Don’t Dare to Dream (Jealousy Incarnate)

This Review will contain spoilers.

Ever started a Kdrama full of hope only to be severely disappointed in the end? I experienced that for the first time with this kdrama.

Let’s start with the good though.

It’s a kdrama about Pyo Na Ri a woman who is aspiring to be an announcer at a news station. She failed the announcer test three times and on the third time she got a job as a weather announcer. Being a weather announcer isn’t a bad thing, at least in England. Plus meteorology isn’t some easy thing so I don’t know why they look down on it in the drama. I enjoyed Kye Sung Sook as she stood up for her weather ladies. She made a valid point that a man or a woman can deliver the news; it should not be about sex appeal and all that. On the job side of the drama it was interesting. There were plenty of silly moments but they fit the narrative. It gave a real sense of what it’s like to work in a news station only with extra drama. I didn’t know it was such a cutthroat world. As someone who got a degree in Journalism and wanted to work in broadcast television as an entertainment or sports correspondent I found it all very interesting.

I shall share the moments that I thought were funny.

  • The time when they were farting in front of each other when they were sharing a hospital room.
  • The animations that assisted the story.
  • A drunk Hwa Shin was always funny.
  • The time where Hwa Shin fell for the voice phishing but Sung Sook and Ja Young didn’t. It was funny how he was so sharp but he was so easily taken in by the scam.
  • The time Hwa Shin burped when being healed by traditional methods.
  • The birthday cake.
  • The wedding dress scene.
  • Chi Yeol telling Hwa shin off.
  • The time where the annoying reporter was sent to Africa. What made me laugh more was a comment I saw (I was watching the drama on Viki) saying, “We don’t want him here either”.
  • The time where Hwa Shin was trying to break up with Na Ri but he kept saying instead, “Let’s not break up”. His heart wasn’t in it!
  • Turtleneck sweaters = cockblockers level 1000.

Okay moving on from the funny moments I shall now talk about something serious. I liked that this drama raised issues about male breast cancer. They tackled the prejudices surrounding male breast cancer and the importance of early detection. The drama also showed the problems with the mammogram. I’m a woman but I had no idea that that was what a mammogram did. It really just stamps your boob? There’s no better way to do it? And how is a man meant to endure that when they don’t, normally, have a boob? Someone please invent a better machine! It’s past time. But yes, I’m glad they tackled the issue. The drama may have really saved a life and that’s no small accomplishment.

Alright time to talk about the characters starting with the male lead,

Lee Hwa Shin

(Hello again to the actor from Oh My Ghost, I never wrote about the drama because I didn’t like it but he was good in it).

He was a dick, plain and simple. I loved the scene with Bambam simply because it contained Bambam. Otherwise I didn’t get it, was he being a dick for the sake of being a dick? That scene was random as.

I found that he was insecure as a character due to his geeky past and always losing out to his rich and sexy bff Jung Won. He was also really hung up on manliness and that got old after a while. I understood it but at the same time I was like when is this issue going to be solved? You’d rather die than take chemo? Although he also didn’t want to take it out of guilt thus showing that despite his bravado he did feel.

However he was a good guy despite his dicky moments. He did break the story of his brother’s minor fraud but if he hadn’t someone else would have and it would have been much worse. I understood his family being mad at him but why did Sung Sook and Ja Young not understand? They were reporters also. I thought they were being unreasonable.

I am glad that in his brother’s last moments he sought reconciliation. It was also really sweet that the brother dreamed of a future where they were all happy together, that was beautiful. It’s sad that it takes death to unite people.

It was a bit strange that they didn’t develop his relationship with Ppal Gang. I mean he moves to be close to her and yet they have no interactions. They paid attention to their relationship in the beginning and the end of the drama but in the middle it was kind of neglected and it became all about the triangle. I did like that he was the perfect counter to Ppal Gang’s meanness though.

I am glad that they did develop his relationship with his mother. I didn’t like her at first but that relationship really developed and blossomed. Sometimes life threatening illnesses make you let go of a grudge.

