Jealousy = “A feeling of unhappiness caused by wanting what someone else has.”
Incarnate = “To give bodily form and substance to.”
To put it in easier terms – the three characters involved in the love triangle in this Kdrama would be what the emotion jealousy might become if it took a human form… Jealousy Incarnate.
SBC is making a commercial to advertise their news and needs some footage of foreign correspondent reporter Lee Hwa-Shin who has been working in Thailand for quite some time. Weather girl Pyo Na-Ri has had a one-sided love with Hwa-Shin for three years and anxiously volunteers to go with a coworker and help out with the filming of reporter Lee’s scenes. Na-Ri is not only elated at the thought of seeing Hwa-Shin again but she’s excited to be on a plane for the first time. She happens to sit next to a window so she can see out but that particular seat belongs to someone else. When he comes to claim his spot, the kind and handsome stranger graciously allows Na-Ri to continue sitting there. A few pleasantries are exchanged along with the man commenting on the fact that he recognizes her from the news and enjoys her weather broadcasts. Na-Ri is thrilled at having her first fan and invites him to call her and complain if ever her forecast turns out to be incorrect and it ruins his plans.
When Na-Ri arrives in Thailand she is reunited with the man she has loved for so long and begins helping to film the commercial. But Hwa-Shin is less than happy to see her there and is his usual cold, distant self to her. While on the filming site Na-Ri sees Hwa-Shin talking to someone – her seat companion on the plane just happens to be her sweetheart’s best friend!
When Hwa-Shin returns from his assignment in Thailand he decides the best way to keep Na-Ri from bothering him would be to get her interested in someone else. Hey, how about Jung-Won, his best buddy, the guy she met in route to Thailand? Not a bad idea… or is it?
Pyo Na-Ri dreams of being a news announcer. She took the test and failed but grabbed the opportunity to be the weather girl when it was offered. Although she takes her job seriously and gives it her all, she hasn’t given up on having an announcer position some day. Na-Ri’s mother died from breast cancer and her father lives in China which leaves Na-Ri to live with her 19 year old brother (still in high school). Although she has loved Hwa-Shin for three years, she can’t help but look Jung-Won’s way when he begins to woo her with kindness and sincerity.
Lee Hwa-Shin is one of SBC’s top reporters and anchormen. He did an in-depth story that exposed his own brother’s illegal business scheme which ended up making Hwa-Shin the family outcast. Wanting to get away from the painful situation, he took a foreign correspondent job in Thailand. Although he’s shunned all of Na-Ri’s advances in the past, challenges arise which make him see her in a new light and he comes to regret suggesting she date his buddy.
Kind, handsome, even-tempered, generous, intelligent, and filthy rich, Go Jung-Won would be a great catch for any girl. His mother has plans for him to marry one of the anchorwomen at SBC but he’s not interested in being part of a loveless marriage like the one his parents have – he’ll marry the woman he adores, which happens to be Pyo Na-Ri.
The reason I wanted to watch Jealousy Incarnate was because Gong Hyo-Jin is in it. She’s on my favorite actresses list. I’ve seen her in several different Kdramas – Snowman, where she plays a young girl in love with her brother-in-law; Sang-Doo, Let’s Go to School in which she is a high school teacher torn between her first love and her new love; an inspiring chef in a romantic relationship with her perfectionist boss in Pasta; the wonderfully funny tearjerker drama The Greatest Love where her role is that of a has-been singer trying to make ends meet; a woman who can see ghosts in Master’s Sun; It’s Okay, That’s Love (one of my top 20 favorite dramas which also rated a 10) where she took on the role of a psychiatrist with a sex phobia; a producer of the variety show Music Bank in Producer; and now the darling weather girl Pyo Na-Ri. She turns every role she touches into gold.
