The Fangirl Verdict

Completely biased reviews and fangirling

Flash Review: Something about 1% [1% of Anything]

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For the most part, I have trouble understanding dramaland’s penchant for remakes. I mean, if something’s that good, why mess with it? Conversely, if something’s not good, why remake it? Uh, right?

In this case, though, I’m very pleasantly surprised by how much more I enjoy the remake, versus the original.

I’d tried watching the original some years ago, because I’d seen enough affection for it as a classic kdrama, to be curious. BUT. I couldn’t make it through even episode 1, no exaggeration. Mainly, I remember being bored by the slow pace, feeling somewhat thrown off by retro-everything (from styling, to production values, to storyline), and being shallowly unimpressed by Kang Dong Won’s rather gigantic eye bags.

Now fast-forward to the remake, which I inhaled in what can only be described as a giddy marathon. Woah. What a turnaround, right?

MANAGING EXPECTATIONS

Of course, just because I basically inhaled this one, doesn’t mean it’s perfect.

For a start, I do think Show looks and feels more dated than 2016; the production values actually remind me of older shows like Save Your Last Dance For Me, from 2004. In particular, I found Ha Suk Jin’s suits poorly cut and really quite ugly, and I couldn’t help thinking that no chaebol who runs a hotel would allow himself to be seen in such awful clothes. I suppose this does make the remake part quite.. faithful? In that it recreates the old-school look and feel, in spite of its newer vintage? Heh.

Here’re a few more things to bear in mind, while adjusting your viewing lens to enjoy this one.

1. It might take a while to get cute

I personally didn’t much care for the show in the beginning. In fact, by the end of episode 1, I wasn’t sure I was going to like this one very much.

Not only did everything look and feel quite dated, the entire episode was exploding with tropes as Show rushed to complete its set-up. The characterization across all the characters felt broad and mostly quite thin and flat, with the main characters showing up as types rather than as interesting individuals.

My advice: hang in there, it gets better. Um. Well, the ugly suits don’t actually get much better until around episode 14, but in general, the cuteness factor does ramp up in a pretty big way as the OTP gets to know each other.

2. Jae In can come across as a bit of an ass

Right off the bat, I found our male lead Jae In (Ha Suk Jin) really annoying, and this was made exponentially worse by the fact that I’d just seen him in Drinking Solo prior to this, and in that show, he was almost as annoying and prickly as he is in this one.

I mean, I found him so annoying that I was doubtful that underneath all the extreme haughty attitude and borderline (and sometimes not so borderline) nasty behavior, I’d find enough positives about Jae In to actually like him, by Show’s end.

Thankfully, Show does a pretty good job of turning his character around, and I found myself changing my mind about him quite well, long before I reached Show’s final episodes.

3. It’s pretty tropey

If you’ve been in dramaland for awhile, you’d probably be able to create quite a fun “Spot the Trope” sort of game during your watch, coz this show is full of ’em. The good news is, though, that past the first episode – which I didn’t much care for – the rest of the show manages the tropes rather well.

My advice: instead of fighting the tropes, just roll with them as part of this drama world’s fun quirk. It’ll be worth it, I promise.

4. Some stuff really stretches logic

During my watch, there were several times when I found myself thinking, “Wait, is that even possible?” to some of Show’s plot points. Some stuff really demanded suspension of disbelief.

[SPOILER ALERT]

Here’s a quick rundown of the main things that left me scratching my head.

(i) The story behind Jae In’s adoption

The more Show revealed about the backstory to Jae In’s adoption, the more terrible – and unbelievable – it seemed. To be plucked away from your own birthday party, to go to your cousin’s wake, to be given away? Who does that? What goes through your head? “Oh, Jae In’s cousin’s dead, this is the perfect opportunity to get my son off my hands because I plan to get remarried anyway”???

I found this really, really implausible.

(ii) The fake engagement announcement

The whole fake engagement announcement in episode 10 seemed rather odd to me. I mean, I suppose it is possible to execute a fake announcement, but it seemed really far-fetched to then have Jae In’s own statement not be enough to quash the fake news.

