BY HanCinema | Oct 20, 2016 05:22 AM EDT
Things take a turn for the romantic in episode eight of "Shopping King Louis" as our leads return to their not-so-cozy apartment following the successful capturing of the local serial killer. Louis/Ji-seong starts climbing up the ladder of life and makes some money, which gives him the confidence to approach Bok-sil. With the drama now at its eighth episode, dark times will be ahead, but perhaps this one can manage them.
It is a big step we get in the romantic department and its arrival is timely, given we have hit the half way mark. Ji-seong's (Seo In-guk) revelation that he is trying to improve himself before telling Bok-sil (Nam Ji-hyeon) how he feels is a surprising one. His feelings had not previously been made clear to us as self-aware ones. I am not sure if this sudden confession to In-seong (Oh Dae-hwan) is a planned one or if it has been added to push the romance forward more quickly, but it is a sweet one nonetheless.
The episode also marks the first kiss between our main couple and the date leading up to it is a really nice sequence. I do love the music choices in this series, because they are diverse and clearly well thought-out for each situation and segment of this story. Ji-seong and Bok-sil might not be the most dramatically hefty couple and I imagine few things will change in their daily life and interactions after their romantic involvement, but this is what makes them so rewarding and human. They are friends, they are a makeshift family and now they are in love.
Since we are at the midpoint, things will inevitably start becoming darker in the story and it is a big moment for the series to prove its devotion to its tone and writing approach. A dark patch before the resolution is part of storytelling structure, but a lot of dramas make the mistake of piling on repetitive and forced conflict to drag that dark patch out. They place melodramatic value above consistency in tone and pacing, quality and story coherence. I hope and believe that "Shopping King Louis" will avoid this.
We have plenty of things to deal with here. Ji-seong's memory, Seon-goo (Kim Gyoo-cheol) and Ma-ri's (Lim Se-mi) greed for power, Joong-won's (Yoon Sang-hyeon) feelings and of course Ji-seong's status and possible survival due to a dead Bok-nam (Ryoo Ee-hyeon). The last part will probably be hard on Bok-sil if true, although I believe it might prove a false worry by the end. There is plenty to deal with, but it can be dealt with well.
"Shopping King Louis" is a series which has me torn between what I know as a reviewer and what I feel as a viewer. It is sweet, endearing, lovable and gives me moments of genuine glee and fangirling, which is rare for me. As a reviewer, I can see its faults and virtues clearly. Most importantly, however, both sides of me want this to keep doing well. Let us see what the second half offers.
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