Gong Hyo-jin always has this knack of turning head-scratching funnies into either something sad or poignant. She does it again in Jealousy.
- Gong Hyo-jin (from Master Sun) as Pyo Na-ri. Weather girl for 7pm news at SBC. She failed the interview for a broadcaster position previously and is stuck “reporting” weather. Although she doesn’t like her job, she sticks with it in the hope that her broadcaster dream will come true one day. She also used to crush on Reporter Lee Hwa-shin.
- Jo Jung-seok (from Oh My Ghostess) as Lee Hwa-shin. Bangkok correspondent with SBC, he returns to Korea after helping the station shoot a wacky hiring ad in Bangkok. His 2 (ex) sister-in-laws coincidentally works in the same TV station.
- Go Kyung-po (from Answer Me, 1988) as CEO Ko Jung-won. He owns Hera, a clothing line that supplies clothes to SBC artistes, including the news team. A close friend of Hwa-shin, he happens to meet Na-ri on a plane by chance.
Full recaps, Dramabeans.
After failing the interview for a broadcaster position at SBC, Na-ri has been working as a weather girl for years on the 7pm news. She suffers the annoying sexual harassment from her PD nightly, but never gets the chance to be reviewed for the newscaster position. Volunteering to be the all-rounder (i.e. makeup, wardrobe, etc) girl for a short trip to Bangkok to shoot SBC’s hiring ad, she reunites with Hwa-shin — a reporter whom she had a crush on previously.
On the flight to Bangkok, she swops seats with Jung-won, not knowing he is the CEO of Hera, who supplies all the wearables to SBC. Jung-won recognises her as the weather girl, much to Na-ri’s delight, since she’d assumed nobody watches the weather reports anyway.
While dressing Hwa-shin for the promo ad, Na-ri accidentally brushes (more like gropes) against his chest, and finds a suspicious lump. She nags Hwa-shin to do a check up since her mum and granny died from breast cancer, and she is more than familiar with lumps in the chest. Hwa-shin, being the annoying alpha male, pooh-poohs her concerns and brushes them aside.
Until he meets with a light traffic accident, and a check-up confirms that there is a lump in his chest.
We also get a peek into Hwa-shin’s background, and what made him so prickly. His 2 ex sister-in-laws both work in SBC as PDs of news and broadcasting teams. Both hate him. First sis-in-law, Sung-sook, dislikes him since he had badmouthed her from Day 1 of her marriage with his elder brother. Second sis-in-law also has an axe to grind with him — Hwa-shin reported on his elder brother, who used to own a successful meat packing business, cheating customers for paying premium money for a cheap cut. His elder brother went bankrupt and broke contact with him, taking away his daughter (from his first wife) to stay in a boarding house.
Unbeknownst to Hwa-shin and his 2 ex sis-in-laws, his elder brother had a bad fall due to alcohol intoxication and is in a coma. Hwa-shin’s niece, Bbal-gang, who is still angry at Hwa-shin and her 2 mums for causing dad’s downfall, refuses to get in touch with them. Nobody knows at the moment that Bbal-gang stays in the same boarding house as Na-ri and her brother, Chi-yeol.
I love the characters, all of them. Even the quirky ahjummas (the sister-in-laws) and their teenagy fights over who is prettier. Needless to say, Gong Hyo-jin as Na-ri tops them all in quirkiness. I had to control my giggles when she goes all out to “check” Hwa-shin’s chest. I bet Gong Hyo-jin had a field day feeling Jo Jung-seok up. (hehe) Hopefully Jo Jung-seok likes it. (pwahaha)
Characterisation aside, the plot is rather confusing. First off, why is Jealousy‘s world so small? It’s micro to the point that everyone is 300% related. Hwa-shin works in the same company as his ex sis-in-laws, and the 2 ladies literally work across each other on the same floor. Then Na-ri shares the same boarding house with a bunch of characters who will cross paths or are related with those in SBC.
Then there’s like a gazillion love triangles to make Jealousy look like a geometry lesson: besides Hwa-shin/ Na-ri/ Jung-won, there’s also the soon-to-come love affair between the 2 sis-in-laws and Chef Kim (the owner of the boarding house who owns a pasta restaurant one floor down), and the young-un’s, Na-ri’s brother, Chi-yeol, with Bbal-gang, and their neighbour, Dae-goo.