(iii) The kidnapping arc

The kidnapping arc in episode 12 felt like a real stretch to me, and really felt like it came out of nowhere. Thankfully, it didn’t last long.

[END SPOILERS]

The good news is, these stretches in logic don’t occur that frequently in the show. Phew.

5. Some relationship milestones feel sudden

Generally speaking, I found the development of the OTP relationship pretty organic, which I liked. At the same time, there were a couple of relationship milestones that felt a little sudden, to me.

[SPOILER ALERT] For example, in episode 5, I did feel rather confused at how Jae In and Da Hyun (Jun So Min) were suddenly ramping up the skinship, and how she let him dictate whether or not she could call someone else Oppa, when they had been so feisty and outspoken with each other just a while ago. [END SPOILER]

STUFF I LIKED

At first glance, this looks like the shorter list, but honestly, these positives are big ones, and made this watch a pretty cracky one for me.

1. Everything is angst-lite

Even though some of the backstory stuff is a bit on the overly dramatic side of things, in general, Show stays angst-lite and easy to digest. The shorter episodes help too. Essentially, it feels like Show simply sliced off all the filler that we’d ordinarily get with most shows, and only served up the good stuff.

Considering that I was in the midst of being down-in-the-dumps sick when I watched this, Show’s light, enjoyable, fluffy touch and its short running time came together to hit the spot, for me. Basically, I would gratefully lap up each episode’s serving of romancey cute fluff, before quickly clicking on the next episode for more.

2. A relatable OTP

Since this show’s pretty much ALL about the romance, it counted for a lot, that I found our OTP relatable, whether individually or together. Here’s a quick overview of why this OTP worked for me.

(i) Individually

Jae In

Even though I began this watch feeling very annoyed with Jae In as a character, Show did a good job of making him sympathetic.

[SPOILER ALERT]

With the reveal of the backstory around Jae In’s adoption, and of him basically being a replacement son, his hidden pain became a lot more visible to me as a viewer. Ha Suk Jin’s delivery also gave Jae In enough nuance to hint at the pain that Jae In was keeping concealed, and that did a lot to take the edge off any prickly behavior he displayed. Not that I found his behavior acceptable; I just found him more understandable.

I thought it was especially telling in episode 14, when Jae In didn’t realize that Da Hyun was describing him, when she described the good man she wanted to meet. He’s literally a better person than he thinks he is, and that just made my heart go out to him more.

[END SPOILERS]

Da Hyun

I very quickly warmed up to Da Hyun as our heroine. Every time Jae In was an annoying, entitled jerk to her, she simply wouldn’t take his bad behavior. So awesome.

Even more awesome, is the manner in which she refuses to accept his bad behavior. From the get-go, she’s strong and firm without being rude. So classy. She’s a strong woman with thoughts and ideals and dreams of her own, and not once does she lose sight of any of that, regardless of where her relationship with Jae In is.

[SPOILER] One example of Effortlessly Badass Da Hyun that comes to mind, is in episode 11. When Jae In’s ex-fiance Joo Hee (Seo Eun Chae) tries to meddle by rubbing her past engagement with Jae In in Da Hyun’s face, and insinuates that eventually they will get married anyway because of what her parents can do for Jae In, I love that Da Hyun isn’t at all cowed. She basically turns the tables by promptly calling Jae In to the scene, while literally refusing to let Joo Hee flee, using a well-placed wrist-grab and a calmly thrown gauntlet. Ha. So Much Yes. [END SPOILER]

(ii) Together

Since our OTP starts out in a contract relationship, the fun is pretty much all in watching them develop feelings for each other, in spite of themselves. I found it highly amusing to watch them become confused between what was real and what was pretend, and then flounder their way towards the realization that they really did have feelings for each other.

Essentially, the more these two liked each other, the happier I was that I was watching this show.

