BY HanCinema | Oct 08, 2016 08:12 AM EDT
This week sadly brings us only one episode and one major cliffhanger, but things move forward in"Shopping King Louis". Our titular character has secret enemies and helpers, he makes progress as a person and our romance finally has proper sparks going. We also get to know more about Bok-sil's life and fears. The budding romance brings budding rivalry, as Joong-won and Louis/Ji-seong begin the battle for Bok-sil's affection.
I have been expecting the moment when Ji-seong's (Seo In-guk) status as very much not dead would become common knowledge and we are certainly on the right path. The couple still need to sort through who they are and where they stand in life after the cat is out of the luxury bag, so I hope these revelations will be timely. I am curious about the new twist of Kim Ho-joon's (Eom Hyo-seob) secret co-worker who is also looking for Ji-seong. Is it just grandma Il-soon (Kim Yeong-ok) being cautious or someone else?
Putting the family intrigue aside for now, the episode fixes a lot of the elements which have become repetitive and which I spoke about in my previous piece. Ji Seong's splurging has become tiresome for an adult and I am glad to see that the series addresses it without perpetuating his shenanigans. Ji-seong has made great progress in this episode and although he still has that itch, he has finally learned to respect Bok-sil's (Nam Ji-hyeon) wishes and take her advice.
I am happy to see that Bok-sil is not simply damseled either. She has legitimate fears and anxieties, but also trauma similar to Ji-seong's. I love to see couples in Dramaland who do not have a significant power imbalance, because although that imbalance is not inherently bad, it is usually a tool for pushing male superiority and dominance in such stories. Avoiding this does not make "Shopping King Louis" a better show, but it does make it more modern and socially responsible.
There is a limit to that, of course, because what would a rom-com featuring a love triangle be without the men pulling the girl around to mark their territory? Well, it would be a healthier rom-com, but I suppose baby steps are better than no steps. I do think Joong-won (Yoon Sang-hyeon) and Ji-seong are getting a bit too disrespectful of Bok-sil's free will regarding the topic, but it is not to a problematic degree yet.
I may be singing the show's praises more than it deserves when I look at it as purely a piece of entertainment and fiction, but at a time when every other drama tries to do and be too much, I appreciate the simplicity of "Shopping King Louis". It uses known elements and brings a known story, but it does so in a pure and dedicated way. I hope it can do so until the end.
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