I recently watched this mini-series called Ping Pong Ball. It is based on webcomic “Takkookong” by Jo Geum-San. I wasn’t expecting much from it when I started watching it (without reading anything about the series) and I am glad that I did that because if I had known it was only two episodes long I may have not started it. So here is my little review.
Ping Pong Ball Drama Review
Broadcast – September 17 – 18, 2018
Episodes – 2 Network – JTBC
Synopsis: Kim Young-Joon (Ji Soo) is a philosophy major at a university. He confesses and gets rejected by his friend (Na Hae-Ryung) who is in an on-off relationship with her abusive boyfriend. Kim Young-Joon then meets homeless man Kim Deuk-Hwan (Yoo Jae-Myung).
Philosophical quotes are used quite often by Ji soo(Angry mom, Fantastic) while he is conversing with someone (such a showoff). So if you enjoy philosophy like me, you are in for a treat. Ji soo’s character Young-joon gets rejected by his friend (they become a friend after he saves her from a molester) and because of the “pain”, he is diagnosed (by himself) with insomnia.
To tire himself out every night he goes running near his apartment complex. One night he sees police investigating a dead body, on his way back to the home he passes out because of exhaustion. When he wakes up he finds himself in a homeless man’s tent. That’s when he meets our second lead Yoo Jae-myung (Secret Forest) and where the story begins.
Now I have liked Ji soo ever since Angry Mom in which he plays a guy who is in love with an older woman(classmate’s mom). Since then he has done quite a different type of roles (Bad Guys 2: Vile city) and has matured a lot as an actor. I see a bright future for him (he is just 24). Yoo Jae-myung played the character of a homeless man who provides knowledge on how to live better, to our protagonist through his own life experiences. He also has a ping pong ball sized tumor in his brain hence the title.
Episode one is all about both character learning about each other and also, audience learning more about them through their backstory. So, after waking up in the tent and having a weird conversation with Jae-myung, Ji soo goes back home. Next day he suspects Jae-myung could be the killer (remember the dead body), so he goes to “investigate”. But rather than getting scared he enjoys suspected killer’s company and they start having long conversations with each other. This start to happen every day and they start talking about Jae-soo’s romantic issues and our homeless man’s past.
Jae soo’s friend who only calls him only after she fights with her boyfriend while clearly knowing that Jae soo likes her. She is in a relationship with an abusive boyfriend who used to be her stalker (can it be diagnosed as self-harm?). He can’t understand why she would not break-up with him or does this bring some kind of enjoyment to her on a subconscious level(homeless man’s philosophical view).
Jae-myung, on the other hand, used to be a successful career man who goes bankrupt because of bureaucracy and bad business decisions. Now he lives in a tent near his wife’s apartment complex. He doesn’t want to meet her because he is ashamed. The only thing he enjoys is expensive whiskey(maybe true reason for his homelessness?)
So this is the whole premise of the episode and part two is about facing your fears and overcoming these issues. I enjoyed the episode one so much that I couldn’t wait for the next episode (I blame technology) and went ahead to read the webcomic. Which dropped the excitement and enjoyment level for episode 2(you should avoid this) as I already knew how it’s going to end. But that doesn’t mean in any sense that episode two was a letdown.
I would not spoil it any more for you but still rather than story oriented whole series was about conversations between the characters. The negative thing I have to say about the series was that it was too short. I would have liked to see the changes in Ji soo’s life and see his character grow. I also would have preferred a good music score, especially in the first half of the first episode. Other than these few little issues I really enjoyed it.
Should I watch this? – Not if you enjoy Kardashians, otherwise go for it.
P.S. OST suggestion – Homeless by Maria Mena