Kmuse here! Are you ready to dive into the intricate relationship heavy drama, Shall We Kiss First? Was this a hit for me? Did it turn into an angst ball of suck and get dumped after four episodes? Come find out my unfiltered thoughts and see if this is a good fit for you.
Going into this very wary.
I began Shall We Kiss First, sure I was going to dump it after four episodes. Bae Yoo Mi, the scriptwriter, often goes super heavy in the makjang and angst. Both her dramas Twinkle Twinkle and I Have a Lover suffered from over the top makjang and I ended up unsatisfied. The one exception was Scandal…which was still drenched in makjang but managed to keep my interest to the end. Needless to say, I was not thrilled with the choice of screenwriter. Even with all that stacked against it, I am surprised to find I am really enjoying this drama.
Part of the charm of this show is the great chemistry between Kam Woo Sung & Ki Sun Ah. These veteran actors match each other’s acting vibe perfectly and provide the right amount of angst, longing, and humor to make their characters come to life. I find myself feeling sadness at their trauma as well as being amused at their fated random meetups.
I also like the fact that they are portraying older characters who are past their first blush of youth. There is something entertaining about watching these two go through the aging process and making bitter fun at their situation. Which leads us to the next reason to watch.
Romantic realism with a dash of comedy
The fact that this drama shines a darker light on divorce and aging alone in a culture that focuses on the couple is unique. Usually, if divorce and such is referenced in dramas, it is in an offhand way. I can’t count the number of dramas where the leads more or less turn back into flustered virgins who can’t interact with the other sex despite being married and having kids.
That is not this drama, though. Both of the leads and their friends are matter of fact on the emotional and physical needs that come from aging and being in and out of relationships. It provides a refreshing change of view.
Part of what makes this drama work for me is the use of flashbacks during the last few moments of each episode. Rather than dousing us with angst and depression for 5 or 6 episodes, we get tiny snippets of their past trauma at the end of each episode. In those moments we witness how our OTP (One True Pairing) ended up alone. As well as their past connection with each other during the lowest point of their lives.
Fun Sexy Times
I don’t want to ruin all that comes with our OTPs first time together… let’s just say that it was both hilarious and poignant. I will leave you with a photo of our leading man trying to spice up his life and hope it gives you the motivation to watch and chat about this drama with me.
I enjoyed the first 8 episodes. This is not an overly fast-paced drama but I remained interested and eventually invested in what is happening with these characters. I happily binge-watched all the released episodes and am impatiently waiting for new ones. If you like angsty character development and a more mature storyline then this might be a good fit for you. You do have to wait a bit for the emotional payout but I think if you are patient you will be pleasantly surprised with these characters and their realistic love story.
Til next time,
Dramas With a Side of Kimchi