KDRAMAGUK : Korean Drama Soup

a landing site for quick, completely biased, and totally snarky korean drama reviews


Monday, February 8, 2010

Sweet Spy (2006)

Sweet Spy
(Nov 2005 – Jan 2006)

who’s in it
Dennis O’Neil (Witch Yoo Hee, East of Eden)
Nam SangMi (The Grand Chef)
Lee JooHyun (Hello Franceska)
Yoo Sun (Sons of Sol Pharmacy, Terroir)

what’s it about
Nam SangMi is a hapless female police officer who spends most of her time handing out traffic tickets. Dennis Oh (O’Neil) is an international spy. Uh-huh. Anyway, think of the most preposterous plotline you’ve ever seen and multiply it by ten thousand and you’ll have the painfully frayed yarn of Sweet Spy. I could give a summary but that would be a waste of time because not only does it not make any sense, it’s not relevant to anything. All you need to know about this drama is Dennis O’Neil and the fact that he is extremely attractive.

20 episodes


wildcard factor
Dennis O’Neil’s good-looks v Dennis O’Neil’s acting.

after the first episode
Excruciating…but wow is that Dennis O’Neil one good-looking half-Caucasian/half-Korean specimen. And I thought Daniel Henney was decent looking. Dennis O’Neil is outta the ballpark!

gave up

snoozer moments
It’s not boring so much as just baaaaaaaaaad, I mean, really, really bad

Oh you will...

what didn’t work
Too much

what did

what made me want to gouge my eyes out
So very much...I couldn’t even put it into words. But mostly probably all the bad acting.

what kept me going

I’m apparently a completely and utterly shallow individual…Dennis O’Neil is a really well-designed human being and I liked watching him prance around on my screen. That was all it took to keep me coming back for more torment.

Other factors:
predictability No. Since the purpose of the drama was slippery and it lacked any coherency, it has to be said that it was indeed completely unpredictable.
engrish Good English, bad English…all kinds of English really. There was a lot of English. Too much English for...a kdrama.
originality I guess being completely nonsensical could make it original in a way...
eye-candy Yes. Really the only thing it had going for it. Goodness, what a lucky break for the show that it was such an amazing piece of ass *cough* candy. Excuse me, I got a little R-rated there.
hair and fashion Well, I guess the cast all dressed well. I’ll give them that.

is it worth trying to find?
Go ahead and google Dennis O’Neil (Dennis Oh) and scroll through his pictures. If you think his face could comfort you through a blizzard, I say go for it.

total enjoyment factor 
Why even that much? Well, I did watch it all…sort of. There must have been some enjoyable moments…I can’t recall them right now without a picture of Dennis O’Neil to jog my memory, but there must have been something.

total disdain factor
Mostly disdain for myself for having enjoyed it even a little, which I must admit, I did. For some reason, I just could not stop watching it. A part of me suspects this review is totally unfair and I’m just lying to myself because despite all its many blinding faults, I kinda secretly adored it. Didn’t I? So how can I be so mean to it? I mean, forgawdsakes, not only did I finish it (when so many others I don’t), but it actually was kinda ridiculously amusing.

With this one paragraph, I’ve undone everything else I wrote about Spy and have become a hypocrite.

why this review is completely biased
Fun fact about me: I actually really dislike dramas that have characters communicating with one another in different languages. Dennis O’Neil spent the whole time speaking English and Nam SangMi chattered at him in Korean and somehow they began to understand each other perfectly. I just hate that whole ‘I can’t speak the language myself but I can understand someone else speaking it to me perfectly’ bit of bull. I have not met a single person in real life who cannot themselves speak a language they can understand fluently. One is not fluent if one cannot converse in it. One cannot read if they cannot write the alphabet.

It’s a not so good drama. I did finish it, but I’ll be honest, it was because I saw it as a DVD set. I turned on the subtitles and fast-forwarded 2x and read most of the dialogue. If I’d watched this airing week by week, there’s just no way I would have passed the second episode.

Apparently this drama actually performed well in the ratings and was a success when it aired in Korea. Serously, am I the crazy one or is everyone else?

could a non-kdrama fan like this

If there are passionate Sweet Spy fans out there who want to argue that this was a well-made drama, I invite their opinions though it will not change mine. I won’t argue if you tell me that Dennis O’Neil is a beautiful man nor will I disagree there was something addicting about Spy’s nonsense. I could happily watch Dennis O’Neil over and over in many more crappy dramas to come, that’s how attractive he is, but it would be a monumental act of denial to say Sweet Spy was a good show. And lying to oneself (or anyone else) never works out well in the end.

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