My Lovable Girl Review

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Review. My Lovable Girl is a 16 episode 2014 Korea Drama about a man avoiding life after the death of his girlfriend. He meets her sister and decides to help her become a successful song writer. They fall in love but there are bumps along the way.

Nutshell Pluses:
1. Rain as the leading man Hyun Wook. The extent of success of this series is owed to Rain’s portrayal.
2. Our couple, Hyun Wook and Se Na, had a charm that either drew you in or did zero for you. I was drawn in. This couple worked for me.
3. I enjoyed the music and subsequent Original Sound Track (OST).

Nutshell Minuses:
1. Limited range of acting ability in our leading lady and second leading man. Krystal portrayed leading lady Se Na with a small repertoire of emotions. L played second leading man, Shi Woo, with a compact series of skills.
2. The writer torpedoed this series with dismal plot choices. No Ji Sul (wrote Scent of a Woman) started with a simple story then dumbed it down further dropping plot points to concentrate on the couple. The couple’s obstacle was not substantial enough.

Overall Opinion:
You might think that I did not enjoy this series…but nothing could be further from the truth.
* Yes, this series was hamstrung by a simple story with poor plot choices that could not be ignored. Yes, the thespian skills were limited.
* But…I enjoyed most episodes. I liked Rain, I liked the dog, I liked the couple, I liked OST. It was sufficient to keep me watching.

What I liked about My Lovable Girl:


1. Rain as leading man Hyun Wook. I watched this series for Rain. I enjoyed him in his first kdrama Full House (2004) (see review) and had not seen him in any other production since. Rain’s acting skills have improved considerably since 2004. He effectively portrayed Hyun Wook making him likable even when the writing made his character unlikable.
* Rain did what he could to make this series work. Rain found himself in a subpar series just as Ji Hyun Woo was with 2014’s Trot Lovers (see review). How much information do actors have about a series before they committ? As with anything, a promising concept can be poorly executed.
* I think Rain was patience and kind to the inexperienced Krystal and L.
* I love Rain’s smile. He is stingy with a full smile but did offer a couple in the series.
* I grew to loath the stylist’s choice of scarves versus ties for this character. Finally in episode 13, the scarves were banished and ties became the norm.
* Rain had a wonderfully tender way of hugging Krystal. He would cradle the back of her head during the hug, making her appear more precious to him.

2. Main Couple. Against many odds (bad story and limited acting) they had a sweetness that resonated with me. I can forgive a lot if the main couple clicks. The banter scenes between Krystal and Rain were cute. She pursued him more than he pursued her, granting her an edge in their initial relationship. Emotional scenes where he felt and she supported resonated. Their first kiss was lovely and well produced. Their mutual love for the dog was their initial connection and effectively threaded throughout the series.

3. Dal Bong the dog. I have never had the animal as the number #3 positive in a show but Dal Bong was a primary plot driver and facilitator to the romance. I enjoyed that Dal Bong instantly loved Se Na to the astonishment of Hyun Wook. Dal Bong was darling and a charming on screen presence. Who knew that an ambulance would take a dog to the vet in a kdrama? Dal Bong’s death was forecast from the first episode but it was still hard to watch and well done.

What was okay about My Lovable Girl:

1. Krystal as leading lady Se Na. I had seen Krystal in 2013’s kdrama Heirs where her character Lee Bo Na was cute but one note. As Se Na, Krystal’s sweet spot was being softly sassy, consistently drawn to Hyun Wook (there was never any doubt which man had her heart), and playful with Hyun Wook. Rain and Krystal had an easy vibe. She delivered enough of a performance to make this couple click for me. Krystal’s strength does not lie in emoting pain, suffering or anger visually.  I do not believe she was ready as an actor for a leading lady role.

2. L as second lead Shi Woo. I had enjoyed L’s performance as cocky and cute Hyun Soo in the 2012 kdrama Shut Up Flower Boy Band. For this series, L’s sweet spot was being cocky, smirky, or joking. He had plenty of opportunities to be in that sweet spot throughout the series. Emoting through his face is not L’s strength. I do not believe he was ready as an actor for a second leading male role.

