THE SHORT VERDICT:
Light, frothy, and easy on the drama palate, Touch Your Heart is a fun little watch that ought to add a nice amount of cute to your viewing schedule.
Yoo In Na is the star of this show, with her personal charm making our protagonist earnest, adorable and very likable, pretty much regardless of the situation. Lee Dong Wook’s straitlaced lawyer is a great foil for Yoo In Na’s sparkly enthusiasm, and together, they lit up my screen as they bickered, talked and stumbled their way to True Love. Our drama world is filled with secondary characters who are mostly fun, and even the less fun ones grow on you by the end. A breezy, groovy OST that’s nicely employed to amp up the feels, is what ties this little ragtag package together.
Sometimes the plot goes off on a case-related tangent, but Show always brings it back to what’s important – the heartfelt, and the cute.
THE LONG VERDICT:
If you were a fan of the Lee Dong Wook-Yoo In Na pairing in 2017’s Goblin, then this show would likely feel like a legit continuation of their story, maybe via a convenient reincarnation for both characters, to get them into this 2019 timeline and this drama world.
I never did finish Goblin (I know, so many people tell me that I’m missing out, big time. I don’t know, I guess it’s just not for me? I never managed to get into it, and dropped out at around the episode 11 mark), but I did think that Lee Dong Wook and Yoo In Na shared good chemistry in what I did see of their shared screen time in that show, and I was happy to see them reunited in a different drama – this time, one that I actually managed to enjoy and finish. Woot!
OST ALBUM: FOR YOUR LISTENING PLEASURE
Here’s the OST album, in case you’d like to listen to it while you read the review.
With some dramas, it takes me several episodes to start enjoying my watch, mostly after Show’s done with its set-up and we’re shifting into the story proper.
With this one, as early as just 15 minutes in, I found myself enjoying my watch very much. Immediately, it struck me as light, frothy, and fun.
The necessary exposition was efficiently done without giving me the feeling that I was listening to a convenient exposition fairy. [MINOR SPOILER] The way CEO Yeon (Oh Jung Se) of Always Law furtively observes each lawyer in his office for Yoon Seo’s (Yoo In Na) internship is fun, and also gives us a quick idea of who’s who and what their personality is like. I also love that CEO Yeon is all gruff and dismissive while agreeing to allow the internship, but once he puts down the phone, he turns into a total fanboy. Haha. [END SPOILER] Right away, I liked the quirky feel of this office crowd.
Given how much I personally often struggle to jive with kdramas’ idea of humor, I was happily surprised to find that this show’s idea of funny worked for me. Huzzah! The spotlight on individual characters’ minor quirks and reactions, along with squeaky sound effects, amuses me without dipping into Korea’s penchant for broad comedy or toilet humor, and hit my funny bone quite perfectly. No, it’s not side-splittingly funny, but at least I never found myself groaning at my screen, wishing that Show hadn’t gone somewhere with its efforts to be funny.
Happily, by the end of episode 1, set-up even felt quite complete, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that I was already having a whale of a time. A Very Good Start indeed.
STUFF I LIKED
Yes, there are things that I didn’t like so much in this show (which I’ll talk about later), but generally speaking, I found that I liked what Show served up, very much. It felt like Show was a big cozy fuzzball that just kept on giving. Yes, sometimes there’s angst, but Show never spends too much time moping around in Angstville, preferring to focus on serving up cuteness and sweetness instead, a fact that I appreciated very much indeed.
Once, despite not feeling great myself (I forget why), I found myself enjoying an episode of this show very much, which says a lot about Show’s breezy appeal, I think.
