Dropped: Oh! Master [Oh! My Ladylord]

I really did want to love this one, you guys.

When so many other viewers were criticizing Show for how old-fashioned it was, and how they felt there was no chemistry between Lee Min Ki and Nana, I felt somewhat differently, and therefore thought that I’d be able to stick with this one to the end. After all, the major criticisms that I’d heard, were of things that weren’t bothering me the same way, during my watch.

That said, I’ve found my own reasons to drop this one, and now, after 9 episodes, I’m calling it quits.

MY TRAJECTORY WITH THIS ONE

Honestly, I started out enjoying this one reasonably well, which is why I got as far as I did. I didn’t feel the lack of chemistry, and I didn’t think Show truly leaned old-fashioned (more on both things in a bit). However, at around episode 8, I did feel my interest wane significantly. I continued to press in to episode 9, though, hoping that my interest would pick back up. It didn’t. Show managed to convince me via episode 9, quite thoroughly, that this one’s just not for me, after all.

STUFF FOR THE RECORD

The thing about Show being old-fashioned / old-school

I’d seen so many comments about this show feeling old school, that I couldn’t help checking for Old Skool Characteristics, during my watch.

It’s true that Show does possess some rather.. classic trappings that might cause viewers to come to the early conclusion that it’s old school; at the same time, I do feel like there are enough comparatively modern touches in our drama world, to set this apart from its old school cousins.

One of the key things I noticed about Show during my watch, is that it seems to lean gentle. What I mean is, in places where other, more old-school dramas might choose a more confrontational sort of plot point, Show seems to choose more conciliatory plot turns. Just about every bickery interaction ends on a warmer note that one might expect. I like that.

[SPOILER] For example, in episode 3, when Bi Soo gets all huffy because he doesn’t want Joo In to see him in his towel, Joo In is not only cooperative in covering her eyes, but she even asks him if he wants a heat pack for the pain in his back – and then puts one outside his room, even though he blusters that he doesn’t want one. [END SPOILER]

This mix of old-school traits and a more gentle, modern touch, worked really nicely for me, in that it made Show feel fresh and familiar at the same time.

It’s true that sometimes this show’s old school leanings don’t land as well as writer-nim probably intended it to (for me personally anyway), but generally speaking, based on what I watched, Show’s gentle touch does make this watch feel like a mildly sweet, relaxing sort of experience, like having a hot cup of tea by your window on a nice day. It’s not very exciting, but it’s pleasant and agreeable.

Lee Min Ki as Bi Soo

There were two key complaints that I heard about Lee Min Ki in the role of Bi Soo. 1, that Bi Soo is very unlikable, and 2, Lee Min Ki is basically playing the same character that he’s played in previous dramas.

Is Lee Min Ki is playing the same character?

I haven’t seen 2019’s The Lies Within, so I can’t comment about that, but I did watch 2018’s Beauty Inside and 2017’s Because This Is My First Life, and I don’t think this character is the same as either of those roles. Perhaps it’s Lee Min Ki’s default sardonic expression that might be giving viewers that impression. I do think that the nuances are strong enough, to set this character apart from the others.

Is Bi Soo unlikable?

I admit that I did find Bi Soo quite rough and unlikable from the get-go, but at the same time, I feel that Show does a decent job of serving up hints of the layers beneath his prickly surface.

[SPOILER] For example, in episode 1, he softens when he realizes that Mom (Lee Whee Hyang) had been seriously worried that he’d die, while he was in a coma for 3 days. Plus, there’s how he sees his assistant writer (Song Yoo Taek) asleep on the couch, and moves to cover him with a blanket – and then suddenly remembers to be a little bit mean (to stay in character?), and allows the blanket to fall in a way that also covers Assistant Writer’s face. [END SPOILER]

Additionally, Show is quick to hint to us, that Bi Soo has a lot more emotional baggage than what he lets on, and it’s not hard to infer that a lot of Bi Soo’s current prickliness and weird eccentricities, have to do with traumatic events from his youth.

