish it, skipped to see episode 20 after watching up to Episode 4 or 5 so that I knew why the princess was murdered). It is now very popular and made YoonChun famous all over. Deviating a bit, people compared RTP’s reaction to being in modern Seoul to Choi Young’s and criticized LMH. They forgot that RTP did not know where he was and was thus unequipped for the experience. CY knew he was going to some place that would be different. He had a job and just handled it the best way he knew how. He would not be as fazed out as RTP.

    It seems now that Faith would be a long lasting hit like BOF, SG, YAB, RTP and CH (What else have I missed? Arang? I did not finish that either, saw up to episode 5 and then skipped to episode 20. }Time will tell. I really hope so.

    October 28, 2012
    • CallieP #

      What else did I miss that is still very popular intenationally or on the internet or DVDs? Coffee Prince?

      October 28, 2012
    • joonni #

      I saw the co-director in the credits and also thought that the poor directing might be because of him because Kim Jong-hak was better in his other projects. But then I was watching the BTS and saw him all the time there. Maybe the BTS is just showing us when he is there filming.

      I totally agree with you about the ratings. If you look at it from a monetary standpoint, I’m sure Faith is doing well but ratings seem to matter a lot in general to Korean people and fans and actors. I don’t really care because there is nothing I can do here in the U.S. but it makes me sad to think some actors feel disappointed by low ratings. But I think Faith is doing fine with it’s numbers. It’s not a huge hit but it’s not abysmal either.

      October 28, 2012
  9. faither #

    The King 2 Heart was so epic outside of Korea.. in google, 500 millions posted about it.

    October 28, 2012
    • Sussie #

      King 2 hearts was so good… funny and painful moments… plus great chemistry between main actors (even though LMH/ KHS chemistry is the best!!) 😉

      October 28, 2012
      • faither #

        agree… it looks like LMH has this special preference on older and more mature women.. I saw the Faith BTS and can’t stop smiling on how much he adore Kim Hee Sun like a fan boy… well, as an older wife to my 5 years younger hubby my self, believe me.. men love older women more in every aspect of life 🙂
        Their chemistry is so over powering above all…

        October 28, 2012
        • Pam #

          Oh, yes, LMH might have a thing for noonas! Lol! Plus, he does seem more mature for his age. I bet he must have a crush on KHS because she’s gorgeous and a legend in her own right. Too bad she’s married, otherwise their onscreen chemistry could become more..hehehe.

          October 28, 2012
          • faither #

            that my friend, I guarantee.. can be easily happen. She’s all that and her personality is so everything LMH like in a woman. Too bad she’s taken already or else, they’ll make a great off screen couple.. sorry Min Ho ssi 🙂

            October 28, 2012
        • I so love their BTS footages. They are so playful with each other. It cracked me when they played rock, scissors and paper for massages. It made me giggled and gave me a warm fuzzy feeling inside at the same time. I’m sure our Daejang has a little crush on his Imja off screen. Love them! Hope they do another drama together. Daejang’s expressive eyes and seductive voice…mamamia who wouldn’t want to, right? ***swoooooooooooning*****

          October 28, 2012
          • faither #

            yup I saw that one too.. so cute and intimate, I believe if she’s 5 years younger and single, the kingdom of worshippers universe will explode in awe by their incredibly -almost real- magnetic chemistry…

            October 28, 2012
            • Pam #

              Omg, gukja and faither! We have to be careful. What if all of our collective fangirl wishing causes KHS to leave her husband for LMH, then we’d be in deep karmic doo-doo! LOL! Oops, sorry KHS’s husband 🙂

              October 28, 2012
              • faither #

                hahaha.. I’m so sorry but my eyes are not blind yet.. this is an opinion from a merely humble fans. I mean, what man doesn’t fall to that gorgeous lovely beauty that so legendary even Nina Ricci made a bag inspired by her. She is, to be honest.. one of the most beautiful woman ever. Most of all, her personality is what I love the most.

                October 28, 2012
              • hahaha. Somebody help me…I can’t help it. Sorry KHS’S hubby, but we’re too in love with our Imja Couple and we gotta let it out somehow.

