[Drama Review] ‘Man to Man’ — Episode 16 (Finale)
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[Drama Review] ‘Man to Man’ — Episode 16 (Finale)

MAN TO MAN — EPISODE 16 (Finale)

Seung Jae implicates the NIS Director in the interview, and Sook Hoon is arrested, as is Seung Jae. Dong Hyun is expected to make a full recovery, and receives the Medal of Honor from Mr. Jang. Seol Woo tries to spend some quality time with Do Ha, but she has a busy schedule thanks to Woon Gwang. Sharon Kim outfits Mr. Jang with a super expensive suit to prepare for his promotion. Mi Eun files for divorce, but ultimately decides to wait til her kid is older. Seol Woo’s identity is compromised because of the manhunt, and he takes off to Hungary to hide from the terrorist group Red October. Woon Gwang officially breaks up with Mi Eun, and starts doing kiss scenes again. Do Ha blows the cover off a scam operation involving Woon Gwang merch. Seol Woo gets the all clear from Petrov and heads home.

So they wrapped it up nicely. They left it open for a sequel, but I hardly think that’s going to happen. This show didn’t perform as well as its predecessor in this time slot, in fact it struggled. They don’t seem to have a “yank this if it’s bad” clause in their contracts, so at least we get to see shows through to their endings, good or bad. This one, however, was rather good, warts and all. 

Woon Gwang is now trending high as a celebrity that has integrity, which gets him more movie deals. I like how he dealt with Mi Eun, though I really would have liked to see them get together. But I think there’s too much history there, and that wouldn’t have been all that logical. But he has a big heart, and he needs someone to love him too. They could have at least included a scene where he was asking someone out.

Do Ha became the character I loved to bag on, simply because at times she seemed to lose her edge. So rather than fight Seol Woo, she just became wounded and consumed with longing. Which just didn’t seem like Do Ha. I think it would have been funnier if she’d done more things to keep Seol Woo around, annoying him further. And as far as Min Jung goes, check out the behind the scenes stills at the end. Simply brushing her hair a different way did wonders for the way she looked.

Mr. Jang realizes he has much to atone for, and in a roundabout way apologizes to Seol Woo. He realizes he can’t leave NIS until he cleans house, so that’s where his future lies. I like the fact that he stayed together with Sharon Kim, and she realized what a find she had in an honest man. I would have liked to see them do more with their relationship, but not at the expense of the show.

I started to tear up near the end, when Seol Woo had to go into hiding. He left his “brother” and lover behind. And I thought to myself “so this is the end. The mains can’t be happy.” But they surprised me. The subplot was wrapped up a little too quickly, though, and I kind of felt cheated. That vignette was something that really needed its own episode to have the kind of memorable emotional impact.

So was it a good send-off? I think so. I liked the high tension of the first 20 minutes where Seung Jae was in the hot seat. And they wrapped everything up well. As I said, the only thing I had an issue with was where he jetted off to Hungary. Unnecessary and entirely too short, it felt more like manipulation rather than emotion. It did have some good pacing, though, and there were some sweet moments.

So, given that I watched this show on the strength of ‘Descendants of the Sun,’ ‘Man to Man’ had a high bar to clear in my book. And it didn’t quite get there. At times, it just didn’t seem like it worked as well as it should, and the feels (there really should be a category for that) just weren’t there as much. Everything had some emotional heft to it in ‘Descendants,’ where here it was very fast-moving and they didn’t dwell too much on anything. And when they did, it didn’t work as well. ‘Man to Man’ was still enjoyable, but I don’t know if it really qualifies as memorable. We had some good times, though, and I’m glad I got a chance to catch it.

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