Yoo In Na as Yoon Seo
Like I mentioned earlier, this show really showcases Yoo In Na’s personal charm. Watching her in this, I remembered all over again, why I found her so appealing in Queen In Hyun’s Man. She’s very lovable when she’s given the chance to shine, and in the context of this show, she literally sparkles. <3
Overall, I found Yoo In Na frikkin’ adorable and charming; she makes Yoon Seo cute and lovable, with just a touch of ditz on the side. I find Yoon Seo completely irresistible, which is quite something. I realize I don’t often get super smitten with female leads, or at least, not so fast, and I generally don’t fall so hard. By episode 2, though, I luffed Yoon Seo with all of the hearts in my eyes, and that’s a Pretty Big Deal.
I love that Yoo In Na commits to the physical comedy, which, I’m happy to report, is nothing outrageous. Just small little things which make all the difference, like how she daintily struggles to bend down to pick up some papers in episode 1, because her dress is too low-cut and too short for her to comfortably perform the task. The little hand wiggles and the awkward bend of the knee was really quite amusing, along with little sound effects, without going into distasteful territory.
At the same time, Yoon Seo experiences a growth journey in the course of our story, which I appreciated. Yoon Seo doesn’t exist in this story just to be one half of the OTP; she learns how to become a stronger woman who stands up for and reaches for what she believes in, and I liked that a lot.
There were more than a few times when I felt that Yoo In Na was singlehandedly carrying the show on her shoulders, and she carried it with an effortless, dainty sort of finesse that I enjoyed a lot.
Here are a smattering of Yoon Seo highlights which I enjoyed.
E1. OMG. Yoon Seo bad-acting is so funny and sad. Also, that’s not easy to do, but Yoo In Na makes it look like Yoon Seo really is a terrible actress.
E1. Yoon Seo really is so earnest and so cute, the way she works hard to be a proper secretary. Aw.
E2. Yoon Seo is really so likable in the way that she really, really wants to do well, and tries so hard, and then takes such pleasure in little things, like successfully performing a small task, or receiving a small compliment.
Also, she strives to be pleasant to others, even when she might not be feeling so great on the inside, and limits her small moments of wilting to when she thinks others can’t see her. It’s no wonder that Jung Rok (Lee Dong Wook) starts warming to her, in spite of himself.
E2. Yoon Seo being strong, choosing to ignore gossip, and smiling sweetly at the gossipers, is admirable enough. But when she says matter-of-factly that she’s used to it, but that it would be a lie to say that she’s totally ok with it, that makes me admire her all the more. Jung Rok is right. She’s stronger and tougher than most people would peg her to be.
E2. Yoon Seo’s revenge plan is so funny. Doing well at work is her way of taking revenge on Jung Rok? Tee hee. I mean. What a simple-hearted sweetheart she is.
E3. I think it’s pretty great that Yoon Seo’s pouring herself into being a good secretary. I half expected her to mess up on the list of assignments that Jung Rok gives her, but we see her doing everything that she’s been tasked to do, and I can’t help but feel kinda impressed, even as she collapses in exhausted exasperation.
E3. I love that Yoon Seo isn’t one to hold grudges. Even when she finds out that her manager Hyuk Joon (Oh Ui Shik) has been lying to her while attending to other actresses in the company, she forgives him easily, telling him not to lie to her anymore. This, after a serious catfight where she’s insulted and humiliated by the other actress, too. I find that very appealing about her, that even in a situation where her ego’s got to be smarting, she doesn’t take it out on her manager and even makes peace with him quite easily.
E4. The fact that Yoon Seo continues to be so earnest and bright in facing life and its challenges, in spite of what she’s gone through with her chaebol stalker and his manufactured revenge drug scandal, says a lot about the kind of person she is. She’s stronger than she looks, and I can’t help but admire her for that.
E11. I really like how Yoon Seo tells Lee Gang Joon (Jay Kim) so evenly and decisively, that she doesn’t need to make that drama, and then walks out of there like a queen. I know she cries afterwards, but in that moment, she didn’t let him bully her, and I was so proud of her. <3
Lee Dong Wook as Jung Rok
It’s true that Lee Dong Wook comes across as a little one-note and cold as Jung Rok to begin with, and when that’s juxtaposed with his deadpan Grim Reaper outing in Goblin, it admittedly does start to feel like Lee Dong Wook’s being typecast, a little bit.