                October 28, 2012
              • Sussie #

                OMO girls! your fangirl imagination is flying here hahaha. Btw, her husband is very very handsome too! (though not as much as LMH, for my personal taste hahaha, but he is very handsome man too hahaha)

                I also believe that if she was single (not important their age gap since her personality is so youthful and he is more mature than his age) we would have a true romance here. Hahaha but since she is a happy married woman with a lovely daughter … Neehhh, not happening. So, everything stays as a little crush from Lmh on his noona hehehe

                October 28, 2012
              • jhen #

                poor KHS’s husband hehe! he must have been through a lot of jealousy for this past few months..but what can we do its just that the imja couple have that special connection and they totally outshone to be such a loving couple for Faith..

                and speaking of age gaps among couples, hehehe I myself is a year older than my boyfriend..and geezzz! men really do love older women right faither! 🙂

                October 28, 2012
              • jhen #

                i really love KHS’s bubbly personality, it just matches with the sweet smiling LMH..when i saw that BTS where they played rock and scissors to take turns in massaging, first thing that came to my mind is KHS’s husband..lolz he must have felt some insecurities seeing the imja couple happily massaging each other displaying such perfect chemistry..

                October 28, 2012
            • Did you see the one where they were playing the hand hitting game on the table? Their laughs just killed me. Oh so much chemistry off screen. That chemistry must have extended onto the screen…making it much more intense…

              October 28, 2012
              • faither #

                yes of course I saw that one too 🙂
                when the working ambiance is so cozy and has no boundaries, cemistry will build up naturally and organically. It makes them able to blend well in their role. I bet, Min Ho is CY and Hee Sun is ES (really really them) when they act…

                October 28, 2012
          • CallieP #

            Yes, they really hit it off screen. Hope they remain good and playful friends but not cause a breakup between KHS and her husband.

            October 28, 2012
          • cacao #

            OMG Galz, I’m totally with you. I love KHS n LMH BTS. It’s so hillarious to watch how LMH adores KHS so much such little fan boy. And I curious what KHS’s hubby thinks about those footages. Did you see BTS 22, when he was pretending to take her pic?

            October 28, 2012
            • YEAH, I saw that……so cute! He’s like practically on the floor doing it…hahha

              So love their chemistry.

              October 28, 2012
    • CallieP #

      Faither, curious about this, you said 500 million posted on google about King 2 Heart? Wow, I am trying to watch it but it has not pulled my interest yet. Saw two episodes and stopped for the moment. May continue later. I liked the North Korean guy falling for Girl’s generation. Ha! Ha!

      However do you know many googled Faith? I read somewhere that Faith is the highest searched drama on Naver which is the Korean search engine.

      October 28, 2012
      • Sussie #

        Callie, you should give it a try 😉 you will not waste your time on this drama. Trus us 😉

        October 28, 2012
        • Sussie #

          *trust*

          October 28, 2012
      • faither #

        yup.. TK2H is so amazing I have no words.. this drama raised my bar way too high that I easily ditched Dr. Jin, and many other dramas that run at the same time. Dramabeans site was crashed with Hearties and Lee Seung Gi’s popularity skyrocketing like never before.. it’s a drama without flaw. Everything in there is so perfect.. Ha Ji Won is as gorgeous as ever. I highly reccomend you to watch this but wait until you withdraw Faith or else you’ll be in an incurable emotional roller coaster. Some of my Hearties friends are not yet cured until this very moment.

        October 28, 2012
      • Jyam #

        Hi CallieP! I must agree to Sussie & Faither that The King 2 Hearts is also a drama that is worth the watch. FYI, I am the type who’s not watching all of kdrama seen on screen. In fact, Faith is only
        my second Kdrama to watch in 2012 next to TK2H.
        Hope I have successfully done my part helping your friends here in convincing you. I’m sorry for interrupting.:-D

        October 29, 2012
  10. tara #

    started to watch kdrama when my niece ask me to watch city hall … but i fell pretty hard since i watch faith…i’m not sure when will the emptiness of not having to watch faith will disappear once faith end tomorrow…i’m sure it will last quite sometime…yes faith does have lots of flaws but i kept falling in love by each episode week by week and felt the love/pain of es n cy so much that sometimes i keep telling myself that faith is only a DRAMA made by humans…but alas wherever i turn i see cy n es….aiyahhh…i’m going crazy like lost puppy here…heheheh…if i have 10 thumbs i will give them all to FAITH….my life will never be the same after FAITH…that is for sure….

    October 28, 2012
    • Pam #

      I agree, tara. There’s something about Faith that just grabs you and won’t let you go. It’s like an “x” factor, what I and the other girls here jokingly and affectionately refer to as Faith crack factor! I think Faith has a certain charisma although it has its many flaws as well. What takes center stage is the love that organically develops between Young and Eun Soo. I will be in Faith rehab with a lot of you girls when Faith is over.

      Liked I’ve jokingly quipped before, “if I had a penny for every time someone said ‘Faith will be the death of me’ I’d be a millionaire by now”. 🙂

      October 28, 2012
      • faither #

        I am one of them.. Faith is indeed the death of me and I wasn’t even exaggerating.

