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Missing You, Like a Sinful Piece of Chocolate

There are many things I don’t like about this drama and there are many things I do like about this drama.  It’s hard to get through an episode, yet I wait every week for the next one. Missing You is like the last piece of Lindor Truffle you shouldn’t eat but crave at two a.m. The Lindor Truffle is a ball of rich and delicious chocolate. It’s completely indulgent and wrapped in shiny paper to distract you from its sinfulness. There are many reasons why I should drop this show but like the a bag of truffles, I will probably end up gobbling this drama until its airy and empty end.


Missing You is a melodrama of the truest kind but not its best. The story is written to evoke tears from the viewer but there is no subtlety in the emotions or setup. It has the same problem that so many dramas these days suffer from; it assumes the viewer has a short attention span and little brain power. It slams you on the head over and over again, telling you it’s a “sad,” “happy,” or “sweet” moment. Thus, the overall story suffers and gives over all its energy to setting up scenes for actors to indulge in the emotion of the moment, namely tragic romance. These types of dramas eventually end up having their two lead actors take on 95% of the scenes by the last third of the drama, which of course leads to a deadly shooting schedule and fatigue.


Missing You is beautifully shot for all intents and purposes, those being to indulge in the melodrama and showcase the acting. Conversely, it also makes the lack of acting skill very apparent because the actual product does not live up to the set up. As a standalone, the cinematography is gripping, with its vivid yet whimsy quality, but I object to the style being used for this type of drama because of one of its subjects- rape.


I really wish they didn’t include rape in this type of drama. Missing You is first and foremost a romance melodrama and I object to rape being used to set up the melodramatic platform for the rest of the drama. It was used as a plot-device to push the heroine and the story to its melodramatic deep-end. As a viewer who is sensitive to the social injustice of rape crimes in South Korean society, it makes me uncomfortable watching it being dealt with so poorly and utterly disconnected from real social issues. I object to the writer putting rape into the story and not offering any social critique. It shouldn’t be in a drama that is going to put romance first and will offer romantic love as the cure to Lee Soo-yeon’s pain. Where is the social justice? Where are the laws and competent officials to procure that justice? The subject of rape should not be in the background of a story that is going to be so indulgent in romantic love and personal/family revenge, with the main sin being Jung-woo’s abandonment. If Jung-woo abandoning Soo-yeon was going to be the main issue of this drama, couldn’t the writer just left out the rape? I think it would have worked fine if the guy had just beaten Soo-yeon or tortured her, if the goal of the writer was to bring the suffering of its leads to their extreme end. This drama will predictably bring it up Lee Soo-yeon’s rape again, to explain both Soo-yeon and Jung-woo’s pathos but never offer us any real solution to her pain and healing, especially now that Soo-yeon has murdered her rapist.


With such a heavy subject in the background, the cinematography should be more gritty and filmed with less of the dream-like whimsy quality. I thought that the rape scene was filmed well with no spectacle quality and with excellent acting from Yeo Jin-gu. Yet, it was completely indulgent on one character’s pain and pathos, with an extended full-shot of Jung-woo’s crying face filling up the whole screen. Playing devil’s advocate, I can make the argument that Jung-woo stands as the powerless, pathetic, and cowardly patriarchal society that runs away from dealing properly with rape victims, yet I know this drama will never fully carry Jung-woo to that metaphorical status because it is simply a romance-revenge melodrama. So why, Missing You writer, why did you put this subject in this drama, besides wanting your characters to suffer and wallow in the tragedy of its aftermath?


Indulgent. What indulgent dialogue! The repetitive kind that ultimately doesn’t reveal anything more about the characters or advance the plot, except to plunge you more into confusion and vagueness about the characters’ intentions and emotions. The dialogue is written not to communicate anything, but to hide, with nobody actually saying anything in a straight-forward manner. I could see the writer trying to be poetic with the dialogue, but we need prose in dialogue, not poetry, especially in this drama that is already awash in emotions, nostalgia, and tears.

