Everyone has dramas they don’t plan on watching. Everyone has dramas that, when you watch the teasers or hear reviews just… don’t interest you. And perhaps, like some of you, there are dramas that you end up watching anyway, for whatever reason. Most of the time they turn out just like how I expect and I drop the show within a few episodes. But occasionally, they blow me away, or at least impress me. That’s what this category is for. Let’s meet the candidates: The Man Living in Our House, Beautiful Gong-shim, and Jealousy Incarnate.
Each of these dramas surprised me in their own right. The Man Living in Our House surprised me with it’s characters and heartfelt tone, even in the first few comedic episodes. I didn’t expect the story of Na-ri and Nan-gil to impact me so much, but it did. And I didn’t expect to have such conflicted feelings about Yeo-joo, but I do. Mostly I just didn’t expect to be interested or invested in the drama, and I totally am. Even if it has slowed down a bit in the recent episodes, it’s still good.
Beautiful Gong-shim looked terrible when I watched the teasers. The comedy looked bland, the characters looked confusing and the plot… don’t even get me started. The promotional material was a mess, in my opinion. But the drama turned out to be one of the funniest I watched this year, with some of the quirkiest, most endearing characters I’ve ever seen. I never finished this one, but not because I don’t want to. I took a vacation during the middle of its run and focused on… not drama for a while. I’ll finish it soon, promise.
Jealousy Incarnate similarly looked… ok, I guess. But nothing special. I do love Gong Hyo-jin as an actress and a person, but that’s not normally enough to get me on board a drama. So when I was in stitches during the first episode, I was thoroughly astounded. The show was more than just a simple petty love triangle, like I’d assumed. It really was Jealousy Incarnate. It was everywhere, and it was hilarious. I stopped after my ship sank, but the first half was great.
So what won? Well, after I thought about it the choice was actually pretty clear…
Not only did this show have the largest hill to climb from this-looks-terrible to enjoying myself, it also was the best of the three, I think. The characters really made me love them, even for all their hilarity. Perhaps even because of their hilarity. I know I’m not the most graceful person, and they certainly weren’t. TMLIOH is good, but not a stellar drama. It had a moment when it was gold and could have won… but the later episodes have stolen that right from it. Similarly with Jealousy Incarnate, I find it telling when I can’t even read the recaps after a point. It’s not just that she wasn’t with Jung-won… she was with Hwa-shin, who never impressed me as a character. ‘Nuff said, this isn’t a rant on his lack of likability. Beautiful Gong-Shim had a special brand of humor, one that didn’t come out very well in the trailers. Later, after having watched several episodes, I learned it was made by the same writer of Girl Who Sees Smells, and I could see the similarities. It was a bit campy, a lot wacky, and perfectly fun. With some awesome bromance to boot. Thanks, Gong-shim! You were the wiggiest drama I ever watched. (har.)Tune in tomorrow for another day of Christmas!