KBS miniseries Jungle Fish 2 finished pretty much how it started. A series about everyday realities that transcended culture, but with a cinematic and melodramatic flair.
The series itself felt very “emo.” I said the same when I first started the series and I really have no idea how else to describe the mellow, contemplative aura of the characters and the story. (Though I guess I just found two words right there.)
Jungle Fish 2 was a mature look at the lives of high school students. It showed that high school wasn’t just about crushes and angst, but that teens deal with very real world issues day after day, and half the time, the hurdles they have to jump over are placed in front of them by adults for no reason but to further their own agendas at the expense of the students.
But what I appreciated the most, was the deep look at each of the main characters’ lives. All from different backgrounds, all with different situations to face. Though set against the backdrop of a murder (or not) mystery and conspiracy, the realism of the lives of Korean teens truly did transcend culture.
The series’ last episode or two did delve deep into the melodrama, but it all led to a satisfying and bittersweet ending that added to the show’s essential realism.
The young cast carried the show well as a true ensemble and again, the cinematic look of the series accentuated the solid writing and performances.
Jungle Fish 2 was a mature and honest portrait of everyday teenage life… anywhere in the world.