As for the character of Kang Hyung-joon, I feel bad for Yoo Seung-ho who has to act out a role that is one dimensional and never properly fleshed out as a child. There is no proper insight to Kang Hyung-joon’s pathology as vengeful and possessive millionaire so I am left unsympathetic to his plight.  Subsequently, I find Kang Hyung-joon and Lee Soo-yeon’s codependency on each other unnerving and unhealthy, and see no viable romantic connection between them.


Actually, I wish there was no romantic focus in the drama in general. There is so much to explore already with the pathologies of guilt, remorse, loss, anger, and vengeance experienced by the lead characters and their families, which is far more interesting and believable than the emotion of romantic love between Han Jung-woo and Lee Soo-yeon, and between Lee Soo-yeon and Kang Hyung-joon. The absence of a romantic focus would also alleviate some of my concerns with the way this drama is handling rape. But of course, what is a Korean drama without romance?

In addition, what is a Korean drama without evil villains? And how awful are the villains in this drama? So utterly one-dimensional in their selfishness, cruelty, and greed. How boring and rage-inducing!  Can we please get villains that don’t make me want to just skip their scenes for their irrelevance and rising of blood-pressure?

If there is no love, comfort, and safety in actual bloodlines in this drama, there is plenty in makeshift families. Han Jung-woo’s makeshift family is Missing You’s saving grace. Made up of Jung-woo, the mother of the girl he abandoned, and the daughter of the cop who made the girl the child of a murder, this family is a testament to the power of love and forgiveness. Han Jung-woo is a lucky character, surrounded by people who love and adore him, and make up for the absence of a proper father and mother. In addition to his half-sister, he has his partner, the other detective colleagues, and the cleaning lady who all understand and support him. I get through this drama because of these scenes of love and tenderness. These unexpected familial relationships are the writer’s strong points as I witnessed in her previous dramas, Smile, You and Can You Hear My Heart. I hope these relationship prove to be the stronghold of this drama and not just time fillers.


My favorite character is Han Jung-woo, brilliantly acted by Yeo Jin-gu and although less so by Park Yoo-chun, still interesting and multi-faceted. He is like the ocean, with both its shallow and deep end. Yeo Jin-gu’s portrayal of Han Jung-woo, the kid who ran away from his friend in a moment of fear and selfishness, left so much room for the viewer to understand his decision, rather than to simply hate his choice. Park Yoo-chun carries the guilt and remorse well into the adult stage of Jung-woo’s life, which as has been dominated and shaped by that split-second decision of a scared fifteen year-old.

To briefly comment on the acting of the leads, Park Yoo-chun sometimes acts like he is still doing Rooftop Prince but when he is not actively screaming, he is convincing as the affectionate, dogged, and damaged son, brother, and detective.  Admittedly, I have a bias towards Yoo-chun so while I might be annoyed in other cases of the awkwardness displayed in the acting, because it is my Chunface, I laugh at it good-heartedly.


I don’t have much to say about Yoon Eun-hye’s acting since it is competent, but not outstanding. As for Yoo Seung-ho, I like the boy, but the boy needs to play his age and get more experience so he can be convincing in the heavy roles he has been taking on these days. I don’t feel anything for the Lee Soo-yeon – Kang Hyung-joon relationship, not because of the age difference on principle, but because Yoo Seung-ho doesn’t have the gravitas or acting ability to “smolder.” Kang Hyung-joon would be a much more interesting character if Yoo Seung-ho was able to bring more layers to him but so far, all we get is what is written on paper. Where is the character interpretation and analysis, Yoo Seung-ho?

Bless you, Yeo Jin-gu and Kim So-hyun. You guys really made this drama relatable and bearable. Seriously, I would be driven crazy by the adult story of Han Jung-woo and Lee Soo-yeon if you guys hadn’t set me up to be so sympathetic to your characters.


Missing You is overall an interesting drama with lots of potential but I don’t have faith that it will live up to it. With my expectations lowered, this drama is an entertaining watch, even if the story itself is not of the fun kind. The story is compelling enough and I look forward to completing it, with my hair intact. Please, drama-gods, let me keep my hair!

43 Comments Post a comment
  1. Let’s hope you will keep your hair intact at the end of it. 🙂

    November 30, 2012
  2. This drama is weird for me. I kinda dont get where anyone is coming from. I mean I guess I do but I dont really feel for the characters. I agree the rape was unnecessary but I was willing to go with it. I was incredibly upset when Dect. Kim died. He was my fav character if this drama, and baby Eunjoo was awesome.

