Reviewing Pinocchio – SPOILERS


Pinocchio is a K-drama that follows the story of a family affected by the lies of corrupted reporters. Ki Ho-sang was setup to take the blame for a factory explosion that resulted in the deaths of the entire firefighter squad. Instead of uncovering why the explosion occured, the media, led by Song Cha-Ok, fixtated on Ki Ho-Sang being responsible for neglience. This led to Ki Ho-Sang’s wife and his youngest son, Ki Ha-Myung, committing suicide. Unknown to the elder son, Ki Jae-Myung, his younger brother survives and is rescued from the sea by an elderly man.

The elderly man has Alzheimer and mistook Ki Ha-Myung for his son who died thirty years ago; Ki Ha-Myung now began living life as Choi Dal Po, in order to ease his adoptive father’s pain. It is at this stage, he meets the daughter of Song Cha-Ok, who happens to have the Pinocchio syndrome. This means every time she lies, she hiccups. Choi In-Ha idolises her mother which makes it incredibly hard for Ki Ha-Myung as he views her accountable for the tragic heartbreak of his family.

Inspired by Ki Ha-Myung, Choi In-Ha dreams to be the first reporter with Pinocchio syndrome. Eventually Ki Ha-Myung quits being a taxi driver, and vows to become a reporter with Choi In-Ha, in order to prevent her from giving up on her dreams. Along this journey, Ki Ha-Myung crosses paths with his elder brother by chance and makes the unplesasant discovery that he has avenged his father’s death by killing some of the culprits. Ki Ha-Myung makes the difficult decision to turn his brother in, and continues using his reporter status as a weapon to shed light on what happened thirteen years ago. An eerily similar coverup fire explosion situation occurs again, but this time it affects their detective friend An Chan-Soo.

Whilst working at rival news station, Ki Ha-Myung and Choi In-Ha and their reporter friends go through bouts of anger, frustration and unite to expose the corruption present via honest reporting. The truth behind how the fire explosion that resulted in his father’s death is revealed, which uncovers the bigger picture of corruption amongst politicians and certain media outlets.


Choi Dal-Po / Ki Ha-Myeong

This fella does the funniest ish when he gets jealous of other peoples’ interactions with Choi In-Ha. He’s also got a photographic memory and is very academic. He sometimes speaks out of turn, and realises afterwards that some things are easier said than done.

Choi In-Ha

Has the Pinocchio syndrome so is constantly walking on eggshells. Has a hard time processing the sins her mother has committed, and is very cute in nature.

Seo Bum-Jo

I tried really hard to dislike this character (mostly due to him also competing for Choi In-Ha’s affections). However, he knows when to respectfully back off, so he doesn’t obstruct Ki Ha-Myeong chances. He’s a mummy’s boy, but to his shock, his mother is the reincarnation of the devil. This results in him taking the fall for all his mother’s crime, taking a gamble on the fact she’ll confess in order to get her son out of jail. This works, but gosh THE SACRIFICE sent shivers all over as the scene unfolded. He earned my respect.

Yoon Yoo-Rae

This girl is quite something. She’s super resourceful and fiesty. (Also lowkey ship her with Hwang Gyo-Dong but alas nothing ooh la la happens).

Hwang Gyo-Dong

He attempts to put the wrongs from thirteen years ago right, and doesn’t let anything obstruct him. He is one of Ki Ha-Myeong’s managers.

Jang Hyun-Gyu

He attempts to put the wrongs from thirteen years ago right, and doesn’t let anything obstruct him. He is one of Ki Ha-Myeong’s managers, and has quite a brash nature with a unique sense of humour.

Song Cha-Ok

The mother of Choi In-Ha, who was the puppet of Park Ro-Sa. Initially when she tried to whistle blow thirteen years ago, she was cornered and won over with power and status. Due to her daughter’s and Ki Ha-Myeong relentless pursuit of the truth, she becomes weary of protecting corrupted people, and starts to redeem herself by exposing the truth she had helped conceal.

Park Ro-Sa

She’s evil. That’s all there is to say.


Ki Ha-Myeong & Choi In-Ha

Ki Ha-Myeong has been head over heels for Choi In-Ha since the day they met. He kept thinking one day he’d get over it, but thankfully that day never came. Throughout their schools years, he has always been keeping a watchful eye over her, under the pretence of indifference. An obstacle they both have to work through is Choi In-Ha’s mother being the person who sparked the tragedy of Ki Ha-Myeong’s family. However, they weather through it all, and the show ends with them picking out wedding outfits in the presence of their family.

Family of Ki Ha-Myeong & Choi In-Ha

Choi In-Ha’s grandfather is who discovers a very young Ki Ha-Myeong stranded in the sea. Choi In-Ha and her father later come to live with her grandfather, which is when Ki Ha-Myeong and Choi In-Ha start to form their turbulent friendship. Choi In-Ha’s father eventually realises the two love each other, and goes through a confusing state where he didn’t want to imagine his daughter and Ki Ha-Myeong together, but he’d get so vexed when Ki Ha-Myeong appears to not be making moves on his daughter. Deep down, he knew Ki Ha-Myeong was the one for his daughter. The grandfather takes a bit of time accepting their love, as he feared a failed relationship would break the entire family up.

An Chan-Soo & the reporter squad

An Chan-Soo was such a meanie in school (also crushed on Choi In-Ha) but he’s fleshed out into a conscientiousness detective. His sense of banter with colleagues is enjoyable, and just look at the jealous sparked within Ki Ha-Myeong. (An Chan-Soo is married with two kids for godsake!)

Seo Bum-Jo & Choi In Ha

Ah, so we have Ki Ha-Myeong’s love rival. At the start he wasn’t too fussed about Ki Ha-Myeong, but as he began to fall head over heels at a deeper level, the fact his love was unrequited did eat away at him. However, he handled it maturely which was quite upsetting to see at times.

Ki Ha-Myeong & Ki Jae Myung

The two brothers reunion is short lived, due to Ki Jae-Myung having killed the culprits who tainted their father’s name, and drove their mother to suicide, by spreading false rumours. A bittersweet moment is when Ki Jae-Myung agrees to turn himself in once he whole heartedly believes his younger brother will avenge their father’s name as a reporter. It is on Song Cha-Ok’s interview he reveals thirteen years ago the media painted a hero as a villain, and now thirteen years later they’re painting a villain to be a hero as he’s a murderer.

Seo Bum-Jo & Ki Ha-Myeong

Despite these two holding petty grudges over both wanting Choi In-Ha for themselves, they actually get on somewhat and have each other’s backs. In the end, we see Ki Ha-Myeong shed tears for the risky sacrifice Seo Bum-Jo makes.



  • For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to step foot into the world of justice and put criminals in their place. Career fields such as journalism and law have always appealed to me, but I lack the qualities to end up there. So to watch a tv show that revolved around how good journalism can be effective at holding wrong doers accountable was very satisfying.
  • The prominent theme of how the media can be selective with whose voice they magnify is still a relevant issue in today’s society. People from minority groups, or countries with less wealth or power often struggle to be heard, or have the injustices taking place challenged. The way politicians and people with wealth covered up sins, and manipulated the truth was eerily close to reality.
  • It was refreshing to watch a tv show where the villain was a female. The person holding everyone hostage as puppets and at the root of all corruption was a female. She dominated the males.
  • I loved how redemption was sought, but it escaped going down the route of revenge in a distasteful way.
  • Some of the characters were soft but harsh at the same time. They all had flaws we could relate to.
  • I loved the importance placed on family values, and upholding trust and honesty.

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