Oh Soo's intonation is now so chipper I barely recognize him as being the same character. It's not just the weird way he talks. I remember Oh Soo as being a generally crabby young man who doesn't especially care what other people think, yet has a kind heart in spite of that. Oh Soo in full-on lovey-dovey mode is a substantially less interesting character, since he just does that aggressive romantic comedy pursuit thing that's supposed to be cute but frequently comes off as stalking behavior.
I also wasn't terribly thrilled with the main conflict, which was about Yoo-ri trying to figure out how to pay for mom's medical care and how the men in her life tried to solve this problem for her. Normally I get annoyed when people turn down free money for the sake of honor. But in this case, Yoo-ri has a steady job and can probably afford whatever payment plan the hospital comes up with, considering they denied her financial aid. So it's a little patronizing for Oh Soo to try and help her like this.
By the way, how and why is Oh Soo rich? Normally I would think that being the inheritor to a magical tea shop and being the inheritor to big money would be mutually exclusive propositions. Yes, I harp on this point fairly often, but it's mainly because being the inheritor to a magical tea shop is an interesting idea I have not seen elsewhere, whereas being rich is just a generic leading man trait in South Korean romantic comedies.
Besides that Ga-na is better at being a rich idiot than Oh Soo. I rather liked the visit to the hotel that apparently does not charge people in advance for rooms? I also liked Ga-na's facial injury, but only because I was expecting a funny explanation for how he got it. "That Man Oh Soo" very pointlessly cuts us out of that conversation before we can get to an actual joke, solely so we can be distracted by yet another undeveloped subplot.
"That Man Oh Soo" has really become a case study in how writers really need to show restraint when it comes to how many ideas they try to put on the screen at once. Parts of "That Man Oh Soo" are genuinely intriguing. But time and again writer Jung Yoo-seon falls back on well-worn clichés instead of just letting the more off-beat parts of the premise properly develop, and it's disappointing.
Review by William Schwartz
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "That Man Oh Soo" Episode 10"
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