Ordinarily, I’d be the first to agree with the age-old saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover” – or, as the case may be, “Don’t judge a drama by its promos.”
After all, sometimes, the watch experience of a show really doesn’t jive with its promo material. Some shows have uninteresting promo material but turn out to be excellent watches (I mean, just think about the old-fashioned, ugly poster that belongs to the fantastic Healer), while other shows have amazing promos but turn out to be duds in the watching (Joseon Gunman comes to mind, among many others).
In this instance, though, I really should’ve paid (much more) heed to this show’s low-rent bad wigs and cheesy posters. On hindsight, I think they were trying to warn me that this show wouldn’t be worth spending hours of my life on, and – silly, foolish me – I didn’t listen. Which is how I ended up wasting 13 hours of my life trying to make the best of this show, before I realized that Show’s best really, really wasn’t doing it for me.
Despite its flaws and indulgent streaks, Answer Me 1994 is a lovely little show that’s peopled by likable, bubbly characters that not only feel real, but also feel like they’re real friends with one another.
The characters and their relationships are the shining jewels crowning this show, and together, they shine so brightly that it’s not hard to overlook the occasional uneven writing, the consistently bloated episodes and the dreaded Who’s The Hubs game that Show inherited from its predecessor Answer Me 1997.
A quirky confection that is as sweet as it is strange, It’s Okay serves up an oddball-flavored 3-in-1 love package exploring romance, friendship and family, with a big dose of dysfunction and dramaland psychiatry on the side.
Show is not always big on the logic nor on the medical accuracy, but its characters and relationships are consistently delivered with heart and nuance, helping us to buy into and believe in its world, no matter how surreal things sometimes get. Excellent performances by our leads as well as many of the secondary characters, together with some very sparky OTP chemistry, help to sweeten the deal.
At its heart, It’s Okay’s charm is that it’s an imperfect show peopled by imperfect characters, to appeal to an imperfect audience.
One of the original trendies that helped to start it all, Feelings is as much of a nostalgic treat for seasoned viewers, as it is a novel peek into Hallyu’s beginnings for newer viewers.
An easy breezy story with a timeless appeal, Feelings follows a group of young people as they navigate the journey to adulthood, wrestling with classic questions of evolving identity and purpose. Of course, youthful impulsiveness, angst & good ol’ hormones intensify and amplify their emotions to a distracting degree. Because honestly, at that age, isn’t it really all about feeeelings?
The show’s 20-year vintage shows; the drama’s production values, writing and acting all veer on the side of earnest and a little clumsy. But the retro awesome, from early 90s hair and fashion, to the novelty of seeing established stars in their early years, makes up for it all.
A drama that positions itself as a breezy rom-com, but that also happens to have birth secrets and corporate politics hidden up its deceptively fluffy sleeves.
Because of plot pacing that jerks between campy comedy and more melodramatic arcs, watching this drama can be a very uneven experience at times. Still, if you’d care to peel away this show’s flaws – layers made up of sudden melodramatic dips, lots of yelling and screeching by two-dimensional secondary characters, and more overacting than I’d care to mention – there might be just enough cute and just enough heart to keep you hanging in there.
Plus, there’s quite a lot of Kim Kang Woo pretty on display. Depending on where you’re coming from, that could potentially count for a lot.