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Mouse korean drama review
160 personnes ont trouvé cette critique utile
by Anjelle
mai 20, 2021
20 épisodes vus sur 20
Complété 23
Globalement 7.0
Histoire 5.0
Jeu d'acteur/Casting 9.0
Musique 5.0
Degrés de Re-visionnage 1.0
Cette critique peut contenir des spoilers

I have a few unpopular opinions

For what I expected to be my favourite drama of the year, I've concluded it with lukewarm feelings. As much as I know a lot of people really loved this show, I have a lot of issues with it from morals to general plot progression and characterization. I don't think it was all bad and the premise really showed a lot of promise, but for me, it failed to reach the potential that I thought it deserved.

Let's start from the beginning. My hype for Mouse was at its peak before I ever started watching it, back when the description was just a vague blurb about a world where psychopaths could be determined before birth and the societal response to that. That right there is interesting to me, extremely. Just that short, nondescript idea was enough to get me really invested in what this show would become. So I was already past the point of no return when I realized that the writer for this drama was the same writer as Black. For anyone who has actually watched Black, you may understand why this set off alarm bells for me. But whatever, I was already set on watching it. I was even more excited than I was for Beyond Evil, which has so far been my favourite mystery/thriller this year.

From the very first episode, something did not sit well with me, and that was the portrayal of psychopaths. You know, the entire focal point of the drama. I knew going in that it wasn't going to be realistic because of the introduction of the psychopath gene and the prenatal test for it. Okay, fine. But the drama heavily referenced psychopaths being serial killers. Actually, all of their arguments centred around the idea that every psychopath was a serial killer when, really, most aren't. And the fact that the show was demonizing unborn children? It bothered me. But well, that's what I signed up for! I knew going into it that it would do that, and my hopes were that the drama would challenge the biased opinions it set out at the beginning throughout the drama. And well... it didn't. Not even a little bit. It just reaffirmed them throughout. Hm. Well okay. Maybe I won't agree with the morals, but I can still enjoy the story, right? Well...

I found the start of the drama a little fun. The moments of suspense reminded me of a b-horror movie which could be both cringy and fun, so I was okay with that. But the further I watched, the more I realized that it wasn't very enjoyable. To be enjoyable, a drama doesn't necessarily need to be funny and charming. Dark, gritty shows that make you think can be entertaining, too. But as I watched, I realized I didn't like any of the characters. They were all characters who had been deeply scarred by past events and losses in their lives so I didn't expect them to be happy, good, fun people, but their flaws didn't seem to justify their actions and, honestly, they felt a bit like caricatures. Those singular events in their past defined who they were as people.

Take Moo Chi - he's an off-the-walls alcoholic detective with anger issues. Why is he that way? Well, his parents were murdered and beheaded by a serial killer and his brother was seriously injured in the same event and had to go through many operations just to keep his life. His brother never recovered. That night still lives with him and he can't escape it. Okay, makes sense. So, what does he like? Well... alcohol, I guess. His brother? His team, maybe? Half the time he's fighting with them, so I can't be sure. What are his interests? Hm. Drinking? Chasing criminals? Being depressed in his room? Depression makes a lot of sense for his character, especially after his brother's death, but he has no interests. There's nothing in his room that indicates that he's cared about anything but catching criminals his entire life and that just isn't a character. You can say that he's obsessed, but even people who are will have things they've picked up over the decades of their lives that they care about. And it isn't even like he's a good detective - he's very slow to piece things together. While watching Mouse, I never really cared for the moments he was on screen. And I don't think it's at all the actor's fault. He's doing his best with what he's been given. He's a good actor. But there wasn't much to work with there.

Okay. Bong Yi. Where to start? Well, she was a victim of sexual assault when she was younger and is scarred ever since. Same deal as with Moo Chi. She's traumatized and that's entirely valid. She loves her grandmother, but also somewhat blames her grandmother for what happened to her. That comes out when she's angry. She has a temper, like Moo Chi. She knows how to fight - I can assume maybe self-defence classes in her past. She... boxes? I guess? Great, a hobby! And she has a crush on Ba Reum. Okay, so she has interests! Right? Well... not really. The strange thing about this writer is that she's actually not great at writing women. You can see it in Black, too - the badly written female characters. She tries to follow the 'strong female character' trope that's become popular over the years but doesn't go far beyond the trope. The girl can fight, great, but whenever there comes a time where she actually needs to fight, she's useless. She'll almost catch a criminal here and there, but mostly her confrontations will end in her being a victim that needs to be saved. Throughout the series, she was just a magnet for every serial killer and rapist. They all gravitated to her house like there was a big red sign out front that read 'TARGET'. As for her crush on Ba Reum, that was her entire role. She was meant to be the love interest and victim of the serial killer in order to add more angst, drama and tragedy to the script.