[SPOILER] I think that seeing his dad (Sun Woo Jae Duk) cheat on Mom with another woman really messed up Bi Soo, basically. This wasn’t how things were supposed to be. And I think, that’s why, in the now, Bi Soo seems obsessed with having things exactly the way they’re supposed to be. How all drawers should be fully closed; all doors properly closed; all the living spaces completely neat and tidy; I feel like this is a subconscious acting-out of his need for things to be in their proper place, because as far as his family life is concerned, things are the opposite of being in their proper place.

The way Bi Soo has that aggravated meltdown moment after failing to close the desk drawer, after getting home, feels like the tip of the proverbial iceberg. There’s clearly a lot more baggage beneath the surface, and it feels like he’s grown all these prickly behaviors as a way to keep people far enough away, so that they can’t see beyond the spikes, to the wounds beneath. [END SPOILER]

Over time, I appreciate that Show gives us a better sense of Bi Soo, and I think some credit goes to Lee Min Ki’s gaze. I find that quite often, even as Bi Soo is saying things where the lines themselves do not inherently convey more than a surface prickliness and unwillingness to cooperate, there’s a quality about his gaze that makes me feel like he’s a mix of hapless, exasperated and perplexed, and that underneath the prickliness, he maybe even feels a bit wretched.

One of my favorite things about Bi Soo, is his kindness, in particular to Joo In’s mom (Kim Ho Jung).

[SPOILER] Like in episode 4, when he chooses to stay even though Joo In tells him that he can leave, and that she’ll make up an excuse for him, because he remembers how distraught Mom had been at the nursing home, when she’d believed that she couldn’t find Dad. [END SPOILER]

That compassion in Bi Soo is very appealing indeed, and I love that it shows up more and more, over the course of our story. I think that the thing that gets me most, is that Bi Soo only really shows reluctance, when it’s other people nudging him along. When it’s up to him, he shows that more often than not, he’s more than willing to go the extra mile.

[SPOILER] Like when he picks up the guitar and sings the song that Mom requests. Or like when he overhears Joo In on the phone, telling CEO Kim that she can’t step away to a meeting. He practically shoos Joo In off to that meeting, while assuring her that Mom will be safe with him. Aw. That’s really kind, isn’t it? [END SPOILER]

Outstanding scene [SPOILER]

One of the scenes where I thought Lee Min Ki did exceptionally well, is the scene in episode 6, where Bi Soo processes the information that Mom is dying.

The slow implosion is really well-played. The emotional pieces are all there; the denial that this is actually happening; the heartache at what his mom is going through; the guilt for all the times he’d brushed off Mom’s attempts to connect; the rising anguish, that becomes too much to tamp down. It’s all there, and Lee Min Ki does a great job of allowing all of this to shine through, even while staying true to Bi Soo’s awkwardness of character. Really good, I thought.

Nana as Joo In

First of all, I think Nana looks amazing in this show; that first shot of her in the car in episode 1, where she’s dressed like Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast At Tiffany’s, is gorgeous.

Not only is she pretty, I find her likable. Show makes Joo In down-to-earth, warm and considerate, even though she’s a top star, and therefore, it’s not hard to like Joo In. She’s definitely an easier sell, than Bi Soo.

My absolute favorite thing about Joo In, is how tender and gentle she is with her mom, even when Mom’s condition makes it challenging. ❤️

Bi Soo and Joo In together

One of the big beefs I heard about, was that viewers mostly felt that there was zero chemistry between Nana and Lee Min Ki. I concede that chemistry is a very subjective thing, and somehow, people can see very different things between actors, when viewing the exact same scene.

For the record, I personally had no issues with the chemistry between Lee Min Ki and Nana. I thought the connection between them was warm and low-key sparky, and I enjoyed how Show grew the understanding between Bi Soo and Joo In, over the course of the episodes that I watched.

Here’s a spotlight on some of the key moments that I enjoyed.

[SPOILER ALERT]

E2. I do kind love the idea that Joo In is quick to learn how to manage Bi Soo, and has no qualms in doing so. The way she informs him that he’s guilty of unlawful entry, and then reads him the potential headline of him being labeled her stalker, as she’s politely telling him to leave, is pretty great. Bi Soo needs taking down a couple of pegs at least, with the general high-handed way he handles almost everything and everybody.

E3. Even though there are things about Bi Soo that bemuse Joo In, she seems to take them in her stride reasonably well, and importantly, she knows when to push back, when Bi Soo’s demands or behavior strike her as unreasonable.

