The obnoxious narrative dip into melodrama "Hogu's Love" has taken over the last several episodes is justified here by...another narrative dip into melodrama that's supposed to explain Do-hee's motivation, but really just served to remind me how she's a complete cipher. For a character to behave irrationally isn't necessarily bad- there's irrational people in real life too. But these problems exist on a basic scriptwriting level too, and mainly just emphasize the way this story is deliberately designed to serve a certain point. That point being that rape babies are a gift from god.
Yeah, I'm tired of tiptoeing around this. If "Hogu's Love" had been honest from the beginning, and even given us the slightest hint that this was where the story was going, I probably would have adjusted to it by now. But the design not only deliberately obfuscated the nature of Do-hee's pregnancy, it's also been acting like Do-hee having a baby was a major sacrifice without actually having her make any sacrifices. I mean, what's with the picture? Now all of a sudden random people on the street can't recognize Do-hee as a celebrity? Are the paparazzi in "Hogu's Love" just really incompetent?
This much is just more of the usual from "Hogu's Love", though. What's really aggravating is the timeskip. Now we're supposed to see Hogu and Do-hee undergoing role reversal in terms of who's the dork and who's the amazing attractive person- except that we only just established a couple of episodes ago that Do-hee's interest in Hogu was always mutual. That's not the only problem, though. Given the lives that Hogu and Do-hee are currently leading, their willingness to drop everything for romance just serves to highlight how childish they still are.
And that ghost...argh! This is not the kind of thing you're allowed to introduce in the penultimate episode! The irritating part is that the idea is a good one- we finally get a chance for Do-hee's emotional vulnerability to be contextualized in an actual conversation. But it is way, way too late for the drama to only just now be getting around to explaining the basics of her backstory.
In any case, the romance is the emphasis, and the romance is what's caused me to lose all patience. Speaking as a guy, Do-hee is just. Not. Attractive. We guys care about more than a pretty face, and Do-hee's inconsistent standoffish behavior is immensely obnoxious, and a very clear precursor to an emotionally unsatisfying partner. "Hogu's Love" has completely failed to give her any redeeming qualities aside from "means well" and "is a rape victim". For all these reasons and more I'm going to be relieved when "Hogu's Love" finally becomes just a bad memory.
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 15"
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