Edited by Hwang Hong Sun
Translated by Kim Hoyeun
I was thrilled when the production of So Not Worth It was announced. And that was because it meant the revival of the sitcoms, which captivated small screens with laughter from the late 90s to the late 2000s, such as Soonpoong Clinic, High Kick, and Nonstop. However, now that I have finished watching it, I’m more disappointed than I ever expected. Overall, the comedy is weak, and the plot in some of the episodes is far-fetched, even for a sitcom. Plus, the A-list cameos didn’t quite fit in the story.
Fortunately, the characters seem to find their places from episode 6, and the series belatedly shows off its charm. Yet, it wasn’t enough to satisfy those who expected the grand revival of a classic sitcom. So, why do we still want a sequel? The answer lies within the potential of the work. Let’s break it down to three reasons.
Too Big of a Picture to Show It All in 12 Episodes
Set in a college dorm, So Not Worth It comically captures the daily lives of young international students with various unique personalities. Sitcoms tend to have a slow build-up process compared to other works. Even the legendary sitcoms we remember showed low ratings and popularity in the beginning. So, as the story progresses, it slowly builds up a meticulously planned worldview, makes the characters come alive, and doubles the fun.
The same goes for So Not Worth It. Se Wan and Jamie just started dating, and we still don’t know where Hyun Min, who got kicked out of the dorm, will stay. There are still a ton of directions that the story can expand on. With that being said, if they close the curtain on the 12th episode, all these fun attempts would go to waste.
We’re Just Starting to Get Attached to the Characters
It’s not that we need season 2 simply because the first season was too short. The biggest reason is that we’re just starting to get attached to the characters. There will be no exaggeration in saying that the sitcom genre is a characters’ game. When we look back at the project we loved, the names and personalities of the characters come to mind before the specific episodes. Like how people feel awkward at first but slowly bond as time goes by, the sitcom characters win our hearts amidst the story’s ups and downs.
To be honest, I had some concerns about the characters in So Not Worth It. Since the story is set in a dorm for international students, there is a slew of foreign actors. I worried what if their Korean or acting is not very good. Fortunately, the leading actors – Carson Allen, Terris, Minnie, and Yoa Kim – all showed solid performances. In fact, each character showed a typical characteristic within Korean society and added fun to the story. For example, Carson became an interesting yet typical “kkondae” character (condescending old man), and Yoa Kim brought a burst of joyful laughter as a stiff and stubborn man. As the episodes go on, they become more like friends figures at any college rather than foreign strangers, narrowing the distance between the viewers and characters.
In particular, Han Hyun Min’s performance is fantastic. His part of the story is quite pitiful and sad in many ways. And the ridiculous events, which he stumbles upon, make a good comedy scene. Overall, as the story flows, the character becomes more solid, leading to a bigger laugh. Leaving the awkward first encounter behind, I think I’ll miss them very much if the series ends here because I’ve finally started to grow fonds of these characters.
The “Pitifulness” that Emphasizes the “Laughter”
The somewhat aggressive title “So Not Worth It” was created by the main character Se Wan. His mother is in deep debt, and her father is in prison for fraud. So to survive this brutal world, she has to be a tough girl. When people on campus talk about romance and youth, Se Wan thinks everything is so not worth it. Though the series doesn’t go too deep into her situation, her background plays a big part in making Jamie show interest in her and enriches their story.
Most of the successful sitcoms in Korea are about comedy and kits and the sadness that lies behind them. Because of this “pitifulness” within the series, the steadfast laughter of finding hope in the midst of it stands out. So Not Worth It also slowly brought up the stories of college life, which can’t all be beautiful because of various reasons only youths face. Moreover, since most of the characters are foreigners, there are enough elements to balance tears and laughter. In season 1, the plot centered around comedy. However, in the following seasons, there is definitely a possibility of bringing in various emotions and showcase deeper narratives. Therefore, I hope that So Not Worth It will return with season 2 after strengthening its pros and remedying its cons.
Verdict: The more episodes you watch, the more you’ll laugh. I hope season 2 comes out without being screwed up.
Editor Hwang Hong Sun: A Korean movie buff who wishes that the warm messages in good works will warm up this world at least by one degree Fahrenheit.
Translator Kim Hoyeun: If you are a fan of K-drama, K-movie, and K-pop, I am your guy. I will continue to provide you with up-to-date K-entertainment news.