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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Lucky Romance" Episode 15

2016/07/13

There are two major critical problems in "Lucky Romance". The first is that most of the drama's ideas are undeveloped. The second, more complicated problem is that most of the drama's ideas are really clichéd and bad, so developing them would make "Lucky Romance" worse rather than better. This issue kept coming back to me watching this episode, which is painfully predictable as Soo-ho is hospitalized, while Bonnie gets scared and affects a last minute separation.

The big issue with this scripting is that by design it inhibits interaction between Soo-ho and Bonnie, when their interplay is by far the drama's most interesting dynamic. Were I to chart episodes by what percentage of the time Soo-ho and Bonnie are on-screen together, the best episodes would quite surely be the ones with the high percentage. Whether they're fighting or being cute is rather besides the point. Ryu Jun-yeol and Hwang Jung-eum know how to do romantic comedy.

Their chops at romantic drama are less than impressive, although that may be more a problem with the direction. It's hard to pin-point any single weakness of "Lucky Romance" because there are a lot of them. The main factor preventing the drama from being terrible is the generally boring nature of the plot, such that the script is so disinterested in its own story that it will frequently forget major plot points barely an episode after they're introduced.

Note, for example, that apparently the hackers just won- there's no indication post time-skip that Soo-ho ever actually solved that problem. He does keep the bumbling fool who created that crisis around the office, though, so who knows, maybe there will be some sort of unsatisfying resolution to all that. But even potentially interesting story elements just fade in and out at random. The way Soo-ho's dad reacted to Soo-ho's accident was sweet, but it would have had a lot more impact if up until now he'd been portrayed as anything except a drunkard come angry cuckold.

That's what's really been missing in "Lucky Romance"- a sense of depth to character relationships except when the actors are good enough to transcend that. The Dal-nim/Jang-hwa romance has had about as much exposition as any of the other random plotlines, yet it is substantially more memorable because these characters are portrayed with genuinely interesting passion. Why couldn't the entire drama have just been about that kind of interplay?

Review by William Schwartz

"Lucky Romance" is directed by Kim Kyeong-hee-II, written by Choi Yoon-gyo and features Hwang Jung-eum, Ryu Jun-yeol, Lee Chung-ah and Lee Soo-hyuk.

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