Jo Jung-Suk, who plays Lee Hwa-Shin, has always wanted to be on stage and that’s exactly where his entertainment career began – in theater. With the aid of a student loan he enrolled at Seoul Institute of the Arts but never graduated because his father passed away and he needed to begin earning money. Because his mother was solely dependent on him for income, he was given a military exemption and started making a living doing musical theater. After 25 musicals in just nine years he jumped off the stage and onto the TV screen in What’s Up. He’s also been in several films, one of the most recent being a time-traveling thriller entitled Time Renegade with actors Lee Min-Ho and Lee Jin-Wook. The trailers look fantastic. I can’t wait to see it. (By the way, Lee Jin-Wook is no stranger to time-travel shows. He starred in the captivating Kdrama Nine: Nine Times Time Travel, which is set to be remade in America). Other than this show the only other thing I’ve seen Jung-Suk in is Oh My Ghostess, which scored a perfect 10 and is on my favorite Kdramas list.
Go Kyung-Pyo was a cast member of Saturday Night Live Korea during its first three seasons. I’ve seen him in Operation Proposal (a wonderful time-travel romance drama), Flower Boys Next Door (a not-so-great drama), Tomorrow’s Cantabile (a 10 rating and on my favorite dramas list), and Jeju Island Gatsby (a surprisingly good drama), but in my opinion his best role, by far, has been kind Go Jung-Won.
The sub-plot to this story adds a very interesting and romantic twist to the whole thing. We watch as one of the characters struggles with the fact that they have a challenging and potentially life threatening illness, trying to hide it from the world and go on with their life as if nothing is wrong. Let’s give three cheers for a writer who wanted the drama to have some original flavoring.
Instead of battling evil bad guys, the characters only have to overcome themselves and the “unfair” and difficult trials life throws at them. As we watch Na-Ri, Hwa-Shin, and Jung-Woo struggle with their own individual ordeals we realize everyone has situations to battle, and they’re determination to be happy gives us strength to fight for the happiness we deserve in our own life.
I have seen tons of Kdrama love triangles but this turned out to be one of my favorites. It reminded me a bit of the one in Spring Waltz, which I love. When two best friends have fallen for the same girl, what comes first – love or friendship? The director does some clever filming in this show. There are two different shots of this love triangle that actually show a clearly defined triangle. I thought it was wonderful – physically showing what is going on in the characters’ minds and hearts. I love it when directors think outside the box.
I’m not thrilled when dramas use animation to, what they might see as, “add to” a scene. You know what I mean, right? – a girl blushes and her cheeks are all animated red, or a guy gets angry and animated smoke comes out of his nose, or a caption bubble with “hello” appears over a cat’s head… It’s just irritating to me and cheapens the show, in my opinion. Well, Jealousy Incarnate does that kind of thing but in a completely different, mature, nonirritating way. You’ll have to see it to understand what I mean but this “add to” was extremely clever and really did add to the scenes.
While I’m on the subject of animation, at the end of each Jealousy Incarnate episode there are little animated aliens that act out something we’ve just seen. Playful Kiss did that kind of thing with teddy bears in a pose from a scene in that particular episode. Both are a cute and entertaining reminder of what went on that hour.
The Jealousy Incarnate music is great. There’s a scene where two people are trying to move into the same apartment at the same time and tensions are high. As they are fighting to be the first one into the place we hear the Rocky theme playing in the background. A perfect song for a fun “fight” scene. There’s another scene where Na-Ri is racing to get to a screen test and the Hawaii 5-O music is playing. And I loved the part where we hear the powerful and romantic Gone With the Wind theme song during a kiss. Oh, and we get to hear/watch Jo Jung-Suk’s character sing in a few different scenes. As for original music, Step Step, performed by Suran, and Saltnpaper’s Bye Autumn are two songs sung in English. Singer/songwriter/producer Ra.D, sings a nice song entitled Lovesome, but my favorite is Come to Me, performed by Kim Hyun-Soo, better known as Brother Su, who is also a singer/songwriter/producer.
Imagine a huge beach made entirely of mud. That’s the scenery that comes to mind when I think of this drama. That particular “jealous” scene will linger in my mind for a long, long, long time to come!
Jealousy Incarnate brings an entertaining and original story to a familiar situation. If you’re one of those Kdrama fans that savour a juicy love triangle, this is definitely not a show to overlook.
Lots of lovable characters
Interesting and different setting (news station)
Fun love triangle
Clever and enjoyable use of a little animation
Nothing, nothing at all