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Let Me Be Your Knight: Episodes 1-12 (Series review)

Our latest idol romance has wrapped up, and the ratings are in. It’s not pretty, folks, but surely no one is surprised that a reverse harem drama about a woman posing as a doctor in an idol house would flop, right?

 
SERIES REVIEW

I knew I was going to have mixed feelings about this drama the moment IN YOON-JOO (Jung In-sun) assumed her twin sister’s identity and pretended to be a doctor. I’ve never enjoyed romance stories that begin under false pretenses, but this drama takes it an extra cringey step further by having the leading lady pose as an expert on sleepwalking. Although the lie begins due to mistaken identity rather than a malicious plot, to pass as a medical professional and infiltrate the idol house it still doesn’t sit right with me. Also, in a way, the inadvertent message of this drama is that an untrained Candy can replace a skilled professional with the right amount of self-edification and Google-fu.

So what kept me watching this drama despite my distaste for a primary plot device? Mmmmm… masochism? Just kidding. But I legitimately think it was sheer stubbornness — and the K-pop bromance — that kept me coming back each week. Sadly, like many K-pop-themed dramas, Let Me Be Your Knight was another disappointment packaged in a catchy OST, and I found myself looking forward to the end of each episode so I could hear “Beautiful Breakup” (the outro and my favorite song from the soundtrack).

Plus, it seemed like all the interesting stuff was saved for the last fifteen minutes of each episode, which made Let Me Be Your Knight feel like a webdrama that had been stretched too thin. The additional stories about LUNA’s band members felt thrown in like side quests in a dating simulator. Each idol has his own story arc, and you get to pick your bias based on which troubled backstory pulls at your heartstrings the most!

WOO GA-ON (Kim Dong-hyun) is the maknae of the group who was bullied in high school but found a sense of belonging after joining LUNA. KIM YOO-CHAN (Yoon Ji-sung) may be the oldest member of the band, but he’s immature and struggles to put his helicopter mother in her place. LEE SHIN (JR) is caught up in an illicit noona romance with a struggling divorced actress ten years his senior, and SEO WOO-YEON (Jang Dong-joo) — in typical nice guy fashion — falls for the leading lady but respectfully steps back when he realizes she and his best friend have fallen for each other.

No matter which idol you pick, though, all roads lead to YOON TAE-IN (Jun), the leader of the LUNA, because — at the end of the day — this drama is about his love story with Yoon-joo. Unfortunately, it’s not a very convincing romance because Tae-in’s attraction to Yoon-joo is rooted in the idea that she’s his muse: the cure for his writer’s block and sleepwalking. It’s a superficial reason to fall in love with someone, a notion that is only heightened by the fact that he literally has no clue about her real identity.

Admittedly, the two of them did spend some meaningful time together and shared some heartfelt conversations, which would presumably lead to an emotional connection and romance. And yet… their walk along the beach and poetic talk about sunsets felt downright platonic.

I think a large part of this is due to the fact that Yoon-joo is consistently portrayed as a caretaker. When she isn’t pretending to be Tae-in’s doctor, she’s dishing out advice to the other young band members and breaking up their internal squabbles. She acts as their unofficial den mother, which only emphasizes the fact that she’s older than all of them, including Tae-in.

I don’t normally have an issue with age gaps so long as the couple has matched maturity levels and life experiences, but Tae-in often feels like an angsty teenager. He’s moody, out of touch with his feelings, focused on his own problems, and unnecessarily carrying the weight of the band’s success on his shoulders because he doesn’t know how to communicate and share responsibility. He’s put up so many walls between him and the rest of his bandmates that he’s oblivious to the individual struggles they’re each going through until they are exposed by the media.

To be fair, Tae-in’s not the only one to blame for their estrangement. They’ve all inadvertently drifted apart now that they’ve found success and moved into a huge McMansion. The space in the house has become a metaphor for the emotional distance that has grown between them, and I actually love the plot line of a super famous idol group that has lost sight of their roots — and each other — trying to reclaim the magic of their early days. Too bad the drama does a shit job of telling it.

