2 July 2006 | zoe_smith
Another Kdrama series - but tries to break out of the mold and appeal to a wider audience
Lee Byung Hun, my Korean movie idol, manages to sustain a great performance based on real-life gambler Kim In Ha. I think it's only thanks to the skills of Lee Byung Hun, that this series managed to be so good. Although there were also some genuinely mean performances by a couple of other villain characters, as well as a couple of slightly farcical and not so good characters.
Usually, the romance thread is the main point of the Korean drama series. They introduced the fictional romance between Lee Byung Hun's character and that of Song Hye Gyo against the gangster backdrop. The 2 became real life lovers during the production of the drama - now broken up. You can see on screen that the two really like each other, but as for Song Hye Gyo's character of 'Angela' on screen, she didn't seem to have a lot of substance and I wasn't convinced why Kim In Ha should go nuts for her. You also have to believe in the nature of extraordinary coincidence - a common feature of Korean drama series - to be convinced that the couple should be reunited on SO MANY occasions in various parts of the world.
For me, the stronghold of the series was the rivalry and backstabbing between the gang members. I especially cheered at the fate of the vampire-esquire Dae Soo character. Such a theme attracted a lot of male members to the audience - not something typical of most Korean drama series. I also think the series can appeal to many on an international level. They have on-location scenes in Las Vegas including some foreign actors. The gambling skills picked up by the actors was also impressive.
All In is a great drama series to get started in.