        October 28, 2012
        • same here. i don’t know how many times i’ve died over the past few months. unlike Doekman…guess we all have 9 lives in our pockets….***huhuhu****

          October 28, 2012
  11. Sussie #

    Indeed Faith’s big flaws are the directing and the editing, but luckily for the Director… they have such an awesome OST and there is such an incredibly good chemistry between LMH/ KMH (but also on general… all actors and actress seem to get along so well), so you start to forget about these flaws. (personally at some point, I started to not care about it anymore hahaha)

    PS: great analysis Joonni… now we know why you have been so quiet all this week haha

    October 28, 2012
  12. Faith is like my baby, I yell at it because I care….Granted I yell at dramas I hate. I feel bad for tlist while I was watching DH2 and Moon/Sun. But I am worse with dramas I love that could have been so much better if the director and writing werent issues.

    I get why this show isnt more popular. I think people are missing out but I see why this wont have the mass appeals as other shows.

    Its ok. I will always love you Faith, you can come over to my house and I will make you cookies.

    October 28, 2012
    • Sussie #

      ” Its ok. I will always love you Faith, you can come over to my house and I will make you cookies” hahaha totally 2nd that!! Hahaha

      October 28, 2012
      • If Faith is at your houses, I’m coming over, so make extra chocolate chip cookies…LOL

        October 28, 2012
  13. debberdeux #

    I must say, spot on, Joonni. This is exactly what I thought about the drama but the characters in it are so loveable I just keep coming back for more. I think it helps that the cast and crew have a pretty good relationship with each other and it actually shows in the drama.

    I think the whole politics part is really badly done/written that I just ignored it entirely and focused on the Imja couple. It lacks precision in plotting, it lacks twists and the strategies used lacks brilliance and instead creates a vacuum in the viewer’s emotions rather than a resolution. I wish they did a lil more character development on GM’s part, something like the King’s speech rather than wallowing in his somewhat still pathetic state.

    The storyline has too much going on and the writer has failed to properly juxtapose all the elements to give all of them equal footing and for them to coexist in harmony but instead some elements have been given too much of focus and the rest neglected; ie, there is too much of focus on politics and romance but it neglects the part on fantasy and proper fight scenes. Sometimes, I feel like the director has taken too many short cuts in the film that it appears to be an amateur-ish storyline. I also notice that the writer throws in too many new ideas in the middle of the drama while forsaking the old, somewhat promising ideas [which I thought was just dying to grow, budding/nagging at the back of my brain] and she does not properly develop the new ideas thereafter either.

    But I’ll say that the characters for the Woodalchi and the suribangs have been pretty well developed and sufficient as minor characters but I thought JB, Hwasooin and EumJa’s role in the drama just dissipated as the drama went by. The medical element of the drama disappeared together with JB [they should stick to “Faith” rather than “The Great Doctor” as the title] and HSI and EJ suddenly popped back as supposedly “threatening” in ep22 although I didn’t quite feel it.

    I thought the so called Ministers are a lil immature in their so called advice and their dialogues and scenes were quite badly done. Everytime the Ministers and in particular, when Jo Il Shin appears on screen, it’s just a huge turnoff for me because I know that whatever they are gonna say, is going to be really dumb and will not portray them much as advisors.

    The Imja and GM-NG scenes were very well done and they are the reason why I have invested so much of time and attention to this drama. I do hope [only hope] that they may get an award for best couple but I’ll have to say that they have pretty strong contenders.

    I hope the writer ties up the loose ends of the major elements of the drama and give us proper closure.

    October 28, 2012
    • joonni #

      The storyline has too much going on and the writer has failed to properly juxtapose all the elements to give all of them equal footing and for them to coexist in harmony but instead some elements have been given too much of focus and the rest neglected

      I also notice that the writer throws in too many new ideas in the middle of the drama while forsaking the old, somewhat promising ideas [which I thought was just dying to grow, budding/nagging at the back of my brain] and she does not properly develop the new ideas thereafter either.

      Totally agree with this.

      October 28, 2012
  14. final #

    That’s exactly how I feel!

    Hello all. This is the first time I’ve posted here, but I have been reading all posts and recaps about faith for the past few weeks. Although the directing is bad, I am hooked because of the story line, and the actors and actresses. It’s such a shame that this drama was directed so clumsly, with good directing this could have had high rating and win awards. They might still win the best couple award because of the chemistry displayed on set.