In the contract negotiation alone, we see that Joo In knows how to manage Bi Soo’s fits of pique, and I love that she does it with a firm yet amused hand. That layer of amusement does so much, to endear Joo In to me, honestly. I mean, it’s easy to be frustrated and annoyed with Bi Soo, given how he comes across as quite the prima donna, and even though she does get frustrated, the fact that she can even be amused in the face of the entitled things that come out of his mouth, makes her a champion in my eyes.

I admire Joo In for her consideration towards Bi Soo, despite his prickly manner. Not only does she consciously make room for him in their shared spaces, she even thinks to order him dinner, because he’s likely to be hungry.

E3. I love how Bi Soo is immediately cooperative and helpful, when Joo In tells him that her mom is coming for a visit. He doesn’t protest at all, even though he has every right to, given the terms of the contract. Instead, he gamely rearranges everything and packs his things into boxes, in order to help make the space as welcoming as possible for Joo In’s mom. This single choice of his, to be kind and considerate to Joo In’s mom, endears him to me a great deal.

Not only that, Bi Soo even speaks up to the chatty minimart guy, who says something insensitive about what it’s like to have someone in the family suffering from Alzheimer’s. The way Bi Soo curtly tells him off feels like a defense of Joo In, and it all vibes a little personal as well. This doesn’t feel like a general clap-back at a an overly chatty gossiper; this feels like a personal rebuke.

Bi Soo says that he was simply uncomfortable with what the guy said and that’s why he spoke up, but whichever it is, it puts Bi Soo and Joo In on the same side, and I really like this amiable, teamworky vibe between them.

I also love that as they work together to put stuff away, misconceptions and misunderstandings seem to crumble just by them spending time together. I like the way Joo In observes that Bi Soo just has a habit of closing drawers and doors, and isn’t doing it out of anger. I like even more, that Bi Soo’s able to tell her so frankly how he feels, when he sees an open door; that it bothers him and gives him an uncontrollable urge to close it.

How heartwarming, that Joo In then makes an extra effort to close her door fully, so as not to distract Bi Soo. And how cute, that when he leaves the house, Bi Soo tells Joo In that she can do whatever she wants with the doors, while he’s gone. Hee. The best moment, is when Bi Soo volunteers a thank you to Joo In, for making the effort to close the door. Aw. So much mutual understanding and appreciation going on, so early in our story? I am all for it, thank you!

E4. It’s really nice to see Bi Soo and Joo In growing closer, because of this thing with Mom. I like that Joo In brings beers to his room, and they enjoy the beers together over conversation. It’s great that Joo In thanks him for his kindness, but what I love even more, is how Bi Soo brushes it off, saying that it was he that got to benefit from Mom’s special ability to enter her past and live in it. I mean, being modest about one’s efforts is one thing, but to turn things around, and frame it in such a way that he’s the one benefiting from interacting with Mom, is just next-level precious.

I’m seeing Bi Soo with brand new eyes, and therefore, I totally understand Joo In’s look of wonder as she gazes at him; she’s seeing him with brand new eyes too. Joo In’s right; Bi Soo is turning out to be a good person. It’s interesting to me, though, that this thought seems new and quite foreign to Bi Soo himself. I guess this means that he’s never really thought of himself as a good person.

E4. I find it very endearing that Bi Soo’s so concerned about the threatening letter that Joo In receives, that he can’t stop thinking about it. I mean, it’s so telling, that he would forget to close the fridge door, because he’s deep in thought over this. This, when he’s usually obsessed with closing doors! That’s huge. I love this idea, that Bi Soo is such a caring person.

Certainly, Bi Soo’s care translates a little weirdly, because he’s quite eccentric to begin with, and I kinda love how he keeps checking in on Joo In in her dressing room, at the awards show, being all dark and intense.

I’m glad that Bi Soo gets to Joo In when he does, and I love that the first thing he does, after freeing her hands and feet, is to just hold her tight and tell her that she’s ok now. His relief and protectiveness feel so visceral, like it’s coming from the depths of his soul. I love that.

E5. I think it’s quite charming, how Bi Soo tends to be frank with Joo In, even when that frankness gives away his awareness of her. Like when he says that he thought of “someone” while having his coffee in the morning, and how he says that it was hard to focus on writing because her light was off. It’s almost like he can’t stop himself from being honest with her, even though he does try to fudge from time to time. It’s all rather disarming, I must say.

