Now that Hae-soo's story has been dealt with "Sensible Love" has lost almost all sense of urgency. The obvious irony of this is that Hae-soo, by design, quite literally never actually did anything. She was the emotional reference point for everything else that happened- and without that reference point, the other characters just sort of drift around aimlessly, making new friends and...that's really about it. They make new friends we're done.
The ending is unsatisfying to be sure. But what's really so incredibly disappointing about it is because "Sensible Love" definitely had the potential to have a satisfyingly-unsatisfying ending, because of the visceral, very real emotional issues the characters were going through. And yet rather than admit that life goes on in uncomfortable ways, "Sensible Love" throws up weak subplots at the last minute regarding people and character traits I'd almost completely forgotten about.
If Il-ri's interest in creative painting was important, it really should have had more focus in the middle portion of the drama rather than just coming up at the beginning and the end. Likewise, if we're supposed to be relieved at Joon getting along with people, then we really should have seen him opening up a little more in contexts outside of the romantic affair. The ending is too sudden, and has inexplicably little build-up considering the way the drama has been dragging lately.
The production design remains strong as usual. The combination of soft, slow, sad music with similarly themed camerawork in limited palettes does a lot to bring out the basic essential sadness of the melodrama without the script having to resort to outrageous contrivances. "Sensible Love" has always had this very relaxing quality about it that I'd really like to see more of. Director Han Ji-seung was well chosen for this project. The man certainly did his best to elevate "Sensible Love" above the level of a typical melodrama.
Unfortunately the filmatic quality of "Sensible Love" was also probably its main downfall. There's only so long this kind of moody feeling can be sustained, and it bears repeating- twenty episodes was way, way too many. This story could have been managed much more satisfactorily in just twelve, with less emphasis on the mostly nonexistent supporting cast. A shorter runtime would have also greatly improved the power of the drama best visual moments, which right to the end are still overutilized in flashback. "Sensible Love" overstayed its welcome- and I am immensely disappointed that as good as this drama was early on, by the end it only managed to succeed in sullying its own image.
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] "Sensible Love" Episode 20"
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