If a couple of weeks ago you told me this would be the type of article I’d write, I’d say you were crazy but here we are.
As the tradition goes on this website, since I’ve been watching “Doom At Your Service” and finished the first half, a spoiler-review is in order.
Before I begin discussing my personal thoughts I’d like to clarify that the issues I have deal with the script precisely, it is not meant to be a dig at the actors in any shape or form. I appreciate everyone’s hard work but I am here to discuss my thoughts on the script direction and what has transpired thus far. This is not a hate article.
Also, this is a personal-opinion article and isn’t meant to represent what every kdrama fans thinks of this drama.
And lastly, by disappointing, I don’t mean downright terrible but that the drama hasn’t lived up to my expectations of it.
Let us begin to discuss where it went wrong for me
1The idea of a deity
You know what hurts? When you have a great concept and an interesting take on the fantasy genre surrounding such topics but you choose to go down the route “Doom At Your Service” went.
Ever since the beginning, the drama set itself apart and while it was similar to many hit fantasy dramas with similar premises, the ideas it focused on and brought up at the start were uniquely personal to them, so there was definitely hope.
The concept of deity and how the human desire brings the deity to help out those who need it and to answer prayers were well down but this is where the nice things end and we begin with the annoying.
The young girl deity is a deity, after all, she’s a god and by definition, gods know what’s up, it doesn’t matter what your take on the concept is, a god is still someone who is always aware of everything that happens to all of us, they know of our desires and fears. This is why the deity became a very frustrating character. She sets him up to go see her and then they fall in love, so if the deity knew everything and knows what will come, how on earth is she surprised things aren’t going her way?why is she trying to punish him knowing well how miserable he is and how susceptible to influence he could be?
Myul Mang is miserable doing this job and wants to end it all, you can say he’s suicidal which isn’t far-fetched considering just how much misery he’s subjected to, if he sees someone who would show a slight interest in him, it’s not unlikely he’d also want to experience all sorts of emotions, fall in love and feel ‘normal’.
Even if he’s an asshole and wants to use her to end himself, shouldn’t that possibility have been expected by the deity? If she’s a deity why is she behaving like a human who also makes lapse in judgment and errors?
I don’t mind annoying characters and there has to be a villain in this story too, I also honestly have to side with the deity here on why doom shouldn’t die but damn it, the way she goes about is not written well at all.
2A confusing idea- is Dong Kyung going to die or what?
So in this section, I want to discuss Dong Kyung’s fate in three months and how I am still confused to this day on what exactly will happen. Now, it could be that I am wrong, so please educate me in the comments section if you know the answer but hear me out first to understand why I am confused.
I still don’t understand whether Dong Kyung will die or not, at first, I thought the idea was deliberately confusing and still need time to evolve. So what happened was she brought up doom by wishing it on everybody, then she got into an accident where she would’ve lost her life but doom saved her, thus, now they’re bind by a contract that says she must wish for something before she dies, among what they agreed on was how he’ll make sure she doesn’t feel pain until she dies.
But here is where it gets confusing!
So if she finishes her time on earth and she doesn’t make a wish, she’ll lose the one person who is the dearest to her. Are we on the same page thus far? Cool, let us move on.
This is where things become confusing. At times, I could swear to god the screenwriter alludes to the fact that if she makes a wish before she dies, she won’t die… or if she falls in love with doom himself and refuses to make a wish still, he’ll die and thus, the other person she cares the most about won’t die…..
So is she dying or not? Will she truly pass away in 3 months?
I am writing this but I am still confused. I don’t understand what the screenwriter means. Doom keeps saying he’ll make sure she survives, but dude, she has terminal cancer? She speaks as if she manages to fall for him successfully and then not wish for anything, she will not die…
This is frustrating because I don’t understand. I know I am not the only one who feels this here but on the other hand, there are also a lot of people who appear to understand the concept…. It is still confusing to me and you can tell it’s not being explained properly because they keep going back and forth which brings me to my next point.
We’re 8 episodes in but I swear to god, there is almost no plot development. I can fit every single important revelation or plot point in less than 1 hour, so the remaining 7 hours feel unjustified to me.
At first, their bickering over whether she should fall for him or not was fine and cute but then it quickly became annoying.
The idea that she should love him to ‘save’ herself is actually brilliant, it not like she’s got much to lose anyway so might as well fall in love before she dies.
The same scene where he tells her she can’t love him and she insists she will gets repeated about 7 to 10 times, I am sure it is more than 7. I counted up to 7 before giving up on the rest. The same scene, same plot points and almost the same sentences get repeated almost every episode from episode 3, this is frustrating.
