Title: Jinxed at First (English title) / Jinx’s Lover (literal title)
Main Cast: Seohyun, Na In-woo
Writer: Jang Yoon-mi
PD: Yun Sang-ho (River Where the Moon Rises)
Timeslot: Weds. & Thurs. 21:50
OTT: iQIYI / VIKI
Genre: Fantasy Romance
The series tells the story of a man who regards his unfortunate life as his destiny and chooses to relent to it and a goddess who jumps out of the unknown world to lift the curse. The two then escape their cruel fate together. (Synopsis from iQIYI)
Based on a webtoon of the same name, Jinxed At First’s pilot week episodes exude a dark fairytale appeal hidden underneath whimsical narrative, hilarious sequences, and cheery characters.
From the first minute of episode 1, the series didn’t waste its time and introduced us to our heroine’s magical power – prophetic visions. Lee Seul-bi (Seohyun) came from a blood lineage of women who can see someone’s future just by touch. The story’s introduction told us the why and how Seul-bi and her mother Mi-soo (Yoon Ji-hye) ended up practically a hostage of Keumhwa Group Chairman Seon Sam-joong (Jun Kwang-ryul). They needed protection from the harsh world while Chairman Seon used – or I must say overused – their ability for his own self-interest. It’s basically the origin story of how Seul-bi got locked up in the castle/penthouse which is somehow a reminder of Rapunzel’s story. And her “prince” came in the form of ordinary guy Gong Soo-kwang (Na In-woo).
Soo-kwang and Seul-bi’s initial encounter was basically an introduction to Soo-kwang’s background and a prelude to his tragic beginning. Soo-kwang was from a rich prince as Seul-bi thought him to be. He is poor and had to rely on scholarships and charity from the Keumhwa Group to finish his studies. His supposed bright future suddenly became a nightmare just because he met Seul-bi. Chairman Seon plotted his and his mother’s death but he only succeeded in killing the latter. Soo-kwang eventually took his savior’s son’s identity Go Myung-seong. His new life marks the real start of the main plot.
There was a time skip to let Soo-kwang settle in his new life while Seon Min-joon (Ki Do-hoon) became in charge of Seul-bi. Unlike his father, Min-joon actually sees Seul-bi as a woman and not just a mere lucky charm. I have yet to get angry with this series’ supposed villain but let’s see if his attraction to Seul-bi would transform into a selfish affection. It is also intriguing how would he react once he found out Soo-kwang is still alive. Because it is obvious that he dislikes his father’s plans. Hopefully, this wouldn’t be a painful love triangle in the end.
Speaking of romance, it was, as the title suggests, a love at first sight thing for Seul-bi. She’s practically a wide-eyed naïve magical girl who felt a strong attachment to Soo-kwang. Their cute amusement park adventure was cut short because of the tragedy Soo-kwang had to deal with. But the rest of their interaction in the second episode suggests that there will be more cute and funny moments in the coming episodes. I think the people of Seodong Market would make it more interesting since we got a glimpse of their colorful (although a bit nosy and prejudiced) neighbors.
The fantasy element in the Jinxed at First is its most interesting factor so far. The first two episodes are fast-paced to ensure the main plot is settled by the end of the second episode. But I wonder if they would keep it up for the subsequent episodes. The series could also fall into the trap of the usual “predictable KBS series” but so far I’m still curious as to what would happen in the next episodes. Hopefully, it will be filled with more magical encounters.
– I would have appreciated seeing Cho Yu-hwa and Lee Ji-hoon in one frame again but River Where the Moon Rises PD-nim really denied me of getting such.