I’m happy to say, though, that Jung Rok doesn’t go through the whole show with a flat, expressionless face. Over time, we do see more layers emerge, and I must say, the more I got to know about Jung Rok, the more I liked him.
With Dramaland historically having so many male leads who are arrogant jerks, it was lovely to realize that Jung Rok is, in fact, a really sweet, thoughtful person.
Here are some of my favorite Jung Rok highlights, as I watched the show.
E2. Jung Rok is nicer that he lets on, and is a lot more thoughtful that one might expect too, given his cold and distant image. This episode, he observes the little moments when Yoon Seo wilts a little bit, and remembers the things she’d said, and is generally very considerate of her.
Hearing that she generally doesn’t eat when he’s not around, he offers to take her to lunch, even though he has no plans to go for lunch. Seeing how hard she works to learn to perform small tasks like transferring his calls, he takes the time to give her a small task, and then acknowledges that she’s been helpful. And seeing how she waits for him to get off work, he asks her to join him for dinner. And then, remembering how she’s said it’s hard for her to eat in crowded places, he chooses a deserted eatery for their dinner.
THEN, when she trips and falls on her way to thank him for saying that he’d like to start over and give her a proper chance to be his secretary, he remembers that he shouldn’t avoid her, and dutifully catches her, even though it’s totally against his usual instincts. I mean. That’s sweet. And thoughtful. Plus, he totally steps in to save her, when she meets a road bully on the way to work. Yoon Seo is right. He is a better person than he lets on.
E9. I find it very sweet that Jung Rok’s earnestly and sincerely stepping out of his comfort zone in order to understand Yoon Seo more. Like the way he takes time to check out her past dramas, even though he usually never watches dramas, and the way he practices talking in banmal, even though it’s just not his usual style, because it’s her request, that he talk to her less formally. For someone who’s a known creature of habit and a prickly one at that, this just feels extra sweet.
E11. I’m struck by how respectful Jung Rok is, of Yoon Seo, in the way that he considers what she wants and is comfortable with, even as his own concerns for her safety and well-being ramp up. Even though he would really like to take Lee Gang Joon to task for tailing and threatening Yoon Seo, he doesn’t pressure her to take action, and instead waits until she is ready.
That must be hard to do, considering that he’s worried for her, and Lee Gang Joon always looks just a loose screw or two away from being completely unhinged. But instead of insisting that Yoon Seo listen to him or give in to him, he waits, and thinks of ways to cheer Yoon Seo up and show her his support, until she is truly ready to take the next step. I am very impressed with that.
E13. Whatever doubts I might have had about Lee Dong Wook’s ability to emote is gone in a puff of smoke, the moment I see Jung Rok in the last scene at the bus stop this episode.
He’s exhausted physically and mentally from pushing himself so hard at work, and now, with the stress around the disapproval of him defending Park Su Myeong (Kim Dae Gon). On top of that, he’s emotionally drained from keeping all his pain from the break-up bottled up, and from tamping down how much he misses Yoon Seo. And all of that finally comes together and rises up to the surface in that one single expression, completely gaunt and haunted, the tears welling up in his eyes, as he gazes at the image across the street, of the woman that he loves, whom he has been secretly gazing at every day, as he sits at that bus stop, silently crying on the inside. Augh.
That last scene gave me chills. Twas a hard episode to watch, but the last scene made it all worthwhile.
Jung Rok and Yoon Seo as our OTP
Generally speaking, the more Show focused on the development of our OTP relationship, the cuter and more adorable I found this drama.
With Yoon Seo working as Jung Rok’s secretary, there are more than a few occasions when it feels like Show is going off on a tangent on the case of the week, but the solid silver lining is, Show also uses these cases to develop the OTP connection, and I appreciated that a lot.
As a general rule, our OTP connection grows in a manner that I found organic and sweet, and the strong chemistry between our leads just made everything around the OTP development all the more enjoyable to watch.
