Maybe you loved them in Goblin and wept buckets of tears when Reaper and his lady love had to postpone their happy ending. But whether or not you saw Yoo In Na and Lee Dong Wook’s first go round as a drama couple, you may like this second revolution even more – if rom coms and airy laughs are your thing. If you’re looking for angst, this ain’t the drama for you. At least not yet.
The Admittedly Thin Plot
An unfortunate drug scandal torpedoes Hallyu star Oh Yoon Seo’s career, and two years later she is moving dangerously close to “has been” status. She makes a drastic move to get a part in the upcoming drama Love is Painful Law and promises the writer she will work at a real law firm to gain some much needed experience. Yoon Seo ends up the secretary for prickly lawyer Kwon Jung Rok who we currently know next to nothing about. Though he remains a mystery, we discover two things by the end of the episode. #1 – He likes women. #2 – He doesn’t like Yoon Seo. Let the rom com shenanigans begin!
The heroine kept me smiling through the first episode. Her character is ridiculous yet endearing. After living in her sheltered celebrity bubble for so long, she struggles to do the most basic of things, like take her vitamins. (She saw the number 30 on the bottle and thought that meant to take 30 at a time. Bwahahah!) Although she’s pampered and self-absorbed, there doesn’t seem to be a mean bone in her body.
The washed up actress is known for her bad acting, and Yoo In Na does a fabulous job of emoting in a terrible and hilarious way, like when she practices a kiss scene on a toilet, holding a bath towel. Or in a rerun of one of Yoon Seo’s past roles when she fake flails her fists against her co-star’s chest. (I can’t help but wonder if she’s copying anybody in particular. It’s so bad, but so familiar.)
The Man of Mystery
I don’t have much to say about Lee Dong Wook’s character. He’s stuffy and unsupportive of his new secretary, yet you can’t really blame him. This girl tells him her phone cord isn’t long enough for her to bring the call into his office, and she can’t even pick up the copies she dropped because her skirt is too short. (Sidenote: Yoo In Na’s physical comedy in this scene as she tried to cover her cleavage and bend down in a lady like manner was spot on!) We get a glimpse of Jung Rok’s softer side when he buys lunch for his hungry secretary who refused to eat in public alone, but he ends up keeping it when she annoys him once again. Although he isn’t given much to do in the first episode, Dong Wook plays his part well and gives us hope for the future romance.
Chock Full A Nuts
Of course a place called Always Law Firm must be full of quirky characters. There’s the fanboy boss who talks to his statues and practices in front of a full length mirror how he will greet his famous new hire, the plant-squirting escapee from a gangster movie who turns out to be the office manager, and the one I was most excited about – the Mama’s Boy lawyer with the carefully windswept hair. He is played by Shim Hyung Tak who I remember from his laugh-out-loud role in Let’s Eat as the pompous, but lovable second lead. He’s brought his exaggerated facial expressions and over-the-top radio announcer voice to this role and it serves him well.
Unexpected Inside Jokes
I love that this drama is constantly winking at the audience. They know we’re the sappy kind of viewers who watched Descendants of the Sun more than once and will instantly recognize that airstrip and the scarf wrapped around Yoo In Na’s head. And when the soundtrack started to play . . . sigh. I get such a kick out of these kind of jokes. It feels like you’re in the In Crowd because you get it, even if you live an ocean away from South Korea.
Where do we go from here?
Honestly, I don’t know and I don’t really care. As long as there’s chemistry and things to make me laugh, I’m good. The cast is doing a great job in the premiere, which hopefully will be added to with the upcoming arrival of Lee Sang Woo. Time will tell if this fluffy drama can hold our attention. Right now, it’s my happy vitamin. But just one at a time, not the whole bottle.
Until next time, keep the K-love alive!