When Show is at its best, it’s pretty darn excellent.
We have gorgeous cinematography, lots of dramatic tension between deliciously gray characters, plot twists and turns to keep you on the edge of your seat, and excellent deliveries by our cast, to anchor it all.
When Show isn’t at its best, however, it can be rather perplexing and underwhelming.
Stuff doesn’t feel organic, some threads feel dropped, and sometimes, stuff doesn’t actually make sense.
Overall, I’d say that Show is still more solid than not, and more worthwhile than not. But oh, the could’ve beens.
When I saw that Kang Han Na was starring in this as a vampire, I was immediately intrigued.
I’d loved her (so much!) as a ditzy ex-gumiho in My Roommate is a Gumiho, and this felt like it was in a similar enough space to tap on that same otherworldly fabulosity, while sounding different enough, to not feel like this was more of the same.
The good new is, my estimation wasn’t wrong. Kang Han Na’s role in this is similar-yet-different, when stacked up against her outing in My Roommate is a Gumiho. The not-so-great news is, this little show isn’t quite as fun or interesting as I’d first imagined.
Still, I do think there’s a niche sort of appeal to this, and I hope this quick review will help you figure out whether this one’s for you.
The great thing about My Roommate is a Gumiho, is how fresh it manages to feel, despite it appearing, at first glance, to be like just about any other romcom dotting Dramaland. Yes, there are tropes, but most of the time, they’re there to be turned on their heads.
In particular, I love our female lead, who’s anything but a Candy. She might appear rather goofy on the surface, but she’s gracious and classy, and has such a good head on her shoulders, that it’s hard not to love her.
I feel that Hye Ri and Jang Ki Yong are well-cast and well-directed in this; I enjoyed them both very much, and I feel that their chemistry works really well. As a bonus, Kang Han Na is wonderful in this, as a ditzy ex-gumiho. This is literally my favorite role of Kang Han Na’s, to date.
I found the ending a touch underwhelming, especially when compared to how solidly the rest of the show stacks up, but overall, it’s still a very enjoyable drama that I’d recommend!
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.
You guys might remember that I recently wondered in my review of web drama Mute, how the writer pairing came about.
I was intrigued and rather puzzled at the seemingly random and unusual partnership between Jung Jae Won / One and Kang Han Na, in penning the show, and had invited anyone who might know more, to share more information in the comments.
Huzzah! We now need wonder no longer!
Many thanks to Table122000, who’s enlightened me with the answer. ❤️
So I realize that I haven’t covered a whole lot of shorter dramas, like web dramas and drama specials, on this blog, although I’ve reviewed a number of them in the past.
I’m going to try to remedy that, starting now, because I’m getting the impression that more of you guys are interested in these shorter dramas than I’d originally thought.
Maybe it’s coz you like the occasional palate cleanser between longer dramas; maybe it’s coz the pandemic’s affected your desire to watch full-length dramas; maybe it’s coz you simply don’t have time for a 16-episoder.
Whichever it is, I wanna be here for ya, so you’ll be seeing more of these quick reviews of shorter dramas here on the blog, going forward.
For a start, Mute turned out to be a surprisingly fun little drama interlude, and I’m here to tell you alll about it.
Every once in a while, we all could use a show that reminds us that sometimes it really is worth stepping out of our comfort zones, I think. This season, Designated Survivor: 60 Days is that show, for me.
Personally, I don’t have a strong interest in politics, and therefore, I’ve always thought that political shows wouldn’t be my thing, which is why I didn’t think to check out this show, when it first aired earlier this year.
But, because I recently really enjoyed Son Seok Koo in Be Melodramatic, and also because I do have a soft spot for Ji Jin Hee, I decided to try this one, just to see, and – I’m kinda shocked, actually, by how much I liked it. Talk about a drama tilting your world, eh?
I don’t know about you guys, but I think I have a definite soft spot for do-over stories. I really liked Go Back Spouses, and I really liked this show as well.
To be honest, I think it’s because there are some decisions in my life that I regret making (don’t we all have some of those?), and these decisions have most definitely helped to shape my life into what it is now.
I don’t dwell on it a lot (and for the record, I am happy with my life now, so don’t worry!), but when I pose the question to myself, about what my life might be like now, if I’d made certain different choices back in the day, I get.. intrigued.
What do-over dramas give me, is a chance to vicariously experience a do-over, via our characters. Sure, they’re dealing with different issues and decisions, but it still gives me a taste of what doing things over might be like.
Plus, while characters in these stories inevitably come out the other side better and wiser for their experience, these stories also often emphasize that you don’t need a different life or a different spouse to be happy, and you’re exactly where you need to be. I like that.
Before I started this show, I had the impression that viewers basically fell into one of two camps with this one: they either really really love it, or really hate it.
Well, guess what, you guys.. I fall kinda in-between. What can I say, maybe I’m a little bit special? Or maybe I’m weird; take your pick, heh.
Essentially, watching this one felt to me like I was eating my spinach – at a time when I was learning to like it, but wasn’t quite there yet. Like, I’d have to tell myself to eat it, coz it had good vitamins and minerals.
Kinda the same thing with this show. I often had to decide to start on an episode, because I found that this show often wasn’t easy to watch. But I also knew this one had good things going for it, and that’s why I kept going.
A highly-buzzed, high-profile drama project that boasted strong credentials, a big budget and an even bigger cast, but which ultimately failed to deliver the expected awesome.
Patchy writing, jerky direction & execution, and uneven acting all contribute to Show’s general lack of oomph.
For the tenacious viewer, though, there are small stretches of soapy crack to be had, and quite a lot of pretty to gaze at, for the most part. Lee Jun Ki is mesmerizing and quite wonderful in this, despite his character getting off to a somewhat shaky start.