Very little is revealed about the formation of LUNA, and we aren’t given a strong reason to believe that the boys had a closer relationship when they were rookies. So the idea that they have since grown apart doesn’t really get acknowledged until Shin’s noona romance is exposed to the public. The boys had no clue Shin was dating, and they joke that the lack of privacy in their old, smaller accommodations would have made it impossible for Shin to hide a secret girlfriend. They’re also genuinely sad that Shin didn’t confide in them.

The internal dynamics of the band are never satisfactorily explored in a way that ties everything together organically, so their eventual reconciliation is brief and contrived. I mean, as fun as it was watching them Scooby Doo-ing Tae-in’s rescue after he was kidnapped by a sasaeng, it really glossed over their newfound camaraderie and put the focus back on Tae-in’s subpar romance with Yoon-joo.

In my opinion, this would have been a much better drama if Yoon-joo and the sleepwalking plot device had not been included. Without her character, the story could have focused on Tae-in as he learned to be a better leader and reunited the members of LUNA. One by one, the drama could have explored the other members’ backstories and wove them together to reveal how they drifted apart. And instead of Yoon-joo being Tae-in’s muse, he could have slowly broken through his writer’s block as he reconnected with each of his fellow band members and remembered why he fell in love with music and being an idol.

Can we get a do-over with more idol bromance, please?

 
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Lol, that header. It will scare away any potential viewers 😂

So, let's see. First of all, thanks for the review @missvictrix. I have yet to watch Ep. 11-12 so my comments are made without knowing the ending (though I can predict it...)

What I liked:
- the old-fashioned feel of this drama. You have the cheerful hardworking Candy who's scammed, the tsundere geeeenius male lead, the impossibly nice second lead (who even advised the FL on telling the truth!), the falling-on-top-of-each-other-kiss LMAO, getting lost in a (tiny) forest, etc, etc. I don't mind all these tropes even if they were cheesy and predictable. They're innocent and familiar.

-I actually liked the scenes of Tae-in being inspired by his "muse" because they were aesthetically pleasing. They gave me the same experience as Tae-in; when we take out the noise, stress, and background OST of this world we can notice things that we couldn't hear before: birds chirping, leaves rustling, soda fizzing, waves rushing against the sand. I like poetic scenes like this. Jung In-sun is also pretty against the sun.

- I liked LUNA: we have a group that is the exact opposite of the girl group in IMITATION. In this drama they are at the peak of their career, but as individuals, they've grown apart. The most realistic character for me was the drummer boy who's thinking about the future and going into acting, but he can't because he has a contract and sense of loyalty. he has a valid point: Tae-in can produce music, but what will happen to the others when LUNA disbands? Hopefully, the drama will address some of this in the finale.

- Yeah, I dig the catchy OST: "Beautiful Breakup", "Love Paranoia", and Tae-in's version of the title song. I have bookmarked LUNA'S Youtube playlist.

- Even the convoluted chain of events that led to Yoon-Joo living with the guys (buying an old house, being scammed, chased by loan sharks, and casually being taken for her twin) was all designed to lead to the classic cohabitation trope. For the sake of the story, I rolled with it.

So as you see, there's a lot that I did like.

What I didn't like:
The one-episode per week format! Such a tropey drama would have been great fun to binge.

Biggest problem: the portrayal of the Yoon-joo as a fake in-house doctor did not sit well with me, especially because Tae-in had a real psychological issue. He could get hurt, or she could get hurt... even Google told her not to touch a sleepwalking person but she went and tapped his shoulder! Result: she was almost strangled. I found myself shaking my head a lot at her questionable treatment. Love does not cure everything. He should get treated by a real doctor or he could relapse.

