I rather like the interpersonal dynamic between Jae-in and Da-hyeon. Even when they're just hanging around on a date there's this almost perfect blend of teasing with genuine affection that translates into cute flirting, even if neither of them really think of themselves as being flirts. Jae-in, of course, does pick the best possible moments to come up with a spontaneous kiss, but for the most part, he's satisfied just being around Da-hyeon and suitably grumpy whenever she's not available for some reason.
The reverie of cuteness which begins episode eight ends when an unexpected crisis forces Da-hyeon to request help. Well, not really. What makes Jae-in a good guy is that Da-hyeon does not have to ask for help. Jae-in simply offers it, and even when (as is the case in episode nine) he goes a little too far in fixing everything up, he still means well. Jae-in's in terest isn't even particularly selfish, considering how he makes zero effort to take advantage of Da-hyeon- aside from getting more teasing fodder.
What makes the love story between these two so compelling is that the more time they spend together, the more reluctant they are to spend time apart. There's a very slow escalation in the acual verbalization of feelings, because both Jae-in and Da-hyeon are stubborn people who are unwilling to concede weakness. But even apart, just looking at the body language of these two shows that they are undergoing slight yet perceptible changes for the better.
But note that even while Jae-in and Da-hyeon are shy on explicit emotional affection, they are very good at more general communication. Aside from taking maybe the requisite half-hour to set up a prank, neither of them is trying to bitterly hold secret grudges against the other without explanation. When Da-hyeon gets cranky, Jae-in tries to reassure her. While Jae-in's success seems limited, ultimately Da-hyeon's willingness to spend time with him is the real proof that she sincerely believes his entreaties.
Contrast this to the way these two fought each other earlier in the drama, where Da-hyeon was snapping at Jae-in's rude behavior. Those fights were genuinely mean, and attacked Jae-in's character in such a way that he felt the need to reform if only to prove that Da-hyeon was wrong. That Jae-in does not feel the need to attak Da-hyeon in similar fashion is evidence of deserved mutual respect, and that's always nice to see.
Review by William Schwartz
Staff writer. Has been writing articles for HanCinema since 2012, having lived in South Korea since 2011. Started out in Gyeongju, then to Daegu, then to Ansan, then to Yeongju, then to Seoul, lived on the road for HanCinema's travel diaries series in the summer of 2016, and is currently settled in Anyang. Has good tips for utilizing South Korea's public bus system. William Schwartz can be contacted via email@example.com.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Something About 1% - 2016" Episodes 8-9"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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