I also liked his relationship with the cold reporter Hong Hye Won. Even though she was cold I liked her. She was fun in a way. She grew on me and their relationship was easy, honest and just fun. If he hadn’t gotten with Na Ri she would have been a good partner for him.

Lastly his relationship with Na Ri was complicated more than it needed to be. What gets to me is that he told them to date when he knew he was starting to gain feelings for her, like brother what? He caused that problem. And then he had to endure the pain of unrequited love which I was not mad at. It was fitting that that happened. But then because of Hye Won he grew some balls and started to pursue Na Ri even though she was dating Jung Won. Now, I’m glad he was honest with Jung Won and that in the beginning he tried to avoid them and be respectful. I did not however enjoy the love triangle and that crap. It was obvious that they were going to be an item from the beginning I don’t understand why they dragged it out as they did. I also did not like the way he acted with Na Ri sometimes. His shouting and cockiness got old real quick.

In the end however, I’m glad they got together. I know people say she suited Jung Won but that does not matter. I wanted her to get with someone she actually fancied and wanted to be with. I mean I didn’t want her to be with Jung Won unless she actually loved him, if she had gone to him with lukewarm feelings that would not have been fair.

However I am now crossing over into Na Ri territory so let me go ahead and talk about her.

Pyo Na Ri

I found her to be a little too desperate. I get it, it was her dream but she let them walk all over her and it was getting her nowhere. I wished she’d stand up for herself more. And what was wrong with being a weather announcer? Clearly they needed real meteorologists up in there so that they didn’t constantly get the weather wrong. I mean it’s not an exact science but wow she got it wrong like seventy per cent of the time. I’m glad she got better and actually took pride in her work.

However it was sweet how loyal and caring she was. She kept persevering for the sake of her mother and she always sought to help others. She really went above and beyond for Hwa Shin and saved his life by not being afraid to probe and get him to go to the hospital. She also didn’t want to hurt Jung Won but she should have, it would have saved time for me and him.

I wish she’d tell her brother about her hardships. Why didn’t she tell him when she was in hospital? I can understand not sharing work troubles but hospital troubles? Come on! That is something about kdramas that I will never understand. Well I sort of understand it, it creates drama.

The one sided love for Hwa Shin was sad, she really loved him but three years… that’s long! I’ll say it again she reeeeally loved him.

The love triangle… why did she do that to us? She knew who she liked, there was no need. It was a good drama up until that point! It pissed me off sooo much! She let them talk to her like that? She let them order her around like that?! Maybe I’m too ornery but that would have started a fight. I would have called my cousin, my friend, telling to make these idiot men leave me alone!

Plus how old was she meant to be? She wasn’t in her 20’s; I found it a bit unbelievable that she was so clueless. It was like those romance novels that try to convince you that a 30 year old woman is innocent. I’ve met innocent women and even they aren’t completely clueless.

Go Jung Won

I remember him from Reply 1988. It was nice meeting again with him all grown and different. At first he was so sweet and caring towards her even though he was rich. It was nice to have a nice rich Korean character.

He was attracted to Na Ri from the beginning and that was cool. He also had a nice voice like umm.

However I did find his face to be a bit emotionless at times. He was always so composed. And in the beginning he’d just stare at her blankly sometimes and I found that weird. Was he trying to look cool?

He could have handled the situation better with the other reporter who fancied him but then again I understood that he was under pressure from his mom. But all he had to do was tell Na Ri, why was that so hard? They create unnecessary drama in kdramas (aha) but to be fair Na Ri didn’t react explosively. Although looking back that should have been our first clue.

He always made the first move when it came to Na Ri. He asked her out, said he wanted her to say, “I love you” and he kissed her. Na Ri didn’t really make any moves towards him. I felt sorry for him at first until the whole contest for her heart. It became less about his attraction towards her and more about his ego. He didn’t want to lose, he’d never lost anything, like dude wtf? She was not an object, if she doesn’t like you get the fuck over it! That was my only problem with him. He didn’t take no for an answer and that rubbed me the wrong way.

