Tall, with a perfect figure and his qualifications as an Ivy League graduate, Lee Han is Seoul's top male nanny. He is employed by Seo Do Young as a live-in nanny to look after her two young children, Eun Bi and Jung Min. (dramawiki) Add Synopsis In Spanish
Cast & Credits
In any case, I'll start with the positives. Manny, more than anything, is a comedy. It's light and funny, with many laugh-out-loud moments, and most "conflicts" tend to be resolved in the space of a single episode, at least in the beginning. The main couple in Yi Han and Do Young are obvious from the start, but they fail to steal the show in favour of cutesy Jung Min, his divaish older sister Eun Mi and they're even more divaish aunt, Janice. I'm a fan of secondary characters being developed individuals in their own right, so this worked for me. I especially enjoyed that the kids weren't just plot devices, but had strong personalities of their own.
However, this is where the strong personalities end. Yi Han and Do Young, our main leads, are hollow archetypes at best. Yi Han is a Superman-type figure who can fix ANYTHING. One of the basics about any conflict in a story is that it should be believable to the audience that things really won't turn out for the best. This isn't true at all in Manny, because Yi Han is interminably capable and you're never in doubt he can solve anything with some wise words and perhaps a flashback to his old baseball friend in America. With Do Young, our female lead, it feels like there were efforts at development of her character, but to the point where there's two competing sides in her that make her confusing to watch and difficult to empathize with. She switches between stressed out single mother, still not having bounced back from what can be assumed to have been a messy divorce, and love-sick, infatuated teenager, complete with doodling her crush's name in her notebook. Needless to say, put Yi Han and Do Young together and the chemistry is far from sizzling.
As I mentioned at the beginning, the percentage of this drama is good. It never reaches any startling heights, but then that's not what it was aiming for. The drama seemed to know its place as a standard comedy. But then towards the end, it's like the it's been told to grow up and act its age because suddenly there's a barrage of seriousness and an emotional overflow that is so unfitting with the ambiance established up until this point. The characters haven't been built to be people you care deeply about, which is fine in a comedy, but tedious when these same characters are thrown into situations where emotional investment is a prerequisite if you're not going to lose the audience entirely. Without this sudden turn in tone, the drama would have been a solid watch. With it, the experience was, if not ruined, at least soured.