    October 28, 2012
    • Sussie #

      I’m hoping so much that LMH/KHS win Best Couple Award, they totally deserve it!! (After seeing then, my standard was raised for couples chemistry on dramas)

      October 28, 2012
      • Sussie #

        *seeing them*

        October 28, 2012
  15. Hyka #

    hi pledged sisters.. 😦 now I know why our faith got its low ratings it is so sad that it is lack of good directing & I think the writer as well is also responsible for the circulation of the story, they failed to show the whole genre of the drama. I’ve seen it before yet i ignored it becoz im too much preoccupied for the development of our otp (most especially my shiny boy LMH :)) yet I’ve come to realized by now that it is really lack of action scenes,fantasy w/c they showed only in early episode, baddies repetition of strategies is also tiring to watch w/c maybe made the Koreans get bored of the drama..luckily they got the best pairs of actors & actresses who portray the role (thats why many faithfulfans is still watching over it)but unfortunate for the otp’s because their role are not given a proper justice to showed more of their talents and make the drama more anticipating especially to their fellow koreans. Director/writer should be aware that competion of drama in their country is very high & kdramas had penetrated internationally a great chance for their actors/actresses to be acknowledge internationally by other foreign country..Loving Faith is an eye opening for many foreigners to know one of their national hero General Choi Young & come to mind to visit their country A good credit to their tourism as well..
    What am I holding right now is the characters of all the casts that had help to bloom Young & Eunsoo’s love for each other.these two really makes my heart melts eventhough a hundred times I’ve come to watch their scenes I will never get bored & still feels of many mixed emotions over them..watching LMH’s previous dramas I will say that this role really build him to be an adorable human being & an eye candy to all of us..knowing that there is only 2 episodes left it makes our hearts crumble..just looking forward for his following drama.now I can marked myself as A certified LMH fan..researching of his attitudes adds another points to admire him because he Is very nice to his fans unlike the other 1 I’ve known & admired before even though you are really pissed off to your fans you’d still don’t have the riGht to hurt them..I will not mention who he is but he has an upcoming melodrama this nov.
    Im very disappointed of this actor even though he is more good in acting than LMH.
    Attitudes really matter wherever you go..& I will love more Lee because he is kind.FAITH until the end..Aja!!!!
    thanks for lending this space joonni…
    I love love so much this site..
    nyt2.. It’s past 3am here..
    Haist! I don’t know how to get up tom to feed my daughter…
    Gudnyt! (-.-) Zzzzzzzzzzzz………

    October 28, 2012
  16. lost faith in it pardon the pun at about ep 6 it bored me and i do not regret my decision dont like the main couple she is to old for him why i think of innocent man my god the story the main couple is just perfect in every way unlike faith

    October 28, 2012
    • joonni #

      I deleted all other replies to this comment because I don’t like that kind of reaction and anger. Let me end the conversation with this.

      Maureen, you are free to your opinion and I respect that. I’ve been around long enough in the K-drama fandom to know that people’s opinions can differ very drastically. If I read your comment elsewhere, I would have just read your comment and ignored it, respecting your choice to dislike “Faith.” But since this is my blog, I feel the need to respond to your comment because other readers were reacting to it and I didn’t like the direction it was going.

      I advise that if you are going to write comments like this for anything else in the future, you should realize how instigative these types of comments are, especially because you don’t provide any substantial reason to say why you dislike it except that you think the actress is too old for the the actor. Then you go on to compare “Faith” to “Innocent Man,” calling “Innocent Man” perfect without providing any real contrast. I love “Innocent Man” too and find the directing of that drama better than “Faith” in its pacing and cuts. See, that’s how you leave an opinion.

      To everyone else reading this. Please, from now on, don’t respond to comments like this if you think they just came to pick a fight. Because by you responding you just gave them what they want and I had to waste time responding. I know you wanted to defend “Faith” but you don’t need to. There is no need to get angry over comments like this one. Spend more time loving than getting angry. 😀 ❤

      October 28, 2012
      • Duly noted, Daejang Joonni. I apologize for even responding. ***going to the corner for timeout now***

        October 28, 2012
        • joonni #

          No need to go for a timeout! *hugs*

          October 28, 2012
          • jhen #

            got it joonni..so sorry i just can’t help it earlier to not respond with her post..

            October 28, 2012
          • Kamsamida, Daejang Joonni:). ***leaving corner now****

            ***hugs***

            October 28, 2012
        • Chepie2 #

          That’s our Daejang Joonni!!! You have my utmost respect for doing this blog for the sake of art–more than fangirling w/c is just a fun part of it (and I truly enjoyed it). I think I may read your next (sageuk) recap (when I thought I’ll bid my goodbye after this drama ends). Hugs to everyone! 😉

          October 28, 2012
      • cacao #

        Thanks Joonni I love how you respond her post, straight to the point. I think I should call you Daejang like gukja did.
        And yes Faith has flaw executions and the writter failed to put new idea, but the main actors really good in their roles, so I can’t stop watch Faith.