I like how Bi Soo – right after cautioning Joo In against worrying her mom by showing up late at night – tells her that it’s good that she visits her mom, and that she shouldn’t hesitate to make full use of the person who lives with her, by asking him for a ride. He’s so helpful and earnest, in his own way.

Aw, I really enjoy the idea that Joo In and Bi Soo are talking about personal things as a matter of course now. The way Joo In casually tells him everything that she’d felt, when she’d seen her attacker at the police station, is the kind of thing I only expect between people who are actually close. I like this idea, that they are close enough to talk about these kinds of personal things, without even thinking twice about it, like it’s such a natural thing to do.

E5. I just really enjoy the easy, candid way that Bi Soo and Joo In talk to each other on the blind date, on an unusual range of topics. From the way Bi Soo starts the conversation by asking about Joo In’s father, to the way he tells Joo In how she’s peculiar, because she’s made him – someone who’s always preferred to be alone – actually feel lonely without her.

I also like how Joo In explains why she likes acting, but also, how the illusion – of things like a normal family life – ends after the work ends, and I love the deadpan way Bi Soo tells her that she can just make it real. He offers to let her complain about her day to him, and he says that he’ll nag at her as much as she wants, and he even tells her that he’ll give her an allowance for shining his shoes. Giggle. I thought this was very cute; it made me laugh out loud.

For someone who generally appears awkward and uncomfortable about personal relationships, Bi Soo’s confession really is impressively raw, direct and unflinchingly detailed:

“Actually, I had something I wanted to tell you when I see you today. I always thought blind dates were a waste of time. But on my way here to see you, I was excited. At first, when I rented the room in your house, I had to do it to finish my scripts. But now because of you, I don’t want to leave the house. So what I’m trying to say is that whenever I see a door open, I get the urge to close it. But when you were locked in the closet, it was my first time to go crazy trying to open it. I like you, Joo In-sshi.”

Ahhh!! So much honesty, and so much feeling, spoken with such serious sincerity. I love it. I honestly hadn’t expected Bi Soo to embrace his feelings for Joo In so soon.

I appreciate that Joo In’s reply is gentle and honest, even though she doesn’t yet give him an answer:

“Could you give me some time to think about it? When I commit myself to a relationship, I stay committed. Due to my career, I can’t make a quick decision. When I’m certain that I like you too, I’ll confess my feelings to you first. Could you give me some time to think about it?”

I like that it acknowledges the weightiness of Bi Soo’s confession, and gives her the space to figure out her answer, at the same time. And I like that implication, that if she likes him, she will be all in.

The subsequent self-consciousness between Bi Soo and Joo In, as they navigate their way around each other at home, makes sense, because they are still relatively new to each other, after all.

E6. Bi Soo is clearly much more relaxed and natural when he’s alone with Joo In, versus when Yoo Jin is there with them, and it’s a nice contrast to witness. It shows that he’s genuinely comfortable with Joo In. The moments of hyperawareness when hyper-proximity occurs – like when Joo In falls on Bi Soo while they’re playing mini basketball – are important building blocks too, to this maybe-relationship.

More than Joo In’s discombobulation, though, I enjoy Bi Soo’s slightly dazed, Imma-hyperventilate-a-bit reaction, which I find very endearing. His subsequent decision not to close the door, because “doors are meant to be open” is cute too. I rather enjoy how his reactions to open doors are now markers for how he feels.

E7. Heh, the scene where Bi Soo helps Joo In with her closing line for her radio show, is such a thinly disguised excuse for him to hear the words “I love you” from her. Although, I do concede that the closing itself – “Today, too, I love you” – is pretty neat, and quite perfect for Joo In. What makes it work, is Bi Soo’s dorky discombobulation that lets loose, the minute he’s back in his room, away from Joo In’s gaze. He’s so cute, the way he swoons on his own. 😆

[END SPOILER]

The thing with the moms

I’d read comments saying that the mothers’ illnesses should have been omitted from our story, so that Bi Soo and Joo In would be able to just focus on the foibles of falling in love, and there wouldn’t be this heavy distraction in the picture.

