THE SHORT VERDICT:
A winsome little drama that is as charming as it is sweet, and boasts a good helping of fun on the side. Witch’s Romance may not be the most epic noona romance out there, but it’s certainly one of the most earnest and heartfelt.
While (almost) the entire cast is likable, it’s really the OTP that steals the show. Uhm Jung Hwa embodies cautious vulnerability beneath her strong, fearless veneer, while Park Seo Joon exudes a truly lovely blend of sincerity, earnestness and warmth. Individually, they deliver praise-worthy performances. Together, their chemistry feels so real and palpable that it sometimes leaps off the screen to knock you right over.
The writing falters at times and the execution is a little uneven, but with this wonderful, delightful puppy flashing this melty smile at you, it won’t hurt much, I promise.
Witch’s Romance OST – 안녕
THE LONG VERDICT:
I learned fairly early in my drama journey that the lens through which I view a drama can potentially make or break that drama for me.
Take You’re Beautiful, for example.
The first time I watched it, I took the show (& myself too, in all likelihood) much too seriously. Which means that I found so, so many things that didn’t work in the drama that I ended up disliking it quite a lot.
A few years later, after coming across a whole lot of internet love for this show, I decided that I ought to give the show another chance. I adjusted my lens and my expectations, dived in for a second watch, and ended up loving it. So much so that I also ended up watching it a third time, just coz. Talk about a total turnaround, eh?
There are a couple of things that I feel would help you enjoy Witch’s Romance a whole lot more, and being the helpful gal that I am (heh), I’m gonna tell you all about ’em.
3 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW
1. Expect Manhwa Tendencies
Witch’s Romance tends to go campy, and quite frequently too. Expect exaggerated, OTT, leaning-nonsensical elements in this drama.
There are times when watching this will feel like watching a live-action manhwa, complete with cutesy sound effects.
Don’t fight it. Enjoy it.
2. Suspension of Disbelief Required
In line with its manhwa tendencies, not everything makes sense in this show.
The story depends heavily on coincidence (more than the average kdrama, yes) in order to drive itself forward, and you’re going to need to suspend disbelief on a regular basis.
Characters – thankfully secondary ones – will appear to undergo personality changes partway through the show without sufficient explanation nor motivation. (There was probably a special on lobotomies in our drama’s hospital, is what I’m thinking).
Not all characters introduced are consequential. Several characters will start off with enough screentime to give the impression that they will be significant in some way, but will drop off the horizon and never appear again. Like the shaman in the early episodes (extended cameo by Narsha), for example.
My advice? Stay calm and suspend that disbelief, then shrug and move on. It’s worth it.
3. The Cute Comes Back
Overall, the tone of the show is rather uneven.
When The Cute is around, it’s very, very cute and will likely amuse you very nicely while putting a smile on your face. It takes an episode or so to get settled, but once it’s established, The Cute is adorably delightful. Sometimes the situations that bring forth The Cute are more contrived than I’d like, but our leads are so endearing that this is easy enough to overlook.
When The Cute is absent, though, watching the show can be a more angsty experience than one might expect. On the upside, the angst is well-played and our leads deliver the angst with heartfelt sincerity and depth.
The other upside is that your patience will be rewarded. The Cute comes back, and is sweet enough to wait for.
MY 3 FAVORITE THINGS IN THIS DRAMA
Park Seo Joon as Yoon Dong Ha
Oh, Park Seo Joon. He makes my heart melt, he does.
While watching Witch’s Romance, Park Seo Joon quietly and sneakily went from “that sorta nice-but-rather-ordinary-looking guy that I don’t think I’ve seen before” to a spanking new bona fide k-crush with the effortless ability to turn me into a flailing, molten puddle of fangirl goo with every off-handed crinkly smile and every soft, tender gaze. Melt~
Park Seo Joon is wonderful as Yoon Dong Ha, period. His delivery is completely earnest and heartfelt, and he comes across so naturally that I could very quickly believe that Dong Ha was a real, living, breathing person with real thoughts and feelings, genuinely and intricately colored with actual history and emotional baggage.
