Hwang Jung-eum finally found a character that would showcase her acting chops.
Title: Mystic Pop-up Bar / Ssanggabpocha
Main Cast: Hwang Jung-eum, Yook Sung-jae, Choi Won-young
Writer: Ha Yoon-a, Bae Hye-soo (webcomic)
PD: Jeon Chang-geun (The Package, What Happens to My Family?, The Queen of Office)
Time slot: 2130H Wednesday and Thursday
Wol-ju (Hwang Jung-eum) is on a mission to help 100,000 people in the living realm for her to cross the afterlife. To do so, she opened Ssanggabpocha to hear people’s grievances and help them solve it. Together with spiritually gifted part-time worker Han Kang-bae (Yook Sung-jae) and Guibanjang (Choi Won-young), Wol-ju is on a race to meet her deadline within one month.
Major trope: Contract Relationship
Hwang Jung-eum finally found a drama that would help her shed-off her past three very similar characters. As much as I loved those rom-coms, it was time for Hwang Jung-eum to move on to something that would challenge her as an actress. Wol-ju was that right character for her. Unlike those dreamy bright leading ladies, Wol-ju was a jaded ghost who has a bad temper. I’m not worried at all about her portrayal of Wol-ju when the plot turned into its promising dark peak. Jung-eum has the right skills to use when it comes to those type of dramatic scenes.
Han Kang-bae (Yook Sung-jae) and Guibanjang (Choi Won-young) were the perfect companions to Wol-ju’s journey to the afterlife. Their characters have the right amount of chemistry. Kang-bae’s conflict was equally interesting as that of Wol-ju’s. I’m also loving his father-son-like relationship with Guibanjang.
The series premiered with solid characters and interesting major conflict. I cried at emotional scenes and laughed at the funny ones. What worries me though was it has the potential of becoming “just one of those dramas” or be a “rehash of plots we’ve already seen.” Mystic Pop-up Bar has yet to prove its own identity as a series.
Nonetheless, there’s no doubt this one would be entertaining to watch until the end. Hopefully, as the plot thickens, Mystic Pop-up Bar would shed the shell of other similar dramas and be a solid series on its own.