Love for animals is an important element of human nature. When considering the fan base of Korean drama, it is also safe to say many love cute young guys. A drama combining the two is a very people pleasing one and would have to really work hard in order to fail at it. "Imaginary Cat" has some fun ideas and a good premise, but the rest is up to a viewer's tolerance of bad decisions.
Hyeon Jong-hyeon (Yoo Seung-ho) is an aspiring webtoon artist who works part time at a book store to support himself until his debut. He is not only supporting himself but a cute cat named Bok-gil as well. The two have been together since a painful time in their lives. Jong-hyeon then meets Oh Na-woo (Cho Hye-jung), a fellow cat loving person.
If cats and Yoo Seung-ho are beings you like and need nothing aside from, you will likely enjoy "Imaginary Cat" a lot. Bok-gil (Beetle) is adorable and fluffy, her voice actress, Han Ye-ri does a great job at capturing the character written for her and her "hoomin" companion is of course enjoyable. Cuddles and cuteness are plentiful, and if someone can have chemistry with a cat, Yoo Seung-ho definitely has it. This is really the drama's main strength and its creators use it well, for the most part.
In its basic premise, the series is quite a fresh idea, at least within Korean drama. Giving Bok-gil a voice allows for more interaction with Jong-hyeon's character and also fills the show's time nicely. Bok-gil not only functions as hug-worthy pet, but her more important role is that as a simpler point of view in the face of complex human problems. In the beginning of the show, she is used well and brings soul to it. The drama is also nicely presented, it has some good music and feels very relaxing.
Sadly, if there is one thing Dramaland proves time and time again, it is that no amount of potential is beyond destruction by bad writing decisions. What could have been a nice, warm show about humans and our emotional baggage devolves into a tear-jerking, cliché-filled typical drama. From rivalry with a pseudo-villain to birth secrets, things go downhill fast. Without spoiling too much, most of the plot devices of "Imaginary Cat", including its ending do not fit its overall tone and do not really deliver much of a moral which could not be delivered without them. The shorter duration also means its melodrama has no time to hook one properly.
The acting quality here varies, but the drama is generally not very strong in that regard. There are secondary characters who do not matter in the story and some of them get very annoying very fast. This includes even the female lead, who is bubbly, clingy and nosy beyond the point of being cute. Her actress struggling with her performance does not help her paper-thin characterization and development. A shame, given her generous screen time.
"Imaginary Cat" delivers on the cat shots and its male lead. Even so, it feels as if its creators mostly gave up after the first two episodes and picked a few things just to form a semblance of a story as frosting to the feline and Yoo Seung-ho fanservice. Entertaining little drama, but one which sadly does not live up to its potential.
Written by: Orion from 'Orion's Ramblings'
Vasia, also known as Orion or Ori online, is currently doing opinion pieces and database upkeep. She has a love for good TV and a penchant for rambling in written form. Vasia can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Imaginary Cat""
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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