Haeundae Lovers: Episodes 1-2 Thoughts

I predict that Haeundae Lovers will be cute and enjoyable but not addicting (at least for myself). It's pretty obvious the show is going to rely heavily on the sexiness of its leads and oddball humor to appeal to those in the mood for a summer fling of a drama.

I like the premise, and I'm intrigued by the slippery set-up of having our lead man be already married by the time he starts interacting with our official heroine. Divorce is no small issue in Korea, and I'm curious how the conflict will be resolved. Despite this, after seeing episodes 1-2, the premise is so predictable and shallow that I'm having trouble connecting with it on anything aside from a purely visual level. Gangsters, fish, and amnesia? All pretty much standard fare in kdramas, and with an expected dose of wacky humor.

While I'm not attached to either lead, I do generally like the actors, and find it interesting to see the two of them come together for such a frothy piece. Prior to this, both have had some pretty serious, adult movie roles, notably with Jo Yeo Jung in The Emperor's Concubine and Kim Kang Woo in The Taste of Money. I've seen both the movies, and while my understanding may be a bit lacking, essentially Concubine is about a queen who ends up using her sexuality to gain power, and Taste of Money involves a rich family, some abuse, and a very, very strange and awkward sex scene between Kim Kang Woo and the 65-year-old Yoon Yeo-jeong (who played the mom/queen to Lee Seung-gi in The King 2 Hearts). Yeah, it's not for the small-minded.

The good news is that neither of them are held back by any excessive modesty, and should give a realistic, skimpy-garbed portrayal of life on a beach town. They've also done a good job mixing humor into the portrayals, and so far I like Jo Yeo Jung's persona here far better than I did her I Need Romance character.

I'm not as excited by the cartoonish side characters, from the uncles to the bitchy hotel lady. They're written so shallowly that there's nothing to grasp onto, and it's pretty clear where it's all headed. Nam Gyu Ri literally feels like she's been pulled straight out of 49 days, from the wedding to the besotted adoration for a guy that clearly isn't returning her affections. I do like her though, and am happy that she lends a granule of much-appreciated seriousness.

I'm going to continue watching because it's got me on the light comedy front, but frankly am far more excited for Faith to premiere.


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