I superlatively love Lucky Romance. When I decided to write this kdrama review of Lucky Romance, it kept echoing in my head, “I superlatively love Lucky Romance. I do I do I do!” And even though I still have a mountain of work, laundry, and errands to do, I am pushing back everything just to write this drama because, obsessed. LOL
Lucky Romance is the story of a VERY superstitious woman and a geeky genius man. If you like unusual and seemingly impossible pairings and quirky characters, I highly recommend this drama.
LUCKY ROMANCE DRAMA TEASER
I couldn’t find a good trailer so here’s a teaser. Word of warning. This is one of those shows where the actual show has an altogether different feel and vibe than the teasers and trailers. Still, good fun.
LUCKY ROMANCE KDRAMA SUMMARY
You know, this drama actually reminds me Entertainer. The trailers looked so fun and lighthearted and yet when the actual Show came on, it was actually quite heavy and the main character was suffering through something really tragic.
Bo Nui (Hwang Jung-Eum) is a maniacally superstitious Candy. She was initially just a normal gal but she lost her parents early and then her sister fell into a coma. Feeling that all the bad events were her fault and taken aback by a shaman’s readings of her, Bo Nui started going to said shaman religiously and following all his advices to the letter.
Our story starts to unfold when the shaman tells Bo Nui to catch a tiger (meaning a man born in this Chinese Zodiac).
Our main lead, is of course, a tiger by the name of Soo-Ho (Ryoo Joon-Yeol). On paper, Soo-Ho is your typical genius kid with his own demons and phobias. He is the young CEO of Zeze Factory, a popular gaming company.
The two meet and against the odds, their fates intertwine. Spicing up the mix is our good looking vampire (in another Show) Gary (Lee Soo-Hyuk). No worries! He’s no vampire with bad hair in Show. He’s a world-famous tennis player who was once Bo Nui’s childhood playmate.
The clock is ticking and Bo Nui must sleep with a tiger to wake up her sleeping princess of a sister.
LUCKY ROMANCE TRIVIA
Lucky Romance has the first ever pairing of Hwang Jung-Eum and Ryoo Joon-Yeol.
Hwang Jung-Eum has had a very successful run of late what with her recent dramas like She Was Pretty and Kill Me, Heal Me. When you think about it though, her dramas more often than not become really popular like Secret Love (awesome awesome show). No wonder she holds the title of “Melodrama Queen” and “Queen of Ratings”! And believe it or not, she even got married just this year. She is one fantastic hard worker.
Ryoo Joon-Yeol (or RJY for short as netizens like to call him) became popular through his role in Reply 1998 where he costarred with HyeRi (Entertainer). I honestly don’t watch the Reply series so I couldn’t understand all the fangirling about RJY. But now I do. Now I do… [insert squeeing here]
And I half-mentioned this earlier but our two second leads are Lee Chung-Ah and Lee Soo-Hyuk. I loved her to pieces in Flower Boy Ramen Shop (must write review!) and him in Vampire Idol and King of High School.
Isn’t it funny that they both played kickass vampires in different shows? Below is Lee Chung-Ah in Vampire Detective and Lee Soo-Hyuk in Scholar Who Walks The Night.
And our final trivia for Show is that Lucky Romance is inspired by webcomic “Woonbbalromaenseu” by Kim Dal-Nim. Ah, if only I could READ Korean. You can check it out in Naver.
Show got high ratings in its first episode but got negative comments because it deviated from the source material. In the webcomic, Soo-Ho is a HUUUGE cheapskate and miser. I hear he even goes around collecting Bo Nui’s salt to save for pickling. I haven’t seen the webcomic so I don’t know what I’m missing but I think Soo-Ho’s character is already fleshed out as it is and an additional quirk will be one too much.
LUCKY ROMANCE INITIAL IMPRESSION
Show is currently airing as I write this out but I can tell without hesitation that I love this Show. When it’s not making me cry, it’s making me laugh.
A lot of people don’t understand Bo Nui and are turned off by her character. What I notice though is that people who have been through some serious shit, like cowering-and-crying-on-the-bathroom-tiles kind of shit, then it’s easier to understand Bo Nui and the desperation that drives her to illogical actions.
