From the moment I read the announcement that the ageless Jeon Do Yeon and eclectic Ryu Joon Yeol would bring to life Japanese writer Osamu Dazai’s novel Human Disqualification, I’ve had it in my sights. The many teasers I’ve watched since in anticipation give me My Mister vibes, one of the best dramas ever made. The premise of Lost resonated with me in how relatable the story is of ordinary people who, despite trying their best, reach a point in life when they realize their hard work didn't amount to much.
I am forever in awe at Jeon Do Yeon in action. She’s terrific and rightfully nicknamed a chameleon for her ability to take any role and make it her own. And her approach to Boo Jung isn't any different. She is an ordinary, hard-working woman in her 40s who gets caught up in her work and family life as a wife, daughter-in-law, daughter, and ghostwriter. She wakes up on one to suddenly realize she’d lost herself while trying to be all those things. And it’s that realization that hits her so intently, bringing her almost to the brink of collapsing. But as they say, life begins at the other side of despair. And as I watch Boo Jung's life story unfold, I want to hug her and let her know that the events in her life do not define her. They are life lessons, and that the sooner she realizes that, the sooner she can pick up the pieces.
As for Ryu, I find I am always mesmerized by him and his choices as an actor. And he doesn't disappoint with Lost in his role as Kang Jae, a young man exhausted by his mundane life, runs a service where employees transform into whatever service the client wants: a friend, family, or lover, perfectly carrying out his missions, yet unsatisfied with his life. Kang Jae's only goal is to become wealthy; that is the measure of success to him. And if he's not able to achieve that, it would be like he'd amounted to nothing in life, the anxiety of it all.
But as melancholy and dark as things seem, I hope it's not all dreary with Lost. That just as My Mister shattered us to pieces before methodically putting us together again through the emotional bond that developed between two of the most unlikely people, so will it with Lost. And it’s that promise of a journey of pain, vacantness to wholesomeness that I look forward to, well that and the enigmatic long-haired Ryu. Lost is penetrating and poignant from its opening, especially in how Ryu and Jeon D Yeon and those around them deliver their roles. From the anxiety to the emptiness and loneliness, it all cuts through the interlocking issues of human nature, social relationships, disconnection from those relations, and the state of existing but not living -- drifting aimlessly through life. Watch episode 1 here.