Drama slumps. God, do they SUCK. It’d been a while since I had one (like a few years, really), but I recently fell into one and I couldn’t figure out how to crawl out of it. I haven’t finished a drama since Legend of the Blue Sea — a November show, for goodness’ sake. Though I started and loved several shows, I just haven’t been able to get back to them. I haven’t finished Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim, Goblin, Hwarang… I even put Strong Woman Do Bong Soon on hold. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME???
The past few months I feel like I’ve just been looking for a specific something in all these dramas — something I’d been craving like crazy. But for the life of me, I couldn’t even figure out what it was that I was craving. I even went back to my old Dramas to Watch list to try and find whatever it was, but after a while, it just felt like my efforts were turning into a futile hunt. Soon after, I just stopped watching dramas almost altogether.
Those without drama addictions may not understand, but when you are a drama addict and you just stop watching them, it’s so freaking strange. Sure, it made my schedule much more open and a lot less stressful, but I missed that excitement of waking up in the morning to new episode clips. Of running out of class so I could watch the entire episode at the library. Of being filled with so much giddiness when it ended that I wanted to watch it all over again. I lost that for a while.
Until, holy shit, The Liar and His Lover came around (just in time for Spring!) and hit me with full force. To my complete shock, it was Liar that threw me back into that excitement I’d been missing. And I just thought, “Wait… what? This drama? Why?” I like romance, I like musical themes, and I LOVE Lee Hyun Woo, but why did I feel so strongly about this show after just the first episode? Because it felt familiar. I’m usually iffy with dramas that were adapted from manga (especially the ones that I’ve read and cherished), but I’ve never been so happy to have an adaptation prove me wrong. This cute little show finally gave me what I hadn’t even known I was looking for: that original K-drama magic I fell in love with.
The source material for Liar is a good old shojo manga from 2007, and so as a result, I think it brought back that old school rom-com feel that got me obsessed with dramas in the first place. It’s flawed, it’s clichéd, but man, it’s so freaking good. Nowadays, I think dramas are trying so hard to be different that it made me start missing some of the more clichéd qualities. Of course, I’m not going to blame drama writers for trying to be original. I gave W–Two Worlds a lot of flak for lacking the epic romance I’d wanted, but I’m still glad to have watched it. After all, the drama’s story was so damn cool. It’d just be nice if in the midst of all these unique dramas, we got more classic romance like Liar. We always make fun of rom-coms for having a very specific formula, and I guess after making so many jokes about it, I’d forgotten how much I actually love that formula.
Seriously, I’ve loooved a lot of the dramas we’ve gotten recently, but the young fangirl in me loves what Liar is showcasing so far just a little bit more. It’s cute, it’s light, and it’s wonderfully youthful and cheesy. I think some of the acting and editing are hindering the show from being 100% perfect, but I’ve already got some serious emotional attachment for main characters Han Gyul (Lee Hyun Woo) and So Rim (Joy). So Rim is a girl you can’t help but love, while Han Gyul… Oh, man. There’s just something about him that makes me want to… comfort him? I don’t know. I can see why So Rim felt the need to reassure him about his song. He may have been lying about why he wanted her to erase it, but his lies make me think he’s hiding even more insecurity than we may be aware of.
Speaking of So Rim and Han Gyul, I just love the idea of a character being so warm and loving that they actually melt the coldness in their love interest’s heart. It’s such a sweet, enjoyable process to watch. It’s why I loved My Girlfriend is a Gumiho so much. Lee Seung Gi’s character was a total dick, but Shin Min Ah’s character was just too cute for him to resist (though let’s be honest, no one could resist that). And even with I Hear Your Voice, Lee Jong Suk’s friendship and puppy love for Lee Bo Young broke a little bit of her ice interior and made her want to be a better attorney. That kind of stuff really gets to me.
My biggest fear with rom-coms like this, however, is that they’ll run out of conflict — or just plain story — way too soon and they won’t know what to do for the last few episodes. Because of writers that do that, I end up falling for a lot of shows only to be burned in the end. So I hope that Liar doesn’t follow suit. I want to keep faith since it has solid source material (at least from what I’ve heard; I haven’t actually read the original manga), but I can’t help but have that fear in the back of my mind. Either way, I haven’t felt this excited for a drama in quite a while, so you know what? I’m just gonna sit back and enjoy it.