The episode opens up with two important clarifications to two relatively important tertiary characters. While it's nice for matters to be made transparent, I can't help but continue to feel irritated that almost all of the energy in "Hogu's Love" is dedicated to having characters explain things to each other. This is especially true given that the big plot twist this time isn't even that relevant. We could have learned the true circumstances of Do-hee's pregnancy several episodes ago, and it would have changed absolutely nothing save that there would have been more time to actually build up the romance that's threatened by the cliffhanger.
Hogu and Do-hee try to play the cuteness up by acting all in love for the opening portion. But all this does is establish that they've made no meaningful character development- even in the face of an obviously stressful situation, they're both acting like kids themselves and failing to consider that the current term situation is not sustainable. How they managed to go through a hundred days of caring for a baby with no meaningful mishaps is also a mystery- no doctor's visits? He never got sick?
Kang-cheol's gay subplot is equally annoying, mostly because he's not actually gay. "Hogu's Love" has obvious pretensions of social commentary on issues like moral stigmas, but as presented in this completely goofy situation comedy context they inevitably have to fall flat because the overall story is so blatantly unrealistic. It's like watching someone try to debate a political view using an absurd hypothetical situation- the argument is utterly unpersuasive even if you already agree with the premise.
It's for all these reasons that I frequently feel like a jerk for disliking "Hogu's Love" so much. The heart of writer Yoon Nan-joong is clearly in the right place. But this story is only compelling at all to the extent that it's about actual characters- not pet political causes. Hogu, Do-hee, Kang-cheol, Ho-kyeong, everyone is making the exact same mistakes they made several episodes ago. There's been no real character development.
And that's really the main sore spot. At the beginning of the drama, it was clear that actions had consequences. Hogu's naïveté was giving him an unsuccessful dating life. Do-hee's naïveté led to painful childbirth. And since then it's been...what? A big fun friendly party, where the only conflict is the result of parental figures trying to have serious conversations and childish figures throwing tantrums? This is just not at all what I was hoping for.
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 email@example.com.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Hogu's Love" Episode 14"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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