4 Episode Test: Bubblegum 풍선껌

I talked about Bubblegum as a drama coming up and now we’re here. I might not stay long because this 4 episode test* might be brief. Here’s the thing, Bubblegum is boring. After 4 episodes, I need something and I’m still wondering what it is.

Let’s just break it down by characters.

Lee Dong Wook

Lee Dong Wook as Park Ri Hwan

My goodness he looks great in this. The camera loves him. I love him. I just don’t love Ri Hwan. Here’s the basic story, boy meets girl. Grows up with girl like a sister. As a man, loves the woman. Mom dislikes woman being his choice. Drama with woman and everyone.

So he’s been denying his feelings, but comes off creeper to almost everyone except himself in the guise of being her brother/oppa. I don’t like that. The writer seems to play off his being “like a brother” at every chance to explain their relationship. It’s tiring. It’s played.

Jung Ryeo Won

Jung Ryeo Won as Kim Haeng Ah

I’ve said it before, I’m not a huge fan of hers. I do think she’s talented, but I am still waiting for a role to click for me to really appreciate her. This role is just not quite it (yet?).

Now maybe I’m just sick of the drama trope of an orphan being shit on, or maybe I’m just tired or two people being close – like Ri Hwan and Haeng Ah – and them not dealing with family not liking the situation. I’m also not into the puppetmaster type of boyfriend secret relationship Haeng Ah had with her workplace’s director. I mean, can we have any more signs that it was not a healthy relationship?

Lee Jong Hyuk

Lee Jong Hyuk as Kang Suk Joon

Okay, I want to really dislike Suk Joon, but he’s probably the best character. You know exactly what he is. It might not be good, but you know.

He’s very controlling. His relationship with Haeng Ah was a thrill, but in the end it was all about control. He’s fully aware of it and how it affects people. Well, that people actually being Ri Hwan. He knows he can one up him based on his position and pull. I’m actually impressed with his snake-like tendencies. It’s cruel, but in a weird way, it’s honest. He knows Ri Hwan’s feelings for Haeng Ah, but also knows how weak she can be. It’s a volatile mix.

Park Hee BonPark Hee Bon as Hong Yi Seul

I don’t really know where to go with Yi Seul. She’s very privileged. The kind of privilege that’s like, “oh hey, I have money and I spend it like it’s nothing because I have it. I’m not happy though.” It makes for a naive and fragile character.

She’s pressured to marry and after a marriage meeting, Ri Hwan may be the one. Still, she dresses dowdy. She’s very conservative. She worries about her skirt covering herself instead of an injury. An injury that later she would sort of blow out of proportion just to be near Ri Hwan. I’m guessing authentic relationships are not her forte.

Bae Jong OK

Bae Jong Ok as Park Sun Young (Ri Hwan’s mother)

She’s mean as a mom or rather a mother figure. And it looks like she might be sick. Let’s just throw more tropes at her and see what else sticks.

Her coldness towards Haeng Ah is just so useless. I know the drama would be shorter if she wanted her son to have a woman who has a career and grew up decently, but no way. We’re not having any of that. We’re having a marriage meeting with Yi Seul because how dare we have Ri Hwan with someone like that. Someone like Haeng Ah. The saving grace is we see more Bae Jong Ok. She’s so great to watch and there’s a little bit of me that’s happy she’s with Dong Wook again.

Will I continue with Bubblegum? I don’t know. I may try the next 2 episodes, but if something else came up, I might just skip it.

Bubblegum 풍선껌
Genre: Romance
Episodes: 16
Broadcast network: tvN
Broadcast period: 2015-Oct-26 to 2015-Dec-??

Watch Bubblegum on DRAMAFEVER.

Have you watched a drama all for the Wookie? Comment below or tweet me @cherylfornia!

OhKDRAMA is my new column exploring Korean dramas. Regular posts Tuesday and Friday.

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Sources/photos: Dramawiki / broadcast network

*4 episode test – An unofficial test that is given to Korean dramas in the dramaverse. First taught to me by India of DramaDebussie.com, it is basically a trial watch of a drama. If after 4 episodes, it does not progress well, you drop it without any conscience.


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