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And the winner of 2016 kdramaland’s “Best Love Triangle” goes to “Jealousy Incarnate”!!!  *chuckles

Sure, there were a lot going on in “Jealousy Incarnate” that sometimes the sporadic mini plots did not equate well to its overall make, but the eager and vibrant cast made up to that missing push the story failed to achieve.  Honestly the safe ever-after ending failed to complement those strong moments of the lead cast along with the story conflict they had to face together hilariously and painfully.  Nevertheless, I did enjoy the sweet ride and the endearing couple who tackled the friendship defying love chase.

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Pyo Na Ri harbored a 3-year one sided love towards Lee Hwa Shin and has been working her stint as a weather forecaster.  She chanced upon Hwa Shin again in Thailand where he was assigned after an expose’ revealing his older brother’s business corruption.  He was denounced by his family but made the most of his occupational exile by presenting highly successful news probes.  When Hwa Shin came back to the TV network news room to work on his goal to become a News Anchor, he begins seeing Na Ri at a different light.  Just as he has acknowledged his feelings for her, he learned that his best friend, Go Jung Won likes her too and eventually dated her.  He tried so hard to resist his growing feelings toward Na Ri to no avail and his breast cancer did not help him at all as she insisted on staying by his side while battling with the treatment.  Hwa Shin’s resolved inevitably broke down and he set loose to claim Na Ri’s heart even if it will hurt his best friend.  Hwa Shin’s move confused Na Ri’s heart as she learned that he is loving her back three years too late.  Torn between two men whom she both love, she broke up with Jung Won so as not to strain their friendship, but the two cannot seem to find a way to exist not having her by their side so they agreed to live in Jung Won’s house so Na Ri can date them to help her decide whom she loves more between them.  Na Ri’s long lost first love emotions eventually resurfaced and she was forced to deliver the sad news to Jung Won of her choosing Hwa Shin.

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While I did not fully rave on “Jealousy Incarnate”, there were a few strong scenes that lingered in my mind after watching it.  That cute Hwa-Shin-Jung-Won bromance was so quirky, I can bottle it for my PMS days.  I love when rom-com dramas focus on the love story conflict, and what a way for “Jealousy” to present a love triangle that did not feed on angst or misplaced and incomprehensible obsession of second leads.  Instead it gave out a nice fight between the lead man and second lead who equally deserve the heroine.  I don’t know why the finishing kick delved to career drama because I already claimed my closure when Na Ri reverted to following Hwa Shin again, but the latter had to restrict himself out of respect to his best friend’s grieving heart.  I don’t know if I can label it as a bland extension or a last-minute attempt to add embellishment on this romantic cake, but I sure did find it pointless. They should have settled to fan service and then zipped it with the chirpy wedding.

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The facile interaction of the main trio, prior and after the love conflict, felt hilarious on one side because they were acting like high schoolers in justifying the situation they had and even resorting to that cohabitation settlement to help weigh in where each of them stand.  

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But that just show how we do unreasonable things when we are too consumed with rationalizing the love we felt. The romantic entanglement amused the girl and the woman inside me because the story clearly depicted how much a woman’s faltering choices affect decisions to commit in a relationship.

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Na Ri was firm on her initial stand that she loved both men at the same time, but was just not sure who she loved more, until she got the realization or rather fear of losing Hwa Shin since she can’t contain the growing jealousy anymore. There was no definitive punch on what direction or lesson the story wanted to impart since halfway through it, even the characters seemed not to know where they were heading. That’s mainly the reason why I was disappointed in it. Acting and interaction wise among the cast members, it has great potentials, but the plot did not propel a lingering effect after it ended.  The only consolation I got was the supporting cast who were busy and engrossing with what’s going on around their own stories as well.  

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I think it would have been safe as well if it went to a shorter run because the kind of narrative it circled to was not that complicated to begin with. Though there were a few heartfelt and emotional scenes I really enjoyed, the stagnant progression and dormant conflict made my heart veer away from liking Jealousy Incarnate as a whole.

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If you are a Jo Jung Seok or Gong Hyo Jin fan, it is bearable to watch but there’s nothing special to look forward to.  -abbyinhallyuland

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