[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Unfortunate Boyfriend" Episode 16 Final 2015/05/30,
The final episode opens up with a final board meeting to end them all. As usual the lack of serious dramatic urgency is palpable. Hee-cheol doesn't actually seem to know what he wants. Which is of course the entire point. Even if at times Hee-cheol has tried to play the villain here he's forced to realize that picking fights just isn't that much fun in the long term. And so, with a slump to his knees, that pretty much does it for the last character arc,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Unfortunate Boyfriend" Episode 15 2015/05/29,
The lack of an actual conflict is getting to be...well, not necessarily bad, but it's kind of messing around with my perceptions of how to evaluate "My Unfortunate Boyfriend" as a drama. There's really just not much actual drama here. As expected, the situation with Ji-na's father is cleared up simply by having Ji-na explain the situation. And after that, there's not even much in the way of obvious tension, because everything mostly goes along all right,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Unfortunate Boyfriend" Episode 14 2015/05/23,
Looking back I think I may have misjudged where "My Unfortunate Boyfriend" is going. The current narrative thrust is less about an actual confrontation between Tae-woon and Hee-cheol and more about catharsis as all the characters come to terms with their responsibilities, and what their decisions have to do with their future. What's happening in their professional lives is almost entirely incidental to how these storyline movements affect them on the personal level,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Unfortunate Boyfriend" Episode 13 2015/05/22,
This episode doesn't have much in the way of interaction, be it direct or indirect, between Tae-woon and Ji-na. So I don't have much choice except to address the main weakness of "My Unfortunate Boyfriend"- its rather light storyline. Frequently I find myself forgetting what the conflict is even supposed to be. Aside from the lovelines this is just a corporate plot with little to no urgency. It's odd how even though the stakes are higher with Tae-woon and Hee-cheol, the relationship as a whole feels a lot less important than the one between Ji-na and Hye-m,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Unfortunate Boyfriend" Episode 12 2015/05/16,
The lack of a general plot finally catches up with "My Unfortunate Boyfriend" here. To be entirely honest the competing corporate team aspect of the drama has been in such low focus I've kind of forgotten what the stakes even are. There's not anything for the story to really build up to at this point, because all of the focus has been on the romantic plotlines. And to a lesser extent, the backstory that gives these relationships important subtext,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Unfortunate Boyfriend" Episode 11 2015/05/15,
Tae-woon really is just infectiously adorable. He doesn't even seem to have it in him to be pessimistic. When Hye-mi ruins his big exciting event date with Ji-na, Tae-woon's response is to simply explain to Hye-mi in elaborate detail every single detail of the event. Tae-woon is super upbeat because he put a lot of effort into planning this, and to him, that's the fun part. Putting in the effort. The fact that Ji-na didn't actually show up is sort of besides the point, because Tae-woon is that sure she'll have an explanation,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Unfortunate Boyfriend" Episode 10 2015/05/09,
Avoid the preview for the last episode if you can- unfortunately it spoils everything about this episode, including the cliffhanger. This isn't a huge problem, given the general appeal of the characters. It's just a little annoying to have go through an entire episode's runtime without actually learning much in the way of new information. Well, relevant information anyway. As I've noted in the past, the plot in "My Unfortunate Boyfriend" is somewhat weak,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Unfortunate Boyfriend" Episode 9 2015/05/08,
The pacing slows down even more than usual here as quite a bit of the material is just Ji-na and Tae-woon trying to make the most of an unfortunate stranded situation. And it's really cute. From the very start a peeved Ji-na just tells Tae-woon to stop trying to be helpful while she takes a moment to calm down. He still ends up trying to be helpful, just not in an overbearing way. As it turns out, that's exactly what Ji-na needs- a chance to relax and realize the crisis isn't as bad as it seems,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Unfortunate Boyfriend" Episode 8 2015/05/02,
The splendid party mostly goes all right. There's no earth-shattering revelations or anything. Although it is somewhat odd that Tae-woon and Hee-cheol have more of a clearly defined rivalry at this point than Ji-na and Hye-mi. Most of the time it's hard to get a read on what Hee-cheol is actually thinking- which to some extent is perhaps why he comes off as attractive. Hee-cheol is very much a man of mystery, whereas Tae-woon wears his heart on his sleeve,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Unfortunate Boyfriend" Episode 7 2015/05/01,
As expected, Ji-na is able to pull through the presentation like a Champ. And as mostly predicted, "My Unfortunate Boyfriend" continues with a tonal shift toward the subdued. The transition has been nearly seemless. It's pretty unmistakable here that character actions are dictated by personal motivation rather than a desire to make things wacky for the sake of being wacky. Ji-na's actually pretty consistently uncomfortable here as the target of an elaborate dating scheme,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Unfortunate Boyfriend" Episode 6 2015/04/25,
The shift to more conventional storytelling is very evident here. At one point a flashback quite explicitly points out that the first couple of episodes were pretty nuts. But for the most part Ji-na tries to solve problems here by, well, coming up with an actual plan. Rather than accidentally running into Tae-woon, this time Ji-na deliberately seeks him out to ask for his help. Even the rather unexpected obstacle is resolved with relatively little mess,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Unfortunate Boyfriend" Episode 5 2015/04/24,
The pace here is even slower than usual as most of the episode is simply dedicated to a long, awkward car ride between Tae-woon and Ji-na that somewhat predictably ends up with things going wrong because Tae-woon takes her instructions too literally. I've been a good sport about Tae-woon's slowness so far, but really, after a certain point it gets to be kind of contrived. Particularly since Tae-woon is evidently much smarter than he lets on,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Unfortunate Boyfriend" Episode 4 2015/04/18,
Any fears I had last episode about "My Unfortunate Boyfriend" not taking Ji-na to task for her bad behavior would appear to have been unfounded. Right away Ji-na is confronted rather uncomfortably about how inappropriate it is to hit another person with so little provocation. What's more, Ji-na is so ashamed of herself that she manages to completely forget why she came to the arboretum in the first place. The results are rather comical,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Unfortunate Boyfriend" Episode 3 2015/04/17,
This episode lacks the frantic energy of the first two- not necessarily a bad thing considering how ridiculous the situations have been lately. Here it's mostly just a night and day of recovery. Ji-na once again shows off that her real magic trick is being able to improvise solutions that looks so impressive and pre-planned that it never occurs to anyone that she's just making it up as she goes along. Unfortunately her talent only really works in the presence of a crisis situation- and all Hee-cheol wants is a drink,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Unfortunate Boyfriend" Episode 2 2015/04/11,
I really love the aesthetic look in "My Unfortunate Boyfriend". I can't quite remember the last time a drama was quite this colorful- both literally and metaphorically. Director Nam Gi-hoon doesn't just settle for telling us that Tae-woon loves gardening. He lovingly shows up both a home that looks like an aviary and a workplace so utterly overflowing with greenery that it's easy to see why they need to keep a gardener on permanent staff. What's more, the visuals really sell the general absurdity of the drama's moral points- like why you should always listen to persistent clowns,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Unfortunate Boyfriend" Episode 1 2015/04/10,
Tae-woon (played by Noh Min-woo-I) is a somewhat mentally challenged gardener with an outrageously hot body and a powerful love of all living things- including plants. I wasn't expecting "My Unfortunate Boyfriend" to invoke the fairy tale of Thumbelina, of all things, but OK, sure. Let's consider the more important questions. Is Tae-woon likable? Is he funny? Do I laugh at his antics while still realizing somewhat shamefacedly that Tae-woon is a much better man than I could ever possibly hope to be? The answers to those questions are, naturally, all a resounding yes,...More
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