KBS rom-com drama Dali and the Cocky Prince (Dal Ri and Gamjatang) has turned into the opposite of SBS drama Lovers of the Red Sky, and I’m not talking about the genres. It feels comparable solely because I am watching both intently and this week both hit the farthest ends of opposite spectrums – Red Sky fell off a cliff in stupidity and Dali hit new highs in smart plotting and incredibly mature relationship progression and discussion. I’ll try to make this post as fun as the Red Sky one, but it’ll be hard because I just want to swoon over Moo Hak (who taught this boy to be so emotionally whip smart?) and applaud Dali’s forthrightness (and I thought her kiss of Moo Hak at the gallery was forward, she takes that one level up here hahaha!). Episodes 9-10 have been the highlight of my interminable week, and the gems are in the dialogue and actions between Moo Hak and Dali. He openly talks about how he likes her, and she admits she’s fearful of loving again thanks to what Tae Jin did to her, and he accepts that and won’t rush her. He’s just happy she doesn’t find him uncouth and uncultured, and dude Moo Hak she may actually like you more because you’re not so polished lol. I so over Tae Jin’s passive-aggressive baiting for Moo Hak and proud of my boy for always standing up and giving it right back but always being the better man in the way he talks to Tae Jin. That Tae Jin is the Big Bad behind the scenes isn’t surprising I just need to know why he dumped Dali 5 years ago and whether this is all to get her back, because if so dude whatever you plotted led to the death of her dad (directly or inadvertently) so you better be ready to pay penance for the rest of your life while wuri perfectly matched Dali and Moo Hak live happily ever after.
So these two episodes, the better one was episode 10 as episode 9 set up more plot progression but 10 just shot everything forward substantively. Moo Hak knows he’s family is involved in whatever real estate shenanigans are going on with Chak Hee’s politician dad as the figurehead of the helm, and I think knowledge makes him stronger because he now has double reason to stop everything both for Dali and to not let his family make an irrevocable misstep due to his older step-brother’s insecure desire to succeed. That Dali also knows now makes their relationship stronger as they continue to be candid with each other. I did like the bit of stirring Tae Jin did to make Dali doubt Moo Hak because it led to the first proper kiss, and hooboy it was flame fanning good. Moo Hak’s angry kiss was just a quick on and he asked Dali if this was a mistake again and her imperceptible headshake before they leaned in to make out was sigh so good. The hands around his neck, his around her wait and against the wall, kyaaaaaa I just needed this scene to be about 5 minutes longer lol.
There were also so many great secondary plot developments, even though I don’t really care about it but the drama has done well to really make those plots actually have emotional resonance. I’m surprised that Won Tak chewing out Gong Joo made me cry, seeing how Dali’s kind father took her in and gave her a chance and now she finally knows. Seeing Moo Hak’s hilarious secretary basically warning Dali to “Bitch, I’m watching you, don’t you dare hurt Moo Hak” as a protective older sister just warms my heart. I didn’t realize she saw so clearly, that she was surprised Dali picked Moo Hak over Tae Jin and then concern that Dali was using Moo Hak, because she can see Moo Hak is in it for real. That she threatened to hunt down Dali if she broke Moo Gak’s heart is *chef’s kiss*. While Tae Jin is grating on all my nerves these last two episodes the use of him has been net positive for plot progression and getting our OTP closer and closer. Nothing makes the new beau look even better than seeing how shitting the old beau was, heh.