Spring means many things to different people, but most of the time, it signals a new start in your life. Kang Da Jung could really use a new beginning in her dating life, having always picked crappy men to date, and then she meets Chae Jun. Instead of finally finding a nice guy, she’s faced with a possible murder suspect. Sounds more like she’s back in the horrible cycle she’s always been in, but fortunately for her, Joo Young Do is there to help her move on from her trauma and maybe start something fresh post-divorce for himself.
The director thoroughly sets the scene right from the beginning. A creepy music box melody plays as the female lead says in voice-over, “when I ran over there, he wasn’t there. He was nowhere. He was never there to begin with.” A body falls from up high, straight onto a car. We time jump back to our female lead’s childhood, and we find out why she has such a horrible track record with men. Her father was an abusive drunk, and they had to flee for their safety in the middle of the night.
The past sets the tone for us to understand Kang Da Jung’s (Seo Hyun Jin) character, who is very professional and hardworking at her hotel job, just not the best at picking guys. And there’s a new guy (Yoon Park) circling her. He’s a bit pushy but has a nice smile. When someone is murdered in the building she’s moving into, it’s probably a bad sign, but she makes the best of it.
Drama Geek: It really helped to understand her character and why she’d entertain this creepy guy. After you see her childhood and know where her thought process comes from. I was intrigued right from the beginning but also felt like something was off. I couldn’t tell if it was the directing, how long they stayed on the lead actress’s face at times, or maybe the acting. It just felt off for a bit.
Kmuse: Hahaha. I don’t think I would have noticed the extended face focuses if you hadn’t mentioned it. I have to admit that I am sucked into the story. Especially after the twist in episode three, and I like all the story building. But I have a feeling that when it comes to the character growth of our two leads, things are going to go very slowly.
Cast of Friends
In the new building, Da Jung lives at the very top (in an apartment that I’m sure is SUPER expansive in real life), and her friends run a coffee shop down below her. They’re siblings and seem to both have a close relationship with Da Jung. On another floor is our resident psychiatrist Joo Young Do (Kim Dong Wook). His friend eventually opens up his vet clinic on another floor, so this building is just one big happy family by about episode 4. I love the bond all of the different friend groups have and how they eventually form a little group that eats up the gorgeous top of the building.
Drama Geek: I am a total sucker for big groups of friends, and everyone working or living in this one building has made for a really great setup. It also makes me happy when both leads have healthy friendships to get them through the hard times and grounds them. I have to say I’d LOVE to be a part of their little lunch get-togethers; that view is amazing.
Kmuse: This group kind of reminds me of the friend group from the Let’s Eat drama. Just without all the yummy food. As much as I have been enjoying the overall story, I still haven’t connected very deeply with most of the characters. Hopefully, this changes with time.
My heart broke for Da Jung’s mom at the beginning. She couldn’t provide for her kids and was in a horrible and dangerous marriage. But when you meet her again, she’s made a life for herself and made sure her kids grew up well. It’s funny they kept the same actress. She’s only 15 years older than the lead. I love the relationship that forms between her and Joo Young Do, and I have a feeling he will help her heal from her past as well.
Another character that has received some of Young Do’s healing power is his ex-wife and top star Ahn Go Young (Nam Gyu Ri). She demands your attention every time she appears and is just a hoot to watch. No jealous or controlling ex here. Mostly she still depends on her ex for advice and even goes to him with her new relationship woes.
Drama Geek: These two women bring on most of the laughs in the more serious storyline. They are both strong and independent but also just need someone to talk to, and our lead guy is a great person to turn to.
Kmuse: I love them both to bits! They bring all the humor that the leading lady’s situation doesn’t allow her to express. I am a big fan of how his ex-wife interacts with our leading man. Not a grabby jealous ex but a friend that is asking for help to become mentally healthier.
The full mystery isn’t set up until episode four. We have a neighborhood murder that the police are trying to solve with the help of Young Do. The eventual suicide of a key character and the appearance of a mysterious man who might be connected to everything. The director uses sound and imagery so well to set the mood for our thriller aspect. Footsteps become haunting, and dripping water unsettling.
Drama Geek: Once the real mystery is introduced, I was finally able to put my finger on what was off about the first two episodes. I was supposed to feel as unsettled as the camera was making me feel. This wasn’t just a simple, clingy guy being interested in her, and we held our view of her just a little too long because that’s what the guy she was seeing did. The music box returns at the end of episode three, and it’s even more haunting when you see it along with hearing the music play.
Kmuse: There is a scene where she catches him doing something really creepy, and it was so subtle that it took me a few moments to figure out what I was actually seeing. A brilliant filming sequence, one of many in this show. I am having a lot of fun watching and trying to figure what is going on.
Will We Keep Watching?
Drama Geek: I almost dropped it after the first two episodes, but I’d promised to do this impression, and I felt it needed four to really know if it was worth trying. I’m pleased to say that the mystery and the developing relationship are both worth watching. Kim Dong Wook does smart and warm characters really well, and he’s also really great when there is mystery and suspense added in. The cast of characters is well developed by the end of four and has the potential to be fun. Has anyone watched Bubblegum? It’s the only other credit for this writer, and I missed that one. Just curious if any of our readers loved it.
Kmuse: I’m in for now. We are just a month and a half away from fall, and you all know that the second I start thinking about colder weather and sweaters, I start craving murder and mayhem. And it is already obvious that this drama is going to be full of both.
Drama Geek & Kmuse
Dramas With a Side of Kimchi