Jealousy Incarnate: Love Triangles for Everyone

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Weird. Odd. What? Those were my first thoughts when I started the drama. Interestingly enough, I had almost dropped the drama after just 2 eps. However, I am so glad I powered through as I quickly became absorbed and obsessed (marathoned to the current episodes).  Gong Hyo Jin has a way of picking interesting and quirky drama projects which always turn out to be a special kind of hit. Here she plays Na Ri, a weather forecaster, who yearns to be an announcer at one of the biggest media companies. She is the breadwinner of her family and is barely making ends meet as a contract employee. During her years at the company, she had a crush on a reporter named Hwa Shin. Hwa Shin is your typical arrogant jerk and macho man. He not only ignored her crush, but at times went out of his way to be an asshole to her. Eventually Hwa Shin had been self-exiled to Thailand for a stint/scandal he caused at the news station regarding his family’s business.

Na Ri and Hwa Shin eventually meet up in Thailand to film a recruitment video. On this trip, Na Ri meets Jung Won, a sensitive and kind chaebol, who of course is also Hwa Shin’s best friend. These two develop light crushes on each other. Meanwhile, when Na Ri was prepping Hwa Shin for the video, she accidentally groped his chest and inadvertently found out about a nodule in his breast. With a long family history of breast cancer, Na Ri becomes obsessed with Hwa Shin’s chest and the fact that he might have breast cancer. He tries to ignore all her prompting to go get it checked out, but eventually succumbs. His whole world crumbles as he finds out that he has stage I breast cancer even though he is a guy. It was a blow to his pride, career, and life. Coincidentally, Na Ri also has a little nodule that she is getting removed that was non-malignant. As luck would have it, they are paired in the same room before surgery. He swears her to secrecy about his condition while she helps him through the recovery/radiation process.

This drama is definitely carried by it’s amazing actors. In a way, it reminds me of It’s Okay That’s Love because it chooses to focus on a health issue that is underemphasized and generally taboo’d by society. While the other was about mental illness, this drama sheds light on breast cancer in males. One of the biggest issues that had bothered Hwa Shin was not that he had cancer, but that it was BREAST cancer. He felt like less of a man since he thinks it is a female issue. However, it is important to note that anyone can get breast cancer and the recovery process is hard mentally, physically, and most importantly, emotionally. Have the scars and potential unevenness in your breasts can be traumatizing. The drama did an excellent job walking us through the struggles both characters face due to this medical condition without shoving it down our throats.

Gong Hyo Jin has always been a great relatable actress. Her characters seem down to earth and could be any one of us. She makes them endearing and you are always rooting for what is best for her. She is not one to play a caricature of a person that you usually find in dramas. Her characters feel more human, in the ways that they make rational decisions, not just to forward the plot (with of course, bursts of human emotional irrationality at times). Now for me, this is the first drama that I have watched Jo Jung Suk act in. I had never been inclined to watch his pieces, but now I am pleasantly blown away! He has such an expressive face that portrays different emotions in juxtaposition so subtly. He has made his character, who is an enormous jerk, endearing and even pitiful. For our second lead male, Go Kyung Pyo, this is the first time I have seen him step up to a main role. I have enjoyed his performance as the kind second lead to where in the first half of the drama, I had one foot in his shipper boat. This drama is hilariously tongue-in-cheek and has love triangles everywhere. Everyone is always jealous about something and it is fun to see how these triangles are going to resolve!

PS: I’m feeling this official OT3 threesome!

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