I finally figured out what critical advantage Oh Soo has that has been allowing him to eclipse Jin-woo as a romantic rival. Oh Soo owns a car. That's really about it. Yoo-ri is frequently forced into having to get help from Oh Soo entirely thanks to the fact that he owns a car and apparently taxis are hard to come by in this neighborhood. Transparently absurd as this fact may be in the romantic comedy context, a funny joke is still a funny joke however unintentionally.
The subtext is all we get here in terms of humor anyway. Apparently both Oh Soo and Yoo-ri have tragic backstories related to the fathers. Yoo-ri's is the only one completely spelled out though. Oh Soo's family life, and its relationship to that magic tree, apparently must remain a permanent mystery to only ever be explained at the very end. Ditto with that weird guy who Oh Soo can tell is up to no good, always making frivolous small talk with the neighbors.
The closest we get to a real serious setpiece is at the hospital, where both Oh Soo and Yoo-ri end up staying overnight. I guess that was kind of cute, particularly with the predictable assumptions at play on the part of Yoo-ri's mother. Although really, there aren't even any buses that go to the hospital? It seems like Yoo-ri could get home on her own. But then that would make it harder for Oh Soo to like her while pretending like he doesn't actually.
The plot is so minimally reduced to basic romantic comedy fluff mixed with melodramatic tragedy I was once again left to ponder the shooting location. Honestly it's hard not to, because the shooting location remains one of the strongest aspects of this drama. I would very much like to live in a neighborhood like that, if I could figure out where it is. Even the streetlights are highly romantic.
That's Samcheong-dong, by the way. It's between the Hanok Village and Bukhan Mountain. I rather wish "That Man Oh Soo" could inspire more interesting topics of conversation than just the cinematography, although I guess it's better than nothing. My main issue that such an epic backdrop is wasted on such a thoroughly average drama. How many times are we going to watch Oh Soo makes excuses not to talk to people, instead of watching what he'd rather be doing instead?
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] "That Man Oh Soo" Episode 7"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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