Monday, February 15, 2016

'Imaginary Cat' Is Much Flawed, but Still Adorable and Funny

What makes Imaginary Cat different from other Koreanovelas I’ve seen at this point is it’s a short series.  It actually has 16 “episodes”, but these are separated among eight episode-installments – two “episodes” in each episode-installment.  So, technically, it’s a short series of eight episodes.

Imaginary Cat centers on Hyun Jong-hyun (played by Yoo Seung-Ho), a talented artist struggling to achieve his dream of becoming a webtoon writer.  While waiting for that big break to come, he works part-time at a bookstore for the time being.  He has a damaged, stubborn personality due to the tragic death of his first love, and being betrayed by another artist who took up their group project and passed it as his own, unfairly making him a successful webtoon writer.  His affection is virtually exclusive for Bok-gil (voiced by Han Ye-ri), a stray cat that he adopted years ago and has become his main source of comforting companionship in his rough life.  His cozy situation with Bok-gil is thrown upside down when he meets a quirky, cat-loving girl named Oh Na-woo (played by Cho Hye-jung).

This show has a list of flaws – primarily, the cliché-heavy, dumb script; the forced melodrama; the mediocre characters; and the laughably bad acting (sometimes).  But I actually enjoyed much of this series.  Why?  Because I’m a cat person, that’s why, and Bok-gil is cute and hilarious.  Her cat-thoughts are narrated by a voice-over, and her comments and expressions, partnered with the fact that she’s an adorable cat, made me constantly laugh out loud with glee.

Moreover, it’s very rare to have a cat be the main focus of a pet drama (usually it’s a dog).  In fact, I think it’s the first time I encountered a “cat drama” on screen.  Cat lovers will surely find Imaginary Cat charming and empathetically relatable to an extent – like I did.

In general, Imaginary Cat is actually forgettable and unexceptional.  Bok-gil is the only thing I can take from this show with fondness.  Still, it’s good enough for a short series that features a funny, cute cat.  If the series had been longer, even Bok-gil’s endearing presence won’t save it from being terribly boring.

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