Sheer perfection. In the word CUTE.
Almost cannot believe he’s playing emotionally deranged and conflicted playboy in Nice Guy.
After so many months of waiting and anticipating, finally, Nice Guy on my screen for good! Admittedly I had built up quite some expectations for this drama earlier on due to my soft-hearted spot for the writer Lee Kyung Hee and the great cast line-up. I haven’t seen any of the director’s previous works (but have heard good things about him prior) so I only had the former to count on to get me into the story. Tried to keep my overwhelming excitement to the lowest and bottom-est, but all the NG spoilers and promo pics ruined the my perfect plan. How can I do that with Song Joong Ki hovering over me every other day?
Anddddd verdict after Ep 1? Good, not great or as gripping as I’d expected, but good. I LIKE!
Thing is, I’m not drawn to the plot as much because it feels ordinary and predictable, cliched and formulaic if I may. The tropes are very familiar, and we can pretty much foresee how things will end for the main characters (my bet definitely not a good ending). But LKH does wonders to me, even if her plots are washed out overused and done before, I always manage to find a heartfelt connection with all or if not some of her characters. She exaggerates her narrative at times, but the way she does and writes melodrama, it’s always been more like than hate for me. I’m such a sucker for tears hah, be it manufactured or organically derivative.
The main 3 players in the drama are interesting and intriguing tho somewhat caricature like. They can be quite banal and dull if not for the solid execution and portrayal by the actors. I love how their relationships and dynamics are unfolding thus far and I like that no time is wasted in bringing the plot right into action. I hope LKH explains or delves a lil deeper into Maru’s devotion or feelings towards Jae Hee because I’m still not fully convinced that he can forsake everything and go so far for her. There must be something more than just the pure love or relationship that they’ve had in the past. Eun Gi on the other hand is interesting because of her link between the 2 people, their lives interconnected and intertwined in crazy ways. I don’t fancy the connection because it’s too typically dramatic but I’m going to give that part of the story a benefit of doubt. Her straightforward and no-nonsense attitude can be annoying but I like my female leads to be strong and confident rather than weak. I don’t think we’re supposed to like her on the front, at least right now. So I’m going to see how everything pans out before I make a call on whether I like her.
Ep 1 sealed the deal for me, I am going to watch this for Song Joong Ki, and SJK alone even if drama goes down the drain later on. It’s a plus point that the director’s doing such a fine job in execution, viewers are lured in without over-wrought or glossed out directing, but quietly and smoothly with effective music scores. Because I think he has a good grasp of what he’s aiming at and is handling and reigning LKH’s script well. The dramatics and histrionics are there, so typical and stereotyped, but you see how well things are reined in with a director who knows and understands.
But yes, Song Joong Ki! How can I not love you more and more and more?! Boy is doing a fantastic job as Maru. I love his character already, love the different layers he’s adding to his character, and more than anything, the wide acting range he’s displayed this far in just one episode. The switch from nice boy Maru to the cold and unaffected Maru may have been a tad abrupt, but I like that the pacing is brought fast-forward so swiftly (so I don’t have to wait a chunk to get to the point of the drama). I always held a view that SJK has a certain vulnerability in him, in the way he looks and gazes, straight or into thin air. The way he infuses his character with coldness (in front of the gals he uses) and cheekiness (in front of his best pal played by the ever so hilarious Kwang Soo), it’s such a great treat to the eye. Not only does he give each emotion and expression his all, he switches in between each effortlessly and naturally, like I’ve never seen before. This boy may be pretty and adorable, but don’t let that fool you into thinking he cannot do estranged or dark. He’s got a great deal in him.
Moon Chae Won is good so far, I won’t go as far to say she’s WOW convincing (because there are moments when I’d snap out from her character), but she’s doing fine. It helps that she’s tried out diverse acting roles before Eun Gi, because this is not an easy role to nail, you can either be really good at it, or fail miserably. I like her confidence and sass, but something about her speech or delivery bothers me a tad. I get what she’s trying to convey but sometimes I wish she wouldn’t look as if she’s trying too hard to force her confidence and femme fatale character on us. We know. I hope she will settle into Eun Gi ASAP because drama is ultimately about her and Maru, their love story. Park Shi Yeon, lady’s a queen of tears and is really good at it. I love it when she cries because she always seems so into it, be it a happy, sad, dramatic or emotional scene. Her improvement all these years has been a delight no doubt. You know if it wasn’t for MCW being female lead, I’d totally root for Jae Hee and Maru. Their connection is strong and bittersweet and I believe it would be a great love story to explore above everything. Whether their love could conquer all, even foibles of character that we detest and resent. I do not think her love for Maru wasn’t true 6 years ago, and in fact think (from her scene with EG’s father) she loved him a lot, but I certainly think she had and has other priorities in life that she cannot let go, and that love isn’t the main one.
A note and special mention of Kwang Soo and Lee Sang Yeob in this episode, who managed to shine in the brief seconds and moments they’ve been given. In particular Lee Sang Yeob who totally rawked his lawyer character in his scene with MCW. I mean, who in the right mind who call his character that?! NO WAY. He can have me anytime man, get it away and done with, Eun Gi is just not for you. And Kwang Soo’s just the ray of sunshine one can always count on for laughs. I love his relationship with Maru in a way that he balances out Maru’s darker side, and by always being by his side no matter what he does.
Chemistry wise, SJK rawks, even with Kwang Soo! I think he has plenty of sparks with PSY, and almost everyone else so far. He hasn’t had a full-fledged scene with MCW yet so it’s still too early to tell. But I do think they will hit it off quite quick because of Jae Hee. And when he begins on his quest to screw their lives. Not the best way to treat the women who love you with all their hearts, but one can only endure things this far when one’s got nothing to lose.
Overall, a very solid beginning despite the typical LKH cliches here and there. If anything, I’m fully onboard for SJK. I just have a nudging feeling that he will step things up a bit more and blow me away.
Ep 2 now please!
credits: tumblr / NG baidu / as tagged