Once I had a taste of how the mothers’ arcs interact with our OTP arc, though, I actually really liked it. I feel that rather than being a distraction, these other narrative pieces actually support the OTP connection, and the thing with both mothers has the potential to become a very strong bonding force between Bi Soo and Joo In. Generally speaking, based on what I watched, I feel that Show taps into that very nicely.

The truth is, love doesn’t exist in a vacuum, and while flowers, gifts and champagne are very nice, it’s all the more powerful, if you find someone whom you can identify with and lean on, when it comes to the painful areas of your life. Solidarity is a very powerful thing and shouldn’t be underestimated, is what I’m trying to say.

While many other viewers felt that it would’ve been better to leave the ailing mothers out of this story, and just let Bi Soo and Joo in focus on falling in love, I personally think that it’s the love triangle that should’ve been left out of the story, so that Bi Soo and Joo In can focus on supporting each other through the difficult situations surrounding their mothers – and then find love, along the way. That would be a pretty good story all on its own, I feel.

The rivalry between Bi Soo and Yoo Jin

I’m beginning to think that I don’t really enjoy scenes of petty rivalry between male leads, because lately, every time a pair of male leads starts to try to outdo each other in silly, spiteful little ways, I tend to roll my eyes more than anything. That’s exactly how I feel, when the rivalry between Bi Soo and Yoo Jin (Kang Min Hyuk) enters our story. I know it’s all meant to be amusing. It just wasn’t particularly amusing to me. 😝

I would’ve been pretty ok to roll with this, if Show had treated the petty rivalry with a light hand, but Show goes pretty ham with it, which I didn’t quite enjoy.

[SPOILER] For example, in episode 7, Yoo Jin’s quite the perfect (fake) boyfriend, bringing snacks for everyone at the radio station, and Bi Soo’s got an easy chemistry with Joo In as her special guest on the show. I kind of wish Show had stopped there, instead of having Yoo Jin invite himself over the house, to sleep over.

All the petty rivalry at the house felt like filler to me, and I especially didn’t like the part where Bi Soo purposefully dumps a sleeping Yoo Jin off the couch onto the floor, claiming that he’d dropped him in an effort to carry him to the guest room. That feels unnecessarily unpleasant on Bi Soo’s part, and unnecessarily painful, for Yoo Jin. [END SPOILER]

Not my favorite thing in this show, by quite a lot.

The use of the word “Master” [MINOR SPOILERS]

I thought I’d weigh in a bit, on Show’s use of the word “Master,” since there is stuff there that’s lost in translation.

Even though the subtitles translate that Joo In’s condition in the contract is that Bi Soo address her as “Master,” it’s not quite so cut and dry in Korean. Arguably, she’s only asking him to address her in a respectful manner, by adding the “-nim” suffix to her name. As a comparison, Bi Soo could do the same, by asking her to address him as “Bi Soo-nim.” It just so happens that the phrase “Joo In-nim” also sounds like “Master,” is all. Can’t blame a girl for wanting to establish some respect from the star writer who has a reputation for razing his actors to the ground, now, can we?

Additionally, I wanted to take a bit of time to talk about Bi Soo’s sudden decision to address Joo In as “Joo In-nim,” in episode 6. I feel that it’s less of wanting to call her “Master,” and more of wanting to tap into that idea, of being someone’s person. In emphasizing that Joo In is the one who had specified that Bi Soo address her as “Joo In-nim,” Bi Soo is trying to make the point to Yoo Jin, that Joo In herself acknowledges that Bi Soo is her person.

It’s an interesting play on concepts, and it’s also noteworthy, that Bi Soo continues to address Joo In as “Joo In-nim,” even when Yoo Jin isn’t there. In fact, he even refers to her as “Joo In-nim” when he’s talking with his mom. Perhaps he’s trying to speak his desired reality? I think it’s pretty cute.

Stuff I found try-hard

There were definitely a number of times where I felt the writing landed rather try-hard. This didn’t help, but weren’t dealbreakers, at least for me.

