Final Call: “Surplus Princess”


[tv]Thanks for supporting us by watching “Surplus Princess” on SoompiTV![/tv]

I’ll be honest. I was extremely disheartened to  learn that this series ended so quickly, with a running time of only 10 episodes. Before it was cut from the production team due to low ratings or lack of budget, Surplus Princess” was an entertaining ride despite the many flaws displayed during the ending. The drama presented a wonderful story, but the concept didn’t deliver successfully in terms of following accurately the classic mermaid tale. However, “Surplus Princess” exceeded my expectations on one thing: humor. Let’s revisit and review!



Aileen is an adventurous mermaid and she is intrigued about the human world after discovering a waterproof case smartphone (perfect product placement opportunity)! Let’s not forget she can charge it with jellyfish! Her quest began after admiring and observing Kwon Shi Kyung. Her goal is to live in the human realm with her Prince Charming. Unfortunately, a tragic turn of events forced Aileen to spend her time on ground living under a false identity. Consequently, our heroine must find true love within 100 days before she disappears from existence forever. Surplus2


Jo Bo Ah as Aileen/Kim Ha Ni. The eighteenth (surplus) princess of a mermaid kingdom – Aileen has fallen in love with Kwon Shi Kyung and follows him around for six months. An opportunity arrives and she desires to become human so that she can be with him.

On Joo Wan as Lee Hyun Myung. A resident of the surplus house – Hyun Myung is struggling finding a job based on his art degree. He also tries to maintain a relationship with his girlfriend Yoon Ji Ah.

Song Jae Rim as Kwon Shi Kyung. Here is our prince! A famous chef in a conglomerate food company, he is described to be cold and arrogant, but very charismatic. He also keeps a dark secret.

Park Ji Soo as Yoon Jin Ah Hyun Myung’s girlfriend. She admires Shi Kyung and decides to break up with Hyun Myung after a misunderstanding. Surplus3


I absolutely loved this drama for its sense of humor – the comedic relief was the major salvation of the show, and avoided it from becoming a disaster. Most of the humor was focused on parodies of Korean and foreign pop cultures. Attention to frail hearts because the comedy on this show has lots of naughty content! Expect to see references from “Man From the Stars” or “Let’s Just Eat”, movies like “The Avengers” or “Terminator” and mangas like “Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan)” or Sailor Moon. If you just want to laugh, this drama could be the perfect series for you. In my opinion, “Surplus Princess” might be the craziest and wildest show I’ve ever watched. Surplus4


To be honest, the romance wasn’t a strong point for this drama. The romantic development between Si Kyung and Ha Ni was… disappointing. Despite the fact that their interactions were hilariously fun to watch, the sudden cut of episodes prevented “Surplus Princess” from having proper space for character development or any substantial progress on romantic relationships. The show also waited too long to set up love lines, which could explain the lower ratings. On the other hand, the main highlight of that category would be given to our side couple consisting of Hye Young and Big ending up together, both of them being roommates of the sharing house Kim Ha Ni is living with. Their chemistry was amazingly good and the narration of their love story was extremely cute and well-written compared to the main cast. Surplus5


Another thing I like about “Surplus Princess” is the show putting their characters in unexpected relationships. One prime example would be Hye Young’s friendship with Ha Ni. After discovering Ha Ni is actually a mermaid, Hye Young believes her to be the reincarnation of her fish who died last year *chuckles*. The drama uses wacky and humorous elements as foundations to build relationships. Who would’ve thought Ha Ni’s guardian, the male witch of Ahn Ma Nyeo, is part of a love triangle between Hong Myung Hee and Kim Woo Sun, senior managers of JH Food Corporation. Who could have predicted Do Ji Yong would have a crush on Ha Ni? Surplus6


There are not a lot of dramatic moments in “Surplus Princess.” Actually, even the drama’s most serious aspects were overshadowed by comedic relief – perhaps one of the reasons why character development felt so weak. Do not give up hope! As the show progresses, Ha Ni will discover the meaning of true love meaning one of the alpha males from the main cast would suffer tremendously. In order to avoid spoilers, the affected gentleman will keep composure and pride until he breaks in with tears. That particular scene was very moving.



Jo Bo Ah has nailed her role into playing a mermaid. Playing a playful, bubbly, and naive character through the whole length of a series requires diligent consistency, and Bo Ah really delivered her part. I believe her character genuinely had an impact in the human realm. She adds life in the house she’s sharing with her roommates, blossoms friendships, and even strengthen a certain bond with her rival, Yoon Jin Ah. As for Song Jae Rim, he really knows how to portray Shi Kyung as an arrogant man who morphs into a caring individual once he has met Ha Ni. His cold personality is masqueraded by his sadness over his cognitive disorder called prosopagnosia also commonly known as facial blindness. Surplus8

On Joo Wan‘s character, Lee Hyun Myung, is the typical average man who sacrifices success to chase his dreams. Although he is talented at sketching, he can’t make money from his skill. I was unconvinced by the performance of the actor at the beginning, but his scenes showing Hyun Myung’s dedication and care for Ha Ni really changed my mind. For example, after discovering her real identity and questioning his known reality, he becomes a supportive protector making sure her real identity remains untouched. Switching to Park Ji Soo‘s character, Yoon Jin Ah, well, she’s really frustrating… I meant that in a good way! She infuriated me because she’s actually a good antagonist competing for Shi Kyung’s attention against Ha Ni. Jin Ah isn’t a bad person. She is being pushed constantly by people around her, including her mother, and that made her become a heartless and remorseless woman. However, I didn’t really understand her redemption at the ending because no plausible explanation was given, so I found Yoon Ji Ah underdeveloped.



Personally, I found “Surplus Princess” very entertaining despite its major flaws hindering the romance and drama. Parodies in this drama are beyond hilarious once you spot every hidden gag and cultural reference. On the other hand, “Surplus Princess” may not fit for the audience wanting a rock-solid drama with unforgettable chemistry and a rich storyline. Instead, the show is for people desiring something different: a fun getaway possessing some originality on rom-com humor and fantasy. Since it was cut to 10 episodes, I’m skeptical that this show would have a second season, but there were some speculations based on the ending stating that our mermaid would be back. What do you viewers think? Can tvN renew its show for a second run despite the low ratings on the first season?
[tv]Thanks for supporting us by watching “Surplus Princess” on SoompiTV![/tv]