As another general rule, I was duly tickled and appreciative of the fact that Yoon Seo turns out to be the more proactive person in pursuing an OTP love connection. You go, girl. <3
Since I consider the OTP connection a big strength of this drama, here’s a somewhat meandering look at the various OTP milestones that I enjoyed during my watch.
E3. I thought we spent a bit too much time on the teenage fraud case this episode, and I did find the treatment on the cliched side, but I appreciate that we see Yoon Seo actually helping Jung Rok get through to the defendant, in a way that he wouldn’t have been able to, and we see him see and appreciate that she’s more capable than she first appears.
I do love that he doesn’t waste time in giving her a sincere apology, and complimenting her on her work that day. Her delight, and her adorable request for him to repeat the compliment, just so that she could bask in it a little more, and the fact that he indulges her request and does just that, gives me a big case of the goofy grins.
E4. Yoon Seo is pretty proactive and ballsy, even if she sometimes doesn’t even understand her own motivations. She clearly wants to spend more time with Jung Rok, and makes up an excuse for them to spend Saturday together, even if she has to pretend to have legal questions for him, in the classroom and even at the drive-in theater. It amuses me that her paper-thin ruse is actually effective with Jung Rok, who takes everything she says at face value. Hee.
E4. Yoon Seo getting all riled up and jealous around Jung Rok and Yeo Reum (Song Sung Yoon) is quite amusing. Jung Rok’s befuddled hapless expression is also funny.
E4. It’s kind of obvious to include a stalking case to re-ignite Yoon Seo’s own stalking-trauma related feelings, and get Jung Rok to notice her discomfort and become concerned. But, I do find it sweet that his heart clearly goes out to her once he understands the background of her drug scandal, and he seems so earnest as he tries to tell her not to suffer anymore, without letting on that he knows about her scandal. Sweet guy.
E4. The hyper-proximity was rather spine-tingly stuff, with Yoon Seo getting up close and personal with a willing Jung Rok, and even blowing lightly on the cut on his neck. And how cute, that they’re texting each other comfortably while each lying in their own beds. That’s so cozy. <3
E5. The passing back and forth of heart-shaped sticky notes is just the cutest thing. They’re becoming closer through the notes and Jung Rok probably doesn’t even know it. But the way they each save the notes and then smile to themselves is adorable. <3
E5. It’s a pleasure to watch Jung Rok and Yoon Seo becoming closer as they work together and spend time together. It’s not just the proximity, it’s the way they end up talking to each other, in spite of themselves, and end up caring more for each other, as well.
E5. Jung Rok showing up at the team dinner was priceless, even though he’s completely clueless about subtlety and subtext and takes everything at face value. But I do like how Jung Rok learns about Yoon Seo’s possible hidden reason for getting upset over him having pasta with someone else, through Se Won (Lee Sang Woo), who’s jealous over the exact same event. And I like even more, how this clues Jung Rok in a lot more, into observing Yoon Seo’s little quirks and comments. His little stifled smiles are just great to witness.
E5. I love how Yoon Seo manages to see past Jung Rok’s detached exterior, to see the warmth underneath, and I loved her little spiel, when she encouraged him not to lose heart because she believed he would win the case. And I love even more, how this prompts him to want to tell her the truth behind why he wanted to be a lawyer, and even offer his support if she were to ever find herself in a similar position again where she feels like she’s alone against the whole world.
E6. I must say, it was funny watching Jung Rok get jealous of Yoon Seo’s “Oppa” Manager thinking that he was her boyfriend. Petty Jealous Jung Rok is fun to watch, even if just for a while.
E6. While the case this episode is drawn rather simplistically, I appreciate that it was a good catalyst. Without it, Jung Rok wouldn’t have suffered an injury and Yoon Seo wouldn’t be crying out of worry, in turn moving him with her care and concern. Also, it was nice to see Jung Rok take Yoon Seo’s encouragement to heart, and also, to see him gravitate towards her when he was dealing with slumpy post-case emotions and didn’t want to have a team party. The fact that a person as introverted as Jung Rok actually wants to spend time with Yoon Seo when he doesn’t actually want to expend social energy on people in general, says a great deal about where she stands with him.