Permeating all of that is a lovely, earthy warmth and sincerity that shines right through Dong Ha and makes me feel all snug and toasty as I bask in it, like a sleepy cat cozily soaking up balmy rays of sunshine. And purring with satisfaction. Mwrrr~
In fact, Dong Ha feels so real and so tangible that I want him to walk out of my screen and date me instead of Ji Yeon. For serious, y’all.
For the record, there isn’t just warmth and coziness to be enjoyed where Park Seo Joon is concerned. There’s a good amount of hawt too, particularly when the shirt comes off and the kisses come forth:
And have I mentioned his incredibly soulful, magical, melty gaze:
..as well as his absolutely adorable, infectious smile?
There are honestly so many things that I love about Dong Ha as a character, and so many scenes where I enjoyed soaking up Park Seo Joon’s natural, effortless delivery.
Dong Ha not caring two hoots that Ji Yeon (Uhm Jung Hwa) is 14 years older than he. Dong Ha responding to Ji Yeon’s actions and gaze instead of her words. Dong Ha preparing a candlelit dinner that, like him, is sweet & thoughtful, yet casual & candid. Dong Ha showing up to rescue Ji Yeon as well as sweep her (& her friends) off her feet. Dong Ha doing what’s right without a moment’s hesitation despite it putting himself at a disadvantage. Dong Ha being an adorable drunk.
I picked just two scenes to highlight in this section, coz over and above all the rest of the awesome, these were scenes that truly, honest-to-goodness blew me away.
Crying in the Dark
In the beginning of episode 10, Dong Ha staggers into his apartment after a terse encounter with Ji Yeon. She wants to talk; for everything to normalize between them even as she chooses to start over with Shi Hoon (Han Jae Suk), and Dong Ha can barely keep it together as he tells her not to call out to him anymore.
Once inside the apartment, Dong Ha chokes with muffled sobs and the scene, though fleeting, is completely arresting.
Just.. wow. Park Seo Joon nailed it. There’s so much pain on the inside, and Dong Ha’s put so much effort into holding it all in, but to no avail, coz it just comes spilling out in shivering, taut, stifled sobs.
Oof. I felt Dong Ha’s pain so acutely in this moment.
I am so impressed, seriously.
Can’t You Not Go To Him?
In episode 8, Dong Ha overhears Ji Yeon’s phone conversation with Shi Hoon, and he reaches out to her in a backhug, saying wistfully, “Can’t you not go to him?”
It’s not so much what Dong Ha says or does; it’s more of how Park Seo Joon delivers it, that gets me right. in. the. gut.
Every time Dong Ha asks, “It is because I’m too young?”, or “Why, are you afraid I’ll kiss you again?”, or “What did I do wrong? Why am I hiding?” or “Do you feel guilty being with me?” and that classic “Can’t you not go to him?” there’s this gutting, pleading tenor – a distinct timbre of almost plaintive vulnerability – in his voice, that is completely heartbreaking.
It’s so endearing and poignant and real.
Every time I heard his voice quiver that way, I could hardly breathe, I felt for him so much.
Kudos indeed to Park Seo Joon, who’s proved beyond the shadow of a doubt, that he really is not just a pretty face.
Uhm Jung Hwa as Ban Ji Yeon
I will admit that I initially had reservations about Witch’s Romance, mainly because of 2 things.
First, I don’t particularly like how many dramas portray older single women. They’re often portrayed as at least a little desperate in the romance department, from being left on the proverbial shelf. I’d seen Uhm Jung Hwa play an older single woman in Get Karl, Oh Soo Jung (2007), and the stink of desperation in that show left a very sour taste in my mouth. I was afraid of the same effect coming into play with this show too.
Second, I didn’t like the way Uhm Jung Hwa was styled in the stills that I saw. The unhealthy-looking, straw-textured hair and that footage of her (literally) running around in high-school uniform just gave me a bad feeling. It just all seemed way too undignified, y’know?
