What does a bracelet, a photo album, a ring, a Polaroid camera, a laser pointer, a hat, a makeup compact, a stamp, a cigarette lighter, a cell phone, and a bottle of perfume have in common? Well, in this story each one is an Item that contains supernatural powers – and there’s nothing evil businessman Jo Se-Hwang won’t do to possess them all.
When Prosecutor Kang Gon’s niece ends up in a vegetative state after being the victim of a breaking and entering, he discovers a bracelet she has hidden inside the hose of her melodeon. But this isn’t an ordinary piece of jewelry. Kang Gon remembers seeing it on an assault and battery suspect a few days earlier. The man had resisted arrest, which had resulted in a fight, and Gon discovered the glowing bracelet the man had on at the time seemed to have bestowed superhuman strength on the wearer. Because the bracelet had gotten lost during the altercation, Gon figures his niece had been the one to find it. Unfortunately, a wealthy and powerful businessman, who has a score to settle with Prosecutor Kang, desires to possess the magic bracelet, along with other special items, and he doesn’t hesitate to use the life of Gon’s niece as a way to get what he wants.
When Kim Sung-Kyu was a teenager his dad was accused and convicted of setting fire to a structure that killed and injured hundreds of people. The whole thing was too much for his father to bear and he ended up taking his own life. So that he wouldn’t be plagued with the stigma of being the son of a murderer, at the request of his older brother, Sung-Kyu changed his name to Kang Gon and later became a prosecutor. Sadly, Gon’s brother was in a car accident and, just before he passed away, pled with Gon to be the guardian of his daughter. Gon loves the little girl like she is his own and the two have settled into a happy life together as a little family.
As a young teenager, Shin So-Young faced the heartbreaking reality of losing her mother to a horrible fire. She is extremely close to her beloved police officer father and even followed in his law-enforcement footsteps, becoming a profiler on the police force. She is an expert at what she does, so much so that the other cops on her team aren’t thrilled with the ability she has to outsmart them at every turn. She is a tenacious, fearless young woman with a strong desire to help others. So-Young and her father live in the same building Kang Gon and his niece have just moved into.
As a young boy, Jo Se-Hwang and his mother were horrendously abused by his wicked father, so much so that at the tender age of ten he witnessed his distraught mother kill herself to get away from the evil man. After being told he was a monster, over and over again, Se-Hwang actually became one. When his father became a comatose hospital patient, Jo Se-Hwnag took over the man’s company, along with his position as CEO, and became the most influential businessman in South Korea. After spending six months in prison, Se-Hwang was released and humbly apologized to the public, vowing to make up for his wrongdoing. However, the man has no intention of becoming a model citizen. He delights in torturing others, psychologically and physically, and his main target is Kang Gon, the prosecutor responsible for sending him to prison. Se-Hwang has managed to collect a few items that hold supernatural powers, which have made him believe he is a god.
Thirty-eight-year-old Ju Ji-Hoon, the man who plays Prosecutor Kang Gon, majored in e-Business at Tongwon College and then decided to try his luck in the modeling profession. He began his career as a clothing brand advertisement model, winning three Best Male Model awards and one Most Stylish Male Model award. He eventually began taking bit parts in some TV dramas and in 2006 he played the leading male in the hugely successful Princess Hours, opposite Yoon Eun-Hye. His acting, as the young prince, earned him a Best New Actor award and his career took off, skyrocketing him to stardom. His movie debut came two years later in the film Antique. Ji-Hoon’s debut in China was through the thriller film Love Suspicion. While serving his mandatory military assignment, Ji-Hoon co-starred in the military musical Voyage of Life. Sadly, in 2009 Ju Ji-Hoon was arrested on drug charges. He pled guilty to drug use and was sentenced to six months in jail, suspended for one year, plus 120 hours of community service and a fine of $300.
To read about Jin Se-Yeon, the beautiful actress who plays Profiler Shin So-Young, you can click on my Selection: The War Between Women review.
