The Gist: Veterinarian Cha Yoon Seo's (Kim Jae Kyung) life changes when a wealthy CEO shows up at her clinic, stabbed and unwilling to go to a hospital. After treating him, Yoon Seo thinks that is the end of it, but the CEO, Lee Kang Hoon (Sung Hoon) is immediately obsessed with her. Trying to pay her back for what she's done, he offers to move her clinic to a wealthy neighborhood she couldn't possibly afford. This is just the start of their issues as Yoon Seo is unwilling to take handouts and Kang Hoon is determined to control every situation. Thus moves through a series of arguments that not-so-unexpectedly start to lead to some real feelings.
1. Short Episodes
YAY! I finally got through another KDrama! Noble, My Love has some of the shortest episodes of any show I've ever watched and I loved it. This kept the story from being super-drawn out (which, let's face it, it's not super original to need to be developed) and allowed me to get through several episodes in an hour. This is the perfect show for the busy drama fan (or like me - the working drama fan!). You could finish this whole series in an afternoon, what a nice change of pace!
2. So Cute!
Aw. Warm and fuzzy everywhere. If you're looking for gritty drama and complex characters... this is not the drama for you. But if you just want to feel good and need to watch something that will put a smile on your face, NML is definitely a good option! The characters are funny (OMG the secretary, still dying), their interactions are adorable, and the little speech bubbles from the animals were a super nice touch.
1. Let's talk about Kang Hoon's Brother
So, we always knew family was going to be a problem. When the brother shows up, I thought, Oh! How cute! The sibling rivalry is funny, but his whole plot is totally bizarre. So, spoiler alert, it turns out that he swindled away Kang Hoon's girlfriend way back when, which explains the serious trust issues we've got going on. So he's mad that Kang Hoon is happy, when he's still not happy, and is confused about why he's not forgiven. Also, he decides the best way to get past the whole issue is by flirting with Yoon Seo. So, you don't get why everyone was mad at you and you're unhappy when you seduced your brother's girlfriend... but rather than being happy he's finally moved on from what you did to him, you're trying to mess with that too? Uhhh... geeze, I wonder why you're unhappy. I am pleased at the small reconciliation we do get and he's hilarious, but I kind of wanted to just push him over a few times.
1. Let's talk about Kang Hoon
Ok, so disagreeable protagonists, especially rich, spoiled ones (wait - is there any other kind) are to be expected. Heck, if the main couple isn't fighting their way through half the series, how will you know they're in love? And yet, Kang Hoon is manipulative and controlling to a degree that made me physically uncomfortable. He thanks Yoon Seo by destroying her first clinic, making it impossible to rent an apartment, makes her stop dancing, won't let her talk with any other guys but her. I am mostly willing to get on board with harsh-but-heart-of-gold type heroes, but I think that Kang Hoon doesn't really develop past his controlling ways, even if he softens a bit. It's kind of like he was horrible to her, but it paid off anyway without any sacrifice from him. He really does just use his money to force Yoon Seo to him. He threatens her with serious debt at every turn. I think the romance ends up being cute, but I have serious reservations about the development.
So... this episode is breezy and light with all the tropes you've come to expect. However, it is seriously stilted by how much of a controlling psycho Kang Hoon is. If you can look past that problem in this bite size episode series, then you'll be fine, but if you're like me, you'll be left feeling kind of mixed.
Final Grade: C+