First Impressions: Nice Witch, My Husband Oh Jak-Doo, Grand Prince, That Man Oh Soo

You know the saying that when it rains, it pours? The same goes for dramaland. This month has seen a lot of premieres in its first two weeks and we’ve got a bunch more in the second half. Luckily Children of a Lesser God and Live don’t have English subtitles yet so that left me reviewing only four of the new dramas. Here we go!

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Nice Witch 
Network: SBS
Genre: Romance, Family
No. of Episodes: 40 (35 Minutes per episode)

Nice Witch is about a mother who has to pose as her stewardess twin sister after the latter got attacked by a mysterious assailant. Lee Da-hae play totally opposite twin sisters Cha Sun-hee and Cha Do-hee. Sun-hee is very kind and naive to the point that people take advantage of her. On the other hand, Do-hee is an ambitious and self-centered flight attendant. Lee Da-hae did a great performance in portraying the two characters that you’d actually think you’re watching two different people on screen. Her character Sun-hee reminded me of the times she played bright and optimistic Joo Yoo-rin in My Girl. Honestly, the plot of this show is all too familiar and predictable, but I really did enjoy it a lot. Maybe, I’ve had too much of the complicated shows proliferating dramaland lately. Well, expect a lot of funny scenes in its first set of episodes as Sun-hee awkwardly pretends to be the conceited Do-hee and struggles to be a flight attendant overnight. I’m also loving the romantic pairing between Lee Da-hae and sang namja Ryu Soo-young who plays a pilot who consciously tries to subdue his attraction to women. His character tries to avoid intimacy in all ways he could so can you imagine how crazy he went when Sun-hee held his hand and accidentally hugged and kissed him all in one day?

Verdict: If you’re looking for a drama which is fun and an easy watch, then Nice Witch is the perfect one for you. Lee Da-hae is just brilliant when it comes to romantic comedy.

My Husband Oh Jak-Doo
Network: MBC
Genre: Romance
No. of Episodes: 24 (70 minutes per episode)

My Husband Oh Jak-doo is about a TV career-driven tv producer and a farmer who fakes a marriage for security and survival. UEE plays Han Seung-joo, 35-year-old subcontract employee who’s all about her work and has no desire to get married. But after she got preyed on by an attacker, she developed a panic disorder making her solitude too difficult for her to handle. In the end, she entered a fake marriage with farmer Oh Jak-doo (Kim Kang-woo) who lives in a far away in the mountain to cover his real identity. UEE and Kim Kang-woo were both excellent in their portrayal but the slow-paced storytelling would cast you a sleeping spell. It’s boring and I just couldn’t care about any of the characters. The story did pick up in the second episode but it still feels uninteresting.

Verdict: Maybe this drama would become much better when we begin to see how UEE and Kim Kang-woo’s characters try to live together and navigate their way as a fake married couple but that’s just nowhere in sight in its first two episodes. If you’re willing to take a risk, then who knows, you might get rewarded. But with the plenty of dramas hitting our screens, I’ll choose something that hooks me right away.

Grand Prince
Network: TV Chosun
Genre: Historical, Romance, Revenge
No. of Episodes: 20 (60 minutes per episode)

We’ve seen TV Chosun produced dramas once and a while, and Grand Prince seems to be their biggest to date. This historical drama is about two princes and their battle for the heart of the same woman and their fight for power. Yoon Si-yoon plays the younger prince Lee Hwi who is kind-hearted and upright while Joo Sang-wook takes on the greedy and ambitious prince Lee Kang. The story opened with Lee Hwi making his way back to the palace as a battle-scarred warrior just in time to receive the will of the dying King. The King’s will was for the Queen Mother to act as regent and the grand princes to protect the Crown Prince until the time he’s old enough to take on the throne–which is not a welcome news to Lee Kang who always wanted to be the next king. Yoon Si-yoon surely has the acting chops to excellently portray his character but I tried to hold my laughter when he was supposed to look like a scruffy-looking warrior with all that amount hair on his face because he ended up looking like a little pup. I don’t know if this was a problem of the make-up department or whether Yoon Si-yoon is just too cute for these type of roles. I also paid extra attention to Jin Se-yeon who’s playing the princes’ apple of the eye because I’ve been hearing negative feedback about her acting. It’s my first time watching her and yes, she’s not the best out there, but her portrayal here was not that bad. Story-wise, I think this drama has a huge potential to be great if it will not end up going in circles which most of the historical dramas tend to do. I particularly like the childhood story because it explained why the two prince grew into the kind of adults they are. The death of Lee Hwi’s childhood friend and servant made me teary-eyed and Lee Kang’s hunger for power right from the very start of the story already made me loathe him.

Verdict: I’m not really into saeguk because they tend to have politics all over the background be it a romantic story or fantasy. The only saving grace for me is when the actors are excellent in their portrayal and when the plot moves swiftly which I believe Grand Prince has.

That Man Oh Soo
Network: OCN
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
No. of Episodes: 16

I came to watch this drama with no expectation other than it’s a romantic comedy so I was surprised to find out that it has its fantasy elements. Maybe, I forgot to read its synopsis? That Man Oh Soo is about (of course) Oh Soo (Lee Jong-hyun) who works as a promising engineer in the IT field, a cafe owner, and a barista and Seo Yoo-ri (Kim So-eun), a police officer. Oh Soo is no ordinary guy because he has the ability to see auras of emotions and can harvest magical pollens from a mysterious tree, a gift which apparently runs in their lineage. The mythology around the tree was not explained in full detail yet other than the ”chosen” ones’ lives rely on it so they need to keep their bloodline continue for generations. The problem is Oh Soo doesn’t want to date and is not interested in settling anytime soon. And that’s where I think Yoo-ri’s character fits into the equation.

The two actually don’t have any direct connection other than they met several times including the day Yoo-ri was dumped by her boyfriend. The drama felt like a fresh and modern love story and I like the fact that Oh Soo is not a jerk given all his awesome specs. It does have a fair share of funny scenes but I think it’s designed to deliver more heart-fluttering scenes than comedy.

Verdict: Lee Jong-hyun and Kim So-eun both have gorgeous visuals and I don’t mind seeing them on my screen (yes, I can be that petty too). If you’re in need of a rom-com fix in your life now, this one seems promising.

Here’s my final ranking:

  1. Nice Witch
  2. Grand Prince
  3. That Man Oh Soo
  4. My Husband Oh Jak-Doo.

What’s yours?

 

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