“My Lovely Girl” – First Impressions

922 my lovely girl poster

Disclaimer: The following review is an opinion written solely by the writer, lovelymorning, and does not in any way reflect the opinions of the rest of the Soompi team.

lovelymorning is a Korean drama addict that lives and breathes for dramas of all genres. When she’s not engrossed in one drama or another (or when she’s not writing for Soompi :D)–which is a very rare occasion–she (attempts to) focus on her schoolwork.

Warning: Mild spoilers ahead!

Where to begin… My first thoughts before I even began watching the “My Lovely Girl” were filled with worries and hesitance. Hearing the cast lineup, I was worried that it was going to be another “To the Beautiful You” or “You’ve Fallen For Me”—both dramas that ended up with below average ratings. I’m not saying that the dramas were completely horrible, but it seemed to me that the number of K-Pop idols was a bit excessive (especially in “To the Beautiful You”). I admit, I do have a slight prejudice against idol actors and actresses, just because in my experience of dramas the number of idols that succeeded was much less than the number of idols that didn’t. In “My Lovely Girl,” out of the six main leads, three (and perhaps “half”) are idols. I include the “half” because Rain is not really considered to be an idol in the current K-pop industry, but since he has such a strong image as a singer, it’s inevitable that I hesitate to think of him as a total actor. Though Krystal and L have had prior experience to acting, Krystal’s image in her prior works was not a serious one (usually a carefree high schooler with not many things to worry about) and L hasn’t had a large role in his previous dramas, either. To be completely honest, I’m still a little skeptical of L’s acting. I just think it’s a bit awkward, but hopefully it’ll warm up to me as I keep watching. I didn’t have much to go on when trying to judge how the acting would be, and it worried me because I often consider who is in the drama first rather than what it is about. I have a tendency to think that good acting could make any drama better, but no matter how good of a story it is, it won’t be appealing to watch unless the acting is natural.

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“My Lovely Girl” is a 16-episode drama airing on SBS every Wednesday and Thursday and it is directed by Park Hyung Ki, whose previous works include “Scent of a Woman” and “Dr. Champ.” The writer is Noh Ji Seol who also wrote the aforementioned dramas. It stars Rain, f(x)’s Krystal (Jung Soo Jung), Cha Ye Ryun, Kim Jin Woo, Infinite’s L (Kim Myung Soo), and BESTie’s Hyeryung.

With that in mind, I watched the first two episodes of “My Lovely Girl.” The story itself didn’t seem all that new to me. A guy, Lee Hyun Wook (Rain) is traumatized by his girlfriend’s death, and lives with this trauma until he meets a new girl that changes his perspective. In “My Lovely Girl,” that new girl happens to be the younger sister, Yoon Se Na (Krystal), of the original girlfriend. Again, the idea that he would fall in love with his dead girlfriend’s younger sister didn’t appeal to me. However, as I continued watching, it wasn’t all that bad just yet since his feelings towards her is just concern and guilt for her older sister’s death.

The female lead, Yoon Se Nais just another Cinderella character in my prospective. She is a loner that is in dire need of money, and here comes along a rich savior, Lee Hyun Wook, who has the ability to get her that money as well as the opportunity to achieve her dreams. I just need that something that keeps me engaged into the drama and want to keep watching. For drama addicts like me, dramas like these are somewhat predictable, and it becomes less interesting to watch if we can already anticipate what’s coming next.

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If I were to rate the drama, I would give it around a 3.5 out of 5. But this is just watching the first two episodes. I am fully aware that it is receiving much love, especially with viewers overseas. However, to me personally, it just followed a generic pattern of a typical Korean drama. But who knows? It has only aired the first two episodes, where it’s inevitably a little hectic because the basic plot and characters need to be introduced.

For the current Wednesday-Thursday lineup, it seems that the three dramas—“My Lovely Girl,” “My Spring Day,” and “Iron Man”—can’t really be compared because they are so different. “My Lovely Girl” seems more like a drama appealing to the younger generation, where viewers are more likely to recognize the actors in the drama and watch more as fans of the actors/actresses (i.e. idols) rather than for the story itself. Yes, the story is interesting, but the bigger reason to watch is to see your favorite K-pop celebrity. On the other hand, “My Spring Day” seems much more appealing to the older audience. It has heavier topics and follows a pattern closer to the traditional melodrama genre. It is a sweet, warm drama that just follows the theme of destined love. Lastly, “Iron Man” is an entirely different genre, as it takes on a more sci-fi fantasy type story. It seems like it’s the only drama out of the three without any idols, and based on a couple of netizen comments that may be a reason to watch the drama. Either way, all three dramas are in their beginning stages of the plot, and there’s not really one drama that seems to stick out of the bunch. Guess we’ll have to continue to see which can grab the most viewers’ hearts!

What were your impressions of the drama?

You can view a ten-minute highlight video of the drama below:

For drama fans in the US & Canada, don’t miss this series on Soompi’s sister site, KDrama.