I needn’t have worried.
Firstly, Uhm Jung Hwa does an admirable job portraying Ban Ji Yeon, our tough-on-the-outside-soft-on-the-inside heroine. Yes, it all sounds rather formulaic and pat, but Uhm Jung Hwa makes Ji Yeon feel textured and real. Her bravado is peppered with little hints of the vulnerability lurking beneath the surface: a little agitated flick of the gaze here, a light-as-a-feather hesitation there, a hint of a glimmer of a tear in between, and we get a niggling sense that there’s more to this woman than meets the eye. Well-played indeed.
Also to Uhm Jung Hwa’s credit, she embraces the campy with gusto and makes it work. Even her most ridiculously aegyo-tastic moments lean more amusing than cringe-worthy (although the drama sometimes really challenged this balance). Uhm Jung Hwa looks like she’s having a whale of a time, though, and I end up buying what she’s selling, albeit sometimes a little reluctantly.
Secondly, the styling improves as we progress through the episodes. The straw-like texture to her hair gets gracefully smoothed out as we get to know Ji Yeon, and the awful school uniform thankfully never again gets to see the light of day.
It’s probably clear by now that I enjoyed Dong Ha as a character more than I did Ji Yeon. Part of it has to do with the not-to-be-trifled-with charm of Park Seo Joon (of course), but part of it is also to do with the writing.
During the angsty slump in the drama where Shi Hoon makes his reappearance in Ji Yeon’s life, I wanted so. much. for her to reject Shi Hoon and choose Dong Ha instead, and she.. doesn’t. As a result of her choice, we are subjected to episodes of angst, not only from her, but from darling puppy Dong Ha too.
We lose our strong “witch” in those episodes, and instead are left with a paralyzed, insecure scaredy-cat instead. I got the sense that we got a Ji Yeon blast-from-the-past. Gone is the woman who knew how to take life by the horns and wrestle it to the ground. Gone are her refreshingly candid habits of confronting things and talking things out. Instead, Mopey Ji Yeon never once asks Shi Hoon what exactly he was thinking and doing all those years that he didn’t contact her. Argh.
To Uhm Jung Hwa’s credit, Ji Yeon’s paralysis and pain feels real, if not always logical.
Plus, when she’s not being all mopey and sad, Ji Yeon is actually quite delightful. Outspoken, smart, confident and extremely competent, I do like the fact that Ji Yeon is written as someone who commands admiration and respect. I love too, that drunk Ji Yeon is a touchy-feely-kissy sort of character – cue hijinks!
One of the Ji Yeon scenes that really helped me to endear her to me as a character, is this one in episode 2, where Ji Yeon agrees to be beaten on the back with a stick by her mother (Yang Hee Kyung), just to satisfy Mom that they are doing what they can to ward off her alleged bad luck.
I love that Ji Yeon agrees to what she thinks is something outrageously nonsensical, just to give Mom peace of mind. She complains and protests, but she really does care about Mom’s feelings.
I love, too, the glimpse of vulnerability that we got of Ji Yeon in this scene. Thanks to Uhm Jung Hwa’s very believable delivery, we get a sense of Ji Yeon’s inner pain.
Another Ji Yeon scene I enjoyed is this one in episode 4, where Ji Yeon chooses not to run the story on Kim Jeong Do (Jun Noh Min) in order to protect her sunbae (Lee Eung Kyung) and does the penalty instead.
Not only do I like this scene for demonstrating to us the good heart that Ji Yeon keeps hidden so much of the time, I love how she’s completely unfazed by the indignity of having to dress up as a kpop idol and instead rocks the garish outfit with attitude and aplomb.
Witch’s Romance OST – 내 맘에 들어와 (Park Seo Joon)
The chemistry between our OTP is perhaps one of the best things about this drama. I can forgive a lot if a drama manages to serve up great OTP chemistry, and this is where Park Seo Joon and Uhm Jung Hwa hit it out of the ballpark.