    I like the adult cast….kinda. I dont know. I feel like I should be more emotionally connected to the show but Im not. *pokes at it*

    Ah well. I have King of Dramas right now to make me happy. I will finish IMY because I am stubborn and while its not a fantastic drama for me. It hasnt greatly pissed me off yet.

    November 30, 2012
    • joonni #

      I think on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being love, I think I like this drama at a 6. So this keeps me from getting too angry with the show but I afraid where the revelation of Soo-yeon’s crime is going to take the story. Might be pulling my hair out then. I feel like I should dump this drama before that happens and I was so ready to say at ep7 that I am just watching this drama for Yoochun. Then ep8 happened and I don’t know why but it made me think I am in the show for the long-run. Nothing special about ep8, the usual stuff, but I think I’m watching now for more than my Chunface.

      November 30, 2012
  3. Pam #

    This drama sounds dark and scary! I don’t plan to watch it. Having the rape not critiqued would drive me crazy. Plus, I am hypersensitive to rape or domestic violence, as a former advocate for victims. Sorry, not touching this with a 10 foot pole.

    November 30, 2012
    • Wow, it’s awesome to know that you were once an advocate for domestic violence victims. I could have acquired your assistance when I was an intern at the District Attorney’s office. I had to deal with a lot of ‘vietnamese’ speaking victims of domestic violence. Sitting in court with them and listening to horrendous details of the abuse was very difficult and was so heavy for my heart. I was out of there so fast they didn’t even know which way the wind blew. Anyway, you did a good thing helping those victims:). I know it wasn’t an easy job. I’m proud of you, gutterbud **hugs**

      November 30, 2012
      • Pam #

        Thanks, gutterbud! Yeah, it’s terrible that countless women and children have to deal with domestic violence and abuse. I love watching Law and Order SVU now but couldn’t watch it for the longest time because I was too overly sensitized to those kinds of situations. You were an intern at the DA so are you a lawyer now, Gukja?

        November 30, 2012
        • No, I was an intern at the DA’s during my paralegal program. I was also a victim’s advocate during that time as well, hence, I was thinking that you could have been there to help me by going to court with the victims in my place back then…heehee.

          The paralegal program was a stepping stone for me as I had planned on going to law school, but changed my mind while working as a paralegal. All the lawyers I interned for and worked with were basically not decent ones. They either cheated the clients or didn’t fight for justice at all like I was delusional to believe that all lawyers would. Now, I’m only speaking from my experience. I’m sure there are good decent lawyers out there. It was unfortunate that I never met one that was. You can say I strongly decided to not go into that field after all, because of my experiences. I’m a paralegal by trade, but not a practicing one at the moment. I’m doing something completely different.

          November 30, 2012
        • joonni #

          After watching American shows like SVU deal with rape cases, it’s hard watching Korean shows deal with them.

          November 30, 2012
  4. Thanks for the post and your thoughts on MY, Daejang Joonni. I’m trying to start a new drama, so I can think less of Faith, but MY definitely sounds like too much tragedy up the wazoo for my taste. Like uri Daejang who wants to do a lighter project post Faith, I’m going to watch something lighter for my heart…just not sure which one yet.

    November 30, 2012
    • minozlove #

      I am also looking for something lighter to watch, something fun and with happy ending, cant bare that much pain after faith

      November 30, 2012
  5. supah #

    I’m with you girl, I was absolutely horrified reading through the recaps on Dramabeans. It could have explored the damaging effects of rape in a socially conscious way, but you’re right, it chooses to be an angst-ridden conventional melodramatic romance.
    I’m not actually watching the show, but I did check out the first episode and happy with my decision to have backed out when I did.

    November 30, 2012
    • supah #

      Oh, and I adore Lindt Lindor. This isn’t as gloriously satisfying, it’s more like erm, mouldy wasabi peas. *flees* Haha!

      November 30, 2012
      • joonni #

        HA! You’re probably right but my Chunface bias puts it closer to chocolate.

