The tone of "Incarnation of Jealousy" continues to be unusual as the drama takes on workplace romance and employee issues, themes of family, and humor that seamlessly flows in and out of the serious.
Lee Mi-sook as Gye Seong-sook and Park Ji-young as Bang Ja-yeong are part of what make the constant shift in tone so successful. The two women hold important positions at SBC and are both ex-wives of Hwa-sin's older brother. Their heated rivalry allows for some hysterical monologuing, but also for heavier moments as they discuss family. They reflect the darker undertones of the drama that are masked by humor and levity. Another such plot thread that does the same is Na-ri's obsession with examining Hwa-sin's chest. Their interactions are constantly funny until he heads to the hospital. The transition between the humor and that dark moment in the hospital is made up of Hwa-sin's ego attacking Na-ri and hurting her feelings. It's hateful to see him treat her poorly, but the transition it causes in the story is magnificently wrought.
The makeshift apartment family made up of Chef Kim Rak (Lee Sung-jae), Hwa-sin and her brother Chi-yeol, Oh Dae-goo (An Woo-yeon), and Hwa-sin's niece Pal-gang (Moon Ga-young) is a tighter knit group that Hwa-sin's actual family and they provide a clever foil to the dynfunctional blood families in the drama.
Our heroine Na-ri, although spunky and hardworking and caring, doesn't always make great decisions. She goes to work after drinking, which is definitely not acceptable on any job. But, the story is richer for it. Hwa-sin sees her inner beauty as she loses her inhibitions because of the alcohol (and also her outer beauty because she has a rather racy outfit on). It reflects the cutthroat environment of the station because Na-ri's hoobae (younger colleague) purposefully goaded Na-ri into drinking in order to advance her career. The situation gives Na-ri a huge obstacle to climb over and also a lot of fodder for self-reflection.
As for our mild-mannered second male lead Jeong-woo, he may be kind and sweet, but he also is no fool and he is probably going to turn out to be formidable than we think.
All-in-all, this show is off to a great start. We have flawed leads with lots of growing up to do. We have great relationships and backstories. We have a good forecast on "Incarnation of Jealousy"'s future. I will be diligently waiting for next week.
Written by: Lisa Espinosa AKA Raine from 'Raine's Dichotomy'
Journalist, drama lover, and foodie, Lisa enjoys exploring Korea, speaking the language, and soaking in all that dramaland has to offer. Her Korean husband laughs that she knows more than he ever will about dramas and K-pop. Lisa Espinosa can be contacted via email@example.com.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Incarnation of Jealousy" Episode 2"
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