It isn’t often that I fall in instant like with a show (it usually takes several episodes, before I feel fully engaged with a show and its characters), but this one – this one – had me at hello.
Literally, within the first few seconds of having this show on my screen, I felt like this was something that I would like. A cheerful Spring palette, an abundance of spring blossoms, easy-breezy music, and a general lightness that I found very appealing indeed. I couldn’t help but gobble it all up, immediately.
Fair warning: this does turn up the angst partway through, but to Show’s credit, it feels meaningful and heartfelt. And importantly, it doesn’t feel like too much, in the overall scheme of things.
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
Hye Rim (Chae Soo Bin) and Gi Seok (Jang Dong Yoon) grow up as next door neighbors, and over the years, behave more like a married couple than as friends. One day, a new student Dong Gyeong (Jin Young) transfers to their class, and he’s bold and quick in expressing his feelings for Hye Rim. Will Dong Gyeong manage to gain Hye Rim’s affections?
STUFF I LIKED
Given Show’s very short running time of just an hour, there are flaws that I count as par for the course. Some plot points aren’t very well fleshed-out, for example, and sometimes, it felt a smidge like I was watching a highlight reel of a longer show. But, all things considered, Show did a solid job of telling its story, so I won’t delve into its shortcomings. Instead, here’s just the quick spotlight on the positives.
Chae Soo Bin as Hye Rim
I recently very much enjoyed Chae Soo Bin in I’m Not A Robot, and was pleased to have her on my screen again. Girl does not disappoint, and imbues her character Hye Rim with a warmth and ease that makes Hye Rim not only feel like a real person, but a real person I liked and could relate to.
Minutes into Show, I loved Hye Rim already. [MINOR SPOILER] I love that she isn’t afraid to kinda-sorta ask for a ride from heretofore estranged Gi Seok, after he saves her from her fall. I love even more, that when she sees that he’s hurt his hand from saving her, she takes charge and takes him pillion instead. Love. [END SPOILER]
Jang Dong Yoon as Gi Seok
Prior to this show, I was pretty ambivalent towards Jang Dong Yoon, coz I hadn’t enjoyed him all that much in School 2017. Happily, I did find Jang Dong Yoon more engaging here. He makes a pretty great Gi Seok; grumpy, bickery, awkward and jealous, pretty much all at once, and I found myself liking him more than I expected to.
Jin Young as Dong Gyeong
Jin Young doesn’t get as much screen time as our other two main characters, but I must say that he’s pretty much pitch-perfect as the handsome, smooth-talking city boy Dong Gyeong. Dong Gyeong doesn’t have much time to make a fluttery impression on Hye Rim – and on us as an audience! – and Jin Young’s picture-perfect features and charming smile do a fine job, heh.
Hye Rim and Gi Seok together
Hye Rim and Gi Seok are very cute together, and I loved watching them share my screen. They totally are like a little ol’ married couple, except that they’re in high school. The way they bicker and tease, but end up taking care of each other, is the sweetest, most adorable thing. [MODERATE SPOILER] I loved how he goes back to the library to sleep, just so that he can go home with her when she’s done studying, to make sure that she won’t miss her stop coz she tends to sleep on the bus. Cuteness! [END SPOILER]
Ten minutes into my watch, I was already sorry that this isn’t a longer show with more episodes. All because I wanted to see more of these two together.
THOUGHTS ON THE ENDING [SPOILERS]
Like I said at the beginning of this review, Show turns up the angst as we get deeper into our story. As I got nearer to the end of the hour, my heart grew sad as Gi Seok and Hye Rim drifted apart from each other; the bickering and laughter giving way to distance and awkwardness.
In the face of Hye Rim going away to Seoul, I appreciate that Gi Seok squares his shoulders to see her and say goodbye, with a smile, and a hug. I love that he remembers what she’d said about hugs being perfect for endings, because it means that there’s more to come, and it isn’t really the end. I love that even amidst the tears and the pain of goodbye, there is hope – for a new season; a new chapter; a new start.
Show isn’t explicit about Hye Rim’s true feelings, leaving us as an audience to make what we will, of the information that we are given. I personally believe that Hye Rim likes Gi Seok too, but she’d felt confused about her heart fluttering in the face of Dong Gyeong’s attention. Juxtaposed with the betrayal that she’d felt, at learning that her father had developed feelings for another woman, and that he “couldn’t help it,” Hye Rim likely felt that she had betrayed Gi Seok because her heart had experienced feelings in the direction of someone that wasn’t him, and that she, too, “couldn’t help it.” I’m thinking that because of that, she couldn’t allow herself to be with Gi Seok, because she felt that she wasn’t being completely true to him.
What moves me, though, is that through it all – through time, silence and separation – these two never forgot each other. In fact, they never stopped thinking about each other, and affecting each other, in the deepest of ways.
While we don’t get an ending where we see them experiencing a happy-ever-after together, I feel that I have reason to hope that somewhere in the future, these two will find each other again, as they have, on-again, and off-again, all their lives – only next time, they’ll finally be in a place where they can receive each other with open hearts and open arms.
THE FINAL VERDICT:
Cute, poignant and bittersweet in turn. Short, yet surprisingly affecting.
FINAL GRADE: B+
WATCH IT HERE: