Oh Yeon-seo’s central expression as Princess Hyeomhyeong is very appropriate. Even in pictographic form, she looks horrifically sinister. So all the time Gyeon-woo is talking about his efforts to try and meet her again, I’m just thinking to myself, do you really think that’s a good idea? And predictably enough, upon finally actually finding Princess Hyeomhyeong, Gyeon-woo once again faces peril and disaster for no apparent cause.
That, of course, is just the premise of “My Sassy Girl – Drama”, repeateded, ad infinitum, for these two episodes. It was really boring. I was surprised to find that I actually really wanted to know more about the royal conspiracy from the first episode, because that part of the premise provides something “My Sassy Girl – Drama” desperately needs- an antagonist. As it stands Gyeon-woo and Princess Hyeomhyeong are just bumbling around invoking disaster to whoever happens to be so unfortunate as to be in the way.
Which is to say, right now, the protagonists are the villains, and I’m feeling sorry for everyone else. Joon-yeong (played by Lee Jung-shin) is a member of the palace guard. Princess Hyeomhyeong has an obvious crush on him, and it’s obvious why he avoids talking her. I feel bad for Joon-yeong. Da-yeon (played by Kim Yoon-hye) is Gyeon-woo’s old friend and has an obvious crush on him. Considering the woman Gyeon-woo is chasing instead, I feel even worse for Da-yeon.
Pretty much every character in the supporting cast feels like this. Byeol-i (played by Tae Mi) has the thankless job of being Princess Hyeomhyeong’s bodyguard. I was initially confused as to why Byeol-i did not attempt to punish for Gyeon-woo for attempted sexual assault, but I suspect it’s because Byeol-i simply assumes that Princess Hyeomhyeong’s claims of persecutions are not to be taken seriously. That is not particularly reassuring.
Then there’s Se-ho (played by Lee Si-eon) and Hwang-ga (played by Park Yeong-soo), Gyeon-woo’s friends at the erotic manuscript workshop who…might be gay? Actually wait, this drama has an erotic manuscript workshop? That sounds way more interesting than having Gyeon-woo and Princess Hyeomhyeong snipe at each other and bully random people while trying to look for some jade ring. “My Sassy Girl – Drama” has the right elements to be good, if it would just stop with the repetitive jokes and work on its characters more naturalistically.
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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