Firstly, I had so many things to say before its aired.
I like Lee Dong Wook, I like tvN, it was indeed one of the most anticipated drama, I expected it to be witty, a pure rom-com. It turned out to be slightly different from what I expected. Nonetheless, Let’s talk about Bubble Gum
Park Ri Hwan (Lee Dong Wook) and Kim Haeng Ah (Jung Ryu Won) are childhood friends since their parents are friends. Park Ri Hwan grew up without a father, Haeng Ah grew up with only a father. It was happened that Ri Hwan’s mother was learning to be a doctor. They grew up together fighting who is older and not, grown up Haeng Ah has a boyfriend, and yet… it’s Ri Hwan in the end. As cliche as that. Childhood friend becomes a lover. Nevertheless, we are talking about tvN hereeeee. (I am a super fan of tvN, bias bias bias). Truthfully, tvN has its own personality in making a drama. It is indeed like a new age of Drama-land.
Bubblegum turns out to be more like a family drama instead of a rom-com. tvN has an ability to deliver a warmth feeling. I am sorry to keep saying this word – warmth. But, it is true. The scenes are so heartwarming. It is realistic yet dramatic. One thing for sure about Bubblegum, it was shoot beautifully. I want to give more credits on editing.
Bubblegum gives you more than a love story between two main characters. It also gives enough space to sides love story, obviously the whole universe is not only about two handsome leading people right? We need to know a bit of the leading man’s friend, or the leading woman’s senior. Also, it is a love story about a mother and a child, parents to children, friends and colleagues.
In fact, I found the conflicts are not really strong enough to shiver you or to make your teeth stuttering because of anger. It is quiet too subtle in my point of view. I could not understand why Haeng Ah and Ri Hwan cant be together in the first place (oops spoiler). They mention about the egoistic mother. The reason can be a strong enough if it shows properly. It feels a bit jumpy. Although, I may say… they wrap it well in the last few episodes.
Aside from the story line, tvN nails the drama with great soundtracks and supporting actors/actresses as usual. We can see Gentleman’s Dignity couple; Lee Jung Hyuk and Kim Jung Nan not as couple tho this time. And my favorite ‘HYUNG’ – Lee Seung Joon as Park Ri Hwan’s number one supporter. I love Lee Seung Joon from a few scenes in Misaeng as Ahn Young Yi’s old boss, and enjoyed his performance in Hyde, Jekyll, and me so muuuuch. Again, I love that he finally gets more space in this drama. He too has his own love story. There are some disappointments as well. Bae Jong Ok as Park Ri Hwan’s mother is not touching me enough. Despite her role of being the center of the story. Her acting tho is not delivering enough to me (maybe just me). Also, Park Hae Yon as a pathetic rich-daughter is too depressing to be watched. Her expression is not changing in almost every occasion. Other than that, everyone else is a pleasant to watch. I love Kko Bo Gyeol as an adopted girl in the cafe is bubbly and loveable. Annoying in the beginning but loveable in the end.
tvN always great in points out every character and those dialogues. How they can make cheesy dialogues are delivered so realistic. Sometimes, you hear cheesy dialogue but sounds so sophisticated in drama whilst in the real life cheesy dialogue sounds great as well as cheesy (duh). That’s how it works in this drama. You find a realistic scene in one, and dramatic in another. I love everything though. Plus, there is no ‘taking care of sick person – fever scene’ YEAAAAAYYY and no piggy back scene as well. I am sick of those already haha. Instead, you will find cute shameless act of Lee Dong Wook all over places. I love how Lee Dong Wook can pull cuteness and average man will do over loved ones. Jung Ryu Won also shows enough insecurity and you realize that character has no different from best friend that you’ve known for ages. That’s how all chemistry flows so natural.
In the end, you’ll find that you can’t live without friends and families. Just as simple as that. People live together, share things, hurts and reconcile.
Production house: tvN
Director: Kim Byung Soo
Writer: Lee Mina