Despite the many quality dramas airing these days (I Hear Your Voice, Heartless City, Monstar, etc.) I’ve quickly realized that out of all the dramas I’m currently watching, this is the one I look forward to watching the most. There’s something about Dating Agency Cyrano that quickly burrowed it’s way into my heart. Every episode makes my heart feel full and brings a smile to my face.
I’ll start with Byung-hoon (Lee Jong Hyuk) and Min-young (Sooyoung) since they are our leads and we’re 6 episodes in (well at least during the writing of this post we were) and I just have to say how much I adore their dynamic and how I can’t wait to see them continuing to develop feelings for each other amidst all their bickering. One of my favourite fictional tropes when it comes to romance is when a relationship between two people starts out antagonistic and slowly but surely it evolves into one where respect starts to build for one another and then eventually they realize that they’ve fallen for each other. Now if you’ve watched any dramas before, or just tv in general, you’ll know that this isn’t exactly a brand new trope, but I do think it’s a hard trope to execute well. Often times the writers make the relationship so antagonistic that viewers are turned off by it or they develop it so quickly that it’s hard to believe that these two people who previously hated each other are suddenly in love or it could be that the actors just don’t have the kind of chemistry to make a relationship like that believable. Luckily both the writing and the acting for Byung-hoon and Min-young has so far been pretty wonderful. Lee Jong Hyuk and Sooyoung play off each other fantastically, a problem I was initially worried about due to their age differences but that was quickly put to rest in the first episode, and the writing manages pull off really wonderful subtle moments in between all their arguing and bickering that make me really excited to see them slowly fall for each other.
Now I’ve seen people complain about Min-young as a female lead, how they find her too “naive” or “too optimistic” but that’s what I love about her as a character and Sooyoung plays her with an appropriate wide-eyed romantic wonder and charm which contrasts well with Lee Jong Hyuk’s much more cynical Byung-hoon. I love their bickering because it always comes across to me as more playful and not born out of genuine hatred and Min-young is certainly idealistic but she’s no pushover, she might be a romantic at heart but she also has bite and she’s not afraid to lecture or tell Byung-hoon off if she disagrees with something he’s saying or doing. And I think that’s why I adore these two and their dynamic already, it’s not just Byung-hoon forcing Min-young to see outside of her dreamy romantic world but also Min-young who’s slowly but surely, as cheesy as it sounds, taking down the walls Byung-hoon has put up.
Other than the Byung-hoon/Min-young relationship, I’m finding myself loving the relationships between the core Cyrano members as well. The drama itself hasn’t exactly emphasized it but with each episode it feels as if Byung-hoon, Min-young, Moo-jin (Hong Jong Hyun) and Arang (Jo Yoon Woo) are kind of a little family with Byung-hoon and Min-young acting like the bickering parents and Moo-jin and Arang as the two kids. I do hope this isn’t just my imagination running wild here, I do love stories about found families, and that this is something the drama intentionally is trying to build up because I think there’s a ton of potential in exploring all the different dynamics in this little group. It also helps that while they understandably don’t get as much screen-time as Byung-hoon and Min-young, the writers and actors playing them have managed to make Moo-jin and Arang very likeable characters and have provided them with subplots that have give them more depth character-wise as well.
Due to the “case of the week” storytelling the drama uses, it feels as if I’m watching a mini romcom every week (which is always welcomed) but not just that because while that mini romcom is happening, we also see how our main characters react towards said cases and how they develop and their relationships develop from it. That style of storytelling is very much common in crime procedural shows these days but in Cyrano’s case instead of solving murders our team solves peoples love lives instead! How ridiculously great is that?
I said in the title that this drama feels like drinking hot chocolate during a cold rainy day and by that I mean, do you know that warm feeling in your belly you get after drinking hot chocolate when it’s freezing cold? That’s what Dating Agency Cyrano feels like to me and the directing and overall production of this drama, from the cinematography to the music, very much evokes that tone. While this certainly isn’t a perfect drama and I certainly have problems with some parts of it (Maybe this is a minority opinion but I don’t particularly care about Lee Chun-Hee’s character and find the whole “Master” storyline annoying and unnecessary), for me the pros far outweigh the cons. Sometimes you just need a drama that makes you feel good, you know?