E6. Jung Rok taking Yoon Seo’s hand and putting it in his pocket, is such a nice callback to the earlier incident where Yoon Seo completely misunderstood him and put her hand in his pocket.
E7. Hahaha. I do think that if Yoon Seo wasn’t so prone to drunken outbursts, that Jung Rok would never understand how she feels, or get anywhere with his feelings for her.
E7. As inexperienced and awkward and clueless as Jung Rok is when it comes to love and dating, his sincere efforts really do endear him to me. It’s cute that he goes online to search for Yoon Seo’s likes and dislikes, in order to prepare to ask her out. It’s so dorky and so cute.
E7. Jung Rok’s one-liner confession letter is also really dorky and sweet, and it’s adorable how Yoon Seo runs after him to backhug him to indicate her acceptance. Jung Rok’s stifled grin and Yoon Seo’s giddy joy is just infectious, and I just want these two to be cute together forever.
E7. I do love that despite his relative slowness when it comes to romancing Yoon Seo, Jung Rok is steadfast and thoughtful in his own way. He thought carefully about where he could bring Yoon Seo on a late-night date, and came up with a pretty cool place on short notice, that is romantic enough and quiet enough to match Yoon Seo’s expectations. I also love that when Yoon Seo remarks that he’s slow, he apologizes for being slow, but promises to take steps towards her at his own pace – slowly, but for a long time. Melt. Afterwards, his murmured confession at Yoon Seo’s prompting, is quiet but emphatic, “I like you; a lot.” Aw.
E8. All the males falling over themselves to please Yoon Seo, effectively pushing Jung Rok out of the way, is amusing. But it’s Jung Rok’s thoughtful gesture of going out to look for the lost mirror which he knows means a lot to Yoon Seo, that really touches her heart.
I love how disarming Yoon Seo is, as she asks if it’s ok that she kisses him, because he’s just so darling in the moment. I love that about her. She doesn’t let decorum get the better of her, though she does try to let it, and always ends up saying and doing what her heart tells her to. And, what a lovely follow-up, when she tells Jung Rok that when he wants to kiss her, he doesn’t have to ask – and he does just that, right away, swooping in and kissing her gently and tenderly, like he can’t help himself. And then he kisses her again. Melt.
E10. Jung Rok and Yoon Seo getting to know each other better doing ordinary things like hanging out at her apartment talking and looking at pictures, and doing silly fluffy things like playing out office romance tropes while at work, is really cute.
E10. Yoon Seo mistaking Jung Rok’s dad (Park Ji Il) for a sasaeng fan is kind of predictable, but I do appreciate the sweet note on which it all ends, with Yoon Seo being the gentle mediator between the two, and making sure that Jung Rok takes good care of his dad during his hearing and trial. It’s really thoughtful of her, and I can completely understand why Jung Rok would act out of character and come out to his dad over lunch, admitting that he likes Yoon Seo very much, and that she’s his girlfriend. Aw. Melt.
E12. As much as I’m not too keen on Yoon Seo and Jung Rok breaking up, it does make sense that she’d been on hiatus of sorts from her regular world, and now that she’s going to go back to her celebrity life, her relationship with Jung Rok is a real concern.
Because she exists in a world where fans consider dating an actual scandal, her relationship with Jung Rok poses a real threat to her comeback. So while I’m not exactly happy about this turn of events, I understand it. I understand why Yoon Seo’s manager and CEO (Lee Joon Hyuk) feel it would be best that she’s single, and I understand why Jung Rok would suggest a break-up. The only thing that I wish Show had done differently, is give Yoon Seo a say in the matter. Jung Rok should have talked with Yoon Seo about it, so that they could arrive a decision together. At the same time.. relationships are that way, y’know. If one party wants out, the other party can’t actually put a stop to the break-up.