I found Show’s treatment of their growing relationship quite down-to-earth, even amid all the tropes and chaebol tangents. This earthiness is presented mostly in the small moments, in which we can see how these two really relate with each other.

[SPOILER ALERT]

For example, there’s a short moment in episode 8, where Jae In makes it clear to Da Hyun that he wants to sleep with her. She admits to being tempted, before she decides against it. It’s a quick little scene, but effectively shows us how candid their interactions are, as a couple.

The other thing that stood out to me, is the motif of Jae In being able to sleep when Da Hyun is nearby. We see this in episode 7 (above), where he rests his head on her shoulder and is able to sleep peacefully, after the whole drama of the bomb threat. We see this again in episode 15, when Jae In says that he hasn’t been able to sleep a wink, but then falls asleep when he has Da Hyun nearby. I actually find this to be a really sweet motf; it shows that he feels at home with her, and safe. Near her, he’s home. Aw.

[END SPOILER]

3. The crackling OTP chemistry

This is literally the thing that lifts this from being a cute little rom-com, to something that’s Seriously Cracky. The OTP chemistry is hawt, y’all.

From the bickering, to the tentative romancing, to the serious kissing, the air between these two is consistently filled with tension and meaning, and that just lifts the entire OTP interaction into a whole new sphere, almost. As a couple, they look very comfortable together, and – paired with their candid conversations that I mentioned earlier – they really feel like a real couple that I just happened to find myself spying on.

I very much enjoyed watching these two on my screen, all the way through to the very end.

[SPOILER ALERT]

Here are 3 of my favorite OTP moments, just coz.

(i) Sofa kiss

I love the purposeful way that Jae In moves in to kiss Da Hyun in episode 9, once he’s determined that she’s sober. Guh. The gleam in his eye as he purposefully moves in towards her; the whole way he basically climbs on top of her, and kisses her.

Rawr.

(ii) “Do you want to be with me, to the very end?”

In episode 12, the semi-proposal by Jae In to a drunk Da Hyun doesn’t sound like the most romantic thing on paper, but, he says it so gently, and so sincerely, that I feel like he’s allowing himself to be real in that moment. And the fact that him being real means wanting to be with her to the end, is melty stuff indeed. ❤

(iii) I don’t think I can resist anymore

In episode 13, Jae In comes home to find Da Hyun in a robe, fresh out of the shower. It doesn’t take long for him to press her up against the wall and kiss her, muttering, I was trying so hard not to eat you alive, but I don’t think I can resist anymore.”

Omona.

Even more than the kiss itself, I find the way Jae In talks to Da Hyun in this scene, melt-your-insides sexy. It’s a low, almost-stuck-in-his-throat kind of whisper husky. It literally feels like he’s speaking only for her ears. And when that’s applied to him pressing her up against the wall, and telling her he can’t help himself anymore, well, gulp. And, rawr.

[END SPOILERS]

THOUGHTS ON THE ENDING [SPOILERS]

Aw. It’s the sort of ending that’s simple and neat, and just all-around sweet.

I’m relieved that Jae In and Da Hyun didn’t have to wade through too much parental objection in order to get married, and I’m glad we got to see their married life unfold as they settle into their happy ever after.

I love that Da Hyun gets to keep on doing a job that she loves, while learning how to be a chaebol wife at the same time. Mum-in-law turns out to be sweetly supportive against snarky snooty socialites in their circle, and that’s cool. Jae In and Da Hyun continuing to be sweetly supportive of each other, and altogether loving, while learning to navigate their new life together, is the kind of candy-fluff I signed up for, so I’m a happy camper.

Tae Ha (Kim Hyung Min) becoming smitten with Hyun Jin (Im Do Yoon), and Office Girl getting paired up with Dorky Guy as well, is totally the stuff of neat bows and happy endings, but it’s cute and inoffensive, and just adds to the overall sheen of happiness of the finale.

All in all, I really enjoyed Something About 1%; so simple, so to-the-point, and so filled with melty heartfelt squee, that I can see myself totally reaching for this one again.

