Woah Nellie has it been an unfortunate amount of time between reviews. How long? Don’t Ask Me About the Past. (Bwahaha-Brohoho). Now that we’re out of the holiday I have no more excuses. Reviews are back. And after my Month of Kdrama, I have quite the backlog. So we’re going to pick up where we left off at the cable drama, Don’t Ask Me About the Past.
I remember when watching this one during the summer, I was hooked. It was hot, I was sweaty, and I had a borrowed android tablet (thanks Laurie!). I remember really enjoying it–then that ending happened–and a bitter angry taste was left in my mouth. Seriously guys. Here’s an angry note from Stephanie to the writers/producers of dramas:
DO NOT WRITE A CLIFFHANGER TO YOUR DRAMA IF YOU DON’T HAVE A SECOND SEASON ALREADY IN THE WORKS. Grr… Stephanie angry. Stephanie break stuff.
Now looking back over the entire drama, I’m finding all sorts of nitpicky things wrong with it, but I can’t tell if it’s because the drama was really flawed or if I’m letting the ending color everything else.
So let’s look at this clinically. The show had an interesting premise. A woman on her wedding day gets conked on the head and suddenly develops the ability to see a man’s sexual misdeeds from his smell. Unfortunately, for her first scent? She sniffs out her brand new husband’s long-term relationship with her friend, who he conveniently sneaks along with them on their honeymoon.
Okay, that’s an awesome hook. It’s fresh and fun. It brings up all sorts of questions. What is she going to do with these powers? How is she going to live her life now? And since she’s able to see the misdeeds of all men, will she ever be able to fall in love again?
With the help of her trusty best friend and all around sidekick Sun Hee, after a brief flirting the dark side in a hilariously failed attempt to blackmail a top star, Sun Young decides to use her powers for good. Her mission? Help women get the dirt on the cheating, no good men in their lives by starting an upscale detective agency.
Okay, seriously, that’s a lot of fun. Watching the two girls bumble around trying to get the proof they need to prove Sun Young’s visions, fighting off rival detective agencies, and keep out of the way of the police? All while doing normal best friend things like drinking too much, flirting, and generally having a good time? I could watch an entire show of this.
Except we didn’t get an entire show of this. Where we started off with the episodes being centered around the case of the week and going out from there, by about episode 5 or 6 the over arching storyline had taken hold and taken over.
Yes, I understand that a story needs an overarching storyline and higher stakes–in theory. But you’re also talking to the girl whose favorite shows are the ones without big plots. I say if you have interesting and complex characters, sometimes putting them in an interesting premise and seeing them move around is enough for me. However, I know I’m not your average viewer.
Once we moved into the bigger storyline and brought in the big bad, what we originally liked about the story started to fall apart. The friends were at odds. The detective agency was just left to linger, and what were originally supposed to be side characters became bigger and bigger until there were chunks of screen time where the two ladies weren’t even there.
Don’t get me wrong. I did like the police detective. I was totally rooting for him and Sun Youngto get together. I liked him and his regular guy qualities. I liked their no BS relationship–and how he kept calling her ajumma. It was actually disappointing to look at the episodes I had left and realize the two were not going to get together. With two episodes left to go, Sun Youngwas still hung up on the bar owner.
With the encroaching bigger storyline, we did get an interesting big bad. He did terrible, horrible things. He killed lots and lots of people with no qualms and blackmailed and tortured others. I’m up in the air on how I feel about Seo Ki Ho yes, he was a horrible person. He began romancing Sun Hee for the sole purpose of trying to get information about the whereabouts of Sun Young’s mother. He could read people’s history just by touching them.
Sidenote. Why did I think this was so weird and unbelievable? Our heroine could see a man’s history just by smelling him! Maybe it’s because we saw the evolution of Sun Young’s powers. Her powers had limitations, which oddly made them more believable. She could only smell men and she could only smell their history with women. Then this guy comes along and conveniently could just touch anyone and either read their history or burn out their powers?
Thing is–he didn’t need to have a power–it was unnecessary.
But since it was so unnecessary and random, I’m choosing to ignore it as part of the storyline. The more interesting part of the villain is the question is someone completely bad? He does all of these horrible things in order to avenge is twisted revenge seeking mother. A woman who, while it’s not pointed out on screen, I’m absolutely certain adopted him just to have someone to twist to her evil schemes. Yep, she’s the Korean Mrs. Habersham. However, this doesn’t excuse him from all his wrongdoings. But does his love for Sun Hee redeem him? While it makes me feel for him, no. He loves her but still continues to do bad things. He loves her but still instinctively uses her as a shield until Sun Young intervenes. He doesn’t kill Sun Young’smother–which is a plus in his favor–but why? He says to her, he only agreed to find her but not to kill her? This was the one and only time he goes against his mother. And while I’m glad he didn’t kill her, letting her live just didn’t make sense. I think it was just the writers throwing a last minute ‘he’s been reformed by love’ kink in. I just don’t believe it.
Moving on to Sun Young’s mother. I have one question. So she’s been alive all these years. Her husband thinks she’s dead, her daughter thinks she’s dead, so they are both cool with the dad remarrying. However, once Sun Young finds out her mother is in fact alive, shouldn’t she tell her father? I understand that he was really messed up by her mother’s death, and he’s just now settling back into life by marrying the housekeeper, but isn’t it her responsibility to let her father know he is in fact still married?
Just something weird I keep thinking about.
Anyway, I find this being a shorter breakdown than usual, there just isn’t as much to say about this show. There is no real character development during any of the storylines–except for the wannabe change of the villain. The main characters were actually really well rounded, grounded characters. These could easily be actual people you knew, which makes it unfortunate what happened to the show.
As for the ending. That muther-bleeping ending. You know maybe this show wouldn’t be so bad if you just decide to not watch the epilogue. They close up everyone storylines nicely, Sun Hee heads to Africa to get her head back on straight after her relationship with a killer, the faithful office bodyguard following, the brother using his detective know-how to become an actual detective, bad attitude in tow. FBI recovers from his injuries and is now the unfortunate senior detective to the brother. Our favorite detective gets his job back and his response to uncooperative bad guys? Relieving them of their stinky old socks. This made me laugh. You know what? Watch that. Watch up until there. Don’t go any further! I’m going to rewrite the end.
Here we go:
Sun Young continues on with the detective agency waiting for her buddy to come back so they can fight big bad cheaters together before celebrating at the wine bar. She’s harangued all the time by the detective who, now believing fully in her powers of smell, uses her to help solve his crimes. Eventually through their bickering she realized the ginormous crush he has on her, they fall in love and get married. They live happily ever after catching bad guys and drinking wine with their friends.