So I appear to have misread Joon-yeong’s character. Apparently he’s not Princess Hyeomhyeong’s love interest at all, but rather the protagonist in the parallel storyline about trying to figure out who kidnapped Princess Hyeomhyeong and why. Joon-yeong has his work cut out for him. Not only is he dealing with an elaborate conspiracy far beyond his pay grade, but Princess Hyeomhyeong, the person who Joon-yeong is supposed to be protecting, isn’t aware of the danger because as far as she knows the pawnbroker was acting alone.
I mentioned that last review, too, and there’s a reason for that. “My Sassy Girl – Drama” is starting to move slowly. It’s notobnoxiously frustratingly slow. At least not yet. But all any of the main characters are trying to right now is sniff out clues relating to each other’s backstories without actually just talking to each other. An romantic comedy needs interaction between the leads, or else there just isn’t anything to hold on to for interest.
For the sake of an example, the most compelling romantic scene for me in these two episodes was between Da-yeon and Chang-hwi (played by Kwak Hee-sung). Now, Chang-whi is not a particularly important character, and he only has that one scene really. But we know what Chang-hwi’s about. Chang-whi’s first scene was declaring his love to Da-yeon. And now hehas to grit his teeth every time she makes a request that is obviously intended to further her romantic aspirations with Gyeon-woo.
In addition to being funny because of Kwak Hee-sung’s desperately annoyed facial expressions, the scene is also good character building. It establishes how Da-yeon seems superficially nice but behind the smiles are some very mean-spirited requests. It’s a nice contrast to Princess Hyeomhyeong, who’s the exact opposite. Princess Hyeomhyeong seems mean, but tends to only ever act outspoken in the face of genuine injustice. More impressively, Princess Hyeomhyeong manages to induce shame without having to pull rank as a royal.
While these scenes are nice, moving as it is toward the actual plot, “My Sassy Girl – Drama” is constrained in how much it can do as comedy when all this exposition has to be dumped in front of us. Thankfully, the climax of episode ten not only includes an awesome swordfight, it also manages to contrive a situation where Gyeon-woo and Princess Hyeomhyeong have to work together in pursuit of a shared goal again. We can only hopes this leads to more character building romantic comedy.
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 9-10″
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