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A cable TV channel drama that I chanced upon, and after watching I’m glad to say that I found the acting great (but sadly coupled with not-so-good writing). Falling For Innocence showed a cute romance between Min-ho (Jung Kyung Ho) and Soon-jung (Kim So Yeon) – I marveled at how sweet the OTP was when they were together. Though there were hints of melo in the premise, it was mainly a rom-com. I also loved to see the friendship between Soon-jung, Joon-hee (Yoon Hyun Min) and Dong-wook (Jin Gu) at the beginning- as friends who grew up together, I thought that the bonds between them were hard to break, but…
I was very happy to watch Kim So Yeon on screen again after I previously saw her in Two Weeks as well as Prosecutor Princess, where she was fantastic 😀 She was awesome as a strong-headed lady and was also able to deliver in weaker sides when her character was physically and emotionally hurt. Her pain and sorrow was palpable- the love she had for Dong-wook definitely ran deep. I felt strongly for Soon-jung. She was clear of what she wanted for herself, became Min-ho’s listening ear, gave him advice and stayed by his side during difficult times. The best part about them was that they unknowingly became each other’s pillar of support and it was heartwarming to see 🙂
Unfortunately, the introduction to her character as a firm, no-nonsense and capable secretary failed to develop as the drama continued, although her name was in the show’s title. It was sad that the plot ended up to only centre around Min Ho, his development, and of course the romance. This is not to say that I didn’t like him; Jung Kyung Ho was brilliant in his role as I saw him change from someone who couldn’t see the point of living which resulted in his uncaring and ruthless behaviour towards people around him to a person who found meaning in life and warmed his heart, thanks to Soon-jung. He was able to bring depth and life to Min-ho even when the writing couldn’t at times. I was therefore able to feel for him because I knew why he did what he did.
Jung Kyung Ho’s performance as Director Kang Min-ho was an eye-opener for me. I had never watched him in any drama prior to Innocence and I must give him credit for showing his multiple sides. At first, Min-ho was easily disliked due to his coldness but by the end he became someone we could relate to and the drama took the effort to explain why he grew up with a heart of steel. He was also able to show his comedic and adorable sides during interactions with Soon-jung and Secretary Woo-shik (Lee Shi Un) which was fun to watch. I will always remember the feels I had while watching this drama!
Joon-hee really ended up doing something foolish, which was not something I wanted to see but I guess it was meant to be for the purpose of the story development. He chose reputation over friendship, which was heartbreaking… I mean, why would you do that to your best buddy and good friend? It was understandable that he wanted to stop being associated with “poor” but no. Just no. He also didn’t manage to convince me as a villain with weak motivations that drove his actions and some behaviour which I could not understand at all. I couldn’t sit well with his self-justifying words trying to make the world think that he was right when he was obviously wrong. And the change towards the way he treated Soon-jung before and after she saw his true colours was too abrupt. He saw her as more than a friend and cared about her a lot even though the feelings were one-sided; but once she found out the truth and started helping Min-ho, he suddenly became harsh towards her and didn’t stop to think that she could potentially get hurt by his ways. After being friends for so long…is this all you could amount to?
Something about the characters in this drama was their lack of self-awareness. Joon-hee could easily point out Min-ho’s weaknesses and tell him straight in the face, yet he could not see his own flaws. Maybe his strong ambitions blinded him but if he could see through Min-ho’s mind even more than Min-ho himself could at first, I don’t see why he wasn’t able to recognise his own faults. Thankfully, Min-ho realised his mistakes and changed for the better 🙂 However, I think this was more of a writing flaw instead of the characters’ actions and words.
With the little screen time Dong-wook had, I must say he made full use of it. He was a loving boyfriend to Soon-jung and had a kind heart. I could see why she loved him so much<3 In her eyes, he was an ideal partner (I’m sure you would feel the same way if you watch the drama) Being a detective with a strong sense of justice, he also had unique ways with criminals he caught. I found him lovable as a character, as a person and as a friend. Most importantly, I was able to see that he treasured the friendship with Joon-hee very much- he was loyal to both his girlfriend and close friend. When things changed, it broke my heart to see… T.T
Having said all these, I hope that you will consider watching Falling For Innocence if you like romantic comedies. Sweetness, funny interactions between characters- all in one! To put it simply, I laughed as much as I cried. It was also nice to see Min-ho and Soon-jung coming together given that they totally disliked each other at first. Their relationship did not come about smooth; there were difficulties. Despite all the angst, they were engaging as a couple and was not afraid to show weakness in front of each other.
All in all, Falling For Innocence was a lovely drama. Not the best but not bad either. The performance put up by the cast was great but the writing didn’t give each character enough dimension for the audience to engage with them at a deeper level. Still, I enjoyed watching Jung Kyung Ho and Kim So Yeon together. After all, their romance was the highlight. This drama was also an introduction to actors I didn’t really know before: Jung Kyung Ho, Yoon Hyun Min and not to forget, Jin Gu! Maybe I should watch Heartless City to see more of the two real-life best friends? Hmm…
Last but not least, below are some behind-the-scenes shots of the cast in Falling For Innocence. Enjoy!