Despite a real-life age difference of 19 years, they appear completely comfortable and at ease with each other. All the kisses, hugs, hand-holding and other skinship, all the shared jokes and laughter, and all the heart-to-heart honest moments feel wonderfully real and effortless.
I could’ve watched these two just being around each other and hanging out and enjoying each other, for 50 more episodes.
There are a couple of things I particularly love about our OTP.
They Talk & They Connect
One of my favorite things about Dong Ha and Ji Yeon as our OTP is that they do that very, very rare thing in dramaland – they talk. I love that they share with and confide in each other with honesty and candidness, and that they find ways to connect with each other in a very real manner, in spite of the age difference.
I really liked this scene in episode 3, where the two of them hang out in Ji Yeon’s apartment and start talking about music.
Ji Yeon is talking about the songs in the context of the original singers, while Dong Ha knows the songs from their more recent pop versions by DBSK and Big Bang, but it doesn’t stop them from using that common knowledge to connect anyway.
More than where their love for music intersects, Ji Yeon and Dong Ha show us that deep down, they are more similar than they appear to be. They both harbor hurts from the past and they both are loyal to a fault. Through their interactions where they share honestly and unguardedly with each other, they help to bring about healing in each other, and there’s something very beautiful about that.
To that end, I enjoyed pretty much any scene that Ji Yeon and Dong Ha shared in the courtyard, since that’s where many of their candid conversations take place:
On top of all of this, perhaps my most favorite thing about the way these two connect and communicate, is how they choose not to let even the angsty topics get in the way of the fun in their relationship.
A great example of this is the ice-cream date in episode 14.
Earlier, Ji Yeon had broached the touchy topic of what caused the rift between Dong Ha and his father (Jo Sun Mook) and Dong Ha had declined to talk about it.
I love that he later picks Ji Yeon up for an ice-cream date in the park, and that they laugh and play as usual, before he calmly and simply answers her question.
I freaking love that during the “waiting” times, between the time Ji Yeon asks a question and the time Dong Ha feels ready to answer it, that these two still laugh and have fun together. It basically shows me that touchy subject or no, unresolved conversation or no, they have a warm place for each other. LOVE.
And last but not least, I love that Dong Ha makes Ji Yeon so happy, so naturally, that it just spills out of her.
Even when – or perhaps because? – it causes puzzlement and a certain amount of anxiety in the people around her.
Dontcha love that rather terrified expression on Young Sik’s face (Yoon Joon Sung)?
They Laugh Together
One of the most endearing things about this couple is how they laugh together.
Whether it’s by playing together, or competing for silly things, or making silly jokes, these two always find a reason to laugh together, and it makes me feel like they will get along very well, for a long, long time. Which I love.
I also love that they don’t appear to get self-conscious around each other much at all. While Ji Yeon’s always taken care to protect her ladylike, coiffed image around Shi Hoon, she doesn’t hesitate to goof around with Dong Ha. I love that these two can be themselves around each other, and enjoy doing so.
I really liked this scene in episode 10 where Ji Yeon and Dong Ha agree to a who-can-eat-the-most challenge, and proceed to scarf down their elegant dinner with stuffed chipmunk cheeks and monkey faces.
So Much Chemistry
Dong Ha and Ji Yeon share an enviable amount of chemistry regardless of whether they’re goofing around doing silly things or getting up close and personal with each other.
I love the sparky-ness they share, and there are a number of truly fantastic couple moments in this show. At the same time, I feel like the show could’ve done more with their chemistry. Let me explain.
What I Loved:
I love that Dong Ha is so into Ji Yeon. In episode 2, I love that he isn’t just responding to her tipsy kisses. The tables get turned and he is clearly into her. And that definitely floats my boat.
That is some very sexy kissing goin’ on there.
I also love the sexual tension that builds between them, even as their feelings for each other intensify.
