The Kdrama “Happiness” Episode 1 And 2 Review- A Promising Start But Is It Gripping Enough?

Published Categorized as Kdrama Reviews

tvN’s newest kdrama is here! “Happiness” aired its first episodes this weekend and I am here to discuss my thoughts on it.

It feels like it’s been ages since I’ve seen him, Park Hyung Sik is finally back and I am so excited to see him after a long time. He’s joined by the beautiful Han Hyo Joo who has also been absent from TV for a while, to top it off, one of my favorite ahjussi actor Jo Woo-Jin is a part of the cast.

Note: this will be a spoiler review of the said episodes in the title. This is a subjective review.

“Happiness” was a kdrama I was excited for, so how did the premiere end up being? Hint, fun but not gripping enough. Let me explain.

“Happiness” theme is pretty standard, the only unique thing, in this case, is that its been made into a kdrama. Korean content revolving around zombies has been around for a while and there is a plethora of great content to pick from and it will take “Happiness” a lot to find its footing among the sea of great Korean content in relation to this theme.

The premiere was pretty standard, I was slightly underwhelmed as I had expected it to carry a bigger impact, a more bang so to speak, I was slightly surprised by how ‘normal’ and standard it was.

This doesn’t mean it wasn’t fun, but the thing is, it wasn’t gripping enough.

If I had stumbled upon this drama without being particularly a fan of any of the people involved in this project, then the premiere would be considered easily forgettable which is a shame.

The theme of zombies or ‘humans’ eating flesh has been explored well beyond any of our wildest dreams. “Happiness” hints at the likelihood that its a disease caused by a pharmaceutical company which reminds me of resident evil- a bit. Not that they’re similar in any other way.

During the premiere, “Happiness” feels like it doesn’t really take itself seriously enough in certain areas, the beats in which the drama gets carried are odd and the way the characters behave is very… odd and nonchalant. Han Hyo Joo’s character is particularly odd, I don’t know how to feel about it yet, she seems nonchalant and easy-going, but it also feels a bit superficial. Also, the way people react to a possible human-eating flesh outbreak is very… weird… Why isn’t this a bigger deal? I mean in relation to the our on-screen couple, I expect more angst and fear but their reactions are unexpected.

If I could describe the “Happiness” premiere, it would be that it was a vanilla-flavored zombie thriller. It is not scary, in my opinion, but I watch a lot of horror so I am not exactly the person to advise you on that. Considering how masterful Koreans are at crafting thrillers, I expected a better premiere.

I was not pleased with the ‘contract marriage’ proposal at all because it doesn’t really match with the drama’s heavy theme, but I understand why the screenwriter has done this. This will make for many interesting scenes in the future.

I think had the premiere been more hard-hitting and fast-paced, it would’ve been better, because even if it did slow down in the coming episodes, at least the introduction was so exciting and an adrenaline rush that it left an impact. There would be also so much content to go through as a result of the premiere. Judging by the premiere, I expect it to get crazier in the coming episodes.

None of the lead characters leave a lasting impression on me despite their introductions which could become a point of concern later on.

Luckily for us, “Happiness” is only 12 episodes long which is always good news in my opinion because it means less filler time, however, considering how repetitive this premise is, it could also become rather dull quickly too. It will be interesting to see if the screenwriter can make this drama into something worth discussing about.

And a side comment, I like how cute Hyung Sik and Hyo Joo are together, they make for a cute couple.

So far, “Happiness” is enjoyable. Let us see how it pans out.

What did you guys think of “Happiness” premiere?

Whats your reaction to this article?

By Jass K.

Hi, I am Jass k. I discuss some of the hottest currently airing kdramas on this site in form of reviews an/or recaps, join me in the discussion~


  1. I agree that the writers took a light approach to such theme, it’s more an entertaining zombie story, than an apocalyptic one. But so far I am watching the drama and after the first 2 episodes I plan to keep on watching. What I like is that they brought in so many good movie actors. Han Hyo Joo, Jo Woo Jin, Lee Kyu Hyung (who was playing Sae Bom’s colleague in the first 2 episodes), Lee Joon Hyuk – they all have acted in more movies than dramas, so they are used to fast pace. In a movie you don’t have time to stay long with a character, you have to sort of unwrap the characters from the first dialogue. So the acting is good even with a not perfect story. It is not the case with Hyung Shik, who doesn’t have a lot of experience and only did a limited number of dramas. He is cute and stuff and I like watching dramas with him, but I clearly see the difference in level. Sometimes his reactions are not totally in sync with others, or the way he says things is subdued or sort of shy, not so convincing. But he has a lot of potential and I am sure he’ll improve. I agree, the contract marriage proposal was out of the blue and seemed ridiculous to me and unrealistic, hopefully it will serve the purpose later on. Still, looking forward to watching the next 2 episodes and see how the story is unfolds.

  2. Finally someone with real review.. i love hyungsik but it looks like someone forced him to act in the drama. His eyes are dead and expressions as well. I loved his acting in the strong woman do bong soon when bong soon was tied up with a bomb.. he showed more thrill and action in those scenes..
    Plus the actress is making weird face and trying hard for no reason.. she is trying to look like angelina jolie for no reason. Plus why her hair are open in every scene.. someone get her a hair tie..
    This drama is more like a sad couple story trapped in zombie situation than some zombie thriller.

  3. This drama is so poorly written and acted weird. I used to like PHS in the Heir but now he looks overweight. I used to like HHJ but she looks plain in here, with frumpy clothes and messy hair. Not sure if this story is going anywhere. No one is scared of the zombies. Why HHJ and PHS acting like Rambo, like they are untouchables?

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.