Is Seo Hyun-jin and Hwang In-yeop’s love line in “Why Her?” necessary?
SBS Friday-Saturday drama “Why Her,” which attracted a lot of attention and even surpassed 10% in rating (Nielsen Korea), has recently fallen to the 7% range, slowing down its upward trend. In the beginning, the drama’s high rating was driven by the chic charms of the character Oh Soo-jae (Seo Hyun-jin), a woman who fights hard for her success. In addition, in the TK law firm, which is full of sexist views, her solo performance, which transcends the discrimination and makes even the male lawyers kneel in front of her, caught the viewers’ attention.
However, the drama’s charm began to decline little by little when the female lead’s romance with Gong-chan (Hwang In-yeop) began in earnest. Gong-chan, who as a student met Oh Soo-jae when she gave a lecture at a law school, is Kim Dong-gu, who was falsely accused in the past and went in and out of prison after Oh Soo-jae failed to defend him in court. Oh Soo-jae was the only one who believed in him when everyone accused him of being the criminal, which is why Gongchan falls in love with her while hiding his identity. This love of Gongchan then melts Oh Soo-jae’s heart, which was frozen like ice, little by little.
Perhaps Kim Ji-eun, who wrote the drama, thought that Oh Soo-jae and Gong-chan’s romance would get the audience’s response and sympathy, but somehow the reaction was the opposite. The reason was that the romance between them did not go well together somewhere, but the bigger reason was that what viewers want to see is not their sweet romance, but catharsis through the strong fights that Oh Soo-jae has been showing from the beginning.
Now, the drama is approaching the truth of the incident due to which Kim Dong-gu was falsely accused and went to prison. The hidden stories of Baek Jin-ki (Kim Chang-wan) and Yoon Se-pil (Choi Young-joon) were also revealed. Ten years ago, Kang Eun-seo (Han Sun-hwa), Baek Jin-ki’s daughter and Yoon Se-pil’s fiancée, was sexually assaulted by Choi Joo-wan (Ji Seung-hyun), Han Dong-oh (Park Shin-woo), and Lee Si-hyuk (Won Hyung-hoon), who ran away, and Jeon Na-jung (Hwang Ji-ah), Kim Dong-gu’s step-sister, helped them, which then caused the incident. In other words, the three sons of Choi Tae-guk (Hu Joon-ho), Han Sung-beom (Lee Kyung-young), and Lee In-soo (Cho Young-jin), who are currently wielding enormous money and power, were all the real perpetrators of the case.
On top of that, the drama filled one whole episode with the story that Oh Soo-jae received some kind of deal on the condition of abandoning Kim Dong-gu because her brother and mother were booked in the trial 10 years ago. In the end, Oh Soo-jae left Kim Dong-gu and joined the TK law firm. The reason why this story was emphasized is none other than the melodrama between Oh Soo-jae and Kim Dong-gu, or Gong-chan. This is because there has been progress in their sweet relationship, but the plot need an event that breaks their trust in each other.
Choi Yoon-sang (Bae In-hyuk), who has a crush on Oh Soo-jae, revealed this to Gong-chan but still put on the phone so that Oh Soo-jae can hear it. It seems as if Choi Yoon-sang intended to end the relationship between Gong-chan and Oh Soo-jae, but in reality, the crew is just trying to draw out the melodrama between Oh Soo-jae and Gong-chan using the character Choi Yoon-sang.
“I don’t care. I don’t care. If the professor abandoned me and saved her family, that’s okay. I would have done that if I was her.” Gong-chan expressed his affection for Oh Soo-jae. “Everyone in the world has accused me of being a criminal, and even my father doesn’t believe me. Do you know how hellish it was to me? The only person who trusted me in that hell was professor Oh. You wouldn’t know. Her word that she believes in me gives me the reason to live. You can’t even imagine it.”
Oh Soo-jae, who hears Gong-chan’s words from the other side of the phone, collapses from his sincerity. This scene is touching and dark enough, but given the overall flow of the drama, it would have been okay if the relationship between Oh Soo-jae and Gong-chan was not melodramatic. Anyway, the melodrama in a slightly distant relationship between a lawyer and a defendant, a professor and a student feels excessive.
Was it necessary to go melodramatic? Rather, what if it was just a “humane drama” that personally understands, communicates, and sympathizes with each other like how legal dramas should be? If Oh Soo-jae’s attractive character can be seen as plain for romance, wouldn’t it be much better to boldly abandon the melodrama genre and maintain the right line?.