E12. I do give props to Jung Rok for taking Yoon Seo’s return to acting well, even though he’d fully expected her to pursue a career in law. Instead of smarting from the fact that she kept it from him, he smiles and says that he fully supports her, and doesn’t mind if she keeps things from him, if it’s for her good. That was very sweet.
E13. It’s hard to see Jung Rok and Yoon Seo dealing with the aftermath of the breakup in their own ways, but I can accept the reasons for this OTP’s separation. No, I don’t condone the fact that Manager Oppa meddled coz he thought he knew what was best for Yoon Seo, but Jung Rok believed him, that it would not help Yoon Seo’s career, which was finally recovering after the drug scandal. In Korea, where a celeb gets hit hard by a scandal and might not actually recover from it, it’s understandable that Jung Rok would take this to heart, and believe that if it should come to light that Yoon Seo was dating, that it might turn into a scandal, and knock her career back into the gutter again. BUT. Having said that, my preference would of course have been for Jung Rok to talk it out with Yoon Seo.
E13. I think it’s lovely that even though Jung Rok was the one who broke up with Yoon Seo, she still cares deeply for him, as a person. When she realizes that he’s taking on the case again, and that it’s controversial and he’s all alone, she reaches out to him in the only way she knows how – which is just the thing that he needed. The files to the case, other research around similar cases, and a note to cheer him on. That vote of confidence, that she knows he will serve justice, is clearly a sweet, comforting balm for his soul. Aw.
E14. It’s true that I feel bad for Yoon Seo doing all the hard work reaching out to Jung Rok, with him continuing to tell her that they can’t be together, but it’s also true that she could’ve told him earlier, that she knew why he broke up with her, and wanted to start over regardless of the risk to her career. That would have been more effective and to-the-point, than making him lunchboxes and asking him out to dinner, while he was under the impression that she didn’t know that he never wanted to break up with her.
Regardless, I’m glad that she tells him that she’s more worried about losing him than about losing her career, and I’m glad that he lets her make that decision, finally, and kisses her.
The Always office gang
I think I might be developing a distinct soft spot for quirky office gangs, since I very recently remarked that I loved the quirky office gang in Romance Is A Bonus Book too. Happily, the quirk doesn’t feel try-hard to my eyes, and I found myself growing affectionate of this eccentric bunch.
I found it amusing that CEO Yeon is a closet super fanboy, and I found Mr. Lee (Park Ji Hwan) an endearing incongruous mix, of hardened ex-detective on the outside, and aspiring poet on the inside.
Most of all, though, I liked the lashings of burgeoning friendships among the ladies. [MINOR SPOILER] I love how, in episode 8, Yoon Seo is genuinely concerned for Attorney Dan and Secretary Yang (Park Kyung Hye and Jang So Yun), and it was a lovely, poignant beat, when Secretary Yang, on hearing that Yoon Seo isn’t actually on friendly terms with other actresses and doesn’t even know their phone numbers, promptly offers her own phone number to Yoon Seo. Aw. [END SPOILER]
The burgeoning bickering loveline between Attorney Choi and Attorney Dan
I must admit, it took me a little while to get on board with these two characters, mainly because it troubled me that Show poked fun at Attorney Dan (Park Kyung Hye) for her looks and for the way she falls in and out of love on a regular basis.
However, it did console me that Show poked fun at Shim Hyung Tak’s character just as much. Also, it soon dawned on me that both Park Kyung Hye and Shim Hyung Tak were both totally hamming it up in their roles, and that their bickering connection, over-the-top and overdramatic as it was, would soon blossom into an equally hammy and over-the-top loveline.
I soon learned to roll with this arc, and as the love blossomed between these two, I couldn’t help giggling, in spite of myself. By Show’s end, I found myself actually looking forward to scenes featuring these two lovebirds. Who woulda thunk it?
