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First Impressions


Oohlala Couple

The drama sets up its characters in the beginning episodes, and gets to the main conflict right off the bat. Shin Hyun-joon's Go Soo-nam is a double-faced, chauvinistic pig who deserves a good smack-down, and Kim Jung-eun's Na Yeo-ok is the passive-aggressive housewife who should go see a psychiatrist. Neither character is perfect, though all sympathies go to the wife, and both are equally boring and unappealing. However, it's Byun Hee-bong's fate rendering old man that remains the glue for the show. He is the old man version of cupid that everyone can see and who "tsk tsk" at the foolishness of humans, but with all his bizarre and unrealistic traits, he is oddly relatable and the most enjoyable character of the bunch. Though he hardly had any screen time, Byun Hee-bong's character is like a personified version of the audience that brings in this sense of whimsy and dramatic irony. The way he shakes his head and grumbles at the idiocy of everything brings the funny to the show.

Along those lines, the past lives of the two leads appeal more than the present ones which is probably suppose to be the case. It's this combination of (better) past lives and a surly cupid that brings reason to this drama in an ironic twist. It's the fantasy element that roots this show in something tangible and gives the audience an explanation of why events are unfolding as such. The danger, and hopefully what the drama will deal with, is the issue of putting these two lovers back together in present time not because their past selves promised to be reincarnated as husband and wife but because their current selves have realized that they love and appreciate each other and should remain as a couple.

There is still a lot more episodes to air, and since the real body-swapped hijinks are going to start now, I'm hoping the show remains cheery and playful. The drama may not be offering something new, but I do hope it does not just become another recycled good of old, rehashed tropes.

Overall verdict: I'll continue watching since episode two was much better than episode one. Maybe, just maybe, they'll get it right this time.

Here's their teaser:

Here's their highlight reel which is basically a better-than-the-original recap of the first two episodes and then some, therefore SUPER SPOILERY:


My Love, Madame Butterfly

This show is funny. Unintentionally.
I've laughed out loud multiple times in inappropriate places or during scenes where, if I watched with a sane person, he/she would have stared at me as if I were a loon and shaken his/her head in bewilderment.

One of the main reasons for the unintentional comedy arose while watching episode one. The scene changed, and all of a sudden, I was thrust into another drama. It took me a second to fully understand what was going on, and it took even longer to understand that I was watching the same show. What started off as a up-beat comedy about a talentless actress with an unrefined personality switched to a mellow family drama about three generations living under one roof and running a family restaurant. The change was so jarring, it felt like two dramas were squished into one because the writer wanted both plots and couldn't decide which to chuck out the window, therefore, the writer smashed them together almost as if creating a parody.

Episode two did not fare better in this regard. The tone remains haphazard, and this show has more mood swings than a pubescent teen with acne problems. It will try to be comical one moment and then dramatic another, but the real problem the drama faces stems from the fact that it cannot really capture any theme or mood at all. Maybe it tries too hard to be everything at once, or maybe it just does not try hard enough to be successful in any area.

On top of that, the cliches are on full blast. (WARNING: this paragraph contains "spoilers")
The framework for a love triangle, a trapezoid would be a more apt shape, has been laid out. The revenge plot is spewing and brewing. All the characters have been connected with the string of fate. The rich grandson has to save the company while at odds with other family member(s). People are mad at the heroine. Some poor, unfortunate, hardworking soul has had a horrible thing happen to him/her. There isn't just one complicated family history, but three, possibly even four in the making.
Woo! I don't even think I got them all.

However, the worst part is that despite all the intrigue that surrounds the characters, I do not feel surprised or anxious about what the future might hold. Everything feels done, overused, and obvious. In retrospect, the plot was fast and things occurred quickly, but it almost felt lagging since the next plot point was glaringly self-evident; it created this feeling of boredom despite the quick pace. This then creates another paradoxical issue because the show was too fast. There was not enough time to really connect with any character and everything is drawn with broad strokes. Of course, the drama still has forty-eight episodes left to flesh out its characters, but the first two really dealt with plot movement and how certain events have shaped and revealed the characters' personalities.

