Goodbye Mr. Black is a revenge melodrama that tells the story of a man who is betrayed by his best friend and sets out for revenge. He assumes a new identity and fake marries a young woman who begins to soften his heart.
Goodbye Mr. Black was an interesting drama that I found pretty enjoyable. I like a good revenge melodrama, and it definitely fits that description. But the drama is not without it’s problems. First let’s meet our characters.
We have Lee Jin Wook playing our leading man Kim Ji Won/Black. After a betrayal by his best friend Min Sun Jae, he loses everything he loves. He then sets his sights on revenge. I always find Lee Jin Wook a bit awkward, but I like him.
The character of Black is actually a pretty light-hearted and fun guy. Sometimes I feel like that comes off a bit strange with Lee Jin Wook, but I’m not one to complain over getting a leading man who’s not a jerk. And he definitely plays the serious parts well.
Moon Chae Won plays Black’s love interest Swan. I especially adored her in the beginning of the drama when they were in Thailand. She is so kind and innocent with a child-like quality, but she has a lot of spirit. Her personality remains the same when we move to Korea, but it’s just not as prominent. She falls hard for Black and remains dedicated to him all the way through.
Min Sun Jae (Kim Kang Woo) is Black’s closest friend who ends up betraying him. He then becomes one of the main villain’s of the drama. Let me tell you, he is one pretty intense guy. He’s always nervous and trying to save himself, but the stress of what he has done along with his fears end up sending him over the edge.
I always love Yoo In Young. In the beginning of the drama, she plays Black’s fiancé, Yoon Ma Ri. She’s such a sweet girl who just gets caught in a bad situation. Sun Jae’s lies take her away from Black and eventually leaves her very alone with no where to turn. Another wonderful performance was given by this lovely girl.
Song Jae Rim plays Seo Woo Jin. Back in Seoul, he is Swan’s boss at their news agency. He’s your classic second lead who is always there for her. I felt like his character was a bit under utilized, but he was really sweet and fun.
We also have Black and Swan’s allies of Mu Tong (Lee Won Jong) and Ji Ryoon (Kim Tae Woo). They each help our couple in different ways throughout the drama. I enjoyed them both as supporting characters.
And there’s our top bad guy Baek Eun Do (Jun Gook Hwan). He always plays shady and conniving characters, but he plays them so well. He orchestrates much of what causes trouble for Black and Swan.
He is also an unwanted ally to Sun Jae. And he really gets into the villain role, especially late in the drama. I love a good over-the-top maniacal laugh from a villain, and he shares quite a few of those with us. Mwahahaha!!!
Cha Ji Soo (Im Se Mi) is Black’s younger sister. She becomes a casualty is Sun Jae’s quest for power which causes a lot of problems. But Black is very protective of his sister and that only fuels his quest for revenge even more.
So let’s look at some of the problems with Goodbye Mr. Black. The writing is pretty messy all the way through, and the editing isn’t very smooth either. If it bothers you when it seems like event after event is thrown in our character’s path to stop them from achieving their goal, when things just conveniently happen to allow the bad guys to get ahead, or when you kind of just have to accept the unbelievable scenarios our characters are able to get out of, then I would stay away from this one. It happens constantly.
I also felt like the transformation of our villain Sun Jae wasn’t done that well. It was like one episode he was a nice guy and then poof in a matter of minutes he becomes a villain. It just felt very abrupt. His motives could have used a bit more fleshing out in the beginning, but luckily he was still a very convincing character in the villain role.
Like a lot of dramas, it gets a bit bogged down with company politics in the latter third too. I would have preferred to tone that down in favor of more action. Though that aspect does improve in the last few episodes.
But here’s the thing about Goodbye Mr. Black, it is filled with flaws, it’s not unique, it’s not that well executed, and it’s predictable. But even with all of that, I liked it quite a bit. I found the pace to be good with one set of events always leading into the next. And even though it wasn’t as intense as it should have been, I was always interested in the characters and their trials.
Our main couple of Black and Swan were always enjoyable to watch. They have a sort of laid back and fun relationship that I found refreshing. Of course, they had a lot of trials to overcome including long term separation, complicated family issues, and severe illness to name just a few. But things aren’t all serious, and there are some really great couple moments between the two including plenty of kisses and just having some fun together.
Goodbye Mr. Black is a melodrama that kind of had a laid back feel to it all the way through. I was just really comfortable with the little world it created and the characters that populated it. It just goes to show that sometimes even when something is overflowing with flaws, it can still be enjoyable if it checks the right boxes. And it did that for me. Your mileage may very.
My Rating: 7/10
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