The reason why viewers want Seo Ye-ji to “stop with the Tango already”.
“Crazy psychopath?” Lee Ra-el (Seo Ye-ji) suddenly bursts into a crazy laugh as she asked Han Sora (Yoo Seon), who calls her a “crazy psychopath.” As soon as her adultery affair was revealed and her fight with Han Sora began, Lee Ra-el’s laughter should actually be horrified at a time when everything is on the edge of a cliff. However, Lee Ra-el’s laughter performance, portrayed by Seo Ye-ji, brings not goosebumps but laughter. It is because only the sound is dreary, while her expression is lively and there is no harmony at all.
The biggest problem with tvN’s Wednesday-Thursday drama “Eve” is that the viewers can’t relate with the character Lee Ra-el. In fact, as a revenge drama where the main character even throws herself into the adultery affair for her plan, it needs to be desperate but refreshing enough for the viewers to be immersed in the story, but Lee Ra-el’s revenge is somewhat clumsy. That’s because the character Lee Ra-el has clumsily chosen “gaslighting” to be her way of revenge.
There are many reasons for that. First of all, the character “Lee Ra-el” is not good enough. She is a person who intentionally seduces Kang Yoon-gyeom (Park Byung-eun) and approaches that family as Han Sora’s closest aide to manipulate their desires to achieve her desperate revenge against those who destroyed her family. As such, she should be able to hide her feelings and reveal various sides of her character freely, but for this purpose, all this character has is her appearance.
She is too disconnected to be a person who seduces and manipulates someone with her external charm. No matter how evil she is, in order to lead the story and got the audience enticed, there must be something else, like an inner charm other than her appearance or physical temptation, but the drama does not draw a narrative that makes this character attractive. The reason why Lee Ra-el only feels like a doll controlled by the author is that it does not have the vibe of a human.
The cliché-full plot, which is developed without the character’s charm, is also a problem. A typical example is the sequential plot build based on tango and Piazzola’s bandoneon. Viewers don’t know how the production team understands tango, but tango, which is used only as a seduction tool for Lee Ra-el, is often seen as a rather out-of-the-blue detail. In the scene where she shows her emotional confrontation with Han Sora, Lee Rael’s alone tango should actually make Han Sora angry and at the same time reveals Lee Ra-el’s eerie side, but that dance is only embarrassing to see. This is why viewers are demanding the team to stop with the tango detail already.
The biggest problem is Seo Ye-ji’s acting. She chose manipulation and seduction for revenge, and such emotions are bound to be complex. This character has a grudge, but at the same time, she must feel the pain and sadness of her destruction. In addition, uncontrolled emotions when she unwittingly falls into the temptation for revenge should be brought out as well, and above all, how this character is also the mother of a child is also another important detail. Her affection for lawmaker Seo Eun-pyeong (Lee Sang-yeop), who silently helps, watches out for, and waits for her, and her love and compassion for Kang Yoon-gyeom, who is the target of her revenge plan but somehow reminds her of herself, should also be mixed in.
Many of these emotions should be contained in the main character, but the face that Seo Ye-ji shows is almost just a dead mask, or sometimes a seductive face mixed with a little madness. It is not a bad choice to choose expressionless expression because it is difficult to express so many emotions, but it is still necessary for the audience to be able to read the emotions behind that expressionless face.
“Crazy psychopath.” This remark that Han Sora utters out at the sight of Lee Ra-el seems to reveal not just her expression of anger, but how this character is being portrayed. Because various emotions os this character are not being expressed and conveyed properly, which leads to her being seen as a psycho only.
Come to think of it, Seo Ye-ji showed a good ‘psycho‘ performance in ‘It’s Okay to Not Be Okay’. She was like a psycho at the time, but her acting was attractive, so it was good. However, Seo Ye-ji’s acting in “Eve” does not directly express the different sides of a psycho. She only looks like a psycho, a person who manipulates the characters toward a certain end. Therefore, the character’s charm is revived only when the viewer’s mind are controlled as well, which Seo Ye-ji is failing at, to the point where her manipulation acting sometimes feels funny and sometimes looks pitiful.