Pinocchio: My All Time Favourite K-Drama

My all-time favorite drama is


Network: SBS
Genre: Romance/Drama/Comedy/Family
Directed by: Jo Soo-won and Shin Seung-woo
Number of episode: 20
Original release: November 12, 2014 – January 15, 2015

When Gi Ha-myung’s father, who works in the fire department, dies in a fire along with the members of his entire unit, Ha-myung’s entire life is turned upside down. Overnight his father becomes the victim of a vicious media smear campaign and his family become victims of harassment and media bullying, especially by reporter Song Cha-ok. Ultimately, he gets separated from his older brother and loses his mother when she attempts to successfully end her life, by jumping into the ocean with him. Gi Ha-myung however survives and is found by Choi Gong-pil, who suffers from Alzheimer’s/Dementia and mistakes Ha-myung for his older son Choi Dal-po who’d died several years ago. Ha-myung assumes Choi Dal-po’s identity and starts a new life, living as the village “idiot”, even though he is a genius.

Dal-po is forced by circumstances to live as In-ha’s uncle even though he develops feelings for her as In-ha is the daughter of Choi Gong-pil’s younger son, Choi Dal-pyung.

In-ha is the daughter of Song Cha-ok and  granddaughter of Choi Gong-pil. She suffers from the fictitious Pinocchio Syndrome, where she cannot lie without breaking into hiccups. Instead of choosing to withdraw from the world, she believes in telling it like it is. In-ha chooses to become a reporter because she believes that it might bring her closer to her mother Song Cha-ok, whom she has always idolized. Stubborn and strong-willed, In-ha believes that all news reported must be completely truthful, and goes all out to do so. Together with Dal-po, she unravels the truth behind a greater conspiracy, standing up to her mother in the process. Though In-ha initially treats Dal-po as family, her growing feelings towards him grow undeniable with her hiccups.

As a young man born with a silver spoon in his mouth, Beom-jo lived an unexciting but satisfied life until he started receiving texts from a girl named In-ha, which were meant for her mother, and falls in love with her. Abandoning his job as a fashion magazine editor, he decides to join In-ha and become a reporter, which eventually takes him down a path where he must choose between his family and integrity.

A past sasaeng fan who decides to become a reporter and now uses those obsessive and determined traits in her new job.

Ha-myung’s older brother who believes his mother and brother are both dead. His hopes of his father being alive are crushed when his remains are found at the demolition site of the old warehouse. He learns about the lies that were told at the time of the incident and seeks revenge for his family’s death.

In-ha’s estranged mother. A cold, merciless woman who chose to abandon her family for her career. She eventually became one of the best news anchors in the industry.

A wealthy CEO who owns several malls and is seemingly a doting mother who spoils her son Beom-jo. But Rosa hides a darker side, having conspired with Song Cha-ok to deliberately divert the news to protect her interests.

For the rest of the cast and more information on the drama, please click here.

Gi Ha-myeong is a happy child living with his parents and elder brother Jae-myeong, until his father Ki Ho-sang, the captain of the firefighting squad, dies in a factory explosion. When Ho-sang’s body is initially missing, in a battle for ratings, MSC reporter Song Cha-Ok alleges that Ho-sang survived the blast, and is currently in hiding because he was responsible for the deaths of his men. This causes the Ki family to become objects of national scorn. Ki Ho-sang’s wife kills herself and her younger son by jumping off a cliff, and Jae-myeong blames their deaths on the media, particularly Cha-ok.

Ha-myeong survives, having been rescued from the water by Choi Gong-pil who has either Alzheimer’s disease/dementia and believes that Ha-myung is his older son Choi Dal-po. Ha-myeong, who has no one else in the world, embraces the deception and treats Gong-pil as his father. Gong-pil officially adopts Ha-myeong, now named Dal-po.

Five months later, when Gong-pil’s younger son Choi Dal-pyung moves to the island with his daughter Choi In-ha, they shocked to find a mere boy living as their “older brother”/”uncle,” respectively. Choi In-ha idolizes her mother, Song Cha-ok and the fledgling friendship between Dal-po and In-ha is dashed when he learns who In-ha’s mother is.

Five years later, when In-ha and Dal-po are high school seniors and classmates, Dal-po who secretly likes In-ha, is forced to join a televised quiz show to prevent Ahn Chan Soo, who has a crush on In Ha, from confessing to her on national TV. At the TV studio, he runs into the show producer Hwang Gyo-dong, who had been a YGN reporter and one of Cha-ok’s rivals, but changed careers after what happened to the Ki family. After seeing Dal-po on TV, and despite knowing that her Pinocchio syndrome limits her career choices, In-ha decides to become a journalist.

