A fun and STRANGE ride. I try to be open-minded about dramas but have realized that I have certain ideas and beliefs about love in fiction that I can’t shake with one being: “It’s what’s inside that counts.”
I don’t know what message the writer is trying to convey but the leads pretty much ended up with people that they loved on the outside. So Hyung hooks up with her dead husband’s doppelganger, Eun Hee was married to an evil spirit and decides that she loves the host and our dear Sun Woo fell in love with a ghost and is now spending the rest of his life with the vessel.
WTF? I’ve long since been prepared to take the Sun Woo/Bong Sun romance with a grain of salt and pretend that liking a blog could mean the world but now we’re supposed to be cool with Eun Hee (especially) and So Hyung in a similar predicament?
Hmm. I’m not going to lie… the guy’s a cutie. Heck, I’d marry him twice, too. You go, So Hyung!
On a more serious note, why, Writer? Why? I’m baffled despite predicting this ending for Eun Hee.
But it’s the finale so I’m going to try to focus on the positives. I’m all ranted out and prepared myself not to dwell on the lack of development in the central romance but this stuff the writer threw in to give everyone a happy ending just pissed me off!
Breathe, Girl, Breathe.
I just needed to get that off my chest in order to be more positive because despite the gripes I have with this series, I was thoroughly entertained.
We finally dealt with Soon Ae’s murder. Yes! It was exciting and suspenseful. Great. But we also had characters doing stupid things for the sake of plot. Blergh.
Like Chef not telling his sister the truth about her husband. Yes, it would be hard to hear but she found evidence in the suitcase and instead of telling her to steer clear of the psycho, he lied to her.
Sun Woo sees Sung Jae drive off but doesn’t inform the cops. And while I get the urgency and romance, did he really need to do this in the middle of a busy highway?
But I liked that Bong Sun was proactive in saving herself.
And in the midst of this suspense thriller, there’s the random restaurant shenanigans with Min Soo and his colleague whom he now has to treat as a senior. I would have enjoyed these scenes if they weren’t so tonally different from the rest of the episode.
I never quite understood Sung Jae’s possession and still don’t. For the sake of the plot and some attempt at redemption, Sung Jae acted more like a person with multiple personalities than one whose body was completely taken over by a spirit. Did the evil spirit have the real Sung Jae’s memories and feelings? Because he kept switching back and forth in Episode 15. Weren’t we told that at this point, the evil spirit was one with the host and couldn’t exit? So what in the world was going on?
I think this summarizes this drama’s weakness. I commend the writer for being very creative and having a high concept but character development and overall characterization is what separates a fun drama from a great one. It was established from the start that a ghost completely possesses a host and that with perfect synergy, the host can become eternally possessed – particularly after a long time. We were led to believe that Sung Jae was fully possessed but then because the writer wanted to tug at our heartstrings, the story changed. How much my heart would have ached for Sung Jae if it had been established that he was struggling and in constant battle with the evil spirit?
Then to top things off, he jumps off a cliff and survives, despite losing all his blood from the gash on his head. But somehow, these illogical scenes were touching because Im Joo Hwan sold the heck out of them.
Which is where the drama’s strength lies – the great actors. And the little scenes they sell with their hearts and souls.
One always wonders if closure truly comes upon learning that a loved one’s suicide was actually a homicide. Does it make things easier or reset their grief? Soon Ae’s father’s reaction to the truth was relatable and I loved that his daughter saved him. Part of her mission was to heal her family and I’m glad that her dad got to see her one last time. How wonderful to be reassured that his daughter is always watching over him. We should all be so lucky.
The girls’ goodbye was nice but didn’t pack the required emotional punch because their relationship wasn’t as developed as it should have been. The same also goes for Bong Sun’s growth into the bubbly girl her grandmother didn’t recognize.
I liked the goodbye scene between Soon Ae and Sun Woo. It makes sense that he only thanked her for helping with Eun Hee but I wish he’d manned up a little and thanked her for changing his life especially as he learned that sometimes, “it’s better to act impulsively than cautiously.” Regardless, saying her real name and the hug were nice.
The drama should have ended there but what’s a rom-com without fluffy fan-service?
The shaman was awesome this week. Not only did she vanquish the evil spirit, she was hilarious at the river bank and with her new found success on TV. Girl, better stop your cons or you’ll get your powers suspended again. I may not have said much about their relationship but I appreciate how much she loved Soon Ae the three years she knew her.
I’m a strange bird who disliked the last few episodes of Coffee Prince because I felt it kept dragging so I’m glad that this was at least limited to forty minutes. I was a little bored because it was predictable and why the hell must people go abroad and not contact each other like Skype and WhatsApp don’t exist? In reality, “I didn’t call you because I missed you too much” is usually an excuse to hide infidelity but thank goodness this is fiction, right?
I loved seeing Seo In Guk but I wish the High School King of Savvy reunion could have been more interesting. Sung Jae doesn’t remember a thing about his marriage. So who felt bad about hitting Eun Hee and who ran over her legs? What was with the black CGI? Did the evil spirit exit his body from time to time? Because their final scene suggests he was possessed like Bong Sun, thus, the evil spirit didn’t leave (and no, I don’t believe the head injury caused amnesia). Which is it, Writers? ARGH!!!!!!!!
And Eun Hee stays by his side despite him not being the one she married. So basically, instead of this being the typical romantic message that what’s on the inside matters, it’s a more realistic message about commitment, that even if the person you fall for turns out to not be who you thought he/she was, stick with it.
Bong Sun matures and becomes her own person which involves taking over Soon Ae’s job at her father’s restaurant and becoming more like the lustful Soon Ae that Sun Woo fell for. It’s both cute and strange. Very cute because everyone is happy but also strange because it’s a few steps beyond filling the void that Soon Ae left like in one of those stories where a woman falls in love with her heart donor’s grieving lover.
All-in-all, these were 16 hours well spent. I loved the beginning, the middle and the end of this drama as separate entities. Everything was well acted and the writer is great at standalone scenes. I suppose, for me, this is one of those cases where the whole is less than the sum of all parts. It’s crazy because while I love the overarching theme of Soon Ae healing hearts and getting to both “live” and leave with no regrets, I’m not a fan of its execution. But it’s okay, though. I may not have gotten the bittersweet ending I wanted, but it’s good that the show ended on a high note.
Would I recommend this drama? Absolutely. But with one important caveat: leave your brain at home. If you’re searching for a solidly planned intriguing story with a swoony romance, look elsewhere. But if you’re in the mood to watch a well performed drama that makes you laugh your ass off, absolutely watch this show. I love to laugh so for the most part, this was right up my alley. The crackling chemistry between Park Bo Young and Jo Jung Suk was a nice bonus.
Till the next drama.