Like this “I clearly told you not to tempt me” hair ruffling scene in episode 5:
And how about the almost-kiss on the couch in episode 6:
Another of my favorite chem-tastic moments is this one in episode 11. As they hide in the dark shadows in the spa, the sexual tension between them is breathlessly thick.
Uunngh. So sexay.
But it’s not just the fact that they get up-close-and-personal that gets to me. The emotion behind the moment is intense, and that just ups the sexy.
What Was Missing:
The moment that Dong Ha and Ji Yeon officially become a couple, I feel like the gears shift in our couple dynamic.
We still get oodles of cute and sweet, and together with that, an appropriate amount of melty swoon. But – horrors! – the sexy is gone. Even their romps in the bedroom are played off as cute rather than sexy.
Don’t get me wrong. I appreciate couple cute as much as the next fangirl, and I think it’s important that a relationship’s not just all about the sexy.
The thing is, the show builds up that sexual tension between them over multiple episodes, and that tension gets thick and strong and hot. And yet, we never actually get to see that tension get acted on and resolved.
Instead, we get served cute and sweet, even in scenes that appear to be meant for sexy.
Like the beer kiss in episode 15 that echoes the beer kiss in episode 2.
I appreciate the callback to episode 2, but honestly, if we’re gonna compare, the kissing in episode 2 is way hotter.
In that sense, I felt like Witch’s Romance didn’t dare to commit. Maybe the Powers That Be chickened out, thinking that audiences would be scandalized if brought actual sexy between a much older woman and a much younger man.
On the contrary, it just served to make the relationship feel unnaturally cutesy, especially given the context that we’d been painted.
No point carrying on over wasted opportunities. I did appreciate the cute and the sweet that we got, and here’s the loving spotlight on some of those moments.
Gotta love that adorable scrunched up face on Park Seo Joon. ❤
OTHER QUICK HIGHLIGHTS
There were other fun things too in this drama, and I just wanted to give quick shout-outs to other things that I liked.
Ji Yeon’s Awesome Mum
Awesome Mom is awesome.
She’s funny and amusing in all her anxious nagging and petulant threats to Ji Yeon about remarriage, but her awesome comes from her unilateral support for Ji Yeon, no matter what.
I love how, in episode 7, Mom tells Ji Yeon that she’s #1 in her heart even if all the men in Korea are blind. Aw.
I love too, how Mom walks the talk. When Ji Yeon chooses Shi Hoon, Mom supports her decision even though she’s worried and still unhappy with Shi Hoon. And then, when Ji Yeon chooses Dong Ha, Mom remains supportive despite her shock at finding out their actual age difference.
And at the very end of the show, Mom tells Ji Yeon that there wasn’t a time since Ji Yeon was born that she wasn’t happy. Isn’t Mom wonderful?
I love Mom. ❤
Na Rae & Min Goo
Na Rae (Ra Mi Ran) and Min Goo (Lee Se Chang) are wonderfully cute and amusing and I enjoyed any and all screentime we had with these two.
From Na Rae being a great supportive bestie to Ji Yeon, to the goofy aegyo this couple has for each other, they add lots of fun to our show, particularly in the angsty stretch.
Plus, doesn’t Lee Se Chang look like Jang Dong Gun’s long-lost twin brother?? Seriously. I find the resemblance uncanny.
The Other Noona Romance [SPOILER]
Mom’s romance with Ji Yeon’s CEO (Joo Jin Mo) is pretty cute, and provides some lightness and levity to the angsty stretch of our show as well.
I love that Mom’s older than he is, effectively making this the second noona romance on our show.
Witch’s Romance OST – 내게 그대는
WHAT COULD’VE BEEN BETTER
As you can probably tell by now, there’s a whole bunch of things that could’ve been better in this show.
If I could change just 3 things about this show, these are the 3 that I would pick.
To be sure, the writing in the show’s not all bad. So first, let’s take a quick look at some of the things that I actually liked, on top of what I’ve already mentioned in this review.
