K-Drama Review : Crazy Love

K-Drama Review : Crazy LoveCrazy Love (크레이지 러브) on March 7 - April 26, 2022
Genres: Romantic Comedy
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four-stars

CEO of GOTOP Education and math genius with an IQ of 190, Noh Gojin receives a death threat. After a hit-and-run, he fakes amnesia in order to catch the culprit. Meanwhile, his secretary Sina, who is diagnosed with a terminal illness, pretends to be his fiancée out of revenge for his mistreatment. But the tables are turned when secrets are revealed. (From Disney +)

Trigger warning: This drama contains depictions of suicidal ideation. Viewer discretion is adviced

It’s been forever since I’ve last watched and reviewed a K-drama. As it’s week three of Blaugust 2022, which focuses on bringing attention to underappreciated content, I thought it was a great time to give focus to a review of a K-drama that I just watched, Crazy Love. I feel that K-dramas are just as varied in content as other, more recognized and appreciated forms of entertainment, such as anime. Despite the wide variety of subject matter of these shows, not many people ever watch K-dramas or even consider them as a viable form of entertainment. I’m not sure whether these attitudes are due to the fact that watching these shows requires the reading of subtitles or what exactly, but I find that whenever I mention watching K-dramas to the general public, it’s viewed as “weird” or “eccentric.”

 

But these K-dramas, much like anime, are unafraid to tackle all kinds of original and different ideas. I’ve watched K-dramas with subjects ranging from alien love interests to girlfriends who are nine tailed foxes, to time travelers, to immortal cursed goblins, and to the more “basic” romantic comedies or suspenseful and action type of shows. K-dramas are more unafraid to explore outlandish or fantastical ideas than most Western shows. Through shows like Squid Games and movies like Train to Busan, I think more people are starting to realize what South Korean entertainment has to offer, but that most K-dramas remain largely unwatched and underappreciated.

 

The Review

 

Looking back on my blog posts, the last K-dramas I watched were Crash Landing on You and It’s Okay to not be Okay way back in October 2020. So I was long overdue to start another K-drama, something I usually do when knitting (which I also haven’t been doing and want to pick up again). Anyways, when trying to decide what drama to watch, I thought what better show to watch than one starring Krystal Jung, former K-pop idol and lead singer of the group f(x)—which was my favorite K-pop group prior to their tragic disbandment—and younger sister of Jessica Jung, my favorite idol. I just have to support the Jung sisters.

 

 

Anyways, after I finally found a place to watch Crazy Love, (you need a VPN to actually watch this show on Disney+, which bummed me out as I don’t have a VPN, but already pay for Disney+), I immediately got sucked into this wacky romantic comedy. I have never seen a K-drama quite like Crazy Love—it truly has a little bit of something for everyone and isn’t afraid to tackle any kind of subject. This show is an office drama, but it feels like so much more with attempted murder, amnesia, terminal illness diagnoses, scheming coworkers, corporate takeovers, ex-lovers reappearing, revenge attempts, and more. On top of all this, Crazy Love also manages to incorporate the classic tropes of fake dating and enemies to lovers, while spinning them on their heads. This K-drama truly is a bit crazy and is such a delight to watch—I often found myself viewing it with a derpy grin on my face or laughing aloud.

 

 

I had seen the female lead of Crazy Love, Krystal Jung in two other K-dramas before, The Heirs and The Bride of the Water God, but those were much smaller roles. Though I was impressed with her abilities as an actress even with smaller amounts of screen time in those shows, I was completely blown out of the water by Krystal’s talents in Crazy Love. Krystal is absolutely fantastic in this role of Lee Sina, office secretary to Kim Jae Wook’s narcissistic CEO named Goh Nojin. Krystal charmingly and effortlessly portrays the more crazed aspects of her character and is also able to display a wide array of complex emotions in incredibly subtle expressions. I could literally witness the character’s thought process across her face and feel every single one of her character’s emotions, as no emotion was too large or too small for the actress, or outside of her range.  I was absolutely captivated by Krystal’s performance and any future dramas she stars in will be an automatic must-watch for me. 

