Sigh… ugh… oh man, I did not want to watch this show to the end. It was so painful. It had good moments and good characters, but the main characters were just so… ugh.
Jo Yi-Seo – worst female lead I have ever seen!
Oy…. she’s so irritating. What an unlikable person.
[Below will be so many spoilers, so please do not read if you have not seen this show.]
I could just not finish. It has never happened, but this show just wore me down. I did not want to continue watching after episode 7. I tried to move past episodes 8 to 10 because I was told it gets better, and certain storylines did get better, but the main girl Jo Yi-Seo just got more and more irritating.
(Well, I finally went back and watched for this wonderful rantview, but I really don’t want to watch it again.)
Here goes – the main problem: This is a show where perfect chemistry is formed between a love interest in the first seven to ten episodes and then they just toss it out of the window.
Oh, Itaewon Class you kill me!
For no reason, they threw in an extremely unattractive younger woman with a severe mental disability, and she is suddenly the main love interest of the protagonist for no real logical reason.
A reasonable person would not be attracted to this woman with sociopathy and a definite personality disorder. It made me stop watching the show when it became unbearable because the unhinged young lady then kisses an unconscious man and we’re still supposed to root for her? If a male did this we’d be screaming sexual assault or molestation but because it’s a stupid young female it’s okay? She’s not a kid – she only acts like a child.
She shows her supposed best male friend (but really the guy she continues to string along and use for here own ego), the best way to pick up on random women at a club is for males to bump and grind up behind them.
No, that’s called inappropriate – even at a dance club. If a random guy comes up behind you and starts grinding punch him. Same goes for women. It’s called understanding personal space, but this kiddie, Yi-seo, does not understand personal space.
When Saeroyi asks his employees to leave, she stays watching like a proper stalker when Saeroyi is having a private conversation with his friend of 15 years, Soo-ah.
When Soo-ah and Saeroyi are finally about to kiss she cuck blocks them, when she doesn’t even know their history. Get out of their face you bratty child! She was so emotionally stilted and ridiculous. I actually felt like punching her in the face right through the screen.
And then you find out at the end that Soo-ah was working to fulfill a promise she made to Saeroyi’s dad, Mr. Park (played by Son Hyun-Joo) and it shows what a strong and faithful woman she is, and yet you are stuck with this pairing.
And what’s with that dumb pineapple haircut? Even after he becomes a rich CEO and owner of a conglomerate he still doesn’t get a better haircut.
Why does this girl bother me so much?
The older woman, Soo-ah, is calm and understanding – set on the goal to bring down the ones who killed the male lead’s dad (that is love), and she stopped him from making the biggest mistake of his life – committing murder.
Soo-ah became a whistleblower against the company she worked for because of her promise to Mr. Park, she opens her own restaurant that becomes popular. She does this all on her own. HER OWN! She didn’t need to hang on the coattails of her boss. She was a friend who stood by him in the background for his whole life…
…and yet, Yi-Seo and Saeroyi is the relationship we are force fed to watch for the rest of the show. The immature little jealous girl who gets the guy in the end.
Watching this show was painful in so many ways – like I sped through the scenes with Yi-seo because she’s just irritating as f&*#. If I missed some tidbit of importance, I’m sorry, but she just didn’t show growth.
Even on the last episode – Yi-seo is still mean and obnoxious to Soo-ah. It’s like no growth – no growth whatsoever. She is already with Saeroyi, but she’s still jealous of Soo-ah. It’s so weird how childish this woman-child behaves.
Okay, enough of my hate on the female lead.
I finished the show only because of the secondary characters.
Sigh… anyway… I did like some things about the show.
I liked many of the side stories and characters. Even the supposed bad guy, abused son, Jang Guen-Won of Jang Dae-Hee, head of the evil corporation, Jangga, was such a pathetic character that I actually enjoyed watching his sad story. The actor, Ahn Bo-Hyun, did a fantastic job!
You see what makes a bully. His home situation had formed him into the horrible person that he became, and despite knowing he deserved everything he got in the end – he had such a tragic and sad story of a life ruined by bad parenting, bad choices, bad mental capability, bad everything and he could not rise from all of the abuse and mental stress of constant berating by his cruel father. It was just a very sad story.
After that above scene when Geun-won began to show a conscience his dad simply broke him into pieces and continued to do so. It was tragic.
I would have rather seen an ending where he finally faces his poor decisions and becomes a somewhat mature person after prison, along with his friendship with Soo-ah.
Forgiveness is an awesome theme – but no! They went with lazy bad guy versus good guy story-telling that gets heavier and heavier into the realm of unbelievable all the way to the silly kidnapping story at the end of the show.
But I digress….
In my opinion, that would have been a more fulfilling ending but we got him simply being a prop to uplift the horrible female lead.
His little brother, Jang Guen-Soo had such a desperate crush on Yi-seo, and she just stomped all over his heart gleefully, using him when appropriate for her own ego. Again, his story was at the cost of promoting Yi-seo.
You’ll constantly see this happen, even with the side characters to make us like Yi-Seo. Add this to the list of why Yi-Seo disgusts me – she’s a mean-spirited user.
And Yoo Jae-Myung portrayed the abusive and obsessed head of a corporation, Jang Dae-Hee very well… despite sometimes going a little too over-the-top in bad guy hamminess.
Nothing mattered – not even family – despite him starting the company to make sure his family never starved. It was irony at its best.
