Korean Drama Review: Splash Splash Love

9817016_origSplash Splash Love is a two-part 2015 Korean web drama (I watched it on Viki). Yes, just two episodes. Totaling just under two-and-a-half hours, it’s meatier than most feature films but briefer than most TV dramas. Consequently the focus stays tightly on the lead character without much visual “down time” or delving into secondary characters. But you walk away from this absolutely delightful drama feeling like you’ve just watched a 12 or 16 episode story.

Dan Bi (Kim Seul Gi) is a nineteen year-old student who hates math more than anything. On the day of her big exam — one she’s certain will doom her to a dismal future because she has no shot at passing math — she runs away from the testing center. Wishing to disappear to someplace far away, she jumps into a puddle . . . and falls through the puddle into the courtyard of a Joseon king. Her sudden appearance is witnessed by not just the king, but the entire court. Desperate to be seen as someone worth not killing, Dan Bi tells the progressive king she’s exactly the person he’s been searching for: a mathematician.

What follows is an unlikely friendship between a modern high school student and a Joseon king that blossoms into an even unlikelier romance.

Kim Seul Gi is fabulous, proving right everyone who’s been clamoring that she should be a romantic lead not the second lead or best friend. You know her as the ghost girl in Oh My Ghost, as the best friend in The Discovery of Romance, and as the panda-eyed editor in Flower Boy Next Door. In fact, Kim Seul Gi’s character is the reason I finished watching Discovery of Romance; the love triangle of leading characters were just too petty, annoying, and selfish — I didn’t want to watch them, I wanted to watch Kim Seul Gi be funny and quirky!

As Dan Bi, she uses modern means to cope with Joseon — and not just by teaching the king from the math books in her bag. She’s also carrying cup ramen and tteokbokki, which become very popular with king and queen. And the way she figures out how to ride a horse — I won’t spoil it here — let me just say it’s hilarious.

Highly recommended. Sit down with this one and finish it in an evening. You won’t be disappointed.

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