 

 

In contrast to my enchantment with Krystal’s acting abilities, I was less impressed with the abilities of Kim Jae Wook, who plays male lead Noh Gojin. Though pretty solid at providing the narcissistic and smug flair of his character, I found his acting to be over the top, with very little subtlety or nuance, to the point of being almost cringey. I saw Kim Jae Wook in other K-dramas over the years, such as Coffee Prince and Marry Me, Mary!/Mary Stayed Out All Night, and didn’t find his performances very compelling in those shows either. Despite this, his performance in episode eleven, out of nowhere, brought tears to my eyes. I was actually impressed and surprised that the actor managed to cry in these scenes because for most of the drama, I felt he defaulted to three different expressions.

 

 

Despite not finding his portrayal nearly as mesmerizing as Krystal’s, I have to say that the two leads of Crazy Love really have phenomenal chemistry. The show has quite a few scenes of “skinship” for a Korean drama and the two pull off these romantic moments and other crazed scenes with ease. Actor Kim Jae Wook is especially able to keep up with Krystal in the more extreme scenes, such as pillow fights, pretending he has amnesia, and purposefully making incessant and irreverent demands on his secretary and love interest. Though Crazy Love doesn’t really have the typical grand, magical moment of realization that they have fallen in love, it is utterly believable that the two have fallen for each other over the time that they have spent together, even if their relationship was initially contentious. 

 

 

The second leads, one who is the Deputy CEO of Goh Nojin’s company, and the other Baek Sooyoung, who is Goh Nojin’s past love, are not quite as compelling to me as the main leads. This is mostly due to the fact that these second leads don’t really have lives outside of the main characters’ existences. We only ever see Baek Sooyoung with a family member two times in the entire 16 episode drama and it’s for brief plot device reasons, and not due to them having an actual active relationship. Similarly, we primarily only see Oh Segi at the office or in business meetings, and only find out more about his family and other personal circumstances in the last few episodes of the show. This lack of development of these two characters especially stood out to me a lot because viewers really get to know Lee Sina’s family and best friend (Noh Gojin doesn’t have any surviving family, but we even get to see his relationship with them in flashbacks). I also found it really hard to wrap my head around that Baek Sooyoung’s plan to get her man back was to found a competitive education corporation and to poach all of his employees right out from under his nose. Girl, what were you thinking? 

 

 

I also had to ponder other narrative choices Crazy Love makes. There is a storyline involving three ex-secretaries of Noh Gojin seeking petty, non-violent, revenge against their former boss for his mistreatment of them, but it takes almost the entire series for it to go anywhere. Most of the time these ex-secretaries were on screen, I wondered why they were there and what their end goal really was, especially since the majority of their screen time is just spent on gossip and not revenge. On the other extreme is that the very end of Crazy Love involves so much forgiveness for such unspeakable things that it requires an ungodly amount of suspension of disbelief that all these people could forgive one another so easily. Things that people should really be in jail for are brushed under the rug and easily forgotten, with very few actual repercussions or strains on relationships. 

 

Despite my own shock at how easily everyone moves on from literal life and livelihood threatening situations, I think Crazy Love did a really good job with other things. The show is consistent with its fake dating trope, with Noh Gojin and Lee Sina wearing their fake engagement rings for the entirety of the show. And Crazy Love makes its main characters feel like so much more beyond the typical young-innocent-woman-from-poor-background-meets-rich-man trope. Watching the two leads torture each other in scenes is hilarious and I delighted in a particular scene wear Lee Sina and Goh Nojin get in a pillow fight and she thwacks him so hard in the face that he gets a nosebleed—I’ve literally never seen anything like this in a K-drama before. 

 

 

But I think what truly sets Crazy Love apart besides the unabashed quirkiness is that the K-drama stays very centered on the comedy aspect of the romantic comedy. Though the show deals with heavier topics like suicide, revenge, and terminal illness, it never quite reaches the heaviness of its contemporaries, like My Shy Boss. Conflicts that arise in this show are dealt with pretty quickly, not like in other shows, where the issue would have been dragged out and milked for all it’s worth solely for the sake of drama. Though I appreciated that Crazy Love didn’t go to extreme lengths to make all of the juicy drama last, I do think the K-drama could have been longer in order to deal with some of these issues in a length of time more appropriate to the seriousness of some of the content. 