Truthfully, I want to slap her silly sometimes but then I just remind myself to think of the person I love the most, put that person in a years-long coma with no end in sight, have a mystic person appear in front of me and get things right about me, I’d probably be out there trying to sleep with a tiger too. (Seriously, I’d do it in a heartbeat.)
As much as I love HJE, what makes Show extra special is Ryoo Joon-Yeol. TBH, I didn’t find the actor appealing at all before I saw him acting but now, man, oh man. He’s my new favorite oppa. His portrayal of Soo-Ho is PERFECT to a T. His mannerisms, twitches, stares, grimaces, and so on. I could watch him for hours. (Did I mention his perfect eyes and lips?)
Remember this Marie Claire shoot. There’ll be meta in Episode 8 hehehehe…
If there was any weakness to the Show, I’d have to say it’s the writing. It’s great but not perfect. Happily, these two amazing actors (and throw in Gary for good measure) carry all the heavy weight and imbue their characters with so much more than what is just on paper.
At the hands of lesser actors, I think this Show won’t work at all. We still have a few episodes left so I’ll stop here and just enjoy the ride for the meantime.
LUCKY ROMANCE COMMENTARIES
With my schedule, I know I can’t afford to do commentaries. But what the heck! Show has some amazing scenes and I’d love to share them with you. (Although, are you okay with a string of HJE screengrabs??)
Episode 1 and 2
A lot of netizens were disappointed with the first eps of Show. I think it’s primarily because Show was marketed as a romcom. Now that I’ve watched two episodes, I’d say it’s more melo with dashes of comedy. Bo Nui’s tragedy is so present in the drama that it might as well be another character.
Bo Ra was really banged up in her accident. It’s scary!
And here is the shaman finding Bo Nui outside the hospital. He intones, “Your fate looks terrible. It’s strong. I see a sharp blade. It cuts off all your family members. Your parents passed away a long time ago. You’ll be preparing for a funeral again.”
And because it’s the set-up episodes, we see Soo-Ho’s demons as well. A genius child paraded at too young an age, Soo-Ho developed anxiety and panic attacks.
Still, we’re set up for the comedy too. In fact, good changes seem to happen to our two leads simply because their lives inexplicably twined into each other’s.
Man, so funny when they were wrestling as human and bunny.
And then again later as drunk human and metaphorical tiger. Why are they always wrestling? It was funny. And sexy!! (Did you see that part wherein Bo Nui almost had Soo-Ho’s shirt off? Har har har.
The shaman said Bo Ra would wake up if Bo Nui can sleep with a tiger before the full moon. She found her tiger but nothing happened! Or did it? The last few seconds of show flashbacked and showed us…. OHMIGOSH… They Kissed!!!
Episode 3 and 4
A lot happens this episode. Like, Gary the world-famous tennis player stumbles upon his noona Bo Nui and moves into the vacant apartment next door. We also see the story of Soo-Ho and his first love Amy and why he is antagonistic towards her.
Still, my fave moments are our two leads continuing to orbit each other closer and closer. Bo Nui ends up working for Zeze Factory, Soo-Ho’s company. Out of desperation to “catch a tiger”, she makes dates a condition to her turning over the game she developed. And he says yes because his best bud and himself put two and two together and got 5!
Here is Soo-Ho against his will on their first date at a hotel. Bo Nui tells him to stop frowning and he replaces it with… another adorkable frown!
I think episode 4 is my FAVORITE episode. The seduction scene at the hotel was a hilarious fail (predictably). I swear I replayed Bo Nui’s scene so many times where she throws water at herself the moment Soo-Ho turned his head away. It was so deftly played!
And Soo-Ho’s attempt to save Bo Nui from the neighborhood pervert was insanely touching, if unnecessary (since it was just playful Gary in a mask haha). I mean, hello. Geek saves the gal from creepy pervert?? Heart-melting!
Okay this is almost a blow by blow account but it was just too cute when Soo-Ho was jealous of Bo Nui tending to Gary’s scratches. He wanted his boo boos tended too!
