“Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol” is probably one of the most talked about Korean rom-coms of 2020; it boasts a great cast and marks the first ever leading role for the rising actor Lee Jae Wook, an actor who despite being a rookie, has captured the hearts of many fans around the world.
With a cast that’s this promising and a screenwriter who worked on the hit drama “Terius Behind Me,” a lot of people expected it to be a smooth ride, but was it?
Today, I am here to review “Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol” and discuss why I believe it was a wasted opportunity.
Note: this is a subjective review. I will share my personal opinion while keeping in mind how others might perceive it.
Rom-coms and the issue with them
This title above might’ve already triggered some kdrama fans, as a woman myself, I used to enjoy rom-coms a lot, but I am also the type that gets bored easily and with this genre, I got bored fast.
Aside from my thoughts on it, the genre itself is an exhausted genre, every single thing you could probably think of for a rom-com has been done at least a thousand time already.
This comes with its own set of limitations because people have higher expectations for even rom-coms more than they used to in the past.
“Crashing Landing on You” which aired earlier this year was a rom-com at heart but also about a dangerous mission to bring back a south Korean woman home, it was dramatic in its own right and without the North Korean part, the drama would’ve hardly made 10% of the same impact it has.
This means that Korean screenwriters feel the need to include a lot of things in their rom-coms to make them stand out and it feels that screenwriter Oh Ji Young felt the need to also do that, but it backfired and resulted in one of the most odd messy kdrama scripts of 2020. Let’s talk about the script.
I am not going to stand here and nitpick at what makes a rom-com, I know their limitations, but even so, with the right script and actors, you can still do well even with simpl-er scripts. I had okay expectations going in but they were crushed early on.
We’ll talk about Go Ara later but now to focus on the script and screenwriter Oh Ji Young because what I am most curious about is what went on in her mind while she wrote this.
While people liked “Terius Behind Me,” I thought it had a ridiculous messy plot, it won the best script at the MBC awards which honestly shocked me at the time, but okay, it was expected because the drama was a hit.
The feeling I get with screenwriter Oh Ji Young is that she loves making spectaculars but doesn’t think things through, she might think an idea is suitable at the time but she doesn’t consider what follows after she implements the said idea/s, and this makes for a very confusing watching experience.
While I was watching “Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol” I was confused, I didn’t know what she was going for, she wanted this and that and it all felt all over the place, do you want this drama to be centered on self-growth and self-love or do you want it to be a rom-com?
I felt that she felt conflicted and tried to connect two ideas that should work together weirdly by taking the hard way. Why would you purposefully make things uncomfortable for the viewers when you can write it an easier way? I honestly don’t understand why she’d done what she’d done, why?
The thing is, she set up the story oddly, I don’t want to get into details since this is spoiler-free, but I found the story choices to be rather short-sighted and shallow at times. I don’t know if she intended that but it came out that way in my opinion.
Added to that, some of the dialogue the characters have is very….. childish and illogical, sometimes, especially towards the end, it felt like the characters uttered things they shouldn’t say simply because the script says so.
The cast and performances
Let’s start with Lee Jae Wook who is the star of the show alongside Kim Joo Hun.
I’ve been following Lee Jae Wook since his first role, I think he’s a good actor, has a handsome face and charisma. He will be HUGE one day.
This isn’t only coming from me, everyone around me in the kdrama community believes so and I think that despite his rookie status, he seriously carried the drama on his back, had it been another actor who might’ve not liked the way the script was written, we might’ve seen different results.
Lee Jae Wook doesn’t feel like a rookie, he never felt like one. And even when the character had to utter ridiculous over the top lines, he made them work. His acting, and his charisma really helped keep the conversation going regarding this drama.
But maybe… just maybe, it wasn’t his time yet to lead a drama. I don’t want to make assumptions but I am curious to why he chose this, I really wanted to know, did he pick the script knowing how the first half would unfold or not? Because if he picked it knowing that, maybe he needs to play the second leading roles for some more time.
This has nothing to do with his acting; it’s more about the ability to pick the right projects which isn’t easy either. This wasn’t the drama he needed at this point in his career.
Kim Joo Hun has also been the center of attention in 2020, he’s also an amazing actor who’s been around for some time but is now blowing up. I also thought he deserved better than this character, he can for sure get better.
He suited his character so well and was just so damn cool.
Now onto Go Ara.
I don’t think she’s a terrible actress; my friends seem to be split on her acting abilities and I’ve noticed the same with the kdrama community. I think she’s good but not for every character.
She played a younger character but to me, it felt like she truly struggled to embody the character well. I don’t understand why they picked a 30-year-old actress to play someone who is in her early twenties… not that its wrong, but did we run out of actors to play roles around their age?
At times, Go Ara’s performance felt very childish as if she wasn’t even convinced in what she was uttering. As the show progressed she got better because the character grew as well and matured, but in my opinion, she didn’t have what it takes to capture that character make it her own.
Some actors are fit to play such characters even if they’re 30 or 35 but I don’t know if Go Ara was the right choice.
I am also curious as to why she chose this project… why? It’s not special, it’s not groundbreaking, it’s not over-the-top, and at this point in her career, she needed something more impactful, not this.
Shin Eun Soo was great in her role, she is a good actress and will grow up to be big one day.
Other than that, I think every actor did well in this drama.
Should I watch this drama?
“Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol” was an okay drama. Now depending on your taste, expectations and knowledge of the cast, the way you perceive it will change drastically.
If you’re the logical type who is critical even if they like an actor (which is totally ok, it is what I do), then this might not be the drama for you.
If you’re a sucker for rom-coms, you’ll probably like this and even if you might have some issues with its plot, you will still fall for the characters charms and the sweet atmosphere around it.
If you’re a huge fan of anyone in the cast but not such a huge fan of rom-coms, give it a go, if you really like the actors, you might end up enjoying it a lot.
“Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol” overall felt like a wasted opportunity, a screenwriter who wants to create buzz but takes the hard way making fans confused in the process. It had its sweet heartbreaking and heartwarming moments, but it also had many messy illogical and confusing points too.
So these are my thoughts on “Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol,” have you guys seen it yet?