Woo and Princess Hyeomhyeong are largely sidelined for these two episodes. Indeed, the big climax barely even features them at all. Instead, Choon-poong (played by Sim Hyeong-tak) pops out of nowhere to helpfully identify what’s going on at the butcher shop. It’s pretty clear Choon-poong wants us to think that he’s an idiot, when he is in fact one of the more competent characters in a drama where nearly everyone is at least of above average intelligence.
I wasn’t really expecting much royal intrigue from “My Sassy Girl – Drama” so it’s a bit of a surprise that this actually tends to be one of the drama’s big strong points. There’s even a game of Go between two characters that features a fairly helpful summation of their respective strategies, both of which have strengths and weaknesses. Although really, even the powerful characters in “My Sassy Girl – Drama” are largely at the mercy of their subordinates, some of whom are more loyal than others.
But Woo doesn’t have subordinates, and Princess Hyeomhyeong doesn’t really use hers, which is probably why neither of them get to participate in the storyline here all that much. Note how Choon-poong intrudes upon their situation- in terms of direct assistance, the closest we get is Woo asking his buddies at the erotic manuscript workshop to help him make a sketch. Which is minimal plot movement, this scene existing mainly to set up jokes about no one wanting Princess Hyeomhyeong to know specifically what it is they’ve been writing about.
As far as secrets go in “My Sassy Girl – Drama” this one is actually quite mild, which ironically gives the impression of sincere trust since it didn’t occur to Woo’s friends to simply hide the sketches ahead of time. Queen Jungjeong, meanwhile, is very bad about skulking around in a suspicious manner because her royal entourage is always creating a scene. And as for Wol-myeong (played by Kang Shin-hyo), well, we’ve already seen what that guy does to his friends. And enemies.
Which brings me back to that game of Go. I think Da-yeon’s comment about the risks inherent in overly complicated plans is fairly on-point. While Gi-joon seems to be always winning all the time, he never gets any closer to his actual goal, and with every cover-up there’s more risk that someone somewhere is going to find a helpful clue. Woo and Princess Hyeomhyeong do finally manage to glean one scrap of useful information by the end, after all, and that’s where it all starts.
Review by William Schwartz
“My Sassy Girl – Drama” is directed by Oh Jin-seok, written by Yoon Hyo-je and features Joo Won, Oh Yeon-seo, Lee Jung-shin, Kim Yoon-hye, Son Chang-min, and Yoon Se-ah.
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“[HanCinema’s Drama Review] “My Sassy Girl – Drama” Episodes 13-14″
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