Nearly a year has passed since the first whispers of new pre-produced KBS2 drama "Uncontrollably Fond" began floating about. Writer Lee Kyeong-hee who penned popular dramas such as "Nice Guy", "Will It Snow for Christmas?", and "A Love to Kill" returns for another sixteen episode dramawith Director Park Hyeon-seok of sageuk sensation "The Princess' Man" and the recent "Spy - Drama". It came in on top of the pack at 12.5%.
The first episode of "Uncontrollably Fond" was beautifully shot as is typical of Director Park, but tonally ambiguous, which is typical of Writer Lee. Filming began back in November of 2015 and finished three months ago in April. Pre-production means the drama can't be completely altered to cater to ratings, which is nice.
Leads Kim Woo-bin as Shin Joon-yeong and Suzy as No Eul fit well into their roles thus far. Woo-bin has long since mastered the smoldering, anguished look, which is necessary in this role. His character, diagnosed with terminal illness, is distressed by his imminent death and vacillates between arrogance, kindness, confusion, and angsty, long thinking sessions. Suzys character is struggling to pay back a massive loan shark debt and manipulates, cajoles, and does pretty much anything to acquire the money to do so and care for her younger brother who we have not yet met. As an actress, Suzy has well-portrayed her character up to this point without her typical awkwardness.
Lim Ju-hwan as Choi Ji-tae is introduced as a quietly pining, side-handedly supportive second male lead. Not much of the character was shown, and the second female played by Im Joo-eun (reunited with her "What's Up" co-actor Lim Ju-hwan") has not yet appeared. Short introductions of Ji-tae's family were made and a longer presentation of Joon-yeong's strained relationship with his mother filled out the melodrama of "Uncontrollably Fond".
When Joon-yeong and No Eul meet again, they pretend not to know each other, speaking in formal language. The episode ends with a direct confrontation that forces their past relationship to the surface. From the trailers and press releases we know they were lovers who were forced to part. They meet again in the present day and have to overcome not only the past, but their altered personalities. Truth be told, I'm not quite sure what their personalities are in the present because they are all over the place. I'm more curious to see how Suzy performs than I am in the story at this point. Compared to the beauty of the drama and the framing of the shots, it was lackluster. But it is only the first episode. I'll hold out to see what happens.
So, deadly disease? Check. Loan sharks? Check. Family strain? Check. Looks like we have everything we need to embark on a Lee Kyeong-hee drama.
Written by: Lisa Espinosa AKA Raine from 'Raine's Dichotomy'
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Managing editor, drama lover, and foodie, Lisa enjoys exploring Korea, speaking the language, and soaking in all that dramaland has to offer. Lisa Espinosa can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Uncontrollably Fond" Episode 1"
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