LUCKY ROMANCE - EPISODE 1
A bit late for Easter, isn't it?
If you've been keeping up with the press releases, then you already know the basic story. Based on a 2014 webtoon on Naver, the plot is simple: The heroine (played by a bob-sporting Hwang Jung Eum) has to get with a guy born in the Year of the Tiger (1985) or her sister, who is in a coma, dies. But how does this all play out?
Bo Nui has skills for days -- that is, she has skills that tend to fit the situations she gets herself into. This episode she is a drink server and a cleaning lady at a casino as well as a former security guard, who knows how to crack passwords. She's hard up for money, and so she takes a job at four times her normal pay to make sure the tech presentation for ZeZe Factory goes off without a hitch -- in a bunny suit.
I guess 'homeless chic' is a thing...
Remember Ryu Joon Yeol? He's the hunky actor who played the charming-but-lonely Jung Hwan in 'Reply 1988.' This time he's Soo Ho, high-powered businessman and hard-nosed man of science, haunted by a crippling fear of humiliation. Bo Nui keeps running into him -- at the casino, in the park, at the presentation -- and that's when things go awry. Every time.
Steve Jobs 2.0
Bo Nui's sister is in a coma and the hospital staff has given up on her. The fortune teller tells her that she must find a lover born in the Year of the Tiger or her sister will kick the bucket. Shortly after receiving this information, Bo Nui bumps into Soo Ho again...
There are dark elements that prevent this from being as cute as it could be. Sight gags and humorous situations pepper this drama, and it is billed as a romantic comedy. But the endangered sibling in the hospital smacks of melodrama, which is anything but funny (though some of those shows are risible). So I was hoping for more humor, and the melodramatic scenes don't really move the action forward.
What was in that drink they gave him?
One thing they do well is the special effects. Equations appear over Soo Ho's head when he calculates, and Bo Nui is fairly well inside the files when she's searching for the right folder. There are some nice shots (especially in the casino), but they're few and far between. I'm hoping it incorporates more animations for comic effect, and more of that awesome cinematography (the card game was actually the most interesting part, just for the way it was done).
So the jury's still out on this one. I was a little underwhelmed, but this drama is just getting started. It may take a bit for the actors to find that chemistry, that magic formula that covers up the plot holes so well.