Currently in Manhattan, NY:

When A Man Falls In Love Episode 16

[Hancinema"s Drama Review] "hogu"s Love" Episode 13

[HanCinema"s Drama Review] "Hogu"s Love" Episode 13

News via

Apparently Do-hee has always had a problem with refusing to clarify misunderstandings for no good reason. While this is still a terribly annoying character trait, "Hogu"s Love" does get credit here for finally treatingit as a bad thing. The emotional climax of this episode features Hogu giving Do-hee a serious piece of his mind. And whileHogu doesinevitably feel bad for being such a jerk, Do-hee really did need the wake-up call. Saying "you didn"t ask" isn"t an acceptable justification when Do-hee responds tomost questions with either misleading obfuscations or indignant bullying (usually it"s both).

The comedy, thank goodness, has been momentarily separated from the central conflict. The wacky comedic hijinx in "Hogu"s Love" are a lot more bearable when the drama isn"t constantly reminding me that its characters are adults making serious adult decisions with major consequences on other people"s lives. Friends eating fish snacks? Good. Do-hee trying to act unnaturally cute? Good. High school purity candy? Uh...I kind of doubt that even happens, or at least that it happens that specific way. But at least the comedy is sound.

The segregation also extends to Kang-cheol"s gay subplot- aside from the opening portion the drama stops expecting us to laugh at Kang-cheol"s dilemma. And it really is a tonal thing- Kang-cheol is genuinely scared for very good reason. And Ho-kyeong manages some mild character development realizing that, hey, she"s really kind of being a jerk for shutting Kang-cheol out like thishaving spent almost all of her screentime stalking him.

tvN Drama
Tvn Drama "ho-Gu's Love" Episode 12 Recap

tvN Drama "Ho-gu's Love" Episode 12 Recap

News via

Do-hee meets with CEO Park, who has a new concept image to present to her — a sexy photo-shoot. Do-hee’s a little hesitant and CEO Park reassures her it shouldn’t be too awkward since she’ll be doing it with fellow swimmer, Kyung-woo. The sound of his name makes Do-hee even more determined not to do it. But CEO Park tells her that they can dispel all those childbirth rumors with this photo-shoot — it’s not a request, it’s an order.

At the restaurant, Kang-chul is totally drunk now, and he tipsily asks Ho-kyung why she likes him. He cutely tells her that she shouldn’t like him, though, because he’s… he lowers his voice… gay. She laughs it off, but he repeats it, yelling: “I’m gay! Gay!” until he passes out drunk at the table. She spots the crumpled up assessment next to him.

tvN Drama "Ho-gu's Love" Episode 11 Recap

News via

Ho-gu’s head whips around so fast it gives instant lie to his insistence about being over Geum-dong, and he gasps to see Geum-dong laying right there on the couch. Do-hee stops Ho-gu from going to him — you know, since he’s so annoying. She picks up Geum-dong, and Ho-gu is so overcome he can only run and hug them both. He wails that he missed Geum-dong so much that he wanted to die, and kiss-kiss-kisses the baby’s head while Do-hee smiles.

Ho-kyung gets Kang-chul to sit, and even manages to maintain her sweetness-and-light demeanor when he gulps a drink down and tries to go. She drags him back down onto the bench, denying that this meeting was anything but an accident, and swears that she heard him when he said he’s not interested and only wants to be friends.

In fact, Ho-kyung reminds Kang-chul that she’s a psychology major and that he may need her help in his future cases, but he starts to leave anyway. He stops and asks if she’s ever heard of someone’s sexual preferences changing, and suddenly their talk looks more like a therapy session.

[Video] Added Korean drama
[Video] Added Korean Drama "hogu"s Love" Episode 12
[Hancinema"s Drama Review] "hogu"s Love" Episode 12

[HanCinema"s Drama Review] "Hogu"s Love" Episode 12

News via

While it"s nice to have this all spelled out, I can"t pretend that I"m happy about these confirmations. As a melodrama protagonist Do-hee can"t really experience character growth, because what happened to her could have happened to any of us. Do-hee"s circumstances are not a result of her own personality. While UEE has certainly done good work giving Do-hee a vulnerable, human face, in the end I honestly just can"t stand her abrasive attitude. Do-hee is conveniently surrounded by men with no other apparent purpose in life except to help her for no reason, and time and again she looks this gift horse in the mouth.

To be clear, while "Hogu"s Love" is a melodramatic narrative, it most definitely does not have a melodramatic tone. This discordance is, I see now, the main reason why I"ve grown to dislike this drama so much. Actual melodramas clearly explain the situation at the beginning to build empathy with the characters. "Hogu"s Love" has been using these narrative points as plot twists. And as for the jokes...

I don"t find anything funny about Kang-cheol freaking out because people might think he"s gay. I don"t find anything funny about Ho-kyeong behaving like a stalker. I sort of find Hogu funny because he"s just such a dogged gopher, but increasingly, "Hogu"s Love" is explicitly saying that all its characters are, in one way or another, dorks on Hogu"s level. They"re all stumbling around rather stupidly, and at this point I"m just sick of it all.

[Video] Added Korean drama
[Video] Added Korean Drama "hogu"s Love" Episode 11
[Hancinema"s Drama Review] "hogu"s Love" Episode 11

[HanCinema"s Drama Review] "Hogu"s Love" Episode 11

News via

It"s just...I feel like we"ve been over all of these plot points multiple times already. "Hogu"s Love" has an awful lot of drama but little to no resolution. While it"s nice for a story to whet viewer interest with questions, after a certain point the lack of explanation just gets to be suffocating. If Kang-cheol"s not the father, then why is he willing to accept such a personal stake in this? What is Ho-kyeong even trying to accomplish? How can these characters share so much backstory while knowing so little about each other?

The main problem I have with "Hogu"s Love" at this point is that the story"s too allegorical. The characters only really make sense as ciphers for abstract concepts. But every strong emotional moment in this drama has impact because of who they are as actual people. I have to simultaneously accept Do-hee as both an impulsivewoman whodemands obedience while offering nothing returnand asa person with a tragic past we shouldn"t judge.

The way all of this gets conflated is just really tiring. I"m never sure whether the conflict is supposed to be about character flaws or the external situation. The former points are all right, but the latter ones involve convolutedplot machinationsabsurd enough that they frequently breakthe willing suspension of disbelief. The next episode might or might notdevelop thisinto coherent detail. The preview does offer some optimism, although I"m certainly not going to hold my breath for it.