So Soo-ah is now my favorite character, solely because she points out the sheer stupidity of Dong-goo trying to keep his feelings for Soo-ah a secret for no good reason. Actually a lot of this episode is better than usual because there's a lot more shame. Observe how Joon-ki eventually realizes he was being a jerk to Seo-jin for no good reason. I mean come on, the stove wasn't working. That's not the fault of the first person to notice it.
In context that story's still pretty decent. I'd figured that "Laughter in Waikiki" had forgotten about Seo-jin's ambitions to become a reporter when actually it was just happening offscreen. Joon-ki was just as ignorant, which lets us see evenets from his perspective. Then again, Joon-ki didn't really do anything. I mean come on, there was no way that guy seriously believed the prank was a slight against him. Seo-jin had no way of knowing there would be a guy with a balding head at the interview.
Oddly enough, even though it's the exact same insult, the joke with the taxi driver was probably the best one of the episode. That's exactly the kind of stroke of bad luck these guys run into that's not their fault, it was just a random unforeseen consequence of their latest get rich quick scheme. The sheer silliness of the extended medical test trial joke notwithstanding, I hadn't seen that kind of joke in awhile, so it was funny.
One factor that makes it easier to laugh is that there have not been so many spectacular failures lately. Observe how Doo-sik has, indeed, been working at construction sites for awhile. So the guest house is believably getting by. The Malk-eum storyline was a bit of a disappointment, though. It just seemed really patronizing. An erotic film star is a very potentially interesting character, especially in the context of a romantic relationship, and especially when the woman in question is a childhood friend.
The main frustration I have with "Laughter in Waikiki" is that writer Kim Ki-ho keeps charging straight past some very good set-ups, and the ones he ends up doing instead tend to be more hit than miss. Consider the whole sequence with the missing baby. How did she get to such a remote location by herself? I was really hoping for a gag that would explain that. Well, at least Soo-ah's magic baby powers were funny.
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 9"
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