We’re still loving this drama, so Paroma and I sat down to enumerate the many ways we keep falling for Joon, Ra-ra, and the gang. Do Do might seem lightweight at first glance, but it’s actually surprisingly thoughtful, and does a great job of balancing its darker elements with the characters’ inherent optimism, and the show’s own determination to rise above life’s disappointments.
Anisa: It’s been a while since our last review, but we’re still watching and enjoying this one—at least I am. This warmhearted, funny drama is gold. How about you, Paroma?
Paroma: I’m in a pretty happy place with this show. Although I dread the next few episodes cause it feels like they’ve already dealt with most of the major conflicts. So, would they be introducing last minute obstacles now?
Anisa: Speaking of those, we’re definitely gonna talk about that Episode 12 ending! But first, let’s talk about all the developments since we left off in Episode 6. We had Joon decide to confess his feelings before his secret, Jae-min’s recital, the entire stalker storyline, grandpa’s backstory, Joon returning home immediately after Ra-ra’s kidnapping, a reunion and a breakup. That’s a LOT in six episodes.
Paroma: Yup. The story kept moving and we kept biting our nails. I wasn’t expecting the stalker storyline to actually matter in the end, but I liked how Joon was finally caught because he ran off to rescue Ra-ra and ended up in a situation that was too scary and overwhelming for a teenager. It just made sense.
Anisa: Yeah, the cops literally had to call his parents. As you said before, usually these suspense plots in romances provide the conflict that’s otherwise lacking when the leads are obviously crazy about each other, so I was expecting that to be its purpose here. But what it actually did was expose the fragility of the little bubble Joon and Ra-ra had created for themselves in which they could happily fall in love and have fun. In reality, that small, safe universe was only possible through the indulgence and care of the kind community of adults around them. And I loved how involved that neighbourhood gang has been every step of the way. I cheered when the ajummas came across Ra-ra and the stalker right after she rejected him, and firmly told her to have lunch with them after picking up his creepy vibe.
Paroma: Ooh yes. I loved that without Ra-ra saying a single word, the women gauged the situation and immediately formed a wall of solidarity to drive the pushy man away. It was really nicely done. My other favourite moment was during Jae-min’s recital. What a lovely reversal for Ra-ra to realise how her dad must have felt when she flubbed her own first recital, and why he’d stood up and encouraged her in that hall full of silent parents.
Anisa: It was lovely, and yet I was just yelling at Dr. Cha the whole time, because he totally noticed that something was wrong with Jae-min’s arm earlier! He could have saved the poor kid the tears and embarrassment if he’d taken a moment to check. 😒
Paroma: Yeah, it was a bit ridiculous that none of the adults noticed that the boy had a literal dislocated shoulder! 😱
Anisa: I was a lot more moved by Grandpa’s recital, not only for his dogged determination to learn how to play this song which was pivotal to his love story with his wife, but because of the way everyone helped him dress up, and took his performance seriously. They’ve truly become an extended family of sorts, and that brought me to happy tears.
Also, how cute is the show’s decision to have young Haraboji and his wife played by Lee Jae-wook and Go Ara? I lost it laughing when the first flashback sequence started. There are so many over-the-top touches that I might find silly in another drama, but just work so well with Do Do‘s tone.
Paroma: It was the most perfect casting choice! Made me feel like I was getting a bonus love story with these two. Also Ye Ji-won as the “unni” who kept them apart because she didn’t want to give up her housemaid. I was half expecting it, but she was so entertaining, I didn’t mind.
Anisa: Bwahaha, that killed me! And I loved how this backstory had its own lessons that Ra-ra needed to hear right at the moment when she’d had to let Joon go so suddenly—about waiting for the right time, and how those who are meant to be in your life will always come back to you eventually.
Paroma: The thing I liked about their separation was that for once it was actually necessary. Joon’s mom is right. He’s a bright boy with a really bright future, so long as he doesn’t spend the next few years doing hard labour instead of studying. And since Joon seems to quite like academics, it’s not even a choice between his dreams and his parents’ expectations (at this point). It’s a choice between helping him get the best start and letting him make a choice he might regret in twenty years, à la 18 Again.
Anisa: Absolutely. This is one of the most logical drama separations I’ve seen; it deals properly with the conflict presented by Joon’s age, and doesn’t do a lot of romantic handwaving of real issues. I loved the symbolism of the moment when Joon tried to kiss Ra-ra, and she gently told him that he was already pretty tall, but he needed to grow a little more—and his instant understanding and assurance that he wouldn’t push for anything she didn’t want.
Paroma: That stood out to me too. I like noona romances for the equality and sensitivity that exists between the couples, but the thing that often makes me uncomfortable is the way some dram