Every once in a while, I run into a drama that takes a while to really grab my attention. Come see if Monthly Magazine Home managed to catch my interest after just four episodes!
The Story So Far
I have to admit, drama fans, that the descriptions for this drama haven’t fit what I’ve seen so far! AsianWiki comes the closest:
Na Young-Won (Jung So-Min) is the editor of Monthly House magazine. She has worked for 10 years, but she still does not own her own home. She currently lives in a monthly rental house. Nevertheless, Na Young-Won takes care of her rental place like it belongs to her. Her home reflects her personality and emotions. Things change when the new owner of her house, Yoo Ja-Sung (Kim Ji-Suk), appears in front of her. She then becomes interested in buying her own home.
Yoo Ja-Sung is the CEO of Monthly House magazine. To him, the house is just a means to increase his assets and a place to sleep. He grew up poor and he thought the only way to become rich was through real estate. While working at construction sites as a laborer, he began to study real estate investments by himself at night. He is now wealthy, because of his real estate investments. He is also famous as an investment expert. He meets Na Young-Won.
What I’ve Actually Seen Already
Na Young Won is barely scraping by, having just lost her job and her apartment. Life has been hard on her, and we learn through some flashbacks that she lost her parents early and grew up bouncing from relative to relative. CEO Yoo can relate — we also see that his background is the same. In spite of her hardships, Na Young Won stays positive, doing what she can to make the best of her situation.
She has an unfortunate encounter with CEO Yoo early on, when he shows up with a crew to evict her from her apartment. Insults were yelled, pork belly was thrown — it was messy and embarrassing. CEO Yoo came out of that encounter looking like a cold and deceptive businessman, because Young Won is our Mary Sue (a perfect character who can do no wrong) and we needed to side with her.
A friend hooks Young Won up with a new job as an editor at a real estate magazine. She passes the interview with flying colors, only to find out that she’s assigned to cover articles the new owner of the magazine tells her to write. And who is that owner? None other than CEO Yoo, who is impossible to work for and has gone through three editors already.
In a series of events, CEO Yoo ends up rescuing Young Won from a dangerous housing situation and putting her up in an empty apartment that he owns. Young Won also forms connections at work, especially with Photographer Shin, a friendly chaebol living life on his own terms.
One last thing: In her attempt to create the life she wants, Young Won starts watching the investment videos CEO Yoo has posted to YouTube. One of them encourages her to start saving and connecting with a community of savers, which leads her to posting on a message board CEO Yoo frequents, and our connection to You’ve Got Mail is born as they trade anonymous supportive messages to each other.
I have to admit, drama fans, that Monthly Magazine Home doesn’t look promising. I watched the first four episodes in hopes that it would improve and pull itself out of the stereotypical romcom course. So far, it has not. It’s mind-numbingly predictable.
The other thing I struggle with is the characters. CEO Yoo may appear as a cool businessman, but he’s petty and childish in EVERYTHING else. He actively works against his feelings for Young Won, giving her the nickname of Zero-won (No Money) and going against his better instincts at almost every turn.
Young Won has no depth to her so far. She’s an eternally optimistic Mary Sue who goes from one place to the other and hasn’t really figured out CEO Yoo’s true nature. In fact, she lets him become a voice in her head and she sees him — in video form — everywhere she goes, arguing with her decisions.
I like Photographer Shin the best, but since this is a typical romcom and he’s the second lead, there’s no hope for him and his relationship with Young Won. It’s too bad, really, since there is zero chemistry between our leads, but these two are cute together.
Will I Keep Watching?
In a nutshell, no. HOWEVER, there is one thing that could turn this drama around, and that’s if CEO Yoo’s redemption arc that’s hinted in the previews for episode 5 become the center of the story. Then things could get interesting. I’m not in a place where I’m tempted to stick around and find out, though. Monthly Magazine Home is a pass for me.
What about you, drama fans? Will you be giving Monthly Magazine Home a chance? If so, you can catch it on iQIYI. Let me know if the drama improves!
Until the next apartment sale, I remain —
Karie the Maknae
Dramas with a Side of Kimchi