Here are just a couple of highlights of this comical pair.
E8. Attorney Dan falling for Attorney Choi amuses me, even though it’s very predictable. I like that despite their prickly relationship, he wastes no time in standing up for her when her cafe owner boyfriend disses her. So it’s completely understandable that Dan falls for him in no time, what with him flashing his abs and catching her mid-fall. The romantic in her won’t be able to resist, heh.
E11. Attorney Dan taking the hit for Attorney Choi, and the following hearts in his eyes is quite funny. It’s great to see the super self-absorbed Attorney Choi being so discombobulated by his mortal enemy. Snerk.
E12. Attorney Dan proposing a dating contract with Attorney Choi is hyperbolic and dramatic and quite perfect.
E13. The romance between Attorney Choi and Attorney Dan is great comic filler, with him not being able to feel anything for her during their contract, until she dramatically saves him from an oncoming motorcycle and makes his heart race – just as she then promptly falls for the rider, coz she’s the type who gives up easily, snort. It’s ridiculous and hammy, and quite a nice entertaining diversion from Show’s angsty stretch.
Lee Sang Woo as Se Won
Lee Sang Woo as Se Won crept up on me in the most unassuming, pleasant way, and I found myself warming up to him despite finding him quite uninteresting and bland in Show’s early episodes.
Mostly, I really liked how offhandedly persistent Se Won is, in being friends with the reticent Jung Rok. Even though Jung Rok is prickly and sometimes downright unwelcoming, Se Won just refuses to let it get to him, and lets the cold treatment literally glide off him like water off a duck’s back.
By Show’s end, I found myself very fond of Se Won, and happy to root for him, to have all of the happy things, which is quite the turnaround.
Here are a couple of Se Won highlights which I enjoyed:
E7. I am amused at how Se Won explains dating to Jung Rok in terms that he can understand: a trial. HAHA. So weird, but so perfect.
E8. I’m warming up to Se Won in an absentminded sort of way. I don’t look for him, but when he’s on my screen, I find him warm and easygoing. I like how he’s taken it upon himself to be Jung Rok’s dating coach, and I also like how he doesn’t seem to hold the past against Yeo Reum and actively takes every opportunity to show her that.
E14. Tee hee. The more I see of Se Won, the more he grows on me. I love the way he mediates between Jung Rok and CEO Yeon, like he’s kind of casually bumbling through it, but really getting the two men to defend each other. Sneaky, and very effective.
STUFF I LIKED LESS
Like I mentioned earlier in this review, Show isn’t perfect, and there are some things that I wish could’ve been done differently.
I kinda half count the legal stuff in this basket, coz while I’m not well acquainted with the law or with legal proceedings, I have a pretty strong suspicion that the version of drama law we see in action, would likely cause a real lawyer to fight the urge to poke their eyes out. But, I won’t actually give this an actual section here, and just count it as one of those things you kind of have to accept in this drama world.
The angst around Se Won’s past relationship with Yeo Reum
From early on in the show, we are introduced to a distinct angsty vibe between Se Won and Yeo Reum, with a broken relationship, unspoken history, and a good amount of industry gossip all in the mix.
I must confess that I had very little to no interest in this narrative arc, and every time Show turned its focus to this ex-couple, I zoned out a little bit. I did have more warm feelings towards this couple towards the end of my watch, but I credit that to Se Won worming his dorky way into my heart, more than this arc’s own narrative merits.
I could’ve done with a lot less of this.
The screen time we spend on Yeo Reum’s work angst
Kind of related to the above point, Yeo Reum really didn’t interest me much as a character, and worse, I kind of didn’t think she was that good of a prosecutor either, given some of the behavior we witness, like [SPOILER] in episode 7 , where she purposely decides to ignore evidence that would work against her case. [END SPOILER]
Because of things like the above, I generally didn’t feel sorry for her even when she was sad and wallowing, but at least she seemed to agree with me in that she didn’t seem to like herself all that much either.
