So, I finally watched the first 2 episodes of Hotel del Luna. It’s been a while since I properly conveyed my thoughts about a drama, as pedestrian and drab as those thoughts might be. I’m not smart and I’m not going to pretend to be, but I think it’s a good mental exercise for me to at least write down my thoughts. I haven’t been doing that enough lately about anything.

Overall, I just think that this drama isn’t meshing with me. I’m a big fan of fantasy and it’s my absolute favorite genre to read. I adore Studio Ghibli. I’ve always loved feeling that sense of wonder and curiosity that fantasy tends to bring out in me. It’s addictive. However, while watching Hotel del Luna, I felt none of that.

It’s beautiful, to be sure. The sets are stunning and IU and her wardrobe are both absolutely gorgeous and I really like the score. Nevertheless, something about the show just leaves me cold. While watching, I think I started to get opulence fatigue. Everything was so pretty and shiny and expensive that I got sick of it. This is similar to how I feel watching Beauty Inside (although no where near to the same extent).

Have you ever watched a drama that just doesn’t connect with you, so much so that you can’t even pay attention to the story? So many times while watching this I found myself scrutinizing the cogs and gears of the show instead of paying attention to the machine itself. I know that’s a dumb analogy, but it’s what I first thought of. Some dramas sweep me away from the very beginning and I’m along for the ride, not thinking about it critically until after the episode ends. But with other shows, like this one, I just can’t immerse myself into the world and thus can’t enjoy it. I can only assume this is a problem of the directing.

I’ve read many comments about the acting in this show, and I agree with just about as much as I disagree. Now, I’ll admit to loving IU. She’s one of my favorite singer-songwriters and while I never thought much of her acting before, My Ajusshi changed that. While I don’t think she’s perfectly nailing this role, I think she’s doing a fine job. She’s one of those actors that I think needs a little push by the director to really do well, and I’m not seeing that here. I keep hoping for a little bit… more. More of what, I’m not exactly sure. But nevertheless, I did have fun watching her. Her expressions were to die for, and I can tell that she is having fun filming this. “Cold” characters have always suited her the most.

Now, concerning Yeo Jin-goo, I find myself puzzled by some of the comments I’ve seen about him recently. I’ve always thought he was a great actor. I agree after watching this and My Absolute Boyfriend that comedy is not his forte–everything that I’ve loved him in previously (Circle, Huayi, etc.) have been on the darker side, and although I definitely enjoyed him in Shoot Me in the Heart, it was Lee Min-ki who did all of the comedic heavy-lifting, so to say, in that movie. All this is to say that I found myself unimpressed by his over-the-top reactions to the ghosties in this show.

HOWEVER, I honestly didn’t feel that those types of scenes happened often enough for it to really bother me, and I thought he was perfectly fine in all of his other scenes. He’s a bit young for the role, yes, but I think some of the comments concerning him have been a bit exaggerated. But I also wonder if people hold him at a higher standard because of his acting history. If that’s the case, I totally understand. I do the exact same thing for the actors who I love and think are genuinely great. When they fail to perform up to my expectations, it really disappoints me, even when I think that the directing is mostly to blame (yes, you all know what I’m alluding to). But really, Yeo Jin-goo isn’t disappointing me much here at all. I was expecting much worse based on people’s comments. I think he’s doing fine and will probably improve later on.

So… yeah. Those are my very basic and rambling thoughts that totally lack cohesion about episodes 1 and 2 of Hotel del Luna. I don’t think I’ll be tuning into this next week, but who knows? Nothing else is interesting me at the moment. Maybe I’ll peek in again just for IU. I need something to help pass the time until October anyway… cough.


    So many times while watching this I found myself scrutinizing the cogs and gears of the show instead of paying attention to the machine itself

    This is how I felt while watching it. I never actually just enjoyed what was happening on the screen, and I think that’s why I also started being critical of Jin-goo. I don’t want to be. I really really don’t, but the whole production, as pretty and well produced as it is, just left me a bit cold and analytical.


    I like it so far, but I understand what you mean by “opulence fatigue” and over-the-top reactions to ghosts.


    Mindy, you do write well, and your thoughts are not drab. I’m still working through the first episode, only watching it when I run, which has been in 10-20 minute spurts. I really have to concentrate on reading subtitles when I do this, bobbing up and down, so while I’ve appreciated some of the pretty, I’m really only concentrating on the dialog and not on facial expressions, directing, lighting, or even the music while I watch. I’ve never watched anything like this while running, so not sure how much i can keep up this way. Recaps have been my savior. With that said, I’m enjoying the show, but I’m not really invested in it.