ANGEL’S LAST MISSION: LOVE
Hi! First Sugar Baby review of the year! Let’s get it!! So I started this drama last year when I paid for a day pass to KOCOWA so I could watch Stove League, but then I was like fuck, I have this day pass, I need to make use of it. I decided to check out this drama because why not? I ended up watching like 20 out of the 32 episodes that day and then obviously, not finishing it up until this weekend. (Mild Spoilers Below)
I feel like when I write reviews, I am kind of like those people who give you sob stories when you search for a recipe online before you get to the ingredients and steps.. However, do I give a fuck? No I do not. I feel the need to give you guys a sense of what my frame of mind was like going into this drama because I truly do believe that a state of mind can affect how you view a piece of work. For me, I just went into this drama thinking I needed something easy to get through and this seemed simple enough. At time of me watching this drama, I wasn’t really drawn to any of the actors. I thought Myungsoo was okay, and I have never liked Lee Dong Gun’s acting in literally anything I have watched. The biggest reason I didn’t want to watch though, was Shin Hye Sun.. I held a lot of resentment towards her from My Golden Life and unfortunately could not separate the role from the actor. I knew it wasn’t her fault that the character was written the way she was in the drama or what the viewers were saying about the other actors/characters. Eventually, I just went for it and I am glad I did.
The storyline of this drama wasn’t anything new or profound that was added to KDRAMALAND. If you’ve been a long time viewer such as myself, you already know how this goes and what the end will look like. The pacing of this drama was faster than I expected and this prompted me to think of the storyline from two angles: conflict and romance. I don’t know if I have mentioned before, but something that I appreciate a lot of is when there is a good and interesting central conflict that keeps me engaged. Often with traditional Korean dramas that is not the case, but there are elements that will make up for it. I can highlight two major conflicts of this drama which is her becoming a ballerina again and taking back her parents’ company, and the relationship between her and Angel Dan. So now going back to the pacing of the drama, all the smaller conflicts were resolved quite easily.. She gained her sight back within two episodes of us being introduced to her. She started walking and moving on her own again within two episodes of her getting new eyes. She got back in shape within a week even though she was BLIND and didn’t dance for THREE YEARS. I don’t care how much of a ballerina genius you are that shit is not possible. The problem with the fast pacing though, is that it made the major conflicts a bit weaker. From my perspective, it would have been better seeing her have these struggles for a little longer because it would have made the romantic aspect a lot stronger.
I hated the romance. I hated the romance. I. Hated. The. Romance. The reason I hated the romance was because I was unable to determine why they fell for each other. I didn’t understand why Yeon Seo liked Dan. I didn’t understand why Dan liked Yeon Seo. I didn’t understand when or where Kang Soo started having feels for Yeon Seo as Yeon Seo and not the doppelganger of his ex. I understood that this is a sort of fated and destiny type of drama, but thing was that everything was just way too coincidental that it was just inauthentic. If they had maybe shown us how Yeon Seo and Dan really started to care for each other, I would have been more compelled to believe and actively root for this couple and want them to survive the relationship conflict. It was because of this lack of showing that had me like “well k…” about all the other relationship conflict that came up between them. I never felt like they were in this desperate/defying all odds type of love. This is why the ending didn’t even make me bat an eyelash either way.
Now with all that being said, you’re probably wondering why I said I was glad that I watched this drama. The answer is simple: Shin Hye Sun. This woman won me over completely. Her acting as Lee Yeon Seo was so layered and intriguing that she was the sole reason I watched every part of this drama. I was rooting so much for this character. I could not turn away from the screen whenever she delivered her emotional lines. The dances were so powerful because of her facial expressions. Everything she did was so believable that I ended up being just completely stunned. Yeon Seo was a flawed character. She ended up an orphan at the age of seventeen with an aunt and cousin that despise her. She lost her eyesight and tried to commit suicide. She had her loyal butler who stayed by her side through everything and then he ended up dying and donating his eyes to her. She had so much loss in her life that it was insulting to say the least that we diminished it all down to “all she needed was love.” A character like this who was being called arrogant, cynical and abusive was such a perfectly flawed character that I couldn’t help falling in love with her.
Maybe that’s what Dan saw lol.
So even though the story became sloppy midway and the other character’s and their development were done a huge disservice, I would still recommend this solely so people can see Shin Hye Sun give a spectacular performance. As of this moment, Shin Hye Sun has lodged herself permanently on to my favorite Korean actresses list.
Rewatch Value: 6.5/10
Fave Song: Pray – Klang