What I did not like about My Lovable Girl:
Writing. Without a doubt, the writer is a primary culprit of this series being subpar. The story line was too simple. The writer, No Ji Sul, produced a story that was not worthy of a 16 episode series. The examples of lazy story telling abound in this series.
a. The writer eliminated details from an already basic story throughout the series. Examples:
** Hyun Wook’s ringing ear was dropped and never mentioned again. The crippling condition that made it so he could not listen to music vanished overnight.
** Yoo Ra Eum, a female singer and love interest for Shi Woo, only appeared in episodes 1 – 6 and was never heard from again. The character is mentioned briefly in episodes 8 and 10. She is prominently displayed on the series poster (upper left hand corner).
** Shi Woo’s former band, Infinite Power, and rival Rae Hoon (Hoya) is featured in episodes 1 – 6 then never heard from again (briefly mentioned later).
b. The writer wrote the characters into terrible positions that made them look like idiots. Examples:
** Hyun Wook cannot get over his girlfriend’s (So Eun) death after 3 years. You had the feeling they dated for less time than he anguished and hid from living due to her death. I was astonished that he still had So Eun’s cell phone CHARGED in a box and Se Na would call the cell to talk to her sister.
** Hyun Wook hides the truth from Se Na about dating her sister. It was simply ridiculous that he did not come out with this. It amazed me that dating the sister was taboo. Why?
** Hyun Wook succumbs to noble idiocy when he cuts himself from Se Na in episode 10. At least the noble idiocy period was brief.
** Se Na falls prey to noble idiocy when she cuts herself from Hyun Wook in episode 16. This was made even more egregious when she declared her love for Hyun Wook the night before dumping him with a note and leaving the city.
** Shi Woo does not get that Se Na is not romantically interested in him…ever. I never saw any romantic chemistry between these two. They were much better buddies. Too bad the writer did not allow Shi Woo to see the obvious, Se Na loved Hyun Wook and he never had a chance.
** Hyun Wook’s Father logic for opposing Se Na was ridiculous. He tells Se Na he started the rumor that Hyun Wook cheated on her sister years ago. Father states he cannot move on from his painful past with Hyun Wook if he has to see Se Na daily. In other words, seeing her makes him uncomfortable about when he was a total jerk to his son. The logic of his argument was so pitiful I was gob smacked.
Production. Some of the production values were subpar. Back lighting galore in this series. How many scenes in the sponsored coffee shop? It was a relief when some outdoor scenes were utilized. The camera work was not creative. Too many times I wished they had shot a scene with more camera angles so I could see both sides of a scene.

Final Thoughts:
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* Many saw this series as a train wreck. I understand if you do. My initial impression after episode 1 was not positive.  This series improved given the constraints of subpar writing and acting, then in the latter third of the series it sank down. So many kdramas I watch are the weakest in the latter third of the series. Do writer(s) only have vague idea of where they are going instead of a complete road map? If you are interested Koala’s Playground provides a well written and scathing review (see “Thoughts of Mine” at the bottom of the page).
* Strawberries34 (soompi forum), explains the cryptic second to last line from Hyun Wook, “I know I’m late” followed by “I missed you”. In a nutshell, in episode 12 Hyun Wook promised Se Na that he would search for her should they ever be separated. During their year separation he never looked for her. Finally at the train station, he fulfilled that promise.

OST.

My Lovable Girl / She’s So Lovable OST was first released as a 7 part OST with 17 songs. The 2 disc compilation has 27 songs (1st disc 13 songs, 2nd disc 14 songs). Drama Wiki has all the details. The music for this show struck a chord with me.
* For the first time I created youtube videos (dubbed Episode Tracks) with extracted snippets of songs from the episodes. These episode tracks were loads of fun (link to youtube episode tracks). Most of the songs turned out to be included in the OST (no surprise) but it was fun to have a sample snippet. Two examples:
1. “Humming Song” Episode 7 track (song did not make the OST)
2. “Only You” Episode 9 track, this version is sung by Krystal, the OST version was sung by Kim Tae Woo
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* Kim Tae Woo, a famous pop singer, contributed “Only You” OST. He was featured in episodes 9 and 10 recording the song. That was a good tie in.
* Rain did not contribute to the OST. He seems to have the stance when he is an actor, he does not tap into his musical talents. If there ever was a character that this would have flowed logically, this was it.
* Sometimes episodes had different a version of a song versus the official OST version.
Two examples:
1. “Rewind” Ep 3, “Rewind” OST
2. “Calling Out” Ep 11, “Calling Out” OST

My current favorite three songs from the OST:
1. “All of a Sudden Krystal’s contribution is one of my favorite songs of the OST, Disc 1 Track 1.
2. “I Want to Love You” She’s So Lovable OST Part 3. Alex Chu (portrayed Sung Jin) and singer in Clazziquai sings this lovely song.
3. “Kiss Me” She’s So Lovable / My Lovable Girl, OST Disc 2 Track 6, sung by Hani of EXID and Baek Jong Yoon.
Playlist which contains the songs from the 7 part OST and my 12 Episode Tracks is available via this link or embedded below:

Last pics as we fade to black:

My Lovable Girl
Episode 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | ‎Series
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Posted in My Lovable Girl, OST, Reviews
23 comments on “My Lovable Girl Review
  1. snow says:

    You must watch Rain in Fugitive Plan B….where he makes an imperfect series so mcu energetic and fun with his acting…and his bromance with Lee Jung Jin is an added bonus.

