Lovely Horribly (2018) poster
7.0
Your Rating: 0/10
Ratings: 7.0/10 from 4,810 users
# of Watchers: 14,960
Reviews: 18 users
Ranked #8927
Popularity #1083
Watchers 4,810

A man and a woman are bound by an unusual fate: one’s happiness always results in the other’s misfortune. The two start writing a drama together, and the events in the screenplay mysteriously begin occurring in real life. (Source: MyDramaList) Edit Translation

  • English
  • Русский
  • Polski
  • Español
  • Country: South Korea
  • Type: Drama
  • Episodes: 32
  • Aired: Aug 13, 2018 - Oct 2, 2018
  • Aired On: Monday, Tuesday
  • Original Network: KBS2
  • Duration: 35 min.
  • Score: 7.0 (scored by 4,810 users)
  • Ranked: #8927
  • Popularity: #1083
  • Content Rating: 15+ - Teens 15 or older

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Lovely Horribly (2018) photo
Lovely Horribly (2018) photo
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Reviews

Completed
manicmuse
56 people found this review helpful
Oct 3, 2018
32 of 32 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 4.0
Story 3.0
Acting/Cast 5.0
Music 5.0
Rewatch Value 2.0
Lovely Horribly is a perfect example of a drama that I knew would never get better, yet I still stuck with it till the very end. It started out as an interesting supernatural based romcom, but the story soon became unnecessarily complicated. Instead of being suspenseful and scary, the story was confusing and boring. It's also a drama about the making of a drama, and a struggling writer... I have a feeling this writer was struggling too based on all the arbitrary twists and side plots.

Usually, if the story really sucks I can at least count on the cast, but not in this case. Park Shi Hoo and Song Ji Hyo not only lacked chemistry, but their characters were more annoying than sympathetic, which made them hard to root for. Shi Hoo plays the narcissistic Phillip who spent way too much time whining, or trying to "act cute". There were a few moments where I thought I might start to like his character, but it never lasted for long. I liked Song Ji Hyo as Eul Soon even less. She was so frustratingly stubborn that I eventually lost complete interest in her character. I blame bad writing and a bad performance for that. Since the story literally revolves around these two characters, if you don't like them there's literally no reason to watch!

The only character that I cared about at all was Lee Gi Kwang as Sung Joong. He and his character deserved better.

The rest of the characters are stereotypical and forgettable, so there's a lot of overacting from the supporting cast. Sometimes they tried too hard for laughs, and sometimes they played up villainous and scary moments so much that the attempts at horror and suspense felt more like campy comedy. Then there are random twists in the story that should have made the characters seem more complex, but it just made the story more of a hot mess.

How much of a hot mess? Expect to try to follow multiple ghost stories, murder mysteries that defy logic, a washed-up boy band, an obsessed stalker, and a cursed fate romance that is light on the actual romance and heavy on the series of unfortunate events. All of the major questions do manage to get answered in the end, but that doesn't mean the story made any coherent sense. It's my fault for not dropping it. Sometimes you just gotta let go, of destructive relationships and bad dramas alike.

Overall, I feel pretty comfortable telling people to skip this one. If you want a romcom with ghosts watch "Master's Sun", or "Oh My Ghostess". If you want a romance about a writer that involves ghosts watch "Chicago Typewriter". Want a drama about a jinxed or ill-fated couple? Watch "Lucky Romance" or "Another Miss Oh". I normally don't recommend other dramas in a review this much, but that's how strongly I feel about avoiding this one! I'm starting to think a ghost must have possessed me and made me finish. That's the only logical reason for not dropping this like everyone else.

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Completed
3GGG
11 people found this review helpful
Oct 3, 2018
32 of 32 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 4.5
Story 5.0
Acting/Cast 4.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 1.0

PLOT: Interesting start, but loses steam down the middle and ends with a crash.
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The premise of the show is refreshingly original: two babies --a boy and a girl-- are born on the same date and time to different families. Both suffer from unexplained periods of sickness, causing their parents to seek an explanation from a creepy Shaman. Coincidentally, the same Shaman sees both cases separately and reveals that their child has been born with half a fate. Which means, our protagonists are bound to "steal fortune" from each other in order to survive. So whenever one of them gets lucky, the other is met with misfortune.

Sounds pretty interesting, right? Well, it could've been had they focused on that aspect of the story. Unfortunately, the concept got lost and buried by ambitious writers who had neither the plan nor the talent to pull off their convoluted story.

The show suffers from a cast of characters that act and react in ridiculous ways to dire situations, rendering them borderline stupid. We also get a mob of undeveloped antagonists with questionable and vague motives, a painful dose of lack of chemistry between the main leads, dubious acting from most of the cast and a plot so convoluted, you don't know what's going on half the time. Not only do plot-points get abandoned without a reason, but tough decisions taken by characters lack logic and bear no consequences.

Despite all that, perhaps the BIGGEST flaw is the inability of the writers to commit to a tone. That's not to say the story can't be funny and heartwarming, or that horror and romance can't work together. There have been shows that have managed to pull off the change in tone flawlessly. But alas, it is not so with this one.

Though the story kicked out strong, using a dark undertone to build a sense of excitement, the atmosphere was soon broken and the narrative got twisted into a "parody", which turned the drama into one big joke.

So when the writers attempted to re-inject "horror" into the show, it failed to make an impact. Death was treated with so little consequence, it became meaningless. Antagonists where likewise hard to take seriously when the protagonists' reaction towards them was reminiscent of how Shaggy and Scooby-Doo acted when confronted with their own childish enemies... The conflicts were built up, but the resolution was weak and, therefore, wasn't a worthy payoff. Even the melodramatic scenes and romance were over-dramatic and hard to swallow.

