THE SHORT VERDICT:
On the upside, Show presents some really thoughtful reflections about love, relationships, breakups and healing. When Show is in this space, it’s pretty excellent.
On the downside, Show is clumsy at best, when it’s not in that thoughtful reflective space. In fact, some moments are downright bad, not gonna lie.
Yoo In Na and Yoon Hyun Min are both charming in their own right, and the entire cast does a valiant job of delivering on the material that they’re given, but this still works out to be a very mixed bag.
How well you take to this one really depends on how much you like the thoughtful reflections, stacked up against how awful you find the bad bits. Which means that your mileage will definitely vary.
Worth a try, with the right lens – especially if you’ve got a ready finger on the Fast Forward button to help you along. 😉
THE SHORT VERDICT:
As soon as Show dropped its first teaser, I was really, really hoping to like this one.
Mainly, it’s because I have a big soft spot for Yoo In Na, and I was excited to see her come back to our screens, in a rom-com. Yay! 🥳
And so, I worked really hard to understand Show during it’s more perplexing stretches, while savoring the insightfulness of the thoughtful reflections that it served up.
Now that I’ve emerged on the other side, I have to concede that Show is like that newbie at the office whose work performance is just all over the place.
They have moments of distinct promise, like when they offer up a fresh idea, but also, a lot of the times, they don’t seem to know what they’re doing, and sometimes they make startlingly bad decisions that make you wonder whether it’s even worth keeping them on. 😅
To pull the plug, or to believe in the glimmers of promise, is the big question, not only as the hypothetical newbie’s supervisor, or as a viewer of this show.
Since I’ve made it to the finish line, and have therefore seen Show at its best AND its worst, I’ll do my best to help you figure out which decision is the better one, for you.
OST ALBUM: FOR YOUR LISTENING PLEASURE
Here’s the OST album, in case you’d like to listen to it while reading the review.
I found the music in this show very pleasant, and I enjoyed the various tracks, as they were applied, though I wouldn’t go so far as to say that the music actually lifted the watch experience in a significant way.
I also can’t say that any of the songs really stood out to me, or even came close to becoming an earworm, but if I had to pick a song that left a slightly deeper impression than the others, then I’d pick Track 2, Turn Around, for its gentle wistful feels.
Here it is as well, in case you’d prefer to listen to it on repeat. Just right-click on the video and select “Loop.”
Here are a few things that I think would be helpful to keep in mind, to maximize your enjoyment of this show:
1. Be flexible with your expectations
Now that you know that Show’s quality can vary wildly, you can adjust your expectations to accommodate that fluctuation. Just knowing that it sometimes gets really bad helps, yes?
2. Show doesn’t quite follow the typical rom-com rhythm
Instead, Show spends quite a bit of time on Bo Ra’s breakup with her cheating ex (not a spoiler, since it’s in Show’s trailers), and exploring the process and emotions around that, before getting to the point where Bo Ra’s ready to have feelings for someone else.
This means that Show doesn’t feel as rom-commy as you might expect. Knowing that, going in, helps.
3. Show has a point
It was really only while watching Show’s finale, that it came together in my head, that Show has a point that it wants to make – [SPOILER?] that everyone deserves to be loved as they are [END SPOILER] – and keeping that point in mind, actually helps to smooth over Show’s gaffes.
I’ll talk more about that, later in this review.
4. Our characters are mostly very flawed
It might be frustrating to watch flawed characters generally not make a great deal of progress in terms of personal growth over the course of our story, but again, keeping Show’s central point in mind, does help.
5. A manhwa lens is useful
..because Show sometimes gets a little hyperbolic, in the way it wants to present a scene, and sometimes it also makes some odd narrative choices.
If you’ve seen Show’s trailer, then yes, think bickering breaking up couple climbing onto a garbage truck – that kinda thing.
It all lands better, with a manhwa lens on, I think.
Also, it helps to just not take everything too seriously, with this show.
STUFF I LIKED
In these sections, I’ll be talking about what I liked and liked less, in a pretty macro sort of fashion, before doing a selective deep dive into characters and relationships.
If you’re interested in my blow-by-blow reactions while watching this show, you might like to check out my episode notes on Patreon here.
When Show feels real, raw and relatable
This is legit my favorite thing about this show.
When I signed up for this show, I was expecting a fluffy rom-com, probably serving up more than your average quantum of tropes.
What I wasn’t expecting, was all this raw emotion around universal experiences like rejection and heartbreak.
It kinda-sorta reminds me of how I’d felt the writer of Oh Hae Young Again (review is here!) had been very intimately acquainted with emotional pain, in the way she’d written Hae Young’s experience of rejection and heartbreak.
This isn’t quite the same, in the sense that this show is overall lighter in sensibility than Oh Hae Young Again, and the way Bo Ra expresses her pain is different than the way Hae Young had expressed her pain, but the thing that strikes me in both cases, is how real and raw it all feels.
Like, I could identify with the brokenness in both of these characters, because it reminded me of what I’d experienced when I’d been at my most broken, even though the actual experience I had, was different than what either of these characters experienced.
I find that very interesting, and quite thought-provoking. Like, it seems that the pain and brokenness might manifest in different ways for different people, but in essence, we all know what that pain feels like. 💔
Here are some sprawling thoughts around the various times when Show managed to come through with feelings of raw realness that felt universally relatable.
E3. That whole scene, where Bo Ra responds to Ju Wan (Chansung) in a manner that’s very different from how she’s been advising other people to handle their own romantic situations, rings so true, to me.
It makes a lot of sense that we’re much more able to be logical in how we approach a situation, if we’re not emotionally involved.
As a bystander, Bo Ra’s able to easily talk about other people’s relationships, and make judgments on what they should do, but it’s a whole different story, when it’s her own relationship that’s in question, and she’s the one confronting her cheating boyfriend.
The thing is, part of her brain does register the truth about what’s happening, in the moment; it’s just that she can’t help but hope that her relationship with Ju Wan might be salvaged – that he might choose her, in the end – and that’s why she doesn’t kick him to the curb like she might advise, in her capacity as dating consultant.
That moment when Ju Wan tells his female companion to wait in the car, while he asks Bo Ra to go home and wait for him there, says everything, and Bo Ra knows it.
She knows that in that moment, he’s choosing the other woman, and that’s just a colossally horrible position to be in – and she knows it.
But when you’re in that kind of situation, you can’t help but hope that your instincts are off, and that you’re wrong, and that you’re not being rejected by the person whom you’d hoped to spend your life with – which is why Bo Ra comes off as going easy on Ju Wan.
She doesn’t slap him or kick him like many of us might wish she did (because Ju Wan’s being written to say such cluelessly insensitive things), because in her heart of hearts, there’s still a flicker of hope that things will somehow turn around, and her heart won’t have to be broken.
The way Bo Ra can’t help but dissect the confrontation, blow by blow, and berate herself for not responding differently, and for not having more confidence, is so relatable.
At least, I feel like I’ve been there before, where I feel like kicking myself, for not being able to think or talk straight, in a moment of confrontation.
And of course, there’s the way Bo Ra crawls into bed and hopes to wake up and find that it’s all a bad dream – only to realize, with a heavy heart, that it’s all too real. I’ve definitely been there, too.
Then there’s the way she waits for Ju Wan to text her.
She’s angry with him, yes, but she also hopes that they’ll reconcile, so she’s hoping that he’ll text with the appropriately apologetic words, so that she can be magnanimous and forgive him.
But he doesn’t text, and when he does, all he does is give a short, “I’m sorry,” which is not the kind of apology that would lead them down the road to reconciliation, unfortunately.
That emotional rollercoaster for Bo Ra, as she waits, and then, also, as she reacts to his text, is also very relatable.
After that, there’s the denial, as Bo Ra tries to convince herself and Yu Jeong (Park So Jin), that this all works out for the better, because she’ll be able to correct Ju Wan’s flaws before the wedding.
And then, it’s even harder to watch, when her illusion comes crashing down, when she and Yu Jeong overhear Ju Wan’s conversation with Jin Woo (Lee Sang Woon), which is a big wake-up call, not only for Bo Ra, but for Yu Jeong as well (which I’ll talk about in a bit).
It must be such a slap in the face for Bo Ra to hear Ju Wan say that he’s basically unwilling to marry her; that he feels suffocated at the thought that she’ll be in every area of his life, after they get married. Ooh. Ouch. 😣
And, it’s also such a slap in the face for Yu Jeong, to hear Jin Woo say that he hasn’t felt any spark with her for a long time, and simply says, “I love you,” as a matter of rote. Also ouch. 😣
Besides the main arc with Bo Ra, I feel that Show’s also saying something about how emotional intimacy can break down in marriages.
I feel like there are a couple of things that one can take away from this, off the top of my head.
For one thing, while Bo Ra seems to make marriage her goal, as if marriage comes with a guarantee of happiness, the situation between Yu Jeong and Jin Woo indicates otherwise.
There’s nothing majorly wrong with their marriage relationship, and yet, we are already seeing glimmers of distance and frustration between them.
I saw in the Deep Dive, that MC had said that it bugged her that Yu Jeong kicks Jin Woo out of bed for rejecting her advances.
I rewatched the scene, and on the rewatch, I realized that Yu Jeong seems to be kicking him out of the bed more for being awake and pretending that he was dead asleep, in order to avoid her.
And then, when she tries to initiate intimacy, the way he responds, by promising that they’ll do it tomorrow, makes it sound like it’s a chore rather than a joy, to be intimate with her.
I think that that’s why she kicks him out of bed, rather than for his rejection of her advances per se.
My gut tells me that if he hadn’t pretended to be asleep, and if he’d just told her – with affection – that he was too tired &/or wasn’t in the mood, she would’ve accepted it much better.
Basically, what I’m trying to say, is, at the heart of it, I think Yu Jeong is upset that he’s rejecting her, and not just her advances.
