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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Laughter in Waikiki" Episode 11


Yoon-ah has some pretty sensible reasons for rejecting Dong-goo's love confession. I'd be impressed, except that Yoon-ah's newfound sense of maturity is somewhat at odds with the generally naive way her character has been portrayed up until now. Also there's the tonal issue of Dong-goo's personality. Soo-ah also provided very good reasons for breaking up with Dong-goo, yet Dong-goo has completely failed to take those criticisms to heart, much as he fails to really listen to Yoon-ah's criticisms.

But then again Soo-ah also has an awkward moment where she has to internalize the generally terrible life philosophy espoused by the guest house members on the need to start again. I might have found that philosophy more convincing if anyone had any kind of serious long-term plan. Instead it's just more of the same screwball misunderstandings that result in everyone worse off by the end than they were at the start somehow.

Well, to be fair the big screwball setpiece this episode was pretty funny, simply because of how incredibly convoluted the plan to hide Joon-ki became. In addition to the sheer absurdity of the explanations, not to mention the weird ending to the drama-within-a-drama, there's also Soo-ah's brother Soo-bong (played by Shin Seung-hwan). I just really liked his character. The guy is loud, friendly, and not necessarily dangerous, but super intimidating. Also he loves his sister. That's always a plus.

The other temporary character, Jae-woo (played by Tae In-ho) is unfortunately just as bad as Soo-bong is good. Jae-woo's gimmick is that he always talks really loud because, I don't know, he hurt his ears in the editing room or something. The problem is, Jae-woo still talks like that hours after leaving the editing room. The preview seems to imply that he's going to keep talking like that next episode too. Why? The joke's not funny, and gets worse every time it's repeated.

Oh, and as long as I'm going through non regular cast members, there's also Joon (played by Kang Kyung-joon) who is Yoon-ah's cooking teacher and also apparently has some sort of professional relationship with Dong-goo. I like him a lot more than I was expecting, just because the guy is a welcome breath of maturity in a comedy that's very hit-and-miss. I want to root for these characters to succeed, but it's hard when they stubbornly insist on making the same mistakes again and again.

Review by William Schwartz

"Laughter in Waikiki" is directed by Lee Chang-min-I, written by Kim Ki-ho, and features Kim Jung-hyun, Lee Yi-kyung, Son Seung-won, and Jung In-sun.

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