eight reasons why I love jealousy incarnate

because I'm bored and this post has been sitting in my drafts for like two weeks now. enjoy. <3

lettuce begin.

1. First of all, it's got a really snappy title that accurately reflects the plot of the show. A lot of dramas have great, eye-catching titles, but sometimes I feel like they fall short of spelling out what the show is about in just a few words. In Jealousy Incarnate's case, it plainly states that it deals with jealousy without being too wordy or vague about it.

2. the cast is FLAWLESS. Gong Hyo Jin was an actress I'd seen in Master's Sun ages ago, but since I never fell in love that show, I never fell in love with her. however, she quickly became one of my favourite actresses with her depiction of the weather caster Pyo Na Ri. she's not over the top or board-like, like some romantic comedy actress I could name, and she's made Pyo Na Ri into a hilarious character that you root for and cry over. Jo Jung Suk was great in Oh My Ghostess and King 2 Hearts (*cries forever*), and in this show, he makes me laugh with his facial expressions, quirks, and indignant rage. he also simultaneously makes me want to punch a wall sometimes, because Hwa Shin is a big jerk on occasion (read here: pretty much the entire first four episodes, I think, and then smatterings later on), but once he realizes that he's been a sucky guy to Pyo Na Ri and a lot of others--and then has a brush with reality or two--he slowly arcs into a more likable person. Go Kyung Po continues to astound me with his acting growth. I've been watching him in dramas for four years. And he's always improving.

these were the days...
these were also the days...but that hair was a mistake.

The supporting cast is fantastic as well, and I love how they're all filling the side stories with quality acting, even though they may not get as much attention as Pyo Na Ri and her crew.

these two. they crack me up so much, even though they annoyed me at first.

3. as you might have guessed, it's about people being jealous. love triangles and jealousy and star-crossed lovers are all HUUUUUUUUGE tropes in kdramas (seriously. can't they be just friends for once??), and Jealousy Incarnate has all of these. but it's how they're handled that really makes the show. I really think they put an important emphasis on the relationships between the characters instead of the drama of it all--and they are not above laughing at how absurd the whole situation is.

they know love triangles are silly and don't often happen in real life. but this one is so realistic that it does seem like it could be happening in real life, right before your eyes: girl has a crush on a coworker for three years, he can't stand her, but once she starts dating his best friend-and thus they spend more meaningful time together and become closer--he realizes that he's fallen in love with her without meaning to. queue chaos.

the face of a man who just realized his biggest mistake

they also do not pull out the "oh, I am not worthy to love you! I will shove my feelings away because I know that you must be happy with someone else!" trope. Hwa Shin admits that he likes Na Ri, but instead of being too aggressive or too dismissive of his feelings, he finds a happy medium; he chooses to have a one-sided love with her and leave it at that. "don't waver because me," he tells her. "don't ever waver because of me."

4. along the same lines, Jealousy Incarnate is a very silly show dealing with very serious topics. these topics create some very tear-jerking moments, but there has not been a point in time where I groan and think "oh crap, they're over doing the drama again".

except for this one. this was all the drama.

this is mostly because they balance the serious so well with the humor. Red's situation with her father dying was extremely heart-breaking, but the whole plot of her having two moms (her step mom and her biological mother) fighting for her love and attention has been hilarious and sometimes very sweet, especially as one of Red's moms has taken Na Ri's brother under her wing. Hwa Shin's breast cancer is a VERY serious topic, and they've been very serious in how important it is to get treatment and how dangerous it can be if left untreated, but they've balanced it so well with Hwa Shin's embarrassment toward having breast cancer, of all things, and the whole rooming situation (Oh, how I miss Grandma Hwa Shin). I was also really interested by the fact that they've included an asexual character? I don't think I've ever seen that in a kdrama before, and I really hope that they don't do the old-switcheroo and make him have ED or something, like I originally thought he was before they spelled it out.

even the way Hwa Shin's cancer is discovered is hilarious.

