It’s October and magic is in the air. Even though I grew up poor, I don’t know if I’d take the offer of a golden spoon and a new life in exchange for leaving behind my family. Lee Seung Cheon isn’t just poor, he’s being bullied and loses any hope of going to college. A kind old lady and her golden spoon show up right when he needs them most, and launches him into a world of make-believe. Do you think it’s a world you want to check out?
There are so many dramas coming out in October, you really have to narrow down the ones you want to watch. We’re going to split this up in “Magical Things” and “Not So Magical Things” about the show to help you decide.
Lee Jong Won is fairly new (debuted in 2018 after military service, so we never have to say goodbye!) and has been working his way up the ranks. We first noticed him in My Unfamiliar Family as the hot barista, then he showed up again as Ji Soo’s brother in the gut-wrenching Amanza. Some of you might recognize him as one of the interns from Hospital Playlist 2. He is doing such an amazing job at the rich boy turned poor. He’s terrified of his father and just melts into his new family’s arms. There doesn’t seem to be much animosity between them by episode three, and I’m sure there will be bromance in our future.
Drama Geek: We gushed about Lee Jong Won, but Yook Sung Jae is also doing a top notch job. He’s smart and takes on the role of the rich and powerful chaebol son well. He helps you understand the decision he made, and really pulls you into his desperation.
The Maknae: Yook Sung Jae was PHENOMENAL in Goblin, especially in that scene towards the end (SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER) where he becomes the vessel for the deity’s voice and his personality flips completely (END SPOILER). In Mystic Pop Up Bar, he was sweet and slightly dim, but here he is so smart and thinks three moves ahead. He’s completely believable. Lee Jong Won has been phenomenal himself, as Drama Geek pointed out, and fills the role of sweet yet oblivious chaebol very well. The bromance between the two has great possibilities, and I think it’s going to be central to the story.
Not So Magical Classmates
Every school in Kdramas seems to have bullies, and the elite school Seung Cheon earned a scholarship to is no exception. They are a major part of why he chooses to change his fate. The bullying is brutal and does involve guns. Thankfully, by episode three they seem to be put in their place, so it should taper off after that.
Drama Geek: The bullying is hard to watch but it helps that we know things will get better after the swap. It sucks that Seung Cheon needs power to stop them from hurting him, but it’s pretty satisfying to watch.
The Maknae: The story also makes an excellent point — sometimes it just takes one person to stop bullying in its tracks. But it has to be the right person, in this case, someone with unquestionable power and the guts to follow through. Park Janggun, the bully, is despicable, though the story is showing that he’s part of an abuse cycle.
Na Ju Hee is engaged to our rich boy, Hwang Tae Yong, but falls for Seung Cheon as they work together at a convenience store. She’s a sweet rich girl who just happens to have a horrible family, and she has oodles of chemistry with both boys. She breaks off the high school future marriage and upsets her father, but is determined to live her own life.
Drama Geek: I really, really like her with Lee Jong Won when he’s Seung Cheon. He lights up when he’s with her and they just feel so natural together. I’m sure my heart will be broken since she fell for the real Seung Cheon.
The Maknae: Either boy would be a good choice for Ju Hee, I think. She’s very determined to stand on her own two feet, and I really admire her for it. Time will tell how this weird love triangle pans out, though. Will she fall for Seung Cheon as himself? As Tae Yong? For Tae Yong as Seung Cheon? SO. MANY. POSSIBILITIES.
Not So Magical Family
Seung Cheon’s family is down on their luck and works really hard, but they still don’t make enough to pay rent. The nearby houses are being demolished and it’s caused some really dire situations. One of Seung Cheon’s friends even committed suicide with his family because they had no hope of a better life. This is dark and desperate, and Seung Cheon even dreams that his parents do the same thing.
Drama Geek: This was even harder to watch than the bullying. Families becoming homeless is such a horrible reality. I hope the show balances the heaviness of that aspect of the show with the other parts.
The Maknae: There’s a moment in episode 4 that gave me hope for Seung Cheon’s family to pull themselves out of their own situation. It’s one thing to follow your dream, but it’s another to make your entire family suffer for it.
Even though Seung Cheon’s family has their issues, they really do love each other, and by the end of the show it would be nice if both of the boys shared his parents and lived happily ever after with some inherited money.
Drama Geek: My heart broke when Tae Yong woke up and saw Seung Cheon’s mom and called her Mom. That’s all that poor kid needed and he just embraced his new family with all of his heart.
The Maknae: A loving family is what Tae Yong craves, and opportunities to move up are what Seung Cheon craves. In a way, the golden spoon has fulfilled both boys’ wishes, but the old saying is very true — you should be careful what you wish for. Also, Seung Cheon’s older sister is FANTASTIC and definitely holds her own. I really like her.
Not So Magical Rules
When Seung Cheon is given his spoon, the old lady tells him that he can decide to switch back after 30 days, 1 year, and 10 years. It’s nice to know it’s not permanent and that he can enjoy things for a while. She fails to tell him that each boy cannot meet their real parents on their birthday (a day they share) or they will switch back.
Drama Geek: I added this for The Maknae because it bothered her that the other rule was added at the last minute. Hopefully, the rest of the magical rules will stay firm and have structure.
The Maknae: Yeah, that’s my fear, that the old woman/Samshin/deity of whatever sort will keep changing the game by adding more rules that she’s “forgotten.” The story is makjang enough — it needs to be grounded with internally consistent rules for the magic or it will go completely off the rails.
Until the next swap, we remain —
Drama Geek & The Maknae
Dramas With a Side of Kimchi