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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Incarnation of Jealousy" Episode 24 (final)

2016/11/16 | 2043 views | Permalink

"Incarnation of Jealousy" concludes on a bright, quirky note, just as it started. All characters but one receive a bright ending and a satisfying conclusion regardless of their development over the course of the drama. Jo Jung-suk carried it from beginning to end and was most definitely his career-defining scene-stealing self.

Let's start with the little people. Chi-yeol, Na-ri's brother, always had a lot of potential as a character. He was stuck in a love triangle, a protector of his sister, and an overall goal-driven young man. There was so much potential within his character that was not actualized. Instead he was used for comedy fodder when Hwa-sin starts dating Na-ri. After doing nothing about his crush on Ppalgang, he asks her out without any preparation in episodes before. It was quite satisfying, the way he asked her out, but it wasn't the result of following through on a plot thread, which is a major flaw of a lot of this drama. Little characters didn't receive their just deserts.

Ppalgang should've had a larger role rather than what she was: an object for Reporter Gye, Reporter Bang, and Hwa-sin to fuss over. A fleshed out character would've made the relationships much more satisfying and I repeatedly wondered what happened to Ppalgang, especially since she lived with the reporters and right by her uncle. Hwa-sin barely interacted with her.

A pair that I loved throughout, despite their lack of interaction with their daughter, were Reporter Bang and Reporter Gye. They had a friendship built on competitiveness that evolved into a sisterhood that was wonderful to see, especially in older women. Dramas that focus on younger characters often neglect women in their prime and I loved watching the two battle, love, and be jealous over the other's attentions. They developed a lot of the themes that were neglected by the other secondary characters: jealousy, friendship, motherhood, womanhood.

Sadly, Jeong-won was really left hanging at the end of the drama, barely developed, barely on screen, barely interacting with his best friend. Some of my favorite moments in the drama were when he and Hwa-sin were fighting, talking, or bonding. The two complimented each other as well as some drama lovers do. I wanted that aspect of the drama to be played up much more. Also, it felt strange for him to just disappear in the past few weeks.

As for Na-ri, she grew braver and more sure of herself throughout the drama, but that change wasn't highlighted in the same was that Hwa-sin's was. Also, her switch back to the weather was lovely, but the groundwork for that reversal wasn't well-laid. In general, she was a lovely character who brought out the best and worst in Hwa-sin and those around her, forcing them to reckon with things in themselves they needed to change. Her relationships with Jeong-won and Hwa-sin did the same for her.

Most of all, Hwa-sin grew so much and still retained his lovely idiosyncrasies like his tendency to make excuses for everything and his inability to change immediately without all kinds of cringe-worthy antics preceding the change. Thank you Jo Jung-suk for such an enjoyable portrayal.

In the end, the drama was entertaining despite its flaws. The writing should've focused a bit more follow-through and less on the episodic antics, but in the end, I'd recommend the show to anyone looking for a fun watch.

Written by: Lisa Espinosa AKA Raine from 'Raine's Dichotomy'

"Incarnation of Jealousy" is directed by Park Shin-woo, written by Seo Sook-hyang, and features Jo Jung-suk, Gong Hyo-jin, Go Kyung-pyo, Lee Mi-sook, and Park Ji-young.

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