Ba Reum. Well, personality-wise, he was a bit likeable. He was meant to be. In fact, his kind act was so caked on that most of the viewers realized in episode 2 that he was going to turn out to be the serial killer while the show was trying to act like it was some big twist to be revealed at the 3/4 mark. It was predictable. But what bothers me with that is that him being a genuinely nice guy who likes to take care of animals would have been the better twist. Everyone also figured out early on that he was the Head Hunter's biological son, too. It would have been a good chance for the show to challenge the earlier morals that it established but, well, it decided that no, psychopaths are determined at birth and they all need to be aborted because the only route they'll take in life is murder! I won't go into that rant. That aside, his character was... okay. He still didn't really have many interests, but they at least established more of his history through his friends. We got more info through the backstory of his family and their murders... but I really don't want to touch on what a mess the family history is in this show. 'Serial killer turned nice guy' was his entire personality and we can just leave him at that.

This goes for most of the other side characters, too. They're very one-dimensional and when you look back on it, it makes them hard to like. This isn't a Mouse exclusive problem and actually tends to be a big issue I have with a lot of thrillers, but the writing of the focal points matters a lot in whether these simple characters bother me or not. Unfortunately, the story wasn't enough to detract from that. What a mess. It bothers me that this drama isn't tagged as sci-fi because of the brain-transplant element later on in the show. And the psychopath test. Of course. The plot was really inconsistent from thereon. Looking back, it feels like the entire middle of the show could have been cut out and we would have still ended up in the same place. Ba Reum's amnesia only succeeded in dragging out the show. It could have been 16 hour-long episodes or less and I feel that the takeaway would have been the same. Actually, how interesting would it have been to have Ba Reum wake up remembering that he is a serial killer, but now also being able to feel the guilt that he never could have before? Following that character would have been very interesting. That's not the show we have, though.

There was too much going on at once I think. The story was vast, but it didn't amount to much. The OZ conspiracy was honestly unnecessary. The government being involved felt a bit silly. If this show had stayed solely about the serial killer and was shorter in accordance with that, I think it would have had more of an impact on me. That was the part that was interesting. That was what I hung onto. But by the time we reached the end, it felt like the spark just sort of... fizzled out. The last episode was focused on wrapping up loose ends but by the time Ba Reum was arrested, I realized I didn't care about what was happening to any of the characters. I didn't like Bong Yi, Hong Ju or Moo Chi. They, like I said, didn't feel like real characters. Then the law was passed to abort fetuses with the psychopath gene, and I was wondering whether that was supposed to be considered a victory or if it was supposed to be seen in a negative light. I wasn't sure how I felt. Especially after the show essentially showing Ba Reum's mother starting everything. She misinterpreted Ba Reum's intent to kill his brother and told his adoptive mother to kill him. Ba Reum's family was murdered before him, and his first murder was of the man who killed them. That was the trigger. It does make me wonder how he would have turned out had it not been for the actions of the people around him. I assume that was the writer's goal, so props for that.

There are some bright sides to this experience. In concept, it was interesting. I'm glad it went the route of Ba Reum being the original killer instead of Yo Han. And hey, the ending wasn't half as bad as Black's. But unfortunately, the whole journey felt a bit meaningless to me and that last episode especially left a lot to be desired. Episodes were focused on ending with big cliffhangers and shocking the audience rather than telling a well-written story and the characters were stereotypes that failed to break the mould. I can't say that I regret watching it though. It was nice to see Seunggi acting again and I had fun in some of the earlier episodes. There were moments I got excited, too. So I can't say it's not worth watching, but I also can't say that it is, either. I do get why so many people loved it, and I feel with some changes maybe I would have been one of them.

For me, Mouse will remain a terribly long journey and a cautionary tale not to get too excited by a drama's premise.
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