As expected, "The Eccentric Daughter-in-Law" has to hastily wrap up complicated plot points mostly because there wasn't proper discussion of these story issues back when they were actually going on. In-yeong's impulsive decision, and the crisis that makes up most of the episode, is annoying primarily because the resolution is too simple. Was Joon-soo just really incompetent or what? He really should have been able to come up with that strategy on his own, given that it was the best possible explanation, as well as the most obvious.
I could just continue to criticize "The Eccentric Daughter-in-Law" on these points, but I'm rather sick of doing so at this point. The execution here is decent enough but there's only so much a story can do with such weak foundations. After the giant mess we've seen of his personal life Joon-soo really does get off way too easy, and I can't help but think that his mother really, really needed to be exposed as having at least some positive qualities.
In the more present sense, let's consider the music. Most of the time the soundtrack is pretty tacky- but I am somewhat fond of the traditional Korean music sequences, because they offer a welcome change of aesthetic. It's a very effective way of elevating the essential exoticism of the plot point. But again, as usual, I keep thinking about how "The Eccentric Daughter-in-Law" never really developed this aspect well enough to really contribute to the overall atmosphere.
The episode's not really that bad if I just manage to avoid spending too much time remembering previous episodes. The remorse on display here is fairly well-communicated by the actors. I did get the feeling that they all felt genuinely bad about the mean things they had done throughout the drama's run, and that they were hitting a sort of mild redemption by finally just opening up about their mistakes in order to avoid making any bigger ones.
Even granting this, capability does not equal genuine quality. I imagine most drama fans will easily recognize a lot of the tropes on display in the final episode of "The Eccentric Daughter-in-Law", and how much of them have even been recycled from earlier in the drama because back then, characters could not be counted on to have mature conversations about how they actually felt. "The Eccentric Daughter-in-Law" has never been aggressively stupid, but the lack of obvious purpose really dragged the drama down and made it feel like a placeholder.
Review by William Schwartz
"The Eccentric Daughter-in-Law" is directed by Lee Deok-geon & Park Man-yeong, written by Moon Seon-hee & Yoo Nam-kyeong and features Kim Dasom, Go Doo-shim, Ryu Soo-young, Kwak Hee-sung, Kim Yoon-seo, Kim Sung-hwan and more.
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] "The Eccentric Daughter-in-Law" Episode 12"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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