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Angel's Last Mission: Love
22 people found this review helpful

by minj99

12 days ago
32 of 32 episodes seen
Completed 3
Overall 6.0
Story 6.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 3.0
Angel’s Last Mission will definitely scratch your RomCom itch with what begins as a carefully concocted love story between a human and an angel. However, the romance fails to live up to the beginning premise, and the story actually unravels as it tries to come to a close. Overall, I recommend this drama to romcom lovers and also to fans of Shin Hye Sun, as she carries the show through its bumpy, messy plot. Although the plot twists and turns are quite illogical, the acting and theatrics work overtime to deliver satisfying emotional payoffs throughout the drama.

The drama is definitely romcom, and the story is fantasy. For ALM:L, the fantasy components work well with the comedy but lacks synergy with the romance and drama as a whole. Even though the titular character is an angel and L is listed first on the cast list, Shin Hye Sun’s human character seems to be the more “main” character and is the catalyst for most of the emotional development of the characters.

I understand that dwelling more on the fantasy components makes it harder to write a coherent story, and this drama suffers from this as it shoehorns/retcons more and more fantasy elements throughout. So, we are left with fantasy which works well as a comedic relief (i.e. Dan’s social ineptitude with humans) but is used poorly as a plot device.

Similar things can be said for the antagonists of the drama. They are almost comically evil to the point where the characters themselves don’t quite understand why the antagonists behave that way. Like the overall story, the antagonists could have both been more logical and fleshed out.

The messy mix of these elements creates multiple visible flaws throughout the story, and viewers may need to think overtime to try to buy the romance that does develop between the main leads. The plot and antagonists more-or-less force the two characters together rather than the two characters finding/understanding one another.

Still, the main leads’ cute moments together highlights the childlike joy that they bring to each other and showcase their chemistry. Just don’t expect to find mature characters or romance. But there is some growth, especially given the extremely immature characters in the first couple of episodes. So on the other hand, don’t be completely turned off by the character in the beginning.

In conclusion, the story starts off with a promising premise and immature characters, but the show struggles to stay coherent through its fantasy setting and under-delivers in meaningful character development and believable romance. ALM:L tries to mix up the classic romcom formula with fantasy and melodrama, but instead leaves the cast struggling through a chaotic plot.

I’ll mention that this is actually my first drama review and judging this aspect is my weakest area. A quick glance through MyDramaList shows that I focus mainly on romance/romcom dramas, so hopefully I can leave a fairly relatable review here.

Overall, I rate the acting better than the story. However, I do think the story enables the actors by 1) having relatively simple characters and 2) drawing a parallel on and off the ballet stage. The first point is more of a kudos to the cast on their portrayal of the characters. Especially, the antagonist characters lacked depth, but the actors & actresses dutifully conveyed intent with their actions and gave off the impression that there was more underlying their character, which may not always be the case unfortunately.

The second point really enables the acting theatrics in the drama. In another context, Shin Hye Sun could be critiqued for “over acting”. However, the foil between the “story within a story” gives the viewer a different perspective. Yeon Seo’s hysteria does not seem as hysterical in comparison to the ballet that parallels their story. Rather, her “over” acting really connects what is happening on and off the ballet stage. Unfortunately, L gave a weak performance in comparison, although one could attribute it to the weaker writing surrounding the angel. Overall, it is difficult to rate the acting any higher given the limitations of the writing.

I enjoyed the direction they went with the music because they did not try to sound like a “ballet” (or what I think of as classical music). It stuck to more modern trends, and I have no qualms with it, given my love for kballads. I also like it when a cast member contributes to the OST.

However, it felt like the show relied on the ballad OSTs to convey emotion through its weak writing, which was a disservice to the music. Given the artists that contributed and the quality of the OST, the drama once again under-delivered on using the music to its full potential.

Rewatch Value:
This drama is sufficiently sweet that it may warrant a rewatch on a slow day. However, there are definitely many dramas I would rewatch over this. If you want to see some really immature characters going through more character and romance development, I would recommend “30 but 17” (bonus shoutout for featuring the same Female Lead). Otherwise, it would be hard to rewatch knowing how the story under-delivers and falls apart as it comes to a close.
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