[SPOILER] For example, I found the entire arc in episode 5, around Bi Soo’s mom barging into the house to ascertain where he lives and with whom, rather try-hard. This is one of the things that feels old school, but not in a welcome way. It just felt rather out of character, for an elegant lady like Mom to push her way into the house, particularly when there’s someone else other than her son involved. It’s not like she knows Joo In all that well; they’d just met briefly when Joo In had bought the house and they’d signed the papers. So this feels out of line, to me, even though Joo In has to respect her, as an elder, and as Bi Soo’s mother.

Later on, the two moms scheming to set their kids up on a blind date also felt rather try-hard to my eyes. However, because the blind date ends up giving us such a lovely, open conversation between Bi Soo and Joo In, I’m happy to look past it and call it even. [END SPOILER]

The guy in white

I honestly don’t know why writer-nim chose to include this guy in white, whom Bi Soo sees from time to time, starting from his accident. Show is very weird and vague about who this guy is, and why Bi Soo keeps meeting him / seeing visions of him. From everything that I’ve seen, I feel that this bit doesn’t feel organic or necessary to the story.

There’s enough to work with in this drama world, to create a meaningful journey for our characters, without tapping into this mystical / supernatural thing that Show doesn’t even attempt to define, until quite late in the story.

THE FIRST RUMBLINGS OF GOODBYE

Like I mentioned earlier, the petty rivalry between Bi Soo and Yoo Jin is not one of my favorite things in this show. Therefore, when Show goes heavy into this arc in episode 8, I found my watch experience pretty bland. To my eyes, this all felt rather perfunctory and underwhelming.

It’s also at about this point in the story, that I started to feel like the writing was going wonky.

For one thing, everything’s handled with a light touch, to the extent that our characters’ emotions don’t actually pop, for me. To my eyes, it’s almost like their feelings have mostly gone on vacation, and only left a shadow of themselves to hold the fort while they’re gone. 😅 It’s all mildly amusing, but only mildly. I would have happily exchanged this mild amusement for some actual heart-hitting emotional heft.

For example, I think Show’s trying to be surprising, in having Yoo Jin and Bi Soo become allies in the quest for Joo In’s heart, but the execution, like I said, doesn’t pop on an emotional level. It’s hard to believe that they would open up to each other at all, even if it’s over beers, because the opening up had started before either of them had gotten tipsy. It’s a little hard to believe that Yoo Jin would admit so readily that he’s envious of Bi Soo for actually living under the same roof as Joo In, and therefore growing close to her, and I’m equally skeptical that Bi Soo would admit to Yoo Jin that if Yoo Jin’s 14 years of friendship with Joo In turns romantic, that he’d have no chance whatsoever.

For another, I felt rather blindsided by Show’s abrupt left turn into exploring Bi Soo’s background, as we end our episode. I’d have imagined that closing the episode on Joo In’s decision between her suitors, would have felt more organic. Instead, this is left hanging, and we delve into a possible birth secret, where Bi Soo might not actually be his father’s son.

This felt like an odd direction for the story to take.

SAYING GOODBYE

By the time I got to the end of episode 9, I became convinced that the writing had gone wonky, and episode 8 wasn’t just a temporary fluke. For the record, here’s a list of the things that didn’t sit so well with me, this episode.

1. Bi Soo’s not-bio dad is such an awful person; it feels like a waste of screen time, plus, everything that comes out of his mouth makes me angry. The gall that he has, of demanding that he be given the hospital as a gift, right after his affair and his poor treatment of Bi Soo comes to light. Wow. Why did we need such an awful character in our drama world?

2. Hae Jin looks so wan and frail while dealing with the reveal, that I worry that writer-nim is shortening her lifespan by putting her through this stress.

3. Bi Soo getting all angry and withdrawing into himself is not unexpected because of his introverted nature, but to not even tell Joo In that he doesn’t want to talk, or needs some time, or will talk to her later, is not acceptable. And, when he is in a slightly better place, he still takes a really long time to tell her anything or even apologize. Because of this, the sweetness of the “I love you” feels muddied and even a bit tainted. I would have liked this to have been handled better.

4. Joo In’s decision between her two suitors is handled in a weirdly vague manner. She chooses Bi Soo, but doesn’t appear to tell Yoo Jin about it. Why is that? Also, the fact that she tells her manager about her living arrangements with Bi Soo, then proceeds to ignore said manager’s demand that Bi Soo needs to move out, is weird. This strikes me as being inorganic to Joo In’s character; I’d pegged her as someone more responsible; ie, if she’s not going to kick Bi Soo out, she ought to tell her manager so.

