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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Shall We Kiss First" Episodes 27-28


There's a lot more of Soon-jin pretending like she doesn't know what Moo-han is up to here. Couple that with Moo-han agonizing in general about leaving Soon-jin alone and not telling her everything and well, "Shall We Kiss First" is pretty hopelessly depressing. The drama is also fairly pointlessly depressing. Since the main chararacters are not communicating honestly with each other, the plot has slowed to a crawl. Only the legal case takes on much prominence.

If Soon-jin's lawsuit was going to be such a big factor, it's something the drama really should have discussed from the beginning. We started out with Soon-jin just being traumatically lonely because of her husband's cheating. Then we found out the cheating was prompted by mutual despair over the death of their daughter. So now, Soon-jin is fighting to bring justice to the evil candy company and uh, that all just seems rather sudden, especially considering her best friend is married to a guy with a connection to the project.

I miss the troubling ambiguity of Kyeong-soo's character. I liked how he and Ji-min have serious mutual trust issues because their entire relationship was a betrayal of Soon-jin. These two are far less interesting now. They just act like a normal non-confontational married couple, when nothing in their circumstances has justified such a change. Far from being emotionally prone to overreaction, Kyeong-soo now just takes everything in stride.

I-deun, too, has gone from desperately lashing out for attention from her parents to just passively accepting that she is assistant barista? Ha-min actually brings up a really good point about how even if he did like her, it would be a crime for him to reciprocate. Although really, it's hard to feel sympathy for I-deun in any circumstances. The stalking conclusion Ha-min jumps to at the gym is by far the most logical one.

It might also be the actual correct one, as far as we know, since so little effort is put into rehabilitating I-deun's character. While I want all the characters of "Shall We Kiss First" to find redemption, I was hoping that this would be accomplished by their earning it. As in, they would take stock of the mistakes in their life, forgive others, and try to do better. Right now there's no indication of any kind of serious self-retrospection like that. Instead we get some very clumsily bad English dialogue sequences- endless set-up with no hint of payoff.

Review by William Schwartz

"Shall We Kiss First" is directed by Son Jeong-hyeon, written by Bae Yoo-mi and features Kam Woo-sung, Kim Sun-ah, Oh Ji-ho, and Park Si-yeon.

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