Also how did he expect him and Hwa Shin to be friends as if nothing had happened? That was dumb. I’m glad that they became friends again in a realistic way and not in a brushing it under the carpet way.

His mother was annoying and from start to finish I did not like her. Also Secretary Cha was not loyal. I could understand his issues when looking at them.

I personally hoped that his character would get out from the thumb of his mother, which he sort of did, and that his mother would get punched once (it didn’t happen alas) and that he would find love with that reporter, they had chemistry and more importantly she actively liked him… sort of. I just wanted him to get with someone better for him than Na Ri.

In conclusion all three of the main characters rubbed me the wrong way. Also why do they make it known who the second lead is in kdramas? It makes it so obvious who’s going to end up with whom. I now understand better now why the Reply series were so popular.

Secondary Characters

Her brother Chi Yeol low key annoyed me. I guess I just don’t like over protection. Let her live her life! However he really did love his sister, he was happy when she was back at home and he defended her when needed. In the end he was a good brother.

I loved the gynaecologist Keum Suk Ho, played by Bae Hae Sun and Nurse Oh. Suk Ho really let Na Ri have it when she came back after leaving the hospital. She was so cool and charismatic. And I feel like Nurse Oh delivered unintentional comedy.

Ppal Gang was annoying but they also kind of neglected her in the second half of the drama. The focus was on the main three and nothing else mattered, it felt like. I would have liked to see more development from her and more help with her grief. We didn’t even get many grandma and Ppal Gang interactions.

I got to see Ahn Woo Yeon again! (I saw him last in Strong Girl Kim Bong Soon). He played a younger character this time, Oh Dae Goo which was fun although he didn’t get to do as much.

Kim Rak was a fun character. He was asexual, I haven’t seen that in a kdrama before and so it was refreshing.

Okay let’s talk about the plot. I had a lot of notes but I’ll narrow them down. I feel like I’ve covered some points already anyway. I’ll do this in bullet points, it makes everything easier and so tidy looking. Okay, here I go!

  • Everyone was connected; it was like a Love Actually
  • I wish she’d, Na Ri, leave him, Hwa Shin, alone. What was so hard about leaving a person alone when they ask? That alone pissed the hell out of me.
  • Although Kim Rak was asexual he still found love in the drama. It was lazy of him though, he liked both women and so it was up to them to decide? If you can’t choose between them then you don’t like either of them enough.
  • The best kiss of the drama became tainted for me. She was technically still with Jung Won and then after the kiss she went and told Jung Won she loved him?! Girl what!
  • It was at that point (see above bullet point) that the plot took a dive for me. First of all they treated Na Ri like she was a bone. They ordered her around and they wouldn’t leave her alone and she let them behave that way, why?
  • The whole living together thing was the worst idea ever.
  • Ppal Gang’s dad chose Ja Young over Sung Sook. I would have liked to know what it was that Sung Sook did to cause their divorce. Or did she divorce him? I’m not too clear on that. Anyway Ppal Gang went along with what he said, Sung Sook was heartbroken, although it was a nice break from her being smug.
  • The two past wives made up in the end though, I liked that.
  • The husband apparently liked Sung Sook more. Perhaps he thought Ja Young was better as she had raised Ppal Gang before.
  • In an unexpected twist Ppal gang was the one who did the voice phishing.
  • The saddest twist the chemo therapy rendered Hwa Shin sterile. It was heart-warming however that Na Ri still wanted to be with him.
  • Ppal Gang and the moms decide to all live together. It was a solution we all agreed to, we being me and the other people watching and commenting.
  • Ja Young and Kim Rak decided to date, co habit, and not marry.
  • Sung Sook also got a love interest, their story was interesting.
  • The marriage. The doctor gave a beautiful speech.
  • Chi Yeol and Ppal started dating.

Okay that is all!

Overall I give it a two out of five. The second half really ruined it for me.

What did you think of the drama? Did you like it?

Ps: the soundtrack is really good.

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