Wild Romance – final thoughts

3 Mar

We laughed, we groaned and we wondered where the hell this drama was going but you know what? Now that it’s over, we have to confess – we’re going to miss it. At least we can say we were never indifferent.

The overall conclusion to the drama was actually quite satisfying. It wasn’t tied up in one pretty bow nor did it feel rushed.

The climax to the mystery was surprisingly good. We guessed who the stalker was from episode 3 and so our expectations were rock bottom in regards to the conclusion of this story but we have to hand it to the writer, we loved the swimming pool scene. The Ahjumma may have been mad as a hatter but the woman really knew how to get revenge in a twisted poetic way.

We enjoyed watching this odd group of characters all come together and work out who the stalker was and really liked their last minute scramble to rescue the girls. Plus, we’re pleased to report that the conclusion didn’t feel dragged out or anticlimactic, which is often a major deal breaker for mysteries in Kdramas. The scene where Moo Yeol found the Ahjumma’s stalker room was brilliant. We can imagine exactly how disturbed he must have felt looking around that creepy room covered with his photos. EEWWW, scary. The look of realisation was also good as you could finally see it dawn on him that the woman he thought of as a mother figure for ten years was actually a nutcase that crushed on him until she completely lost the plot.

The question sequence was an unexpected treat. We spent the whole time thinking – what fecking question do you want her to ask??? Why did you save Jong Hee over Eun Jae you idiot? Is she a mind reader- tell her what you want to hear?

Could the producers make it any more obvious that the answer had something to do with their shoes? There must have been a million shots of their shoes throughout that one sequence. Frankly, the idea that he would know who he was saving from just her shoelaces was a little farfetched for our imaginations but we’re willing to put it aside because the whole sequence was concluded so sweetly.  Like Eun Jae, we spent the whole time wondering why he went to save Jong Hee and we thought of pathetic excuses like he knew that Eun Jae could take care of herself or that Jong Hee was weak. We swear if any of those excuses came out of his mouth, someone would pay! Thankfully, for the producers of this drama and our blood pressure, we got ourselves a semi decent excuse. Is it bad that we didn’t completely buy his reason for saving her? Jong Hee was such a major part of his life for so long and his feelings for her were so intense despite them breaking up. As a result we couldn’t completely bring ourselves to believe that he wouldn’t have jumped in and saved Jong Hee first over his OTP. Naturally, we’re pleased he intentionally went to save Eun Jae but still… it felt rather contrived for our liking.

We really did like how the writer handled the OTP’s feelings for each other. Moo Yeol accepted his feelings like a real man. Once he knew he cared about her, he took the necessary steps to ensure he did things the right way. Horray, a leading man that doesn’t spend multiple episodes hesitating, denying and yes, acting like a fool while he works out his feelings for a leading lady that is more often than not too good for him.

We couldn’t have been happier for Eun Jae. We experienced her one-sided love with her, the writer and actress enabled us to really connect and feel for her and so, to see her feelings reciprocated was great viewing. Her reaction was so natural and refreshing to watch. That is exactly how we would have felt too – completely and utterly shocked at the realisation that the guy you have been crushing on for twelve episodes suddenly feels the same way. Slightly giddy, excited and at the same time hesitant of the possibilities.

Jong Hee’s response was also really good. We don’t like when the love rival miraculously accepts the facts after spending multiple episodes trying to win the leading man over and in the process annoy the hell out of the viewers, so it was nice to see a love rival that was genuinely upset and heartbroken over the news. The final scene between Moo Yeol and Jong Hee was also refreshingly frank. When he asked her whether he would see her again, she told him straight that there was no chance. After all they went through and after their double break up, there is no way we would ever want to see him again either. In real life, you would never invite the love rival to your wedding or have a sequences where your all hanging out together at a bar or café (Que Sera, Sera) but for some reason in dramaland it’s a regular occurrence and to this day, we will never get it!

If we saw a crazy ex, you better believe we would be running in the other direction. Hahah.

The last four episodes really stepped up a gear and enabled us to root for these characters and be completely invested in their lives. We’ll be honest here, the drama was at times really messy and was very flawed but we enjoyed it regardless of all its faults. Just like Its okay Daddy’s girl, we are more than happy to overlook technicalities when the characters are well thought out and likable. Trust us when we say: we really loved these characters!

Here is a rundown of some of our thoughts from the drama:

Things we liked:

WR had the funniest first episode we had seen in ever! The drama had us at hello, it was that good. It had such a wonderful mix of physical and scripted comedy. The characters were frank and vibrant and after episode 1, we thought we had found us that rare drama crack that we intended to obsess over for weeks.

Eun Jae was a leading lady worth rooting for:

Yes, her hair made our eyes burn and it just got worse as the weeks past and her outfits had to be the fugliest things we have seen a leading lady wear ever. But she made us laugh so much. We really liked the fact that she wasn’t a caricature of leading ladies of the past. She was tough and strong – come on, she’s frigging body guard but at the same time she was very much human, with insecurities and feelings all of which were presented in a reasonable, justifiable manner. She wore her heart on her sleeve and voiced thoughts and feelings that ordinarily people would bottle up – which made her brave or stupid at times but nevertheless a character that you couldn’t help but respect.  Lee Si Young’s depiction of Eun Jae was one of the main reasons why we stuck around to the end. She rocked!

