Review - Idol: The Coup provides a realistic portrayal of a merciless industry with its heart in the right place

 JTBC drama Idol: The Coup starring Kwak Si Yang, EXID’s Hani, Kim Min Kyu, LABOUM’s Solbin, WJSN’s Exy among others may have not been able to achieve great success but it had its heart in the right place. The story of a K-pop girl group who are on the verge of disbandment and are in desperate need of one-hit to survive. We may get various stories across multiple genres such as 'Hellbound', 'Happiness', 'Goblin' etc but a drama that solely depends on the life of K-pop idols and portrays their struggles in this merciless industry in itself is a challenging venture. Considering it has high chances of not receiving high ratings, the writer and the director took a very calculative risk.

To begin with, the first aspect that impressed me was the journey of the characters and their development. The story is not only about the external battle but also internal conflicts that idols face from self-doubt trauma of the past. And they don't ask you to sympathize with the characters rather they let you take your time to develop the feeling as the main character developed. It's a journey for both the character and the viewer.

The second factor is that it never diverted from its objective. It didn't fumble or focus on the romance. It may not be everyone's cup of tea because it's not a regular romance story, there are possibilities and open endings which hint towards potential relationships but never define the drama with this. And along with that, the strongest facet of the drama is its music which is soul-soothingly beautiful from 'You Can Cry' to 'Remember Me', the songs really stood out.

Now, the drama has its own flaws that may serve as distractions at times. The main issue that I had was the way the conflicts were solved without much explanation, the realism of the story was compromised during such instances. The acting was a bit bland sometimes which is understandable considering all the actors are idols in real life, the emotional scenes did not hit me as much as they should have. The drama can be a bit too heavy and frustrating, but despite some loose plots, the story in itself is a hit experiment that deserves a watch!