[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Sensible Love" Episode 20 2015/02/03,
Now that Hae-soo's story has been dealt with "Sensible Love" has lost almost all sense of urgency. The obvious irony of this is that Hae-soo, by design, quite literally never actually did anything. She was the emotional reference point for everything else that happened- and without that reference point, the other characters just sort of drift around aimlessly, making new friends and...that's really about it. They make new friends we're done,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Sensible Love" Episode 19 2015/02/02,
The overall theme this time concerns the meaning of life. More specifically, for what reason is life worth living? "Sensible Love" has often drawn a parallel between the apparently frivolous emotional pain of the three leads and Hee-soo, who had resigned herself to living out her empty shell of a life. The events of the last episode have been enough to give Hee-soo a choice. And the decision she ultimately makes is an unsurprising one,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Sensible Love" Episode 18 2015/01/27,
It's to the credit of the drama's sound direction that "Sensible Love" continues to feel deep and meaningful, even as the plot itself moves into increasingly melodramatic territory rather at odds with the genuine, complicated human emotion that's been explored so far. The use of silence really is quite excellent- take the sheer loneliness emphasized by the empty house. Why the house is empty isn't all that clear. It stands to reason that someone should have stayed behind,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Sensible Love" Episode 17 2015/01/26,
The arbitrary, contrived nature of the current plot arc is still annoying- but "Sensible Love" itself soon acknowledges how completely unsatisfactory this resolution is. Hee-tae and Il-ri barely even talk together here, devoting almost all of their energy to just keeping Hee-tae's family from exploding under the stress of his mother's dementia. Multiple characters explicitly point out here that this really shouldn't be Il-ri's problem anymore. Hee-tae was the one pushing for her to leave, and he's shown no signs of adopting a more forgiving attitude,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Sensible Love" Episode 16 2015/01/20,
Upon closer consideration, I have to admit that the dementia plotline isn't a particularly encouraging one. Yeo-sa was not, as far as I noticed, displaying any particularly obvious symptoms until the doctor's visit. Now she's almost instantaneously transitioned to being unable to recognize her own husband. And yet Yeo-sa appears incapable of noticing the inherent contradiction of thinking her lover is a young man while her children are all adults. The same contradiction also showed up in "Pinocchio"- at the beginning, so there was no abrupt transition. "Pinocchio" also had more obvious comedic elements compared to the very serious story of "Sensible Love",...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Sensible Love" Episode 15 2015/01/19,
Hee-tae still doesn't want to deal with life. It was perhaps inevitable, given all the stalling he's been doing, that another personal crisis would come up. And as expected there really aren't any good answers here. In contrast to the way he's been talking down to Il-ri lately, Hee-tae's unwillingness to talk about his mother's illness really is just a matter of there not being any good way to have this conversation,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Sensible Love" Episode 14 2015/01/13,
I wouldn't hold it against anyone for giving up on "Sensible Love" at this point. While the concept is good and the performances excellent, by design the story pretty much has to constantly run around in circles. As expected, Hee-tae is still waffling on the question of what to do about Il-ri, which makes his big dramatic statement last episode about how he's not really having second thoughts about the divorce all the more ridiculous,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Sensible Love" Episode 13 2015/01/12,
Joon's attempts at reconciliation predictably end in failure. What's especially sad about what Il-ri and Joon are trying to do is that their obvious genuflection toward Hee-tae simply doesn't mean anything. They just want the situation to go back to what it was before their ill-conceived emotional affair, and Hee-tae simply won't have any of it. As usual, it's not because Hee-tae has any kind of alternative in mind. The man's almost completely governed by his own sense of inertia,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Sensible Love" Episode 12 2015/01/06,
It figures that apparently the only context where Gi-tae and Ee-ri can get along is when they're drunk. Another fact worth noting- while Gi-tae and Ee-nee have been consistently portrayed as an obviously immature beta couple, neither of them are really all that young. Gi-tae is the same age as Il-ri, even if his speech usually defers to her as if she's older than he is. All of this serves to underscore an essential point- it's context that determines maturity more than any specific inherent quality,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Sensible Love" Episode 11 2015/01/05,
Il-ri's last-ditch effort to try and get Hee-tae to stop acting so heartless rather predictably fails. It fails in part because it's an obvious performance. Il-ri tries to show Hee-tae that she's sincere by directly and openly stating the facts of the situation to other people who can hold her to it. Yet to the very end Hee-tae stubbornly refuses to engage with Il-ri emotionally,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Sensible Love" Episode 10 2014/12/30,
