Melting Me Softly: Episodes 9-10 Open Thread
Ladies and gentlemen, it’s the moment Melting Me Softly has been priming us for, working towards, and dying to show us: two people desperately in love who can’t do more than touch each other’s foreheads. While the surrounding circumstances are silly, it’s every drama’s dream to be able to justify (and perpetuate) longing and desire — and here’s how Melting Me Softly handled it.
EPISODES 9-10 WEECAP
Romance is the name of the game this week, and after Dong-chan’s pseudo-confession at last week’s cliffhanger, the two go out for ice cream. Dong-chan gets her vanilla, since he doesn’t know what she likes, but they wind up switching already-licked ice cream cones, which gets them both hot and bothered. Actually, hot and bothered is the theme of our episodes this week, and Melting Me Softly is sparing no expense to show us that.
Sexual tension and a roadblock that prevents it from being expressed/acted on is a pretty common storytelling device, especially here in dramaland. Without it, there would be no drama. Normally, we’re used to seeing this tension because of circumstances like, say, the person is dating someone else, their family disapproves, or they have a complicated relationship where the past mucks up their future together (name any drama and you have a 98% chance these dynamics will be a part of it). In other words: dramas love romantic tension. And who am I to argue?
However, Melting Me Softly takes this to an all-new level, where the passion between Dong-chan and Mi-ran is prevented solely by their body temperature problem. I liked this conundrum early on — it was explainable, relatable, and almost tangible, thanks to all the attention the drama placed on showing how hot these two run, and how dangerous it is when their body temperatures climb.
This week, though, it was a bit too strong. For Dong-chan to tearfully appeal to Professor Hwang (just recovered from his amnesia + haircut) to save them so they could safely consummate their love… umm. Their love story doesn’t have the epic dimensions required to hold down a scene like that — they’re more the cute bickering workplace rom-com couple than the sweeping Romeo and Juliet the show wants me to root for. Perhaps if these two had more of a history, and less of a summer romance feel, I could get behind the angst a bit more?
The romantic angst doesn’t stop there, though. This week Mi-ran finds out that cutie pie hoobae HWANG JI-HOON (Choi Bo-min) is Byung-shim and Young-sun’s son. Poor boy. He goes from a puppy dog quivering with excitement to see her, to finding out that she was (is?) his father’s first love. That killed that.
Dong-chan kills a love line too, when he confirms quite blatantly that he no longer has feelings for Ha-young. It’s supposed to be a “cruel to be kind” moment, but I don’t know — if I had Ji Chang-wook look me in the eyes and say, “I don’t love you” I would probably sob in my bed that night too.
Another big drop that proved anticlimactic this week was Mi-ran getting exposed as the second participant in the cryogenics experiment (gee, I wonder who exposed her?). This reveal shocks the workplace and the world for about a minute, but then Mi-ran solves it all with a well-written appeal via Instagram, and gets the public sentiment behind her.
This entire conflict lasts for a total of six minutes in the drama, and I’m not sure why it wasn’t either more important, or less. However, I like when dramas reference the power of social media and public opinion… I only wish they did it in a more realistic way here. It’s never been more important for hate commenting and cyber bullying to be addressed.
While the romance and romantic problems between our leads are the main concern of the episodes, we do uncover a bit more this week about the cryogenics experiment. Our resident baddie (Kim Beob-rae) captures and threatens Professor Hwang, telling him to destroy the lab and the rest of the people in cryosleep. His reason for this is that he has been filling the shoes of the chaebol in cryosleep, since he’s his doppelgänger or twin or something…. yawn.
Kim Beob-rae actually plays a fantastic villain capable of exuding shady vibes from his mere skin (see: the vile mayor he’s currently playing in Secret Boutique), so it’s a shame this plot line isn’t more compelling, or that the drama isn’t more generous to his talents. But I guess I could say that for most of the leading actors here — I’ve liked them all better elsewhere, and they’ve all been better elsewhere. But that being said, everyone is still putting his/her all into this drama, and that’s something I can always respect.
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