I never expect Show to be the one I look forward most too each week, but I do. It has alot more heart than expected, and the comedic moments are well-timed and natural. Hye-jin’s actions (Hwang Jung-eum) may feel exaggerated at times, but it is to mask her self-consciousness. In the end, her optimism is what win people over, despite her not-so-glamorous looks.
There’re alot of contrasts in the human relationships depicted in Show, the most obvious of which being the friendship between Hye-jin and Ha-ri (Go Joon Hee). Hye-jin is optimistic and down-to-earth, while Ha-ri hides alot of her real self and is more superficial. I do think Ha-ri’s behavior is a self-defence mechanism due to the lack of family warmth, and her surrogate family in the form of Hye-jin’s does no good to change her behavior, but makes her feel even more lonely.
The two male characters are more complex in comparison, where both Sung Joon (Park Seo Joon) and Shin Hyuk (Choi Siwon) hide their true selves. Sung Joon is still that insecure plump little boy deep down, although he puts on a facade of a no-nonsense person. Shin Hyuk hides his identity as a chaebol heir, and pretends to be a poor guy who likes to play pranks. It’s pretty obvious why both guys will fall for Hye-jin despite her not being “pretty” enough, because she is just who she is. Even though Ha-ri pretends to be Hye-jin, she’s just not the real deal, and not channeling the optimism which Sung Joon knows so well. It’s also interesting how Shin Hyuk brings out the real Ha-ri, which only Hye-jin knows, but not any of those boyfriends which she dates do.
I think Show is well-paced in playing out the entire Ha-ri pretending to be Hye-jin game, and let Sung Joon realises for himself who is the Hye-jin he is looking for. I also think it is well written in having Shin Hyuk fall for Hye-jin, which I believe will be a factor in speeding up Sung Joon’s acknowledgement of Hye-jin for who she is, instead of lying to himself that Ha-ri is Hye-jin. The end of Episode 8 is abit WTF, because that’s not how a cliffhanger should be! I’d prefer to have Sung Joon admitting to Hye-jin that he knows who she is, with her frizzy hair and freckled face, not a well-groomed Hye-jin. It takes away that satisfaction that he sees beyond Hye-jin’s appearance and recognizes her as his puppy love, even though she’s far from his goddess image of her.
On the whole, I think Show is doing a good job in anchoring its audience, giving us characters easy to root for and to understand their train of thoughts. Do give it a try if you haven’t started watching!