This particular first impressions post will cover the first four episodes of Spy Myung Wol. Sometimes I do only 1 episode, sometimes I do it after 4, and it’s really just based on how I saw the drama. The Princess’ Man wasn’t compelling enough for me to launch into Episode 2 right away, whereas for Spy Myung Wol, I actually saw episodes 3 and 4 before I saw 1 and 2.
I think watching it out of order did not help me appreciate this drama any more. However, now that I’ve seen all the episodes, things are making sense now.
To sum up, Myung Wol (Han Ye Seul) is a North Korean agent for the Anti-Drama Squad, and though she has to crackdown on North Koreans watching K-dramas and K-movies, she is also forced to escort a high official’s daughter to Singapore just so she can see her Hallyu idol Kang Woo (Eric Mun). She initally pursues him for one measly autograph, which is ridiculous, but then realizes that he purchased an ancient book that her comrade Choi Ryu (Lee Jin Wook) is trying to steal. On top of that, actress Joo In Ah (Jang Hee Jin) is in love with Kang Woo (more like obsessed), and her grandfather is also interested in ancient artifacts.
A series of accidents and coincidences lead up to Myung Wol becoming Kang Woo’s bodyguard as a way for her to get close to him, marry him, and bring him to the North. Kang Woo is a cold guy, but he can’t help but worry over Myung Wol because she did save his life several times. As for Choi Ryu, he makes himself useful to In Ah’s grandfather, but In Ah is so self-absorbed that she thinks Ryu is in love with her. Episode 4 ends with In Ah making Choi Ryu her bodyguard to get Kang Woo jealous, while Myung Wol is forced to be a stunt woman stand-in. An on-set accident leads to Kang Woo rushing to save her, but he’s starting to recognize her as the girl from Singapore who saved his life.
In general, I’m not very impressed with the drama. I think it has more to do with the actors and characters than it has to do with the plot. The plot, from the very outset, is superbly nonsensical. However, I just don’t understand Myung Wol and her motivations. She doesn’t seem to be very interesting to me, and though she does have that one-track mind of wanting to kill Kang Woo and bring pride to her country, she’s just… not off-kilter enough for me.
If I am to believe that she’s pretending to be a crazy person, then Han Ye Seul isn’t doing a great job at it. Rather, she looks pained most of the time. As for Eric Mun, I think his character is interesting, as Kang Woo seems to be a man of many hidden secrets and compassion, but Eric Mun sometimes looks like he’s just going through the motions. Lee Jin Wook on the other hand is funny because he’s so straight-faced and gets the funniest lines in terms of orders. As for Jang Hee Jin? Is it me or is she the most annoying B-I-T-C-H in the world? I hate her character, and I hate the way Jang plays her. Maybe that’s a good thing, if I am supposed to hate her. However, I just want her to die a thousand deaths and disappear because she’s not worthy of anyone. She’s kind of like Kang Se Ri in Greatest Love, although I think Yoo In Na was a tad bit more sympathetic. Hong Soo Hyun was funny as she went all out in her bitch-role in Lie To Me, so I think she’s better than Jang. I just can’t stand it when Jang comes onscreen.
OK – probably the main characters are all the boring ones. For me, the side characters are more interesting, especially the two senior spies and Lee Kyun. They add a little more life to all the stoic spies and plastic faces.
I am actually really curious about how the storyline with the ancient book is going to play out. I wonder why North Korea wants it so badly, and what Kang Woo’s daddy issues are. I am more invested in the plot than I am in the characters this time around.
I have to say, now that I’ve seen all 4 episodes though, I appreciate episode 4 a little more. It’s actually picked up compared to the previous episodes. I like the forced proximity for Kang Woo and Myung Wol, even though I think the way we got there was kind of bumpy.
I’ve got very mixed feelings going into this drama, but I’ll continue watching it. It’s not as thrilling as I Need Romance or as addicting as Heartstrings.