Real Life’s been pretty hectic for me lately, and I find that with so many things competing for my attention, I have less time for dramas than ever before. I also find that when I do have the time, I often don’t have the mental bandwidth for full hour-plus episodes. (Don’t panic; I’m still watching regular dramas. Just.. much slower than usual.)
This little show fit in nicely with my current challenged drama capacity. Not only were the half-hour episodes easy to make time for, the light tone and uncomplicated treatment of the subject matter made this one easy to digest as well. Sure, it wasn’t as good as I thought it could’ve been, but it was still a pleasant and easy drama fix.
Since some of you guys might be similarly drama-challenged right now, I thought that I’d share this one with you too.
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
Nerdy awkward In Sung (Yoon Si Yoon) keeps failing the civil service examination to become a police officer. One day, at a particularly low point in his life, after being dumped by his girlfriend So Ra (Jo Soo Hyang), he participates in a high-paying medical experiment, and suddenly finds himself with super senses. Will he be able to use his new super senses to turn his life around?
STUFF THAT WORKED FOR ME
Here’s a quick run-down of the things that I enjoyed in this little mini series.
1. Yoon Si Yoon is very good, as he always is. As a bonus, he looks endearingly cute as a nerd. I seriously love those glasses and that unruly mop of hair on him. ❤
2. Show does a good job of making In Sung a sympathetic character, and I quickly found myself rooting for him. I love me an underdog story, and by the end of episode 1, it was clear that In Sung was something of an Ultimate Underdog.
3. I liked the concept of the medical experiment turning In Sung into some kind of perfect guy with superhero abilities. You guys know I have a soft spot for heroes who seem like superheroes. 😉 Ultimate Underdog to Ultimate Superhero? Yes, please.
4. Generally, Show’s pace is pretty zippy, which is nice. Each episode flew by easily, and Show never felt like a drag to watch, even when I didn’t love everything about it.
STUFF THAT DIDN’T WORK FOR ME
It took me a little while to adjust to Show’s tone, which is more comedic than its sister mini drama Queen Of The Ring, which leans sweeter.
Beyond that difference in tone, however, it soon became clear to me that, unfortunately, Show’s concept is better than its execution. There were a number of things that didn’t quite work for me, during my watch, and here’s the quick spotlight on ’em.
1. I liked the concept of In Sung’s makeover more than the makeover itself. On a shallow note, I didn’t like his new copper-colored hair. More importantly, I didn’t like his newfound arrogance.
[SPOILER] I particularly disliked that In Sung would put the moves on the girl that his apparently only friend Ji Sub (Kang Ki Young) was crushing on, in episode 3. That felt really disloyal. And it’s not like he even likes the girl himself. [END SPOILER] I would’ve much preferred if In Sung had gotten all supersensy, but had retained more of his dorkiness.
2. The execution of In Sung’s super senses is kind of clumsy, in that it’s very obvious when a body double is used, for his super feats. I rationalize that maybe it’s meant to be funny that way, but it did mess with my ability to believe in In Sung’s superhuman-ness.
3. I’m sorry to say that Jo Soo Hyang didn’t really work for me, as this story’s female lead. It seemed to me that she had a heavy, wet-blanket feel about her, in this show. While that might be rationalized as being part of her character’s struggle, I have to say that her delivery overall – which included happier times for her character – leaned rather flat, for me. Her character never popped for me, through to the end of the show.
4. Additionally, I also wasn’t feeling the connection between our leads. By the end of the show, I was still struggling to feel the chemistry between our OTP. [SPOILER] In episode 5, we get an OTP kiss, and I think I was supposed to feel sparks with he kisses her, and then she grabs him and kisses him again, but I felt.. nothing. Eep. [END SPOILER]
5. The second leads, Kim Min Soo and Jang Hee Ryung, are.. pretty bad. I thought they were serviceable in the earlier episodes, but by the second half of our story, they were.. noticeably less good than in the early episodes. [MINOR SPOILER] I found Jang Hee Ryung particularly cringey in episode 5, acting as a drunk Tae Yi. [END SPOILER]
THOUGHTS ON THE ENDING [SPOILERS]
Unsurprisingly, In Sung doesn’t get to ride on his super senses to ace his exam. Also unsurprisingly, Show still ends on a hopeful and positive note.
What was surprising to me, though, was how moved I felt when In Sung, who’d decided that acing the exam was literally more important than his own life, ditches his exam without a second thought, when he realizes that So Ra’s been in an accident. Which means, So Ra is more important to him, than his own life, no exaggeration. There’s something undeniably affecting about that.
I also rather liked the call-back to the earlier scene of their break-up, this time, with So Ra being the one to offer In Sung gimbap and banana milk, and cheery encouragement for his next exam. I also appreciated that So Ra dismisses In Sung’s assumption that she won’t want to date him anymore now that she’s passed her exam; it feels like the least she could do, after dumping him so unequivocally in episode 1. Yes, I kind of hold a grudge, heh.
All in all, even though I don’t love the execution in this show, I do like the message that Show works to serve up: that no shortcut to success is worth sacrificing your health and well-being for, and that the slow road to achieving your dreams can be worthwhile – and a lot happier too.
THE FINAL VERDICT:
Good concept, pity about the uneven execution. Worth it just to see Yoon Si Yoon rocking the geeky glasses though.
FINAL GRADE: B-