At the very end, when he got on his knees and begged forgiveness from Saeroyi you could see the emotion from the moment he ate the soup that reminded him of Saeroyi’s father, Mr. Park, to when Saeroyi walked out. I would have felt badly for the old man. You could see in his eyes every decision he’d made in his life playing out. How he lost his children and his business all in one failed swoop. It was a good scene.
The employees of DanBam each brought their own back story and enjoyable tale to the restaurant and Saeroyi’s life.
I really appreciated how they handled the story of the transgender cook, Ma Hyun-Yi (played by the beautiful Lee Joo-Young from Somewhere in the Rain). This is when Saeroyi shines as a good human being. Whenever he was outside Yi-seo’s orbit it was usually quite nice. His talk with Hyun-yi after Guen-soo – to score points with his dad – outed her for being transgender. It was very sweet and uplifting.
Chris Lyon did a great job as the half Korean – half black employee, Tony Kim. His story was different and interesting, and at first I thought he was merely a token to seem edgy. But he truly played his part well, as the unseen minority in a country that didn’t want to recognize he truly was Korean.
The troubled ex-gangster, Choi Seung-Kwon who decided to straighten up, and live a decent life as an employee of Saeroyi was well done by Ryoo Kyung-Soo. He continued to be such a faithful and loyal friend to his boss who gave him a chance to completely change his life for the better.
I loved Kang Min-Jung (played by Kim Hye-Eun). She was very much like Soo-ah in how she stayed loyal to Mr. Park (Saeroyi’s dad) and his principles. She worked in the background helping his son, and also helping Soo-ah when she first joined the Jangga Company.
Her brief little side love story with the ex-cop (played by Yoon Kyung-Ho) and his daughter (well played by Choi Yoo-Ri) was really sweet and possibly the only romance worth rooting for in this show.
It was touches like this that made the show have an underlying sweetness that I found satisfying.
But then you had the over-the-top bad stuff….
Saeroyi was supposed to be a man of principle. Yes, he stopped a bully from beating on a classmate which started the downward spiral of events because he got on Jang Dae-Hee’s bad side and also got his dad fired. His dad being killed accidentally by a thoughtless young teen driving his car recklessly, was not a purposeful act. It was still an unfortunate accident. Of course, the repercussions and cover-up was what was unethical and criminal. This was because of Jang Dae-Hee. But Saeroyi went to prison for something he deserved, since he almost beat someone to death.
I think everyone wanted to root for Saeroyi because of his principles. But… I sometimes questioned his principles?
Saeroyi had principles – but at times, his principles were at the cost of better choices – like choosing a happy life, or Soo-ah, or owning a little restaurant and being happy, or anything other than revenge.
Revenge, unfortunately, was his main motivator. His thirst for getting back at Jangga consumed him, and so in that way he needed a crazy paramour to fulfill his all consuming nature. In this way, Jo Yi-Seo makes sense for someone like him. I think I got that, but still…?
When I watched, I realized that was why Soo-ah kept her distance. I would not be attracted to a person so consumed by revenge its difficult to simply live. He seemed opposite to his father in this way, and Soo-ah had so much affection toward his dad.
And so, I understood why she stayed away from him, supporting in the distance, loyal in her heart and soul, but never able to enter his atmosphere.
Despite his distant longing for her for 15 years, she knew she had no place in his life as it had become. She always loved him. She just couldn’t have someone like him.
Unfortunately, as someone who wants to enjoy and appreciate a good protagonist, I could not enjoy this show for the placing of Jo Yi-Seo in the lead. Obsession is not the same as love.
They pushed the story forward two years by episode 13, just to sell us on the new Jo Yi-Seo look, and make us feel time would make her more appealing. I think the show knew no one really liked the turn of events making her the female lead.
But… it didn’t.
Because she was a really unattractive person and immature woman, unlike Soo-ah. She continued to lord her closeness to “boss” while knowing nothing of what Soo-ah was doing in the background to take down Jangga Co.
They wanted us to respect her two year growth, so they threw in her epic work ethic until she fell over to make us think more highly of her.
They had her kidnapped – which made no sense. Why show? Why make it a thriller all of a sudden?
It would have been better to show growth with poor Geun-won than make him a simple thug. All to promote, in my opinion, the unlikable lead female character.
They had her run into Saeroyi’s arms crying and simpering like a true damsel in distress, as if that would make her more likable.
This show, as if it knew she was so horrible and unlikable, kept doing things to make us like her, but her personality was still the same selfish little bratty and obsessed child up to the ending.
To the bitter end, she was only loyal to her obsession, Saeroyi because she had a crush on him and followed him like a faithful dog.
I guess that works for some people, but I would prefer an independent woman who makes her own decisions and lives her own life.
In the end, Soo-ah came out ahead with a handsome new chef and future love interest.
Overall, best girl goes to… Soo-Ah!!! It’s based on a Korean manhwa, and so it did need a best girl.
Kwon Na-Ra continues to bring it and I loved her as the ditzy actress in My Mister, she was both heart-wrenching and hilarious, but in this role she plays a subdued heroine that unfortunately the autistic lead male does not get, nor end up with because someone who wrote this likes mentally deranged and obnoxiously immature women.
Ugh… sigh, anyway here’s a cool song – with a better story within:
And the theme song:
I honestly didn’t get the show’s idea of throwing the brat into the mix, but that was Itaewon Class and that’s why it barely held my interest for the secondary stories. It was definitely a 7, but very close to a 6 out of 10.
Hope you all the best of seeking and searching and finding what you’re looking for!
Goodnight Grace! 🙂 ❤