        October 28, 2012
      • tara #

        hahahhah….was just about to reply maureen’s comment but then i guess better don’t…too bad she did not feel the same as i am towards faith….no worries..one hater , millions heads over heals on faith…hehhehehe no offence maureen….:)

        October 29, 2012
  17. Keaton #

    “May your reach always exceed your grasp.”

    I love you all, pledged sisters (brothers, ants and whoever else who has slipped into the room), and Joonni in particular, but let us not fall into the trap of giving a critique that focuses on shortcomings without recognizing that every element is in this show for a reason and sometimes the cost to get that exquisite shining moment was some slogging through the mud elsewhere, either in front of or behind the camera.

    That we are all feeling so impassioned about Faith means – as a whole – it is working. You poke at the writer and say, “look how she failed here,” without recognizing that if she only brought those areas where she feels strong and safe to the screen, it would be so much milk pudding and nothing more.

    I honor the writer-nim daring to write something so great that sometimes she could only just touch it and not grasp it completely…(as well as everyone else involved in giving us Faith).

    sorry, I just had to say that.

    October 28, 2012
    • debberdeux #

      Yeah, you’re right, Keaton. Sorry, I know I’m really critical but I can never watch any drama or movie the same way again after studying Advanced Literature Analysis. It’s both a blessing and a curse because I understand plots more thoroughly but it also makes me terribly critical.

      I mean well because I’ll only analyse a piece of work when I truly hold it dear to my heart. I’ll endeavour to look at the drama from the writer’s angle of view and enjoy it for what it is.

      October 28, 2012
    • joonni #

      let us not fall into the trap of giving a critique that focuses on shortcomings without recognizing that every element is in this show for a reason and sometimes the cost to get that exquisite shining moment was some slogging through the mud elsewhere, either in front of or behind the camera.

      Oh Keaton, I agree. I have a huge respect in general for the art of writing and as someone who has watched many of Writer Song’s dramas, I admire her talent greatly. You say we poke a the writer for her failures without recognizing her courage for trying out things she is not strong at. You see, I’ve found her the writing in her previous dramas to be really strong and coherent on all levels. Her strength lies in the portrayal of human conflict and not necessarily the romance. So my disappointment lies, not in the belief that she wasn’t courageous in her writing, but that she wasn’t able to elevate the political aspect of her drama along with the romance. Because I know she is capable of writing awesome political conflicts. But this disappoint is never a downright criticism. It is always in recognition of her strengths as well her weaknesses.

      October 28, 2012
  18. Amazing…after a big achievement yesterday, our Daejang is already hitting the ground running 100 miles an hour. 3 awesome posts in one night…no wonder she was silent during the initial celebration breakout. With that said, this is another wonderful post you’ve written for us.

    Like you and most faithful, I concur that this drama is far from perfect, especially the whole fantasy part. I was hoping for more action scenes…good one. Ep 1 gave us so much of that (love goryeo sable fued), but some of the action scenes in the latter episode was just ridiculous. That first supposed major fight between KC and CY in Ep 12 was so understated all around. CY was hot, but I thought he could fight better than that. What a joke. In the end, I think this entire show could have done without any special powers whatsoever as no one really ever uses them.

    I, too, agree that the one thing this show does really well is character development. I thought most of the main characters were played with depth, so we can get a sense of growth. Of all the relationships in Faith, two of them got me right in the heart – got me real good. One is that of a warrior and his king. Although there are tons of historical dramas out there none have done a job as good as this one. CY gave his heart and allegiance to king Gongmin freely, which makes King Gongmin want to deserve his heart. Throughout the show, we can see that because of CY, King Gongmin is always reminded to be a King worthy of his General. I was a happy camper that this relationship was brought forward much earlier than the supposedly ‘Epic Love Story’. Speaking of which, the second relationship that made my heart weak is obviously that of CY and ES. CYs love for ES came before we really knew exactly how ES felt. CY’s intense and unwavering gazes (yes a woman can drown in it) at ES at times just break my heart. Their love may not have been apparent earlier on in the show, but boy when it did…it was just explosive. A few times in the show, I thought CY was going to completely EXPLODE (way more explosive than those apple bombs firelady carries around) from all the feelings he had for ES suppressed deep down. I am so in love with their love for each other. END OF STORY!

