I really, really wanted to rate What's Up Fox higher than I have done. Halfway throuh the drama, I was loving it and was sure that it was going to be deserving of a 9 or even 10. However, the ending few episodes brought it back down to Earth with a thunk. I'm still glad I watched this drama, but there are a couple of things in it that stopped me enjoying it in its entirety.
- Overall 7
- Story 6
- Acting/Cast 9
- Music 7
- Rewatch Value 4
Starting with what was positive about the series, the real bones of What's Up Fox and what makes it so deliciously addictive for the most part is the strength of the characters. Their connections and interactions with one another really are a joy to watch and they really feel like
people who have known each other for most of their lives. This is particularly true for our lead pair, Byung Hee and Cheol Su. The fun interactions between these two manage to be adorable in some places, and then sizzle with chemistry in others. However, this chemistry was somewhat dampened by the drama's insistence on reminding the audience regularly of the awful age gap between the couple. This was probably the biggest irritant for me in the series.
One of the major themes of the drama, unsurpisingly, is age-gaps, and the way it was portrayed between Byeong Hee and Cheol Su prevented me from investing fully in the pairing. I have no issue with age-gap relationships at all. In fact, I tend to find them pretty cute; unlikely couples who have overcome the odds. But What's Up Fox fixates on the age difference between the lead couple to an unnecessary degree. We see Cheol Su acting like a petulant child when he can't have Byung Hee the moment he decides he wants her. We see Byung Hee reminiscing to instances of herself taking care of Cheol Su when he was just a kid. We see the somewhat exaggerated outcry from the families of the couple. I get that the drama wants the 'shock factor' by putting the emphasis so firmly on the nine whole years between the main couple. But for me, this just detracted from how much I actually wanted the couple of get together. I found myself thinking that the families were actually right and the whole set-up was just a bit creepy. I wish instead the the drama had taken the more sensible (if less drama-worthy) angle that they are both adults, so why should a few years between them stop them being a couple?
We see age difference as a recurring theme again in the two subplots concerning Byung Hee's mother and her sister. I was worried when it first became apparent that these subplots, almost entirely removed from the main plot, were going to get a fair amount of screentime. I've seen dramas where the sub-plots have almost taken over from the main, but I felt the right balance was struck in What's Up Fox. The sub-plots served to explore various types of age gaps, which added a richness to the drama, as well as providing a break from the main action. I will say, however, that whilst I really enjoyed Byung Hee's sister's side-story, I didn't really engage with that of Byung Hee's mother at all. It felt haphazard and it came too suddenly to a stop. I was left unsure what the writers' had been trying to say with it in the first place and if it had just been there to fill air-time.
Dipping back into the numerous positives of this drama, one of my favourite things about it was its candid approach to relationships. It's a Korean drama that openly discusses sex. It's almost worth watching for that novelty alone. This isn't a drama where the love is a simple, pure one consummated with a chaste peck. It admits that couples have sex and that's normal and basically a good thing. Along this line, I particularly enjoyed Byung Hee's insurmountable ability to imagine and write erotic material whilst herself still being a virgin. It added layers to her characters, whilst also creating a lot of laugh out loud moments.
Overall, I enjoyed What's Up Fox. There were a handful episodes in the middle that I watched back-to-back because I was so addicted. I was so disappointed therefore with the ending. It felt to me that really kicked down everything that had been built up to that point. The relationship between the leads just deteriorated for the sake of an extra spurt of drama on the homestretch, and it made me doubt whether they were really suitable for each other after all and if the age difference actually was too much to conquer. It was a self-defeating move by the writers', and it left me feeling less positive about the drama as a whole. That being said, it's not enough for me to actively discourage people from watching What's Up Fox. For the majority, it's fun, refreshing and enjoyable. There were just a few areas where, for me at least, it let itself down.
I found this review Helpful Not Helpful