[SPOILERS INCLUDED]

Title: 로맨스 타운
Genre: Romance, Comedy
Episodes: 20
Average Episode Rating: 9.1% Nationwide

Main Cast: So unlike many of the other dramas that were airing at the same time as this, the main cast wasn’t very impressive  to me. The main guy isn’t that hot, and the main girl isn’t that pretty. The other two in the main cast aren’t famous actors with amazing physical appearances either, so to round it out, the main cast isn’t much to look at. (Fans- don’t kill me!)

Sung Yuri as No Soongeum:

Sung Yuri originally started off as a singer in the popular group back in the day, FinKL (with Lee Hyori). She moved on to acting after her singing career died down (as most do) and she’s actually been in quite a few dramas. But this is the first drama where I’m seeing her act (or more like where I’m actually getting introduced to her for the first time ever).

No Soongeum’s father is a good for nothing gambling addict and an alcoholic. Her mother and grandmother (and great-grandmother) were maids. She ended up following in the footsteps of her mom, although her mom tried to get her to go to college (to which she refused). Because of her financial circumstances when she’s older, Soongeum resorts to becoming a maid and then she meets Kang Gunwoo again. (Why again? Well, watch the drama to see!)

Jung Gyuwoon as Kang Gunwoo:

Jung Gyuwoon has acted in a few dramas that I’ve seen and heard of. The only one that I’ve seen of him before was Women of the Sun, but I didn’t recognize him from that. His role in more recent series like Dr. Champ and Sign are the ones that are propelling him closer and closer to true stardom in the drama scene. I honestly don’t think that he’s really hot or great looking, but hey, lots of other girls do.

Kang Gunwoo used to be a fatty that nobody cared about. He had no true friends (except those so-called friends that used him for his money) and his father didn’t even truly love him. The only one who loves him is the maid at his house (who he called grandma), but after he leaves for New York, she gets fired from her position. He returns 3 years later as a completely different person, inside and out. And he meets Soongeum again (although they were bound to meet again given the not-so-coincidental circumstances).

Kim Minjoon as Kim Younghee:

Kim Minjoon…who? Seriously, I don’t know this guy at all. He’s apparently been in dramas like Damo, Loves in Prague, and a few movies, but I’ve never seen him. I don’t think he’s that famous either, since he only won one award (which was for Damo).

Kim Younghee is Gunwoo’s neighborhood friend. He always plays and never works. He starts falling for Soongeum after we’re a few episodes into this drama, thus creating the love triangle. 

Min Hyorin as Jung Dakyum:

First time I saw Min Hyorin- not too long ago. She was featured in Song Jieun’s MV for Going Crazy (a song that I absolutely love) and with a face like hers, it’s kind of hard to forget. You see, her nose is extremely plastic and every time I see it, I kind of cringe, because it’s so fake and the plastic surgeon did a horrible job on it. Anyways, this actress is still pretty new to the scene and she made her debut in Triple, where she was the leading lady. This is her second drama.

Jung Dakyum is Younghee’s maid. She ran away from home and became a maid in order to live. She has feelings for Younghee and gets jealous easily when other women approach him, but he has no such feelings for her. He treats her like his younger sister. 

Screenwriter:

The reason I even started this drama in the first place is not because of the storyline or the main characters. As I have already mentioned earlier, the main cast is not a very strong one at all. And the storyline is not great or unique and original either – it’s about a poor girl that falls in love with a rich guy. We get that pretty often, if you ask me.

So why DID I start this drama? Because I read early on (when the title was still Maids) that the screenwriter of Pasta, Seo Sookhyang, was taking on this project. That is my sole reason for watching. I loved Pasta, although, I have to admit, not much happened plot-wise. I expect the same to happen of this drama, but as long as there’s great chemistry between the leads, everything can turn out alright.

Synopsis (from Dramawiki):

This is the story of those who work for rich households. No Soongeum is one of these housekeepers; despite the master-maid heirarchy, she’s bold, fearless, and unafraid of doing hard work in order to support herself. As a child, Soongeum had dreamt of living a grand life in a Cinderella story, complete with her own white knight, but that dream had faded as reality took over. However, she reaches a turning point in her life when she is hired as a maid for the rich and handsome Kang Gunwoo.

First Few Episodes:

Usually, the first few episodes completely hook me and make me a mad man for the rest of the day. Unfortunately, this drama did not (or maybe fortunately, since I was watching four other dramas at the same time). This drama was not especially interesting – the opening scene was plain boring.