THE FINAL VERDICT:

Simple, sunshiny and sweet. And sometimes, that’s really all you need. 😉

FINAL GRADE: B+

TEASER:

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Author: kfangurl

Proud to be a k-fangirl since 2007. Main diet of kdramas with movies and kpop on the side.

28 thoughts on “Flash Review: Something about 1% [1% of Anything]

  1. I had the same thoughts about the first ‘1% of Anything’. I could not finish it – although I think I went a bit further than the first episode.
    I tried to watch it solely based on Kang Dong Won’s performance in ‘Jeon Woo Chi: The Tsaoist Wizard’, which I really enjoyed for some strange reason (*cough*Kang Dong Won*cough*) and have watched several times since. However, he was awful in ‘1%…’ – LOL. Anywho, I will be watching the re-vamp….sounds interesting.

    Like

    • Hey there Byeol! 😀 Hi5 on feeling similarly about the original 1%.. I’ve heard of a fair bit of affection for the original 1% though, and given your soft spot for Kang Dong Won, I’m surprised that the original didn’t work for you. 😛 But, if you’re in the mood for simple fluff fueled by sparky chemistry, then the remake should be a nice fit! I was pleasantly surprised by how watchable it became for me, past the initial set-up. 🙂

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      • So, like Webby, I basically inhaled this ‘1%….’
        Your review was spot on.
        The shorter than usual episodes, the lack of excessive makjjang (and love tri-, quad-, and quint- angles), the skinship and the main focus being on the OTP was all extremely appealing.
        In other words, I freaking loved it and I’m ready to watch it again, and again – lol.

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  2. I found 1% to be a very pleasant surprise. I remember thinking at the time I should persevere past the first episode, and I think that was because right from the get go Da Hyun didn’t buy into anyone’s nonsense (Jae In’s in particular). And yes, I liked very much how in the end it was about how you can have it all, one step at a time. I also liked the fact the story just didn’t get bogged down. A very good, and thorough, review by the way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks sean, glad you enjoyed the review! 😀 Also, glad you enjoyed this little show.. it really did hum along quite nicely without too much angst, and had an aspirational, everyday feel to it. You hit the nail on the head, about how Show demonstrates that it IS possible to have it all, and I think appeals to all of us. 🙂 I also loved that Da Hyun didn’t take any nonsense from anyone, AND, I loved that she held her own without losing her classiness nor her dignity, every step of the way. 🙂

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  3. Nothing to add really, just about what I thought of this somewhat retro looking show.

    Yes, it was tropey but I thought they managed to give many of the tropes a new spin. I also loved how they cut off all the filler and gave us just what you’d really want from a romcom – the OTP, with some choice scenes of key supporting characters. Also, how satisfying was it that no-one was willing to give even the time of the day for the annoying 2nd girl. This is how you deal with them crazies. 🙂

    Jae In’s suits – stuff that nightmares are made of. 😀 There’s a fun post @ PotUP dedicated to his horrible jackets, LOL!

    Like

    • Hahaha! Oh my goodness, all the ugly suits congregated on one page was almost too much for me, Timescout!! 😂😂😂 Trust the ladies at PotUP to have a field day dissecting the Ugly! 😆

      Also, YES, I loved how the annoying characters were dealt with, generally. I just loved how Da Hyun wouldn’t take her nonsense, and calmly won the day. After having watched so many leads get messed with by annoying 2nd leads, I got so much satisfaction from seeing this one get thwarted, seriously! 😄

      Like

  4. After inhaling this 1%, I gave the old 1% a look-see… just to see if the old magic was as yummy as the new magic. Not. Nope nope nope. Between the hair and the stilted lines… lol it was very hurriedly turned off.
    After watching this version, I kept asking myself why I liked it. Tropey cheese and jerky male lead and all… and the answer lay deep in my psyche: MILLS and BOONS.
    >.<
    Ultimately this was the kdrama version of a M&B novella in its easy to digest laser focus on the romance. And at the end of a long tiring intellectually demanding work day … it's like a cool fresh can of zippy beer. Refreshing and dizzy. I enjoyed it.
    My secret romance is reading off the same play book and it's even zippier at just 12 Eps. Guilty pleasures!