They make such a connection that evening that Bo Nui dives in. See this face? This is the face of a man who’s just been propositioned to. Can you see the internal meltdown? HAHA!
Episode 5 and 6
Thsi week sees Soo-Ho falling helplessly for Bo-Nui. And because the genius can be quite retarded in normal stuff, he’s like a schoolboy getting the giggles when his crush is around. Hijinks ensue.
It’s cut short, however, by Soo-Ho finally getting wind of Bo Nui’s real intentions. He ain’t a genius for nothing. Still, it was chilling as he came closer and closer to the creepy truth.
He is understandably angry. He storms over to Bo Nui’s house and as he’s yelling at her full force, Gary sets Bo Nui aside. He interjects, “You’re being too harsh on her. It’s not like you two dated or slept together. You’re getting too worked up. Why? Did you think that she loved you?”
(Stuff happens for one more episode but it’s mostly Bo Nui getting herself in trouble because Soo Ho won’t put out. Trouble as in almost getting raped and recorded on camera. And Soo Ho dogging her footsteps and saving her ass.)
Let’s just end this commentary right here with Soo-Ho’s devastated fez.
Episode 7 and 8
I would like Soo-Ho to piggy back me while I’m stone drunk, carry me up the stairs of his house whilst his knees are a-trembling from the effort, and cover me gently with a blanket. I’m not sure I can stand up to the scrutiny that follows but him falling asleep beside me would be very welcome!
And that’s what exactly happens in Episode 7. As they sleep beside each other, Bo Ra’s fingers twitch ever so slightly!
Shaman confirms that Bo Nui “slept” with a tiger. Geez, that pisses me off because she almost got violated thinking “sleeping” meant something else!
Gah. Letting it go… it’s like a new lease on life for Bo Nui and she thanks Soo-Ho, of course. I got the giggles when she tries to quit but he comes up with excuses why she shouldn’t. And issues some verrryy revealing instructions. Boy is so caught!
Bo Nui: You said I’m always on your mind (so I’ll quit….).
Soo-Ho: Exactly! So stay in my sight! Unfortunately, I’ve got a great imagination so the time I spend thinking about you and wondering what you’re doing…that time is going to waste! So always stay where I can see you. I’m banning resignation letters! I’m banning absences! And I’m banning me not being able to reach you! Everything’s banned! Got it?
And ooohhh mannn… so that Bo Nui could see her sister, Soo-Ho actually invoked his talisman status.
And now for the Marie Claire meta reference I promised. Bwahahahaha! It’s Gary and Soo-Ho!
Looking forward to more hearts falling and Bo Nui losing the superstitious crap.
Episode 9 and 10
Hah! I got my wish of more hearts falling. Soo-Ho is jumping headlong like a man jumping out of a plane without any parachute. He’s just going for it, you know, and the manner that he does it — with his twitches, talking-to-self, flailing, running-into-tree-branches and heart-melting facial expressions — is just way too adorkable. (I am hitting the replay button way toooooo much.)
I don’t know how I can do this commentary. I mean, how do I put ALL of Soo-Ho’s scenes in this post? And not just his scenes, but EVERY frame where he’s in. He’s just THAT good. And my inner fangirl keeps squeeeing and squeeing.
I’ll have to keep it short if I want to keep sane. Damn you, Ryoo Joon-Yeol!
All I can say about these last two episodes is that while Soo-Ho is irrevocably falling for Bo Nui, woman is falling too albeit against her will. Her mind is set on focusing on Bo Ra but as we drama fans know, the heart cannot be told what to feel. The signals that show Bo Nui falling are very small but definitely there. Like when she primps in the car mirror when she thought she saw Soo-Ho waiting outside of their apartment building. The little sad looks she gets when she sees Soo-Ho with Amy. Her happy smiles and eyes when our OTP are together. And when she doesn’t back down from Amy in their contest of who-knows-Soohoo-better. (Go away, evil biatch.)
Didn’t your heart melt in this scene?
