This post has been sitting in the draft box since February when I finished marathon-ing Sign. Let me just shout it out now, “Sign was an AWESOME drama!” Although there were some apparent glitches in the premiere of the finale due to a lot of live shooting, I have to say it didn’t affect the plot and buildup of the drama. After 2 months of letting this sit on the backburner, I think I’m finally calm enough to write a reasonably critique of the whole show.
This post was actually originally titled “Things I Hate About Sign.” However, since watching the whole show, my views have changed dramatically. This is probably because the first 3 episodes kind of suck. But the remaining 17 episodes are amazing! So here’s a quick retrospective review of the “Things I Hate About Sign in the First 3 Episodes.”
Rewind to whitecarrot 2 months ago after watching the first three episodes: Ok I have started to watch Sign. I don’t know why I never watched this earlier. I’m a huge fan of CSI, Law and Order: SVU, and Criminal Minds. Sign is pretty much a Korean version of CSI. Except not as episodic. Anyway, there are a couple things I’m not satisfied with. And you all know my love of lists. So here’s a list of the things I hate (Ok, more like dislike. Hate is a strong word.).
1. They did not balance the centrifuge. As a science major in college, the thing you learn in any real lab class is to balance the damn centrifuge. Or else bad stuff happens and you break it. Yes, I broke a centrifuge before. But I did balance it. I just didn’t close the lid tightly. Anyway a “pro” blood analyst should not be putting tubes randomly into a centrifuge.
2. Main guy Yoon Ji-hoon (Park Shin-yang) seems to only have 1 emotion and 1 form of speaking. He is angry and he yells. That’s it. If I remember correctly this is how Park Shin-yang acted in Lovers in Paris as well. Yelling. Yelling. Yelling. I press MUTE and read my subs.
3. Main girl Go Da-kyung (Kim A-joong) seems nice enough albeit a little air-headed. She has totally idealized the job of a forensics scientist. I love CSI too but it totally glamorizes the job. But back to Kim A-joong, I’m sure she’s a good actress but shes got so much work done on her face or botox it’s difficult to read her facial expressions (or lack thereof). Korean actresses need to stop overdoing the plastic surgery!!!! There are certain limits to a “good thing.”
4. The over-dramatic music. The dullest of scenes are paired with extremely suspenseful and dramatic music! It’s a totally weird juxtaposition. But I guess they have to do this to make things more interesting.
5. The amount of contamination that goes on in the examination room is ridiculous. Da-kyung’s gloved hands touching the cadaver and then her own bare face. Um honey, the basics of the working in science and in a lab is no contamination! This is how you pick up diseases…
But here’s where I change my mind, or rather, “How Sign Changed Whitecarrot’s Mind.”
Fast forward to whitecarrot 2 months ago after the whole drama: But this is where my complaining sucks because there are some great things they do in Sign. Here is another list:
1. Most crime dramas are episodic with each case being one episode. However, Sign has a great ongoing and cohesive overarching plot which culminates in an awesome ending.
2. The romantic themes do not prevail nor threaten the story line. The main characters remain professional foremost and let the romance fall to the background. Most of the time this would anger me, but surprisingly, I really appreciate that. You can tell the male and female leads have feelings for each other both as man and woman as well as as mentor and mentee. I like that they keep things chaste. It works inexplicably.
3. The second leads are NOT annoying. What a big surprise! I loved the odd coupling between older prosecutor lady Jung Woo-jin (Uhm Ji-won) and younger hot-blooded cop Choi Yi-han (Jung Gyu-woon). Awesome couple to root for. Sometimes a little romance goes a long way.
4. The ending
The ending actually really worked for me. Usually, I think sacrificing leading men are stupid, since they usually sacrifice for their leading ladies and there are usually a ton of misunderstandings involved. But in this case, Ji-hoon sacrificed himself to prove everything he represented and believed in. He knew the evidence would tell the truth and he knew Da-kyung would be able to reveal the evidence. The mentor let his mentee show her skills. And if I remember correctly there’s a great juxtaposition back to the first scene in which they met during an illegal autopsy. Great way to remind viewers where Da-kyung started and how far she has come. She never once compromised her believe in justice and righteousness.
Some people really hated the ending and felt like it was a failure due to the extreme rush toward the last days of filming right up to the premiere. But haters gonna hate. (Ok sorry just wanted to say that).
Back to current whitecarrot: Check this show out if you get the chance. Highly recommended.