I didn’t bother to watch this one forever because of the title. Then I learned that Patzzi is a name. It’s from a Korean folk tale about two sisters, one is kind and beautiful, the other is bad tempered and not at all pretty. Only in this reworking of the tale, it’s two frenemies, and the sweet, kind pretty girl is actually selfish and underhanded and the bad tempered girl is, well, bad tempered. She’s just not as awful as her frenemy has tricked others into thinking.
Patzzi is the bad tempered girl, but that’s just a nickname she was given because of her short fuse. Her name is Song Yi, and she is ably played by an adorably young Jang Nara (Baby Faced Beauty, School 2013). She loses her job at a school and her frenemy Hee Won gets her a job at the amusement park where Hee Won works, mainly so she can humiliate her and make her feel inferior, as far as I can tell. Hee Won is believably hatable. She is played by Hong Eun Hee (she was the bad girl in the very enjoyable Shoot for the Star).
Kim Rae Won ( My Little Bride, Attic Cat, Love Story in Harvard, and Thousand Days Promise) and Kim Jae Won (100 Days of Mr. Arrogant, My 19 Year Old Sister-in-Law. Can You Hear My Heart, Great Inheritance, May Queen) round out the cast as our two main male leads and rivals for Song Yi’s affections.
Rae Won’s character, Kim Hyun Sung, is a poor college student, the head of his family, putting himself through college with his seal training job at the amusement park. He wants to be a vet, but he has a serious heart problem he’s not telling anybody about. He needs surgery, but can’t afford it. His interest in Song Yi began as sympathy when his room-mate plays a mean trick on her, and her room-mate Hee Won makes sure she finds out about it. As he befriends her, however, he finds there’s more to like than to hate about her, and he begins to see Hee Won’s true colors.
Jae Won’s character is the rich son of the park owner. He loves Song Yi’s straightforward approach to life and her raw honesty. He’s slightly older than the rest and has more experience, and I love that he pretty much has Hee Won’s number from the get-go.
The things I enjoyed most about this drama:
It’s only ten episodes long.
Song Yi’s and Hyun Sung’s relationship is firmly based in a very warm and solid friendship. It’s a beautiful thing.
The budding bromance between Hyun Sung and Kang Seung Joon. They recognize early on that they’d like each other if they weren’t rivals for Song Yi’s affection, and at some point they just stop letting this bother them.
While there is some serious stuff- the heart trouble, some very hateful tricks on the part of Hee Won that essentially make Song Yi public enemy number one for a while, essentially, this is totally unserious show. It’s mostly a frothy rom-com. The ending had me giddily lost in giggles, it was so cute, and it was also not entirely predictable.
In the first episode Song Yi is in costume at the park, and two little boys are arguing about whether the person in the costume is a man or a woman. Hyun Sung’s rascally room-mate (another bromance) gives the boys some very bad advice on how to find out. Although he is a rascal and thoughtless brat when it comes to women, he really does think it’s a male in the costume, because it always has been before (this is part of Hee Won’s charming ‘help’).
The boys take his bad advice and get smacked for it by Song Yi.
The guys then chase her down to make her apologize, because it’s bad form for park employees to beat children (they still don’t really realize she’s a woman, because she’s still in costume). When she removes the head of her costume, they are embarrassed, but then she makes them all defensive with her tongue lashing and there is some dialogue about how a woman who looks the same back and front, like a man, really shouldn’t lose her temper over somebody thinking she’s a man. Otherwise, it’s basically a squeaky clean drama. I think there’s only one real kiss in the whole show.
Because it is only ten episodes, there’s a lot of jumping from one show to the next- it’s a month later, it’s a year later, and drama-magic has occurred off screen.
As I said, it’s really totally unserious, and I mean that in a good way. It’s amusing, light-hearted fun for the most part, a nice interlude when you want something that doesn’t require a lot of thought and won’t steal your tears and wring your heart.
You might also enjoy:
Dramas I’ve completed, recommend, and reviewed: see here.
Things to know when watching a K-drama
Where to get your fix: Sites where you can find subtitled K-dramas (and dramas from other countries, as well. I’ve watched a handful of J-dramas (Japanese) and TW (Taiwanese) dramas, but I vastly prefer the K-dramas, even though I know more Japanese – I got an A in my Japanese 101 class back in the day, when we actually lived in Japan and once I even knew both hiragana and katakana- but still K-dramas interest me vastly more).