Pinocchio : The Fine Line Between Truth and Lies

This was a television series that I was waiting to see for a long time due to its story. But I found that more than the usual enjoyment I get out of watching a kdrama, I managed to get a lot more from this one. So without much further ado….

Country of origin: South Korea

Language: Korean

Seasons : 1

Episodes: 20

Genre: Romance, comedy, Family

Directed by: Jo Soo Won and Shin Seung Woo

Starring: Lee Jong Suk, Park Shin Hye, Kim Young Kwang, Lee Yu Bi, Lee Pil Mo

Released: November 2014- January 2015

The story starts with Gi Ha Myeong (Lee Jong Suk), a school kid who happily lives with his mother, elder brother and his father Gi Ho Sang , who is a very respected Captain of a fire fighting squad. One day he goes for tending an emergency fire at a waste disposal factory. Hearing false infomation that there are people stuck inside he and nine other firefighters enter the building. All nine firefighters die in an explosion and Gi Ho Sang is missing. All the families are grieving and the press are surrounding them for a news scoop. Among the news reporters are Song Cha Ok, a highly ambitious reporter who would do anything, right or wrong to get a good report.

At this time , a person suffering from a condition called ‘Pinocchio syndrome’ claims he saw Gi Ho Sang alive. This fictional syndrome is a condition where a person will hiccup if he or she lies, making it impossible to lie. Since a person who cannot lie claimed that the captain is alive, Song Cha Ok and in turn the other reporters claim he lead his colleagues to their death and ran away like a coward. Despite having no solid proof, everyone believes the word of the Pinocchio and his family are alienated and mistreated. In the end, his wife and younger child suicide leaving Jae Myung blaming Song Cha Ok for their deaths.

However Hae Myung is saved and adopted by a grandfather who believes Hae Myung is his son, Dal Po who got lost at sea so many years ago. When his younger son arrives with his daughter after a divorce, he finds that he has an elder brother who is the sane age as his daughter. They try telling the grandfather the truth but he can’t seem to take it as it sends him into shock. In the end he accepts the eight year old Hae Myung as his older brother and his daughter, In Ha (Park Shin Hye) calls him ‘Uncle’. But Dal Po finds that In ha is the daughter of the reporter who ruined his life, Song Cha Ok and also happens to be a pinocchio herself. Although he finds it hard to accept her, eventually they develop a strong bond. But things get serious when In Ha and Hae Myung both chooses to become reporters, despite the past. The rest of the story entails a journey of realisation for not just Hae Myung and In ha but many other people as well. It’s a story that tells us about reporters , their career and the reality behind it. It is about the journey where Hae Myung discovers the truth about his family and their death and how he and his brother gets revenge.

The writers and directors for this series should be applauded for the wonderful performance they gave with this drama. This was a kdrama unlike most that I have seen. It did not follow any of those cliché kdrama moments but managed to stay true to its name. Although it seems like a revenge story, trust me , it’s not. It’s more of a story of karma. Never have the misconception that you can get away with the crimes done despite the intentions behind it. We will always pay for our mistakes and crimes and that was perfectly depicted in this drama. And although family centric themes are common and good, the wierd older brother /uncle presence in the family felt so natural and at place and made it even more of a pleasure to watch.

Both the leads were amazing and complemented each other wonderfully. Jong Suk was a man of intellect and brains, who was righteous enough enough to go through the right path to bring the justice he deserved. And Shin Hye was wonderful depicting a person suffering from pinocchio syndrome. Just goes to show how many lies we need a day to go by. But her character did not find it a disadvantage but rather used it to her strengths. They had amazing chemistry together. Alone or together, they gave a splendid performance.

I don’t usually talk about the villains in the story but Song Cha Ok (Jin Kyung) was an amazing character. She makes you hate her from the bottom of your heart but in the end manages to end the show in the best possible manner. She was was a woman who knew what she was doing and can’t be messed up. Even if she did do wrong, she had the will and strength to realise and correct that. Something a lot of us lack, sadly.

Jae Myung (Yoon Kyun san) was Hae Myung’s elder brother. He was the representation of a revenge taken in the wrong way and ending up in an even bigger mess. But the path he chose, the decisions he made and the sincere efforts he made for his family cannot be overlooked. Because of that sometimes I felt he had more consistency than the lead and is one of my favorites.

And finally Seo Beom Jo (Kim Young Kwang ) . Initially he was just a secondary character. From a preconceived notion that I have of kdramas , I expected him to just be a part of a long and complicated love triangle. But boy, it turned out to be so much better. If there is any reason this kdrama stands out to me, it’s this character.

Pinocchio is a stiry of a group of reporters and their intense career. It showed us the immense efforts they put to get the right news out there. It shows how important it is to report the truth no matter how hard it may be. It also shows how things can go so wrong if they don’t.

The Pinocchio syndrome and the very unfortunate hiccups shows us just how many lies we go through even on an ordinary day. At the end of the day, the truth matters. But somehow we always choose to lie, sometimes for the greater good. Judging whether this is good or bad is a tough answer to give, but I would like to know what you guys feel in the comments.

This is exactly what I meant with title to this post. It’s a very fine line between the truth and the lies and what we choose could have effects beyond our wildest dreams.

If you are contemplating on whether to lie or not, I suggest you go for the truth. It might be hard, but just remember that to keep one lie intact, we would have to say so many more lies.

Image courtesy: Google


  1. I loved this post! I have so far seen the first two episodes, but have gotten a little sidetracked for a bit. It’s next on my last after the current series I’m watching is finished. I really think the storyline for this is wonderful. It’s very original, and instead of being ridiculous (which could have happened) based on the first 2 episodes that I saw, it was really well done.
    The truth, is always something that should be high on everybody’s list in the first place. Could not agree more! Glad you enjoyed the series 😊😊

    Liked by 1 person

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