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My biggest problem with this drama wasn't the blatant lack of chemistry amongst the three leads (I would've been content with the romantic storyline being dropped all together), but rather how uneventful and contrite everything felt. I felt like the writer expected the viewers of this drama to be imbeciles like it's character and thus tried to throw together a bunch of cliches and call it a functioning story. It moved so slowly while also managing to feel extremely repetitive. I felt like I gained nothing from the sixteen episodes that I watched.
I believe its hard to criticize acting objectively, especially when you have a bias towards a certain actor. I was disappointed by the extremely weak performances of our leads. I do genuinely believe its not entirely their fault, but the characters felt so one dimensional that no amount of sad music in the background could evoke any kind of emotion from me. I was a fan of Choi Si Won in She Was Pretty and looked forward to this being his project fresh out of the military, I'm not sure if its because he's out of wack due to his scandal amongst other things, but I was left so underwhelmed. Then we have Kang So Ra, whom I first watched in Doctor Stranger and never felt like she was lacking in anything, however her character here always had her walking around with a question mark on her face that I wonder if the directors note was to always look confused.. Gong Myung, I had never seen before (I never made it long enough in Bride of Habaek to see his character) and with him I can say that I can see potential in his acting, but as for the character here? Always looking like a sad wounded puppy and that's it. The secondary characters seemed like they were just doing the bare minimum. Side note: Lee Jae Joon literally plays one of two characters: the painstakingly sweet guy or the vengeful evil guy.. kind of a one dimensional actor it seems.
Now I wouldn't say this was the worst drama I've ever watched and its not particularly terrible, its just aggravating, plain and goes around in a circle. The only thing I enjoyed was the OST and that the main leads were good looking. I would never rewatch this unless someone is offering me a million dollars to do so. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone unless you're a huge fan of the leads and even then it might still be difficult to get through.
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Tone: I will just say it. The dad is abusive and beats on his son and subordinate. Not slap or hit as we see in so many dramas. Beat. And then we are supposed to see and accept that there is an upside to this guy at the same time. I believe this actor played the bad guy in The Time Between Dog and Wolf, and he was fantastic at portraying a tragic, flawed and yet sympathetic character all at the same time. Unfortunately, the script or direction didn't help him here. Many dropped at this point.
What Love?: If you expect romance to be a big part of this drama, stop right here and back away. I get it....love is in the title of the drama but this has a very mild love story and to a certain extent the writer doesn't seem to know what to do with it. It is because of this woman that he is changing; that's been true of many dramas but the writer doesn't commit to how she feels about him really. Writer also throws in a totally unbelievable love triangle
Pacing: There is bromance, but I don't think it flourished like it could have because something that needed to be revealed didn't happen until too late. I think this is unfortunate because this drama is at its best when the three friends are all for one and one for all like the 3 Musketeers so to speak.
Change: Unlike many, I was happy that change of the main character didn't happen that quickly. There is something around episode 4 wherein many viewers got really frustrated at the continued immaturity of Siwon's character. I am in the minority that LIKED that he didn't change that quickly because, guess what, people don't. If this drama's theme is that caring about people can bring about positive change in others, fine but it is still going to take time and it does.
Actors: So Siwon is a bit OTT here but some of that we learn is a facade to deal with the brutality of his father and some of it is his personality and doing what is expected of him. It was a bit much and I think the writer/director should have dealt with that because I think it is more on them. They wanted a definite comedic vibe even if it didn't always suit the tone. (See Con) Kang Sora is fine and shows she can be dramatic and funny but I actually think this wasn't a hugely challenging role for her. Gong Myung is really good here as the woe is me salaryman. I just wish there had been some earlier evolution in his character because I think he doesn't crack a smile for 15 episodes.
Story: Okay, full disclosure, I'm a sucker for a friends helping friends story. I like the cleaning crew gang, I like the three helping each other out. I like the flight attendant/cop combo. I like people working to change because so often in the real world, people stay in their ruts. So, yes, this drama worked better for me than others. I freely admit by the last four or so episodes I was folding my laundry and wrapping Christmas gifts while watching but that's fine, it worked for me.
I would say that if you keep expectations in the middle and realize romance is very very limited, there is a solid k-drama here. Not anything fantastic or life changing but pleasant enough. For a better office/friends drama there is Radiant Office and, of course, the excellent Misaeng.
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I loved this drama because the cast is amazing and they are so good at getting into their character! This drama has stayed funny and humorous yet romantic until the end, and I love how they didn't make any of the main characters enemies. This drama is so pure and shows the struggles many young adults are having! The reason I said it was an 8.5 on rewatch value was because I don't know if I could still have the same joy and nervousness of not knowing who Baek Joon will end up with. But I will definitely hold this drama dearly to my heart for a long time! I DEFINITELY RECOMMEND THIS DRAMA!
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