Are you one of those people wondering where all the romcoms have gone in Dramaland? I often see people asking for recommendations for a simple sweet romance without serial killers or a glimpse into the dark underbelly of the world, and Dali and The Cocky Prince fits most of that criteria. It has a tiny bit of murder, but what show doesn’t? The important thing is that it has comedic cuteness galore. Join us as we share some of the reasons why you should give this show a chance.
Park Gyu Young finally finds a niche
Kmuse: After watching Park Gyu Young in multiple dramas (It’s Okay to Be Okay & The Devil Judge) I was about to write her off as an actress that I just don’t click with. But her character Dali just makes me happy and has made me reevaluate her talents. I think quirky rom-coms are definitely her strong suit and I would totally watch her in a second romance in the future.
Dramarookie: I haven’t finished either drama Kmuse mentioned, so I was coming in with an unbiased view of Park Gyu Young and I was impressed. The first thing that stands out is her grasp of languages. Her English is clear and precise with a charming accent, but she also speaks French and Japanese in an off-handed, effortless way. (I looked it up and the actress went to a foreign language high school.) She sells the character of a brilliant, friendly rich girl who excels at the hard things while struggling to take care of the basics – like eating a proper meal.
A picture is worth a thousand words
Kmuse: I am adoring the addition of art into the story. Not only is the female lead (Dali) smart, intelligent, and a purveyor of fine art, but she has a style that is uniquely quirky just like her. Moo Hak, on the other hand, is more business smart but not so much in the higher education aspect. So the two coming together while trying to connect through different art and what they both consider important is really working for me. It really brings the idea that art is in the eye of the beholder to the forefront. Also, with the bold color palette and interesting styling, the leads always look like they are stepping out of a painting.
Dramarookie: The camera also pulls away from a scene at times, like leaving the leads framed in a window, and applying a textured brush stroke pattern over the picture. It’s beautiful and a whimsical way to make the story its own painting. I recognize some artsy things, but didn’t have a clue who the Modigliani artist was. I might shake my head at the hapless nouveau riche hero’s ignorance, but sometimes I’m just as clueless as he is.
Can we say abs?
Kmuse: OK, I know that there is a lot more to enjoy about Moo Hak (Kim Min Jae) than just his physique. But that glorious shower/ab scene at the end of ep1 into ep 2 doesn’t hurt anything. Beyond his obvious good looks, Moo Hak is turning out to be such a fun character to watch. He is so good at acting like he knows everything, even when he shows his lack of knowledge on things such as paintings and rides out his opinion to the bitter end. With some, I would be turned off by his ego, but he seems to somehow make it charming.
Dramarookie: He’s too cute! I like how different his character is from the normal drama hero. For one thing, he dresses like every suit coat is cut from a tearoom couch. He flashes his pricey possessions around, but insists on paying with a coupon. At first glance, he’s all about the cash. But then he’s always giving it away! Like when his hyung guilts him into investing in a suspicious scheme by playing up the fact they aren’t really brothers. And when Moo Hak bids goodbye to Dali, he slaps his favorite gold watch on her wrist as a guarantee they’ll have to meet again. I love that he’s such a loyal, tenderhearted softie.
Which one are you again?
Dramarookie: One complaint I have is the plethora of side characters. There’s Moo Hak’s hyung, Dali’s adopted brother, Dali’s sketchy cousin who works at the museum, Dali’s ex-fiancé, Moo Hak’s former blind date, etc. It’s hard to keep them all straight. But there was one person I was happy to see – Hwang Bo Ra. Don’t we all smile when she comes on the screen? She twists her face in such entertaining expressions. No matter what the drama, you expect her to be ridiculous and laugh-inducing.
Kmuse: I second the Hwang Bo Ra love. She is an actress that I would love to see get larger roles. She just makes me laugh so much every time she is interacting with her quirky boss. The other characters are all just a blur that I haven’t really focused on yet. Maybe they will become more layered with time (crossing fingers).
Swoony romance abounds
Dramarookie: I favor dramas where the hero loses his ever-lovin’ mind whenever the heroine is around, and we get plenty of that. It was disappointing episode two kept them mostly apart, but episode three was back to the good stuff. Hopefully, the writer will focus on the love and keep the murder sub-plot to a minimum.
Kmuse: The best thing about this show is the actors and the writers have meshed together to make a really fun old-fashioned romantic comedy. We have opposites attract, quirky family hijinks, and great assistants who support their boss no matter what. Add in the abs, great styling, and fun dialogue, and you have the perfect rom-com to get you through those difficult rainy days of fall.
Are you enjoying this drama? Be sure to let us know in the comments and check back as we review upcoming 2021 dramas over the next several weeks.
Til the next unfiltered thought,
Dramas With a Side of Kimchi