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KDrama : Jealousy Incarnate (2016)

It talks about things you may not want to talk about, especially men - breast cancer. The same way women are discriminated, in this aspect, men may face the same discrimination and even worse fear and shame. Something we don't normally expect.
Mention the words 'Breast Cancer' and the first thought would be a woman going through it (and hopefully surviving it). You rarely think about a man having to go through such a condition and in most instances, it would be demeaning, embarassing, or something-to-hide for the men. I mean, which man would want to admit having such a womanly condition?

And THIS is precisely what is dealt with in this Kdrama.


Gong Hyo Jin is a gem

In many other people's eyes, Gong is hardly your femme fatale. Not your conventional sex kitten to hog the screen and she doesn't even have the body to boot. Au contraire, she looks like she needs to be fed. As a side note, I've always found her skinniness a little scary, thinking that it might promote a really bad body image to the young people of today. I've always hoped that she would refrain from playing 'sexy' roles because of this reason (but she HAS gone on to take on those roles, unfortunately).

Acting-wise, there's absolutely nothing you can complain about her. In fact, her choice of drama is always a little off-the-beaten-path and it might have something to do with her seniority and experience in the field...in that she gets to choose and some Producers and Writers like her (and who can blame them?). The shows that she chooses would often touch on something sensitive or a topic that people want to talk about. In this case, men facing discrimination and shame at having breast cancer.

Knee-slapping, Rib-tickling, excellent Comedic Timing by writers and actor

I didn't think much about the main actor...in fact, I thought he wasn't the kind of dashing actor I would like to watch for 20 episodes. But after the first few episodes, Jo Jung Suk starts growing on you. There's something about his comedic timing. Not too fast, not too soon, not too loud, not too soft, not too obnoxious, not too much, not too little. You know how some situations are funnier when someone says it with a straight face? Exactly!

Am not kidding when I say that I was watching this when I was horrifically sick and it still managed to make me LOL so many times that I had to pause the video to go to the toilet. Just saying...

Like how many times will Gong have to touch Jo's chest to search for that cancer lump? In public? And the producers certainly have a keen sense of humor when they placed Jo in a gynecologist filled with women, making him wear pink clothes and pink slippers, and his overall manliness is in a deep contrast with the whole situation. Just imagine Hulk Hogan or John Cena in a gynecologist? While Jo is nothing compared to the earlier comparisons, but you get the idea.

The idea is that breast cancer can strike anyone, including men, and when something like that happens, when you have to get it checked, you have to get it checked. There should be no shame. It's probably not just a taboo topic is South Korea or Asia, it's probably taboo for almost everyone, including people with husbands, boyfriends, sons, fathers and brothers.

Insertion of ridiculousness in almost every episode

Granted, from almost every angle that you look at it, breast cancer, or cancer itself, is a serious topic. Instead of employing a very sordid approach to it, the clever insertion of completely slapstick and unexpected jokes in between surely kept viewers from clicking away.

The reality of what people actually look like when they play virtual reality games with each other. When you've spent hours hunting down baby octopuses and a bunch of jealous dudes (who are angry at each other for, at the moment, very childish reasons. What can be more important than hunting octopuses, GUYS??!!! (lol). Miraculous medications that improves impotency or infertility (the subtitles says 'impotency' but I think the topic they were tackling, another touchy one, was, in fact, infertility) but with the side-effects of uncontrolled winking at random people everywhere.


Just imagine a stranger walking up to you and suddenly winking. 

Or worse yet...


RUUUUNNNNNNNNNN..................................

There are quite other few from where that came from. I think the writers have an aptitude for ridiculous anecdotes. It doesn't work 100% of the time but most of the time, it stops short of being OTT.

Underused characters

Although there are, unfortunately, quite a few underused characters who could have lent a helping hand towards the storyline but what surprised me was...the sisterhood. This world, the movie world anyway, is always harping on BROMANCE and we'd think sisterhood is dead or women are just made for the kill. We're all just catty underneath.

Jealousy Incarnate DID start off that way, with two women who were married to the same man and fighting for the custody of one daughter, being eternally at each others' necks personally and professionally. They have the same taste in men, hence, the same taste in clothes, often coming into work with the exact same outfit. LOLOMGWTF. But their BFF-ness soon shines through - one expressing loneliness for being to aggressive in her career and the other being too catty and she's-pretty-and-she-knows-it. At the end of the day, when two people share the same love, the same cause, they can and will overcome their own personal differences. As long as one person is willing to bend first, to lose that ego-self, the other will naturally follow. Because at the end of the day, when you are willing to lower the wall, the other person sees better not only of yourself, but of herself too.

Is your love for your work bigger than your love for the career-climb?

How many people can claim, whole-heartedly, that we love our jobs? Despite the indignities, the difficulties, the teasing, the torment and pressure to climb up the next rung? When the opportunity to transition from being a mere weather girl to a News Anchor presented itself, Gong found it hard to let go of the weather channel and she knew that she was not merely a weather girl, she was THE weather girl. Will she take on a new anchor job because that's what people do, anyway, or will the weather channel forever be her calling?

Nice, Slow-Paced Episodes that Expands on Each Character Well Enough

I like the slower pace...it has an extra few episodes (compared to other dramas - usually 16) and spends that extra episodes intelligently and wittily in expanding a few things that helped widen the lens for viewers. While the second lead guy is cute as a button, I have nothing to say about him except that he was is timing-wasting scene filler. Oh, and eye candy. Not that I am complaining but he never had a chance. In the beginning, yes, he was a contender, but towards the middle, it became apparent that...nah, this guy's a bottom-rung challenger. Go find yourself another girl, boy...lol sorry...

It's a nice 24-episode Korean drama that is funny, enlightening and also shines the spotlight on an issue that we (well, me, anyway) would never have thought about...men can have breast cancer too and if they do, this is possibly the kind of things that they have to hide, the shame and the discrimination they have to face.

Note : And, by the way, the title is so misleading. What the heck kinda title is that, guys?!

Rating: 8.9/10
Symptoms of breast cancer in men are similar to those in women. Most male breast cancers are diagnosed when a man discovers a lump on his chest. But unlike women, men tend to delay going to the doctor until they have more severe symptoms, like bleeding from the nipple. At that point the cancer may have already spread.May 8, 2015- - WebMD

Credit:
  1. Google search for Jealousy Incarnate poster
  2. https://fellowshipofminds.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/wink31.jpg
  3. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-HTOc3XyGONk/T65ZRxGrQuI/AAAAAAAAEi8/AY2RMv3yAvg/s1600/0smiley_winking.jpg 
  4. WebMD

  • I like the slow paced character development. 24 episodes
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