When Yu Jeong, with her voice shakily rising and the tears shining in her eyes, talks about how she’d thought that she and Jin Woo would be different than all those clichés about old married couples, that really stood out to me.
I think it’s so true, that we always like to think that while something might be true for a lot of people, it won’t be true for us, and for our relationship.
While it’s true that there are exceptions to the norm, how often is it, that we are part of the exception rather than the norm? It really makes one think, doesn’t it?
Oof. The way Bo Ra cries after the break-up, where the tears just leak out with a vengeance, at every turn, is so real and relatable. I’ve been there and done that, and it’s horrible and exhausting, and truly the worst, because you feel like your whole world is crumbling down on you and there’s nothing you can do to change that. 😭
That scene, where Bo Ra struggles to put on some makeup so that she’ll look decent when meeting Ju Wan, but her tears keep rolling down her face, is so well done.
The concept of it is so relatable, and the way Yoo In Na plays it, where Bo Ra’s struggling not to cry, is so raw and believable.
And then, the crushing disappointment she feels, when she realizes that the only reason Ju Wan’s there to see her, is because Bo Mi had told him that Bo Ra was having trouble sleeping, and not because he had any reason of his own, in wanting to see her, is, again, so relatable.
Of course she’d hoped that he’d come to see her because he was sorry, and of course she would be upset – not only at him, but at Bo Mi, for contacting him, and at herself, for having foolish hopes.
The argument that they have, all disheveled and shouty, involving the garbage truck, of all things, is kind of surreal, but again, relatable, because when you’re that upset with someone who’d been close to you, you lash out in a way that doesn’t always make sense.
Because you’re drawing on a multitude of thoughts and emotions, and because those are all over the place, the words and actions that result, are also often all over the place.
The thing about this crazy argument is, it actually feels like both of them are coming from a place of genuine experience.
What I mean is, we’ve been seeing all this from Bo Ra’s point of view, and yes, Ju Wan’s a cheating, lying jerk.
At the same time, it feels like he does have a point, when he says that Bo Ra can be suffocating, and that her reasons for marrying him because she’d found his background attractive.
Of course, I’m still firmly on Bo Ra’s side, especially after Ju Wan blurts out that she’d ruined everything because now they can’t break up nicely and become friends again later (🙄).
E5. I felt this was a good episode – but I also think that this might be the episode that upsets a lot of viewers, and therefore be the episode where they drop this show, unfortunately.
Basically, we are not yet done with Bo Ra’s heartbreak, and she sinks even deeper into what feels like a bottomless pool of pain. 💔
This ultimately leads her to (drunkenly) seek out Ju Wan to ask him to take her back essentially, and this is the thing that I think would likely cause a lot of viewers to drop this show.
I can imagine the comments even now, and I’m guessing that they’ll likely run along the lines of, “She’s so pathetic,” “How could she have so little self respect?,” “She should really move on,” and “I can’t root for someone who doesn’t have any self respect,” and so on.
The thing is, though, this all feels very real and very possible, to me.
Maybe it’s hard for some people to imagine, particularly if they’ve never been rejected or hurt to the extent that Bo Ra’s been rejected and hurt, but I think it’s entirely possible for Bo Ra to feel so desperate to make this terrible reality go away.
And her reality is, her entire world; not just her love life, but her career as well and her reputation to go with – is crumbling around her, and there’s nothing she can do to stop it. Even though she tries to be strong, and even though she tries to move on, it seems like nothing she does is enough to make it any better, and it’s wearing her down to a great extent.
And it gets to a point where she’s exhausted and worn out and just really, really desperate for all the horrible things to just go away, so much so that she’s willing to entertain any thought – even asking Ju Wan to take her back.
It’s true that in this moment, Bo Ra doesn’t have enough self-love or self-respect, but it’s hard for her to have a decent amount of either, with how the entire world’s been running her down, from Ju Wan, to the public, and even her own mother.
It’s not that surprising, really, that Bo Ra would eventually let all the condemning words get to her. Like, if everyone is telling her that she’s pathetic, and a loser, it’s not surprising that she would eventually start to accept that she really is pathetic, and a loser.
It’s true that Bo Ra goes through some ups and downs, this episode.
At the top of the episode, she’s calm and even able to say that the world at large is too busy to care about her life, and find comfort in that thought.
And then, we end the episode with Bo Ra desperate to make up with Ju Wan.
For some viewers, I feel like this might feel like very contradictory behavior, but I do feel that this rings true to life.
Healing from pain is not a straightforward one-way highway. In reality, you have good days, and you have bad days, and over time, as you get stronger, and heal up better, you’ll have more good days than bad days.
It’s a process that takes time, and the more deeply hurt you are to start with, the longer you’ll need, to heal from it.
And Bo Ra hasn’t had much time to heal, really, so what we’re seeing is a sampling of her good days and bad days. We started the episode on a better day, and ended the episode on a really, really bad day.
It happens, and it doesn’t mean that Bo Ra’s pathetic and not worthy of our support.
It’s really one of those things that you understand best, if you’ve been in a similar position yourself.
Like how Bo Ra talks about how she finally understands Paris Hilton stealing her own DVD from a newstand, because now, when she’s in a somewhat similar position, she finds herself feeling a compulsion to clear out the shelves of the magazine carrying that article about her, even though she knows in her head that it’ll be but a drop in the ocean.
Show’s thoughtful nuggets
I love it when a drama makes me think, and Show does do that, quite nicely.
Show drops a nice handful of thoughtful nuggets of insight or wisdom through its story, often via Bo Ra’s reflective voiceovers, or via interactions between our characters, and I liked these a great deal.
Here are some highlights.
E5. This episode does spend a moment to remind us that everything’s relative; when Yu Jeong complains about her marriage relationship being lukewarm, that actually seems quite appealing to Bo Ra.
I find this very true to life.
When you’re in a lukewarm relationship, it’s the pits. But when you’re heartbroken and have nobody, even a lukewarm relationship seems attractive.
I thought that was good food for thought.
Like, on the one hand, perhaps we should be more appreciate for what we have? And on the other hand, perhaps we should be more introspective, and ask ourselves why we think something is appealing to us; ie, is there something deeper at play?
Another thing I found thought-provoking, is how Bo Ra says in voiceover, that human beings often just want to see what they want to see, and believe what they want to believe.
That’s how she convinces herself that Ju Wan’s regretful about their breakup; she remembers only the snippets where she hears him say things like, “I’m sorry,” conveniently forgetting the “but..” that comes after.
I found this very true to life, and also, very thought-provoking. Like, how often do we operate on a confirmation bias, and thus end up lying to ourselves?
E7. I like Soo Hyuk’s statement, that Ju Wan had likely been sincere, when he’d told Bo Ra that he’d like that quality about her.
I’ve read somewhere, that very often, the thing that you tend to end up disliking about your partner, is the very thing that you’d originally found attractive about them to being with.
So this is a double truth, to me.
1, it’s true to life, and 2, I agree that there’s such a thing as sincerity in the moment.
Ju Wan had meant what he’d said, in the moment, even though that sentiment hadn’t lasted.
Isn’t that so universally relatable? Haven’t we all had the experience of saying something that we’d meant, in the moment, only to change our minds somewhere down the road?
We’re only human, after all, and so, we’re likely to change our minds about things, as our personal experiences shift and evolve.
I like that Show acknowledges this. It makes me feel that writer-nim’s not only lived through these experiences, but also, spent a good amount of time reflecting on what it all means.
E7. One of the highlights of this episode, for me, is the parallels that Show draws between moving and breakups. I thought it was really well thought-through, and quite insightful, honestly.
“Something moving and breakups have in common.
Though I want to procrastinate, the day comes near anyway. There are endless things I have to get rid of. It’s hard to say goodbye to the things I’m used to. It’s sad to see memories disappear. It’s scary to adjust to what I’m not used to.
I have to think about how to fill the space after working hard to empty it out. Even if I get help from someone, it is my job to do after all. And once I manage to get it done, I don’t want to go through the trouble again.”
Wow. I’d never thought that moving and breaking up had anything in common, but now that Show lays it out like that, it makes complete sense.
I love the idea that Bo Ra, as our protagonist, is so reflective, thoughtful and insightful.
Show’s lack of a serial killer arc
Heh. Yes, this is a rather irreverent point, but I couldn’t help but put it out there.
I don’t know why it’s so hard to find a rom-com without a side of murder nowadays, but this show is that, and you can rest easy, knowing that no serial killer is going to appear, during your watch. 😁
STUFF THAT WAS OK
The OTP dynamic in our earlier episodes
I just wanted to say that I found the bickering between Soo Hyuk and Bo Ra a leettle too strong for my taste, in our earlier episodes.
I liked the dynamic between them a lot more, in our mid-to-late episodes, when our OTP are friendly with each other, and getting along.
..Which is why this is in this neutral section.
Show’s uneven tone
Essentially, Show has two main aspects to its personality going on; a thoughtful reflective side, and a more OTT, exaggerated sort of rom-com side.
I find that a bit of lens adjustment is necessary, as Show toggles between this thoughtful vibe, and the more OTT rom-com vibe.
Sometimes, it can feel a touch whiplashy, because honestly, Show doesn’t manage to switch tones in a manner that feels seamless or natural.
In terms of how I dealt with it during my watch, I realized I can’t take this show too seriously, when it whips out these zanier moments, so I mostly just shrugged and tried to move on. 🤷🏻♀️
Here’s the spotlight on some examples that stood out to me more.
E6. This episode, Show dials up Bo Ra’s misfortunes even more, with the phishing scam and her losing 40 million won as a result, and I will admit that this episode’s tone felt different from the previous ones.
While I’ve been saying that much of the other episodes have been raw and relatable, especially when it comes to Bo Ra’s emotional pain, this episode felt a little more dramatic and over-the-top.
This can feel a bit whiplashy, but now that I’ve emerged on the other side, on hindsight, I do feel that I kinda understand what Show is doing with it.
Basically, now that we’ve established just how real and raw Bo Ra’s pain is, Show is now doing a bit of Full House-esque dramatics, in order to put Bo Ra and Soo Hyuk in the same orbit, in order for our central romance to blossom.
If you’ve seen the k-classic Full House, you’d know that Song Hye Kyo’s character goes through an unreasonable amount of misfortune early on in the show, at the hands of friends who are so thoughtless and inconsiderate that they land as caricatures, all so that she winds up sharing her house with Rain’s character.
Kinda the same thing here, I feel like?
The message phishing thing that causes Bo Mi to lose Bo Ra’s 40 million won, and that also causes Soo Hyuk to lose 5 million won, feels excessive and a bit OTT.
But, it’s clearly in service of getting Bo Ra to reconsider her decision about the contract with Sang Jin’s publishing house, so that she and Soo Hyuk will end up in the same orbit, even though they’ve promised to never see each other again.
Because it’s so obviously in service of that, I’m ok to roll with it – and hope that we get more emotional resonance like we did in our earlier episodes, in the episodes to come.
E7. I didn’t particularly enjoy that beat at the end of the episode, when Bo Ra goes to great lengths to avoid contact with Soo Hyuk, and then gets caught faking a neck injury while on a video call.
It feels like such a stretch, the way Bo Ra’s written to fail so hard at preventing Yu Jeong and Bo Mi from ruining her video call with Soo Hyuk.
I mean, couldn’t she have just told them, at the earliest available opportunity, that she’s on a video call, and to please keep quiet for now, she’ll explain everything later?
But no, that’s not how it does down at all, and it’s silly-ridiculous how it all goes so wrong, but.. I suppose this is all in service of Show getting Soo Hyuk to show up at Bo Ra’s housewarming party, which evens it out to ok, I guess?
STUFF I DIDN’T LIKE SO MUCH
Show’s sense of hyperbole
What I mean is, I’m fine with the idea of Show making our key characters flawed.
The thing is, Show proves to be rather aggressive, in its efforts towards making our characters flawed, so much so that it almost feels like Show is being a prick about it, and making our characters look bad on purpose?
I was on the fence about it when I first heard other viewers grumbling about how Show just likes to make Bo Ra look bad, but now that I’ve finished my watch, I have to confess that I’m kinda-sorta agreeing with them.
Past a certain point, it feels like Bo Ra’s gaffes are gratuitous, and I didn’t like that so much.
Here are just two examples.
I groan-cringed at the arc of Bo Ra doing a desperate drunken-pee on the street in episode 7, though I concede that the relief on Bo Ra’s face, in that scene, is undoubtedly on point. 😅
And then, in episode 12, Bo Ra fails so hard at being Soo Hyuk’s fake girlfriend, that I felt like Show was making her the butt of a joke that I didn’t find funny. 🤷🏻♀️
Show’s weird choices
Show has a habit of making rather weird narrative choices, from time to time, and I really struggled to understand why writer-nim thought any of these was a good idea.
Here are just three examples, all from episode 12.
1. Show sometimes has very odd definitions for what constitutes a good idea. 😝
..Like having Yu Jeong arm-twist Jin Woo into role-playing having a blind date with her, as if they’re meeting for the first time. Ack.
I found this all very cringey, and the whole time they were trying out this blind date thing, I was willing them to just stop, eep. 🙈
2. I found it quite odd, that this episode, suddenly, Show is feeding us the idea that Bo Ra and Yu Jeong are totally in on the fact that Bo Mi is Jin Ho’s Destiny Girl.
Just.. how and when did that happen?
Show never does fill us in on this before we finish our story, so this development feels super random.
3. I’m glad that Bo Ra gets to return the favor and be Soo Hyuk’s fake girlfriend at Bo Mi’s wedding, but why does Show always give Bo Ra such cringey things to say, so that she’s a terribly unnatural and embarrassing fake girlfriend to Soo Hyuk? 😩
The debacle of episode 9
Seriously, episode 9 is the pinnacle of Bad with a capital B, in this show.
Up to this point of my watch, I’d been defending Show against naysayers quite a bit, especially in the few episodes just before episode 9, but y’all. This episode was bad. 😩
After surviving episode 9, I resolved that if any other episode of this show matched the badness of episode 9, that I would pull the plug on this show, despite my affection for Yoo In Na, and despite the thoughtful nuggets that I’ve found, in Show’s earlier episodes.
Thankfully, Show doesn’t ever quite outdo itself, in the badness department, after episode 9. But episode 9 will forever be etched in my mind as the epitome of bad drama. 😬
It basically feels like writer-nim called in sick, and in desperation, they got an intern to write the episode – but said intern’s only been fed a steady diet of very old, very badly done rom-coms, and that’s all they had to work with, to come up with this episode. 😅
Basically, it feels like the intern was told by writer-nim, “Just deal with the aftermath of the kiss for the whole episode; I’ll deal with clearing up of the misunderstanding, when I get back. Whatever it takes to fill up the episode, DON’T BOTHER ME I’M SICK.” 😂
And so said intern throws every bad trope and the kitchen sink at this drama, in a desperate attempt to make something halfway interesting.
Here are my running thoughts on all of the terrible that went down, in episode 9.
E9. I found myself cringing multiple times, during this episode, and being thisclose to pulling the plug on this show, based on the terribleness of this episode alone.
Before I get into that, though, I can’t help noticing, as we revisit the kiss at the top of this episode, that the kiss, uh, comes off as kind of awkward?
As in, I don’t think it’s meant to be awkward, but I think that it’s coming off as awkward, when it’s likely supposed to come off as a hungry, all-caught-up-in-the-moment sort of a kiss.
That’s not great, and I can’t deny that I’m a little disappointed, in that, I’d expected that Yoo In Na and Yoon Hyun Min would be able to pull of a more believable physical chemistry. I’ll talk more about that later, in the OTP section of this review.
The kiss is the least of this episode’s problems, so let’s talk about all that, shall we?
I can understand that Bo Ra feels self-conscious about kissing Soo Hyuk, so soon after breaking up with Ju Wan, but the way that all goes down is cringey in so many ways.
First of all, I frowned when Yu Jeong acts like she knows all about the kiss, when Soo Hyuk comes to the restaurant, and asks Soo Hyuk to pretend that it never happened, because Bo Ra’s so mortified.
My first reaction was, Noooo, that’s just going to give Soo Hyuk the wrong idea, that Bo Ra hated kissing him!
But thennn. Bo Ra comes back to the table, and puts her foot in her mouth, all by herself.
Bo Ra seems to have a tendency to say very random-sounding, weird things, when she feels flustered, and this time was quite possibly the worst of them all.
The whole thing about kissing have been like a game to them, and how she could kiss anybody it she was told to, and it would mean nothing, is nuclear levels of cringe, GAH. 🙈
I just felt for Soo Hyuk the whole time.
And thennn. When they start talking about the book, and Bo Ra says that her plan is to get prettier, she starts talking about the Auschwitz concentration camp, and how some people still took pains to clean and groom themselves, even in such a difficult situation.
Ok, so I’ve seen some online comments that condemn writer-nim for using this example, but I think the key problem isn’t the example itself, because I do think it’s based on fact, but the tone in which it’s employed.
The offhanded, light-hearted, admittedly shallow tone in which Bo Ra talks about it, I think, is the insensitive part of this whole thing.
And so, because Show is a lighthearted creature at its heart, and changing Bo Ra’s tone in talking about this might be too jarring for Show’s overall vibe, I do agree that ultimately, changing the example could have made everything land a lot better.
I tend to agree with what MC said on Patreon, that the writers probably didn’t understand the gravity of including the factoid on Auschwitz concentration camp, and just thought that it would be an interesting thing to weave into the story.
And then there’s the thing with the seatbelt, where Bo Ra reacts so strongly – and in such a weirdly affected manner – to Soo Hyuk reaching for her seatbelt, because she thinks that he’s about to put the moves on her.
The whole thing is SO. CRINGEY., y’all. 😩
Just, whyyyyy. 😭
And then, to make it such that Bo Ra had actually gotten into Soo Hyuk’s car presumptuously, when he hadn’t even offered her a ride?
Again, WHYYYY. 😭😭
AND THEN. There’s the thing where Bo Ra drags Soo Hyuk to the gym and basically expects him to sign up for a gym membership, just because she wants one too, is just galling.
I mean, it’s incredibly amiable of Soo Hyuk to sign up for the gym membership when he hadn’t even wanted one in the first place, but even that doesn’t go very well.
First of all, did we really have to have that conversation about Bo Ra imagining Soo Hyuk’s body? That feels kind of.. crude..? 🙈
Second of all, Show has to have Soo Hyuk overhear Bo Ra blustering disdainfully to Yu Jeong, that making someone like Soo Hyuk fall for her is a piece of cake. Talk about giving a dude a bad day – and then punching him in the gut, for good measure.
Granted, Show does have Soo Hyuk call Bo Ra out for being selfish and inconsiderate, but.. that doesn’t fix it, does it? In my mind, it’s more like, did we really have to go here?
Not gonna lie; by this point, I felt quite exhausted, from pushing through all of the cringe. 🙈
SPOTLIGHT ON CHARACTERS / RELATIONSHIPS
Yoo In Na as Bo Ra
Basically, I love Yoo In Na, unreservedly 😍😍 – and I do think that she’s well-cast, as Bo Ra.
I found Yoo In Na ridiculously charming, even when Bo Ra is being vain, or nosy, or acting like a know-it-all.
At the same time, I do feel like, with Show’s aforementioned tendency to go hard, at making our characters flawed, Bo Ra got the short end of the stick.
I’d originally defended Bo Ra against naysayers who found her unlikable in Show’s earlier episodes, stating that we needed to give Show the benefit of the doubt; that we needed to give Bo Ra room to grow.