5. Bi Soo not asking his mom about his bio dad after it comes out that he’s not his father’s son, is weird too. Wouldn’t that be one of the first things he would ask, ie, if not this dad, then who?

6. The supporting couple made up of the two managers landed try-hard for me this episode. Their aggressive aegyo felt awkward, and was not amusing to me.

7. Last but certainly not least, what the heck is this sudden twist, that Bi Soo’s disappeared? Like, what?? Even if he was going to die, this doesn’t make sense. If Bi Soo had to die, couldn’t writer-nim have just given him a terminal illness or something? Why would he suddenly go ghost-like, and be able to see Joo In, while she cannot see him? What in the world…??

For the record, I liked the healing hug that Mom gave Bi Soo this episode, and I do think that Bi Soo and Joo In are sweet together, when they are allowed to be happy, but the upsides are heavily outweighed by all these other things this episode, and most importantly, I’m not confident that Show’s going to be able to convince me that this supernatural twist makes sense.

All these odd writing decisions lumped together, feels like Show putting itself under the knife and getting a bunch of random surgeries to make itself more appealing to viewers – thus ruining its natural beauty. I really did think we had some nice narrative bits going in this drama, but unfortunately, I feel like Show’s lost sight of the things that really work for its story. And that’s why it’s goodbye, for me and this show.

Annyeong~

PATREON UPDATE!

The next drama I’ll be covering on Patreon, in place of Oh! Master, is Doom At Your Service. I just couldn’t ignore the positive buzz around this one so far, plus, I do have a huge soft spot for Park Bo Young. One episode in, I’m feeling cautiously optimistic!

If you’d like to join me on the journey, you can find my Patreon page here. You can also read more about all the whats, whys, and hows of helping this blog here. Thanks for all of your support, it really means a lot to me. ❤️

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beez
18 days ago

@kfg – I was going to say “I dropped this too! And around the same episode.” Although, for me, almost nothing is ever truly dropped. I always plan to go back and finish or I feel like I have dangling threads (unless I just couldn’t stand it). But your review of what you did watch, has re-interested (my word) me enough that I’ll make sure I finish this.

Kun
Kun
20 days ago

Another thing I found genuinely puzzling is how weirdly the love triangle was handled. Like the whole conversation where she sat them both down and then told them she loved both of them was a giant question mark for me. I get that it was supposed to be a cliffhanger or whatever but I absolutely hated the direction the show was planning to take from here on out and I found the scene hard to watch or explain to myself, like who does this? I love you both and please stick around until I decide that I am in love with one of you???? Please.

It was actually pretty sad because I had enjoyed the first six episodes and found the show to be a nice light watch with some added emotional depth surrounding their scars and the mom plot line. In other words, pretty much the best I hope for with romcoms. I did roll my eyes at the whole friends forever but secretly in love with you vibes I was getting from the 2nd ML but man I did not expect them to handle it this poorly. Won’t even get into the whole lame “supernatural” thing because I dropped the show before they even brought it back up.

Extremely disappointing and a shame because I really like both LMK and Nana.

On a side note I am really hoping the rest of the dramas I am watching don’t go full train wreck mode, haunted house and youth of may have stayed consistently good so far but you never know with dramas. Already leaning towards dropping Doom sadly.

zuzubee123
20 days ago

I made it to about episode 7ish. I actually quite enjoyed the first 6 episodes. The storyline with the moms and their perspective relationships were all very heartwarming to me. I actually wish that would have been the main focus of the whole drama. Throughout their journeys with their moms they find love with each other. Like, the male lead deals with his mom’s illness and her final days while the female lead copes with her mom and her illness. That would have been a really beautiful drama. Especially because I really liked all the actors (minus the second lead) and I did think they had nice chemistry. It was when the love triangle came into the picture that I just couldn’t anymore. I’m not even someone who has a problem with love triangles if they are well written… this one was not in my opinion. I think it was sort of shoe horned in and was really pointless. I did watch the last episode as well just to see how it ended and all I can say is I think I made the right choice dropping it.

