One of the things I love so much about work, is that a few of my co-workers also watch Asian dramas. It’s really fun to discuss and recommend shows when we’re on break. Even though we have dramas in common, we also each have our own unique style when it comes to dramas we like and dislike – and the same goes for actors. That is why I often hesitate when a co-worker recommends a particular show to me. I’m a bit of a rebel, and don’t always like to follow recommendations if I’m not sure if it’ll suit my personal taste. I’m notorious for dropping dramas, so I don’t like wasting my time. But, my one co-worker has been telling me for about 6 months now that I should check out Scent of a Woman. Finally she wore me down and I conceded.
Genre: Romantic Melodrama
Synopsis: So, there’s a woman in her 30’s named Lee Yeon Jae (played by Kim Sun A) who lives a very ordinary life; she works hard to save her money, has no boyfriend, lives with her mom, has a jerk boss… one day she finds out that she has cancer that cannot be operated and she is given 6 months to live. Kang Ji Wook (played by Lee Dong Wook) is the director of the company where she works. He is set to marry Im Se Kyung (played by Seo Hyo Rim) as arranged by their fathers. Lee Yeon Jae and Lee Dong Wook end up meeting unexpectedly… is there room for love in this seemingly doomed situation with so little time left to live?
Why I put off watching it
It sounds really sad. Now, this is a tricky one for me; on one hand i’m glutton for punishment and have found that some of the “sad” dramas are the most rewarding and capture intense feeling which I really appreciate in a drama. On the other hand, sometimes too much drama can be overwhelming and I need to be in the right mind frame to watch one.
Why it’s worth watching
Intense chemistry, less cliched
Yes, there’s some cliche; you know the one, Rich man, poor/ordinary woman. But the one thing I find fresh about it is, he doesn’t start by putting her down at the beginning and think he’s above her. I felt that he was genuinely curious about her from the start and found her attractive. He looked at her like a woman; not as some bumbling poor common idiot.
A slice of Reality
Life sucks sometimes. People get sick; people often get cancer unexpectedly. Life has such a high level of uncertainty. I felt the drama did well at showing how different characters were affected by the diagnosis. I also like that the drama didn’t try to force any kind of happy ending. They kept a level of realism.
Have you ever experienced a moment in your life where you felt like your heart was being ripped out of your chest? Where you sobbed uncontrollably? Well, there’s an incredible scene like that in the drama where I bawled like a baby. Actress Kim He Ok knocks the ball out of the park with her tears of agony. As a mother myself, I could feel her pain, distress, disbelief, denial.. i could feel the emotional hell she was suddenly being plummeted into violently. I loved her acting. To see a secondary character like that outshine the main cast in that moment, that was impressive (and the main cast is great).
Character development and evolution
Chae Eun-Suk (played by Uhm Ki Joon) had a great role in the story. Although he is a male second lead, he gives more meat to the character than just secretly wanting the girl. We see a very clear change in him as the story progresses. He comes off stiff and cold at first, but he seems to use that demeanor as a way of protecting himself. As he opens up, we see how tenderhearted and caring he is.
It was really a great drama. There was a good amount of romance and I felt a good connection to the main characters. I did find it dragged, but only in a couple of spots. the overall flow of the story was good and the cast was for the most part very strong. I found Seo Hyo Rim‘s character rather annoying through the majority of drama. But hey, that’s often the case with this sort of female second lead character who has a strong sense of entitlement.
Kim Sun A and Lee Dong Wook were a joy to watch together. They made a very believable couple and I could fully accept his character’s attraction to her.