5. they flipped the scripts! normally in dramas, the guy is the one constantly taking care/asking after the girl, making sure she's eating/taking care of herself. aka, being overprotective. in Jealousy Incarnate, Pyo Na Ri is the one making sure that Hwa Shin goes to treatment. that Hwa Shin doesn't get drunk. that Hwa Shin isn't alone. even when she's not interested in him and is dating Jung Won, she's constantly asking him "do you want to eat with us?" that's a big deal. part of this is a reflection on Na Ri's large heart, and part of it is a reflection on how much Hwa Shin needs to grow. but she's also not ignoring his faults while looking after him, and that's an equally big deal.

later on, it's Na Ri who slaps Hwa Shin for trying to kiss her. it's Na Ri who admits that the fact that she's in love with both men, that she has two heart, is wrong, and it's Na Ri who breaks up with both guys and tells them to stop pursuing her. it's Na Ri who moves on. it's Na Ri who takes responsibility for her actions, instead of hiding behind secrets and shame. and I really respect that about her. Na Ri is such a strong character, and I'm really thankful that Gong Hyo Jin is giving her her full potential.

5. the bromance!! Hwa Shin and Jung Won are literally the best bros. I love how they are so stupid together and really truly love each other, even as Na Ri begins to grow between them, both as a friend and as lover. things get rough once the truth comes out, about Na Ri's three year long one-sided crush on Hwa Shin and Hwa Shin's late change of heart, but even as the two guys fight, you can really tell that they love each other.

because you're more scared of losing your best friend than losing a girl. at least, at first.
it is interesting to see that when Hwa Shin discovers that Na Ri likes Jung Won, he's a little irked and confused at first, but then when Jung Won finds out that Hwa Shin likes Na Ri...he's furious. he slowly forgives Hwa Shin, but you can tell that even as they mend their relationship, there's still something about this whole ordeal that still bothers him. their mud fight is another excellent example of the show's way of dealing with serious matters in humorous ways, and I love it.

6. (okay this is a silly one) I am in love with Pyo Na Ri's style. the way she dresses is amazing--it reflects the zaniness of her character, and it also really shows her position in life. she's not dirt poor, but she's definitely struggling to keep her and her brother afloat. her clothes look like something she might have found in a thrift shop--nice, but just weird enough that they don't look like they're from a department store. I love it so much. I would totally wear some of her outfits.

even when she gets stuck with a stranger's clothes, she totally rocks it.

7. Na Ri's determination is probably what sold me from the very beginning. she doesn't give up. if there is a way, she'll find it. but she's also not the stereotypical character who sees sunshine in every situation. when she finds out that her breast examination came up with something on it, she's terrified of the possibility that she has the same cancer her mother did. when she learns that she won't be able to attend the announcer test, she's heartbroken. but once she's had her cry, her moment of "what do I do the world is ending", she takes a breath and keeps on going. if she can, she'll find a way, and if she can't, she accepts it. even if it's hard. even if it's not what she wants to do. she does it any way.

8. my latest favourite thing--as well as something I worried about at the beginning of the show--is how they're handling the whole Hwa Shin situation. if he got to be a jerk to Na Ri for three freaking years, then fell in love with her and automatically got the girl, like none of that had happened, I would have flipped. but that's not how they're doing it. Hwa Shin stews in guilt because he knows he did wrong by treating her that way--and in some weird, tortuous frame of mind, his introducing Na Ri to Jung Won is is punishment. he realizes what a great person she's always been, and he regrets ever rejecting her earlier. and yet he doesn't force his feelings upon her, like some main leads I could mention. *coughs and looks pointedly at Cheese in the Trap's Jung* he doesn't take them back, but he's content to like her from the sideline and experience what she experienced. "you can even treat me as horribly as I did," he says to her. "you said you wanted to experience a one-sided love, didn't you?"

I think this really reflects on Hwa Shin's growth as a character. when you meet him, he's a cocky jerk who doesn't think twice about insulting people and who is terrified of people learning that he has breast cancer, of all things. but as he and Na Ri grow closer, he becomes the person who helps her calm down for her camera test, who hangs out with little baby Beom outside the neighborhood convenience store (I love that scene so much), and who cares. he fears what will happen when Jung Won finds out about his feelings--and then he's wondering how he'll ever tell him, because he knows in his heart that he is the one who has to tell him.  he's become a really likeable character, even though he still has moments of idiocy. and I really appreciate that.

he's come a long way from this dirtbag.

bonus reason:  "Na-ri-yah." that's all. I'm having all the feelings right now. heLP. (I'm watching ep 15 as I'm editing this lol)

( note : I am NOT a fan of how Jung Won and Hwa Shin are insisting on Na Ri dating both of them. a), it's not realistic. b), they're being too pushy--Jung Won mostly. and c) why. why. why. if she doesn't want to date you, man, she doesn't want to date you. )

see y'all soon!!!

*none of these gifs are mine. all the credit goes to the talented creators*


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