Frankly Speaking

Frankly Speaking
Frankly Speaking
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“Every man lies,” as Dr. House once said. We all lie to some extent. We lie when we want not to face truth, manage situations that are difficult and complex or maintain a good reputation amongst others. Thus, if we consider the lexical meaning of lying, it is speaking anything other than the truth. Our inner selves do have a filter which helps us play our words intelligently in our lives. But what happens when this filter is turned off? Another example is Liar Liar where Jim Carrey found himself unable to tell a lie after a freak accident. The results were devastating for such an individual. It becomes so hard to separate personal from professional life since one depends on the other for its success or failure and vice versa. What about when you can’t even say “I am okay” at times you are not feeling so good? Well, this is the story of Frankly Speaking’s lead.

With Go Kyung Pyo (Song Ki Baek) Kang Han Na (On Woo Joo) and Joo Jung Hyuk(Kim Jung Heon) starring in it, this comical drama takes you through those moments when someone cannot just lie.

Frankly Speaking follows Song Ki Baek (played by Go Kyung Pyo), an afternoon news anchor who wants to move up to be a prime time news anchor. Personally and professionally, he was esteemed by his colleagues because he was polite and helpful. He had also been thought as rich and having influential family connections. However that’s far from reality.

The channel also works with On Woo Joo (Kang Han Na), a reality show writer. She turns to Song in her attempts to save her current show from being canceled. But they don’t work out like she wanted them too. So she has restart everything. The third main character is Kim Jeong-hoon (“the nation’s son-in-law”, played by Joo Jung-hyuk). Mothers love him and singles girls adore him. He is known to On from their shared history that she reveals in episode two of Frankly Speaking.

Frankly Speaking premiered its first two episodes on May 1st and 2nd! The beginning curve is very much visible through these episodes. Their paths crossed but now they are inseparable as workmates at least. There is a possibility of romance between the leads, but so far the chemistry is strictly professional. And there were some rom-com-like moments but it was more satirical than anything. Perhaps this shouldn’t be about a romantic triangle with these characters. This professional friendship suits them better.

Being diplomatic should be something akin to second nature for a person working in media. One misspoken word can ruin their career. The bewilderment that Song feels whenever he finds himself in such situations coupled with his constant efforts to save face add to the suspense. He has secrets which if spilled could destroy everything he has built so far at his workplace. We saw Go Kyung Pyo playing hilarious roles too. This role follows after those even though character development had already started early enough in Frankly Speaking.

Exaggeration and over-the-top internal monologues make it a predictable comedy-drama. Go is as funny as ever. As one can see, the very shock and dilemma that befall his character Song Ki Baek each time he opens his mouth are in no way amusing. The poor guy keeps trying to speak with a filter but his mouth has other plans. Seeing Kang Han Na playing a role which she does not look bad is very refreshing.

On Woo Joo is an ambitious young woman without a trace of malice in her (so far so good). This isn’t the first character of that kind on the screen; however, Kang’s damsel in distress is something new to watch for sure.

The characters are mostly flat so far. The male lead shows signs of character development while others seem to have their paths straight drawn out for them. And perhaps there will be redemption arc for Kim Jung Heon as regards him making amends with On Woo Joo by Joo Jung Hyuk, but beyond this point, there isn’t much scope for development among the main lead and the supporting characters.

The story may unfold slowly at times which some may find enjoyable. In particular, when it comes to comic moments, the absence of sound effects is critical here. This drama does well showing how frustrated its characters are and what might happen if Song Ki Baek keeps letting it all out unfilteredly. But if twists are what you look for in a show then Frankly Speaking might not be your pick because almost all about Song’s unfiltered outburst is given away.

They aren’t necessarily bad things familiar tropes and character archetypes but they can become repetitive. Here, it feels like watching an old simulation with different actors this time around. Missing one or two episodes won’t mean life or death to viewers since even tiny clips online won’t give away too much from the story.

In conclusion; Frankly Speaking is a predictable drama that sometimes shows flashes of depth. While some viewers might enjoy the extended format and focus on character emotions, others might find the pacing slow and the plot uninspired.

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