In 2013, when Choi family moves back to the city, Cha-ok, who hasn’t seen her daughter in a decade fails In-ha at her final interview, as she strives to be a reporter, saying a reporter with Pinocchio
syndrome would be useless. Seeing how hurt In-ha is at her mother’s rejection, Dal-po, who had foregone a college education and was working as a taxi driver, becomes determined to help her achieve her dream and announces that he wants to become a reporter as well. A month later, In-ha and Dal-po apply at YGN’s “blind” audition for broadcast news reporters, but only Dal-po gets hired.

In the mean time Jae-myung has takes revenge on the factory workers who lied about their father by killing two of them and framing the third one. Meanwhile, with MSC’s credibility rating at an all-time low, Cha-ok hires In-ha, using her Pinocchio syndrome in a publicity stunt. Thus, Dal-po and In-ha become rookies at rival networks, and among their colleagues are Seo Beom-jo and Yoon Yoo-rae.

Later in her line of work, In-ha discovers Choi Dal-po’s real identity is Ki Ha-myung and is disgusted by what her mother Cha-ok did to his family during the fire accident. In a lecture held by Cha-ok, In-ha stood up against her and in the process revealing to Jae-myung that Ha-myung, his dead brother, is actually alive. Together, they try to bring Cha-ok down through their honest news reporting all the while uncovering a bigger conspiracy in the news industry.

I loved this drama because I feel both Lee Jong Suk and Park Shin Hye did an amazing job of portraying their characters and they had amazing chemistry. (Ok, let’s not bring up Park Shin Hye and her awkward kisses).

I was absolutely in love with Choi Dal-po and his love for Choi In-Ha. To be in love with someone for so many years, accepting the fact that they can never be together – it broke my heart. And Choi In-ha – I loved her character. She refused to give up even when the entire world told her she couldn’t do it. Her grit and determination to not sit back and have the world dictate to her rubbed off on me. I could probably go on and list a thousand things I liked about everyone in this drama.

Lee Jong Suk also displayed such amazing comic timing in the first few episodes of the drama. He absolutely made me smile and laugh and made my heart ache at the same time. I also loved the  cinematography, loved the OST and the drama was well written, with a good plot all round. All the supporting cast were so great, from Choi In-ha’s father and grand father to their high school friend who worked in the police department.

This drama also showcased just how powerful the media can be and why we should always verify everything that is reported from multiple sources. Plus, as we saw, finally when the truth was revealed when the warehouse was demolished, no one was interested in the truth anymore. The sensation had passed and everyone forgot about what had happened, and that is something we see every day in daily life.

Apart from the wonderful cast and  amazing acting by everyone of them, this is a story about how a groundless rumor destroyed the lives of a perfectly happy family. It teaches us not to believe in everything that we read about or hear about without verifying facts from multiple sources and without proper investigation.

In today’s world, with the President of the most powerful Republic (Donald J Trump), calling the media “fake news” at every turn,

M E D I A   E T H I C S

has become even more important. With channels like “InfoWars” running around spreading false rumors, it has become our responsibility to ask such people to show us the proof of what they are saying (like gun shot victims are stage actors – such non-sense with political motivation), and to verify every information that we come across and not take everything at face value.

The media and now the “social media” has the power to reach a large number of people and influence their thoughts and perception, even to influence elections as we’re seeing (investigations are still on going).

“Social Media” particularly has the power to spread


like never before and in India, we’ve seen people getting killed because of such rumors spread as group messages via these platforms.

There’s a saying that with power comes responsibility.

In this particular drama we see how Song Cha-ok deceived people by presenting false facts in order to protect Park Rosa and to sensationalize the events of the fire for ratings. And all the other news channels followed suit without verifying any of the information because of the race to get higher viewer ratings.

If even one reporter from one channel had verified facts or done their jobs as investigative reporters properly, a tragedy could have been avoided. A grieving family would not have been destroyed. A young boy with a bright future would not have resorted to murder to extract revenge. A young mother would not have felt that dying was the only way out. A young boy would not have been separated from his brother and lost his mother.

We also see how the new reporters struggle, make mistakes and learn from their mistakes, and hopefully the mistakes of their superiors (sunbaes). How, even though the teams from the different channels compete to get to the stories first, they work to compete fairly and squarely, instead of resorting to under-handed techniques.

I recommend this drama because it teaches us that to succeed, we don’t necessarily have to be unfair. We just need to love, value and respect our work and profession enough to not misuse it, and realize that even the most mundane of jobs have some power which when misused can lead to consequences that can ruin lives.


❤️ T H A N K   Y O U ! ! ❤️

Credit: Wikipedia

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