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Name 라이어 게임 / Liar Game
Country South Korea
Director Kim Hong Sun
Writer Ryu Yong Jae
Transmitted 20th October 2014 to 25th November 2014
Cast Lee Sang Yoon, Kim So Eun, Shin Sung Rok
Details 12 episodes
Themes TV reality show, debt, trust
Links Official website Asian Wiki HanCinema Korean Drama
Based on a Japanese manga about a naive college student who gets enmeshed into a mysterious game where the players lie and cheat each other for large sums of money. This manga had already been realised as Japanese TV dramas and movies.

The Korean drama keeps the structure, but significantly modifies the settings and the background. The "Liar Game" becomes a TV reality show rather than a secret underground happening. The heroine's guardian angel is not an invincible swinder but a flawed ex-college professor. Secrets in the past link the main characters, driving them towards the final showdown.

The small number of episodes (12 rather than 16 or 20 or more) keep the drama tight and focussed and strong to the end. Many dramas start well but then just become repetitive. The source manga provides a great series of surreal plot events, out of the normal grind. The extra writing in the Korean version really adds depth to the whole.

The heroine develops to be more than just someone to be rescued, her naivety becomes a strength and something that changes others. The hero too goes through a journey as he rediscovers trust to some extent.

A gem.