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Monday, September 12, 2016

Jealousy Incarnate Episode 1-6 First Impression

Korean Drama: Jealousy Incarnate
Episodes: 24
Station: SBS
Airs: Wed. & Thur.
Leads: Kong Hyo Jin & Cho Jung Seok

Hoping for a miracle to realize her dream of becoming a news anchor one day, our heroine Pyo Na Ri strives to do her best as a weather castor...even if her hard works get no recognition at all. Na Ri's seemingly impossible path to realize her dream hits a giant obstacle when in a moment of sympathy she tried to comfort a discouraged junior and ends up getting tricked by the ungrateful co-worker into committing a blunder that puts her job in jeopardy.
Our heroine's already pitiful mousy existence is made worse by the fact that she has been harboring a hopeless one sided crush on our hero, Lee Hwa Shin.
A news reporter at the same station our heroine works at, Hwa Shin goes from ignoring Na Ri's fervent gaze to frankly telling her that she needs to end her three long year crush on himself and go find a better man to marry. Sighing at his own irresistible charm when Na Ri suddenly develops an fascination with his chest, Hwa Shin's bubble of self amazement is cruelly popped once Na Ri hesitantly tells him that she could feel an abnormal lump in his breast.
Hwa Shin's lump turns out to be stage 1 breast cancer. Stunned and ashamed that he could have breast cancer as a man, Hwa Shin has no choice but to swallow his pride and accepts his doctor's suggestion to get an operation.
As fate would have it, on the day Hwa Shin enters the hospital Na Ri also ends up checking in to the same hospital room to have an operation to remove a benign growth in her chest.
Fretting about his operation and what that means to his manhood, in a moment of weakness, Hwa Shin asks Na Ri for a kiss. Staring at Hwa Shin who is beset with self doubt, Na Ri agrees to the kiss and instantly regrets it once Hwa Shin promptly changes his mind claiming that he is not going to kiss someone he doesn't like.

Storming out of the hospital room, Na Ri gets more huffy the more she thinks about how much she has suffered for her hopeless crush. Determined to end her crush for good, Na Ri grabs Hwa Shin who has come out searching for her and plants a kiss on him.
Surprised by Na Ri's kiss, Hwa Shin is very doubtful of Na Ri's claim that she is over him for good...that is until his own best friend starts to show interest in Na Ri.

Ko Jung Won, our rich and handsome second lead. Na Ri had intrigued Jung Won at first because of her pitiful existence, but as time goes on, Jung Won stopped trying to find excuses for his own feelings and decides to pursue Na Ri in earnest. The only flaw with our seemingly perfect prince charming is that his mother seems to have a lot of control over him and that includes his marriage so Na Ri could just be his rebellious attempt.

Ninja's First Impression:
As a fan of Kong Hyo Jin's romantic comedies, I was really excited for Jealousy Incarnate and thankfully this one doesn't disappoint. After watching the first six episodes, I wouldn't necessarily call this one addicting (yet!) but I like its quiet depth and the fun comedy. The thing I love the most so far is the mysterious vibe between the two leads that makes me as the viewer dying to know what the hero and the heroine are hiding. It's like a well known secret that exists between the two leads they are both aware of but we are not told and could only guess from little hints.
For example, Na Ri has repeatedly asked Jung Won if his best friend (Hwa Shin) knows that he is acting "this way" towards her. That very question seems to suggests that Na Ri is certain Hwa Shin would be displeased if he is aware that his best friend is pursuing her...but both leads has come right out and made it clear that Na Ri's crush is completely one sided...so what gives Na Ri this confidence of Hwa Shin's reaction? Our hero's attitude towards Na Ri is also puzzling. Hwa Shin's words all suggest that he finds Na Ri's crush bothersome but then his actions belies his words especially considering the undertone of familiarity every time he interacts with her.
Sufficient to say that I am really satisfied with the two leads' character set up and their chemistry together. My only complaint so far ...one that's fairly minor is the secondary characters' story. I don't necessarily find the secondary characters' story boring, in fact, they are pretty intriguing on their own. However, the secondary plots feel a bit jarring every time they show up. Even though all the characters are tied to the two leads in someway but their stories still feel like it's almost another show entirely.
True to the name of the show, the plot is quickly snowballing into the predicable territory of the heroine dating the second lead which will then leaves our hero suffering in jealousy. I personally don't mind the somewhat predicable plot though because what would be more satisfying then seeing our heroine's triumph as she give the guy who she has been crushing on for the last three years a taste of his own medicine. That is the dream of practically every girl who has the fortunate/unfortunate experience of having a crush. Of course it doesn't hurt either that the show is a whole lot of fun to watch and Cho Jung Seok is especially hilarious when he gets jealous.

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