Each episode from episode 3 they’d bicker, and stop talking to each other, then he’d cool down and return acting all sweet, he says she should love him and its okay, then he can tell she’s leaning in that direction, he foils and says she shouldn’t, but she says she will. Rinse and repeat x7
I know, I know, you’ll say ‘jasmine, well Doom can’t believe anyone would fall for him’ and I agree with that, but guys, I don’t think we need to hear him say it so many times. If he’s attempting to convince her otherwise and it failed, does it look like he should try again?
She’s obviously bold because she’s dying in three months, what’s not getting into his head? He is also very smart and can see ahead so it doesn’t even fit, if the screenwriter had approached this from a more humane standpoint about how he feels undeserving of love because of his identity then cool, that’s a very nice way to look at it.
And what annoys me, even more, is that you can tell they love each other from episode 3 already so this entire bickering feels very annoying and rather a tactic to mess with audiences’ hearts in a game of push and pull rather than actually attempting to use it to advance the story.
This makes me wonder if you can’t write content for 16 episodes, why do you agree to it? Such a drama plot judging by how its been progressing should’ve been scaled down to 10.
We’re done with the first half and I honestly can count on my five fingers all the important things that happened thus far. 8 hours of content and this is all we’ve got. Added to that, its cliché in many parts. Usually, if its not taking itself seriously then its cool, but its taking itself so seriously yet some of the lines make me cringe so hard.
4It became boring
Because of the confusion and the repetitiveness, I began to lose interest. “Doom At Your Service” was honestly among my top five most anticipated kdramas of 2021. I thought the pairing was amazing and the casting was also amazing and I was dying to see it.
You could say I set the bar too high and I agree, maybe if I had walked in with low expectations then this might’ve not happened.
I try to stay level-headed and be rational when reviewing kdramas but I was still excited about this because I love the actors in the project.
I know people will come here with very defensive attitudes, and I ask you this, would you have been this defensive if the lead actors were actors you didn’t know?
I think the reason many tuned in is because of the cast. Seo In Guk and Park Bo Young seriously make a cute pair and you can tell they enjoy each other’s company. Their chemistry is amazing and they’re literally doing everything they can to make this work.
I understand the ratings. It has gone down to 2% [domestic ratings] and I can see why. There isn’t enough content to go by aside from how dreamy everyone looks and how they have good chemistry together.
I like the actors in this project but even if I do, I won’t sugarcoat it and say something is written well when its not in my opinion.
I’ve seen countless of fantasy dramas and have seen similar scenarios play out similarly, I was expecting this was going to be something different judging by how it carried itself and how it approached certain topics interestingly.
5The love triangle
This is a point I feel many will understand. It’s been a fear of mine since episode 1 but it manifested and here we are. The love triangle; if you can even call it that; hasn’t even begun yet. Added to that, the three other leads feel like they’re in a drama of their own which is very jarring, what is the screenwriter thinking?
At first, I was like ‘maybe, they’ll collide,’ because otherwise, it wouldn’t make sense. Some of you will say ‘but jasmine, many kdramas are like that,’ the issue here is that there is a huge discrepancy between the two worlds that they don’t intersect at all. One is very much about fantasy and gods and the other is about average everyday people.
By pure comparison, those average people aren’t even 20% nearly as interesting as whats going on with doom and Dong Kyung. Those two guys want to challenge the gods and then you switch to a petty love triangle about two men who can’t say what they feel. Do you get me? The level of complixity is very different and thus, it appears jarring.
They rarely collide and when they do it feels hallow. As if the screenwriter just added it to remind you these people exist in the same world.
Not only that, but the three other leads air time is very low, they barely appear and feel like extras. I expect more for Lee Soo Hyuk, Shin Do Hyun and Kang Tae Oh. You could do so much with such interesting characters, especially Lee Soo Hyuk who could easily be on the same level as doom if he could see it for what it is.
They’ve barely began to move towards that love triangle, in most other kdramas the love triangles are usually about to wrap up by episode 10.
I suspect, the actual plot begins next week and I also suspect one of them will mostly likely die. My bet is doom, because she has people who care for her and he’ll look at it from that angle too, besides his love for her.
I also suspect that the trio will also become aware of the situation with Dong Kyung but it’ll come later in the series.
This is my judgment of “Doom At Your Service” thus far, it could definitely change for the better or worse if I continue to watch it next week. I’ll just say this, I am no longer excited for next week’s episodes…
So these are my thoughts on “Doom At Your Service”, so what about you guys? did you like the episodes? let me know what you thought in the comment section below.