Jeong-seok has finally come to understand that he's a pretty big jerk. This is sort of acceptable. Jeong-seok then goes straight from that realization to stalking Ha-na. This is...not really acceptable. I'm just not a big fan of sexual harassment, is the thing here, and given how Ha-na does not have access to Jeong-seok's thought process, that's pretty much the only reasonable interpretation of his behavior.
It was kind of cute when Myeong did this stuff because he's just an ignorant kid with a sincere crush on his teacher. Even now when he makes googly eyes at Ha-na there's always this strong sense of well-meaning. The classroom scene with all the lines depicting the directions of loverly gaze was nice precisely because as long as it's just looking, and not actual aggressive behavor, it's easy to take a romantic view of the overall situation.
Even Gi-beom manages to not necessarily be completely terrible with his stalkerish ways because he never really makes Chae-yeon uncomfortable. The closest Gi-beom gets to that is in the post-karaoke scene but as was noted, well, someone was going to have to deal with that problem one way or another. Incidentally I got the distinct impression that the karaoke scene was supposed to be some sort of K-Pop in-joke, although I don't know enough about K-Pop to really understand it.
Other more relatable scenes are better in that respect. Jin-woong is still struggling over the death of his mother, and Jin-i is still dealing with her horribly uncommunicative and generally worthless boyfriend. I often find it disconcerting just how much easier it is to relate to their problems than anything that happens to Jeong-seok and Ha-na. Those two create most of their own drama through poor behavior. Jin-woong and Jin-i, by contrast, are always on the receiving end.
This much is most likely why I never feel especially excited or thrilled to see Jeong-seok and Ha-na making progress with their loveline. While neither character is explicitly obnoxious or awful, both of them are rather oddly insulated from consequences for their actions, whereas the rest of the cast is often forced to suffer serious hardship simply for choosing the wrong priority in life or making an incorrect snap judgment. The only real equalizer is at the end of the day, everyone uses the same drug to try and dull the pain- liquor. Those scenes, at least, never grow old.
Review by William Schwartz
"Drinking Alone" is directed by Choi Gyoo-sik and Jeong Hyeong-geon, written by Baek Seon-woo, Choi Bo-rim and Myeong Soo-hyeon, and features Ha Seok-jin, Hwang Woo-seul-hye, Park Ha-sun, Min Jin-woong, Kim Won-hae, Gong Myung and Key.
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 email@example.com.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Drinking Alone" Episode 12"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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