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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Laughter in Waikiki" Episode 14

2018/03/27 | 539 views | Permalink

I was inititally fairly excited about the return of Joon-ki's terrible car. That was one of the better gags of the earlier episodes, with near perfect set-up and delivery. Unfortunately, the follow-up leaves a lot to be desired. The car literally just starts going around in circles. There's frustratingly little physical humor to speak of. I'm not asking for elaborate stunts or anything, I was just hoping that Soo-ah and Doo-sik were going to have to work together to reclaim the cell phone.

Incidentally, the editing in "Laughter in Waikiki" is very bad. One shot of the car rather confusingly omits the tape and the phone, though they reappear in later shots. Later on Joon-ki ends up looking like a ghost because an accidental transparency effect was left unsolved post-production. Also, the opening scene, with Joon-ki's big moment on TV? We can clearly see cameramen in the background. Did the production team just replay shots from the previous episode rather than using new ones?

Continuity errors also play a major role in the storyline where Seo-jin forces Joon-ki to give up acting like a mentally retarded child in the name of cheap laughs, apparently destroying Joon-ki's relationship with Doo-sik. Considering we have never seen Joon-ki act like this before, I found it odd that Joon-ki's obsessive pranksterism is played off like an essential character trait. Even their friendship montage doesn't show them acting like this with unimpeachable regularity.

That plotline also brings up a logical error in that Seo-jin is introducing Joon-ki as her boyfriend to some of her friends, yet somehow, is still expecting to keep the relationship a secret from Dong-goo. This entire storyline would be a lot stronger if Dong-goo had an actual reason to dislike the idea of Joon-ki and Seo-jin being together. Joon-ki has actually shown off enough unseemly character traits, especially with regards to women, that this could be easily justified but "Laughter in Waikiki" instead just keeps portraying Dong-goo as a psycho.

On the other end, Dong-goo does get the strongest storyline this episode when Yoon-ah forces him to spend the day together with Joon. Now that's a character trait we've seen time and again- Yoon-ah making life pointlessly unpleasant and complicated because she's incredibly bad at gauging people's feelings, but so nice that people hate correcting her. Although the prize for the competition was a bit much. Of course it's the journey, rather than the prize, that matters.

Review by William Schwartz

"Laughter in Waikiki" is directed by Lee Chang-min-I, written by Kim Ki-ho, and features Kim Jung-hyun, Lee Yi-kyung, Son Seung-won, and Jung In-sun.

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