Ji-yool (played by Kang Yeon-jung) is a young woman who is inevitably defined by illness, because why else would she have an orange dyed buzzcut? Yet aside from the practical issues involved in occasionally needing medicine, Ji-yool consistently ignores her health condition. Instead, her initial focus is about the personal insult dealt to her by ex-boyfriend Si-woo (played by Min Jin-woong), a pharmacist who insisted their break-up was nothing personal.
For awhile anyway. There's a lot of twists and turns in "Drama Special - Buzzcut Love", and they started around the time Ji-yool meets Chi-wan (played by Kim Jung-hyun), a young man who makes equally petty life decisions in the threat of immediate physical danger. I couldn't quite tell whether the husband of the middle-aged woman Chi-wan is dating was a gangster or simply a wealthy businessman but either way, what sugar mommy could possibly be worth the effort?
With a set-up like that, predictability is pretty inevitable. Initial contractual terms of their relationship notwithstanding, we watch Ji-yool and Chi-wan fall in love mainly on the strength of their ability to work together to achieve more obviously practical goals. The big climax involves consummating Ji-yool's peculiar love of hot-air balloons. Ji-yool had always wanted to ride one yet somehow, obstacles were always in the way.
The lack of focus on Ji-yool's health condition is largely because it, as well as her hair, are more metaphorical issues than they are practical ones. "Drama Special - Buzzcut Love" is a coming-of-age story that deals with Ji-yool's ascent into maturity. The pretty girlish hair that kept Ji-yool down to earth was also what was holding her back, making her care more about appearances than thinking about the big questions in life. Consider how much dramatic hay is made out of how Ji-yool's family was keeping a big secret from her, under the misguided idea that Ji-yool was better off not accepting the emotional impact at such a fragile time in her health.
Yet it's hard to escape that the orange buzzcut version of Ji-yool is far tougher, outgoing, and even more attractive than the one we see glimpses of in flashbacks. Indeed, when Ji-yool goes back to see Si-woo again, we see her have to pretend to be passive and demure like in the old days, and it's just not a good character fit. While the plot's nothing special, "Drama Special - Buzzcut Love" is a fairly decent romantic character study.
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] "Drama Special - Buzzcut Love""
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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