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    • OMG Webby!! THAT. Is a revelation. 😂 And I do think you’re right! When Real Life gets too tiring, all we want is something simple and preferably buzzy. It’s no wonder a simplified rom-com like this one hit the spot so well – especially given the leads’ amazing chemistry! 😀 I giggled at your reaction to the original 1%.. Hi5 that we feel similarly about the original 1% – at least E1 of it! 😂

      I was intrigued and checked out E1 of My Secret Romance, and I don’t know what it is – maybe it’s my own mood? – but I came away from E1 feeling distinctly underwhelmed. Maybe I need shorter episodes when it comes to this kind of tropey fluff..? I’m not sure. But I might put off E2 for a while, to see how the rest unfolds. I’m told it gets better at around E5.. 😁

      Like

      • Thanks for trying it out!
        Unlike 1%, MSR’s OTP isn’t quite as mesmerizing, I do agree.
        Fan girls will probably hate me but I place the blame squarely on Sung Hoon’s broad, manly, yummy square shoulders. The man is eye-candy, for sure, but his acting is a tad clunky. Instead of a smooth flow from moment to moment it’s a series of toy blocks strung together. I can feel every transition. It literally is a case of “now hurt, now think, now surprise, then smirk”. I caught myself imagining Jo Jung Suk in the role, (omergash have you watched Jealousy Incarnate?!?) and suddenly it was far tougher to watch SungHoon! 😉

        Luckily his derp moments are far more organic, which thankfully saves the character and makes the character endearing rather than unreal. In eps4-6 the derpy bits show up more so, yes, this is the long way of saying it gets better. :))

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  5. Oh one more thing- I recommend j-drama “We Married As a Job”. I normally don’t watch jdramas but since you liked Your Name, you might be in the mood for that Japanese brand of whimsy. I really enjoyed this one – superb soundtrack (ear worm!), and a story with heart and brain. A keeper.

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    • Ah! Thanks for the recommendation, Webby dear! A friend of mine had mentioned this to me, but I was busy at the time and didn’t think to add it to my list. Thanks to your endorsement, it’s now officially on the list! I’ll be sure to check it out! 😀

      Like

      • Yay! Here’s a clip to give you a sense of the nutty but thoughtful flavor of the show. LOL sounds like I’m describing wine. No spoilers don’t worry.
        In the clip the women of the family discuss women’s empowerment, while the son-in-law and dad listen from the kitchen.

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  6. I must confess that the original 1% of Anything Is one of my favorite dramas. I rewatch parts of it regularly. I read that it was originally a weekend drama – hence the slow pace and multi-generational characters. While I liked some of the changes, I thought the newer version removed all the parts I loved about the original. Da Hyundai originally had a busy and involved family. Her brother cared for her, her adopted sister had a career as a doctor and her younger brother was a lazy student. Her parents were behind her 100% and actually didn’t want her to marry rich. I thought the new show made her very lonely. Yes, they made her a more modern girl with potential skinship and a love of kpop but no support systems. The original Jae In was just as grumpy and driven but without the ridiculous adoption plot. I don’t know why the writers weren’t able to translate his male insecurity better into the modern era but it just seemed cartoonish. I read somewhere that the original series was based on a novel and the author wrote the 2005 script. He/she was also part of the writing team for the 2016 show but what with plot “modernizations” and the shorter length, I just don’t think they could make a go of it. So, I agree about the cute couple and Da Ada’s strength of character but I didn’t find much else to cheer for. I’d recommend jumping into so. 3 or 4 of the original.

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    • Try to write a comment on your phone – and you are defeated by autocorrect! Da Da – I swear I wrote Da Da!

