KDRAMALOVE KOREAN DRAMA REVIEWS



Angel's Last Mission: Love
단, 하나의 사랑
KBS (2019) 32 Episodes
Romance, Fantasy
, Ballet, Grade: B+
Korean Drama Review by Jill, USA

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Overall I very much enjoyed this fantasy romance story, Angel's Last Mission: Love (2019). It was at times mystical, spiritual, poignant, artistic, exquisitely photographed, and boasted a very nice and at times haunting OST which included some lovely classical music selections. It was well cast, with serious actress Shin Hye Sun (Hymn Of Death and Legend Of The Blue Sea) paired with up and coming Kim Myung Soo (aka L from Master's Sun and Ruler: Master Of The Mask) and they had sweet chemistry together. It also featured one of my long time favorite actors Lee Dong Gun (Stained Glass, Lovers In Paris, Super Daddy 10) as second male lead, but the way the writer handled his role in this drama (or rather mishandled it) is the reason why I graded this drama a B+ instead of an A, despite its other fine qualities.

All along I felt the writer Choi Yoon Kyo, with only one prior drama on her resume, made a big misstep by not making Lee Dong Gun's character a more dashing Svengali type of character who sought to control Shin Hye Sun's character with an iron grip because he was secretly, madly in love with her. (In fact some of the early trailers for this show made him appear he would be this type of Svengali character). He certainly looked handsome enough to qualify! Many times in this drama he looked younger than he did when he was making his earliest dramas!



Lee Dong Gun 15 Years Apart

However, the writer ended up making his character rather milquetoast, thereby missing a golden opportunity to show the new young K-drama fans out there what the far more experienced Korean actors in their mid to late 30's are capable of. Instead she substituted the main female character's jealous relatives as the baddies, instead of making Lee Dong Gun's character the main foil to the young lovers' relationship.

Too many Korean drama writers, it seems to me, are pressured into ending every K-drama today happily, shows tied with a pink ribbon at the end, just because they are afraid if they don't that the new, inexperienced K-drama fans out there will attack the show and call it a failure. I hope that future Korean drama writers are brave enough to risk sad or even ambivalent endings for the sake of Artistry, instead of pat superficiality; writers like Lee Kyoung Hee who wrote the I'm Sorry, I Love You and A Love To Kill classics with Shakespearean Romeo and Juliet endings. People STILL wax eloquently about these dramas years after they were made because this writer flouted convention and dared to give her dramas sad endings when appropriate.



The Story:

We are introduced in flashback to a famous ballerina named Lee Yeon Seo (Shin Hye Sun) performing on stage, when a terrible "accident" occurs: a chandelier mysteriously breaks apart from above, a la Phantom of The Opera, plunging glass into her eyes and blinding her. We then skip ahead in time and see her totally blind, struggling to find meaning in her now empty life, since she can no longer dance due to her blindness.

She is a rich heiress and lives in a mansion with servants, but is constantly mean to them because she is now miserable. (It was rather funny for me to see that the production used the same exact mansion that was used in the masterpiece That Winter, The Wind Blows, in which actress Song Hye Kyo also played a rich blind heiress!). She has two, often abused, main caregivers, a patient housekeeper named
Jung Yumi (Woo Hee Jin) who remains sincerely fond of her despite much abuse hurled at her head, and a devoted male secretary named Jo Seung Hwan (the memorable veteran actor Jang Hyun Sung from While You Were Sleeping and scores of other dramas) whom her late parents had hired as a chauffeur when she was a child. The only family Yeon Seo now has are hardly loving to her, which contributes to her misery, her ambitious aunt Choi Young Ja (Do Ji Won) and two girl cousins, Geum Ni Na (Kim Bo Mi) and Geum Ru Na (Gil Eun Hye), plus an oafish, useless, push-over "uncle" Kim Ki Cheon (Kim Seung Wook). They are all secretly thrilled Yeon Seo is blind and they hope to take over the running of the famous ballet corp that Yeon Seo had been head ballerina of at the time of her "accident".

 

One day a male angel (the only kind there are in the Bible) named Kim Dan (Kim Myung Soo) enters Yeon Seo's life: his heavenly mission is to find someone who can give her true love, since her life is so empty now and unfulfilled. Yeon Seo is too unhappy to even care if she lives or dies (or so she thinks). Then a terrible car accident on a bridge which ends up killing her male secretary Seung Hwan, the only father figure she has in her life, makes her realize how much she wants to live after all, and makes her also realize how much she had cared about this loving father surrogate who had taken care of her after her parents had died. The angel Kim Dan rescues Yeon Seo and then later appears in human form to her, making himself so useful to her in such a short time that he basically begins to fill the shoes, so to speak, of the male secretary who had died. He is hired as her secretary and over time the two grow closer.



The Jealous Ni Na & Her Rotten Family
Cause All Kinds Of Trouble for Yeon Seo


Then Yeon Seo finally gets a transplant operation so she can see again, with his donated eyes that Seung Hwan had left her in his will, and her life is changed for the better. At least for the time being, until she tries to gain control of the ballet corp once again and begins to dance again. This causes her cousin ballerina Ni Na to be even more jealous of her success, and also green with envy that the head ballet master, handsome Ji Kang Woo (Lee Dong Gun), seems to be enamored of Yeon Seo and not her. Watching from the sidelines is spiteful aunt Young Ra, who wants control of the ballet corp, and Ni Na's psycho-nut sister Ru Na, who seems perfectly capable of trying to hurt or kill someone to get what she wants: professional success for ballerina sister Ni Na, and the destruction of Yeon Seo (she's tried to do it before, hint, hint!).



The ballet corp begins preparations to put on the ballet Giselle, but with a different, more modern spin to it. Both Yeon Seo and Ni Na audition for the lead role and of course Yeon Seo clinches it. This sets in motion the insane plot by wacko Ru Na to completely destroy Yeon Seo once and for all, so that her sister Ni Na can get the glory as lead ballerina in the production. However, Dan the Angel is onto her game, with the help of his male angel assistant named Hoo (Kim In Kwon). Can he stop the evil Ru Na in time, or will Yeon Seo's life be on the precipice of disaster once again?

Sometimes we are led to believe that Angel Dan and Ballerina Yeon Seo are destined to be together, since they had even met as children (that tried and true old K-drama cliche of having the characters meet as children, only to be separated and find one another again later in adulthood, not recognizing each other ... at first). Then again it's made clear here that God will have the final say if they are to have a future together, or not.



True love had smitten Yeon Seo and Dan during her recuperation period, and they even plan on getting married, both knowing that their time together may be short, since Yeon Seo now knows he is an angel. (I have to say the beautiful dog in the wedding scene stole the show for me, dog lover that I am! LOL). But will Heaven think that Dan had failed in his heavenly mission to find a human lover for Yeon Seo? Or will they give him a second chance at life and love, giving him a human body, to live once and for all as a human being, alongside Yeon Seo, until they both die of old age?



If you like true romance stories, beautiful music, and a set of conniving characters trying to block the happiness of the main principal characters, then THIS is your K-drama of first choice. It may be a bit predictable for the long term K-drama fan, but those relatively new to the genre will no doubt think this is The Cat's Meow. Check it out and see if you like it. Only you can make that determination, despite what any reviewer or critic has to say.