    I don’t think the couple had zero chemistry but Krystal was very dull and pale throughout the show…I agree that she is not ready yet to be the leading lady…this is the apprehension I had when she was confirmed for this drama…I can enjoy her as a side character but a main lead…it’s a NO!

    I did like some songs….mostly the one which is sung by Alex.

    Hoya’s role was cut in between…which already was very small…I was disappointed by it…there were also no scenes to show any struggle by Sena…it was all so easy for her as she was a genius songwriter…really! That sounds like lazy writing 🙂

    • kjtamuser says:

      I’ll add Fugitive Plan B to my watch list. Appreciate the suggestion to watch Rain in another series!

      The writing on this show…dismal…torpedoed the series…more egregious than the sub par acting.

      • snow says:

        FPB does require some patience in the beginning (with some boring side plots) but once it settles, it’s a great entertaining, thrilling ride! And the background score is also good.

  2. jeennee says:

    I enjoyed this show very very much and it’s because, in agreement with you, the OTP really worked for me. They were just so sweet together, although it’s true that they made such illogical choices at times. And it was so hard to read Se Na’s mind, although I’m not sure if it was because of the writing or Krystal’s acting. That’s why I really enjoyed your recaps so much because firstly, not many people were recapping this series and secondly, those who were weren’t very positive about it (cue Koala whom I usually love reading but her review of this series made me so sad!). I found myself nodding in agreement with your comments on the episode recaps and needless to say, I agree with everything you’ve written above too. Except the comment on Rain’s scarves, but maybe I just think he looks good in anything. I agree, he’s the real reason this series worked. Thanks again for the recaps and series review!!!

    • kjtamuser says:

      Wow! Appreciate your feedback. Terrific to find someone else enjoyed the sweet vibe our couple had.
      I concur Rain did look good in the scarves, sweaters, shirts…yep he looks fabulous overall.
      Again thanks for the feedack.

      • Ana C. says:

        I will join you here. I also can see why she wasn’t prepared to be a main lead (and yes, all her great achievements with quick results were insane but all the plot had some lacks has you already mentioned). However, for me Se Na was a bit like Eleanor of Sense and Sensibility, she was a stoic girl who had gone through a lot, so she wasn’t someone who would clearly show all her feelings. Nevertheless, when she was sad and feeling down, I would like to see it in a more proper sense.

        Still, if I exclude the last episode that was just completely crazy to me, I enjoyed the series because of the main couple. They created a god chemistry between them. Probably it would look more plausible if they shared a deepest kiss somewhere in the middle of all the drama and if they showed more easy going with each other during their relationship. Specially when compared with her friends, we could see major differences. Of course every couple has its own way, but this was supposed to portrait a adult relationship and sometimes it just looked a bit childish to me.

        In other news, I also didn’t get why he couldn’t date the sister of his late girlfriend for the main reason of them being siblings. If the writers went on that direction, I could understand if was feeling guilty (even if it wasn’t his fault, us, human beings, have the tendency of taking care of guiltiness that aren’t ours to care), and if struggled at the beginning with the idea of having mislead feelings to Se Na because of his sister (like, not knowing for sure it he was liking this new girl or the memories of her sister). I almost yelled “FINALLY” to the screen when his friend told him there was any reason for him to feel guilty. It took the guy several episodes to do it but at least someone said it.

        Their respective friends were also a highlight here for me. There aren’t many examples of true friendship when dealing with adults, at least for both protagonists and we had it on “My Lovable Girl” 😉

        • kjtamuser says:

          For all the flaws in the story and acting, this show delivered a couple that cared for each other with chemistry. They had a sweetness that worked for me.

          Glad you enjoyed the series too. Thanks for the comments!

  3. Hi I just finished the series and I was a little befuddled so of course I hopped on the Net! I agree with your assessment; watched the whole thing through because it was pleasant and Rain was hawt – excuse me HAWT – but a lot of the little things that drew me in the beginning were dropped like hot potatoes.

    My whole impression of the cell phone though was that this was a mystical occurrence. I thought when Hyun Wook first took the phone in after receiving the initial msg he was told that it was impossible for the phone to be operable. That and the bus’ flat tire that kept Se Na from leaving Seoul made me think this was an intervention from the sister.

    Anywhooo – on to my next foray. What, oh what shall it be……

    • kjtamuser says:

      Interesting ideas about the cell phone. I can see what you are driving at. Appreciate you sharing!