Throughout the first two episodes, nothing really happened. If I didn’t watch it at all and just started from episode 3, I don’t think that I would’ve felt like I missed something. I mean, things did happen and events did occur, but nothing big really happened. The storyline was pretty low-key, which is a surprise, since most dramas like to start off with a bang. And this one did not. Loss of audience interest is a possible result of this.

Also, the drama was clearly meant to be a romantic comedy, yet what did I see? Nothing funny. I was not laughing my head off at all. I don’t even think I laughed or chuckled once during the first two episodes, which has to be a first for rom-coms. I didn’t expect a lot from this drama, but I did expect some humor, or something eye-catching that would hook me, making me want to watch even more in the following weeks.

I was literally on the verge of quitting this drama because it was just so bad. The plot was slow, there were no character developments, and the whole drama just felt stagnant. Nothing seemed to be happening. But despite all this, I still stuck to the drama and gave it one more chance to prove me wrong, and luckily, it did.

Highlights:

I love transformations, so the main characters’ drastic physical changes were highly spiked my interest in this drama. Although one transformation didn’t last that long, it was still nice to see.

This drama doesn’t just show the love story between two people, but it also gives viewers a glimpse into each character’s lives. Each maid has a story that is shared, and each of the rich bosses has a secret or story that is later revealed. I loved how this drama doesn’t only revolve around No Soongeum and her love life, but it manages to tell us of the struggles and hardships that each maid goes through. I enjoy seeing side stories because it shows that although you may be the main character of your life, there are others around you too, and they’re just as important as you are. In a way, this drama proves that those around you also have personal problems that you may not be aware of, and that you’re not the only one that matters.

This drama focuses on something very relevant to human nature, and that is greed. While there are many dramas out there with some focus on greed, they all portray people as really greedy, overemphasizing the selfishness of people. The greedy people in dramas are all hated, but I feel that this isn’t very realistic. I don’t like how the characters of this drama are greedy, but I like how their portrayal is more realistic and it could really relate to us or those around us. The maids are greedy for as much money as possible, but it’s not like they have no conscience. Even after getting the money and excluding those that they claim to be their friends, they still feel a sense of guilt and they can’t sleep comfortably. Now that’s what I call human, and I like how this element was added to the drama. In my opinion, it really mirrors reality.

I also liked how people’s fates change. The maids don’t stay poor forever, and their bosses don’t stay rich forever. As the drama progresses, the maids slowly become rich- Soongeum wins first place in the lottery (and later splits it with the other maids), Dagyum gets the most expensive painting (and the only authentic one) from Kim Younghee, and Hyeonju’s boss plans to give her 1/5 of his inheritance. The rich people (the bosses) start losing their money- Kim Younghee finds out that all the paintings in his gallery are not authentic, Kang Gunwoo’s household goes into a state of emergency as Gunwoo’s dad gets arrested for evading tax, and another rich family also faces a financial crisis.

When I first started this drama, I thought to myself, “It’s surely going to be the typical Korean drama- handsome, rich guy falls in love with the poor girl,” but I was wrong. This drama starts out typically but as it progresses, new things come into the picture and we no longer have the cliche drama storyline. Instead, we’re given something quite new and unique, like the reversal of fortunes and fate that I mentioned in the previous paragraph.

Shortcomings:

This drama starts out slow-paced, so if you’re one of those people that like to be interested from the start, then skim through the first four episodes to get to the good stuff.

Although I did find this storyline intriguing (especially as we got deeper into the drama), I was not ever addicted or hooked to the point of insanity (which is both good and bad – good for me, bad for the drama). By episode 15, I was so immersed in other dramas that I didn’t even care if I didn’t watch the next episodes in this one! So as sad as it may be, I quit this drama (although I continued following the storyline through recaps on Dramabeans). Honestly, I feel like I didn’t really miss much- I mean, a lot happened and all, but then again, nothing really happened. That’s how it is with many dramas these days. This perhaps was the biggest shortcoming and disappointment for me. I don’t even need to list other ones (and I don’t have other ones) since this one was so big.

Additional Commentary:

A cute watch (but I do not suggest watching for the leads since their appearance starts to get a bit funky). If I could turn back time, I would not start this drama. I previously said that this drama was “HOT” but now I think it’s not. Sorry drama. But I do think that some of you will enjoy this drama if it happens to be your type.

Subjective Rating (how much I personally liked the drama): 5/10

Objective Rating (how good the drama actually was): 4/10