    October 28, 2012
    • My manners…THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU, JOONNI:)

      October 28, 2012
    • CallieP #

      Gujka. agree with you on the character devt part on CY and King and CY and ES. Well said

      October 29, 2012
  19. SH #

    Joonni,

    I agreed with what you wrote about directing and editing flaws among others, but I would give a lot more credits to the political machinations of this show. In short, Gongmin and Ki Chul are similar in that they want to “possess” people’s heart. Except Gongmin does it for the greater good of his citizens and Goryeo; not for personal gains. If we trace every decision made by Gongmin, we’ll see:

    1) Sets out to win the High Doctor’s heart. That bet with Ki Chul in Episode 5 started it all.

    2) Works to possess CY’s heart so he can fight for him. That famous speech about a king doesn’t need to fight; he needs to own and let his people fight for him. Start by owning Choi Young, and at this point, it’s still a work in progress.

    3) Works to own the scholars’ allegiance. A royal court with no political advisors doesn’t add much political legitimacy.

    4) Works to own the citizens’ heart by a) meeting them; hearing their grievances; b) creating policies to help those people such as abolishing slavery, working on land reform, etc…. This was shown when Gongmin was outside the palace meeting his citizens, and later common folks lining up to join the army in Ep. 20.

    5) Works to win the ministers’ heart; those who own (or have consensus authority) to move the soldiers. From what I can gather, different clans provide soldiers. By persuading those ministers, Gongmin (and Noguk) persuades the soldiers to fight his battles.

    Gongmin has done all of this without wasting a lot of lives. He wins the people’s heart through the power of persuasion.

    In Ep. 9(?), where ES gives a little speech about how in heaven there’s democracy; an elected leader chosen by the people. There are debates and public campaigns to win people’s votes; bloodshed not needed in modern democracy. If we look at it through that lens, isn’t that what Song Ji-na is trying to convey? Applying a timeless political theory in an archaic world – at the end of the day, a leader can’t lead without the citizens’ allegiance. In Faith, we see an evolution of (inactive) citizens who now have faith in Gongmin’s reign, and in return, he is a symbolism for, of, and by the people. A contrast to Gongmin’s actions can be seen through Ki Chul’s and DH’s schemes. Ki Chul works to own people’s heart through brute force, intimidation and bribery. DH doesn’t care about the world. As long as he’s alive and well, the world can burn, a homeland can change its name; no care given.

    People are jaded by that kind of attitude from political leaders, and Son Yoo’s speech – about the world consists of people like DH and KC and the rest are just dragging along – highlights that loss of faith in humanity. The antagonist of the story represents that pessimistic world view, while the protagonist represents a more optimistic outlook of the world – Gongmin moves to win his citizens’ heart one by one throughout the series; Choi Young and Eun-soo work to revive the meaning of truly living. If I feel inspired, I’ll give my view of Choi Young and Euns-soo’s journey to this point.

    I’m not sure if the politics is really that simplistic, but I don’t watch that many sagueks to say otherwise. Maybe in this simplicity, there’s a consistent message Writer Song is showing us.

    Faith is an imperfect show that I’ve fallen in love with 😀

    October 28, 2012
    • Margaret #

      Thanks Joonni a lot for your amazing post. I agree with most of your points! I see all the flaws, but Faith has been a very special drama for me! I love it so much!
      SH, it’s always nice to read your comments. I hope you ‘ll be inspired enough to have another writing about Choi Young and Eun Soo’s ” truly living”. Actually, I’ve waited for your post since you wrote somewhere that you would do it ^ ^.

      October 28, 2012
    • joonni #

      SH, as always your comments are thought-provoking.
      I think the character conflicts and growth that happened with the political conflicts were amazing. I love the philosophical questions that she presented about politics and governance. I love the message she is giving and agree with you that it is timeless. But it is the plot devices that generate the political conflict that I find to be a little too simplistic.

      October 28, 2012
    • Jyam #

      I totally agree with you SH. I also see Faith in your point of view. I’m not good in words to write those in comment so I just seconded your thoughts & ideas.
      The message of the whole story was really the reason why this drama captured me regardless of its many technical flaws as they say.
      And as for the writer Song Ji Na, I commend her for choosing to write this sageuk drama without having to totally alter the original facts of korean history during that era.

      May I also say that maybe the writer has intentionally not develop the super power characters to not stay away far far from the real history.
      That’s it! Heee. Now I talked to much. 😀
      Thanks SH. Thanks Joonni.

      October 29, 2012
  20. CallieP #

    I read somewhere that Faith is the highest searched drama for the past few weeks on Naver which is the Korean search engine . There was also a rise in the search for RDW (the king). This person also said that young people prefer watching online and the demographics for ‘Faith might be different so more Koreans may be watching Faith that the ratings reveal. Not sure if that is true.