By Episode 10, I have become very impatient with the female lead. For the last few episodes, she has been looking tearful and staying silent, rejecting Tae-in without explaining why... This tells me that the drama is spinning on its wheels for the sake of...

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Ack, I tagged missvictrix out of custom but I should be thanking you @daebakgrits!
*hides under the covers in utter embarrassment*

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@wishfultoki No need to hid under the covers! @missvictrix is awesome, so it's a compliment to be mistaken for her, even if it was just out of habit. Haha.

I definitely agree with you that the beginning of this drama had an old school charm to it that initially drew me in. Obviously there was something that kept me coming back each week, but when I step back and look at it as a whole, I sadly don't find much to compliment. :-/

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And I noticed that my comment was cut off (this is not my day!). I continue:
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"This tells me that the drama is spinning on its wheels for the sake of reaching 12 episodes. It's as if there wasn't enough story to tell. But there is a lot! What happens to LUNA? What about the noona actress who quit her job? Will Yoon-joo reconcile with her haughty twin? (By the way, why is she so cold? Because she moved away to America when she was little? Puh-lease).

Anyway, I will finish this drama so I can count it as a bean.

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You wrote better then me what I was thinking about the drama :) I really liked the first part's 'old style ' but i guess it was a director's mistake that we could not get each member's emotional story properly but the most annoying was What FL become at the second part ! Where was the that crazy, creative, sweet candy at last episodes!!

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It's good to see a critique @daebakgrits instead of a blow by blow recap. It's also an amusing read. @wishfultoki 's alternative take is also an interesting counterpoint. This I like. I hope we have more of it. BTW my instincts were telling me this drama was not for me and now I know, although the pretty bits might be worth looking for.

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I was actually considering watching this because of Jun. Thanks for warning me so i cam steer clear of this hot mess. Maybe will check out Jun's other drama with SeoHyun instead.

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plus its refreshing to read an amusing review like this here. It has been a long time. Thanks @daebakgrits for ur honesty and amusing take on this drama.

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If u mean "Love and Leashes" that's a movie that will be out on Netflix on Feb 11 so u will watch it fast...

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This drama was a continuation of clichés and tropes without anything else to make it good.

The acting wasn't so good. Jun didn't bring anything new that we didn't see in Imitation.

For the story :
- They never really treated Tae-In's causes to be sleepwalking.
- The fact she lied during almost the whole drama and of course couldn't say the truth by herself
- Why did she fall in love with him? He was like an angry teenager...
- Why the drummer can't be actor too? CN BLUE Minhyuk can do both.

I liked the CEO, for once, it was a nice one!

I think the only reason I watched it until the end, it's because I'm not watching so many dramas. But I started the 12 and realized I didn't watch the 11 yet... So I wasn't really very impatient to watch it.

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Why did she fall in love with him? Why, why, why?
That was my question all along. Ok, he's cute, but also super rude and emotionally immature and annoying. And then he unilaterally decides that he's in love, so he plays her a song and gives her a necklace. You're right kurama! He's just like a teenager crushing on a random senior at school 🤣
The romance - next to the terrible plot device of the fake identity to provoke the reverse harem trope - was the weakest link in this drama.
Taein literally likes Yoonjoo is because:
a) she looks after him and his emotional needs
b) he decided that she was his "muse"(don't get me started on the idea of muse and all the crappy men that used it to project their fantasies on the poor women who crossed their paths)
I
When they went for the all too familt route of the senseless temporary separation in the last episode, I was pleased because at least we got to watch a bit of the band reconnecting and a glimpse of their next professional steps. Bromance was definitely better than romance

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Nice review, @daebakgrits! You made me giggle a lot more than the drama itself 😉
So, LMBYK was a thing and I watched the hell out of it even though I found it cringey and the romance subpar way too often...
My brain does this thing, if a drama is good, very often I drift away, but if it's bad enough in the right way, oh boy, it's my jam 😅
And LMBYK had all the ingredients my brain favours: lots of cheese, predictable annoying tropes, and a sprinkling of pretty actors. But, yes, I guess Writernim went autopilot on this.

