20130630_seoulbeats_cyranodatingagencyDating Agency: Cyrano continues to be easy, breezy, fun, and even has a splash of insight. But more importantly, in recent episodes, the story concerning our main quintet has amped up tremendously, as all our characters have finally gotten into significant personal story lines. And in the last episode (10), the leading trio of Seung-pyo (“Master”), Min-young (“Gong-stone”), and Byung-hoon (“Seo Il-rok” or “Sherlock”) has finally got a wrench thrown into their triangular relationship, making my wait for the next episode (at the time I’m writing this) even more agonizing.

It’s rather ironic that in my first impressions of the show, I wasn’t too happy with the character development and overzealous (practically comical) secrecy of Master. But as the episodes have gone on, I’ve grown to like the mysterious side to him, and now that certain events have passed, the elusive quality is even more appealing. It gives viewers something to ponder and anticipate as the mini-arches fly by us.

Spoiler-Free Zone ends here; though it’s not like these posts are ever spoiler free.

20130702_seoulbeats_dating-agency-cyrano_taeminEpisode 5: Youthful Love Is About Taking Risks

We last left off with our favorite fictional idol with the ego the size of the earth’s mission, also known as Ray’s (Taemin) case, start to see signs of weakness. Ah-rang is in an unfortunate love triangle with the client and his object of affection, Se-kyung.  But before you start thinking that this show is going to fiddle with our hearts for eternity, let’s go back to the premise of this particular case: young love.

The sticking point of episode four is not that the whole scenario turned out to be a love triangle, but why and how we deal with love as young people and how those perceptions often result in love triangles and wavering feelings. Se-kyung deals with un-requited love and dilemma of choosing between two immensely flawed men—one of which loves her when he realizes he’s about to lose her, the other loves her because she was the only one who didn’t immediately love him first.

Neither man is perfect, but it goes to show that it’s sometimes worth taking the risk. As the sincerity is evident from both men, Se-kyung’s choice is not wrong, shortsighted or dumb. Ray seems like the bad choice at first glance; he’s the one people usually consider the “worse guy.” Yet it’s Ray that puts himself on the line to love Se-kyung, something Ah-rang didn’t truly do, even at the very end. That risk that Ray took for Se-kyung makes him worthy of her. They both took a risk for each other, and whether that happens to end well is up to fate. Cyrano only promises to bring abut the start of a relationship—not that it will work out for eternity.

20130702_seoulbeats_dating-agency-cyrano_leekwangsooEpisode 6-8: Sometimes Love Is About Healing Each Other’s Wounds

There are few things in life sweeter than cake—like falling in love with a baker who is as sweet as the desserts he makes. Lee Kwang-soo guest stars as Choi Dal-in, a masochist baker who falls in love with his opponent from a celebrity cooking show, Dokgo Mi-jin (Goo Eun-ae) a no-nonsense woman who is wary of men after being betrayed by her former boyfriend chef, Yeom Chi-moo (Lee Yong-joo).  Choi Dal-in comes to Cyrano Agency with a request that seems impossible: to get a someone who hates him to fall in love with him.

The Cyrano crew quickly find out that Dokgo Mi-jin is carrying scars from her previous relationship with Yeom Chi-moo, who stole her crab recipe and became famous from it without giving her any credit. As a result, she ends up distrustful of men and angry at the state of females in the chef world, and is also the reason for her cold demeanor towards Choi Dal-in.

The Dating Agency crew help Dal-in find justice for Mi-jin, effectively becoming her “shield” or as they say in the show, her “airbag,” that she can depend on. Mi-jin opens up to Dal-in as he time and time again stands up for Mi-jin (though it was staged at times). In the end, Mi-jin and Dal-in get their happily-ever-after on national television. As for Dal-in’s masochist side, we can suspend disbelief and just say that his love for Mi-jin will overcome that little quirk of his.

20130702_seoulbeats_dating-agency-cyrano_gongyoo_jungyumiEpisode 9: Love is About Gaining Confidence And Loving Yourself First

Jung Yumi cameos as Bong Soo-ah, a woman who isn’t all that far from a tame version of Sunako (Perfect Girl Evolution is actually referenced in the show) who is afraid of men, yet in love with Gong Yoo‘s back  magician character without a name. This “ghost girl” arrives at Cyrano Agency right as Byung-hoon begins to face his “unlucky period”—something he realizes after smacking his head on a lamp while waking up that morning from a dream where he is drowning.