    October 28, 2012
    • Sussie #

      Yay! Good news!! This show deserves it 😛
      I hope they win some awards (best couple, supporting actors, best OST…)

      October 28, 2012
      • jhen #

        they’ll definitely win sussie!

        October 28, 2012
        • tara #

          i went into the portal..and yyes …our imja couple and the drama swept all awards…hhehheheh

          October 29, 2012
  21. Waca #

    Hi! I am new on this blog and I have to say this blog is great! It was somebody on dramabeans who gave me the link, so if that person is here, thanks to her too! ^^

    I am a Faith lover too! I am usually a very critical person, so I can see the flaws of this show, but you all are right about how heartfelt this drama is. I got very attached to the characters, even the villains, and am very happy with the way they grow. I love how all the different relationships are developed. I really like that we don’t always see everything that’s going on in the characters’ mind. That’s one of the main reasons I love Eun-Soo; her being secretive to us. For instance, her asking to Choi Young if she could stay came as a complete surprise to me, which was great because I usually guess pretty well what will happens in a show or a movie, so I was very glad to be surprised!

    Some people reproached to the show that the love between the OTP was too slowly brought, but I really didn’t agree, and actually I was glad it had been brought up so slowly, because it came out strongly and beautifully. Also, as CY is ES’s kidnapper, I thought it was only natural that ES would take time to get to know him before loving him.

    So, yes, I am sad that Faith hasn’t got very good ratings…because I think this show deserves more. However it is only natural, from a drama that is felt with the heart, that people would react like this: loving it or hating it.

    I personally started watching both Faith and Arang and the Magistrate online (in my country, I don’t have access to kdramas on the TV). At first, I felt disappointed with Faith, and a bit bored, while I felt overwhelmed by how perfect and epic was Arang. but as the episodes went by, I suddenly stopped watching Arang, and started rewatching all Faith episodes since ep1. I was surprised to realize that I actually preferred Faith to Arang. However now that I’ve seen all Arang episodes, I realize it’s mainly because the characters: in Arang, the characters started fantastic, but I felt the show let us down: for example, Arang who was such a strong female lead became suddenly weaker and less useful. On the contrary, the characters of Faith always grow, even the ones we don’t get to see much (well, except for Flute guy and Fire girl): Jang Bin, for instance, was a character we didn’t see that much, but I loved him to the end, and loved his scenes.

    Now, I was disappointed with Arang’s ending, I actually hated it. But it was ok because I didn’t love that show as much as I thought I would. However, Faith, even with all its flaws, is a show I adore…so I have to admit I am very afraid of how it will end…I do hope we will have a good ending with a good explanation of the time travel! And let’s cross our fingers for a happy ending…

    Thank you for your fantastic blog, Joonni. I will keep on reading your great articles! I’ve also read your last recap about Queen In-Hyun’s man and I was happy to see you had the same opinion than me!
    So yeah, big hugs to all Faith lovers! See you!

    October 28, 2012
    • Sussie #

      Welcome waca to our faith-sisterhood! 😉
      Don’t worry for not been around before… Better late than never (I found this amazing blog a little late too.. Around ep 12) But now you are here as our pledged sister, to suffer, cry, swoon and laugh together with all of us hahaha

      October 28, 2012
    • Welcome to the club, Waca. Always good to have another pledged sister join the fun and sorrow:). You’ll love it here at Joonni!!!

      October 28, 2012
    • CallieP #

      Waca, welcome! I think it was me unless someone else did too. I liked a comment you made to my post some time earlier and I liked Joonni’s blog on Faith more than dramabeans so I thought you would like it too. I did not really like Arang.

      October 29, 2012
  22. Mae #

    I agree with CallieP with regards to the ratings. I stopped checking the episode ratings for Faith since it just bums me out that it’s not getting higher ratings in Korea. Sure, some of the action scenes fell short of expectations, the most glaring one was the encounter with the 7 assasins. But I didn’t mind so much because I fell in love with the story and the main characters. My only problem with Faith is that despite having 24 episodes, it’s still not enough to cover everything. It’s so rare to come up with a drama where even the supporting characters such as Lady Choi, the Suribangs, Woodachi especially Daeman, Jang Bin, even the baddies are so interesting, that 24 episodes is simply not enough. There are so many questions regarding my favorite character Eun-soo and I’m not sure 2 episodes could possibly cram all the necessary explanations about her time-travelling, when I’m pretty certain politics and war will again take centerstage in episode 23. sigh. Whatever happens in the end, I will always ship Eun-soo and Choi Young. A love that transcends time and space. 🙂

    October 28, 2012
  23. lizzie #

    Hello guys!

