Name: Melo is My Nature / Be Melodramatic
Writer/director: Lee Byung Hun & Kim Young Young / Lee Byung Hun & Kim Hye Young
Date: August 2019
Number of episodes: 16
Genre: Comedy, Melodrama, Friendship, Romance
Based on book/manga?: No
Why did I press play? The characters’ descriptions sounded interesting.
Initial Thoughts: I was quickly bored. But it does pick up around episode 8 and then again around episodes 12 becomes boring again. This drama isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but well worth checking to see if it is.
- What’s unique about this drama is that it’s all about the journey of each character and what happens in their day to day life and the natural progression of things. The ending of the drama is quite irrelevant. Because the story isn’t about leading up to a major climax or “what will happen..?”. Rather seeing how each person deals with what’s on their plate.
- Incredibly well thought our script (apparently the writer had been working on it for seven years), many lines are drenched in life lesson, wisdom, or struggles.
- The drama attempts to tell a unique story and strays from typical troupes – that deserves respect/
- The actors immersed themselves into their roles.
- Despite the drama’s many virtues, overall it drains your energy – rather than giving it ( which is what I often like to get from drama watching). The drama also gives off a weird feeling. It has a dark comedy feel to it and it has a foundation of melancholy, and everyone seems to some level to be kinda depressed. Even the son grows up in a very adult setting. The show lacks innocence, it probably intentionally doesn’t have it, but it would feel more balanced with a little wholesomeness. For example, even the little boy grows up in an adult setting and matures quickly. All of the interactions between characters are transactional and overly rational, which makes it devoid of energy and unrelatable.
- The color palette is also very subdued and dull, which adds to fatigue, making the episodes never-ending.
They all have a somewhat heavy and dramatic backstory. (Spoilers Below)
- Im Jun Joo is in a highly dysfunctional relationship with for seven years, but eventually gets closure and enjoys her new romance with Son Beom Soo. At the start, they both get so drunk that it’s unclear if they slept together or not. Her parents are cool.
- Son Beom Soo is healing from heartbreak. He is eccentric, especially in the first couple of episodes, then he evens out. He comes from good family background and very talented at his job.
- Hwang Han Joo has a one night stand, shotgun wedding, divorces, and is now a single mum. She is perpetually sulking and acts like a baby. Apart from a few moments where she acts mature, she feels babyish
- Lee Eun Joo struggles to make a documentary, which does become successful. She falls deeply in love only to have her partner die of cancer. She thinks he is still with her and constantly talks to him. Eventually, she does have a new love interest, but he has a temper problem at work, but off duty is super generous with finance, but also an oddball.
- Chu Jae Hoon is in a highly dysfunctional relationship. Plus he also acts like a baby most of the time.
- Lee Min Joon was a big bully and stopped fighting and pursuing any of his dreams and becomes Lee So Mi agent.
- Jung Hye Joon is so over the top and incredibly lonely – hence she is so difficult to work with. She is the most energizing character and her unconventional romances are lame but mildly fun to watch.
Who are the main characters? Which actors play them?
Im Jin Joo played by Chun Woo Hee (main girl)
Son Beom Soo played by Ahn Jae Hong (main guy)
Hwang Han Joo played by Han Ji Eun (Single mum)
Lee Eun Jung played by Jeon Yeo Bin (documentary director)
Chu Jae Hoon played by Gong Myung (Ha Joo’s co-worker and in dysfunctional relationship)
Lee Hyo Bo played by Yoon Ji On (Eun Jung’s musician younger brother)
Kim Hwan Dong (Jin Joo’s ex-boyfriend)
Lee So Min played by Lee Joo Bin (actress)
Lee Min Joon played by Kim Myung Joon (So Min’s manager & love interest)
Jung Hye Jung played by Baek Ji Won (main senior writer)
Ha Yoon played by Mi Ram (Jae Hoon’s girlfriend – she’s much more likable as the news anchor in Spring turns to Spring)
Sung In Jong played by Jung Seung Kil (Director of JBC Productions – where both directors and main writers are from)
Dong Gi played by Heo Jun Seok (Director and director in love with cafeteria manager)
Director Kim played by Son Seok Koo (director Eun Jung love interest)
Theme: Navigating life in an unrealistic way.
What it’s good for? Dabble in a different genre.
- The Korean movie Twenty is also written and directed by Lee Byung Hun
- Byung Hun had worked on this script for seven years.