Unfortunately, by Show’s final stretch, the growth that we did see was heavily outweighed by Show making Bo Ra act in perplexing ways.
To be clear, I think this is more writer-nim’s fault, than anything else.
Essentially, I felt like our girl Bo Ra was trying to become her best self and live her best life, and kept getting tripped up by the bizarre words &/or actions that writer-nim threw her way.
I still liked Bo Ra, though, for the record.
E4. I like that Bo Ra takes Yu Jeong’s advice and is honest in her apology letter; I agree that that’s the best way forward for Bo Ra, right now, even though the reaction from the public isn’t the greatest.
I do like the way she basically takes herself out on a date at the end of the episode, because, going out to look at nice things and listen to nice music counts as a date, yes?
I know she ends up crying on that bus, but I still feel like Bo Ra’s made some important progress.
E6. A silver lining to the whole phishing debacle, is that we get to see just how much Bo Ra cares for Bo Mi (Kim Ye Ji).
I feel like most people in her place, would yell at Bo Mi for falling for the scam, and for losing all that money.
Instead, Bo Ra sees how upset Bo Mi is, and defends her to the police officer on duty (who really has no business talking in the dismissive, derogatory way that he does).
Not only that, she acts like she has lots more money, so Bo Mi doesn’t need to worry or cry anymore.
This is huge, because, as we soon find out, Bo Ra doesn’t have the money, and is in literal danger of having to live on the street, if she doesn’t solve the money situation soon.
The fact that Bo Ra’s able to choose to put Bo Mi’s heart and wellbeing first, even though there are such big money worries now suddenly on her plate, is really admirable, to me.
I admire Bo Ra so much, for being able to put the really important things first, when things are so hard.
Also, I’m glad for Bo Ra, that when she finally finds the courage to check her SNS messages, she finds messages of solidarity and support from fans who can identify with her heartbreak, through their own experiences.
E7. In terms of Bo Ra getting the book contract with Sang Jin’s company, I guess I can see why some folks might be turned off by the way she tries to act like she didn’t mess up by turning down the book deal, when Soo Hyuk had gone to see her. Like, I can understand if someone found that hypocritical or dishonest.
At the same time, it’s quite clear to me that Show means this for entertainment, more than anything, and the way Yoo In Na plays it, Bo Ra’s really more harmless than anything, so it never occurred to me to see a problem with it, honestly.
The only thing that she says that really got a negative reaction out of me, is when she says that thing about a woman’s “No” actually means “Yes.”
That sure got me going, “What??” – but then she takes it back and waves off her previous statement, saying that that’s absurd, and she just joking.
..So that got me back into neutral again.
Basically, the way she comes across to me, is that she’s just someone who’s caught in a desperate situation, who’s trying her best to hustle, but isn’t doing a very good job of it.
I can’t fault her for trying, since she’s in such a desperate situation, and at the same time, I don’t even mind it so much, since she’s so obviously not very skilled at it? It’s like.. watching a young child trying to play a very obvious prank on their parent? 😅
Ah, some folks also took issue with Bo Ra’s idea of winning, is to get back the cheating boyfriend who’d dumped her. Which, I suppose I can see the logic of, if you’re looking at her statement as a standalone sort of a thing.
But here, she’s winging it, meaning, she hasn’t actually thought this through, and is just saying the first thing that comes to mind, to try to secure the contract, and also, she doesn’t actually try to get Ju Wan back, as we see in episode 8.
Altogether, I think I basically see Bo Ra as a lot more harmless than some other viewers, and I do believe that that’s where our main difference lies.
Even though Bo Ra’s previously made a career out of positioning herself as someone who’s superior in expertise than the average person in the area of romance, you can see that she’s ready to pay her dues all over again, from the way she works the crowd during the company dinner.
When Soo Hyuk asks why she’s doing all that socializing and drinking, she tells him that she’s the payee and Sang Jin’s the financier, so she’s paying her dues in order to get paid.
And she says it with a smile that might be a little rueful, but in which I don’t detect bitterness or malice. This is why I just can’t dislike Bo Ra; she’s really quite self-aware, and her airs, when she puts them on, don’t ring true.
I do appreciate that Soo Hyuk tells her that no one’s forcing her to drink, and I also appreciate that he tells her the truth of the situation, that Sang Jin had been as desperate to sign her, as she’d been to get signed.
Again, Show plays this all quite lightly, and I’m pretty happy to just roll with it as something Bo Ra can learn from, so that she’ll have more patience, if she were to find herself in a similar situation in the future.
Also, it occurs to me that even in this episode, as early as during the company gathering, she’s already saying that she’s not desperate to get Ju Wan back, and that it’s perfectly acceptable that a relationship doesn’t work out.
While Bo Ra might be misguided in the way she analyzes that she’d been too desperate, and that’s why the relationship had failed, I do like that she’s ready to admit that her behavior might have caused Ju Wan to feel suffocated.
This feels true to life, I feel. It’s true that when one party is noticeably desperate for something in a relationship, that the other party is likely to feel suffocated, especially if they don’t want the same thing that the other person wants.
E7. I did feel very happy for Bo Ra, when she wakes up, and for the first time in a long time, finds that Ju Wan isn’t her first waking thought. YAY.
That is a very significant milestone in the post-breakup phase, and this bodes well for Bo Ra becoming ready to move on – which, in turn, bodes well for our central loveline to actually take off in a meaningful way, soonish?
I felt bad for Bo Ra as she keeps reliving The Incident in her head, because what she bemoans is so true – embarrassment doesn’t only last for a moment, especially if you’re mortified by the fact that someone you know actually witnessed every moment of that embarrassment. 🙈
E8. I feel like the way Bo Ra handles the conversation with Ju Wan, is completely different from the initial scenario which she’d described to Sang Jin and Soo Hyuk, where she’d said that she planned to make Ju Wan grovel.
On the contrary; she handles the situation with a lot of grace, and makes sure to demonstrate that she does respect Ju Wan’s dignity and his right to his own life.
I was half expecting her to walk out on Ju Wan in the middle of the conversation, to demonstrate how much better off she is without him, but I ended up loving and admiring what she does instead, where she speaks with thoughtfulness and grace.
E11. Generally speaking, I feel like Bo Ra’s in a more grounded space this pair of episodes, compared to before, and that shows through, when she’s being more reflective.
It’s just, I kinda wish she would be her more grounded self more? Especially when it comes to Soo Hyuk?
I appreciate that she tries to stop him from going to see Yu Ri, because she wants to prevent him from getting hurt, but the way she goes about it feels.. not very grounded?
I kind of wish that Bo Ra hadn’t snatched his car key and tried to run away with it, as a last ditch effort to get him not to go; that feels quite.. undignified and childish?
And I also kind of wish that she had just come out and told him why she didn’t want him to go, instead of trying to disguise it as a guilt trip, that he shouldn’t go to Yu Ri, because he’d promised to go to the pre-wedding thing with her.
But ok. I get that when people are invested in something or someone, they can act in pretty irrational ways when they’re upset or feel threatened, and this is most likely what’s going on, with Bo Ra.
She wants to stop Soo Hyuk from getting hurt, but doesn’t want to say that Yu Ri’s trying to hurt him (mostly likely because that in itself could be a source of hurt), and that’s why she tries to run away with the keys, and then tell him that he should go with her instead, since that’s what he’d promised.
In fact, I find it very attractive, how Bo Ra is so unaffected by Ju Wan now.
That scene where she goes to meet him, and talks casually about what she’s been up to now, she seems so much more confident in herself, compared to before. I like that a lot.
I also like very much the way Bo Ra’s able to look at Ju Wan, and be so cognizant of the fact that he’s now part of her past, and that she no longer has any special feelings for him.
The fact that she doesn’t even hate him anymore, makes me feel like she really is fully and truly over him now.
YES. Indifference is the best indicator of someone having moved on.
Yoon Hyun Min as Soo Hyuk
I have to confess that, coming into this show, I’d had my reservations around Yoon Hyun Min as our romantic male lead.
I’d only ever seen him play one before, in My Holo Love (review is here!), and I never quite warmed up to his character there.
I’m happy to report, though, that that is absolutely not the case, in this show.
I actually found myself taking to Soo Hyuk very well, as a character, once we get to know him a little better.
The warmth and tenderness that I’d found lacking in Yoon Hyun Min’s character in My Holo Love, is very present in Soo Hyuk, and I’m so happy to say that Soo Hyuk legit became one of the highlights of my watch.
I’ll talk more about Soo Hyuk in relation to Bo Ra and Yu Ri (Kim Ji An).
Bo Ra and Soo Hyuk
Coming into this show, I’d been hesitant at the pairing of Yoo In Na with Yoon Hyun Min, because, like I mentioned earlier, I hadn’t enjoyed him all that much, in the one time that I’d seen him in the romantic leading man space, in My Holo Love.
And, also like I mentioned earlier, I didn’t prefer the bickery-ness of our leads’ earlier interactions.
That said, once we settled into a space where Bo Ra and Soo Hyuk are getting along, I enjoyed it a whole lot more.
I actually felt like, in general, Yoo In Na and Yoon Hyun Min shared a pretty nice chemistry.
The only exception being, the kisses, which, to my eyes, felt like the kiss version of Manner Hands. So.. Manner Lips, if you will? 😅
I don’t know what’s driving the Manner Lips, like was it Yoon Hyun Min’s way of showing consideration for real-life girlfriend Baek Jin Hee, but it made for kiss scenes that felt lacking in oomph.
It definitely didn’t feel like our OTP was kissing like they meant it, and that was rather underwhelming, I felt.
That said, I did appreciate the beats of meaningful connection between Bo Ra and Soo Hyuk.
E4. The drunken debacle this episode, is really the epitome of “just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse,” truly. 🙈
I do think that Show does a decent job of setting it up, such that I can understand how things might have turned out that way.
Ordinarily, I’m sure almost anyone in Bo Ra’s situation would have declined the speaking engagement, but I can also believe that with so much going on, Bo Ra could have believably forgotten that she was due to give that talk, and then, by the time she was made aware of it, it was way too late to back out of it.
..Which is how she ends up getting stress-drunk and saying all of those things which end up offending everyone, which is how her entire career ends up getting derailed in just one night. Yikes is an understatement. 😬
One rather key thing that stands out to me, this episode, is that Bo Ra feels that her most humiliating moment is made so much worse, because it was witnessed by someone.
I realize that that’s with the assumption that the person who’d witnessed it, would think poorly of her, or use it against her in some way.
But in the end, it’s precisely because Soo Hyuk saw what had happened, that he now has more compassion and empathy for Bo Ra.
Not only does he kind of defend her to Sang Jin when they talk about her in the office, he’s also the only one who thinks to go to her, when she falls on the stage.
I also tend to think that the gentle way he handles her, is to do with the fact that he knows what she’s going through.
And that makes me think that perhaps it was actually a good thing and not a bad thing, that Soo Hyuk witnessed what had happened to Bo Ra.
The music that Show uses to score the scene of Soo Hyuk princess-carrying Bo Ra out of there, might suggest that this is supposed to be a romantic sort of scene, but I see this more as a gesture of compassion and empathy, because, as we see later in the episode, Soo Hyuk’s still not over Yoo Ri.
And y’know, I think I like it more, as a non-romantic moment; it feels more pure, in a way?
Like, he’s helping her because he feels compassion for as a human being, not because he likes her and hopes that she’ll like him back, if that makes sense.
And, I have to say, with Soo Hyuk doing this for Bo Ra, and demonstrating a much softer vibe versus the prickly persona we were introduced to, I do think I’m softening to him quite nicely.
E5. This episode, I find Soo Hyuk growing on me quite nicely.
Even though he seeks out Bo Ra because Sang Jin pushes him to do so, so that he can apologize to her and then talk shop about her signing a contract with them, from his actions, I feel like he’s not operating on a business agenda.
When he apologizes to Bo Ra, it lands as sincere, to me, and when he helps her stage a bit of a show of happiness in front of Ju Wan, it feels like he’s helping her from a place of sincerity, and not because he’s hoping to get a book deal out of her.
I mean, he certainly didn’t have to go so far as to hold her hand, or put his arm around her, but he does it, because he notices that Ju Wan’s still watching them, through the cafe window.
E5. I also found it quite touching, to see how Soo Hyuk opens up about his own breakup and heartbreak, because it helps Bo Ra feel better.
That’s quite sacrificial of Soo Hyuk, really, because I’m sure he doesn’t actually want to put his heartbreak on display – but he takes it out and puts that painful event in the spotlight, so that Bo Ra can feel better about herself. That’s sweet, isn’t it?
And then afterwards, when he tells Bo Ra that she can still be a writer, and she takes it to mean that he was always talking to her with a business agenda, I actually feel like he isn’t.
To my eyes, it looks like Soo Hyuk’s sincerely telling her that she’s not over, as a writer, that she still has something to offer the world, that she’s still worthy – and that she still has a future, both as a person, and as a writer.
I find this to be really sweet and lovely, because these are such live-giving words, and she does absolutely need to hear this.
It’s just too bad that she misinterprets his intentions.
And the thing is, Soo Hyuk doesn’t lie to Bo Ra, even when she wants him to.
When she calls him in a fit of desperation, hoping that he’ll tell her that Ju Wan had looked regretful at the cafe when they’d run into him, he doesn’t give in, and I think it’s because he can see that if he told that white lie now, it would hurt Bo Ra in the long run.
It’s hard to see Bo Ra go to Ju Wan and get rejected all over again, but I’m glad that Soo Hyuk’s instincts are sharp enough, to take him there, so that he’s there for Bo Ra, in the aftermath.
And, it feels like such a gesture of kindness and solidarity and understanding, when he sits down next to her on the sidewalk, and offers her a hug.
It’s like he instinctively knows that in this moment, there are no words that can comfort Bo Ra – but a wordless hug could be the thing that helps her feel better, even if it’s just for a while.
E6. I did feel like this episode, we’re seeing more and more that Soo Hyuk’s genuinely interested in Bo Ra’s road to recovery and happiness.
He seems personally perplexed, when Bo Ra can’t stop crying, and then there’s the thing where he’s concerned enough about Bo Ra, that when he receives the fake text message, he actually sends the money, because he believes that she needs his help.
I definitely see that as him being more personally invested than ever. Plus there’s the thing where he always seems legitimately disappointed at the thought that Bo Ra won’t work with their publishing house, whenever the subject comes up.
E7. I do like the idea that Bo Ra and Soo Hyuk are slowly bonding and connecting over their personal sharing, like when they talk about what had gone wrong in each of their relationships.
You just can’t help but grow closer, right, when you talk about such personal things with someone?
I definitely cringed at the peeing on the street, but I have to give props to Soo Hyuk for taking it in pretty good humor, when he realizes that he’s literally stepped in Bo Ra’s stream of pee, because of, well, gravity. 🙈
I was very much relieved that Show chose to cut the scene there, because I was very much ready to move on. 😅
E8. I am definitely warming up to Soo Hyuk, in spite of my earlier misgivings.
I mean, isn’t it quite kind and gallant of him, to try to make like he can’t remember anything about Bo Ra’s Big Incident, because he’d been drunk – when he was totally not drunk?
Also, even though he mostly sees through Bo Ra’s various bluffs, and ribs her about not having an actual plan and basically making up stuff as she goes, the way I see it, he’s reasonably gentle and non-aggressive when he ribs her about it, so that it doesn’t actually feel confrontational, which he actually has every right to be, since he represents that publishing house that’s paying her for her work.
Y’know, I’ve finally hit on the perfect word to describe Bo Ra’s charm, and that is, “goofy.” She may try to be all vain and pompous and whatever, but that goofiness always comes through, and I think that’s what makes her so harmless and likable, to me.
Also, she doesn’t seem to hold grudges much, so every time Soo Hyuk says something that takes the wind out of her sails, she recovers pretty quickly, so it feels like whatever he said just slid off her like water off a duck’s back. I like that about her.
Like right after Soo Hyuk deadpans that her efforts to seduce him have failed, she doesn’t dwell on it, and soon starts talking about rewriting the ending of her relationship.
E8. Show is actively pushing the idea that Soo Hyuk’s becoming attracted to Bo Ra, in spite of himself, and I’m not mad about it.
She does look fetching in that little black dress, and even though he’d grumbled about having to go shopping with her, and then having to give up his Sunday to stake out the restaurant with her, it doesn’t look like he’s upset about either of those things now. 😁
I also feel like Soo Hyuk and Bo Ra are growing closer and more comfortable with each, in that they can talk quite easily about how she didn’t cry, and how she’s fought a good fight, and how she now feels, after the breakup.
I thought the noraebang thing was a little shoehorned in there, but I can buy the idea that Soo Hyuk and Bo Ra have such a fun time together, that they are both reluctant to leave, when the time comes.
And I can buy the kiss that happens, because we know that Bo Ra’s on an emotional high after her successful breakup, and that Soo Hyuk’s been more and more drawn to her, all episode long.
E10. I’m glad that Soo Hyuk and Bo Ra clear things up and apologize to each other, at the top of the episode, because I’m not sure I couldn’t handled it, if the misunderstanding had dragged on for much longer. 😅
I do have to stop for a minute and appreciate Soo Hyuk for having the patience and grace to even hear Bo Ra out, because I do think that someone else in his shoes might have well stalked off in a huff, after everything that Bo Ra’s put him through, lately.
But also, I’m glad that when Bo Ra puts her mind to it, she’s able to apologize without trying to make excuses for her behavior.
And, I’m also glad that Bo Ra blurts out that Soo Hyuk’s an important person in her life, whom she’s come to really appreciate.
Her plaintiveness when talking about the possibility of never seeing him again, is, I think, the key thing that breaks through Soo Hyuk’s dark mood, so that things start to turn around.
YES, to Soo Hyuk and Bo Ra being on good terms again, because that’s how I like them best.
I like how this leads to cordial, candid conversation, like whether he’d reached for her first, or if she’d turned around first, and also, I’m glad that Soo Hyuk apologizes for kissing her without permission, and for talking carelessly about her.
Plus, he even offhandedly compliments her for getting prettier, even.
Very nice. 🥰
E10. We get a bit of Soo Hyuk and Bo Ra dipping their toes into murky, unclear waters, with them officially being platonic, but with Bo Ra having girlfriend-type expectations, when it comes to their texting dynamic.
It’s quite true to life, I do think, that when the lines blur between being friends or lovers, things can get complicated, and people angst about things that didn’t used to bother them, like whether the other party’s read their text, and whether they’re sending a reply.
I thought this was all quite low-key amusing and quite entertaining.
And, I do like the idea of Soo Hyuk going with Bo Ra to that pre-wedding shoot, cosplaying as her significant other.
Nothing like a bit of forced proximity and cosplay, to bring on some couple feels, I think? 😁
E11. The outburst between Bo Ra and Soo Hyuk feels reasonably significant, especially the part where Soo Hyuk calls Bo Ra out for going to the pre-wedding shoot for much the same reason that he’s going to see Yu Ri, and Bo Ra blurts out that she’s basically a clingy ex, just like Yu Ri.
“A clingy ex who talks about revenge or lingering love. She just wants to see her ex regret it and cry. To fix her self-esteem that had hit rock bottom, even though she knows how pathetic and low that is.”
The silver linings in all of this, are that, 1, I do like the idea that Bo Ra is finding herself caring about Soo Hyuk more and more, and 2, I actually find myself really liking how Soo Hyuk’s conducting himself, this episode.
I’m glad that Soo Hyuk does show up to the pre-wedding shoot like he’d promised, and then does such a great job being Bo Ra’s +1.
