Some of the best romances I’ve ever read have polar opposites who learn to rely on each other, and through the journey you can see how fundamentally, they’re the same at the core. It’s like magnets — they may have opposite poles and repel each other if turned the wrong way, but if they get shaken up enough, eventually they come together. And at their core, despite the polarity, magnets are made of the same thing.
I bet you’re thinking, “Ah, the Maknae found My Love From Another Star magnetic! She couldn’t keep her eyes off of it!” And you would be wrong. I struggled with the romance from the very beginning, and didn’t love it until the end of the last episode. That’s a long time to struggle, my friends. Let’s talk about it, shall we?
Do Min Joo (Kim Soo Hyun) — Do Min Joo’s backstory was fascinating and well-developed, and he played his part in the Joseon era well. He was great with Mr. Jang and when he was being a superhero. I felt like he turned into stone every time he was around Song Yi–perhaps in an attempt to wall himself off–but there was no leeway, no crack in the stone, and it made it hard to connect with him and see that he was invested in the romance.
Cheon Song Yi (Jun Ji Hyun) — I had to turn to the Fan Girls on this one, and it still took me a long time to really appreciate her character. She was clownish and stupid a lot of the time, and I could NOT see the redeeming qualities that drew Min Joo to her. It wasn’t until the end, when she was matured by the relationship, that I liked her.
Se Mi (Yoo In Na) — I loved Yoo In Na in Goblin, and this drama helped me appreciate just how far she’s come in terms of acting.
Mr. Jang (Kim Chang Wan)–I’ve loved Kim Chang Wan in the last few dramas I’ve watched him in. I hated his character in Hwarang. It’s felt very good to release that hate and enjoy his affability instead.
The Lee Brothers (Park Hae Jin and Shin Sung Rok)–Cheese in the Trap was the first drama I hate-watched. I almost didn’t recognized Park Hae Jin in MLFAS at first, because he was so different from his Cheese/Trap character. Shin Sung Rok just straight up scared me. He was an excellent psychopath.
The story itself was well-crafted. I’m a sucker for well-thought-out magic systems, especially if they have a built-in payment system, like if the magic-wielder kisses someone and loses their ability for a while. That kind of thing. It feels more realistic and makes the journey that much more interesting. The rest of the story — the contrast of the shallow actress and the academic alien — was well-played and I loved how the mystery of the serial killer older brother tied everything together.
Did this romance work for me? Not until the end. That kiss on the red carpet was phenomenal! The journey to get there was slow and a bit of a head-scratcher, but I’ve said enough about that. Did I believe that Min Joo and Song Yi were magnets? Are they made of the same thing? Is a romance between the two believable? Perhaps.
Despite all my complaining, I’d have to say yes. I think this drama ended in the best way possible. All the characters were in a better place, with even more room to grow, and while I was left with questions, the central plot was resolved and I was happy.
REWATCH AND RECOMMENDATION POTENTIAL
This is tough for me. I won’t rewatch it, I know that. Would I recommend it? Maybe to people who liked I Hear Your Voice from the beginning and don’t mind if the female lead is very silly as well. I have a hard time classifying it as a classic.
So there you go, drama fans. My honest, unvarnished review of something that I inflicted on myself. Hope to see you at the MLFAS discussion tomorrow!
Until then, I remain–
Karie the Maknae
Dramas with a Side of Kimchi