Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Drama Review: Sly and Single Again

There are times when all you want to watch is a good rom-com drama. Not a drama that claims to be rom-com, only to end up leaving you scattered in a puddle of emotions. No, an actual romantic and comedic rom-com. Oddly enough, those true to claim dramas are rather hard to come by, mostly because a vast majority of them turn into a sad ball of sadness towards the second half. The good thing is, they're not extinct. Sly and Single Again (also known as Cunning Single Lady) should be proud they could fit themselves in this true rom-com category.

Sly and Single Again tells the story of Ae-ra (Lee Min-jung) and Jung-woo (Joo Sang-wook) who were once a happily married couple. She was the local beauty and he was a promising civil office worker. Their life was headed towards simple bliss. Until Jung-woo decided to dive head first into the business world. Their happily monotonous life turns into a life of unstable living conditions. Things turned sour soon afterwards, and after years of trying to support an unsuccessful husband, Ae-ra files for divorce. Three years later, Ae-ra is working yet another random job as a luxury goods seller while Jung-woo is the president of Korea's leading social media company. They would then meet each other once again and their life got just that little bit crazy.

From the descriptions the producers were giving of Sly, it was as if Ae-ra was trying to get her revenge and seduce Jung-woo for all the wrongs that he did. Thankfully enough, it's not that shallow. While both Ae-ra and Jung-woo sometimes act childish in their pursuit of payback time, it's not all about the money. There's a lot of hurt when divorce comes into play, and Ae-ra and Jung-woo's relationship is no different. The writers weren't afraid to dive into the deep end and give a solid punch of raw emotions. Don't worry though, despite their willingness to go to the dark side, the drama as a whole still retains its chirpy rom-com self which I'm thoroughly glad for. And by rom-com I mean goofball smile inducing romance and cackling comedy. I didn't know Joo Sang-wook had it in him to play such an adorable character.

In terms of secondary love, for me personally I wasn't really invested in them. I mean they're nice and they add a layer to the story. But was there ever anything other than the OTP? They weren't convincing enough for me to even imagine a possibility of a different coupling. Ae-ra and Seung-hyun was cuter than Jung-woo and Yeo-jin, but neither of them are as cute as Ae-ra and Jung-woo. Since they're siblings, they can't couple up and become each other's consolation prizes right? Well, kind of. While they don't get lovers of their own, I was glad the writers didn't leave them hanging and left to starve on their own (story-wise. They're filthy rich in the drama) and that their resolution wasn't of the romantic kind, but was all about the family. Isn't that nice?

One possible complaint I could see someone have of this drama is the makjang aspect of it all, especially from the Gook family. From the mafia-like father, to the runaway wife, to the daughter who has one leg, to the son who wants to be everyone's frown iron. Yes, it can get over the top. But oddly enough, the makjang presented is so funny to me. I don't know if they did this on purpose or not, but even for the makjang-loathing me, it was not only digestible, but downright hilarious.

On the other hand, Ae-ra's family is kind of a bunch of sour butts. The father is so wrapped up in his own beauty, he's basically useless. The mother who has a permanent rose-tinted glasses on her husband. The son who is straight up no-good person. Seriously, if I was Ae-ra, I would've moved to a different city at that point. They're really the hardest part of the show to watch for me. They're really annoying, and whenever they show up it means bad things are going to happen. It's not pleasant.

I do want to give a shout out to my favorite supporting character Min-young (Hwang Bo-ra), Ae-ra's trusty best friend. There's something about her that's just so comforting for me. In Ae-ra's world, almost everyone rejects her or at least doesn't appreciate her like she deserves. Not Min-young. She's there behind our girl. But she's no preppy cheerleader. When Ae-ra is acting brashly, she's there to snap reality back into her. Plus, she's the one that got our OTP back together in the first place. You can never hate her.

Sly is the second drama this year (that I watched) that deals with divorced couples getting back together again. Emergency Couple was the other one, which I did a review here. Since now both dramas are finished, I'm going to give my final thoughts. I think Sly is definitely the better of the two. From the relationship itself, Sly has so much more going on. In Emergency, our OTP divorced because they were basically immature and needed to grow up a little. With Sly, they're both grownups in a marriage mindset. But there were situations that made them clash and end up divorced. Story wise, Sly was more wise with their time. An episode never felt wasted and there was constant development happening on both our leads. Whereas in Emergency, there were episodes that really dragged and that could've been without. Finally, back to my opening paragraph, Sly felt more rom-com to me than Emergency. There was never a sudden dip into emo-dom (shout out to emo Chang-min). Emotional moments are balanced by lighthearted comedy. In the end, I really felt like I watched a rom-com with Sly, but not so much with Emergency sadly enough.

This is definitely a drama I would thoroughly recommend to anyone who wants to watch a rom-com K-drama. It's light and airy, but not so much that you feel like you're bloated. The performances by Lee Min-jung and Joo Sang-wook were great and the story was cute yet meaningful at the same time. I could see myself watch this drama again, to be honest. And that's the best compliment you can give to any drama, am I right?

Photos from MBC


  1. Hello. This is A.K.I.A. Talking…
    Thanks for the great review of Cunning Single Lady! I enjoyed it a lot.
    I added it to my collection of reviews for the show. The show has now an average score of 87.75%.
    Here is a link to the page if you would like to give it a look:
    Thanks again for the review.

  2. this drama is daebak! i watched it 3x and i'm planning to watch it again :)