Last year around July a drama premiered that appeared both zany and cute, leaving everyone excited that a good farce was to be had. Alas, Spy Myung Wol turned out to be a debacle of epic proportions on and off the screen, and right now Haeundae Lovers is reminding me of SMW for various reasons. It’s about the premiere in 2 weeks during the fun Summer season, the premise is kooky and rife with identity hijinks and undercover tensions galore, and the promos and posters all gear towards good-natured self mockery. Until I watched the actual teaser (not the two beach ads that aired last week, but a real teaser with footage of the drama), I remained uninterested in this whole shebang.
Leads Kim Kang Woo and Jo Yeo Jung are fine but hardly excite me, and second leads Nam Gyu Ri and Jung Seok Won are even less interesting to me. That all changed when I watched the trailer, which looks just so stupid and silly and, dare I say it, bad on an am-I-seeing-this level, I actually want to check it out now. This might be fun if you check your brain at the door and watch for the sure to be abundance of bikinis, bare chests, and lots of wetness galore since its set at the beach. And please, can we refrain from tittering about Jo Yeo Jung’s impressive bosom, other than the shout out I just gave it. Consider me impressed, though the reason I like her because she’s a very sincere and lovely actress.
The two posters for Haeundae Lovers is a whole new level of jaw-droppingly terrible I have no words. The last thing a poster wants to evoke from the viewer is the uncontrollable desire to laugh AT it. Jo Yeo Jung’s catch of the day being Kim Kang Woo might be cute but for the fact that his expression is just so dazed and confused. The Titanic moment on a small speed boat is about 16 years too old of a joke, even if I find the two leads absolutely adorable together in that pose.
The character stills are not bad. My favorite are the ones featuring the gangster ahjusshis.
Let’s check out some stills of the characters in action. Just as a refresher of the plot: Kim Kang Woo plays one of my most hated K-drama character tropes – the investigating public prosecutor. As a lawyer it seriously kills my brain cells to see a prosecutor pulling double duty as the lead investigator in building his case. In HL, he goes undercover as a gangster in Haeundae to gather evidence for his mob case and conveniently loses his memory. Pre-memory loss Kim Kang Woo is engaged to Nam Gyuri’s character, but afterwards he falls in love with the mob boss’ daughter played by Jeo Yeo Jung. She is herself a self-sufficient fish monger/can-do business woman who hates her mob upbringing and vows to leave it all behind. Jung Seok Won plays the son of the rival mob boss who edges Jo Yeo Jung’s mob daddy out of power. So there you have it, the recipe for a classic screwball comedy right there. As much as this drama appears so mockworthy, if done right, it has the potentially to be really fantastic with the funny and the touching all blended together into a Summer snow cone of deliciousness. I hope that’s what we end up getting.
Trailer for Haeundae Lovers: