I was heartbroken when I saw the nominees of the 58th Baeksang Awards. Move to Heaven and Taxi Driver were not on the list. Story-wise and performance-wise, these two dramas deserve recognition in South Korea’s biggest award giving body for film and TV shows. As a fan of Korean drama and award shows, it felt like a robbery.
Although I have nothing against the nominees, for all of those nominated are good dramas as well, I believe that Move to Heaven and Taxi Driver should have been nominated at the very least. Move to Heaven for example, is a beautiful, painful, and profound narration of the many faces of death. It’s personal and somewhat philosophical take of death and how it affects the people left behind is something that tugs your heart and shakes your core every episode. As you witness the stories of characters and how death has affected them, you too become part of that pain and emotion; and when the story courses through its climax, the pain and emotion shifts into the main characters who for the previous episodes were only witnesses of the death of other people in the story. Lee Je-Hoon and Tang Joon-Sang were amazing in this drama. Them without the nomination is just sad.
Taxi Driver on the other hand is a narrative that shows how injustice can do to people and how a band of individuals who were once victims of this injustice seek justice for those who can’t fight for themselves. Again, Lee Je-Hoon chameleons into a badass character that becomes the weapon for these victims. He did the role justice and so much more. Him without the nomination felt like injustice.
However, I understand that this is where the subjectivity of art comes in. The jurors of Baeksang and the criteria that they use may not be parallel with that of the audience. As sad and as painful as it is, it is what it is. They are the jury and we are merely the audience.
Whilst the nomination can’t change, I only hope that Move to Heaven and Taxi Driver will be seen by more people for its amazing storytelling and acting performance. If not with a Baeksang nomination, we can show appreciation for these two great dramas by watching them and seeing why these two should be on the list.
Have you watched these two dramas and feel that they should or shouldn’t be on the list? Tell us what you think and let’s have a discussion while we wait for the Baeksang Awards this coming May 6, 2022.