Would you walk under a ladder? How about open an umbrella indoors? Do you avoid letting a black cat cross in front of you? Are you a bit nervous if you break a mirror? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions chances are you’ll identify with the heroine in this Kdrama. Can you imagine an entire 16 hour drama whose plot is all about believing in superstitions? Well, that’s exactly what we get in Lucky Romance.
Sim Bo-Nui is a kind-hearted woman on a tiger hunt. A shaman told her the only way her sister can come out of her two year coma is if Bo-Nui spends the night with a man who was born in the year of the tiger. Since Bo-Nui feels responsible for her sister’s condition she will do whatever it takes to heal her, even if it means having a one night stand with a total stranger. After a series of mishaps, Bo-Nui discovers her new temporary boss, He Soo-Ho, is a tiger so she sets her sights on him. The trouble is Soo-Ho is a virgin who believes sex should not be recreational but something special between a man and woman who love and are committed to each other. But Bo-Nui is desperate to save her sister, so when cleverly worded hints and beating around the bush doesn’t work she resorts to humble pleading. Will that change Soo-Ho’s mind and feelings about this strange girl?
Looking at her you’d think Sim Bo-Nui is a sweet, happy young woman. But hidden beneath her innocent smile is a broken spirit. She sincerely believes she is the personification of unlucky, cursed to bring misery to anyone who is unfortunate enough to cross her path. She blames herself for the death of her parents and the accident that has kept her younger sister in a comma for the past two years. She carries a talisman around with her, lights candles, and is never without a bottle of salt and red beans in her purse. The shaman she goes to told her she is like a knife to others and she whole-heartedly believes him.
Genius He Soo-Ho is the CEO of ZeZe, his own video game developing company. He is ruled by logic, analyzing everything that comes his way, including his, and other people’s emotions. He also comes across to others as anything but patient. When he’s frustrated he recites multiplication facts. Not simple “8×6=48” kind of things – oh, no no no no. That’s way too easy. What he recites is more like 19×17=323. Because he was so much smarter than his peers, Soo-Ho had a difficult childhood, being picked on by all the “normal” kids, so his mother and father sent him to study in America when he was just 11. Sadly, he has a strained relationship with his parents.
Gary Choi is a world-famous, multi gold medal and Wimbelton-winning tennis player. He spent his childhood in South Korea as Bo-Nui’s neighbor. When his parents divorced he moved to Canada with his mother and lost all contact with his father. His mother remarried a Canadian guy Gary now refers to as “Dad”. His parents were a wonderful source of support and encouragement to him as he worked his way up to being a world class tennis player. Now that he’s back in Korea, he finds a reason to want to locate his father. As luck would have it, he finds his old neighbor, moves next door once again, and falls for Bo-Nui.
Amy Han is Gary Choi’s manager and close friend. She has been with Gary for many, many years but there’s absolutely nothing romantic about their relationship. She is hoping for another chance with Soo-Ho. Her father was his tutor in America and they got close when she decided to find out just exactly who this genius was. Since she was the first female to pay any attention to him, he quickly developed a crush on her. She broke his heart when she disappeared without a trace, not even hinting to him that she was planning on leaving. After some time passed she realized she made a mistake and now wants a try at a romantic relationship with him.
I love Hwang Jung-Eum. Not only is she a darling woman but she’s one amazing actress. As soon as I hear she is scheduled to be in a new drama I anxiously start a countdown to the day I can begin watching it. Once again, she portrays her character perfectly. I felt so sorry for poor, pathetic Bo-Nui. She allows someone else to determine her self worth and that broke my heart.
This was my first time seeing Ryoo Joon-Yeol act. At first I wasn’t too impressed, probably because his character seems very flat and two dimensional – he didn’t smile much, he was a workaholic and distant with others – just stiff. But as Soo-Ho began to break out of his self-centered world and open his heart to someone, it was very easy for me to find things to like about him. He’s not only darling but very talented, portraying such a major character change so well.
The first time I saw Lee Soo Hyuk (Gary Choi) was in The Scholar Who Walks the Night. I was happily surprised at how well he was able to portray the scary, yet sexy, evil head vampire. A few weeks ago I saw Lee Chung-Ah, who plays Amy Han, in the Kdrama Vampire Detective and she, too, plays the leader of a group of vampires. How’s that for a coincidence? Hummm… Bo-Nui may call that fate.
Lucky Romance‘s plot is fresh and new. I don’t know of another drama that talks about superstitions like this one does. I’m sure most people tend to believe in at least one ‘old wives’ tale’ – maybe something like, “I’m going to a job interview today so I’ve got to remember to take my lucky rabbit’s foot key chain with me,” or “The skating competition is today. I can’t forget to wear my lucky skates.” As normal as that might be, there are people who take it way out of hand. My grandma was one of them. She read her horoscope first thing in the morning and planned her day according to its warnings. I think this show was trying to tell us that we need to believe in ourselves and make our own decisions, not just do what someone else may think is best for us. Good advice.
I enjoyed the chemistry between Hwang Jung-Eum and Ryoo Joon-Yeol. They seemed quite comfortable with one another which helped me believe in the romance between their characters. (However, the chemistry Hwang Jung-Eum has with Ji Sung in Secret and Kill Me, Heal Me is even better. If you haven’t seen those two dramas, may I suggest putting them on your Kdrama watch list?)
The music is very good. The song Sad Fate hints at what you can expect from the show. The singer begins the song with just a piano accompanying her and then, when it’s about halfway through, drums and a few other instruments are added to make the song sound more complete. It’s kind of symbolic as we watch Bo-Nui and Soo-Ho begin the show all alone and gradually blend together. However, my favorite by far is Tell Me sung by Soyou from the group Sistar. It’s a beautiful sounding song that’s often played throughout the entire drama. When I think of Lucky Romance that’s the song that comes to mind. Second on my list of favorites is More Than Anyone, a soft rock song with a slick male voice, good harmony during the chorus, and a killer horn (sounds like a trumpet) solo in the middle! Sweetpea, a one-man band project, takes credit for a few different songs on the soundtrack – among them, Kim Min-Kyu sings Sincerely For You with a solo guitar accompaniment, and there’s an enchanting little song which sounds like a music box entitled Electric (Orgel Version). The two-person indi band Milk Tea performs the song Love 15 which has an easy-going jazz kind of feel to it. I really love this soundtrack and suggest you give it a try. You can find it on YouTube.
I liked the look of this drama although there’s not a lot to say about scenery. The area where Soo-Ho’s parents live is a pretty little place by a fishing spot. That’s really the only thing that stood out. I’m putting this under the scenery paragraph but, technically, it’s in its own category… costumes. I’d say about 85% of the clothes Sim Bo-Nui wore were made of denim. They were all very cute but the fact that such an overwhelming majority of her clothes were made with the same kind of fabric, just different shades, both fascinated and bothered me. I wondered if that was Hwang Jung-Eum’s doing or the choice of the wardrobe people. If you decide to watch this drama, and I hope you do, pay close attention to what Bo-Nui is wearing. You’ll notice a ton of denim fabric.
Whether you believe in things others consider superstitions or not, I think you’ll enjoy this Kdrama – and I’m crossing my fingers it won’t be the only Lucky Romance in your life.
Talented and pretty Hwang Jung-Eum
Ryoo Joon-Yeol’s acting and character progression
Much needed moral
I can’t think of anything