2016 seems to be a Year of Non-threatening Kdramas. First we had Descendants of the Sun, followed later by Doctors and now, Shopping King Louis. Ok, even though Louis losing his memory is “scary” enough to script an entire narrative, but, as I said before, not knowing who he is turns out to be the advantageous to Louis. He makes true friends, and gains a surrogate family who accepts him, warts and all.
And that’s where most part of the feel-good element comes from in Louis. We are not watching a rich guy turned poor struggling to regain his former status (think of other Kdramas such as Mr Black). The fun comes from Louis breaking free from his cushy fetters and growing up on his own terms. The rich man Louis buys things with zero regards; he buys things to fill up his empty existence. The poor man Louis, although still intrinsically a shopaholic, buys things to help OTHER people. Like those electrical appliances he bought on (Bok-shil’s) credit to make Bok-shil’s tiny apartment a tad more comfortable, and to help Bok-shil handle the chores better.
So while we shake our heads and empathise with Bok-shil for having to deal with a senseless (and cent-less) spender, like Bok-shil, we can’t stay angry with Louis for long. Cos his intention is good, at least he isn’t spending for spending’s sake.
The OTP are so central to Louis, the other characters sometimes feel like fillers. Ok, other than harrumphing Joong-won. Even grumpy Joong-won comes to realize that he can’t break into the Louis-Bok-shil’s bubble. So instead of forcing it, he graciously steps aside to play the “fairy godfather” role. He provides grounded advice, monetary support (to help Bok-shil become financially independent), and also acts as a discipline master to Louis (since Bok-shil is too soft hearted to stand firm against giving in).
With the second male lead (who usually plays a fairly meaty role in Kdramas’ rom-coms) more or less incapacitated, the other characters don’t stand a chance against breaking the Louis-Bok-shil bubble. So-called “second female lead” isn’t even remotely interested in stealing Louis from Bok-shil. Other than some vague reference to wanting to become Rich Louis’ wife to inherit Goldline, Ma-ri kinda dropped Louis after he becomes Beggar Louis. She doesn’t even bother to scheme against Bok-shil when Louis later returns to his rightful place.
In line with the clawless second female lead, the “evil parties” in Louis are so ineffectual they border on hilarious. (or maybe not “border on”, they ARE rofl-types) Director Baek and his failed attempts to prevent Louis from returning, his blabbermouth and fully well intentioned wife, and his really lousy henchman who gets himself injured more often than actually injuring Louis. These are not scary people. They are comic fodder.
Even if there are no stressors in Louis, I thoroughly enjoyed the show – because Louis and Bok-shil are juz so good together, we don’t need distractions.