I’ve grown quite fond of Park Gyu Young in recent years, and found her particularly charming in Dali and the Cocky Prince (even though I dropped that show). I also have a good amount of goodwill for Yoon Park, particularly from his role as a sweet chef in 2016’s Age Of Youth, and have felt that he deserves to play nicer guys in general.
So when I saw that this little drama special stars Park Gyu Young and Yoon Park, I just had to give it a look.
Overall, while this isn’t the most amazing show ever, I did find it quite enjoyable – after a few lens adjustments, which I’ll talk about soon.
Psst: Link to watch is at the end of the review.
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
Hyun Ho (Park Gyu Young) is a 27-year-old young lady who falls in love easily and often at first sight, even though she’s never actually had a boyfriend.
One day, at the swimming pool, she falls in love with a handsome young man, Woo Jin (Jung Gun Joo), despite her swimming coach’s (Yoon Park) disapproving eye.
MANAGING EXPECTATIONS / THE VIEWING LENS
Here are a few things that I think would be helpful to keep in mind, to maximize your enjoyment of your watch:
1. The humor leans broad in this one.
This isn’t my preferred thing, but it’s fairly standard when considering k-humor’s general penchant for an OTT, exaggerated style of humor.
2. Our story is simple.
Thanks to a pretty short running time of just 1 hour and 5 minutes, our story isn’t very complicated at all, and sometimes, it feels like things move at an almost cartoony pace.
3. The tone settles by Show’s second half.
Show’s got an inner core that leans more sweet and reflective, and that becomes clearer, as we get into the second half of our story.
STUFF I LIKED
1. Park Gyu Young as Hyun Ho.
Even though I didn’t much care for the initial broad humor, many instances of which include Hyun Ho, I do appreciate that there’s a contemplative sweetness that comes through in Hyun Ho, by the second half.
I feel that that has a lot to do with Park Gyu Young’s delivery and personal charm.
2. Yoon Park as Yoo Ra.
I didn’t prefer Yoo Ra’s blustery personality at first glance, but as with Hyun Ho, we do get to see a more endearing side to him, the deeper we get into our story.
I actually grew reasonably fond of Yoo Ra by the end of our story, which is a solid accomplishment by Show, and by Yoon Park.
3. The exploration of what it means to love.
In a way, I’d say that this is more a story of personal discovery for Hyun Ho, than a story of the romance between Hyun Ho and Yoo Ra, and I actually liked this approach quite well. I feel that it adds a nice smidge of depth, to what might feel like an otherwise featherweight story.
THOUGHTS ON THE ENDING [SPOILERS]
Even though Hyun Ho spends much of our story besotted with Woo Jin, it becomes clear by Show’s second half, that her experience of spending time with Woo Jin is anything but comfortable.
In contrast, she’s able to just freely be herself when she’s in Yoo Ra’s company. I thought that juxtaposition was very effective, even though it leaned pretty predictable.
I liked the idea that Hyun Ho’s so relaxed and happy when she’s with Yoo Ra, that her friend would pick up on it, and assume that Yoo Ra’s the dolphin that Hyun Ho keeps talking about. I like that this gives Hyun Ho some important food for thought, as she does some self-reflection.
I also like the idea that Yoo Ra’s main focus, with Hyun Ho, is to get her to relax, whether it’s in the pool, or when they’re hanging out. And, I like that it’s during this relaxation lesson in the pool, that he comes out and tells her straight-up, that he likes her. It’s sweet.
At the same time, I do think it was rather rude of Hyun Ho to simply not show up at her dinner date with Woo Jin, without saying anything to him.
I mean, sure, he’s too self-focused and controlling and therefore she shouldn’t date him, but surely she could at least let him know that she’s not coming to their dinner date?
I like that in the end, even though Hyun Ho’s feeling a little confused and unsure of how she feels, and lacks confidence in how she’ll do in the future, she manages to be honest with Yoo Ra, and Yoo Ra, in turn, is patient, understanding and assuring.
Aw. That’s pretty sweet, honestly.
We end on a note that’s simple, earthy and hopeful, and that’s really quite pleasant indeed.
THE FINAL VERDICT:
Show’s a little rough around the edges, but it’s got a sweet core.
Ok this show. It’s so cute and sweet! I really liked it. I tried on a whim as I had some time to spare but found myself enjoying it much more than expected. It is certainly simple, not the most profound, but much of it works coz Park Gyu Min is really so sweet and relatable while Yoon Park was gruff and charming. Thank you for introducing us to these lovely little nuggets – perfect as a drama snack. What an enjoyable hour or so!
PS – doesn’t Jung Gun Joo give you Jo Jung Suk vibes??? i kept thinking it was one of his older shows when he was younger!
Aw YAY that you ended up liking this one so well, MC!! 😃 As for Jung Gun Joo.. uhh, I can’t say I see the Jo Jung Suk vibes.. Maybe a teensy weensy bit if I squint hard enough? 😅😂
For an older Jo Jung Suk show, you might want to check out The King 2 Hearts. His stoic bodyguard character in that one really stole my heart. If you only have time for a movie, then maybe Architecture 101. Such a scene stealer, even in his first movie! 🤩
So I watched half of this last night and actually enjoyed it. I find it really helpful when you manage our expectations.
Aw yay! So glad to hear that you find the reviews useful, Shahz, and that you like this one so far! ❤️
Cute! I’m really enjoying the short shows lately! Thanks for the recommendation!
Aw yay that you enjoyed this one, @lotusgirl!! Yes, sometimes a short little drama thing can be a nice way to switch things up! ❤️