Posts Tagged ‘Evasive Inquiry Agency’

Lately, a lot of us have been thinking about what makes a good drama ending. Even if you didn’t articulated it so explicity, if you watched Nice Guy and followed the internet chatter on how it ended, you will have asked yourself that question and you will have given yourself an answer; your answer. If nothing else, the Great Nice Guy Ending Controversy tells me that endings are subjective. However they go, chances are some people will like it and some will not. And at the same time, in some ways endings can be assessed objectively. For instance, glaring logic fail and laziness are just plain annoying. Still, it’s all a bit of a balancing act; a drama is so much more than its ending so it shouldn’t be judged on that alone, but at the same time a terrible ending can be so hard to overlook.

I thought I’d just drop a quick note to inform y’all: Evasive Inquiry Agency? Great ending. Objectively, pretty darned tight; organic and enhancing the drama as whole rather than highjacking it.

And with that, this show has shot right into my Top Ten Dramas list, yo. I mean, I’d already heard that it was intricately plotted and I’m usually not too shabby at predicting stuff. But even as late as in the last episode, my jaw was dropping at clues that were slotting neatly into place, clues set so unobstrusively in early episodes that I never even realized that they were set-up. I am one happy k-drama viewer.

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Evasive Inquiry Agency (or Mixed-Up Investigative Agency) has been a love affair for me in more ways than one. I love the show, with all its quirkiness and heart. And I have fallen in love with the gangster boss. WHO, I asked myself, is this MAGNETIC actor? And where has he been all my life?

I’ve hesitated to blog about my mega crush on Park Hee Soon because, well, it’s kinda embarrassing. Also, I have some vague notion of keeping my blog spazz-free and classy (ha ha). But without too much pushing from my enabling friend Thundie (evidence here) I thought, Oh what the heck.

(Only very faintly spoilery fangirlying and picspamming after the break. Enter at your peril…)


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How did this happen? Is this what falling in love is like? At first I could barely put up with this show at all. Now I love it to itty-bitty pieces.

One episode ago, I was howling with laughter at a brilliant and hilarious move on the part of our Fabulous Foursome, so casually and organically set up by the writer, so beautifully executed, and so touched with matter-of-fact brilliance.

One episode later, I’m tearing up. I’m touched by some sad thing happening, that cuts me as deeply as if it has happened to someone I know and love personally. I care about this unlikely little family as much as if it were my own.

Did the show change, or did I change? How is it that the very things that annoyed me (the show’s outrageous sense of humour, its ambitious juggling of several tones at one time) now seem delightful to me? How does it manage to be profound and hilarious at the same time? To have a light touch and to be heart-stoppingly suspenseful at the same time? It is genius. GENIUS!!

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OK, it’s official. It’s love.

You know I had a rocky start. My friends assured me I would like this guy, but when I met him I was like, “What? But he’s so loud. And what’s with the endless joking?”. It took me a while to see through his frivolity and realize that he wasn’t actually shallow or stupid, far from it.

This was the point at which I realized that under the flippancy was a truly wicked sense of humour:

And this was the point at which it became LOVE:

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OK, this is kind of growing on me. I think I’m getting the hang of this.

Evasive Inquiry Agency is like a loud and jolly relative from the country, who is irrepressible, can’t stop talking, drinks a little too much, and laughs rather too loudly at her own jokes. If I allowed myself, I could feel irritated. But if I just embraced her good-natured love of fun, abandoned myself to the moment and joined her joie de vivre, we could party.

Yes, the show is still whack. The humor is still silly and in-your-face. The sensibility is still manic. And the music director appears to be on crack. But there appears to be method to its madness. Some dots are being connected plot-wise, so I feel assured that this is not unthinkingly random craziness. It seems to have a direction, but in the meantime while it unfolds, the show is just determined to have a good time, bowling along in its madcap, off-kilter way.

And by the start of Episode Four, when we get a protracted pointless / crazy-fun scene of the boys singing a nonsense song in their van, with silly hand actions, on a pointless / mysterious errand, going nowhere / some destination of denouement…, I’m all on board!

Here, have a bit of (non-spoilery) whack…

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Having knocking myself out with the doom and gloom of Sandglass, I’ve decided to go for lighter fare in my back-log watching. I’ve roused out Evasive Inquiry Agency from 2007 (alternatively called “Mixed-Up Investigative Agency“), a show probably most famous for starring Lee Min Ki, but interesting to me because it was written by Park Yeon Seon, who also wrote the sublime Alone in Love (see my review in Thundie’s Prattle) as well as the less successful but nonetheless above-average Wild Romance.

Confession: I watched the first episode of Evasive Inquiry Agency some time ago, but lost interest and ditched the show. Re-watching it now, I remember why. The first episode is rather uneven in tone. One moment there is danger and angst, next moment it’s all sunshine and cuteness. Before you know it, it’s being milked for laughs, and then it switches to pseudo-horror and mystery. The first episode had way too much set-up to give me any opportunity to form any kind of meaningful attachment to the story and characters. And I didn’t find it all that funny. (I think it’s primarily trying to be a comedy.)

The show hasn’t bothered to package itself attractively. There is nothing very shiny about the first episode. It presents to us ordinary people living ordinary lives in a very ordinary neighbourhood and dealing with the very ordinary matter of finding money. But hopefully the show’s very ordinariness can be turned into relatability that can foster interest. By the second episode the show’s four main characters are embarking on some quest, which will hopefully move things along. I still feel the soundtrack could do with toning down, as could the antics of Lee Min Ki and his friends. And I could also wish the editing were less slapdash, and the acting better (particularly by the female leads). But in any event, I trust Park Yeon Seon, so I’ll stick around to see how it all pans out.

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