Hee-tae is continuing to delude himself into thinking that he can somehow just walk away from this marriage without there being any serious interpersonal consequences. As memorably demonstrated in one phone call, the rest of his family has absolutely no idea what's going on with Il-ri. To the contrary, they think things are going quite well. And Hee-tae himself is barely doing anything to defuse this notion as he hopelessly tries adjust Il-ri out of his life without hurting anyone else,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Sensible Love" Episode 9 2014/12/29,
The episode ends up not being as vicious as the last preview implied. Sure, there's definite violent bits going around, but it's like Hee-tae says. This kind of behavior really just isn't his personality. Hee-tae comes off less like a person who's actually angry so much as one who's acting angry because he's not really sure what the appropriate way is to deal with this kind of betrayal. All Hee-tae really knows for sure is that he has to do something,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Sensible Love" Episode 8 2014/12/23,
Hae-soo continues to be the best character, a fact that's frankly rather remarkable considering she can't actually directly affect any of the action. Her role in the story is mainly that of counterpoint. Il-ri and Joon may go on about their deep, reflective conversations considering insecurities regarding life and death. Hae-soo, meanwhile, faces far more tangible misery yet barely even complains. She just thinks how nice it would be to have a normal expressive life again. Beyond that, though, well...what is there to say?,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Sensible Love" Episode 7 2014/12/22,
Pay note to the fact that, even though we're technically still in flashback mode, it's obvious that "Sensible Love" too is taking place at Christmastime. This would seem to imply that we're about to get out of flashback mode- except I'm not really sure what season it was when we started. At any event, given the major information that Hee-tae gets regarding his wife, it would seem like some major dramatic action is going to have to happen sooner or later,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Sensible Love" Episode 6 2014/12/16,
Il-ri is desperate for approval. Tempting as it may be to call it love, that's all I can really see when the woman shows up on-screen agonizing over making the right impression on Joon. I don't think it even matters that it's Joon. Il-ri will accept approval from any possible direction. In some ways it's a natural consequence of the woman's general isolation. I think the issue is less sexual as it just loneliness. Il-ri doesn't have any friends,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Sensible Love" Episode 5 2014/12/15,
The divide between real life and what seems to be a fantasy continues to remain an ominous presence in the story. Take particular note of the dual scenes where Il-ri takes her problems to Hee-soo. In both cases, Hee-soo is just sort of perplexed at how ridiculous the situation sounds. It's an aspect of real-life relationships that a lot of people don't like discussing for the exact reason presented here. Il-ri feels less like a person undergoing genuine emotional strife and more like a child acting out a delusional fantasy,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Sensible Love" Episode 4 2014/12/09,
With these reviews I've been guessing and hypothesizing about whether or not Il-ri and Hee-tae can really be said to love each other. Then both of them come out and admit to having had the same insecurities about their relationship for pretty much the exact reasons I've described. This revelation doesn't make me feel smart for being right. It makes me feel a little ashamed, honestly, because it's honestly not clear whether the relationship would be in any trouble at all except that they're meta-analyzing it and wondering if they've somehow done love incorrectly,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Sensible Love" Episode 3 2014/12/08,
The courtship between Il-ri and Hee-tae reaches an abrupt denouement here. To be entirely honest I was expecting the drama to just skip past this part and go right to the post-wedding period, but the courtship section is so short that's pretty much exactly what happens anyway. Their relationship really does just seem to be a simple matter of, hey, we're not teacher and student anymore, nothing creepy, let's get hitched,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Sensible Love" Episode 2 2014/12/02,
Il-ri's sheer dedication to romantic tropes is both adorable and worrisome. She makes it clear here that in no uncertain terms Hee-tae is her destiny. What came off as cute in the first episode is more troublesome here mainly because it's obvious that Il-ri's following a drama-style playbook without actually having the life experience necessary to realize that these tropes are just the stuff of fantasy. This is just a high school crush that she will one day grow out of,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Sensible Love" Episode 1 2014/12/01,
Director Han Ji-seung really loves trees. Seriously, just look at the cinematography here. Maybe it's just the location scouting, but I can't recall ever seeing that many trees in the same (suburban) place before. And it's not just in plant form that we find these behemoths in every frame. Wood also plays a large part in the background proceedings. The texture, the color, the simple serene beauty of nature- that, thematically, is what the camerawork is telling us about the story of "Sensible Love",...More
[HanCinema's Drama Preview] "Sensible Love" 2014/11/29,
Extramarital affairs are not a happy topic for anyone involved. However, as it is a very common issue in any society, it is one worth exploring. The problem is that the nature of entertainment is to be what the word implies; entertaining. This can make it present such topics with lack of the necessary depth and respect. TvN's 'Sensible Love' or 'Valid Love' is therefore a gamble,...More
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