Handsome Guy and Jung Eum (also known as The Undateables) is a romantic comedy about a man (Nam Goong Min) who knows everything there is to know about love yet isn’t interested in it and a woman (Hwang Jung Eum) who had her heart broken years ago but would like to love again.
Hwang Jung Eum plays Yoo Jung Eum. She used to be a diving athlete but had to give it up after a traumatic incident. So she now works at a dating agency matching clients together. Despite heartbreak in the past, she’s cheerful and sweet and ready to fall in love.
Nam Goong Min is Kang Hoon Nam. He writes a column about dating and knows everything there is about the subject. Too bad he’s not really interested in love. But after “fate” throws him together with Jung Eum a few times, love just might be in his future.
Then there is Choi Tae Joon as Choi Jun Soo. He’s our oh-so-sweet second lead who is close friends with Jung Eum. He’s always there for her and is just an all around great guy. But when he finally realizes his feelings for her, he makes his move a little bit late.
I noticed this drama got quite a negative reception. It’s definitely not as bad as some would make it out to be, though it does have its issues. Mainly being it’s very generic and somewhat boring at times. It’s a very typical romantic comedy and an overall light watch with the standard couple progression from bickering to lovers. There’s comedy, romance, and cliches. Throw in a few problems along the way, a little bit of trauma, and there you have it.
Of course, for me, I like to have more to the plot, and there really isn’t much more to it with this one. I have to be absolutely in love with all of the characters and their journeys to not need that extra plot. And while I did like the characters and their journeys, it wasn’t quite enough to make up for the lack of additional plot. So I found this drama to be a bit slow overall.
It took me a few episodes to warm up to it in general, but I did finally take interest. It had a pretty good middle stretch where I was the most engaged with the love story. Then the last third tackles a few additional relationship problems and adds in some fluff and heartfelt moments.
The drama also depicts the relationships of several of the supporting characters as well as Hoon Nam and Jung Eum teaming up to help other people fall in love. I felt like the overall narrative wasn’t very strong, and it kind of wandered around a lot between the different stories which added to the slowness.
The main thing I liked was Nam Goong Min and Hwang Jung Eum. I usually enjoyed them when they were on screen together. I love both actors and had been waiting for this reunion since watching them years ago in the melodrama Listen to My Heart where I suffered from some second lead syndrome.
They were a fun couple and have plenty of cute and sweet moments. They face several challenges which they have to overcome on their road to happiness. The relationship has some very thoughtful moments too. I particularly liked watching Nam Goong Min go from being very uptight to head-over-heals in love. It was adorable.
I know Hwang Jung Eum tends to gets a lot of hate, but she is one of my favorite actresses. I love her “over-the-top” comedic style, and she just brings me joy in every drama I see her in. So she is really the primary reason I stuck around for this drama until the end.
She gives a similar type of performance to what she has in other dramas, so if you like that you will like her here, and if you don’t you probably won’t like her here. But I thought she was wonderful, lovely, and funny. I was certainly glad to see her back in a drama. And I should mention that much of the exaggerated comedy from her and the drama as a whole tones down a lot after a couple episodes.
Handsome Guy and Jung Eum was pretty basic so there’s not really much more to say about it. It’s decent, but it certainly doesn’t stand out. It is mostly pleasant though and can work if you’re just looking for an easy filler that is cute, uplifting, and not too complicated. Don’t expect too much and you will probably be fine.
My Rating: 6/10
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