Posted in Commentary, Drama Series

She’s So Lovable, hwagsilhae?

Before commenting on the show, i just have to ask this: What’s with several alternate English titles? Can’t the PD or broadcasting channel decide on one official English title so people can easily refer to it without confusion? It doesn’t happen to this series only, and though trivial, it somehow irks me. Should i call it “She’s So Lovable” or “My Lovely Girl” or “My Lovable Girl”? They’re all synonyms, but the differing titles make searching the net to stream the episodes or finding sites that recap/review ’em a bit harder. It has become a habit for me to watch an episode then read the recap/review and comments before proceeding to replay the episode — a complete viewing experience, lol.

It goes without saying but well, spoilers ahead.

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This Wednesday-Thursday SBS drama aired episode 7-8 this week. Right at a halfway mark with little progress. It is low-key, if not conventional. By conventional i refer to those cliché scenes with platitudinous exchanges. The pace is medium to slow with loads of lingering shots especially when the main leads are together. Which i don’t mind (i could even bear melo) as long as it’s done right. How many typical chaebol guy-poor girl stories out there, at which we still find our eyes glued to the screen for at least 16 hours? Despite the formulaic setup, each title ideally tries to concoct new or fresh tweaks to grab viewers’ attention. I’m looking for that here — nothing yet, unless Dalbongie as plot device is one; by now i expected more to roll — nay. Not a good sign, eh?

I ran out of dramas to watch after finishing Fated to Love You (Korean version, aka You Are My Destiny) last month and checked She’s So Lovable out of curiosity. I read it garners positive response from Mainland Chinese viewers due to its “whimsical” storyline. How whimsical could it be that its distribution rights were sold to Chinese streaming sites at a much higher rate per episode than You from Another Star, Heirs, Fated, or It’s Okay, That’s Love even before it starts airing? Considered my interest piqued.

The first hour was so-so. Nothing interesting to entice me to watch the next installment. And 8 episodes in, it is yet to end with a cliffhanger. Here’s the summary of the plot thus far in case you didn’t know: Lee Hyun-wook (Rain) was having a fit with Yoon So-eun when the truck of doom took her down with it. It wasn’t his fault per se, but i bet he felt responsible for her tragic departure. Cut to three years later, her broken phone impossibly still has some battery left and rings when her sister Yoon Se-na (Krystal) called. Either that’s the first time Se-na ever called or the first time the call ever got through in three years; regardless, Hyun-wook picks it up and after listening to her hapless situation decided to find and help her out.

He accomplishes his mission at the end of episode 1 and thereafter acts like a fairy godmofather: clearing her debts off, getting her a stable job, and pushing her song(s) — she’s an aspiring songwriter — and ultimately her rough diamond to be recognized and appreciated, all while keeping her under his wing. Se-na curiously doesn’t know who he is and Hyun-wook doesn’t show any intention to blow his cover either; however, the cat will sooner or later (usually the latter) get out of the bag and will definitely takes its toll on their (budding) relationship. Add to that his chaebol status, coequal yet clingy second female lead who’s been nursing a crush on our hero for years and years, and of course never leave out the overbearing dad who shall surely oppose the hero’s girl choice and pressure our meek heroine in the process. Don’t look forward to that but i foresee it happening in later episodes.

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[“You’re really pretty today,” he said after spotting her wearing the shoes he gave her. D’aww~]

For now, what has been bothering me is the main idea of Hyun-wook ends up with Se-na, his ex-lover’s sister(!!). If So-eun were alive, both would fall for the same guy and there could very well be sibling rivalry to win his heart. That would be ugly. Still, the thought of them together does not sit well with me. Secondly, Hyun-wook totally looks the part of an endearing oppa as in neighborhood older brother, not lover. Thirdly, Se-na is arguably better off with Shi-woo (L). Not because of second lead syndrome or the shorter age gap, but the circumstances that brought them closer are more believable to blossom into something else beyond reluctant partners and same-agency talents.

Se-na falling for Hyun-wook (at first) is understandable — he’s probably the first guy being that nice and caring to her, plus he’s dependable, gallant, and mature. On the other spectrum stands aloof haughty Shi-woo. But! He bluntly tells her why he did what he did — e.g. why he sided with those irrational fans who cornered her, why he rejected her song after stating the otherwise, why he asked her to return the 1400-won change at a later time, etc. Those little gestures and frankness ought to get to her. Not to mention that he’s shown his vulnerability to no one but her. If it were a different show, her heart would flutter then and there.

Lovable is only my second drama of the four leads (after Rain’s Full House, Krystal’s Heirs, L’s Master’s Sun, and Cha Ye-ryun’s Golden Rainbow) so i can’t comment much on their acting prowess… other than Rain is hands down the strongest. Krystal and L were okay in their previous role; both clearly leave a lot to be desired portraying their characters’ deeper emotions effectively here. Cha Ye-ryun… her Chun-won character in that weekend family drama irked me so much i skipped a lot of her scenes then but she is pretty innocuous so far thus my neutrality towards Shin Hae-yoon.

At first i was drawn to its showbiz elements. Behind-the-scene intrigues are fascinating to watch. Some of them are dramatized but parts of which must have been gleaned from real-world setting. Member(s) leaving, new member(s) filling the gap, old member(s) ‘bullying’ the new addition while faking closeness before public eyes — sound painfully familiar, don’t they? I am tuning in should Lovable focuses on this aspect, but nothing big happened yet till the last aired episode.

Sure, Se-na gets her ‘big break’ (a bit too easily i must say) and her assertiveness toward Hyun-wook seems to do the trick as he out of context-ly kisses her at the end of episode 8, but what i was waiting for is the single duel between Infinite Power and solo Shi-woo and we’re still not there yet. Not even close i think?

The first 6 episodes were easy to watch — i swiftly fast-forward through the company matters, the dad-son animosity and their dysfunctional-family-related scenes — but the last two installments were a snoozefest. Oh, and that kiss? I didn’t feel a thing. No excitement, no anticipation, no dugeun-dugeun, nothing. Eotteohke? I don’t buy their romance…

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[She goes to him, outrightly tells him she misses him and her heart races when with him, and even ‘kabe-don‘ him. Ever see a heroine this aggressive? XD]

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I blog sometimes, gush ofttimes, snark all the time.

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