The 2021 JTBC drama Artificial City finished airing on 10 February 2022. Artificial city started out great with a diverse range of characters and expectations of a great story build-up.
However, despite the potential of a great story, Artificial City fell flat on expectations and didn’t manage to deliver till the end. Now that’s a subjective interpretation maybe because of the expectations from the Kdrama.
The open ending left us speechless and there can be different ways one can interpret how things could have unfolded. The quintessential question remains; Is Artificial City Kdrama Worth Watching?
If it was some other Kdrama, perhaps a one-line evaluation would have sufficed to continue with the drama or not. Surprisingly, it’s a tad bit different from other Kdramas out there.
Artificial City did try to show something the same with a unique approach. If we are talking about the storyline and character development, some things were done right, and for what it’s worth, Artificial City Kdrama is one of decent drama worth binging at one go.
However, there’s a bit "but" coming, a huge exception. Artificial City Kdrama failed to deliver at the end, maybe because we fans are so used to watching dramas in the hope of getting some karmic justice where evil never wins.
Artificial City took it a level further. Wait for the end till the actual rant begins.
The Scuffle between Yoon Jae Hui & The Mother-in-law
What made Artificial City worth the watch was the tension between Yoon Jae Hui, the rags to riches person fighting against the upper-class in-laws, especially her mother-in-law.
Seo Han Sook, Yoon Jae Hui’s mother in law is a very controlling and sly person who knows how to explore people’s vulnerability, to the point of blackmail. In contrast, Yoon Jae Hui is no angel; she’s somewhat worse, maybe not like her mother-in-law.
In what would does it justify keeping a trashy spouse and tolerating the repeated infidelity? It’s absurd to the point where the hunger for power can drive one completely insane.
Kudos to Yoon Jae Hui if she already isn’t unhinged after tolerating the nonsense from her spouse and the in-laws who treat her no different than dirt. The constant battle to seek affirmation, acceptance and emotional torment is exhausting enough to drive one insane.
It’s surprising how long Yoon Jae Hui lasted given she had to deal with her extremely troublesome sister-in-law Lee Jo Yeon and father-in-law Jung Pil Sung. Neither of them wouldn’t lose an opportunity to put her into her “so-called place” if that makes any sense.
Unfortunately, you can’t relate the rationale of choosing the high power, social status and money over her ex-lover, Park Jung Ho who now is a prosecutor. Now, he’s another pitiful character, unfortunately.
What feels so absurd in Artificial City is the concept of doing wrong and getting away with it; especially murder. Is there any crime left undone?
Well, in retrospect, the scary Seo Han Sook is one person who you don’t wish to get into their bad side. From manipulation, blackmail, lies, forgery, extortion and kidnapping. She hold the cards and would do anything to protect her kingdom.
Jung Yoon Hyeok’s atrocious Behaviour
The adulterous Jung Yoon Hyeok was the most unbelievable character you might ever come across. He doesn’t have remorse when he assaults someone, uses them for his convenience, and yet expect her wife to be perfect.
Jung Yoon Hyeok wouldn’t mind cheating over Yoon Jae Hui every opportunity he gets. What’s worse is his feeling of non-acceptance towards his flesh and blood if it’s from wedlock.
It’s not like anyone told him to cheat, but well, he’s the future presidential candidate who wouldn’t mind using Yoon Jae Hui or his mother.
He acts pitiful like he’s making a huge sacrifice for the family, but quite frankly he’s a narcissist and a big-time whine who cries to mommy dear if things don’t go the way he wants. Jung Yoon Hyeok is a mid-level sociopath who seems deranged and has no remorse towards his actions against anyone.
Kim Yi Seol’s Approach for Justice
From the very beginning, Kim Yi Seol approached Yoon Jae Hui for the sense of achieving justice for her friend; but in vain. There was no winning from the devil incarnate Seo Han Sook who had everything under her wraps.
The idea that Kim Yi Seol can save Yoon Jae Hui from the suffocation and horrible torment was a far fetched notion or perhaps a dream that was worth the expense of her life.
There was a feeling of friendship between the girls, and that was one of the best highlights in Artificial City. Not long before, things fell flat and the rift between Kim Yi Seol and Yoon Jae Hui was apparent.
People don’t change, it was unrealistic to expect Yoon Jae Hui to surrender the keys to the kingdom she built over the years.
The oblivious Han Dong Min
Han Dong Min was, unfortunately, the weirdest character in Artificial City. His idea of half-baked justice and shallow reasoning was quite off-putting. He was all bark and no talk.
Han Dong Min had the power to chose, yet we all knew what he might choose in the end. As a reporter, it was downright unjustified that he would succumb to power yet blame Yoon Jae Hui for it.
The intention to be on friendly terms with his most trusted Sunbae Jung Joon Hyeok was quite baffling, yet it was pretty obvious. He couldn’t be more than a background character who was pretty easy to manipulate.
Park Jung Ho - Forever the Cleaner!
Probably the only decent character in Artificial City was Park Jung Ho. he had the most difficult life trying to clean up after everyone’s mess including his boss and ex-lover. A big shout out for his perseverance and the ability to tolerate the nonsense from almost everyone.
The Bland ending
Probably the most disappointing ending in the Kdrama History. Artificial City leaves a bitter aftertaste and leaves you hanging with an absurd open ending. The evil wins for a twist, and Yoon Jae Hui was kicked off her Kingdom.
Let’s just pretend the last episode never happened. The two-timing cheating husband/trash is living a happy and fulfilling life with his love flames and raising his son probably. Yoon Jae Hui loses her son in the power struggle. The end.
Whether you want to watch Artificial City or not lies up to you. Honestly, the ending was quite disappointing nothing more and nothing less. The cast was great and the acting was flawless, but the story was a mess.
Unless there’s a season 2 which seems very unlikely (but you never know), Artificial City is a big-time pass.
Thanks for reading!!!