As with her loveline, I softened towards her in Show’s final stretch. Again, this had more to do with my affection for Se Won than with my affection for her personally.
QUICK SPOTLIGHT ON THE PENULTIMATE EPISODE [SPOILERS]
This was mainly a fluffy episode filled with lots of cuteness, to make up for the OTP separation that we endured, and I ain’t gonna complain about that. Also, while it was fun to see our main couple all giddy and happy as they begin their relationship again, and indulge in the thrill of dating in secret, it was the last bit of the episode that really got me.
I love that Yoon Seo decided to tell the office gang that she’s dating Jung Rok, whom she likes very much, but even more than that, I love where the sentiment comes from. The thought that Jung Rok’s always asking her if she’s ok, and the question on her mind, of whether Jung Rok’s really ok himself. Aw. I love that consideration that that confession stems from. That makes everything even more sweet and special. And I love that Jung Rok gets to bask in the congratulations and well wishes of everyone – even if CEO Yeon has to cry about it for a bit.
It’s clear that Yoon Seo’s grown a lot since we first met her. She’s overcome lots of obstacles, and she’s reached out to go after what – or who – is important to her, and I love that she’s enjoying the fruit of her growth, both professionally and personally.
Also – Omo. The way Jung Rok leans in to Yoon Seo afterwards, his voice low and ragged, asking if it’d be ok if he crossed the line that night, and then follows it with slow and sensuous kisses, is – gulp – so swoony and melty. Flail.
The coming together of Attorney Choi and Attorney Dan doesn’t disappoint, with hammy jealousy coming to the fore, to force a confrontation and confession out of Attorney Choi. His very increasingly sheepish countdown as he waits for Attorney Dan’s answer is endearing and funny, and her delight in hugging him and telling him yes, puts a silly grin on my face for this ridiculous and silly pair.
THOUGHTS ON THE ENDING [SPOILERS]
There really isn’t a lot of plot movement in this final hour, with pretty much all of our screen time dedicated to serving up variations of cute, lashings of mild or momentary angst, and tying up everything in neat happy bows for just about everyone.
I thought it was pretty great that Yoon Seo went back to Always to help Jung Rok for a day as his secretary; that was a nice echo of their earlier days working together and falling love, which I liked. Good-natured goof Se Won gets his happy ending, moving in with Yeo Reum, and then surprising her with a marriage proposal which she gladly accepts. Attorney Choi gets all jealous at the thought of Attorney Dan giving her phone number to another guy, only to be smitten all over again, when she tells him that she falls in love with him dozens of times a day and therefore has no time to fall in love with anyone else. Hee. These two dorks.
Poor Mr. Lee gets gently rejected by Secretary Yang, and I’m really quite sad for him, coz he’s such a sincere, earnest man, who cares so much for her. I can only hope that he’ll get his happy ever after someday, with the right person.
I do enjoy the fact that Jung Rok isn’t swayed at all by the rumors swirling about Yoon Seo and her co-star while she’s away for filming. That solid trust between our OTP is definitely one of my favorite things about this show.
Yoon Seo’s drama does well, and she receives lots of praise for her acting, and lots of love for her comeback. To celebrate, Yoon Seo informs her agency CEO that she’s going to do whatever she wants now – and proceeds to publicly debut Jung Rok as her boyfriend, at Yeon Entertainment’s 10th anniversary party.
As the camera flashes pop earnestly, we hear our OTP’s exchange in voiceover:
Yoon Seo: “My heart and my sincerity. Will others see them too?”
Jung Rok: “I’m sure that they’ll reach the hearts of others… just like they reached me.”
We don’t see how the media and fans react to this coming-out of their relationship, but like Jung Rok, I believe that Yoon Seo’s sincerity will stand her in good stead, and that her fans will come to love and support this pair of lovebirds, just like the rest of us have. <3
THE FINAL VERDICT:
Light, feel-good fluff with a good amount of heart.
FINAL GRADE: B+