    So I’m one of the people who stopped watching faith.

    What Joonni sad is true but my main problem with Faith it is Young.

    I just…. don’t like his character since the first episodes and he also didn’t grow on me… but still I liked the king and princess scenes plus The king and Young scenes because I want to see the king stepping up, I also enjoy ES character, she is funny and brave, but the main OTP? I don’t feel nothing….

    And as the episodes were airing, less and less princess and king scenes appeared, I was so frustrated and decided to just watch their scenes only, I also find the political scenes repetitive plus ES getting kidnapped everytime also bothered me.

    But I can undestand why people like faith.

    October 28, 2012
  24. seraphim #

    I’m so glad you pointed this out. I agree, this drama was great and had me falling in love with it. I was so sad to see others didn’t appreciate it simply because it was hard to consume at the first few episodes and the late development of love lines. I think this made the actors take a lot of weight to fight and maintain such a high quality of performance in order balance out the flaws.

    Lee Min Ho, the ratings might to be the top, but you saved everything with your acting. xxx

    October 29, 2012
    • seraphim #

      might not* 😛

      October 29, 2012
      • Yeah, who really cares about the rating. Hot LMH sure is superb in this role. He portrays CY so well that made us all fall in love with CY’s character so very deeply.

        October 29, 2012
  25. darcydevenus #

    I’m an occasional commenter on Joonie’s blog. I came for Queen In Hyun’s Man, and left again;

    I also lost interest in Faith, because I felt the chemistry just was not there very much. Of all of the times that LMH has been a lead, I felt he had the most chemistry with the lead of Personal Preference. (And honestly, after QIHM, it’ll be very hard to match the level of chemistry.)

    However, it takes a lot for me to drop a drama. I am taking a chance with Faith, because of all the recent dramas, this seems most likely to end sadly. Arang ended in the only way it could. With reincarnation. I don’t have a problem with that as a possible ending, but it seems too many people are using it as such right now. But, the chance I take is–I hate sad endings.

    I did decide to continue this drama, and have been in tears over the relationship of the king and queen. I also can see the actual chemistry between the OTP, and while it’s not on the same level as QIHM, I’ll take it. I am glad to have been a lurker over the past few weeks. I am learning so much about Goryo, and Korean history. Between all of the Saeguk’s I’ve been watching, I’m getting a true understanding of things.

    Joonie, congrats on a million hits!!! That’s a ton, and thanks for all of your very thought provoking insight on Korean culture. 🙂

    October 29, 2012
    • joonni #

      I absolutely adore Gongmin and Noguk and love their relationship as much as Young and Eun-soo’s but their conflict got solved pretty quickly and now since they are such a function couple, I don’t need to write long, reflective posts on them 😀 Yay! They saved me some sleep!

      October 29, 2012
  26. starz #

    I agree that aside from certain elements in the storying line, I am enjoying it. I live in Brooklyn NY USA and even though hurricane Sandy is throwing a fit outside, the series continues to keep me sane and anxious for the next and final chapter. The story as a whole has all the elements in it that I Iike: politics, love, action,evil doers etc. Though I would have loved to have seen more sci fi elements, I’m ok with it. Some of the things I was a bit frustrated with is that it was really slow in the beginning, you had the the doctor keeping things to herself and only slowing revealing things. That was annoying. The general and the doctor’s relationship could have built up sooner then use the remaining time to deepened it. And yes we know she doesn’t know chinese writing well enough then learn a little bit for goodness sake she is smart isn’t she. My favorite character is Lady Cho who is always very cool under pressure. I could use a Lady Cho right now. 🙂

    October 29, 2012
  27. I know why FAITH won my heart – because it kept/keeps my mind busy and I really waited 2 years for it to air, since the first announcement.
    About ARANG, originally I wanted to watch it, but then I just could not bring myself to do it. Why???
    I do not know, but I do not regret watching FAITH, nor not watching ARANG.
    But as always, when I lose a drama that kept me busy for so long…
    What am I to watch now?
    I am aware of some flaws FAITH had, but there was so much joy on the other hand, that I had enough faith the story would not run dry.
    At the end of Ep 24, when they show pictures of the crew and “Gi Chul” showed the victory sign, I had a flashback to his laughing attack, when Choi Young “announced”, why he came to take “that” woman back. Eversince that time I had the picture of Gi Chul in my mind of him laughing and dancing in Gangnam Style.

    October 30, 2012
    • Sussie #

      I sincerely understand you lutrabee . Same goes for me of all that you wrote 😉

      October 30, 2012
  28. Really nice. Love reading it.

    December 19, 2012

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