I think When a Man Loves should be called “When he loves her and she loves another and another loves him and they all love but no one gets any.” I read the character descriptions and almost burst out laughing. So cold gangster Song Seung Heon loves plucky poor girl Shin Se Kyung, who knows his love and kinda uses him but doesn’t love him back. Also loving her is nice and hardworking Yeon Woo Jin, and she ends up loving him back, but obviously it’s not a happy ending otherwise they would be the lead OTP and we have no story to tell. Also lurking around is gangster girlfriend Chae Jung Ahn who loves Song Seung Heon and vows to win him despite knowing he loves Shin Se Kyung. There is also a 7 year time jump in this story somewhere. Can I suggest that we ship all of them off to different corners of the world so they stop tormenting one another and can love in freedom? The preview for episode 1 has just been released and I had a moment of clarity about what makes Shin Se Kyung so meh for me. She has no chin! Or a better description is that she’s a chinless wonder and her chinlessness makes her acting even more bland because she always looks like she’s quivering on the edge of weeping. She has very pretty eyes though, but good lord does she need to branch out from her one look of determined surprise that she’s always got on her face. I heard Song Seung Heon say he wants to challenge himself as an actor but he’s already played a gangster twice before so I’m not seeing anything new here. The preview makes everything look so sinister and dramatic but that only works when the narrative feels believable and gripping. I’m not seeing it in the preview and stills but we’ll find out tomorrow.
Preview for episode 1: