If you’re on the market for a small, sweet little romance, and you aren’t intimidated by the idea of it being a slow burn, this little drama special is, in my opinion, worth an hour of your time. Ah, this is especially true, if you happen to be a fan of Go Min Si, who is our female lead.
I ended up enjoying this one really nicely, and I hope you guys will like it too.
I’d wanted to check out this movie for several reasons. 1, I’d really enjoyed Nam Joo Hyuk and Han Ji Min together in 2019’s The Light In Your Eyes (which I think is a truly special drama), and welcomed the chance to see them share the screen again. 2, I was intrigued by the fact that our female lead is a woman with a disability, because it’s really not that common for a romance to feature a lead with a disability.
I liked the inclusiveness of the concept, and I was also curious to see how Show would treat this aspect of the story. (Full disclosure: this movie is based on a Japanese short story, which also spawned a Japanese movie. I’m not familiar with either of those works, and this is my first exposure to the story.)
Now that I’ve watched it, I’m gonna hafta say that I don’t think this movie is for everyone. I mean, I don’t even think it’s for me, heh. I just don’t think I managed to connect with this one the way this movie’s fans are able to. Still, I thought I’d write this quick review, so that you can figure out whether this one would work for you? Because those who find themselves on the same wavelength as this show, really do love it a lot.
Sometimes, it does pay to step out of one’s drama comfort zone, after all.
When this show first came out, I’d had no intention of checking it out, because, 1, I’m not into zombies, 2, I’m not much into crime, and the word detective in the title implies there’s crime in this, and 3, I’ve never been a huge Choi Jin Hyuk fan.
HOWEVER. Enough of you spoke of this show enthusiastically – saying that it’s so much wholesome fun – that I just had to give it a look.
I don’t know what it is, but lately, it feels like I’ve had more drama specials set in the 1920s appearing on my radar, than ever before.
First, there was Let Us Meet, and then there was Kang Deoksun’s Love History, and now, we have Modern Girl. The funny thing is, I’ve never thought of myself as being particularly drawn to stories set in this era, and yet, I’ve enjoyed all three of these stories. Maybe I’m discovering something new about myself..? 😅
Shout-out to blablah, for pointing me in the direction of this little drama special. Without her nudge, I might’ve never gotten around to checking this one out – and I did end up enjoying it nicely. Thank you~ ❤️
I did it, you guys. I, the self-proclaimed horror wuss, have finished watching Sweet Home. Achievement unlocked, officially, ha. 🥳
For the record, the reason I decided to try this one out, despite my general aversion to horror, monsters and gore, is because of my recent love for Lee Do Hyun, thanks to the very wonderful 18 Again (go watch it, if you haven’t!). That, plus the fact that everyone who’s seen it, has been saying such good things about it; mainly, that apart from the blood and gore, it’s very meaty, and there’s a lot to unpack with regards to the psychology of our characters. That all sounded pretty compelling to me.
Now that I’ve emerged on the other side, I think it’s safe to say that I don’t think I loved it as much as some of you, but I did enjoy it a lot more than I thought I would. Considering my horror-wussness, I’d count that a win, yes?
A makjang-laced story that leans rather old-school in its storytelling sensibility and melodramatic flair, Lie After Lie works out to be a pretty good time.
When Show is at its best, it’s cracky and delicious, and I felt like I could slurp up all that heightened dramatic tension with a spoon. This is just the kind of underdog story to get my blood pumping, and I was very quickly sucked into rooting for our protagonist Eun Soo. When Show isn’t at its best, however, there are logic lapses, weak plot progression and a resulting loss in dramatic tension. Boo. I was sad when Show wasn’t great, because when it was good, it was really quite excellent.
Show is admittedly stronger in its first three-quarters and weaker in its final stretch, but overall, I’d still call this a solid watch.
I might be at risk of giving the impression that I have A Serious Thing for contract marriage J-dramas here, what with my deep affection for 2016’s We Married As A Job, and general fondness for 2020’s Marry Me!, but when I heard about this short little J-drama and what it was about, I couldn’t resist checking it out.
I.. do have a soft spot for the contract marriage trope, can’t lie. But I rationalize that the premises for the contract marriages in all 3 shows are different and distinct from one another, and therefore I’m not essentially watching the same show done 3 different ways. 😅
At just seven 25-minute episodes, Show is easy and low-risk, and perfect for squeezing into little pockets of time – or marathoning in one sitting, if you prefer.
Designed to be light, easy and feel-good, Show tends to lean more simplistic than I would like, particularly in the areas of business and technology and how that all works. The characters took a while to grow on me, but I did eventually grow fond of almost all of them. At the same time, there are definitely some stand-outs that endeared themselves to me early, like Kim Hae Sook as Gran.
Ultimately, Show manages to be uplifting and aspirational (if you can overcome the over-simplification of everything), and ends up being a reasonably pleasant coming-of-age – or rather, coming-into-your-own – kinda story.
PS: Most viewers have strong feelings about this story’s love triangle, but I didn’t.
With its slow-burn approach to storytelling and its muted, understated sort of vibe, this show is definitely not for everyone.
When Show is at its best, it’s thought-provoking and introspective as it explores people and relationships. When Show is not as its best, it can feel frustrating, and its characters, unlikable and unsympathetic. And because Show is mostly a slow burn, Show is at its best mostly in its later episodes, rather than its earlier ones. Our main characters did grow on me by the end of my watch, but I have to admit that it was our secondary characters that actually grabbed me more, and earlier too.
A little tedious at times, but not without its bright spots.
Don’t let this show’s silly, farcical trappings fool you; this one has so much heart that it simply never runs out of feels. Fatherly love, familial love, romantic love and even platonic love; they all get their day in the sun in this drama world, and the result is a deeply heartwarming watch that I never wanted to end. This show made my heart so, so full, and I happily drowned in all of the feels.
Our cast is very strong, but I do sincerely think that this would’ve been a different show without Lee Do Hyun. He delivers such a heartfelt performance, with such a distinct sense of gravitas, that I am completely blown away. The heart-eyes that I’ve grown for Lee Do Hyun are completely involuntary, and likely permanent. 😍