 

This sweater personally offends me.

This is completely unrelated to the K-drama at large, but I’d really just like to add in that I was often very appalled by the clothing the female characters had to wear in this K-drama. Lee Sina is constantly wearing huge ankle-length winter pea coats inside the office as a secretary. The rest of the time she’s wearing some awful argyle or other wanna-be-underpaid-college-adjunct sweater. And though Lee Sina literally claims aloud she doesn’t wear high heels because she’s constantly running around playing fetch for Goh Nojin, the character is actually always wearing high heels in the show. Weird flex. And when she finally gets her dream job View Spoiler » she’s literally dressed in what I initially mistook for some kind of flight attendant outfit. Likewise, Baek Sooyoung is a CEO who wears shorts and midriff-bearing outfits to work, odd fitting dresses to formal parties, and the truly bizarre sweater in the above photo. This actress, like Krystal Jung, is absolutely beautiful, and the stylists managed to give her clothes that even she can’t pull off. Where were the stylists from What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim? They made Park Min Young’s character of Secretary Kim look appropriate and classy in whatever she was wearing and the Crazy Love people really should have hired those stylists for their own show.

 

I was also dismayed that Crazy Love features one of those shopping with the man/makeover montages only for Lee Sina to never wear any of the incredibly expensive fancy clothes Goh Nojin bought her ever again in the drama. This is despite the fact that his jaw literally dropped at not only how gorgeous his fake fiancée looked, but also at the sheer cost of his bill. Though I delighted in this classic montage, I was really sad that Crazy Love didn’t provide much pay off for it, which felt like a tease and a case of the show not really knowing its target audience.

 

 

Though not without its flaws, Crazy Love is truly a one-of-a-kind show. If you’re looking for a fun K-drama with a new twist on a lot of classic tropes, like fake dating and enemies-to-lovers, great chemistry between the romantic leads, and a phenomenal lead female actress, look no further than Crazy Love. I binged this drama in about three days of marathon watching and really couldn’t have picked a more delightful K-drama to get me back into watching these shows.

 

Look for more K-drama reviews coming soon and check out some of my older ones here. 

For more Blaugust 2022 posts, click here.

 

four-stars
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K-Drama Review : Crazy Love - Blogging with Dragons

Posted August 17, 2022 in Blaugust, K-Dramas, Watch

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5 responses to “K-Drama Review : Crazy Love

  1. Hafsa rana

    Well all is well but I think there’s no way that you didn’t find kim jea wook acting phenomenol.. means I don’t think so there’s any role he can’t play… I would recommend you #voice there he portray a psychopath role and he slayed it ?…you would definitely love him and his acting after seeing that… also the role in #her private life #Ryangold… he was best in his whole career uptill now.

  2. Cherie

    I thought I was the only one offended by the stylists of this show. Lol. It looks like most of the budget went to the flashy cars instead of the wardrobe.On the other hand, I was able to catch on the reason why Si-Na never wore the clothes she shopped for. During the scene where her roommate “borrows” the earrings that Si-Na intended to return to Mr Noh, roommate mentions that Si-Na had donated all the other stuff.

    • Some of those outfits were truly criminal in my opinion! Ah, I didn’t catch that, thanks for sharing. I wish she had donated her previous wardrobe and kept the new clothes he bought her, but I guess that wouldn’t be in line with Lee Sina’s personality.

  3. Arianedolgah@gmail.com

    My favorite drama so far was HER PRIVATE LIFE with Kim Jae Wook who did an amazing performance. That is why I am now going to watch Coffee Prince and crazy love. So for you to say that he has no acting chops it is simply not true. Maybe you might find his performance over the top in crazy love which I have not seen but dismissing the rest of his career is truly unfair. Her private life is awesome because of him. I wish him many lead roles.

    • So I actually said that though I did not personally care for parts of his performance, he actually made me cry at other parts with his portrayal. Not sure how that counts as dismissing his entire career. I hope you enjoy Coffee Prince!

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