Overall, the constant changes in tone were as subtle as a bull strolling through a china store...

MAIN CHARACTERS: A mixed bag
--------------------------------------------------------------
Yoo Phillip (male lead played by Park Shi Hoo): He's introduced as an unlikable character and thus, it takes a long while to get used to him, let alone warm up to him. In a nutshell, he's extremely lucky, famous, cowardly, self-centered and selfish. Although we later learn that he's not a stranger to suffering and that, underneath his narcissistic nature, lays a man afraid to get hurt by those close to him, I can't promise that you'll like his character. I did find him tolerable after a while, but I think the biggest reason I disliked him had to do with his comical acting. I've seen Park Shi Hoo before, so I suspect the director is to blame. I also might've suffered from a bit of cultural shock because whoever did his makeup, had an incredibly heavy hand. Either that or he was sponsoring a lipstick company... which would explain A LOT.

Ji Eunl Soon (female lead played by Song Ji Hyo): She's something of a mixed bag. Although she's more likable than the male lead, that bar is pretty low. For most of the show, she's stuck in the role of the underdog. Given how much she's suffered, you can't help but root for her and wish her happiness. However, as the series progresses, she stopped making sense. Her actions and reactions took an "idealized" tone that I couldn't buy. Someone who's been through the things she had would naturally feel resentment, but not Eunl Soon... In the end, she's riddled with the same traits other k-drama female leads suffer from. She's insanely goodhearted, sacrificial in nature, suffers from a hefty dose of low self-worth (perfect for the male lead to swoop in and pull her out of her shell), turns passive when it matters and remains incapable of hating (or at least resenting) anyone, even when they most certainly deserve it... All in all, she started out as someone I wanted to root for but I ended up getting frustrated with her by the end.

Sung Joong (second male lead by Lee Gi Kwang): This series will give you second lead syndrome and with good reason. Sung Joong is the most relatable character and the one who makes the most sense. His motivations are clear, his emotions are properly conveyed and he acts and reacts as a normal person would. He's also active in the pursuit of what he wants and he's kind, mature and understanding... However, if push comes to shove he'll fight to protect those he cares about, even if he has to break his word or emotionally hurt them in the process. All in all, his character may not be the most original, but he is consistent. Ironically, that in and of itself makes him feel out of place. He's a sane character trapped in a universe populated by wacky characters. It's like he was conceived for another story but got stolen and forced into this narrative with a hammer. Sung Joong... you deserved much better!

ANTAGONISTS: Shallow, underdeveloped and too many
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As to avoid spoilers, I'll talk about them in general. The main issue I have is that there are way too many opponents for such a short story. However, there's no hierarchy to them, so it's hard to gauge their threat level or even focus on their motivations (or lack thereof). The result is a story that gets more confusing with each passing episode, with antagonists that bring little to the table. Some of them are mildly interesting, but most are quite generic and forgettable. How they end up being taken care of also leaves a lot to be desired in the imagination department.

Take note that confusion and intrigue are two different things, and this one suffered from the former.

PORTRAYAL OF ROMANCE: prepare for a cringe-fest
--------------------------------------------------------------
I'm still uncertain of whether the romance was intentionally portrayed as a parody... or if the writers wanted to integrate a sweet story but failed spectacularly. The scenes that were supposed to be romantic were funny at best... but at worst, they rolled into the cringy zone and got stuck there. In fact, every painfully long kissing scene had me praying for it to end.

I don't think the story made proper room for romance. It might've been a lot more fun if the two leads had kept their relationship platonic and focused on building a friendship (or even a rivalry) instead.

Since I couldn't think of any highlights, here are some drawbacks of the romance:
-There's a lot of lying going on in their relationship, which translates in unmotivated lack of trust.
-It's never very clear why they got together. I felt neither chemistry nor real romance whenever they interacted. They just sort of... got together without rhyme or reason. Fate, maybe? (Interestingly enough, even the characters seem to question why they got together... so that says something).
-They had very little in common and no shared interest.
-Their interactions were often quite cringy.
-Second lead was much better but, to be frank, the main female lead didn't deserve him either. He was just too good for this show.

OVERALL: Good concept, terribly painful execution
--------------------------------------------------------------
The main concept (sharing half a fate) had so much potential it hurts to see it wasted. Despite the original concept it promised, I can't in good conscience recommend this drama since it didn't deliver at least a decently structured story.

Though it started very strong, it lacked consistency which spelled its downfall. The romance felt cringy and out of place; the horror felt childish and cartoony, and the melodrama felt like a bad soap opera at best and like a ten-year old's first fanfiction at worst...

Honestly, I struggled not to drop this one and ended up muscling through the latter part of the story. If the show had focused on only two antagonists, then maybe the story might've been clearer (and cleaner)...

Then again, I would've focused only on the heart of the story --the protagonists sharing half a fate. That would've made for an interesting story without over-complicating it with ghosts, nightmares, possessions, psychopaths, frenemies, stalkers, dysfunctional families, abandonment issues, struggles with self-worth, competitive rivalries and all the other crap they threw our way.

This was a story that lost its way and shattered into mediocrity.

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Details

  • Drama: Lovely Horribly
  • Country: South Korea
  • Episodes: 32
  • Aired: Aug 13, 2018 - Oct 2, 2018
  • Aired On: Monday, Tuesday
  • Original Network: KBS2
  • Duration: 35 min.
  • Content Rating: 15+ - Teens 15 or older

Statistics

  • Score: 7.0 (scored by 4,810 users)
  • Ranked: #8927
  • Popularity: #1083
  • Watchers: 14,960

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