First impressions: May dramas, part 1

2, 4, 6, 8, dramas we appreciate!

Finally caught up with the first episodes from all the new dramas. These two months are gonna be a blast.

BEST LOVE

First off, Best Love. The Hong Sisters are unbelievably funny and you will not get smarter humor and bigger laughs anywhere in the Kdramasphere. This I’m confident of. Their jokes are really sharp and the sisters are incredibly self-aware and snarky with the things they make fun of, which is the best kind of humor in Kpop, where so very little gets to be made fun of.

Best Love is a rom-com, but I would say that their work falls more on the comedy spectrum than the romance one, because after watching so many of their works, I can see that the sisters’ humor is consistently strong, but their romance is a little meh. They fall into using the same tropes and writing patterns that they’ve gotten so comfortable with that I’m not a fan of.

This rarely ever happens with a Hong drama, but I’m incredibly in love with the female lead right now. It might partly be because I. Love. Gong Hyo-jin. She has the most comfortable and relaxed way of acting that’s never too much or too little. Weird to describe it this way, but she’s one of those actresses that make you feel safe when you’re watching her, y’know? That and she has the most beautiful smile :)

I’m on the fence about Cha Seung-won. On one hand, I think he’s incredibly funny, which I didn’t think he’d be capable of doing so well given his badass image from Athena (and how great he was at that). And then when the scenes require it of him, Cha is also deft with upping the angst and being assertive and confrontational, the kind that requires a complete stripping of humor. Then what do I have a problem with? I think it’s his affected drawl. DOES HE TALK LIKE THIS IN REAL LIFE TOO?! It’s driving me crazy.

But how hilarious was this scene? I love how the Hong sisters always supercharge a scene with adrenaline and intensity, only to take it down sixty-five thousand pegs in the split second after with a, “And now what?”

LIE TO ME

I usually hate the “one lie spirals into a massive all-defining conflict” type of storyline in dramas because it always follows the same exact trajectory, but I kinda dig the one in “Lie to Me.”

This is mostly a testament to Yoon Eun-hye because I think I finally found a drama where I find her completely likeable. I can kinda see and emphasize with having a “friend” who’s so horrible, so self-involved, so jealous that lying to knock her down a peg doesn’t seem like that big a crime. Yoon also plays the character with a nice balance of bumbling and assertive, when usually female characters are either completely unaware (Go Mi-nam) or completely thorny (Song Eun-jo).

While I don’t mind the story’s set-up, I have to say that of all new dramas thus far, Lie to Me‘s premise is the most unoriginal. I have complete faith that Kang Ji-hwan (so handsome it hurts ;_;) will do wonders for his role, but…come on, another disinterested chaebol who’s only character flaw is OCD? Eh…shrug.

Speaking of Kang and the Hong Sisters earlier, I kinda wish Kang would do another Hong drama. I know he already did Hong Gil Dong, but I feel like Kang never really got to tap into his full comedic potential with that drama just because it was relatively light with the funny and ended so tragically and serious business.

ROMANCE TOWN

Okay, I don’t want to judge a book by its cover completely shut a drama down after its first two episodes, but Romance Town didn’t leave a good impression. The pacing is odd, the relationships are weirdly written, and the character backgrounds are messy. I was left feeling really confused after watching the first episode, like I’m going ahead into the second episode with a really weak foundation of knowledge regarding the entire set-up of the story.

I would say that the best moments of the story so far are Soon Geum’s (Song Yu-ri) moments with Kang Gun-woo (Jung Kyu-won), pre- and post- hot transformation. I like that Gun-woo is a softy hot guy. So often we get the asshole version of a character after he black swans the hell out of himself, and then the goal is to knock him off his pedestal, but Gun-woo has maintained his sweet disposition all throughout, which is nice.

I have to say, the story is intriguing, just because the aspect of maids working by day and chilling together by night evokes a sort of secret club feeling where all the members are acutely aware that their professions are particular, to say the least. The story is also set up to be somewhat a mystery, because the maids have their own secrets and I’m interested in seeing where that all goes.

One thing I wanted to note is how they wrote Gun-woo, pre-transformation. It’s actually if the writers think that fat people are dumber than their would-be skinny selves. It’s sort of hilarious and irritating that Fat Gun-woo is without a doubt suspect, that you need to talk to him slowly, etc. And then Skinny Gun-woo automatically comes with several degrees from NYU.

  • http://ofstrangersensibilities.blogspot.com Joy

    MTE! I am not one to speak in acronyms but really you’ve put all my thoughts into words (except that I only watched the first 15 mins of Romance Town instead of two whole episodes). I really want to like “Lie to Me” because I am an ardent YEH fan who was completely and utterly disappointed with “Take Care of the Young Lady” (except for the clothes).