I luv, luv, luv this show. Go Go Waikiki makes me laugh out loud. And I’m not an easy laugher. If you need some broad comedy grounded in surprisingly poignant moments, you should check it out.
The plot involves three men who run the Waikiki guesthouse, but they are currently running it into the ground. With no guests, no water, and no prospects, the situation looks hopeless. For the first five minutes, the story reads like a shallow, frat boy party. But then the baby shows up! Someone leaves the sweet, cuddly tyke on the bunk bed during one of their drinking binges. A mad scramble ensues as they figure out the scary world of poopy diapers, wet wipes, and formula. The casting director deserves a raise, because they found one of the cutest kids in Korea. At times, it seems she’s directly commenting on the boys’ antics with her sideways glances. And the leading man interacts with her so naturally.
Kim Jung Hyun plays the lovable loser, Kang Dong Gu. He’s not the kind of pretty boy that smacks you in the face with his good looks. He’s more like the boy next door that you think is nice, and the next thing you know, you’re writing endless poems in your diary about how adorable he is. (If he looks familiar, you might have seen him as the charming rebel with the heart of gold in School 2017.) The actor plays the most ridiculous situations with such conviction that you totally buy it. And I do mean RIDICULOUS!
Over the top humor abounds. Some might find it annoying, but there’s such a kernel of truth in every overblown reaction the cast makes. For example, the way the boys cringe in horror as a saleswoman explains how to work a breast pump. Or when Dong Gu pulls his shirt over his head and runs away so his ex-girlfriend won’t catch him looking pathetic. Haven’t we all had moments like that? The show just milks this to an exaggerated degree.
The drama is far from perfect. They never explain why the mother left her baby at the guesthouse in the first place. And the actress who plays her is . . . it’s hard to pinpoint. I admit my thoughts aren’t unfiltered, unlike the title of the post implies. I really thought about why this part didn’t work. Her acting is fine, but it’s almost like a minor character wandered into the scene and you’re supposed to care about her. But you don’t. I think she and Dong Gu will eventually have a romance, but . . . nope, still don’t care.
Go Go Waikiki works much better as a friends-mance. The housemates treat their pitiful everyday interactions like the scenes of a blockbuster movie, complete with slow-mo and beautifully lit backshots. Again, there’s that kernel of truth. Aren’t we all the heroes of our own life story? Give it a try. It will have you laughing and awwww-ing at the same time.
(Go Go Waikiki is currently playing on Dramafever.)
Til next time,
Dramas With a Side of Kimchi