Y’know how a savvy shopper might feel super chuffed at finding a great bargain or a vintage gem in an overlooked corner of a store? That’s how I feel about stumbling on this little drama special, you guys.
Not only have I never heard anyone talking about this drama special, it’s turned out to be ridiculously entertaining, in the most unexpected way. I really hope you guys will give it a try, this little show deserves some extra love!
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
A family of misfits, in a comedy of errors, as they each try to do what they think is right for them in life.
MANAGING EXPECTATIONS / THE VIEWING LENS
Here’s a couple of things that I think would be helpful to keep in mind, to maximize your enjoyment of the show.
1. This is a dark comedy. But it’s a gentle one. As in, while I generally find dark comedies a little too dark for my taste, this one lands just right for me. It’s dark enough to feel dysfunctional, but gentle enough in its touch, to not feel like it’s too much.
2. Our characters are all flawed. None of our main characters is better than the others, so none of them functions as a moral compass for the others either. Show makes this work nicely, which I appreciated.
3. Just buckle up for the ride. If your drama sensibility is like mine, you should have a good time, I think!
STUFF I LIKED
1. Show’s twists and turns. I honestly never knew where our story would go next, and Show manages to be unexpected and funny, as it barrels on, on its chosen path. I loved this.
2. The humor’s not too broad. I found the Funny, more in the situations that Show creates, and our characters’ reaction faces and comic timing. I often struggle to jive with k-humor, but I found myself laughing often, while watching this one.
3. There are thought-provoking elements in this, despite it being such a rollercoaster of a watch. I really enjoyed these. You don’t even need to look too hard for them, but it doesn’t feel like Show is hitting you on the head with them either. I thought this was nicely balanced.
4. Park Sung Hoon’s in this. I realize I have a growing soft spot for Park Sung Hoon, and it was fun to see him in something ridiculous like this.
THOUGHTS ON THE ENDING [SPOILERS]
It’s hilarious to me how everything comes to a head at the hotel, when Myung Hwa (Shin Eun Kyung) runs into her entire family, with Na Na’s (Hong Seo Young) teacher (Park Sung Hoon) in tow. Ohmygah, the misunderstanding! And the implication, that Myung Hwa’s having an affair with Teacher, with everyone in earshot, while the desk staff yells out her name amid the chaos. Ahahaha. How mortifying. It’s little wonder that Myung Hwa looks like she wants to sink into the ground. And what a little stinker, that Teacher slips away at the first chance he gets. Pfft.
I do sort of love how everyone reaches a breaking point, and even though I generally don’t condone violence, it did give me a sense of satisfaction, to see Min Guk (Song Ji Ho) punch out the two seniors who’d been giving him a hard time.
The scene that takes the cake, in this last stretch of our short story, is the protest in the hotel lobby, with everything turning into a legit brawl. So epic! Still, I appreciate the idea, that Min Guk’s the one who gives Jung Guk the boldness to follow his heart. Of course, it’s quite funny that Min Guk’s logic is, “Do whatever you want; we’re ruined anyway!” but I’ll take what I get.
I also liked the somber tone of the aftermath, with the scene in the car that echoes our opening scene, where Na Na asks her parents if they’re going to get a divorce, just like she’d asked, 6 years ago.
Like I mentioned earlier, there are some serious themes and issues that Show brings up in the course of its story, and this scene sums up many of them quite nicely.
Imposter syndrome is a real thing, and it’s sad to hear that Jung Guk and Myung Hwa both feel like imposters; that they’d never planned to be parents, and have never felt that they’d done anything close to a good job of being parents. Also, there’s the thing earlier in our story, where Myung Hwa laments that she’s lost herself, in every sense of the word; that she’s lost herself as a mother, and also, as an individual. These are all very real struggles that I feel many people would be able to identify with.
It’s poignant to hear Jung Guk and Myung Hwa apologize to their kids, but it’s heartening to hear Na Na tell them that there’s no need to apologize.
In the end, our unconventional family settles on an unconventional solution, where each of them is given the freedom to do what they wish.
Jung Guk gets to protest like he wants to; Myung Hwa gets to go to Busan for a job posting like she wants to; Na Na apparently drops out of school and gets to travel like she wants to; Min Guk gets to look for a job on his own terms, like he wants to.
It’s unusual, sure, but it’s also really nice to see them getting along better, and looking happier, because of it.
And, as quirky as our ending may be, I like the idea that Show serves up: that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for living life; that we each need to choose what works for us, because, ultimately, we’re the ones living it. Not a bad lesson to take away, from this kooky little show, isn’t it?
THE FINAL VERDICT:
Laugh-out-loud entertaining, yet nicely thought-provoking. Quite the gem.
FINAL GRADE: A-
WHERE TO WATCH: