This drama is like a reimbursement for my first and maybe the biggest disappointment in my kdrama watching history, aka Secret Garden.
The heroines in both dramas are starting off very similar. They both ride a vehicle very well, can fight with men, have a men-dominated profession and have no family support. When I first watch Secret Garden, little I know that dramaland is full of heroines who are strong, unique and impressive until they suddenly become completely typical and flat at around episode 3-5. My disappointment with her being a background object in Kim Joo-Won and his tracksuit’s story was very big because I genuinely expected that Gil Ra-Im will stick to her character till the end. Now, years after that, I’m watching a very similar female lead, Lee Dan-A, but this time she preserved her character as of episode 11 and changed a little only for better. Her narrative may sometimes be pushed back, but just for a while, until we’re remembered that she has her own resolutions and fights too.
And Kim Joo-Won. My first exposure to the kdrama man-child heirs who are earning all the money and respect that is not proportionate to their merits and abilities. They will fall in love with the poor, learn some life lessons on the way, and continue to be same guy only a little more mature. Strongest Deliveryman’s Kim Joo-Won is Oh Jin-Gyu. He is a man-child cheabol alright, but not gaining quite the same respect from the people around him, while not being as half as rude to them. Even so, his way of approaching the heroine is quite a kdrama romance material. If he met Gil Ra-Im on that bridge, he would have been dating her by now. Becuase he is the richest one in the story, all his faults would be forgiven and overlooked, that is how it works. Poor girl has to be with rich guy no matter what. But Dan-A didn’t give a shit to his heir status (potential heir, at least). And Jin-Gyu is portrayed as a real person, not as a caricature. He is a complex character with some real self-esteem issues, and this makes him actually cute.
So Secret Garden was the first kdrama that I finished, and although it had a disappearing female lead, and a terrible male lead who got together with the girl in the end just because he is the Prince Charming, I can’t help having a guilty-pleause. I contradicted with my own thoughts because Hyun-Bin, because fairy tale feels, because the cozy kdrama romance. Now this drama has similar elements and feels, minus the guilt. I feel like my life is complete now.
Most pleasing bonus is, in this drama, the male lead, Choi Kang-Soo, is a typical second male lead. He is just so nice to her all the time, but it’s still exciting to watch. So, we do not need the male lead to humiliate the heroine all the time and to be financially superior to her in order to keep the romantic development gripping.
It surely isn’t a perfect drama. I find myself skipping some scenes, cringing every time Dan-A hits Kang-Soo (seriously can’t get used to kdrama violence), and couldn’t get the idea of independent food delivery service. But I am glad to watch it so far, because of it’s meaty main characters.