The opening of the fifth episode is an extended replay of the last scene of the fourth episode- and it really is a perfect example of how good editing can turn a borderline unwatchable sequence into a genuinely entertaining one. We get a lot more exposition about why the pawnbroker is a bad dude who got what was coming to him. More importantly, Princess Hyeomyeong gets some badly needed positive personality traits. She made the mess here, not as a consequence of her being a fickle psychotic, but out of a genuine concern for justice.
The following scene continues that streak with Princess Hyeomhyeong bullying Gyeon-woo into trying new, delicious food that he would normally turn up his nose at. That dynamic is my favorite part of their relationship- how Princess Hyeomhyeong is more in touch with low class attitudes even though she’s the Princess. Then there’s the basic personality clash. Gyeon-woo has built himself up as this epic scholar. He’s loathe to deman himself publically by behaving in a way that is not awesome and cool.
Elsewhere, Da-yeon gets some negative character traits, which makes it easier to root against her. The funny part is that Da-yeon really is just a feminine version of Gyeon-woo. She thinks of herself as being superior to everyone in looks, temperament, and intelligence, and uses this as a justification to talk down to people. Da-yeon is nice to Gyeon-woo mainly because she sees him as an equal worthy of her attention. But even then, she’s making transparent attempts to manipulate him.
Gyeon-hee (played by Jung Da-bin) typifies this well as Gyeon-woo’s sister, who so obviously desperately wants to enter into the higher echelons of Da-yeon’s social clique. In trying to achieve this goal, Gyeon-hee frequently comes off as very annoying and pesky. Working from this standpoint, I can see why Gyeon-woo has more of a sincere interest in Princess Hyeomhyeong. Royal title notwithstanding, Princess Hyeomhyeong clearly does not care what anyone thinks of her.
Well, she does care about what Gyeon-woo thinks just not in that way. I rather liked her disgusted look at him during the dinner scene. Yes, this pair of episodes did manage to put me in a better mood almost immediately simply by having Oh Yeon-seo show a wider variety of expressions. That is her main talent, after all, is that fantastically expressive way. Ah, how it was wasted on that endless search for the ring…
Review by William Schwartz
“My Sassy Girl – Drama” is directed by Oh Jin-seok, written by Yoon Hyo-je and features Joo Won, Oh Yeon-seo, Lee Jung-shin, Kim Yoon-hye, Son Chang-min, and Yoon Se-ah.
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“[HanCinema’s Drama Review] “My Sassy Girl – Drama” Episodes 5-6″
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