It is me or that the themes of each of these eps quite mismatched? Well, it’s certainly not constant that’s for sure. Last week’s ep was metropolis in Singapore while this ep is happiness in Korea. The happiness came in the end with some pain in between. Last week’s ep could be described as metropolis but I think that it would suit better if these two eps have a swap in theme. It’s something minor but I had to point it out!
Now, getting onto the ep itself, this was another satisfying story but it just felt like it was nearly there but not there. Teasers and trailers can be so misleading at times. I thought the Singapore ep wasn’t going to be as good as I anticipated but it was actually much better while it was vice versa for this story. I enjoyed it but it was came about as a story without much context rather than one that had a force driving for the feelings that came about. These recent two stories just felt like love was thrown in their for no apparent reason because that was literally what happen. It just suddenly just came rushing in at the end but it wasn’t something unexpected. I just wished that there were more obvious hints prior to it so that it would feel more realistic.
This ep overcame the communication barriers with a plausible explanation and I liked that this explanation came about because I need that information in front of me in order for me to actually accept it as it is. King (Yeon Jung Hoon) understands Cantonese but cannot speaking while Linda (Linda Chung) understands Korean but does not speak it and hires King to teach her how to speak Korean. I liked that we got to hear some English from both actors as well as them throwing in phrases from each other’s native language. That was actually quite cute.
Happiness in Korea Overview:
- King (Yeon Jung Hoon) is at a cafe waiting for someone. He is about to pay the bill and leave when the person who he is waiting for arrives. It is Linda (Linda Chung) who arrives fashionably 45 minutes late, requesting him to be her Korea tutor. She wants to learn the basics of the language in three weeks and specifically chose him because he can understand Cantonese. She throws him a weeks of money which has has no choice but to accept.
- His job as a tutor is actually as the bellboy to Linda’s shopping endeavours. Shopaholic and rich Linda practically buy a few stores in her short shopping trip.
- When Linda announces that she has had enough for the day, he leaves her at a street letting her know that he has had enough.
- Linda goes to flag a taxi but to no avail and ends up walking to her hotel. She goes to clean herself when her phone rings. She immediately runs to answer it but saddens upon hearing that her boyfriend, Ivan, is busy and unable to come tonight. (LOL at Linda’s posh and “fobby” English)
- King is at alone at his shack eating ramen and gets numerous calls and messages from his colleagues chasing for his (illustration) work. His sister arrives and offers to make him dinner but he points out that he is already eating. She offers to wash his clothes and he runs to stop her. The two are at a pull-and-pull fight when Linda arrives. Sis ends up winning the fight.
- Linda has some free time up her sleeves and want some extra classes. She critiques his ramen for not being good enough and goes to show him the way that it is supposed to be made. Her sort of showing is standing there and directing him to do the cooking. She gets a call from her boyfriend telling her that she is free so she leaves.
- King is teaching Linda Korean while at an artistry place. She spots a magazine featuring him and pulls him in to take a photo. She then takes him to a florist and tells him that she has just deposited the money so it is now hers.
- King and Linda are out eating some night snacks and drinking soju when Ivan calls Linda telling her that he is coming over. She immediately straightens herself and rushes to meet him while leaving King to packing up his bag which she emptied to find something.
- Linda brings over some flowers to visit King. She discovers that he is sick. She stands there and watches as his friend arrives asking to borrow some money which he doesn’t even have to think before saying yes and his boss coming to take his work. She decides to make him some get well food which consists of noodles with egg and a peeled mandarin. He wakes up and eats her noodles. He notes that it is chilli but finishes it anyways.
- Sis returns with King’s washed clothes. LOL, he fainted. Turns out that it was due to the chilliness in the noodles.
- Linda takes King out shopping for some cups. They accidentally drop a cup but saves it before it breaks. However, the shop owner spots a mini chip in the cup and demand that they pay. Linda does not want to pay up so she puts on a “magic show” to deviate attention from the shop owner and they they make a getaway.
- Linda and King run and run. She bumps into Ivan and discovers that he has a pregnant wife. The wife slaps her face while Ivan has clearly been taking advantage of Linda.
- King decides to take Linda out for ice-skating to cheer her up. She skates sullenly and falls. He helps her up and she brightens up. They have some small talk before Linda leaves. He messages her to keep fighting.
- Linda walks into the night and phones her mother to tell her that she wants to return to Hong Kong but if she does, they aren’t going to be rich any more. Her mother tells her that it doesn’t matter as long as she is happy.
- Linda informs the shop owner of the florist that she doesn’t to rent the florist any more. The owner is furious and tells her that in order to do so she must pay three years of rent. Linda requests to pay in instalments over 10 years and the owner agrees provided that she has a guarantor. King offers to be that person.
- She informs King that she is heading back to Hong Kong and asks if he will send her off. He tells her that he can’t because he has to meet deadlines. So they have their parting.
- Linda is making her way to the airport while King is at the cafe finishing off his drawing. Suddenly, he decides to rush home. Linda is at the airport and keeps on checking to see if someone, i.e. King, has come to send her off. A staff asks for her passport when she receives a message from King asking her to stay for the noodles attached with a picture of noddles with two beautifully sunny side up eggs on top. She smiles at the message.
Linda does well in a wide assortment of roles and this one as a sassy rich big spender came quite easy for her. It felt really natural and there was a sense of ease which is really, more than you can ask for. She grasped onto the character quite well and managed to give it some colour. I had no problem with the acting here. I thought she got on well with YJH and their chemistry wasn’t something you can complain about much considering that their communication barriers but it was definitely something that they could have worked better on. Though, I did appreciate their abilities to execute their respective roles. They gave out two very believable characters and were able to give more or less a guidance to the story. However, the writing was the let down for this story with it having quite a weak basis to give the drama any solid developments. I couldn’t feel the love that it was supposed to have and the happiness didn’t come until the end. In all, this ep did not have a theme to hold it together. The story would have been better should if have had something to point it to a direction. Well, it was a short story and allowed for international artists to collaborate and I like watching these collaborations.