      All these comments make we want to go home and start watching again.

      Like

      • Tee hee! It’s ok.. we’ve all been thwarted by the autocorrect on our phones before! 😉 And yes, why not rewatch, since it is one of your favorites! 😀

        Like

    • Thanks for sharing, Daisy!! I KNEW there was a fair amount of affection for the original 1%! 🙂 It’s good to know that the original had a stronger storyline, especially around the adoption, coz I found the adoption backstory in this version REALLY hard to swallow. But I basically closed an eye to it, since the chemistry was working so well for me, and I wasn’t looking for a terribly robust story with this version. Perhaps one day when I’m in a retro sort of mood, I’ll take your advice and give the original another go – at about the E4 mark 😉

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  7. Ha! His suits really were ill-fitting and awful, weren’t they? I don’t know if I would have stuck around for a full 16 or 20 episodes of this drama, because it was so fluffy, but its short episodes and run made it a perfect, crackly, zippy watch. I really enjoyed this one, too.

    Like

    • Glad you enjoyed this one too, buckdawna! 😀 The shorter episodes and simplified format somehow really worked. I found it easy to zip through an episode – helped, of course, by the excellent OTP chemistry – and found myself at the end of the show before I knew it! 🙂 This, despite the overall retro vibe and those ugly, ugly suits! 😂

      Like

  8. Ha Suk-jin is hot. And he kisses well. Very important, that.

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  9. Hi, I’ll give this another chance since you said its better than the old kdrama where I stopped at ep 2, thanks for the review, I didn’t read the spoilers : )

    Like

    • Well, if the original didn’t work for you, then you just might enjoy the updated version. It’s cute and light, and zips along quite nicely with very little filler. Hope you enjoy your watch! 🙂

      Like

  10. So when you take most of the filler out of a romance drama and you luck into leads with chemistry, this can happen. I happily watched along as it’s a pretty easy ride to take if one is in the mood. I have gotten to the point with k-dramas to realize that even with romance dramas, the production does not seem to do screen tests but rather looks at availability and who can get the most eye balls to the screen. I get it, but amazing chemistry is hard to create with even accomplished actors. The story is nothing new literally so I’m glad that the two leads worked so well together.

    I have to say something about the “hawt” scenes. (loved them) So in k-dramas the kisses can be big deals because that’s all a viewer might get. I see the “best” kiss lists and whatever, but a lot of times though those kisses are technically great and I’m all giddy over them like everyone else there really isn’t a lot of passion in them. I do understand there are channel and airing restrictions, but I’m glad this drama got that you don’t need explicit but showing that a guy is super turned on by his girl is hot in and of itself. (and the other way around as well) I actually realized how rarely we see that (in a non-obsessive jealous wrist grabby way) in Korean dramas.

    I just concluded Radiant Office and overall really liked it though it definitely has its flaws as well. A lot was made of Ha Suk Jin taking another arrogant dude role but was happy to see at the halfway point that the drama really takes the time to grow his character. I feel I never got that in Drinking Solo.

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  11. I just finished this drama and really like it. can you recommend me another light drama like this? I’m currently watching My secret Romance.

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  12. ..ohmigosh..here we go again..i think we have the same taste with regards to watching kdramas..hahahaha..i really enjoyed this one..like big time..that i finished it in 24 hours that’s in between work and mundane things in life.!!!!hahaha..
    the story is typical..the chaebol-ordinary girl plot has been used for infinite times already..but then again..the chemistry of these two is somewhat explosive that i cant just drop it..
    ..so as my own verdict..this 1% OF SOMETHING..IS QUITE SOMETHING..
    –now..i think i wanna re-watch this..ahahaha..–

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Wahhh. I just so happened to rewatch this drama. Hehe. This drama officially becomes my go-to romcom drama whenever i needed to feel mushy or kilig hahaha

    Like

  14. Hi, This is off the track but I am really curious now! What does this 15 number signify which they show in every k drama??

    Like

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