    • Ana C. says:

      I thought the same but it’s other example of the small nonsense details this drama had. It appeared and disappeared on the same speed like nothing happened 😉

  4. I still have the end to go (but am a bit disappointed by this sucky reunion), but logged in to see what others had made of this drama. I generally agree, so I speak from a Western male point of view. I like the dreaminess of the drama, the gaps, the otherworldliness. The plot logic was bad, but the emotional logic was sufficiently on the mark – although as everyone says: anchored by Rain’s screen presence. He has undeniable star quality. The really great stars don’t need to act, they just need the camera on them and you are gripped. He is a presence. Krystal (who I have not seen until now) is the most Western-looking Korean girl and by standards of dramas, not “lovable” in the way this means in English, although in Korean “lovable” may have a slightly different sense. “Lovable” is different from “beautiful” or “adorable”. Kim So-hyun (Who am I?) is adorable. Song hye-kyo (Full House) is beautiful. Krystal is none of these. There was chemistry between her and Rain, but the plot side of it became unbelievable and in the end dragged. The problem was they LOOKED unsuited. Her assertive and arty manner suited this actress, but that she would be his type just didn’t work visually. It was like in this film she was playing herself. I grew to like her a lot as the series went on. I could believe she was talented and musical but not that she would get so sucked into a relationship or be so insouciant about going from the street to having a Corporate CEO chasing her on one hand and a beloved Pop Idol chasing her on the other. I had the sense that she could have done better than either of those men and found a third arty man who she could have intelligent talks about books and song writing with.
    I hope Krystal does better than this in real life 🙂

    • kjtamuser says:

      I appreciate the thoughtful comments. I like the way you put it…the emotional logic was on the mark. One moment I found Krystal “lovable” was when she edits the photo to create a couple picture in episode 9. I’m betting Krystal does better in real life! Thanks for sharing your opinions.

      • Thanks for replying to my comment. I agree Krystal becomes “lovable” when she believes in the love (symbolised by the scene you refer to) which afterward makes her impervious to the young idol coming on to her and also makes her continue to believe in love after Rain goes cold on her. Once she loves, she loves; this makes her lovable. But as a character she also loses the rather headstrong and active character she had to begin with, and becomes more the stereotypical “girl in love” rather than lovable girl. So that is a contradiction. With the emotional logic, an example I like – and it is in other dramas – is when they meet in the street, at the ice-cream freezer, on the bridge, there is never anyone else around. In reality in Seoul I imagine this would be impossible, but for lovers, this is the emotional logic of how it is; no one else exists for the lovers, the world is deserted but for each other. I liked the way the film kept up that emotional logic, often the only connection between scenes was purely emotional, not taking account much of time, which is also how it is for those in love, when the ” time between” doesn’t count. Also Rain and Dal Bong, and Krystal and Dal Bong was a strong believable feature throughout. And the two times she came in the garden with the big dog’s head on was out of character, but very cute and lovable thing to do, so you could forgive the lapse and feel how Rain would have felt too.

  5. The_golden_lady says:

    I am not a good critic so I didn’t bother to be judgmental. But, i thought the ending was very abrupt.Also, the fact that Yoon Se Na left for a year and the two guys were still stuck up on her was very annoying. In serials the years pass very suddenly and nothing gets changed, which makes them illogical.
    Also, Sae yoon(hope the name is correct) rejoined or not was not shown;what happened to shi woo was also left hanging..i was very sympathetic about him and all that he did for Se Na but she didn’t seem to mind that at all!!

  6. Ana C. says:

    And also, to me their reunion was insane. They should have had a proper talk about everything that happened and she should be the one trying to explain and resolve everything. In the end was still he looking for her and all his approaches were nuts. Why should he spend time to create a music to explain why he loved her instead of going to her and talk?? Arghhh, so frustrating.

    • kjtamuser says:

      It was a lovely hug. The music was key in this series. Do you think Rain will ever sing in a drama he stars in?

      • Ana C. says:

        I hadn’t a problem with the hug in the end. I just wanted something more in the process to get there. She was away for a whole here and didn’t have an adult talk about why she was gone, why she came back at that time, etc etc. There was all that nonsense of the “missing pen”. Like, they could have resolved it in the beginning of the episode, and then, to finish everything up, the show could have give us a little bit of of the acceptance (or not) from his father, their living together life, their song being presented on the radio show. It would an episode without much angst and suffer but they had it enough during all the series. At least at the end we could them as a normal couple living their lives.

        Of course we know the music was the key here but they could have enrolled it in the end in a different way 🙂

        • kjtamuser says:

          I was surprised when she just up and left for a year. Yes, they could have given us a better wrap up. You made me smile when you called the “missing pen” nonsense. I hear you.

  7. Ana C. says:

    we could see them. (I’m eating words, so sorry, ah ah)

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