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Chae Soo Bin is the only reason I started watching.
And how could I not after her totally charming performance in the totally charming "I'm Not A Robot" ? I said in my review of IANAR that I was desperate to marry her and for some reason I've never had a reply, but I'm not one to hold a grudge ( plus I'm poor and ugly ). So I was keen to see her again and see if my love might be re-kindled.
The answer : yes and no.
Underwhelming is probably too harsh a word, yet the central concept here just doesn't work for me. The setting is a major Korean airport and CSB is a new employee with an unfair reputation for being unreliable. The male lead is Lee Je Hoon and therein lies the problem. Let's say that he is...not like the other employees. So in the tradition of K Dramas with super-strong women or exceptional weightlifters, this character provides the concept which the producers hope will hook you in. There's also a sub-plot involving shady corporate dealings which is ok but hardly riveting.
THE BIG IDEA didn't work on me, unfortunately. It does offer some fun and novelty early on, yet the further we go the more I felt the writers had painted themselves and the character into a corner. The ending we're given is consistent with the central idea and therefore unsatisfying, What increases the frustration is this : a good ending IS feasible and, in my opinion, maybe even obvious, yet we don't get one. Aargh ! That said, WSL is made watchable because various incidents/events occurring at the airport are both interesting and well written, with some bringing tears and emotional impact as well. The other aspect serving the show surprisingly well is the secondary romance.
Normally the main romance is a show's primary asset, and this is the first time I've seen a sub-plot relationship take centre stage. That's clearly necessary when the lead couple are so romantically dull and the Airport Security team duo doing relationship back-up duty are actually excellent. Kim Kyung Nam is great as the shy, stoic Team Leader trying to gather the courage to confess his feelings to a subordinate, yet it's the ferocious Lee Soo Kyung who leaves a lasting impression. She's so terse and focussed and tightly wound, which means we almost cringe whenever the two of them interact because she's more likely to put him in a head-lock than speak. The writing and the acting combine very well as this fractious and entertaining couple intrigue us at all times.
As for Chae Soo Bin, my offer of marriage and undying devotion is still on the table ( but I won't hold my breath ) and she's typically likable and sympathetic as an audience surrogate. Not much more she can do with a script like this, and I can only assume LJH was directed to behave like a robot ( and yes, irony noted ! ) with a blank look on his face most of the time. So calm, reserved and even lugubrious ( such a great word; is even ugly to look at or say ), this strategy works for a while due to his "otherness" and consequent anxiety, though I can't see the average woman swooning or being swept off her feet by it in the longer term.
I expect any modern K Drama to be technically proficient and WSL looks good ( that opening scene with the slo-mo in the rain is beautiful ), though the title is clunky and conjures images of some special airport for celebrities. Now, I do try and suggest improvements when I criticise but struggled for a better name. We could be silly with "Departure Gate For Love City", but I think "Fly To Love" is a slight, um, upgrade on WSL.
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