The show quickly introduces the audience to its protagonist Nam Na-bi aka the alcoholic, bad tempered, uncultured actress. She isn't that horrid a person and actually has a heart, but is still quite the spoiled princess who won't go down without the last laugh. It's still a bit early to judge, but nevertheless, it appears safe to say that Yeom Jung-ah will continue to be serviceable in the role and depending on the material, maybe it will allow her to fully showcase her talents.

Overall, the acting is not bad, though there were a few who made me laugh out loud with their bulging eyes in which I suppose was to signify surprise or an emotion thereof but just made the scene comical. In essence, actors who are good were good, and those who aren't as good weren't as good.

Lastly, Park Yong-woo.
His character Lee Woo-jae is a bit of an enigma. It's hard to currently pinpoint certain things about him but it appears that behind his friendly smile, he's calculating and competitive. There isn't anything spectacular about him yet, except the fact that Park Yong-woo is gorgeous. Like Yeom, the performance is good but hopefully, the script will allow him to do more things in future episodes.

I would be lying if I said I watched this for any other reason than to see Park Yong-woo. This show had not even made a bleep on my radar until his name had been attached, and then I was hook, line, and sinker. It wasn't until five minutes into the first episode that I realized how much I loved and missed him. A corner of his hair was visible on screen, and I audibly squealed. His face hadn't been shown, but I knew that it had to be him. Then they showed his hand and I knew for sure that it was him, and embarrassingly, started to giggle and squeal in joy. I won't even recount how I acted when they finally showed his face and his adorable grin.

Overall verdict: I shall continue watching this drama. The main only reason being Park Yong-woo. I got to see this:

AND I get to see this:

I just hope that this doesn't become another Yellow Boots or whatever that drama is called.
Please, I don't know if I'll be able to survive 50+ hours on another one of those! Plus, it would make me sad to see the lovable Park Yong-woo in something so horrendous. Anyways, maybe I'll be presently surprised; the day is still young! 

Here's the trailer (different from the teaser):


  1. Aww... I'm not sold on Oohlala either way, but Madame Butterfly... I guess it's a fail? Is sexy Park Yong-woo at least making it worthwhile? No?

    Ps. How gaudy and random is the MB poster?

    1. I wouldn't recommend Oohlala either... It has no real plot and is just meandering. In addition, the characters are infuriating and exasperating.

      The posters for MB are super gaudy and look so low-budget! I'm still watching it for Park Yong-woo, and Yeom Jung-ah is good. However, I wouldn't recommend this show. It's all fluff and randomness that comes with almost all 50 episode weekend dramas. (Sorry PYW!)

  2. This is the first Korean drama I've watched and while it's nowhere near as amazeballs as some other dramas out there, something about PYW is just too overpowering to NOT watch. He is just finger lickin' delicious. Were it not for the Internet and site like yours, I would be unable to express my giddiness over this particular actor. :)

    1. Congrats about your first drama. PYW is fantastic, and his Lee Woo-jae is quite the charmer. I'm so glad you can express your giddiness. That was the whole purpose of this particular blog, so it makes me super glad to hear that.
      If you are looking for other drama recommendations, Park Yong-woo was in a drama called Jejoongwon two years ago which is a lovely drama. PYW is simply endearing and loving in that, and the cast and show as a whole are simply beautiful. Happy drama watching!

  3. Thank you so much for the recommendation! Coincidentally I found Jejoongwon today on Hulu and accidentally clicked on the last episode. Oops!! It does look very lovely and the cinematography and scenery are gorgeous. Oh, today I watched "My Scary Girl" which was hilarious. By the way, have you seen "Papa" yet? If so, did you enjoy it?

    1. "My Scary Girl" was funny. Park Yong-woo is a such a dweeb, it's hilarious.

      I have seen "Papa". It's not horrible, but not great, either. I give it a 6/10. It has its sweet moments, but everything just seems underwhelming and slightly forced. It is enjoyable if you have the time to watch and want to see Park Yong-woo, though I'd recommend some of his other movies and shows before this one.

  4. Thanks again :) It is hard to believe he can pull off the role of a dweeb. That must have been a stretch for him, hehe. Well, it was nice talking to you!!! I must also check out some of the other actors on your page. :)


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