More of a big deal is made out of how Yoo-ri is having a hard time because of her mother's illness, yet is so fortunate to have not one but two men eager to offer emotional support at the slightest notice. That melodrama doesn't last very long, though, since the surgery ends up going well. I never especially liked the sick mother storyline, but the sheer anticlimax of its ending was a little much for me. The pacing was just not as good as it coud have been.
In one hospital scene we do finally get a good approximation of how Oh Soo and Jin-woo are supposed to be distinct as romantic leads, via Soo-jeong's positing whether Yoo-ri prefers Cinderella or Wonder Woman. Although that analogy is sort of counter-intuitive. Both of Yoo-ri's love interests bring out both aspects. The lack of distinguishing characteristics between the two love stories is odd, since the result is that Oh Soo and Jin-woo are frequently indistinguishable.
I mean sure Oh Soo still has the whole magic tree thing going for him. The whole scene where he conspires to get the convenience store employees together is adorable, as is the brief moment of panic since even with mutually aligned magical color particles the final result is still a rejection. The implication would appear to be that logical force of will is stronger than true love. In the short term anyway.
Yoo-ri's lack of participation in these scenes, though, renders them largely irrelevant in the context of their love story. Oh Soo just benefits from having his own independent subplots is all. Even though Jin-woo is Soo-jeong's teacher, and Soo-jeong has already been clearly identified as a delinquent, neither of them have any apparent story arc. In between all the hospital scenes and the magic tree scenes and the stalker scenes there's no room for simple character building.
Oh yeah, the stalker. There might actually be more than one, it's kind of hard to tell. Yoo-ri does get confronted by the weird guy who knows what her name is at least. Sad story notwithstanding, I didn't have much of a reaction. Well, actually, I did find myself wondering how Yoo-ri knew anything about what happened to her dad if none of the witnesses stuck around. Aside from certain questions inspired by the screenwriting "That Man Oh Soo" mostly just goes through the motions, leaving only a minimal impact.
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 email@example.com.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "That Man Oh Soo" Episode 9"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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