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Realistic, relatable, and funny...a must-see for Kdrama fans!
Your typical formula for a Korean TV drama goes something like this: A poor but hardworking and ambitious girl coincidentally gets involved in the life of a rich and spoiled playboy. Their interactions ultimately result in their falling in love with each other and him becoming a better person. Then, something devastating happens, like one of them finding out they have cancer or an old ex coming back, and the couple is temporarily torn apart. A few dramatic episodes later, they work things out and get back together for a happy ending.
Generally, both leads are attractive and thin, and their "love" is as innocent as two middle school students dating for the first time. The premise of this kind of show may sound cheesy, but there's something charming about Korean dramas that makes it all work.
My Lovely Sam Soon is not that typical TV drama. While it does include the trope of a poor girl catching the heart of a rich guy with some conflict mixed in to keep things interesting, My Lovely Sam Soon provides a refreshing, more mature take on the typical Korean drama. It also includes something somewhat unique in Asian entertainment: the female lead is older, overweight, and foulmouthed.
There are so many things I liked about this drama that it would take pages to list them all, but a few aspects of the show really stood out: the relationships were realistic, the comedic moments were genuinely funny, and the characters were relatable.
In many Korean dramas, the romantic moments in the show are pretty lackluster. The kisses are always a surprise for the receiver, and the receiver looks like they've been assaulted half the time. You will almost never see anything remotely related to an intimate scene in a Korean drama, and couples will oftentimes sleep next to each other but never with each other.
My Lovely Sam Soon is the complete opposite. The drama does not shy away from showing intimacy between characters, and all of the romantic scenes are tastefully done. This ultimately makes the relationships in the drama seem more realistic, and it also makes you care more about what happens to the characters.
In addition, the hardships the characters go through are relatable, and the acting is superb, which makes the drama all the more interesting and fun to watch. I found myself laughing multiple times throughout the series, and for me there was never a dull moment in the plot. The only thing I didn't particularly like about the drama was that some overused tropes were thrown in. Without spoiling anything, some unnecessary dramatic conventions were tossed into the mix in addition to the old-ex-comes-back-into-the-picture cliché.
A sort of American counterpart to this show would be the film Bridget Jones's Diary, which also features an overweight woman as the protagonist. Some even consider Sam Soon the Asian Bridget Jones. With that in mind, I would recommend My Lovely Sam Soon to anyone who enjoyed that film as well as to anyone who enjoys a good laugh with a little drama mixed in.
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