BY HanCinema | Oct 13, 2016 05:37 AM EDT
...So apparently, even though the first episode of "Something About 1% - 2016" was pretty close to an hour, subsequent episodes appear to be only thirty minutes. This requires a change of strategy when it comes to reviews, since a single episode lacks enough content for a full review. But it also requires more managed expectations. "Something About 1% - 2016" is aiming fairly low in the narrative storytelling department.
In contrast to more standardized half-hour dramas, though, the focus in "Something About 1% - 2016" is fairly compact. It's all about the relationship between Jae-in and Da-hyeon, even as Da-hyeon continues, throughout the second episode, to be fantastically unhelpful when it comes to moving the plot forward. This reminded me somewhat of "Lucky Romance", except that since Da-hyeon is rejecting Jae-in to his face, we do at least get the pleasure of watching the leads interact.
Consider, for example, how Jae-in reacts to Da-hyeon's rebuffs with relatively little sense of personal indignation. Now that he has a better idea who Da-hyeon is as a person (stubborn mostly), Jae-in can simply view her as a problem to be solved rather than an actual negotiating partner. This is where the contract comes up. Whatever ridiculous things Da-hyeon asks for, Jae-in can easily provide, and he knows it.
Da-hyeon only very slowly realizes just how serious Jae-in is when he acts promptly in fulfilling her terms. Or maybe it just seems like it, because from Jae-in's perspective, "Something About 1% - 2016" is about actually solving the Da-hyeon issue, whereas from Da-hyeon's perspective, she seems to just be hoping Jae-in will go away at some point and leave her alone. This is naturally completely unrealistic, and constantly leaves Da-hyeon with no choice except to strongly rebuff Jae-in's advances even as she knows that they are fake and also knows exactly why he is doing them.
While Da-hyeon generally lacks agency as a character, it does strike me as noteworthy how in a drama that's explicitly about class conflict, it's the rich guy who acually wants something. The more normal person is fine living a vaguely pathetic life where she obsesses over a random idol singer. Then again that's a pretty common dynamic in these kinds of stories, so I suppose the real unique dynamic is once again how Da-hyeon comes off as kind of slovenly and immature. If Jae-in is teaching Da-hye what it's like to be seriously romanced, as of yet I have no idea what she's supposed to be teaching him.
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