 Our eyes burn from all the fugly!

Lee Dong Wook:

He is knocking them out the park (no pun intended) since he returned from the army. Pre-army duty, we liked him but we could take him or leave him but post army duty, we have watched him steam up our screens with Kim Sun Ah in A Scent of a Woman and surprisingly enough – bringing the funny in Wild Romance. It was a real pleasure watching LDW really go for it and try comedy despite the drastic genre change. There were plenty of occasions throughout the drama where he managed to make us laugh really hard. Plus, we’ll miss his handle bar/ porno moustache which we found strangely…appealing. Giggles*

Side Characters!

Who would have thought it – a drama with side characters we loved.

They were pure awesome. WR had really well written thoughtful characters that had us actually engaged in their scenes and for once they contributed to the actual plot development. How many dramas have you watched over the years where the side characters were just there to fill in the gaps? Groan*

Dong Soo and Soo Young were actually quite good as side characters. Their friendship with Moo Yeol was realistic and one you could relate to as a viewer. We like how the writer explored their insecurities and regrets in such a natural manner. Their decision to leave for the countryside was one we welcomed because seriously, we just couldn’t picture them going back to how things were after everything they went through.

Manager Kim and Dong Ah – we love you.

He was a robot and she was a socially awkward weirdo but together they were magic. Now this is how you do a secondary romance successfully. They were just so cute together; every scene with them had us giggling or utterly intrigued as we watched them awkwardly date each other. If the characters as individuals weren’t so well thought out, we have a feeling that the romance wouldn’t have worked as well but the writer did well in introducing them separately and making it impossible to dislike them and so watching this unlikely pair come together was fabulous viewing.

They are currently our best alternative couple this year… for now.

A love rival we didn’t hate – shock horror.

There was quite a lot of hate for Jong Hee in the blogosphere but as we mentioned before we just couldn’t bring ourselves to dislike her. As a result she has officially joined the short list of female love rivals that we don’t want to throttle. Congratulations Jong Hee!

Despite having multiple scenes where she played Sleeping Beauty, Jong Hee was actually rather relatable as a character. She didn’t scheme or behave badly in the drama, thank goodness. Instead she turned up looking for a second chance at a romance with the only man she ever loved. We appreciated the fact that she wore her heart on her sleeve and took a chance. You can’t really blame her for that.

Plus, it helped that we loved her unexpected friendship with Eun Jae – what a cute odd couple. Thank goodness the writer decided to stay clear of stereotypical relationships in this drama, especially the standard hateful one between the leading lady and female love rival-  that has been done to death.

Favourite moments/ scenes:

The funniest scene in WR is still the scene where Eun Jae allowed someone to attack Moo Yeol with an egg! It was so over the top and hilarious to watch. Loved that scene.

The scene where Eun Jae goes to comfort Moo Yeol after Dong Soo confessed to being the stalker. We liked how he asked her what took her so long. It was a simple question with so many emotions attached to it. We thought the whole sequence with Moo Yeol sitting in his bedroom completely broken and shocked by his friend’s apparent betrayal was really great. Lee Dong Wook managed to convey such complex emotions so well and we really felt for him in that moment.

We really adored the scene where Moo Yeol realised he loved Eun Jae. Maybe it’s because we had been waiting so long for it to happen but when it finally did we were so happy. It was just a perfect way for him to realise his feelings. If only it happened a few episodes earlier, we would have been over the moon!

Things we didn’t like:

The drastic genre change took a lot to get use to. We signed up for a fluffy, screwball comedy and ended up with a serious, intense mystery. Thankfully the script was handled appropriately but still…

That fight scene in episode 4:

The scene that literally made one sister switch off. His reaction was irrational, her justifying his violence was idiotic and frankly the whole scene left us cold and confused. We imagine this was the cut off point for a lot of viewers.

The fight scene was the start of it but this drama had a hell of a lot of irrational behaviour.

Dong Soo – seriously WTF??? Okay, you find out that your wife may have been responsible for being the stalker and so naturally you go crazy and take the blame for her – attacking innocent reporters and beating the crap out of your best friend. Yeah… the writer didn’t really think that one through. It was so over the top.

The last episode appeared to be made up of voiceover monologues from the Ahjumma. We don’t think the final episode really had any real substance to it other than voicing the regrets and crazy ramblings of the Ahjumma/ Stalker. Personally we think the writer really missed a trick in cementing the romance between the OTP but hey, having watched a million drama endings, we know it could have been worse so we won’t complain too much!

It took so damn long for any romance to happen in this drama. We find this particularly ironic considering the drama is called Wild Romance. As romantics of the worst kind, we nearly gave up on the drama multiple times for various reasons but the lack of romance had to be up there at the top of list for reasons why we would have shelved this drama for good.

Final thoughts:

Sure it wasn’t particularly polished but it had plenty of heart. The drama was strangely addictive with its quirky characters and insane situations. As a result, by the end of its run you’ll be glad you stuck around.

How much we liked it: 7/10

How good we think it was:  6.5/10


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