Dong-goo's latest devious scheme to insure that Yoon-ah and Joon don't spend any time together involves organizing a workshop for the guest house. Which involves them going to...another guest house, where they act as guests on vacation. At times like this I can't help but think about how badly "Laughter in Waikiki" has been wasting its own premise. How does one successfully manage a guest house anyway? Surely there are better ways to find guests than to just drag them in from off the street.
Squandered potential notwithstanding I did like the character interaction this time. The sequence of Dong-goo going about town with Yoon-ah is actually fairly persuasive because this is the first time in awhile that Dong-goo has seen Yoon-ah as a flawed and at times genuinely annoying woman rather than as an idealized object. The irony of Yoon-ah acting obsessively cute the whole time is an effective contrast, showing that the factors which make Yoon-ah attractive also make her fairly flawed.
Dong-goo's behavior in the latter storyline is also fairly subdued. That Dong-goo would lose a cooking competition to an actual chef should not have surprised anyone. But it's the effort, rather than what Dong-goo is actually trying to accomplish, that makes him an endearing character. Dong-goo never gives up. Sometimes Dong-goo should give up, when that determination involves him being innately unpleasant, although that's not really a factor here.
Also, is it just me or has Doo-sik gotten really dumb? I still remember how in the early episodes Doo-sik seemed like the most sensible member of the main cast, yet now he is easily amused by whatever ridiculous joke Joon-ki manages to come up with on the spot. I will grant that the final punchline for that sequence by the pool was pretty funny. Although that's mainly because Soo-ah gives him that great look indicating that no, Joon-ki is not a wizard.
While the jokes are not particularly strong in that storyline I also appreciated how every horrible thing that happens to Joon-ki and Seo-jin is entirely a consequence of their relationship being kept a secret for no good reason. Well I guess excepting the scenes that involve that horrible car, which has over all this time somehow managed not to break down and become completely worthless just yet. That everyone keeps using the car is perhaps indicative of how they lack better options. Or more likely it's just a silly recurring gag.
Review by William Schwartz
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Laughter in Waikiki" Episode 15"
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