First Impressions & Unfiltered Thoughts: Devilish Joy

I think I’ve finally found a companion to Still 17! MiataMama and I decided to give Devilish Joy a whirl after hearing it described as being somewhat like 50 First Dates. Thankfully, I don’t spy anyone like Rob Schneider in this one (not a knock on the man himself — his character was just awful in that movie). Nor is the lead character stuck in the same day — he and the people around him are fully aware of his Cinderella amnesia, as they call it. The amnesia is the ONLY thing that ties the two together. 

MiataMama: OH. MY. GOODNESS!!!  Is it possible to fall in love with a drama at first sight?  I’m not sure, but Devilish Joy just swept me off my feet, stole my breath away and left me anxious for more. And that was all before the first episode even ended! Come join us as we discuss the potential we see in Devilish Joy.

Karie the Maknae: I’d never really given any thought to cinematography until I started writing for this blog, and now I’ve come to appreciate well-done cinematography. Devilish Joy might beat the viewer heavily with the mood stick, but I’m loving it. The opening segment was light and bright and happy, and that was reflected in the bright sunlight and the warm glow of the lanterns in the location. Our leads were even dressed in light, airy clothing, contributing to the feeling of pure happiness with a touch of whimsicality. Then, when the mood changed, the light around Gong Ma Sung became blue and shadowy. There’s even a shot of him reading in bed, and it emphasized the solitude he’d built around himself. In contrast is Gi Bbeum’s environment–shabby but warm. Even at her lowest point, she doesn’t lack for light.

MiataMama: I’m most defintely a newbie when it comes to paying attention to cinematography in a drama.  I tend to focus mostly on the actors and actresses.  However, as someone who needs sunshine like she needs water, I did notice and greatly appreciated the bright and cheery atmosphere of the scenes set in China.  The other visual that stood out was the brief fight scene. I was intrigued by the style of editing used, but rather than adding, I think it distracted from the flow of that section of the drama.

Karie the Maknae: I’d like to take a moment to talk about the casting of Choi Jin Hyuk and Song Ha Yoon. Jin Hyuk played Tan’s older brother in Heirs, and I remember him being distant and competitive, but not truly evil. In Devilish Joy, he smiles a LOT more, which contributes a great deal towards finding his character as someone completely different from his Heirs character, even though they’re both chaebols. He excels at communicating his emotions through body language and flashes of expression. I’m really loving his character, and I’ve decided that I need to move Tunnel and Gu Family Book and Fated to Love You and Panda and Hedgehog up onto my short list.

MiataMama: I was first introduced to Choi Jin Hyuk in the drama Heirs and this drama makes the sixth one that I’ve watched him in.  Once again, he does NOT disappoint. (Karie, you need to watch ALL the Jin Hyuk dramas!)  His portrayal of Gong Ma Sung, chaebol heir and expert doctor, is perfect!  But this isn’t just about Jin Hyuk looking fine in an Italian suit.  I appreciate that we’re already seeing subtle differences in his character’s personality, pre- and post-memory loss.  And while this story’s main thread is romance and amnesia, there is more than meets the eye when it comes to our orphaned successor.

Karie the Maknae: Song Ha Yoon was so brilliant in Fight My Way. She took the role of a domestically-inclined weary girlfriend and turned her into someone shining and strong. I’m loving her take on the downtrodden actress Joo Gi Bbeum, fully giving her the confident heart that her character talks about having. She seemed silly in the first segment, but already, in just two episodes, she has great depth.

MiataMama: I’ll admit, I had to go look up Song Ha Yoon on MDL.  I couldn’t believe it was the same actress from Fight My Way— she looked so different!  I was slightly worried I was going to be annoyed with her character in this drama.  But after the initial whininess gave way to a cute, yet bold and persistent, female lead, I relaxed.  She was very believable as the spoiled, slightly clueless star Joo Gi Bbeum.  AND, post-stardom, as the down-to-earth girl who’s just trying to keep her family’s gas bill paid.  While I’m happily watching for more OTP moments, I’m also curious to figure out the mystery surrounding her fall from popularity.

Karie the Maknae: The side characters seem to be pretty well fleshed out too. The only typical ones that I immediately spied are the spoiled upstart actress and the matriarch/chairwoman who wants to dictate our MC’s life. Hoya is playing a character that is completely opposite from his Jun Hee in Reply 1997–he’s loud and comical and lights up the screen. And his hair! It’s spectacular. And I love Gi Bbeum’s sassy little sister a LOT. She doesn’t put up with anyone’s crap.

MiataMama:  Okay, let’s talk about Hoya and his PURPLE hair— it’s fantastic! I’ve seen this idol-turned-actor in several dramas, but his roles haven’t been that memorable for me.  Since he was a former kpop singer in real life, I think he was able to bring the perfect mix of cute, bright, and bubbly to his character in this drama.  He succeeded in balancing out Jin Hyuk’s somber and reserved tone and I like the beginnings of their bromance.  His screen time thus far has not only brought a smile to my face, but also a sudden need to track down some grape Skittles.     

Karie the Maknae: Most importantly, this plot feels fresh to me (granted, I’m the maknae–that’s not hard to do). The amnesia has a legit source, the mystery is tied to our two MCs as adults, and with the amnesia as an obstacle, our OTP is going to have to fall in love–a second time!–the slow way. There are several different directions this plot could go, and I’m looking forward to next Wednesday.

MiataMama:  Devilish Joy is just what I needed to fill the Secretary Kim void in my life.  The OTP has great chemistry, the supporting cast is quirky, and I’m hopeful the drama-factor will be low-key so we can just happily root for the romance!  To say that this drama will be a keeper on my watch list is putting it mildly….is it Wednesday yet?!

Devilish Joy airs Wednesdays and Thursdays on DramaFever. Tell us, drama fans — will you be watching?

Until the next memory, we remain–

Karie the Maknae & MiataMama

Dramas with a Side of Kimchi

4 thoughts on “First Impressions & Unfiltered Thoughts: Devilish Joy

  1. Oh, I’m so glad you guys wrote about this! I gave it a shot (I’ve found him occasionally wooden and I don’t know her), and I’d not heard of the show and amnesia is always a bit hit and miss….

    But I agree with you guys completely! I was in love before the end of the first episode! (Perhaps you can tell by the gratuitous use of explanation points so far….)

    The truck of doom was a little on the ridiculous side, but I was willing to take it as a short hand for a shocking accident: it gets our premise going without having to spend much time on the scene itself.

    I loved watching two people enjoy each other’s company and have a convincing “love at first sight” day. It was so fun to watch all the smiles and cutesy, like a preview and a goal for where we have to get back to. Much fresher than “Candy teaches the Moody Prince how to feel feels”. Even if now that’s sorta where we’re at…. at least we had that beginning part where we know this is totally a guy worth rooting for. Yay! My only sadness is that I totally want to binge this show right now….

    • I’m SO glad that I’m watching this drama as it airs- I would totally be doing a binge watch otherwise! I’m SO sad that we’re already to the halfway point- I don’t want it to end! They are such an adorable OTP!!

  2. I did not expect to like this show as much as I did. Or for it to be so funny. Hoya is adorable and the couple is really good together. I like that the “Cinderella Amnesia” seems barely grounded in medical science. The writer can allow him to remember anything they want that way. I’d rather it be more fairy tale than realistic. And I predict that the truck of doom will turn out to be not so accidental. It seems like there’s some hospital people with a few skeletons in their closet.

    • I totally agree that there is a beautiful fairy-tale quality to this drama, and I love it!
      And I do believe you might be right about that “accidental” truck of doom- waiting anxiously for the future episodes to reveal all!

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