3 Reasons to Watch ‘Pandora: Beneath the Paradise’

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Pandora: Beneath the Paradise - But Why Tho

With gob-smacking new reveals, tension so thick you need a chainsaw to cut through, love triangles, and more, Pandora: Beneath the Paradise is the latest Korean Drama series to grace Hulu’s streaming service. Much like the Greek mythology the title borrows from, each episode dropped weekly reveals how far the mystery goes in this intriguing melodrama. At the heart of the puzzle is Lee Ji-ah’s enigmatic Hong Tae-ra.

In Pandora: Beneath the Paradise, we are introduced to Tae-ra. Taking place more than a decade after an accident damages her face and memories, Tae-ra lives an ideal life. She is married to doting wealthy husband, Pyo Jae-hyun (Lee Sang-yoon), has her ride-or-die bestie, Ko Hae-su (Jang Hee-jin), and a wonderful daughter. She wants for nothing. But a decision made by outside parties brings back her memories one by one. With these memories now returned, she soon realizes that her reality is a lie.

Revenge is at the heart of the story here in Pandora. Not just for Tae-ra, though, a huge part of it is focused on her. Revenge is the connective tissue in this series, with each character having someone they despise enough to plot ruination on. It makes for some delicious TV viewing.

There’s a lot going on in Pandora: Beneath the Paradise, but that doesn’t mean it’s super complicated of a sell. Here are three simple reasons for you to dive right into this latest Kdrama.

Intrigue & Mystery

The mystery starts right off the bat in Pandora: Beneath the Paradise. With flashbacks and quick edit cuts, we’re already launched into Tae-ra’s discombobulated mind. Once the memories start to truly make themselves known, and the first big reveal drops at the end of episode one, it’s hard not to be hooked. This is no simple mystery. No, it is more akin to a broader conspiracy, and it is up to us to solve it with Tae-ra.

But nothing is that simple. There are layers upon layers of intrigue and head-scratching moments. We will question everything as the writers pull out the rug underneath us. Just as we start to make headway, a new surprise pops up. One thing is for certain, though. We will always be kept on our toes. Before we realize it, we’re already caught in the web that the writers have crafted for us.

Jang Hee-jin is Pandora: Beneath The Paradise’s Star

Pandora: Beneath the Paradise

This isn’t to knock Lee Ji-ah. Her role is contingent on being a tabula rasa of sorts. With each new reveal, there are more layers. Ji-ah’s performance is subtle in the unraveling of those layers early on. Comparatively, Jang Hee-jin’s Ko Hae-su is far more realized initially. This makes the character, and the subsequent performance Hee-jin gives, even more enticing.

Ko Hae-su has suffered extraordinary public trauma that still clings to her every waking moment. Marrying into a wealthy family, her accomplishments are frequently dismissed due to her connections. All of this has eroded her trust in people. Struggling with crippling depression leftover from her past trauma, Tae-ra serves as Hae-su’s lifeline. That is until she starts receiving mysterious letters that point to Tae-ra as being the source of her pain as Hae-su finds more holes in Tae-ra’s story, which Tae-ra honestly can’t help due to the memory loss and what all, Hae-su collapses within herself. From there onward, it’s Jang Hee-jin’s show. She bounces between emotions with ease, with the growing cynicism and destructive urges Hae-su experiences resonating onscreen.

You’ll love to hate Hae-su as she lashes out and jumps to extremes across the board. It’s all due to Hee-jin’s performance that we can invest so easily in wanting to smack Hae-su out of it.

Melodramatic shenanigans

Pandora: Beneath the Paradise

Not only does Pandora: Beneath the Paradise contain mystery, it is melodramatic to the max. Like a telenovela, the writers check off every possible dramatic scenario to throw at our characters. From animal ethics violations to presidential runs to love triangles, there’s a lot to take in. Making it all the better is how incredibly messy all the characters surrounding Tae-ra are. No one is innocent. Not even Tae-ra’s daughter, with her penchant for guns.

Each episode ends with a cliffhanger, making each new revelation more impactful. Throw in some choice music edits (seriously, some choices are made with those music edits), and you’ll be clutching pearls and – hopefully – be a little bit kinder about your own life choices. Because, at the end of the day, Tae-ra has an excuse for her issues. Everyone around her, with their own little manipulations, doesn’t.

Drama abounds, and it is both delicious and vexing for better or worse.

Pandora: Beneath the Paradise is a revenge series that delivers whiplash in spades. While the mystery of discovering Tae-ra’s real identity is the core of the story, there’s drama llama galore. With each new reveal, things escalate. The series is set to be the next revenge thriller melodramatic spectacle to shove into your eyeballs. Grab yourself some popcorn, sit back, and watch the shenanigans unfold.

Pandora: Beneath the Paradise is streaming episodically on Hulu now.

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