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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Laughter in Waikiki" Episode 5


Right away there's some badly needed continuity - Seo-jin is still really depressed that her job interview was actually just a pretext for the guy in charge of hiring to creepily hit on young women who want jobs. So in turn, the other residents of the Waikiki Guest House try to cheer her up. All they do is repeat the same proverb at her with different examples in freezing weather. Which is funny enough on its own, but then they keep suffering from bizarre elaborate failure.

Now this is more of the comedy from the first episode that I liked so much. Yes, everybody keeps screwing up. But it's not their fault, they just have chronically horrible luck. Look at how desperately Joon-ki wants to believe that the car he got in auspicious circumstances is actually a really good car. It's not the car that Joon-ki believes in, but rather the idea that his luck has finally turned around. While the set-up for the car's disastrous potential is funny enough on its own, the climax of that plotline is a masterwork in comedic timing.

Another important factor is escalation. Even if the original circumstance was just bad luck, frequently, a character will react in panic and make everything worse. That's what happens to Doo-sik anyway. I was wondering, when Doo-sik got to the apartment, first how he got there (then I remembered this had been set up earlier), then second what exactly his plan even was. As it turns out, Doo-sik's own furtiveness is what ends up causing the real crisis.

The storylines in the second half are not quite so strong. Well, the one about characters maybe (but probably not actually) getting sick stood out. This was mostly because back in episode three explicitly sick characters very stupidly act violently ill right in front of the guests. There's also a continuity lapse in that everyone just forgets about the portable toilet Dong-goo bought awhile back, mostly to set up a different kind of potty humor.

Lastly, Joon-ki really needs to get an agent. I mean the workplace situations he keeps falling into are just plain ridiculous, and are the whole reason agents exist, is so they can negotiate contracts to prevent job loss due to petty spite. On balance that storyline was still decent, because once again, the crisis is caused because Joon-ki overreacts to an easily solved problem that wasn't really his fault. But no seriously the guy needs an agent.

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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