Okay, so I had this whole post written with a note to myself to go back and see exactly what point I abandoned Attic Cat. Dude. I made it to the end of episode 9 AND watched the last episode to see if it got any better (which it didn’t). I totally don’t feel bad about reviewing this after officially watching almost the whole series. If no character developed or story arched in 9 episodes—you are doing something wrong!
As I said in the introduction, this is the first show I didn’t finish. I didn’t finish it–not because I hated it–but because I was irritated and just didn’t care. It was the plot I didn’t care about and the characters that irritated me. I held out hope (for nine episodes apparently) for the heroine but she was so weak and enabling to the spoiled child who was our hero, you just can’t support her.
I also have to put out there that this guy is not nearly as bad as next weeks hero—but looking back, there is only a little difference between the two.
However, thinking about this made me realize they might be the perfect couple. She is an enabling doormat and he is a manipulative, weak, and I hate to say child again, but it describes him so well. The crap he pulls on her time and time again gets old. Basically it’s a loop:
Hero does something stupid (or mean, or thoughtless).
Heroine gets angry.
Hero whines and acts cute.
Heroine forgives hero.
Rinse and Repeat.
Okay, so at some point this show had to have interested me. I did start watching it (I mainly stuck with it because I am tenacious and don’t like to give up). I think if it had been better written, Attic Cat could have had more of a shot at being a better show. But now in my colored lenses of “I didn’t like it” firmly on, I can’t see why I started watching it in the first place. The plot seems convoluted and long winded. Girl wants to move into own apartment but her brother steals the money she was saving for it. Meets hero who thinks she’s BFF’s with his crush so he lends her the money she needs in order to look good in front of his crush (who of course doesn’t like him until heroine starts liking him). Then when hero gets into trouble with the moneylenders (mob?) and his rich family won’t bail him out, he moves in with the heroine. From there she starts paying off his debts, cooks, cleans and does laundry for him so he can spend all his time studying for the bar exam (or chasing girls–who are not her–with her money, or by continuing to gamble. He pays for those losses with her account) Oh yeah, this guy is a peach. What is holding these two together besides their codependent nature (which I’m sorry, does not an relationship make) ? He at first needs to stay there because he’s burned through all his other bridges but the only thing holding her is her crush on him.
Jandi would never put up with his shit.
Besides becoming more dependent on each other nothing much happens. Once he gets his family to forgive him there is no real push to the story–them being together again seems forced and contrived. And lets not get into how I feel about her and her family trying to force him to marry her. Please. She can do better.
The way the story is written, it doesn’t allow a single character to change or grow. Should I expect every person to become a better person? Well, it certainly doesn’t happen in real life. However, this isn’t real life. I want to characters become better people–unless they are the baddie–in which case I don’t need them to be changed, just conquered and punished. (I don’t think this is asking too much.) To make a story or character compelling you need to continue to build. Static is not interesting. Within this show there are no stakes, no rising tension, no real conflict—unless it happened in the 5 episodes I didn’t see—but I doubt it after watching the ending. The only thing that changed was the characters increasing co-dependency on each other and that’s neither fun nor romantic.
I actually liked the lead actress, Jung Da Bin. She was cute and a little sad, which may have been part of the problem. She made you initially like the character, understand her frustrations and goals, and because of this, you just want better for her. She’s like one of your girlfriends who’s dating a guy who’s not good for her and you just keep saying—leave him, he’s no good, you can do better!
Alas, they never listen to you.
I think this is something the actress brought with her, as I certainly don’t think the writers knew what they were doing. I didn’t care for Kim Rae Won, the hero’s acting (or overacting) although at this point I wonder if, once again, the writers didn’t do this guy a disservice. While, I didn’t like last weeks show, My Love, Patzzi, I thought Kim’s character and his acting were one of the best things about it.
With the hero, yes he was terrible at the beginning, with a lot of bad qualities, but to be honest, most Kdrama heroes start out that way. The trick is that the other heroes change and grow as the story goes along. For an example, Nam Bong Ki from I Really Really Like You is a terrible character at the beginning–I almost stopped watching the show because I disliked him so much–but throughout the story arc he becomes this amazing character. Seriously. If I did a Top 5 hero list right now, he’d be right there.
Also, I know this has no impact on the show and has nothing to do with acting, but the B guy’s earring irritated me. Usually when a Kdrama guy wears an earring (or even two) it’s hawt–uhh–but so not here.
So in conclusion. Ugh. But cheer up! Only one more week to go…