VANT
VANT
20 days ago

Well, I watched (endured?) this whole thing, and it is definitely the case that the more the show goes on the worse it becomes. The love triangle has got to be the worst one I’ve ever seen in a drama (well, personally at least), but even that could be forgiven if the rest was any good. But from around halfway point on, even if there are still good scenes here and there, the overal plot certainly seems to be in a definite state of freefal (and mostly just wasting time until the end). The final episode I ended up just skipping through as I genuinely didn’t have the patience any more.

It’s really a shame, because the cast was just uniformly amazing (I gues I can exclude there the second ML, but not sure any actor would have been able to do much with such a character), both leads and both mothers and the record store owner (Kim Chang-wan, yay!) were just such a pleasure to watch, and it’s a shame that the writing wasn’t there to support them until the end.

Also: It’s true that this same writer was involved in Fated to Love You, but it should be noted that that was a remake of a Taiwanese drama, so the plot was more or less set, at least in broad points, while Oh, Master was an original work of his.

phl1rxd
21 days ago

Hi Fangurl – I lasted until E12. Then I threw in the towel and walked away. I feel like our actors did the best they could with the script. The poor dears deserved better. I agree with the all points you made above. I loved the moms. The jealousy arc did not even bother me as much as it did others. I hate to say this but I put the blame of this one entirely on the shoulders of the writer. I did read comments on the ending and I am glad I dropped it. I would say more but my Mother always told me “If you cannot say something nice, don’t say anything at all”. 😄

beez
18 days ago
Reply to  kfangurl

Well, heck, KFG! There is a 89% chance of watching any Kdrama’s ending and it being a total bust! 😆 But I guess that’s one way to not feel regret over dropping something. 😉

merij1
merij1
21 days ago

I see it’s the same writer as Fated To Love You, which I wanted to watch based on your review, except you seemed to think it didn’t live up to its initial promise. Too bad, since I really liked Nana in the 5 or so episodes I saw of Into The Ring.

Jiyuu
Jiyuu
19 days ago
Reply to  merij1

Probably because I had zero expectations with FTLY (I didn’t check the trailers or watch the Taiwanese original), I didn’t feel “cheated” or think that the show wavered in its original premise. I remember feeling bittersweet tinges and light heartache as early as the end of episode 2. Rather than a romcom, I choose to classify FTLY as a romance drama with heapings of angst and sprinkles of comedy.

It was my first Jang Hyuk drama too and I find him endearing and fantastic in it. I think those who jump in not having seen his other works walk away with a very soft spot for his character Lee Geon. (Now that I’ve watched his other dramas, I want to rewatch this again because of all the meta references crammed that I previously missed.)

FTLY uses a bunch of tropes but it works for me because of how well the details (OST, directorial choices, characterizations, Jang chemistry and acting intensity) complement the production as a whole. The writer wasn’t weaving a story from scratch, she already had the plot of a well-loved tale plus a great director and team of actors who brought their characters to life. As my gateway Jang Hyuk drama, it was a very affecting watch.

snow
21 days ago

Oh I was so exited for this on! I really like LMK and I have read so any positive things about Nana. But suddenly I was reading so many bad reviews and now yours too. So I’m deciding to skip this one!

Kay
Kay
21 days ago

This one isn’t on my watch list, which sounds like a good thing. I haven’t really seen much positive about it. Sorry you had to pull the plug on it. Hopefully, onward to better things! 🙂

Kay
Kay
20 days ago
Reply to  kfangurl

I’ve just been hearing that it had a terrible ending. Since I don’t plan on watching it, I’m going to have to go see what happened. I’ve been enticed to watch entire dramas in the past just to see the horrible ending that I had heard about 😂😂😂 I think I’ll skip the whole thing this time though and just enjoy the disaster ending with less time spent 😂

Kdramamama
Kdramamama
21 days ago

I was very much looking forward to this show. I watched the early episodes as they aired but only managed to make it to the end after taking a break midway. I thought it had quite a bit of potential and was sweet and warm in parts. But it very quickly got weird, and the writer made choices that are difficult to defend and painful to watch. I try not to be highly critical when watching a show, as I feel an overly critical eye can ruin one’s enjoyment of both entertainment and life in general. But even when viewed through a forgiving lens, this fell very short of expectations and I probably would’ve been better off dropping it as you did.