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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Drinking Alone" Episode 13

2016/10/17

At this point "Drinking Alone" is making a deliberate concerted effort to portray its characters in about as negative a light as possible. I can think of no other reason why Jeong-seok starts off his relationship with Ha-na by being a weird control freak, engages in some weird stalking of her, and then the episode concludes as if Jeong-seok has learned a serious life lesson. To most people this is just the bare minimum standard of being a decent partner.

Gi-beom manages to do even worse, difficult though that may be to believe. Granted, Dong-yeong should really know better than to listen to his idiot friend at this point, and the crisis he creates is, ultimately, Dong-yeong's own fault. Even so, I really can't grasp how Gi-beom's generally paranoid behavior is supposed to be in any way endearing, let alone sympathetic.

Jin-i and Jin-woong continue to regress into their most simple least interesting personality traits. Jin-i is just too pitiful now. I want to feel sorry for her and yet...well, it's awkward how "Drinking Alone" seems to be playing her serious emotional pain for laughs. I similarly wasn't sure what to make of the Jin-woong's extended "W" reference. Outside of television editing it's hard to imagine what possible pedagogical purpose this particular impression could serve. Usually Jin-woong shameless pop culture references are at least logically integrated into the lesson plans somehow.

That leaves Myeong as the remaining bright spot. And while Myeong is generally lovable as always, right now all there really is for him to do is admire Ha-na and be generally friendly with Chae-yeon. It does help that Myeong is so stupid sometimes as to wrap right around into being genuinely adorable. Myeong's emotional intelligence when it comes to Chae-yeon is quite good considering the poor girl barely ever changes facial expressions. Myeong's presence of mind is especially comparable when stakced up against the rest of the cast.

Once again, "Drinking Alone" manages to clear the bar of not being unwatchably irritatingly bad. I don't really hate Jeong-seok or Gi-beom, for all their obvious faults. I just find them to be rather generally annoying, and it's very difficult to get behind any of their apparent goals in life. Considering that these two drive almost all of the action in "Drinking Alone" while Myeong just sits passively in the corner being nice and sweet...well, it's no wonder the drama is irritating, is all.

Review by William Schwartz

"Drinking Alone" is directed by Choi Gyoo-sik and Jeong Hyeong-geon, written by Baek Seon-woo, Choi Bo-rim and Myeong Soo-hyeon, and features Ha Seok-jin, Hwang Woo-seul-hye, Park Ha-sun, Min Jin-woong, Kim Won-hae, Gong Myung and Key.

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