Edited by Young Jun Yang
Translated by Kim Hoyeun
A love story of characters with opposite social status, wealth, and personalities is a classic storyline for romance dramas. Jinxed at First, which tells the romance between the “icon of misfortune” and “goddess of fortune,” also follows this “proven” formula. Since it’s a familiar topic for everyone, the important thing would be to “spice up the familiarity.” Then is Jinxed at First doing that?
Until two years ago, Gong Soo Kwang (Na In Woo) had it all – good looks, kind personality, and smart brain. He even got accepted into the major corporation Keumhwa Group, becoming the “golden boy.” But the moment he met Seul Bi (Seohyun), a great misfortune befell his life. He lost his mother, and he himself barely survived the attack. After losing everything, he begins a new life under the name Go Myung Sung. And when he was getting used to this new life, Seul Bi, who turned his life upside down, showed up again.
It wasn’t just Soo Kyung whose life completely took a new shift that day two years ago. A day spent outside with Soo Kwang was like a dream for Seul Bi, who had been locked up all her life with her mother as the “lucky charm” for the president of Keumhwa Group because of their ability to see the future. After a long wait, Seul Bi manages to escape, but contrary to her expectations, Soo Kwang shuns her out. Since Soo Kwang blamed Seul Bi for all the misfortune, the first task she has is to change his opinion of her.
Since it’s a romance series, Jinxed at First obviously focuses on Gong Soo Kwang and Lee Seul Bi’s love story, but at the same time, it paints out the story of “growing up” as they struggle to break free from the shackles of their fates. Additionally, the character of Chairman Seon (Jun Kwang Ryul), the greedy head of Keumhwa Group after Seul Bi, and Soo Kwang’s relationship with the people in Seodong Market bring a variety of joy, from excitement and tension to laughter and emotion into the play.
The most attractive part of Jinxed at First is definitely Na In Woo and Seohyun. The two showcase charms different from the original webtoon, not to mention their looks that seem to have popped right out of the comics. Na In Woo is flawlessly pulling off “golden boy” Gong Soo Kwang and the slicker charm of Gong Myung Sun, one man with two different charms. Of course, the actor’s unique dog-like charm becomes even more charming in this romance drama. Seul Bi, who is more independent and cheerful than anyone else, although she lives under a rock for having been locked up all her life, is completed with Seohyun’s performance. Everything about her acting is dead-on, from slightly exaggerated lines to romance, and the actress’s flawless beauty makes every moment of the drama like a video pictorial.
The fast-moving storytelling also adds fun to the drama. From the first episode, Jinxed at First moves along at a swift pace as if foretelling that there won’t be any dragging, frustrating scenario. In just one episode, the two lead characters meet, Soo Kwang goes through traumatic events, and Seul Bi escapes, and this helps viewers fully get immersed in the chemistry of these two. The comics-like situations that appear in the middle and the tension that a villain creates spice up the narrative and control the tempo of the drama.
Jinxed at First is an attractive project in many ways, but its overall “baring and childish tone” is definitely something that gets two different reactions. Some might find Seul Bi reciting what she read in fairytale books and causing trouble and the various episodes with people in the market adorable, but at the same time, some might find them too cringy.
Until episode 4, Jinxed at First is cruising smoothly, making good use of the charm unique to the fantasy romance genre. Yes, we can easily anticipate the dangers and the heart-fluttering moments waiting for Soo Kwang and Seul Bi, but still, I can’t wait to see how the drama will buoy up the familiar stories. I hope the project will keep the current pace until the end, tickling the viewers’ hearts. It’s cringy and childish? Well, that’s the fun of it. (6/10)
Editor Yang Young Jun: There is at least one good part in every movie or TV series. A media geek who isn’t picky with genres.