If you go scrolling through the seemingly endless amount of titles on Netflix, you may stumble upon a TV show called Dramaworld. Best described as the answer to what would happen if Last Action Hero had a baby with The Truman Show, this comedic drama follows Claire (Liv Hewson) as she gets drawn into a new world populated by some of her favorite Korean TV shows. In this world she needs to work as a facilitator (think puppetmaster) to fix the romance between Joon (Sean Dulake) and Seo-yeon (Noo-Ri Bae) in order to save Dramaworld. As her mentor Seth (Justin Chon) tells her, every show needs a happy ending in order for the world to survive.
The show does a good job in selling its premise in a way that’s both humorous and meaningful. Claire is an interesting character who brings a genuine joy to the events that unfold in the early episodes, and seeing her grow throughout the season gives the show a natural sense of progression. During the middle and latter parts of the season, the show starts being more of a drama with slight comedic element, which is a shift from its earlier tone, but strong acting and writing keeps the show interesting throughout the season.
As the events in the show unfold, Claire realizes that not everything is as it seemed at the start. Things are happening in Dramaworld, and she needs to figure out who’s behind it all in order to get everything back to normal. This also leads to the main issue with the show, in that Claire takes an unreasonably long amount of time to figure out who’s behind everything. Especially when she’s sold as a character who watches a lot of dramas, it would be reasonable to expect her to solve the mystery a lot sooner. It’s a minor annoyance overall, but definitely one that detracts a few points away from the show’s final few episodes.
Beyond that, the decision to keep the show bilingual between English and Korean is a strong stylistic choice that helps the show stand out. The way the show answers why Claire can understand Korean is also quite clever. In addition, the strong cast helps the show come alive, and the stellar writing throughout by Josh Billig and Chris Martin keeps the show interesting until the last seconds of the final season. This is definitely one worthy of a weekend binge whenever you get the chance!