The thing that strikes me about this whole thing, is, it seems like Soo Hyuk’s just being his genuine self, rather than doing the method acting that he talks about.
To me, it feels like he’s using this opportunity to show his true feelings for Bo Ra, with a convenient cover, that this is all just cosplay.
I especially like the moment where he tells Bo Ra’s friends that he likes her a lot, and that he’d first run into her at a wedding, several years ago.
Show later confirms that this is true, but I have to say that even here, while Soo Hyuk’s relating the story, I already believed him – because I just have this gut feeling that everything that he says about liking Bo Ra, isn’t an act at all.
Acting as Bo Ra’s +1, and getting deep into character via his method acting, is just an excuse to be honest about his feelings for Bo Ra, I’m thinking. 😁
I really liked Soo Hyuk and Bo Ra’s conversation in the car, after the get-together.
It feels friendly and intimate, like they’re being honest with each other, and feel comfortable about doing that.
I like that Bo Ra apologizes for how she’d acted earlier, and explains that she hadn’t wanted him to go, and I like that Soo Hyuk tells her that he knows that it’s because she’d been worried about him.
I also like that Bo Ra explains why she’d wanted to attend the pre-wedding shoot; that it hadn’t been because of Ju Wan, but because she didn’t want to give up her friends on his account.
That feels really relatable, actually, because it’s so true, that after a breakup, how you deal with the friend situation is very much a part of the aftermath.
E11. I like that Bo Ra and Soo Hyuk seem to be gravitating towards a couple-like dynamic now, even though they are technically not dating.
I mean, the way Soo Hyuk leaves the office to go after Bo Ra, so that he can ask her to go see a movie with him, is quite boyfriend-like behavior, isn’t it?
It’s just that he’s making up an excuse, that he hasn’t seen the movie that she’d talked about, and so it’s important for him to see it.
Part of me hopes that Bo Ra would know that this is just an excuse, but I actually think that most people in Bo Ra’s position would hold back from making that kind of romantic conclusion, because they wouldn’t want to be getting ahead of themselves, particularly if the cover story makes any kind of sense.
As we close out the episode and Soo Hyuk leans in, looking as if he’s about to kiss Bo Ra, I called fakeout, because I’m pretty sure Show is just toying with us, at this point.
E12. ..And I was right, it WAS a fakeout. HA. 😏
Basically, much of our episode is about Bo Ra and Soo Hyuk relating in that undefined space where they’re technically friends, but in effect, they are more than friends, and neither of them is feeling confident about bringing it out into the open and talking about it.
And so, we have them dipping their toes into couple-like spaces, and then back away from them, almost like they’re testing the waters with little toe dips, but afraid to actually get into the water for real – if we’re extending the metaphor.
Also, there’s the thing where Bo Ra’s convinced herself that Soo Hyuk’s just acting out his boyfriend role that he’d taken on for the pre-wedding shoot event, and therefore keeps reminding herself not to be taken in by his melo gaze – because it’s not real (or so she thinks).
It’s amusing for a bit, and I do like seeing this almost-couple sort of dynamic at play between Soo Hyuk and Bo Ra, so I’m pretty happy to roll with it for now – as long as Show doesn’t drag it out for too long, coz I’d like Soo Hyuk and Bo Ra to actually start dating for real, and soon, since we’re already in the final stretch of our story.
I do love the little scene of Bo Ra getting to meet Soo Hyuk’s mom and stepfather, because it’s really quite lovely, how quickly Mom takes to Bo Ra, and starts trying to make plans to have Bo Ra over for a meal. 😁
And, I like even more, that this leads to a candid and open conversation between Soo Hyuk and Bo Ra, about their family backgrounds. This makes it feel like they’re definitely growing closer, which is a very good thing in my books. 🥰
E12. I like that Bo Ra and Soo Hyuk end up hanging out together for the rest of the day, instead of parting ways after the wedding.
Not wanting to go home is definitely a sign that you like each other, and Soo Hyuk even says out loud, that he doesn’t feel like going home, for some reason. It it too soon to squee?
I do really like that amid the sillier things like Soo Hyuk taking pictures of Bo Ra and disagreeing with her on which is her prettier side, we also get honest, candid conversation, like when Bo Ra admits that she’s not confident of doing the radio show again.
The way Soo Hyuk encourages her, that she’s prettier than she thinks she is, and that people might like Bo Ra more than they liked Deborah, is so nice as well; it’s clearly coming from a place of care and affection.
Like, he can only say that, because he likes Bo Ra more than Deborah, right?
I like that Bo Ra comes right out and asks Soo Hyuk why he keeps seducing her, and I like that he asks her if it’d work, if he did, but I’m a little bummed that they cut off the conversation there and leave it unanswered, because it feels like they’re thisclose to coming out and admitting that they like each other.
I do love the detail, that when they get up from their seat in the park, we see that Bo Ra’s actually wearing Soo Hyuk’s shoes and coat, to allow her to be more comfortable.
Ahhh. That’s quite cute, honestly, and the way they gently bicker back and forth about who’s taller, is really so easygoing and adorable. 🥰
I’m pretty stoked that back home, Bo Ra stumbles on that photo of Soo Hyuk and her, at the wedding, just like he’d described in his story about how they’d first met.
Chansung as Ju Wan
I personally had a good laugh over Chansung playing Ju Wan, Bo Ra’s cheating chaebol boyfriend.
With the way Chansung’s obviously hamming it up, whether in scenes when Ju Wan’s being overbearing, or in Bo Ra’s happy flights of fancy, of them living the happiest life together, I can’t help but be tickled through pretty much all of it. 😁
On top of this, I found Chansung’s reaction faces pretty great, in all their OTT theatrical glory.
Every time Ju Wan made a weird face in response to seeing Bo Ra with Soo Hyuk, I couldn’t help giggling. 😁
I wanted Ju Wan to stay in this bug-eyed jealous space on the sidelines, for a bit of bonus entertainment, but unfortunately, Show brings Ju Wan back to the forefront in our final stretch, which wasn’t my favorite thing.
I still thought Chansung was a good sport, for leaning so hard into making Ju Wan so OTT losery. 😁
Kim Ji An as Yu Ri
In comparison to Ju Wan simplistic characterization, I found Yu Ri a little more complex.
I found her rather interesting, even though I didn’t always find her likable.
I thought the way she broke up with Soo Hyuk was very dignified and graceful, but, uh, let’s just say that things turn out to be more complicated than I’d first thought.
Again, interesting to unpack, even though I found myself reconsidering my earlier conclusions about Yu Ri.
E10. The Big Thing, this episode, is Yu Ri coming back into the picture, first with her wedding invitation, and then with her tearful phone call to Soo Hyuk, asking to see him.
Based on everything that we’ve been shown this episode, I conclude that Yu Ri hadn’t really cared about the other guy (whom she’s set to marry).
After all, in her letter to Bo Ra, she’d only asked about Soo Hyuk, and hadn’t even mentioned the fact that there was another guy in the picture.
This means that, even as she’s getting ready to marry the other guy, her heart’s always been with Soo Hyuk, and so, now that she’s literally on the cusp of her wedding, she’s likely having second thoughts, and grabbing at the faint hope that maybe Soo Hyuk really does love her – and maybe she can be with him, after all, because she’s always loved only him, anyway.
And so, I do think that the things that she tells Bo Ra, about wanting him to pine for her, is her lashing out, out of the hurt and rejection that she feels, from him never overtly confirming his love for her.
E11. I wasn’t sure what to expect from Soo Hyuk’s meeting with Yu Ri, but I came away from that scene really appreciating Soo Hyuk being so grounded, gentle, and honest, while being so cognizant of where his heart is.
I’d originally been quite perplexed at why he hadn’t even attempted to tell Yu Ri that he really did love her, when she’d started breaking up with him.
But now, we hear his explanation; that he’d simply realized that that’s as far as his heart would go, for Yu Ri. He did love her, but not enough to actually give her that ring, and commit to marrying her.
That makes me feel better, because at least this way, we know that Soo Hyuk had been true to himself, even as he’d allowed the breakup to happen without trying to change Yu Ri’s mind.
Instead of being too shocked to react to Yu Ri’s initiation of the breakup, he’d made a choice that was in line with his heart, and that just sits a lot better with me.
And while I am guessing that some viewers would feel that it’s unfair that Yu Ri essentially gets away with dating two guys at once, while each guy had believed their relationship to be exclusive, I find that I don’t mind it too much, when I think of it as Soo Hyuk showing her grace.
He didn’t have to cover for her, but he chose to, in what I see as an act of kindness, to give her a chance to have the happiness that she’d wanted with him, but which he couldn’t give.
Now, it’s up to Yu Ri to do well by her new husband.
Park So Jin as Yu Jeong
I like Park So Jin as an actress, but I have to confess that I didn’t really enjoy her character Yu Jeong, who is supposed to be Bo Ra’s bestie.
Essentially, I’ve concluded that Yu Jeong isn’t a very good friend, and that feels like a rather big offense, given that one of her key reasons for existing within our story, is to be Bo Ra’s friend.
Of course, there’s more to Yu Jeong than her friendship with Bo Ra, which is why I’ve got a section after this, delving into her relationship with her husband Jin Woo (Lee Sang Woon).
But for now, here’s why I don’t think Yu Jeong’s a very good friend.
E4. In the fallout after Bo Ra’s Big Incident, I find myself feeling rather surprised at the way Yu Jeong indicates to her colleagues that no, she and Bo Ra aren’t really that close, actually, and that’s why she has no idea what’s going on with her.
I’m telling myself that Yu Jeong’s probably trying to be evasive so as to protect Bo Ra’s privacy, but there’s also a part of me that winces at how Yu Jeong kinda “disowns” her friendship with Bo Ra, in a manner of speaking.
