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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Shopping King Louis" Episode 10

2016/10/27 | Permalink

I am someone who does not condone violence in real life and outside the scope of self defense, but someone needs to hit Bok-nam hard when he reappears and I know he will. Meanwhile we have hit the dark patch in our story as Bok-sil tries to shield Ji-seong from an awful piece of news. Enter scheduled breakup angst, although it is done with as little drama as possible.

As evident by the opened pot back in Bok-sil's (Nam Ji-hyun) family home and the brief mourning scene, Bok-nam (Ryu Ui-hyun) is alive. You see, for all his fangirl-seducing beauty, Detective Nam (Kang Ji-sub) is a pretty lousy investigator. Without clear evidence and footage from the scene of the accident, he really should not be writing any obituaries. Bok-nam delivering the goods to the boss of the gang everyone knows he is affiliated with is perfectly plausible and it is probably what happened.

Bok-sil finding changes in her houseIl-soon comforting a devastated Bok-sil

The reason for this police slip up is the drama generated, of course. Although we as viewers know that Bok-nam is probably alive, the pain is very real for our leading lady. Bok-sil has lost a lot in a short amount of time and so as a viewer I understand and sympathize. Il-soon's (Kim Young-ok) plea may be a typical plot device, but she too is easy to forgive. She has lost many, she knows survivor's guilt all too well and she does not want to subject her grandson to it.

Noble idiocy is a lazy concept, but idiocy for good reasons is different. Sparing an already traumatized loved one from possibly crippling guilt is one such reason. Of course we know Ji-seong (Seo In-guk) is strong, but Bok-sil is not wrong in assuming that a breakup would be less painful for most people than having survived at the expense of someone you love. A dead Bok-nam would make for an interesting story of healing, but this is a rom-com, thank the Dramagods, so I understand the need for less complex solutions.

Ji-seong and Joong-won being frightened by a spiderBok-sil trying not to show her feelings to Ji-seong

Which brings me to the writing. Episode ten offers angst and sadness, conflict and tears, but it does not cross the line of its genre. This is what a lot of dramas get wrong. Having comedy in the episode does not detract from the sad parts. If anything, it creates good pacing and maximizes the impact of the different situations. I hope the drama can maintain this balance until the end.

I had genuine laughs here and genuine tears when my beloved characters were sad. I cringed at poor In-seong's (Oh Dae-hwan) failed courtship attempt, and Joong-won's (Yoon Sang-hyun) ajumma-clad adventures in manual labor were endearing. I cried with Ji-seong and Bok-sil. Could "Shopping King Louis" be another stepping stone toward the resurrection of the rom-com genre? I hope like I have rarely hoped before.

"Shopping King Louis" is directed by Lee Sang-yeob-I, written by Oh Ji-yeong-I and features Seo In-guk, Nam Ji-yeon, Yoon Sang-hyun and Im Se-mi.

Written by: Orion from 'Orion's Ramblings'

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