Revenge is a dish they say is typically best served cold – or piping hot, if you watch either of my watches from today’s review. My recent watches from Netflix are the K-drama, Remarriage & Desires and Turkish drama, As the Crow Flies. Both are fairly new additions to the Netlfix, with the latter being the newest series added to the service. Both dramas, although very unique, possess the common theme of revenge and a related strong rivalry between two female characters who are intent on each other’s downfall. Curious as to what on Earth I’m talking about? Let’s dive into one drama at a time.
As you would have guessed from previous reviews I’ve posted, I am a massive K-drama fan. Despite this though, I’ve been on a hiatus for the last few months, so this drama marks my (hopeful) comeback. Unlike typical Korean dramas, this one is only 8 episodes – which proves to be the perfect amount of time, to pace the drama, the plot and build tension, as well as character development. Without spoiling the ending too much, it has definitely been set up for a season two to take place – so be prepared that this drama will likely require a commitment of 8 episodes…but for now only.
This drama follows housewife (Seo Hye-Seung) whose life takes a sudden nosedive when scandal and an affair gone wrong force her husband to suicide and leave her unexpectedly widowed and a single mother. As she unfolds the truth of what happened to her husband, she sets her eyes on his mistress and decides to wage war – a decision that will come with tragic results.
By the time I was halfway through this drama, I was in full binge mode and had the full series complete in a few days. It’s honestly so juicy and packs a lot of punches. Unlike dramas like Sky Castle, which centres on the uber-rich, this drama is slightly different in the fact that it centres on two women who are infiltrating the world of the uber-rich but for different reasons. Jin Yoo-hui, I suspect because she’s always longed to be rich and envied the security wealth provides those that easily have it. Whilst, Hye-Seung on the other hand was doing so, not entirely voluntarily but because she saw it as a necessary step to getting closer to Yoo-hui and thus, getting her revenge.
This drama gets a 9 out of 10 for me. My only annoyance is that it was slightly slow on the romantic front. Although Seo Hye-Seung was in an obvious love triangle – her focus on revenge meant she didn’t really express interest in either guy in the triangle, so we couldn’t really read where she stood with either of them (and neither could they, based on how things were playing out!) So, to the directors of the show, when shooting the second season (which I’m convinced will happen), a little fan service won’t hurt – give us the romantic scenes we love; we want to see her enjoying herself and being in love! God knows she suffered enough in these eight episodes.
Carrying on with the theme of revenge, we have the Turkish drama, As the Crow Flies. This series follows Lale Kiran a highflying news reader who seems to have it all, namely a national evening news show that she solely hosts. Her life starts to crumble quite dramatically, once an intern, Asli, who is determined to take her down by all means necessary, enters it.
Interestingly in this drama though, the victim of Asli’s elaborate scheming isn’t actually unlikable, this is what makes it harder to justify Asli’s scheme at all. Lale is a woman at the top with her own struggles behind the scenes (which, little does she know, are set to get worse.) I love the David Attenborough-like commentary in the show which compares the events which unfold in each episode to animals in the wild – mainly lions (those with power in the show) and the bird/crow (Asli – it’s an outsider but it’s ability to see things from a higher vantage point gives it a power the lions don’t have and easily underestimate.)
Ultimately, this drama is about power and although it’s specifically witnessed in a newsroom setting, this could apply to many industries and how they operate. A few people are positioned at the top and they maintain power typically through gatekeeping and tightening their network. Asli, as an outsider trying to get within ‘the gates’ is a bit of a rebel in some sense; determined to get power in any way possible. Her drive is really quite astounding, every move she makes is premeditated to the point you’re actually scared of her. She’s a typical Machiavellian character, her ‘two-faced’ nature helping her avoid suspicion as she plots Lale’s downfall. Asli’s downfall however, is her willingness to try and find a quick route to power, something Lale, as someone who has power, assures her does not exist. One way to look at it is a generational gap in the approach to success, Lale – in her late 30s or early 40s – grafted hard to get her role as a news anchor on prime time Turkish TV. Asli on the other hand doesn’t seem to have much skill but yet seems hell-bent on gaining a role she, therefore, isn’t even qualified for (which doesn’t make much sense.) She’s stubborn and doesn’t seem willing to put in the work to learn the skills needed for the industry, despite her internship providing the perfect opportunity to do literally just that.
Revenge is never really as fulfilling as dramas make it out to be, and I think this is reflected in the drama in some ways. Once successful, it really just starts a never-ending cycle that leaves you vulnerable – something we see at the end of the show was Asli claims she’s feeling a ‘chill’; a hint that something ominous is around the corner. I’ll give this show overall, an 8/10, closer to the end it lost momentum and some unplausible things started to happen, but luckily it recovered and picked up again (otherwise the score would have been much lower!) This series also feels set up for a season 2, so I’ll definitely be looking forward to watching that too and seeing what direction they decide to take with it.