REVIEW: Vincenzo

[Please be advised, this review  may contain spoilers.]

As a general rule, I wait until every episode of a new K-drama becomes available on Netflix before I start to watch the show, even though, at times, waiting for all the episodes to drop can be rather unbearable.  But I find that it suits me best to binge-watch the thing.  Now, I do admit, waiting for

Vincenzo to finish its run of weekly episodes was a rather painful process for two reasons.  Firstly, it's 20 episodes and, secondly, there was a huge buzz surrounding the show.  I endured it, however, simply because I knew that the newest drama, starring Song Joong-ki, would be well worth it.

I finished watching Vincenzo a few days ago, and although I can say, without a doubt, it was worth the wait, I'm not sure I can sing its praises, for Vincenzo was not a great show.  At best, I'd say it was entertaining, in the way a cat is entertaining when it feasts on catnip.  What struck me the most was how shallow it all came across.  Nothing seemed to truly resonate, mainly due to the director's preference to hastily move on to the next of her seemingly endless stream of capers while I was still processing the last one.  I knew then by the 7th or 8th episode that Vincenzo was not a show to be taken too seriously, and that in itself is a pity, because the premise, I felt, deserved better.

That's not to say that I didn't enjoy Vincenzo.  I was entertained, for the most part, and the laughs were quite plentiful, but the comedy seemed rather senseless amid the incessant killings.  I did laugh, however, and I suppose that was the intended purpose, but I feel it devalued the importance of the main plot.  How exactly does a tragedy resonate when you've spent the last few minutes laughing at the buffoonery?  It doesn't, of course, and therein lies the problem with Vincenzo.  K-dramas often tend to mix genres.  In fact, comic relief is a staple of K-dramas, and in most cases, it works, but rarely is there such a contrast between the comedy and the drama.

As superficial as I found it all, I must say, Vincenzo did get it right a lot of the time, especially when it veered away from the antics and attended to the more endearing moments.  The subplot with Vincenzo's mother, for instance.  The unexpected friendship between Vincenzo and Han-seo.  Or, the glorious Inzaghi.  Those moments were handled with an ease that was, sadly, lacking elsewhere in the show.  I wish we'd been treated to more of this and less of the killings, which became with time too repetitive.

In the end, I think it's best to go into Vincenzo expecting a fun time, with quite a bit of laughs and shock value.  Don't try to delve too deeply into its substance.  Instead, put away your thinking caps and get your popcorn ready, for Vincenzo will undoubtedly entertain you more that way.  As I said before, Vincenzo is not a great show, but it's a hell of a good time.

Vincenzo (2021)
Cast: Song Joong-ki, Jeon Yeo-bin, Ok Taec-yeon
Episodes: 20
[Click here to watch on Netflix.]



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