Wild Romance: A Review

An overdue recap/review of the Wild Romance episodes! This series was certainly palatable, and I don’t think you have to love it. I was invested only in that I wanted to see how it turned out, and while I do admit the ending was quite addicting like crack, it wasn’t because it was good. It was because the series was becoming insane.

Since I last recapped, we went from discovering that Mu Yeol had a male stalker in Yoon Yi, to his stalker being someone even closer to his home. (I knew it was the housemaid! I knew it! There were too many lingering shots of her to not make her important. Or creepy.) Eun Jae discovers her feelings for Mu Yeol and confesses, and he’s unable to say anything because annoying ex-girlfriend Kang Jong Hee resurfaces, and puts his feelings in flux. She wants to get back together; he’s unsure because all they do is talk about the past. And, he’s starting to think of Eun Jae too. She goes from not being his bodyguard, to being his bodyguard again, to not – all depending on her feelings. While this series was not really tedious (because it was so short) – this back and forth, constant switcheroo was.

And then, when Mu Yeol pretty much decides himself that he’s actually in love with Eun Jae (down to mimicking her laugh), the stalker ends up targeting Jong Hee by killing her cat, and Mu Yeol asks Eun Jae to be her bodyguard. Whaattt?!?! At least Eun Jae is the only one to bring Jong Hee out of her funk, and Jong Hee finally realizes that Mu Yeol doesn’t want to be with her. (At least she doesn’t throw a hissy fit, but is actually pretty nice to Eun Jae – in her weird “I bite you if I love you” way…)

Then when we reach the final three episodes (episodes 14-16), it feels like we’re in for a tailspin. It’s like the writer completely forgot how he/she began the story. Reporter Goh becomes a complete good guy trying to save Mu Yeol; Dong Soo becomes a complete ass all in the name of protecting his wife; composed Soo Young goes crazy (although she was driven by jealousy and resentment, the drama writes it off as her being driven by depression over miscarriage – whaaaat?!); Jong Hee goes from spitfire to subdued friend; Yoon Yi becomes a bigger character than I thought was necessary; and housemaid becomes REALLY cuckoo – she looked surprised when things were going her way. Didn’t you antagonize Soo Young because you wanted her to do something against Jong Hee? And when she finally did, why were you so shocked? The only people who pretty much stay the same? Robo-Tae Han and Dong Ah, Mu Yeol, and Eun Jae.

Housemaid does a crazy stunt where she pushes both Eun Jae and Jong Hee into a pool to drown to see who Mu Yeol will save so that she knows who to hate. Ugh. Thankfully both girls are saved (it’s a rom-com, what’d you expect?) and we do have our happy ending in the end. Nevertheless, the last three episodes were full of whatthefuckery that you kinda wondered, “This drama became cheap crack…”

Something about this series got me hooked, and it certainly wasn’t because of Jessica. I had hoped that Eyesore would have only a two-episode cameo, but noooo, she appeared for the rest of the series. Yes I am very irritated with her, acting wise. While it seems she got a bit better towards the end, I think it was more because I was getting used to her, and she was getting used to acting. Still – a little too late. Her vivacious character could have been interesting if it were played by a more veteran actress – heck, I would have even accepted Shin Se Kyung or something. Just not Jessica. She does not fit in this cast, and she did not convey the emotions well enough for the role. I did not love her and I did not side with her; I even temporarily sided with Jung Ryeo Won in My Lovely Sam Soon because she was sympathetic enough. (Then I saw her flirting with Daniel Henney and I was like, “Heeeeeellll no, girlfriend. You do NOT get both boys.”)

So I wonder, was it because of Lee Dong Wook and Lee Si Young’s relationship? It’s not like they have off the charts chemistry, but they certainly played their characters so well that I was convinced of their bickering relationship, as well as their growing fondness for each other. It sometimes felt like they were not really acting all the time… Not that they could be an offscreen couple, but offscreen siblings? Or maybe they’re just really good at acting.

Or maybe I’m just a sucker for the love-hate relationships, and I just love it when they grow fond for each other and don’t realize it just yet.