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Anyways, I'm looking forward for Love and Leashes to come out because last year I became a Jun fan. As a fellow sufferer by the same problem, I love it when people with resting bitch face do comedy and cute

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@flyingcolours You know what? When you said, "if it's bad enough in the right way, oh boy, it's my jam," you struck a cord. I truthfully can't put my finger on why I kept up with this particular drama, but this may have been it!

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Yayy @db-staff brought back series reviews! Thanks!

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Must say that it was an easy watch for the most part as it gave that old style full of familiar troupes,nothing new under the sun but manageble to pass the Sunday as i didn't have that much to choose drama wise LOL...
Must say that it's sad that Lee Jun Young is being typcasted in this roles again and again as he is quite the decent actor that clearly can show and do more...
If u want a serious quality drama this isn't for you but if u are bored and want to pass the time watching something that reminds you of the old dramas u might give it a try...

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Full to time pass, no brainer, no intelligence just laugh n giggle for how silly one drama can get.. while nodding ur head why am i eve watching it.
But yes i watched it till end and enjoyed it to cause it kept me sane while RL was getting hectic day by day.. so it was my easy fin watch just before going to sleep to disconnect from reality after a hard day (days)

I wanted to know:
1. More of Jun's backstory, reason of his illness, how his dad impacted that.
2. How he got actually treated (by real counselor/psychiatrist)
But all i get.. Jun spending his money to get rid of her debt and buying her house to rent it to her... gosh i wanted moreeeeeeee

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Things I liked:
- The acting. I think the stars did a decent job for first-timers. Jung In-Sun & Jang Dong-Joo were obviously better, due to their experience, but I think the others could get there.
- The bromance. More Kpop sis & bromance please! The process of the band falling apart and picking up the pieces really appealed to me, especially since it's such a realistic thing that could happen. (I liked Idol: The Coup for their sismance, especially)
- Everyone else's storyline. Sure, some were a bit cliche, but I found them more compelling than the main romance (even JR/Lee Shin's forbidden love story)
- The music. Not all the songs were my cup of tea, but Love Paranoia has been on repeat. It sounds like an N.Flying song to me, especially with the rapping.
- The comedy. I'll admit, I skimmed through most of the drama, but the comedic bits were great.
- Reporter Min. Yeah, she was a background character for the most part and barely appeared, but reporters are a key part of the industry. (Still, I would've loved some Jinye x Jun interactions, especially since they used to belong to the same agency.)
- Nina. Jealousy & compulsory beach day aside, she felt really genuine. (And Kang Ji-Young is great)

What I disliked:
- The story. I think it would've been much more cohesive if we focused on the band falling apart and coming back together while dealing with the ghosts of their past.
- Pretending to be a medical professional. Good medical professionals work HARD to get there, and pretending to be one and treat someone is not to be taken lightly.
- The ending. Seriously, that's it?? We have so many loose plot threads that I could wrap them around a spool and stitch a fan slogan.

Overall, I think a story about a band growing apart then reconnecting would have been so much stronger. Get rid of the sleepwalking plotline, make Jung In-Sun the new manager instead, and focus on the relationships between the group members. Reporter Min & Nina are bumped up to recurring characters, and romance takes a backseat.

Thanks @daebakgrits for the review!

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This was so bad, I was cringing most of the time, especially in the first episodes, when FL starts to impersonate a doctor. My deal with K-drama is that I go in being aware that it is going to manipulate me into falling in love with the ML. Not this one. Main leads are both one dimensional, FL pitiful and ML unlikable. The rest of the band members lack depth also, but that would be understandable if the main characters were given more nuance.
If I feel like this about a drama, I just don't watch, don't rate and especially don't write reviews. So why on Earth did I finish this one? Somehow 1 episode a week sneaked in in the beginning, and the last three episodes actually kept me watching. Still, waste of time for me.

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