My Circle: Two Worlds Connected review has some information about Kim Kang-Woo, the amazing actor who plays psychotic Jo Se-Hwang.
Sadly, while talking to my roommate about this drama I realized I didn’t have a lot of good things to say. First off, the title is wrong. Item is singular and there are several mystical items in the story. Next, the show is way too long. It didn’t need to have 16 episodes. The story could have been told in 12 and it wouldn’t have felt like the writer was trying to stretch things just for the sake of making it longer. Third, there weren’t enough explanations concerning the magical items. We’re finally allowed to see from where the items originated but are never told how these once plain things all of a sudden gained supernatural powers. And there’s no way the items could have come from where the story said they did because they would have been either lost or destroyed. Also, there would have been countless items if that was how they had received their power. We also are not given any explanation about the “room of wishes.” How did this other world come to be? And how did Da-In have a melodeon there? – hers was with Gon. I told my roommate, “Because this show was a fantasy I was able to go with the mystical elements of it. No problem. However, when I’m asked to just blindly believe things, without being given any explanations, even if the explanations are way out there, the writer loses me.”
Kim Kang-Woo is an excellent actor but I, personally, think he is more convincing playing roles like the title character in My Husband Oh Jak-Doo or Lee Tae-Sung in Haeundae Lovers (aka Lovers of Haeundae). Jo Se-Hwang is an awesome villain with a tragic backstory and although Kang-Woo did a fine job portraying that evil character, Namgun Min’s performances as psychotic, malevolent men are sheer perfection. It would have been fun to see him as Jo Se-Hwang.
Because the items can do spectacular things, we see lots of cool stuff going on and it all looks great. The train crash is wow! And Se-Hwang has access to some pretty wild technology. His chess pieces are unbelievable. Excellent job, CGI folks!
Item is a 2019 Kdrama based on the webtoon series of the same name. I ran across it, about midway through my watch list, while searching for On the Way to the Airport. It had been suggested to me in a recent comment and I knew I had it on my list. However, when I clicked on it (on Viki.com), I was surprised to see there were no episodes and, “Sorry, this content is not licensed in your region,” popped up. It had been available to me when it first aired, I guess I just dragged my feet too long. There are so many dramas that sound interesting and not enough hours in the day to watch them all. I’m sorry I won’t be able to keep my promise to watch and review it. I’m keeping it in my queue and will check back on it every now and then. The next time it’s available to me I won’t wait to start it. Anyway, that’s how I came across Item.
I’m always prepared for heavy crime shows to be short on songs with vocals but Item has several good ones. Tonight, sung by Hwang Chi-Yeul; Under the Moon, performed by Lee Si-Eun; and Wind, sung by Shannon, are all exquisite ballads. But the song that stands out the most isn’t even in the soundtrack. All throughout the show, we hear a song Da-In made up for her Uncle Gon that she plays on her melodeon, and by the end of the drama we’re able to hum it right along with the characters.
The backgrounds are wonderful. Jo Se-Hwang’s house is crazy awesome! The most incredible part is that there’s water on the floor, like an extremely shallow pool built into the ground. And the place is massive! The “room of wishes” is sensational, as well. The people who designed that place certainly have lavish imaginations – fantasy galore, and the fog on the ground added mystery to an already magical spot.
Although this fantasy-crime drama sports great special effects, an original plot, and a creepy villain, I don’t have a lot of positive things to say about it. Item had been on my watch list for about a year and a half and, knowing what I know now, it would have been okay if it had stayed there a while longer.
Great special effects
Evil bad guy
Title is wrong – it should be plural
Too stretched out
Not enough explanations
2 thoughts on “Item”
I enjoyed the start. It had that whole Warehouse 13 vibe going on. Item had so much potential as it is so different to other kdramas out there. Then, it started to fall away for me rather quickly. Yes, loved the house – it was awesome. Despite the performances, in the end I could only give it 5.5/10.
I agree with your comment. However, you gave it a slightly more generous rating than I did.
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