[SPOILERS THROUGH THE END OF THE REVIEW]
- I appreciate that this show doesn’t quite follow the usual rhythm of a 16-episode rom-com, and I find it refreshing. I love that Dong Ha’s and Ji Yeon’s attraction to each other is established early in the show, and that we get great doses of cute as a result.
- I like that the love square isn’t very strong in this show, even though it rears its head. Eun Chae (Jung Yun Joo) doesn’t turn into the clingy second lead that we’re so used to seeing. Her interest in Dong Ha was fleeting and ultimately inconsequential, and Shi Hoon’s threat was temporary as well. He entered the show late-ish and made an early-ish exit. Which is rather refreshing. This meant that we got to spend more time dealing with the relationship between Dong Ha and Ji Yeon, rather than just the 10 seconds of happy at the end that some shows serve up.
- In the angsty stretch, we get shots of lightness from not only our secondary characters, but also from flashbacks, and that helped to balance out the heaviness.
- The struggle between Ji Yeon and Shi Hoon feels real. And the struggle that Dong Ha feels, feels real too. Each of their individual thoughts and concerns that they’re wrestling with feels well fleshed-out, so that they don’t feel like convenient characters in a story, but real people.
Could’ve Been Better
- The writing could’ve seriously been more elegant and subtle. Many times, we can see why stuff is written a certain way – it’s to drive the narrative in a certain direction. And often it’s at the cost of cohesiveness and logic.
- Young Chae’s illness. Shi Hoon’s coma. What is it with this show and sick first loves?? I wish the writers had been a little more creative about the backstories of the first loves. Not everyone needs to be injured or sick.
- I know I said to expect stuff that doesn’t make sense, but some things are just really hard to overlook, in terms of just how much they don’t make sense. Here’s some of ’em:
E2. Ji Yeon’s inability to find a friend to drink with, which finally lands her in Na Rae’s shop. But then for the rest of the show, Na Rae becomes her super-bestie, with whom she talks about everything, from work to boys. What gives?
E5. The flashback to non-competitive Ji Yeon is super unrealistic and out of character. She’s competitive by nature, and she’s also not the type to go all princess-like in protecting her nails.
E5. So.. In one internet search, Ji Yeon’s found the answer to reviving hyacinth that Dong Ha’s been trying to solve for 3 years? Really??
E14. The misunderstanding between Dong Ha and his dad is cleared up in a manner so simple that I don’t know whether to find it good or laughable. The disconnect for me is the sudden shift in Dong Ha’s dad’s personality. He’d always been shown as stern and stand-offish, but this episode, he softens way more easily than I expected him to.
- Plot holes can be a problem. Like in episode 14, where Dong Ha tells Ji Yeon in all seriousness that if his dad had operated on Young Chae (Jin Ye Sol) instead of the other patient that day, that she would’ve lived. And then in the same episode, Dong Ha tells his dad that he knew Young Chae was beyond help upon arrival at the hospital and he just wanted to assign blame. Um. What?
- The Penultimate Separation. Sigh. So many noona romances use this to “prove” the love of the OTP. I get why the writers choose to do that, but couldn’t we just have Dong Ha and Ji Yeon working things out together instead of pulling them apart for a year?
- This show slumped in the pacing noticeably in the middle stretch, before picking back up again in the later episodes. That’s.. not ideal. But I suppose it’s better to start and end on a high note than have an end that slumps?
Han Jae Suk as Noh Shi Hoon
I was supremely underwhelmed by Shi Hoon, and by Han Jae Suk.
As a character, I couldn’t get behind Shi Hoon whatsoever. I mean, gunshot wound, coma, whatever. It still doesn’t explain why Shi Hoon didn’t contact Ji Yeon all this time. If he loved Ji Yeon so much, why wouldn’t he even try to contact her, after she’d sent the rings back?
Also, Shi Hoon written as breaking up with Ji Yeon again is just very annoying. I would’ve preferred it much more if Ji Yeon had chosen Dong Ha even when Shi Hoon had been a viable choice. Wouldn’t that have been much more meaningful?
