Given that a number of people have told me that they enjoyed this show, I was expecting to like this one at least reasonably well.
I knew going in, that there was murder in this story, and I also knew that this murder stuff wouldn’t turn out to be Show’s main focus. Instead, the focus would be on the OTP and the mutual healing that they would bring to each other. I didn’t mind the sound of that, and I also enjoy both Seo Hyun Jin and Kim Dong Wook – plus I do have a bit of a soft spot for Yoon Park, who’s our second male lead. All the chips seemed destined to fall in favor of this being a show that I would be able to enjoy, at least reasonably well.
The thing is, though.. try as I might, I couldn’t get into this one – from episode 1. 😅
WHAT DIDN’T I LIKE ABOUT EPISODE 1?
It’s not the murder stuff, really. In fact, by the end of the episode, I actually felt relatively more interested in the mystery stuff, than in our OTP interactions. Uh-oh, right?
1. The dialogue doesn’t sound natural to my ears
This might be a personal thing, because I haven’t heard anyone else complain about it, with this show. I just felt like all the dialogue felt stilted and try-hard, like Show was doing its best to be interesting and quirky, and it was trying too hard, and therefore nothing felt natural. That’s how it sounded to my ears, at least.
I love Seo Hyun Jin, but I felt like Show was trying too hard to make her damaged on the inside and flaky on the outside. The lines assigned to her character, Da Jung, this episode, just didn’t sound to me like they’d come from a real person.
2. Our characters don’t quite seem to behave like real people
That whole meet-awkward on the stairs, where Kim Dong Wook’s character Young Do starts answering Da Jung, when she’s really talking on her phone, was a bit of a stretch. But that’s not a big deal, all things considered.
The conversation I took most issue with, is the one where Young Do starts psycho-analyzing Da Jung, at their first official meeting, at the goading of their mutual friends.
OH MY GOSH. That was so bizarre and rude, I don’t even know what to say. Who does that? Who psycho-analyzes someone that they’ve barely met, as a party trick? And the way he picks on clues that he’s glimpsed in her apartment – which he’s spent all of 2 minutes in – and then draws these strong conclusions about her, saying stuff like she has a fear of relationships that require emotional commitment, and that she keeps attracting trash men, because she’s trying to overcome her childhood misery, is just too much. Surely this isn’t considered sound psychiatry?
Also, the whole scene where he goes to her apartment and inspects the bathroom because of a leak in his office below, is so weird. Who steps on a shower head, in order to tame it, because it’s gone too wild from the high water pressure? Surely he could have just dashed for the tap, regardless of where the shower head was spraying? Dya see what I mean by stuff not feeling natural? 😅
And then there’s the thing where Nam Gyu Ri turns out to be Young Do’s ex-wife. The way her character acts is supposed to be cute and quirky, I think, but it just comes off as really weird, to my eyes. She seems hung up on her ex-husband, and keeps visiting him at his office, and then when they talk at the carpark, she sing-songs loudly, that people don’t think a couple can stay friends after their divorce, but they can. I think this is supposed to be charming. I did not find this charming, unfortunately.
3. The dark murder stuff
I do think Yoon Park is handsome in this, but by the end of the episode, his character Chae Jun is setting off all sorts of alarm bells in my head. Da Jung casually calls him her stalker, and it’s meant to be a joke of sorts, but by the end of the episode, I do think he is quite literally her stalker. The way he stakes out her apartment and the convenience store, and insists on seeing her when she’s just minding her own business, and keeps asking her to date him, when she’s said no, screams stalker to me.
And we haven’t even taken into account how he appears to be possibly involved in the murder that had taken place in the same building. By episode’s end, Young Do is arriving at the conclusion that Chae Jun is a sociopath – and that’s something that I do feel mildly curious to know more about.
However, since I already knew that the murder stuff is definitely going to take a backseat in favor of the OTP relationship, and since I was having so much trouble getting into the groove with all the OTP-related stuff that Show’s served up in this first hour, I already knew this wasn’t a good sign.
After taking a break to, I dunno, give myself a chance to be in a different sort of drama mood, perhaps, I decided to give episode 2 a look, in the mild hope that I would take to Show better, on the second try.
On the upside, the dialogue and character behavior to go with, feel marginally (just a bit!) more natural to me, this episode. That’s definitely a step in the right direction. On the downside, I didn’t find myself responding to the stuff on my screen with any level of interest. 😅 This drama world still felt mostly staged and try-hard, and there’s also the thing where the psychiatry in this drama world mainly sounds too pat and textbook, whether Young Do is psycho-analyzing Da Jung as a party trick, or actually treating a patient in his office.
There’s also the thing where I literally fell asleep for most of episode 2’s second half (something which almost never happens to me!) – and then woke up to see Chae Jun kill himself by throwing himself off a building. Yikes. 😬
I did go back to see what I might’ve missed while asleep, and I concede that our OTP does share a nice conversation. Late in the episode (above), Young Do speaks gently to Da Jung and explains what is typically really going on with people, when they claim that they’re fine. I did like that.
However, the murder stuff is proving to be darker than I’d like, and the meshing of the romance with the murder stuff feels rather uneasy to my eyes (so far, anyway). I have enjoyed a few healing romances with a side of murder (like 2019’s When The Camellia Blooms and 2020’s Find Me In Your Memory), so it’s not a genre thing per se. I’m just.. not feeling this one, somehow.
And if there’s one thing I’ve learned in my 14 years of drama watching, it’s that you really shouldn’t try to force it, if you’re not feeling it. Since I don’t want to risk hate-watching this show, I’m calling it quits now, rather than later.
At least Show’s gotten lots of love from almost everyone else, by this point, and therefore won’t feel too hurt by my decision..? 😅