Like, isn’t there any other way she could’ve maintained Bo Ra’s privacy, while remaining professional, without lying about the state of their friendship?
E7. One of the biggest things that’s starting to niggle at me, is the characterization of Yu Jeong.
It’s actually been low-key bothering me for a while, that Yu Jeong doesn’t seem to be that good of a friend, to Bo Ra. Like the way Yu Jeong was quick to deny the depth of her friendship with Bo Ra, when Bo Ra had her drunken debacle.
This episode, one of the things that bugged is how Yu Jeong laughs as Bo Ra, when Bo Ra tells her about The Incident.
It’s not the fact that she laughs per se that bothers me; it’s the way that she laughs.
Basically, I can buy the idea that a bestie might laugh at you when you tell her about your mortifying experience, but said bestie – being your bestie and all – would have affection and concern threaded through her laugh.
The thing about Yu Jeong, is, she seems very quick to distance herself from Bo Ra’s troubles. Like the way she denied being close to Bo Ra, and in the way she laughs at Bo Ra, and indicates that Bo Ra’s pretty much on her own.
It makes me wonder if she even thinks of Bo Ra as her bestie, y’know?
Yu Jeong and Jin Woo
In principle, I like the idea of Show including a married couple in the mix, in order to explore the challenges that a couple in a long-term relationship might face.
And, like I’ve outlined in my earlier section on the stuff that Show manages to keep raw and real, sometimes, the experiences of this couple really did provoke a nice amount of thought.
That said, I don’t think that Show handles this arc all that well, because it feels like things kinda go sideways towards the end, and things seem to get worse instead of better.
And then magically, things get better, when we get to the finale, but it all feels too sudden to land anywhere near as raw and real, as some of this arc’s earlier beats.
Additionally, you might have guessed this already, from reading my section on Yu Jeong as a character, but some of her behavior towards Jin Woo, also gave me pause.
E7. Yu Jeong’s bag obsession goes to pretty disturbing lengths.
The key thing that I didn’t like about how she goes about getting that bag, is that she sets it up such that it becomes a test that Jin Woo is sure to fail – thus giving her the license to buy that bag for herself, because Jin Woo feels bad for not remembering a random date that she probably made up.
That’s.. a horrible way to treat Jin Woo; to set him up for failure, and then guilt trip him into feeling ok about her spending money on that bag.
If she makes a habit of treating Jin Woo like this, then it becomes easier to understand why Jin Woo might be emotionally distancing himself from her. In his experience, she’s less a person to love, and more a representation of a test that he needs to pass – or suffer for it. Eep.
That does not sound like a fun way to live at all – and yet, I do think that this is true of at least some marriages, unfortunately.
Show does sometimes have a nice way of reflecting – or reflecting on – real life, I must say.
E8. This episode, I found myself getting quite upset with Yu Jeong – but then, on hindsight, I do think that I’ve found a different way of looking at things.
Last episode, I’d already been quite annoyed with Yu Jeong, for the way she’d engineered that bag purchase.
This episode, the way she ignores everything and everyone, and makes everything about her and her bag, really rubbed me the wrong way. To my eyes, she looked all kinds of self-centered and inconsiderate and just downright rude.
On hindsight though, and with further thought, I’ve come to the realization that beyond her obsession with the bag itself, Yu Jeong actually seems more obsessed with creating this narrative for people, that Jin Woo dotes on her and pampers her with things like the bag purchase, even though she doesn’t expect it.
That’s when it all clicked into place in my head.
Like, Ohhh. This is really about her insecurity in her marriage relationship.
Her reality is that Jin Woo is emotionally distant, and plays along with her, just to keep up the status quo.
But in her heart, what she really wants, is for Jin Woo to dote on her and demonstrate his love for her. And if she can’t live that reality, at least she wants to create that illusion for other people around her, so that they think that she’s living this alternate reality.
..And that makes me feel sorry for her, because I’m guessing that deep down, she must be feeling quite pathetic, to have to resort to this.
That doesn’t meant that she isn’t still annoying though, coz she is; but at least now, I feel like I can understand where this is coming from.
E9. In terms of Yu Jeong and the reservation system that she and Jin Woo have, I know that Show plays it for comedy, but I do still find this in the poignantly relatable space, because I’ve heard that lots of couples have to schedule in time for intimacy – or it doesn’t happen at all.
And so, Yu Jeong struggling to make it work, does have a note of poignancy about it.
I wasn’t so into the comedy of errors related to it, but.. it’s the thought that counts? Sort of?
The key thing in this whole thing, seems to be that Jin Woo lied about going to meet Young Hoon, when he’d actually gone to see Ju Wan.
I can see why Yu Jeong would be upset with the lie, but I can also see why Jin Woo might choose to lie.
I do think that Yu Jeong would have been upset, if Jin Woo had told her that he was going to meet Ju Wan, since Yu Jeong would expect him to cut off Ju Wan, because of how Ju Wan had treated Bo Ra.
And so, to avoid all of that potential drama, Jin Woo lies, so that he can so see Ju Wan without a big fight.
Unfortunately, that’s not a great way of dealing with things either, because of course that messes with the trust between him and Yu Jeong, once Yu Jeong discovers the lie.
E10. It’s a little clichéd that Jin Woo misunderstands that Sang Jin’s flirting with her, and thrashes about in a roaring misunderstanding, but it is kind of rueful-cute, that at the heart of it all, he does care about Yu Jeong, despite the emotional distance that’s grown between them.
E11. It’s kind of sad how Yu Jeong doesn’t even seem that upset anymore, when she asks Jin Woo why they’ve stopped having sexytimes. It’s like she’s given up hope of it ever changing, and is resigned to a sexless marriage.
Jin Woo’s answer to her question does hit the nail on the head, I think; that there’s always tomorrow.
I’m guessing that this hits true for a good number of married couples; life is so hectic that intimacy becomes something they keep putting off for another day – and that’s why it ends up never happening.
It’s unfortunately true, that for a lot of men, relationships are all about the thrill of the chase. And you don’t have to chase a wife who’s at home with you, right?
E12. I had mixed feelings about Yu Jeong finally getting her sexytimes, because Jin Woo was clearly using it as a means to divert her attention from the crash in the man-cave, that Jin Ho makes.
It feels.. like Yu Jeong had wanted something precious, and Jin Woo had given her a cheap knockoff instead, to placate her – if that analogy makes sense?
Bo Mi and Jin Ho
Because I found myself liking Bo Mi as a character, I found myself also quite interested in the potential loveline that Show pushes, between her and soldier dude Jin Ho.
And, for a pretty solid stretch, I did find this loveline pretty low-key entertaining and amusing.
Unfortunately, I found myself losing interest in this loveline, the deeper we got into our story, and my lowered levels of interest didn’t change, all the way to the end.
E8. This episode, I liked seeing Bo Mi slowly warm towards Jin Ho, because of his sincerity towards her, like how he defends her so earnestly, when Yu Jeong and Bo Ra speak disdainfully of his destiny girl, without realizing that they’re talking about Bo Mi.
The other part of it, is the solidarity she starts to feel with him, when she finds out that he’d been scammed too, not unlike how she’d been scammed.
And, even though Jin Ho’s a little aggressive in his earnest puppy way, I do appreciate that he is pretty consistent when it comes to asking Bo Mi’s consent or permission, like when he asks if it’s ok that they keep in touch, and then later, when he asks if it’s ok to hold her hand.
That’s quite nice, yes?
I felt bad for him that he gets misled into putting on that big show for Bo Mi, which she runs away from, but I’m glad his sincerity comes through to Bo Mi, and it’s nice that Bo Mi comes back, specifically to save him. 😁
E11. I find that I’m losing interest in Jin Ho and Bo Mi’s relationship; maybe Jin Ho’s brand of eager puppy is just too strong for me? 😅
Also, I know it’s meant for funnies, but I honestly didn’t like the idea of Bo Mi instigating Jin Ho to lie to Jin Woo, that Yu Jeong’s suspicious, and that’s why he shouldn’t go to their man-cave for the time being, when really, Bo Mi wants the space for them to hang out as a couple.
It feels.. deceitful and manipulative, somehow, even though I know it’s supposed to be funny?
E12. I’m also not sure how I feel about Bo Mi basically using that stern tone with Jin Ho – to get him to sleep with her?
Just.. is that romantic, really? 🧐
Joo Sang Wook as Sang Jin
I think Joo Sang Wook is just really good in this kind of affable, dorky sort of space, and I would love for him to headline another drama, playing a similar kind of dork, like he did in Cunning Single Lady (review is here!).
But, it’s was still pretty great to see him be the well-meaning but rather clumsy-dorky CEO of the publishing house.
I thought it was a nice touch that Show took some time to explore the real reason behind his divorce with Su Jin (Song Min Ji), but I also think that Show maybe took his arc into unnecessary territory, with the addition of the loveline.
I wanted for these two to sort things out between them and clear up the misunderstanding, because this essentially frees the both of them, to move on in their lives.
I don’t think that Sang Jin necessarily needs to have a romance with Uri (Hong Hwa Yeon) as a result of this, but Show pushes it anyway, and I have to confess that the whole thing gives me “Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise” vibes, because of how starry-eyed Uri is, around Sang Jin.
I think I would find the loveline easier to get behind, if Sang Jin and Uri were shown to really connect as two individuals, but instead, all we get is Uri being all fangirly around Sang Jin, while Sang Jin allows himself to go on dates with her.
It just.. doesn’t strike me as healthy dynamic, y’know?
Bo Ra and Bo Mi
One of the relationships that I found myself surprisingly most interested in, is the relationship between Bo Ra and her younger sister, Bo Mi.
The vibe between them is so much like real siblings. When they are upset with each other, there’s lots of yelling, stamping, threatening and slamming of feet &/or doors, but they are also quick to calm down and show care for each other, too.