I found myself really cheering for Robo-Tae Han, who’s awfully adorable despite his expressionless face. See his character and Kang Dong Ho can pull off expressionless because 1) it’s part of his character, and 2) his expressions are more subtle. I have heard that this guy got a lot of plastic surgery too; it’s part of the joke that you can’t tell when he’s angry, happy, sad, or nonchalant. His role is to be as expressionless as possible; Jong Hee is supposed to be full of expression – but they’re just not conveyed properly. His words are also that much more meaningful because you have to trust him when he says he’s feeling a certain way. But if in doubt – we can always check for a sweaty brow or a clenched fist. A lot of acting occurs in his eyebrows, and his and Dong Ah’s awkward courtship really had me invested in the series.

While Im Joo Eun was not as magnetic as Doo Ri in What’s Up, she certainly was a scene stealer. I cheered for every scene where she was in the same room as Oh Man Seok, but the two barely said a word to each other (boo!). Her character was not as crazy or off-beat as I thought she was going to be. She was admittedly a little more off when she and Tae Han were learning about each other fetishes, because their conversations were so frank, and yet so funny! I appreciated the small developments in the plot for her, such as learning about her parents’ death.

If anything – the cutest surprise was the unexpected, accidental love triangle that erupted between Reporter Goh, Dong Ah, and Tae Han. Not like Reporter Goh was interested in either party, but the fact is Tae Han just got jealous of Reporter Goh and then Dong Ah thought Eun Jae had a crush on the reporter. And then when it finally all broke down and Tae Han and Dong Ah got back together, Reporter Goh was the one who got to watch, confused, and completely enjoy his confusion. Hee.

I have usually enjoyed Hwang Sun Hee’s roles since Sign, but I found this to be her most bland. While she tried to convey the feelings of a woman who was jealous and resentful of a girl who had all the talent in the world but chose to waste it, I don’t think it came off as well as it could have. Maybe the script lacked enough moments as well. Her momentary foray into madness was, well, mad. But I love this actress. This wasn’t her best role, but I don’t completely blame her either. Meanwhile Oh Man Seok‘s character was dull. Forever the good guy until the very end, and yet, still a good guy. It’s nice to know that there was someone who had Mu Yeol’s back no matter what, but his character’s foray into madness was quite mad too. At least he and Hwang make cute babies.

Like I mentioned earlier, episode 14 was when the writer just forgot everyone’s personalities. Episode 15 was a little weird as it veered towards crazy-land and improbable events. Episode 16 just dragged on the angst of “I won’t confess because you don’t trust me!” so needlessly. It tied up every lose end for every character (even that of the call girl/blackmail girl Yoo Mi), and it was mostly boring. I was watching it only because I wanted to know what the “right question” to ask Mu Yeol was. I actually didn’t think of the correct question, even though now it’s kind of obvious. Mu Yeol was angry that Eun Jae kept asking him “Why’d you save me?!” so I thought the right question was “Did you know you saved me?” Turns out the correct question wasn’t so different from that, but there’s still a slight difference.

I do like that the drama ended on a baseball field, where instead of sitting on the Red Dreamers side or Blue Seagulls side, Eun Jae sat right in the middle and cheered for Blue Seagulls and for Mu Yeol. It was a perfect location for a series with all its references to baseball, and how baseball is like life. (I got that analogy from Operation Proposal.) We got a happy ending, even though it was super predictable, and somewhat flat.

I still enjoyed this series though. I’ll liken this series to the drink Fizzy Lizzy – it has enough of a soda kick, and it’s quite sweet. It gets a bit too sweet towards the end as you keep drinking though, and too much to handle. However, it leaves a good memory in your mouth. Or brain, for that matter.

Rating: 6/10 – I have to say, my expectations were super low for this one, so the drama exceeded my expectations. However, it was only afterwards that I realized this drama could have been better, and thus my disappointment grew.

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  1. jandoe 6 March, 2012 at 22:13 Reply

    I did a review (or okay, 2) of this myself after I got through both episodes 9 and 16. This drama was hands down, my winter term crack though looking back, it really did finish off weird. It had all these potentials, I think, but as you pointed out – kinda went to Mad Territories towards the last few episodes. Although ironically, I did really enjoy episode 16. My only qualm was that it didn’t tie certain loose ends very well (I REALLY want to know if Cute Bartender Guy died or not and WTH was his importance?!) but the stuff I enjoyed – boy, did I enjoy them.

