Na-ri and Nan-gil continue to sulk. This is so disconnected from their own relationship and most of the story I actually had trouble remembering why they were so upset with each other, when the big event that caused the rift was just last episode. Now, there is the usual interference from the gangsters. Although at this point it's a wonder anyone pays attention to those guys at all. They're not even trying to hide their obvious agenda anymore, so why should anyone listen to them?
Deok-bong gets this, although overall his role in "The Man In My House" remains dubious. Deok-bong assisting Na-ri and Nan-gil with the land issue appears to stem mainly from a poor relationship with his family more than it does a particularly strong or involved friendship with either of the main characters. They, too, often do their best to pretend Deok-bong isn't in the room when he's there for the sole purpose of coming to provide them with valuable legal aid.
It's not that Na-ri and Nan-gil are particularly bad or even unlikable characters. Their priorities are just really hard to keep track of. I suppose it makes sense that they're so uncertain about each other's motives when we as viewers frequently have the exact same problem. All the same, it's really unsatisfying to watch them pine over each other while being completely unwilling to just have a straightforward conversation that will solve all these communications issues.
Consider how Deok-sim jump-starts the plot by...being a stalker. While Deok-sim is not an especially charming young woman, she does at least have a clearly defined goal. The girl works toward getting what she wants. And even as Deok-sim is doomed toward failure, her attitude is understandable and I do kind of want Deok-sim to be in a nicer place by the end. This task is not rendered, easy, though, since we know relatively little about what specifically was so miserable about life with her parents.
Yeo-joo is the one who delves into that storyline. Which sort of makes sense- it's not like anyone else cares. But all the sympathetic staging can't really hide the fact that Yeo-joo was spotlighted as a man-stealer from the very first episode. The main obstacle to her getting together with Deok-bong is her own shallow selfishness, and even if she overcomes this personal issue, it's not likely to be convincing. Most of the flaws in "The Man In My House" fall along similar lines.
Review by William Schwartz
Note : due to licensing, videos may not be available in your country
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] "The Man In My House" Episode 12"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
[Video] 2nd teaser released for the upcoming Korean drama "Hwarang"
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