        November 30, 2012
    • joonni #

      I got spoilers about ep3 before I watched so I watched ep5-7 before I forced myself to watch ep3 so I could understand the drama as whole. By then, I had already prepared myself by lowering any sort of expectation for the rape to be handled properly in this drama. Korean society in general already doesn’t handle it properly and I would be foolish to expect this kind of drama to take the lead in making any social impact.

      November 30, 2012
  6. sb #

    I was actually surprised to see you’re watching this drama for all the “con” stuff you wrote! LOL! It’s exactly why I haven’t watched any of it and probably never will. I can’t stand, absolutely can’t stand evil 1-d villains. I can’t stand it when there’s one, let alone a bunch of them. So, what else are you watching to balance out all this angst? Did you continue with King or Can We Get Married?

    November 30, 2012
    • joonni #

      😀 That’s why it’s so sinful.

      I have King of Drama ready for a marathon but I am probably going to drop Can We Get Married. I can’t stand the mothers and I am so sick and tired of Korean dramas about marriage. It’s frustrating enough dealing with it in real life so why torture myself by watching it happen on screen.

      November 30, 2012
      • cho-euns #

        you dropped CWGM, oooh, and I was hoping to marathon it one of these days.
        I’d love to see Jung So Min again but I have doubts now after you said it’s frustrating. Well, I still have my full-house take 2 and King of dramas as well as Great Seer! **

        November 30, 2012
      • Chepie2 #

        Hi, Joonni! Maybe I’ll wait for your Drama King–recaps or comments?. Si Won’s my mom’s favorite Korean actor. If ever she’ll fangirl, it will be for him!! Ha ha ha! 😉 But loved him at OML w/ Chae Rim.

        Looks like everyone is finally (but slowwwly) movin’ on now after a month since Faith ended… Or are they really? I’m taking my own sweet time, too, by watching older dramas that I missed. Actually, I took my mom’s cue to watch Rooftop Prince then SKKS. Your “Chunface” is cute, isn’t he? But now I want to hear his singing voice, too. And Ah In is hot! So much for second leads. 😉 I’m guessing my mom will want to watch Missing You when she finds out that Micky or PYC is in it.

        Thanks for the update. GBU

        December 1, 2012
  7. Missy #

    Haven’t seen it though I plan to as soon as King of Dramas & Can We Get Married are over, so I can properly focus.
    Oh! Do you guys know that this show will air here in America? I read it on Soompi a few days ago that the producers & creators of the show are shopping around for a proper production team to air it out here. The only catch: It will with dubbed. I don’t like dubbed live action shows, but I think this could open the doors for more KDramas to be aired on tv with subtitles.
    What do you all think about this?

    November 30, 2012
    • minozlove #

      Faith will be aired in US?

      November 30, 2012
      • joonni #

        She is talking about Missing You.

        November 30, 2012
        • minozlove #

          I see, thank you for clarifying

          November 30, 2012
    • joonni #

      I am pretty horrified by this news. First, Missing You is not the best drama to showcase for a wider appeal to an international audience. Second, I hate dubbed shows. Finding good dubs are rare and the fact that I already know what these actors all sound like is another obstacle to any appreciation for the dubbing.

      November 30, 2012
      • Missy #

        True, but they’re going off of the ratings & MY has some pretty high ratings right now. I’m just glad they didn’t say they’d dub Faith lol I’d be super upset about that.
        I do hope it’s dubbed good & it won’t turn off audiences. I don’t like dubbed shows that aren’t cartoons either, but I think it’s a pretty good marketing tool for the KDrama industry.

        November 30, 2012
    • minozlove #

      Do you like King of Drama?

      November 30, 2012
      • Missy #

        I’m loving that show. As much as I dislike Anthony, I’m not sure if I want him to succeed or fail. I just want Lee Go-Eun to succeed so I guess Anthony has to as well lol
        That’s one show I recommend, it’s really good. I am anxious for the next episode, it’s sure to be good. I was hoping Joonni would review it so I can discuss it somewhere lol Can We Get Married is also a good one, once you get over the fast talking. The story line is realistic & I love the couples and their stories. But both mothers aggravate me, I love the aunt though.