I’d have liked for Show to explore this dynamic more, instead of some of the secondary lovelines that we get, but unfortunately, Show mostly keeps this sisterhood as a rather secondary sort of arc.
E2. I love the scene where Bo Ra gets all upset with Bo Mi for wearing and ruining her dress, because once Bo Mi understands that all Bo Ra wants is to look extra nice for an important day, Bo Mi knows exactly which dress will complement Bo Ra’s skin tone the best, and becomes Bo Ra’s instant fashion consultant.
It’s very endearing.
The whole love-hate thing is so relatable, between siblings, and I really like how it pops in a way that makes me believe that these two are real sisters, who’ve lived their lives being annoyed with each other, and yet, can’t help but care for each other. 😁
And then, how about when Bo Mi comes home from the club, wayyy past her curfew, and Bo Ra gets suitably upset – but immediately drops the disciplinarian persona, when Bo Mi cries that her feet hurt, and asks to see Bo Mi’s feet, so that she can help her. Aww.
SPOTLIGHT ON THE PENULTIMATE EPISODE [SPOILERS]
Yes, this was not a great episode, but y’know, after the infamy of episode 9, I feel like episode 13 wasn’t that bad?
It wasn’t good either, to be clear. It just felt like Show was looking for a way to kill time, before our OTP was allowed to be together.
I don’t prefer that, certainly, and I would have much, MUCH (MUCHHH!!!) preferred, if we’d gotten our OTP together, and then had more time to explore their relationship, and see them being happy together, but that’s just me. Clearly, Show didn’t feel the same way.
And so, we have all these crossed signals and misunderstandings cropping up, right at a point in time when Soo Hyuk and Bo Ra just starting to be clearer about their feelings for each other, boo.
Seriously, all the obstacles that crop up in episode 13 could’ve been easily solved, if either Bo Ra or Soo Hyuk had just spoken up candidly, about how they really felt about each other.
Yes, it’s shameless of Ju Wan to start courting Bo Ra again, and acting like he calls the shots in her life, when he should’ve been all sorts of contrite in approaching her all, but that’s exactly the kind of character Ju Wan is, so I’m not actually surprised or anything.
I’m just rather disappointed that, given how far Bo Ra and Soo Hyuk have come, neither of them actually comes out and says, “Yes, I like her,” or “Yes, I like him,” when that would’ve put Ju Wan in his place.
Again, it’s that thing where Show has Bo Ra doing things, but not doing anything specifically useful to the situation, similar to when Yu Jeong and Bo Mi had walked in on Bo Ra’s video call with Soo Hyuk, earlier in our story.
Also, Bo Ra’s explanation about momentum pushing her towards Ju Wan, doesn’t really make sense to me.
Is she saying that she’s used to being pushed around by him, perhaps, and that’s why she went along with him in his car, even though she didn’t actually want to?
That said, although I was bummed that Soo Hyuk let Ju Wan talk him into keeping more of a distance from Bo Ra, I do think that contextually, this is easier to buy.
Firstly, Soo Hyuk and Bo Ra are officially platonic, and therefore, even though their behavior might have indicated otherwise, neither of them has admitted that they like the other person.
Secondly, Soo Hyuk has been shown to have some commitment issues, so given that he doesn’t even know if Bo Ra really likes him back, it’s not hard to buy that he might have more difficult than most, in putting his feelings out there.
Thirdly, Ju Wan actually makes a rather persuasive case, that if Bo Ra were to marry Ju Wan, she would likely feel bad about ever having wavered in Soo Hyuk’s direction. I would buy that Soo Hyuk wouldn’t want her to feel bad on his account.
This episode, Yu Jeong finally finds out about Jin Woo’s man-cave, and while it’s kind of played for comedy, that moment, towards the end of their conversation, when Yu Jeong talks with Jin Woo and questions whether it’s meaningful to live her whole life like this, was quite poignant.
The fact that Yu Jeong’s not even angry anymore, and just.. wistful and kind of sad, is quite heart-tugging.
On another note, Bo Mi’s pregnancy feels rather.. staged?
What I mean is, it feels like Show had in mind for Bo Mi to be pregnant by the end of our story, and that’s why we’d had that scene of her intimidating Jin Ho to sleep with her.
Meaning to say, I feel rather indifferent about Bo Mi’s pregnancy.
As we close out the episode, I’m sighing that Bo Ra and Soo Hyuk are still talking in circles around each other, and by this point, I’m so ready to roll right on to our finale, if only to make this hamster wheel of misunderstanding finally go away. 😅
THOUGHTS ON THE ENDING [SPOILERS]
I’d had no doubt that Show would give us a happy ending, because, well, this is a rom-com, after all, and a happy ending is basically a prerequisite.
(In my opinion, if a Show says it’s a rom-com but doesn’t give you a happy ending, then you’ve basically been catfished.)
The thing is, Show really seems to have decided that Soo Hyuk and Bo Ra can only get together in our final minutes, and then proceeds to drag things out as much as possible, just to get us to those final minutes, y’know?
When Soo Hyuk gets all drunk and then drunk-dials Bo Ra, and then drunkenly keeps emphasizing that he doesn’t want Bo Ra to get back together with Ju Wan, I thought that we were finally at a point where our OTP would be able to get their feelings out in the open.
But no. Show just had to drag that out a leeettle more, just coz it could, and have Soo Hyuk pretend not to remember anything, when he does actually remember
And then, I thought that with Bo Ra coming out and telling Soo Hyuk that she does, in fact, like him very much, we were definitely there, at THE point when our OTP would finally acknowledge their mutual feelings, and finally, finally be together.
BUT NO. Show just HAD to drag it out even more, with Soo Hyuk just letting Bo Ra walk away without attempting to stop her, and tell her how he feels.
As we deeper into the finale, it becomes clear to me, that all this is basically in service of Show wanting Bo Ra’s draft to act as a love confession to Soo Hyuk, which, okayy, I like the idea of, but.. did we really have to get here the frustrating way we did? 😅
But, it’s also at this point during the finale, that it all started coming together in my head, that Show basically has a Main Idea that it would like to bring across, and everything else is in service of that, never mind how cohesive it is to the story, or how satisfying (or not) it is to the viewer.
That idea is, that everyone deserves to be loved as they are. And, I do honestly love that idea.
Then I realized that this is why our characters are the way they are.
They’re frustrating and they do things that don’t make sense sometimes, but they still deserve to be loved.
This is likely why nobody makes any drastic changes, by the time we get to the finish line.
Some important tweaks in perspective and habits might be made, but otherwise, our characters remain who they are – and they still deserve to be loved.
The only exception to this, is Ju Wan, who turns out to be wooing Bo Ra, while still dating the girl whom Bo Ra had caught him kissing, pfft.
I rationalize that the reason Ju Wan is positioned as an exception to the rule (that everyone deserves to be loved), is because he was never treated as a full character to begin with.
He was always there more as a caricature, for plot and humor purposes, and he sits in that space, all the way to the end, while everyone else gets their happy endings.
I have to confess that all the various happy endings felt a little stagey to me, like our characters were more or less just cosplaying for the camera, BUT, I like the central idea – that we all deserve to be loved, as we are – so much, that I’m still getting pleasant happy feels.
Adding to those pleasant feel-good vibes, is Bo Ra’s closing voiceover:
“Just like anyone who is in love, we also shared this common belief. That we will reach a perfect happy ending like, “And they lived happily ever after.” Like we come to believe again that Santa may be real.
But our love is neither a perfect happy ending nor a sad ending. It’s an open ending.
There’s no such thing as a strategy for love that never fails. Promises will be broken, love will change in the course of time. Some may say, “After making all that fuss, you guys ended up splitting up,” when our relationship ends at some unknown point.
Still, we will not regret that. Like we live though we know we’ll die someday, and like we buy flowers though we know they’ll wilt, like we sadly say goodbye though we’ll see each other again tomorrow, like we make promises that we can’t keep sometimes, like we buy stuff that is useless, we are true to love every possible moment from the bottom of our heart.
We are true to love.”
Again, a very nice sentiment, that even when tomorrow isn’t guaranteed, and even though there is no perfection in any of us, there is joy and meaning in living in the moment, and loving in the moment.
I do like that a lot.
And, it occurs to me that on a macro level, perhaps Show is saying that it isn’t perfect either, but still deserves to be loved?
Lol. It would be one big joke, wouldn’t it, if Show has been frustrating on purpose, just to mirror the way it’s made Bo Ra frustrating, on quite a few occasions – in order to emphasize its key point, that we all deserve to be loved as we are..? 😆
I.. doubt that that’s what Show was doing, though. And I think I’d likely be giving Show too much credit, that it would be bad on purpose, to make a point. I think when Show was bad, it was just bad. 😅
But, all in all, I don’t feel that I regret spending these drama hours. While Show could’ve been better in so many ways, it really was quite lovely, in its good moments, and I genuinely appreciate its central message, which serves as a great reminder to us all:
We deserve to be loved, as we are. ❤️
THE FINAL VERDICT:
Uneven and sometimes frustrating, but well-meaning and positive, at its core.
FINAL GRADE: B-
The next drama I’ll be covering on Patreon, in place of True To Love, is Dr. Romantic 3. I’ve taken an initial look at Dr. Romantic 3 and I’m happy to say that I’m loving it right away. 🤩
You can check out my E1 & 2 notes on Dr. Romantic 3 on Patreon here.
Here’s an overview of what I’m covering on Patreon right now (Tier benefits are cumulative)!
Foundation Tier (US$1): Entertainment tidbits + the first set notes of all shows covered on Patreon (that’s 2 episodes for kdramas and 4 episodes for cdramas)
Early Access (US$5): Dr. Romantic 3 [Korea]
Early Access Plus (US$10): +My Perfect Stranger [Korea]
VIP (US$15): +Nothing But You [China]
VVIP (US$20): +Oh No! Here Comes Trouble [Taiwan]
Ultimate (US$25): +Doctor Cha [Korea]