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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Drinking Alone" Episode 7

2016/09/26 | Permalink

The main particularly interesting aspect to Jeong-seok's character is the complicated way he drinks alcohol by himself, but "Drinking Alone" keeps undermining this by making him act weirdly lovey-dovey. What's worse is that Myeong, in additiion to being really nice, apparently has some pretty amazing abs. Surprisingly enough that scene isn't just eye candy. It's also a lead-up to a fairly impressive joke.

Elsewhere in the main plot, Ha-na's general insecurity when it comes to her credentials as a teacher is in full focus. I couldn't help but notice that at least part of this is illusory. Note how while Jin-woong is playing to a packed room, his room is much smaller than Ha-na's, so they probably have the same of actual people. Not like this is super-important anyway, considering the extent to which the school's business model relies on online videos.

Which provides the centerpiece for most of the humor with the students this episode. Basically, how even though they want to study and do well, they constantly get distracted by dumb Internet stuff, silly daydreams, and even random household chores just for the sake of avoiding any actual work. That's relatable- shoot, I do it all the time, and I don't even know why. Gong-yeong's attempts to demand an explanation from his friends are all the funnier precisely because they know they can't justify themselves.

And then, as if in some sort of bizarre response to this dilemma, Ha-na decides to try out the latest fad to solve her own problem and that...predictably goes in a weird direction. Incidentally, I like how Jin-i and Jin-woong are consistently treated as one-note gimmick characters, their gimmick being sexiness and pop culture references respectively. While they adopted these personas to become better teachers, Jin-i and Jin-woong now have the odd funny habit of lapsing into this behavior just as a default stock reaction.

"Drinking Alone" almost reads like a satire of the whole concept of privatized education. What if we lived in a world where having a graduation certificate was more important than having relevant career skills? What if we lived in a world where teachers had to amuse students lest they lose their own jobs? Of course, other scenes don't necessarily tie in to this all that well. The cliffhanger is quite possibly the most ridiculously contrived accidental kiss I've ever seen. But hey, as long as it's funny, who cares, right?

Review by William Schwartz

"Drinking Alone" is directed by Choi Gyoo-sik and Jeong Hyeong-geon, written by Baek Seon-woo, Choi Bo-rim and Myeong Soo-hyeon, and features Ha Seok-jin, Hwang Woo-seul-hye, Park Ha-sun, Min Jin-woong, Kim Won-hae, Gong Myung and Key.

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