        November 30, 2012
        • cho-euns #

          I’m loving it too, now I don’t know why i’m loving it, there’s no romance yet.
          It seems Anthony is not interested of LGU , so im; not sure who are the OTP in this drama. I love the actor portraying Anthony but I hate his character Anthony, he is just lucky to have good people in his side or else he will never rise again.
          And i’m with you I just want to LGE to succeed. I want to watch CWGM, if the mothers are annoying, then I’ll just ff their scenes. YAY!

          November 30, 2012
          • Missy #

            Watching it, I believe that Anthony will fall for Go-Eun, he’s changing little by little. He may still be a jerk, but he seems to have a heart when it comes to her. I think because she doesn’t take his crap & will tell him what she thinks even if he doesn’t ask. He looked genuinely worried when she was hit by the car.He’s becoming a softy, he just doesn’t realize it yet. I think she is starting to like him as well, she gives off subtle hints. I like how the writer didn’t incorporate an immediate love triangle, but they gave little hints as who it could be between. Anthony’s ex Min-Ah seems like she doesn’t love him, she’s just a tad obsessed. It’s almost as if she can’t handle not being wanted.
            As far as CWGM, the mother’s story lines are important to the drama. They are annoying, but the lead couple’s actions have been based off of the mothers. I’m enduring it, it’s only 6 episodes left in the series anyways.

            December 1, 2012
  8. quirkstine #

    Amen, Daejang Joonni! I haven’t watched any episode, preferring to just read the recaps and it’s probably gonna stay that way for MY’s entire run. I found the rape scene horrific just reading about it. How much more if I actually watched it?

    I hatehatehate the fact that the writer included rape in the narrative. I agree with you that writer-nim didn’t have to violate LSY that way. As if the trauma of being abandoned by her first love AFTER getting beaten to a bloody pulp trying to rescue him wasn’t enough.

    Writer-nim also handled the aftermath of the rape quite poorly. Social commentary aside, it would’ve been fascinating dissecting the psyche of the 3 psychologically scarred leads but so far only JW is connecting with me. I wish SY and HJ were more fleshed out as characters. Especially HJ. I ‘get’ why he might want revenge but something just doesn’t click.

    I’ve only seen YEH and YSH interact in gifs but I thought they had chemistry. They make a cute couple.

    As for Yoochun, he’s not doing too bad considering he’s an idol-actor and, well, I can’t deny the man is cute.

    November 30, 2012
    • joonni #

      Yoochun is trying and sometimes he succeeds and sometimes he overacts. But at least he is trying. Can’t say the same for YSH. At least there is sincerity in Yoochun’s acting in every moment but not that much in YSH’s, so Jung-woo is “alive” with every other character he is partnered with while Hyung-joon bores me to death. YSH is mostly posing his way through his character, playing the surface emotion with none of the complexity. That’s why I don’t see any connection between YEH and YSH’s characters, at least any that is convincing to me.

      November 30, 2012
  9. Well said! I’m not against writing in the rape because, these situations are real, but how it’s dealt with afterwars as if SY/Zoe has to pick herself up and heal and get a new identity to absolutely forget it’s happened and so forth, it is inconcievable. And I’m so ffing the scenes when that assailant/partner in crime of rapist dare to show face and make all the wails as if the world is robbed of a saint. Of course I’m not condoning murder, if it’s a fresh murder case of a few days old of a CHILD RAPIST, why is it all over the news and Cop ajjusshi made it a mission to show competency of department shushing naysayers of the public’s anguish over the murder not YET solved?! They r allocating a handful of cops on it already. Does it make an aota of sense the public with be this outraged?!?!
    And this is not Chunbiased, I do not understand why because he’s a burgeoned victim, a witness of a horrific rape of his bff/first crush is as traumatic emotional as the physical wound, Yes he’s scared, and he left, but I would jump first to he’s looking for help and we can see he was, and not reading his proclamation of he ran off because he’s a coward and scared being so overwhelmed by the trauma and guilt when he uttered it. Why are we all accusing him as if he’s committed sth equivalent to rape? Yes he abandoned her but it’s not intentional, SY should have an idea now he didn’t mean to just vey for his own safety running for his life without a thought of her.

