The Smile Has Left Your Eyes
or How To Put 3 Great Actors Into Trash
tvN (2018) 16 Episodes
Melodrama, Grade: C-
Korean Drama Review by Jill, USA

It's rare when cable station tvN makes bomb K-dramas but they managed to do it at least twice in 2018, the awful Mr. Sunshine which I couldn't finish because I felt the two lead actresses were bloody awful and unfit to be working with great actor Byung Hun Lee, and this one, The Smile Has Left Your Eyes. I thought it actually started out semi-interesting, but as the series progressed it got ickier and ickier morally, making me feel that cooties were running around on my skin while I watched these progressively sleazier and sleazier characters, and I couldn't wait till it was over and I could watch much better K-dramas with some inspiration and true romance about them! The only reason I stuck with Smile was because of the lead actors, whom I've liked in other projects over the years, Seo In Guk (The King's Face), Jung So Min (Because This Is My First Life), and Park Sung Woong (Remember). (The dramas I just listed for them are A+ dramas and you should watch them instead).

Perhaps they were sold a bill of goods in signing up for this trash drama, and every actor during their careers makes some bombs, so I will try and forgive these actors for being stupid enough to sign on for this one.

Would YOU ever fall for a man whose bad
actions resulted in the death of your best friend?

The Story:

Mysterious Kim Moo Young (Seo In Guk) works low level jobs and does not remember anything from his childhood, for reasons that aren't revealed until over half the drama is completed. He is a sociopath who has little feelings for others, lacks any moral compass, and uses people just because they intrigue him on some level.

He takes up with well known entrepreneur artist Baek Seung Ah (Seo Eun Su) and while she falls for him pretty much instantly he holds back emotionally; he beds her and then tries to wiggle out of the relationship, but she challenges him not to escape from the relationship too early, that they should take a trip together and while alone without distractions he might actually discover that he loves her. He agrees and off into a car they go together, but tragedy strikes when someone who is jealous of their relationship follows them, sideswipes their car on purpose, and causes an accident which kills Baek Seung Ah (it should have killed Kim Moo Young instead!).

Meanwhile we follow the lives of business woman Yoo Jin Kang (Jung So Min) and her older brother Yoo Jin Kook (Park Sung Woong) who is a detective out to solve a murder case of a female university student whose case was at first ruled a suicide but later determined to be a murder. Sister and brother live together in the same apartment and seem very close, but one senses this calm existence is soon to blow up in their faces.

Yoo Jin's best friend was Baek Seung Ah who died in that car crash, which really was an attempted murder as well. She grieves for her, but it seems only for day or two, because she had met and been attracted to her friend's lover Kim Moo Young as well, although had never admitted it to anyone, not even to herself.

With her best friend gone one would THINK she would be wise enough to stay away from the troubled Moo Young, but instead she takes a ridiculous compassion upon him, tells him he should strive to become a good person, and he becomes intrigued by her (next victim on his list, obviously!). Her brother pleads with her to leave him alone (partly for secret reasons revealed later), but the two young people take a journey to the Catholic orphanage where Moo Young was raised, and then after talking to a nun there they go off and have sex together! (At this point I was at serious risk of barfing!). Who challenges a potential lover to be a good person first, and then immediately goes out and fornicates with him, before he's proven anything to her? Ridiculous stupidity. Once again the old saying,"Bad company corrupts good character" is proven true. When will human beings learn?

Then the script made me even angrier when they suddenly turn the good older brother detective Yoo Jin into this wacko jealous person bent on revenge that his sister is being destroyed by Moo Young (turning this story into a borderline suppressed incest one, yuck!), suddenly informing the audience that detective Yoo Jin is the insane one, and not even biologically related to the "sister" he has been living with for years. Distasteful in the extreme, he was really the only character I liked, and they had to ruin him.

Boo, Hiss!

This drama COULD have shown three lives transformed by goodness and mercy but instead it went into the opposite direction and I felt used, waiting for something positive to happen, when nothing really did. I would highly advise you to stay away from this waste of a drama and find others to watch with a more redeeming, positive story line.