Do-hee is ashamed of her current failures trying to break into the corporate job market, and so comes up with a mildly elaborate scheme to convince her mom that the situation is not as bleak as it looks. After a mildly amusing setpiece we then discover that apparently Do-hee's optimism was not a complete lie. Unfortunately the foundations for Do-hee's optimism were a lie, as Bong-tae has to break the bad news that she has been made victim to a scam.
I continue to really enjoy everything "539 Yeonnam-dong" does when it comes to cybercrime. We see, through flashback, how the company Do-hee applied for was obviously extremely shady. Yet Do-hee, in her desperate hope to attain a real job, reluctantly accedes to all manner of suspicious requests. You know what they should have a course for in school? How to spot con artists. Now there's a practical life skill everyone could use.
Unfortunately the case doesn't really have a climax. The conflict is resolved almost entirely offscreen, such that Bong-tae only belatedly runs into the criminals after they've already been summarily defeated, in a very goofy wish fulfillment style way. The revenging against the revenge porn guy made sense, since in that case the victim was simply doing exactly what her persecutor had done with a greater veil of plausible deniability since by that point literally anyone could have acquired a copy of the video. But here? It all just seemed like gross dumb luck.
Elsewhere Bong-tae makes an accidental discovery about In-na. Really, we're talking more a factoid than a meaningful revelation. I don't think anybody especially cares whether In-na is technically violating the terms of her lease with Jordan. I doubt even Jordan would care, because the implication given by the rules was that they only apply inside the house. What enforcement mechanism is there outside the house?
I do like the little chats Bong-tae has with In-na. The small chats in general are a strong point in "539 Yeonnam-dong" because they tell us more about the characters. So it's unfortunate that we learn so much about the personality of a generally unpleasant peripheral character, as opposed to his father or son, both of whom actually live in the house. Incidentally Do-woon (played by Chunji) has very little characterization besides being Jordan's grandson and Ryan's friend. Well he has a terrible dad too. I guess we know that much.
Review by William Schwartz
Staff writer. Has been writing articles for HanCinema since 2012, having lived in South Korea since 2011. Started out in Gyeongju, then to Daegu, then to Ansan, then to Yeongju, then to Seoul, lived on the road for HanCinema's travel diaries series in the summer of 2016, and is currently settled in Anyang. Has good tips for utilizing South Korea's public bus system. William Schwartz can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "539 Yeonnam-dong" Episode 5"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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