    (But! Let’s also not forget the wasted talented actors. Ah, so wasted.)

    Gave it a 7/10 in my review, but reading yours, I do agree with your final score and reasoning! Thanks for this 🙂

  2. ydoodler 6 March, 2012 at 22:41 Reply

    Your review sums up everything I felt but the only other thing that really annoyed me about the end was that the movie star wannabe girl got back together with her abusive boyfriend. That’s just no. You don’t go from being beat up to happily riding in a car with your now manager.

  3. Kerstin 7 March, 2012 at 14:19 Reply

    I really liked this series…this was my first crackdrama for nearly half a year!!! So I laughed and cried and loved every bit of the drama. I cared for all characters and found the romance believable… I adored Dong Ah and Tae Han…the hanbok scene will forever be in my head…soooo cute ^^

  4. estel 7 March, 2012 at 20:36 Reply

    Not that I think people aren’t entitled to their own opinions, but I admit to being puzzled by a few rave reviews of this drama I’ve read on the internet. I was of the same opinion as you – that the story went totally whack and people started acting out of character. Some seem to be annoyed by the music and the directing (and Jessica, but I think everyone agrees that she was pretty awful – I’m going to go with the theory that they brought her in to try to bolster the ratings). To be honest, I didn’t notice the directing, and I thought the music was pretty decent and I actually liked that the sound director used more instrumental cues than silly pop songs.

    But I guess in the end it kept me tuning in every week and I enjoyed it. I’d give it a 6.5/10.

  5. Purple Lee 8 March, 2012 at 17:24 Reply

    It began with a pace as fast as bullet train but winded down after a series of petty-gut-busting bickering. This creepy show has more “wild” than “romance”. Bipolar ex-lover, senseless stalking and countless plot-holes are the three strikes that make this drama out of the awesome line.

  6. momogi 19 March, 2012 at 01:08 Reply

    hey kaedejun, thanks for the review. I’ve watched this in KBSWorls so I’m 2weeks behind. I wanna ask you, I just so confused of what the relationship does Seo Yoon-yi have with Park Mu-yeol? And did he end up died in the last episode??

  7. jann 20 March, 2012 at 00:09 Reply

    I watched WR after the series ended and thought it was gonna be really bad due to reviews. It was kind a good, but I admit, with better chemistry and less concentration on the ex gf would do the OTP more good. And you’re right, the OTP has this more brotherly sisterly fondness as opposed to love and sexual tension…it was not convincing by the end of the series…the there’s lots of laughs!! And I still can’t understand why the ratings was so low…we had worse series with better ratings O_o

  8. kewbie 2 April, 2012 at 18:05 Reply

    Thanks for the review. I pretty much agree with everything you said, except the part about the weird love triangle thing with Reporter Go, Tae Han and Dong Ah. I kinda feel like Reporter Go was just a witness to Tae Han and Dong Ah’s strange but cute relationship. In the end, I actually enjoyed this series, not so because it was super great or anything (it was more like — super-weird), but I was addicted to the crazy. I could tell that many people were as into it as I was, especially on viki — due to the lightning-fast speed this series was subbed. (It was even subbed faster than Rooftop Prince or King2Hearts is right now.) Maybe if they had more time to resolve some of the issues then it might have been better. I think they could have cut out that whole scene with the tattoo lady and her sleazy bf-now-manager, and I also think they could have cut out some of the imo-in-jail scenes as well. I really did get the impression that the bar boy died, but maybe they could have alluded to it more in the ending scenes with Reporter Go. One more thing…wouldn’t it have been interesting if they had made Reporter Go as a potential love interest for Eun Jae since he seems to have hit it off well with her dad and brother? Finally, the show really needed a different title. I read somewhere else that they were going to name it “Strike Out” but the director vetoed the idea. I still refer to it as “The Baseball Player and the Bodyguard”.

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