    Argh. I can go on and on about it. But this is old school standard Kmelo. I guess I should count it as a ‘blessing’ they r not blood siblings at this point.

    November 30, 2012
    • joonni #

      Yup, I don’t object to rape being put into Kdrama stories per se but there is so much ignorance to realistic social and personal issues. Soo-yeon’s rape is solely used for the push the personal revenge story and it’s so irresponsible of the writer to portray Soo-yeon’s trauma and pain in this manner. Has she or YEH done any research into rape victims??? It annoys me more because the writer is a woman. What the hell, seriously.

      It makes me so angry that there were no competent adults to help JW and talk some sense into him about his guilt. There is just no communication of any sort in this drama really, just people talking past each other.

      Must not think to hard about this drama so I can finish it. 😀 I wouldn’t be watching it if I didn’t care so much about JW and his little family.

      November 30, 2012
  10. SH #

    Thanks for the update on Missing You. I only saw Ep. 3, and some parts of Ep. 5; too bad the writer doesn’t want to explore that sexual assault issue from a contemporary societal perspective. And I agree with you on YSH’s performance (granted my judgement is just based on bits and pieces of Ep. 5). I just don’t see the chemistry between him and YEH. I know he will grow hotter in a few years 😀 but as of now, he’s still a boy “acting” as a grown up. This sounds a bit superficial, but when he looked at YEH, I felt like he was squinting (trying to look smoldering). I haven’t seen any of Yoochun’s dramas besides SKKS, but I have to say I love the way he acted in that last scene of Ep. 5.

    P.S. I love YEH’s outfits in this show. She’s so beautiful and those clothes, I want!

    November 30, 2012
    • joonni #

      This sounds a bit superficial, but when he looked at YEH, I felt like he was squinting (trying to look smoldering).
      Yup, he did not smolder at all. You see, I think YSH is capable of smoldering but only with someone his own age. He doesn’t have the acting ability yet to surpass the limitations of his age.

      YEH does look beautiful but her bright lipstick is so alarming. I suppose that is the point, in contrast to her pale face, but it’s JUST SO BRIGHT.

      November 30, 2012
      • cho-euns #

        speaking of lipstick, I read somewhere about melo dramas used of bright lipstick to add emphasis to the seriousness of the drama genre that they said cosmetics manufacturers should name bright orange or red lipsticks as melodrama lipstick.

        November 30, 2012
        • jomo #

          I said that!
          I think for lip and nail colors: (You get a lot more options with nail colors.)
          First Kiss
          First Love

          December 3, 2012
  11. Wow, such a great post! You said it perfectly! The ramifications of each tragic event isn’t allowed to add up or to play through to a conclusion. The drama doesn’t really go deep or vertically or organically into the emotional consequences of each bad thing that happens’ it just adds more bad things. Granted, sometimes people do get all kinds of bad things happening to them so I can accept one character being assailed by a series of horrible stuff but the writer doesn’t seem to be exploring them in a very organic way.

    December 1, 2012
  12. Gosh! It’s like watching an hour of SVU but times however many episodes they intend to shoot! It’s so tiring but don’t worry, my hair is all here. I am now about to watch Ep9 and I am still not liking it but oddly drawn to it. I have hated a few scenes here and there and even have chosen to fast forward to escape it. You watch it further hoping for a sweet moment but then the writer/director throws you back again and reminds you again of the hurt and past. It’s a bloody roller coaster! I am not sure if I will drop it but if I do, I am sure to let you know.

    December 6, 2012
  13. Love #

    Reblogged this on What The Korean?.

    December 27, 2012
  14. zee #

    I just started to watch this drama and I like it. It addresses a lot of issues in society, the abusive alcoholic father, abusive mother, the rape, the father that ignores his son and on. I have cried a lot it is emotionally draining, the only funny moments are between the cop and his partner calling him “wife”. I loved “Roof Top Prince” which is the reason I chose to watc h this one, the main actor

    January 2, 2013
  15. Dreico #

    that means it not a good to watch, coz I’m a sucker of happily ever after minus the rape of course

    January 15, 2013
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