Drama Review – I Have a Lover (SBS, 2015)

Ugh. In the end Show went into a mess of bland storytelling and the last episode was just fanservice to fans of the OTP. That’s the trouble of long dramas – too much airtime and too little to tell. Show would have been much better were it be a 30-ish episodes drama.


While the chemistry between our leads Ji Jin Hee and Kim Hyun Joo was great, it is too much of a stretch for a 50-episode drama to hinge just on that. It was oddly addictive and interesting to watch how Do Hae-kang (Kim Hyun Joo) “reforms” after her memory loss and subsequently regains her memory, but it got draggy when Hae-kang and Choi Jin-eon (Ji Jin Hee) takes turn to play the noble idiot while uncovering the truth behind Hae-kang’s biological dad’s death.


Show is another case of how the initial description and the final product don’t match, if anyone remembers that Show was initially introduced along the lines of the female lead (Hae-kang) becoming the third party to her ex-husband and his current wife. Jin-eon was supposed to have an affair with Kang Seollie (Park Han-byul) and they left Korea to pursue further studies overseas, and were supposed to return to Korea to get married. However, it was pretty ambiguous whether Jin-eon really loved Seollie and whether he really hated Hae-kang. His immediate interest in memory-loss-Hae-kang aka Dokko Yong-gi was befuddling, and I don’t blame Seollie for feeling she can never step out of Hae-kang’s shadows. Granted, it was wrong of Seollie to be the third party in the first place, but that’s another issue.


For a series this long fillers are required, though often unnecessary. I do like the pluckiness of the real Dokko Yong-gi, who’s actually Hae-kang’s twin, because she doesn’t falter in front of Jin-eon’s evil brother-in-law’s schemes and threats. The interaction between her daughter Woo-joo and Dr Min Gyu Seok (Lee Jae Yoon) was adorable too, which were the highlights for me as the series dragged on and on. Most of the side plots exist without much reasons, which is what made Show increasingly boring and frustrating to watch.


I wasn’t really a fan of Lee Kyu Han before this, but I felt his character Baek Seok was seriously under-utilized although it was refreshing to have a second male lead who did not resort to any of the oft-used troupes in dramas to break apart the OTP. I’m not sure if it was required to introduce a new (and useless) character just to tie up Baek Seok’s arc with a neat bow (same for the young man who’s interested in Seollie), but at least all the deserving characters in Show got their happily ever after?


I suppose Kim Hyun Joo is the saving grace of Show, because she really portrayed the twin sisters with excellent distinction, as well as the different faces of Do Hae-kang. It was definitely no easy feat to play multiple characters/personalities, and personally I felt she should be awarded with the Daesang at SBS Drama Awards last year but whatever. I can see why Show had a fervent fanbase, and it’s a shame that the last 20 episodes or so went in circles and downhill.

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