In a nice change of pace, the storylines in this installment of "Laughter in Waikiki" are structured like mysteries, where we as viewers are invited to guess at possible resolutions to apparently inexplicable situations. Take the first and most prominent storyline. By all accounts Yoon-ah's confession to Dong-goo was completely sincere. So what to make of her attitude? We are given the clear impression that Joon-ki and Doo-sik's assumptions are wrong, because they are idiots. But clearly an explanation of some sort is forthcoming- and it's a good one.
The parallel storyline where Joon-ki and Doo-sik have their own goal is also really good, for completely different reasons. They make an honest mistake, and end up trying to help out their fellow man. While Joon-ki and Doo-sik demonstrate dubious competence as usual, the nobility of the overall goal makes them easy heroes to root for. It also helps that the guest star they're helping is played by Kim Kang-hyun. Now there's an underrated comedic talent.
While the following two storylines are not quite as strong, they still make for highly entertaining comedy. Doo-sik's impulsive confession actually segues nicely from both of them. We have the same atmosphere of terrible, possibly malicious advice from alleged friends, except with a radically different outcome. Then there's just the consistency of Doo-sik's generally silly characteristic of impulsively falling in love with whatever random vaguely attractive women happen to be nearby.
Except for Soo-ah. I liked the little moment where the prospect of Doo-sik and Soo-ah getting together is discussed, however briefly, on account of their being the last remaining couple. I don't really want them together, though, because I prefer Doo-sik and Soo-ah as platonic partners with complementary skill sets. Really, their moments of personality clash and not getting along is what makes them so appealing.
Soo-ah and Seo-jin have similar chemistry, although we never see it used as much as I'd like. So it's lucky that the final storyline involves a mess that they get into. It wasn't anyone's fault, and there are no grudges. Although really, the set-up was my favorite part in terms of joke structure. Observe how the conflict has nothing to do with the phone, instead being the happenstance of an unrelated and unpredictable accident. Surprises like that are great in comedy because really, any punchline that's aiming for a laugh has to come from somewhere unexpected.
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 email@example.com.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Laughter in Waikiki" Episode 17"
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