As for Han Jae Suk, I found his delivery of Shi Hoon flat and cold. There wasn’t a single moment that I actually felt engaged with Shi Hoon as a character, despite the show’s efforts to portray him sympathetically.
It just amazes me that after 14 whole years since All About Eve, he manages to be just as underwhelming as ever.
The bromance between Dong Ha and Soo Chul (Yoon Hyun Min) starts out really cute, but along the way, leans too cartoony.
On the upside, the two boys horsing around and pouting at each other makes for fun viewing. Soo Chul also gets petty-jealous when Dong Ha starts to look at Ji Yeon differently. Combined with all the cutesy sound effects, the bromance is a good bit of fun.
Where I felt it fell a little flat, is how we didn’t get a whole lot of heartfelt moments between the two guys. Given how the writers manage to give Ji Yeon and Dong Ha lots of heartfelt moments amid their own brand of cute, it’s not like the writers don’t know how. Giving the bromance more heart would’ve allowed it to land in a much more believable fashion. As it is without that heart, it’s mostly just for harmless funsies.
Also, there are some scenes where the bromance feels a little unnatural and forced. Like in episode 14, where Dong Ha and Soo Chul each talk at the other without listening to anything the other person says. It’s meant to be cute and funny, but it didn’t land so well for me.
MY THOUGHTS ON THE ENDING
To be honest, I felt rather let-down by the wedding fake-out.
Show was obviously toying with our emotions, what with the scenes of Dong Ha and Ji Yeon shopping for household items together, and going all aegyo over the miniature figurines of a bride and groom.
As all that played out on my screen, I sort of guessed it might be a fake-out, but I still allowed myself to hope. And in the end, I’m rather peeved with the show for playing with my feelings.
I like that Dong Ha proposed (although it happened off-screen – WHY??), but I really don’t see why Ji Yeon has to wait till he’s done with school.
In our last scene, we see Dong Ha and Ji Yeon strolling amid beautiful greenery, still teasing each other and being playful amid the sweet:
And we hear their final voice-overs:
Dong Ha says, “I am going to protect this woman forever: a person who’s not ashamed of her own dream. That person is the person that I love.”
While Ji Yeon finishes, “Right now, I am dating this man. Now I am no longer afraid of love. Maybe our end won’t be marriage, but I don’t care. Right now, we are doing our best to love each other and are happy enough.”
I get that the message is to live in the now, to appreciate and cherish what you have now, and that it doesn’t matter what the future holds. I also get that the point is that Ji Yeon has grown to the extent that she doesn’t need the promise of marriage to be truly happy, but why can’t we have more audience gratification? Hm?
What I would’ve liked to see is an actual proposal happening on our screens, of Dong Ha formally, sincerely asking Ji Yeon to marry him; because he wants to, and not coz Lobotomy Dad planted the idea in his head.
And I’d like to see Ji Yeon’s heartfelt response, that she loves Dong Ha very, very much, and just doesn’t want to get married right now. And then Dong Ha can promise to be with her no matter what her timeline is.
That would drive home the same message of being true to yourself and living in the now, and feel so much more satisfying to me. Then it’d really be about what Ji Yeon wants and feels ready for, rather than putting it off because Dong Ha’s still in school.
Still, I hafta say, Park Seo Joon being melty in a tux = swoon city.
For this reason alone, I will forgive the show for playing with my emotions with the wedding.
All in all, despite its missteps and shortcomings, watching the end of this drama put a big smile on my face. Even though my alterna-ending doesn’t get to play out, the ending we do get is sweet in its own way.
And when all is said and done, I really did enjoy the show and was sorry to get to the end.
THE FINAL VERDICT:
Fun, fresh and sparkly enough to get – and linger – under your skin, in spite of its flaws.
FINAL GRADE: A
Here’s a lovely vid showing us (spoilery) clips of our OTP and footage of lovely, lovely Park Seo Joon in the studio singing his heart out. ❤
내 맘에 들어와 (Come Into My Heart):