Bo Nui: Remember what you asked before? I don’t hate you. How could I hate such a good person? No matter what anyone else says, to me, you’re affectionate, kind, and warm-hearted. It’d be nice if I could be that kind of person for you. But I can’t… and shouldn’t. So don’t be in pain.
Soo-Ho: Don’t go. Stay by my side.
Show has me twitching in my seat as Soo-Ho tries to get closer to Bo Nui and Bo Nui also hedges towards our boy BUT circumstances and people keep getting in their way. For Soo-Ho, people simply get in his way in wanting to be beside Bo Nui every minute. For Bo Nui, the same heart that subconsciously wants to be with Soo-Ho is telling her consciously to stay away too.
It’s like two fishes wanting to be together but the onrushing current is keeping them away from each other. The frustration!
I’m just so happy that Soo-Ho didn’t take Bo Nui for her word and kept pursuing her when he confessed and she replied with harsh words. If he hadn’t, would he have seen her tears when he turned her around for the nth time?
(Oh thank goodness he overheard that girl talk with Dal Nim over by the water cooler! Remember how Bo Nui said that Bo Ra needs to come first? Thank goodness Soo-Ho has smarts!)
Otherwise, we would have been stuck in kdrama Misunderstanding Universe again!
Lucky HJE! Because you know, Ryoo Joon-Yeol’s lips are LIFE.
Episode 11 and 12
How do you do a commentary on episodes where EVERYTHING went perfectly? I don’t know about you but I kept hitting the replay button over and over. In fact, I was so enamored with all the happenings that I was dreading the prospect of updating my commentaries. How do I say how much I love this Show in JUST a few words?
Okay, let’s just pick three things to talk about.
First off, they’re TOGETHER! Squeeee!
I was so sad when Soo-Ho went into a funk due to Bo-Nui’s initial rejection. His getting drunk and doing Math equations at ahjussi’s chicken place was quite funny but it tore my heart when he ended up outside of Bo-Nui’s apartment building. His little talk with her was so honest and vulnerable. “Seeing you makes me happy.”
With quite a few episodes ahead of us still, I thought we had to have some Gary and Amy time still (secondary leads getting in the way, ya know) but no. Show subverted my expectations by having our OTP simply run into each other’s arms. “Happiness is standing in front of me.”
I’m so happy at how it turned out. It makes total sense that Soo-Ho did the one thing that could turn Bo-Nui, and that’s to take care of Bo-Ra. I was LITERALLY crying during this part when Soo-Ho was secretly keeping tabs on Bo-Ra everyday and even taking some cute selfies as a tiger. (Pardon the all caps peppered in my writing. I’m just THAT excited.)
Second is Dal-nim and her selfless friendship. We all know how much she’s into Soo-Ho. She’s even had a total makeover just for him (albeit at the prodding of Soo-Ho’s naughty BFF). Still, without batting an eye, she lied to Bo Nui to keep her from feeling bad.
Unsurprisingly, she ended up in the bathroom crying and putting an end to her “diaries”. She cries, “True love is to wish for his happiness.” Dal-Nim is so funny though that it’s still hilarious!
And finally, it was a hoot when our OTP tried to hide their relationship status from the other Zeze workers. I thought they were actually successful at first but I guess not! I loved how the female dev gal always wins the bets. She’s always very level-headed too and told the other guys to be more understanding of our new couple as it might be Soo-Ho’s first time to date even. (I really like her. I’ll put in her name next time!)
I suppose it’s impossible when you’re as cheesy as this!
Now, normally I can’t just leave it at that. I’d want to document all the cheesiness from these two cute lovebirds but happily, I found a behind-the-scenes video that shows their ultimate cuteness even more!
Prepare to squee, drama friends!
Hi guys! Just to let you know, this time, I’m not delayed in writing a commentary. Rather, it’s more I was a scaredy cat all of last week! I stalked comments and the DB site to see if all that bad luck stuff would get resolved but nay! I could not bear to see my puppy suffer so wait for this week I did!
Because Episode 15 is out, I’m powering through these episodes now hoping for some happy!
My love to you,