Nice guy turns not so nice. I kind of like this. Maybe we need to recap this business.
So Song Joong-ki (Kang Ma-ru) has always been the pretty boy/baby face in happy-go-lucky shows. Please refer to Sungkyunkwan Scandal. Seeing him in a dark role is pretty damn exciting. I love the contrast, innocent face and evil intent. Well, so far he’s not evil yet, but if the plot progresses as it does then we will see! However, I do have a little problem with the fact that he was willing to ditch his own sick sister to go rescue the girl he was in love with (Han Jae-hee/Park Shi-yeon). That is just wrong on so many levels. Blood is thicker than water. At least take your sis with you to go check on Jae-hee. His sister’s slightly bratty though, but, regardless, that’s wrong man.
As for Moon Chae-won (Seo Eun-Ki), I’ve only known her acting from Brilliant Inheritance, which wasn’t too impressive. She always just the weak and bland and pined away for the main guy, but her character is so refreshing here. She is blunt to the point of just plain mean, especially the part she tells off Park Shi-yeon‘s little kid (her half-brother). As for Park Shi-Yeon herself, she is very believable as the poor girl who has worked her butt off to get rich. The fact that she’s gorgeous totally makes it more plausible that she could seduce Eun-gi’s father and marry rich. I’m just loving these characters and set-up. This is so much deeper than your average revenge story.
Write Lee Kyeong-hee has written some of my favorite dramas, I’m Sorry I Love You and Thank You. These dramas are much deeper than the average love triangle/square Korean drama that we see. They are most definitely sad, but they hurt so good. However, Lee Kyeong-hee’s repertoire also includes some weird ones such as A Love to Kill and Sang-doo, Let’s Go to School. I don’t remember what happened in A Love to Kill, but Rain is hot no matter what. And Sang-doo, Let’s Go to School had just about the most ridiculously ending EVER. I had a lot of question marks after Sang-doo but the beginning episodes were good. Oyah, Rain’s also in this one too.
I’m definitely going to follow Nice Guy. Not sure if I want to recap, but definitely on going to regurgitate my thoughts into posts. I’m debating whether to hold on watching in real time so I can marathon this baby. Strongly recommended based on first 2 episodes though!
To borrow a line from Kang Maru, “This is the end.” Well… perhaps not. Oh, I don’t know. The newest drama to enter the Wed-Thurs scene and leave me a confused mess is none other than A Nice Guy Whom You Can’t Find Anywhere in the World aka Nice Guy. Or, if we want to be true to the deliberate misspelling that has set off hordes of Korean netizens, I suppose we should call it Nyse Guy. Or Nise Guy. Or Nyce Guy. You take your pick.
Anyhoo, the newly debuted show is being helmed by Song Joong-ki, Moon Chae-won, and Park Shi-yeon on the acting front, and the ladies are holding up pretty well, while Song Joong-ki is hitting it out of the park, as expected. Some people complained that he received too much credit for his performance in Tree with Deep Roots, but all I gotta say is: If you can hold your own against Han Seok-kyu, you are somethin’ special. But yes, Song Joong-ki’s turn as Kang Maru, physician-hopeful-turned-Casanova-with-a-burning-desire-for-revenge is a pleasure to watch, or at least as pleasant as a dark hero(?) can make you feel. Coldness just seeps out of the screen and permeates my room one moment, then pain and longing and tortured anguish fill it the next. It’s his eyes, I tell you. They are amaaazing. I have to give a little shout-out to Jo Sung-ha here (the head physician we saw at the beginning of Episode 1), just because I love him so. Okay, end of ajusshi-crushing. Man, I can never say “ajusshi” without thinking of my one and only Won Bin. Okay, back to Nice Guy for reals this time.
I’m a sucker for color and vibrancy, and this drama’s got it in spades. Seriously, is there a single scene where your eyes aren’t being pulled in a million directions, trying to take it all in? At times I even feel slightly overwhelmed by all that’s going on in Eun-ki’s room. Maybe the green-eyed monster distracts me a bit, too. But for seriously, it’s a beautiful world they’ve created and I am enjoying it to the max. (A funny side note: the Seo family home is majestically done, but I can’t help but giggle in recognition – both the exterior of the home and interior (the set) have been used in other dramas. Sigh, the perils of watching too many dramas.)
In terms of characters and story, I can appreciate the effort that was and still is being made to build complexity and intrigue. This is definitely no simple Cinderella story, as much as I love those, and I give credit where it’s due. But it’s a little too dramatic for my tastes, a little too strong, a little too heavy-handed with the conflict and with the ‘charisma’ of the characters. Yes, I can see you cleverly drew the parallel between Eun-ki taking the fall for the person she loved, and Maru doing the same. Yes, I’m sure there are bound to be people like Kang Maru, Seo Eun-ki and Han Jae-hee in the real world (whatever that means). But it feels a bit forced. I don’t quite believe in these characters yet, but that may merely be due to the fact that I’ve only known them for a couple hours. I suppose time will tell. At this point, though, the jury’s still out.
To be perfectly honest, I don’t know how much longer I can hang on with this show. That’s not to say I think it’s unworthy of being watched. I just like to avoid getting my heart trampled, whenever possible. And writer Lee Kyeong-hee’s track record doesn’t bode well for the state of my heart by the end of this show. She penned Will It Snow for Christmas?; Thank You; A Love to Kill; I’m Sorry I Love You; and Sang-doo, Let’s Go to School, among others. I just don’t know if I have the guts to hold on for the ride. Plus, the Pinkblossom Malady has come to plague me again: I’m already half in love with Park Joon-ha (played by Lee Sang-yeob), attorney for Taesan Group and sufferer of unrequited love for Eun-ki. Why oh why oh whyyyy?!?
All in all, it was an assured and aesthetically gorgeous debut for Nice Guy. I’m curious to see how things pan out, now that we’re getting into the story proper, and I’m defs lookin’ forward to watching Song Joong-ki pull out all the stops. I do hope he doesn’t become the Gong Yoo of Big, aka the only thing worth watching. Whoops, looks like someone’s still a bit bitter. Okay, back to Nice Guy for realsies for the umpteenth time: I was suitably impressed and I fear for my heart and I’m looking forward to next week. Yay!
What did you think of Nice Guy’s debut? Please share your thoughts with us below! 😀