If you’re on the market for a small, sweet little romance, and you aren’t intimidated by the idea of it being a slow burn, this little drama special is, in my opinion, worth an hour of your time. Ah, this is especially true, if you happen to be a fan of Go Min Si, who is our female lead.
I ended up enjoying this one really nicely, and I hope you guys will like it too.
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
Ji Hu (Shin Hyun Soo) is a photographer who is pretty introverted, particularly around the person whom he likes. One day, he meets his first love from college, Yun Chan (Go Min Si), when she signs up for his one-on-one photography class. Will he finally find the courage to tell her how he feels?
MANAGING EXPECTATIONS / THE VIEWING LENS
Here are a couple of things to keep in mind, which I think would help to maximize your enjoyment of your watch.
1. Ji Hu is very shy and awkward around Yun Chan. It’s best to reconcile yourself with this idea early, otherwise you might find it very frustrating to watch Ji Hu holding himself back from expressing how he feels. Hang in there. He comes around, eventually.
2. Our story feels small, but it’s not boring. At least, I didn’t find it boring. I feel that Show does a nice job of managing its few chosen narrative pieces, to ultimately give us a story that feels nicely faceted, by the time we get to the final stretch. I personally feel that Show actually gets better, in its second half.
STUFF I LIKED
1. Go Min Si is charming. I found Go Min Si very likable, as our female lead Yun Chan. She manages to come across as free-spirited and winsome, without being try-hard.
2. The flashbacks to college feel relatable. I thought Show did a nice job of creating a throwback sort of vibe in the flashbacks, particularly with its choices in hair and makeup. I did sincerely feel like I’d stepped back in time, a little bit.
3. I find our story thought-provoking. With Show’s emphasis on the past, and the times when Ji Hu had held back, or hadn’t acted because he’d been afraid, it does create an opportunity for introspection and reflection.
THOUGHTS ON THE ENDING [SPOILERS]
I really liked how Show approached its second half; there were a number of surprises in here, that I didn’t see coming, and which I enjoyed. Context really is everything – something that I don’t ever seem to get tired of saying – and Show plays with that, to pretty great effect, I’d say.
The first surprise, was that we see that Yun Chan wasn’t Eun Hyuk’s (Hwang Hee) bride after all. This was an assumption that we’d had, pretty much from the start, because Choi Min (Kang Seung Hyun) remarks that Eun Hyuk and Yun Chan have been dating for 10 years. That assumption of hers had turned out to be wrong, and that changes the whole playing field, for Ji Hu.
Suddenly, Yun Chan isn’t off-limits anymore. Suddenly, she isn’t the one-sided love that he has to resolves his feelings for. Suddenly, he can approach her, if he can screw up the courage to do so.
I also really liked the reveal that Yun Chan had signed up for the photography class, knowing that Ji Hu would be teaching it. I love how honest she is about it all, when they finally do talk about it. I love that she admits that she’d wanted to see him, to verify if she still had feelings for him – and if he still did, for her as well. I love how refreshingly candid she is, and how brave she is, to own her feelings, even though she’s basically come up against a brick wall, with Ji Hu and his reticence.
In particular, I enjoyed the reveal, that things hadn’t quite been as Ji Hu had believed; that the banana milks hadn’t wholly been from Choi Min; that Yun Chan had been the first to leave banana milk in his locker; that things between Eun Hyuk and Yun Chan hadn’t been as solidified or as far along as Eun Hyuk had made it out to be; that Eun Hyuk had perceived Ji Hu as being popular among the girls, and had felt jealous. Ahhh. That changes so much, doesn’t it?
I love how this turns everything on its head, because I love anything that reinforces the idea that context is critical. And I do appreciate the idea that Ji Hu was more appreciated and more welcome, than he’d thought.
I have to admit, I was a little bummed when Ji Hu allowed the photography class to end, without telling Yun Chan how he felt about her, but I rationalize that someone who’s as introverted as Ji Hu, needs time to process, and time to figure out what to do.
I can understand Ji Hu’s fear of attempting to start anything, because that would mean having to face the possibility of the relationship ending; that’s a legitimate fear, and can affect some people to a paralyzing degree. I’m glad that in the end, Ji Hu overcomes his fears. I love how he manages to straight-up tell Yun Chan, that he’d gone there, because he’d missed her. For him, this is huge. And, judging from her smile, Yun Chan appears to understand what a big step this is, for Ji Hu. I like that.
We don’t get to see how things unfold for Ji Hu and Yun Chan as they explore an actual relationship, but somehow, just knowing that they’ve arrived at this breakthrough together, is enough to put a satisfied smile on my face.
THE FINAL VERDICT:
Understated, but sweet.
FINAL GRADE: B+
WHERE TO WATCH:
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