Saturday, August 23, 2014

First Take: Discovery of Love

Just when you think I'm talking way too much about romcoms, well, think again. Here's another one to shove into your lovely faces: KBS's Discovery of Love. 2014 is the year of love (and scandals) so why not bring in a new one?

Tae-ha (Eric Mun) and Yeo-reum (Jung Yu-mi) have been dating for five years when they suddenly break up. Fast forward five years later, Yeo-reum is now with a lovely plastic surgeon in the form of Ha-jin (Sung Joon). An unexpected event happen and Yeo-reum and Tae-ha find each other getting involved with one another once again.

I... don't... know how I feel about Discovery of Love. It's not terrible. It's just not... great. Not as great as how other people seem to be responding to it. It just didn't wow me, and I think It's Okay That's Love and Marriage Not Dating has a lot to do with it. Those two are just extremely charming right off the bat that anything less will fall short. It's hard to follow up to those two in my eyes.

One thing you see right away is the look of the drama. It's very, for lack of better word, cable. The subdued pastel colors, the cute little pop-ups and split screens, the indie sound BGMs, it's a common feature in cable romcoms of tvN and jTBC. I guess this type of presentation is no longer exclusive to cable. It's not bad so I'm not complaining.

But the thing about Discovery of Love is that I don't really know what it wants to do. It keeps going back and forth between quirky romance to slice of life but the transition feels awkward and sloppy. Also I don't really understand the whole interview aspect that they're trying to do. At first I thought ooh that's cool, they're trying the mockumentary style. But it doesn't really make sense since two characters can have conversations with each other during these interviews even though they're in different locations. How does that even work? Don't deal with conflict off screen, please. That's what makes dramas, or movies, good.

On top of that, don't get me started on the characters. They're not really trying to be likable at all. I'm not asking for saints here, but so far there's really nothing I like about the main three characters. I can see the good parts: Yeo-reum is (supposed to come across as) passionate and puts her heart on her sleeve, Ha-jin is caring and sweet, and Tae-ha is just damn hot. But there's an underbelly that just leaves a bitter after taste. Like how Yeo-reum and Ha-jin's relationship feels manipulative (she secretly follows him to a date he's having behind her back, he electronically follows her when she blacks out in a place she often goes to but he doesn't bother looking), or the fact that Tae-ha is still clinging to the bits of memories of a relationship that ended five years ago. It's like you're not even trying to get over her. Basically I'm not convinced I should root for any of them.

If anything, I am looking forward to the camaraderie between Yeo-reum, Sol (Kim Seul-gi), and Joon-ho (Yoon Hyun-min), although that might go down the gutter since Sol and Joon-ho have a possible love line. But I love both Kim Seul-gi and Yoon Hyun-min in the previous times I've seen them, and so far their characters are cute and not the least annoying. I'm also looking forward to Yoon Jin-yi who I've only seen in brief cameo roles in Reply 1994 and It's Okay That's Love but I get excited every time I see her. Hopefully her character will be as charming as she is.

I seem to be part of a minor few having lukewarm feelings for it. Damn you It's Okay That's Love! No drama can trump you. Sorry y'all. Maybe Secret Door, but we'll see. I'll be looking forward to Lee Je-hoon and Han Suk-gyu screaming their heads off at each other. That'll be fantastic. It's literally the one scene I want to see. And maybe some sweet hugs before their ultimate demise. Muhaha. (I'm seriously looking forward to that drama jeez, come soon...)

I'll probably end up watching next week's episodes since I want to know about Yoon Jin-yi's character and maybe give hope that this drama may get better. But I don't know man. First impressions are important, and so far this drama is giving me nothin'.


  1. I completely agree. I also feel rather lukewarm about it and I don't think I'm going to keep watching it even though I love Sung Joon and Eric.

    I am one of those people who didn't really enjoy the I Need Romance series too much. I mean, I liked the general idea and each season I tried to get into it but I was always super frustrated with the characters, especially the leading ladies. So since this is coming from the same writer, I can already guess where the story is going.

    I also have trouble warming up to Jung Yumi because I disliked her character in INR2 and also in Que Sera Sera. The only time I liked her was in The Crucible but that was only because her character was fighting for the right cause and not because she had been particularly impressive in the role. I see her character in DoR being rather similar to INR2, so I can't say I'm happy about it.

    The only thing that I kinda like about the show is that the male lead is really straight-forward with his feelings from episode 1. Besides, I do like Eric.

    But indeed, you are right about this drama being very cable. It definitely tries to be like INR series in both mood and appearance, but I'd prefer if it would try to be something unique instead. Besides I'm getting kinda tired of the filters they use for cinematography of cable dramas.

    1. Ah I should've known then. I stopped watching the latest I Need Romance (the 3rd one I think?) because it was just so boring! I'll watch week 2 but even then, I don't think I'll continue it seems.

      Regarding Jung Yu-mi, I've only seen her in The Crucible. She was okay, but most of the magic of that movie was in Gong Yoo anyways. Apparently she's great with Dir. Hong Sang-soo but I've never watched any of his movies.

      On the other hand, Eric is surprisingly adorable for some unknown reason. Not necessarily on this drama, but just him as a person. It's odd but me likey.