Byung-hoon knows that stepping out of Agency door is a bad idea, lest he wants to die. Therefore, he refuses to take the case; but Min-young, being the spunky girl she is, goes against his wishes and agrees to help Soo-ah (the first female client!). Unlike previous cases, Soo-ah asks not for direct romantic intervention. Instead, she desires to obtain the self-confidence to pursue/confront the man she likes.

Along the way, the Cyrano members, particularly Moo-jin (Hong Jong-hyun), gain a bit of insight into their own love and perceptions of love. Ah-rang finds about some of his mistaken perceptions via the “budding” quasi-relationship between Min-young and Byung-hoon, while Moo-jin racks up his own confidence to ask out Hye-ri, the helper at Seung-pyo’s restaurant. At the same time, Min-young and Byung-hoon start to actively sense sparks between them, and even begin to unconsciously (or deny) deeply caring for each other.

Seung-pyo, on the other hand, is falling more and more for Min-young, and is this sad little puppy that keeps thinking about her and annoying his two “gang minions” that are surprisingly helpful. He makes a bet with Min-young that he would grant her a wish if she succeeds in getting ghost girl noticed.

Min-young, with a couple of nudges from Byung-hoon, does succeed in mustering up Soo-ah’s courage to confess. Soo-ah runs off to the amusement park to find her magician knight in shining armor, with Min-young barely scrambling after her. Actually, Min-young actually never finds Soo-ah; instead, she gets to be Byung-hoon’s hero and saves him from drowning at the amusement park. Indeed, that “dream” was actually a premonition. But most importantly, Byung-hoon’s unlucky streak ends.

20130702_seoulbeats_dating-agency-cyrano_sooyoung_leechunheeEpisode 10: Love Isn’t Going To Wait Until You Come To Your Senses…Or Maybe It Does

(Byung-hoon, that’s totally meant for you.)

For a second I thought that we were actually going to get a legitimate request from an old lady, but that’s not the case. Madam Hwang, better known as Moo-jin’s Grandmother (Yoon So-jung) has come to Cyrano Agency to get her caretaker, Lee Hae-shim (Ye Ji-won) and firefighter Kim Chul-soo (Im Won-hee) to fall in love with each other. Byung-hoon is reluctant to take on a case that would involve making two people fall in love with each other, but he agrees because of Moo-jin.

It turns out that Hae-shim was already in love with Chul-soo, but it was Chul-soo who was being reluctant to reciprocate. Chul-soo constantly avoids Hae-shim, and actually runs away from his “date” with her at Namsan Tower. Nobody knows why he acted so strangely, but Byung-hoon is quite sure that it has something to do with the couple locks that are commonly found there. Soon after, Moo-jin catches Chul-soo driving somewhere with another woman, which gets the Agency worried that Chul-soo may already have a girlfriend.

In the meantime, Moo-jin finally is being forward with liking Hye-ri (Ha Yeon-joo) and takes her to his grandmother’s retirement home/hospital, (which only took like five-hundred episodes of heart monitoring) and Ah-rang is rapidly becoming a Byung-Min shipper (and a Hye-Jin shipper for that matter). But for this episode’s shocker, the crown goes to Seung-pyo, for not only confessing to Min-young, but promptly after being “rejected,” going to Cyrano Agency and trying to hire Byung-hoon to get Min-young to like him. That is definitely the way to do it, Mister Mysterious, being assertive about your feelings. If anything, this should hopefully cause Byung-hoon to wake up to his feelings for Min-young. —Or not, because Byung-hoon is the king of being stubborn.

20130606_seoulbeats_cyranoThe show has certainly amped up in the past few episodes, both from still-secret dealings of Seung-pyo (Is he a gangster? Why does he hate Byung-hoon?) and the romantic craziness via all the clients and main characters’s own complicated love life. Cyrano looks to get more and more interesting as we get into the last stretch of the drama, while maintaining the episodic, lighthearted feel from all the cliental; basically, it has finally hit the perfect balance the grand story-line and the smaller story-lines that I was initially hoping for.

However, now that we’re past episode 10, Dating Agency: Cyrano isn’t looking like its going to be the smash hit that the other Flower Boy shows were. Despite this, I think it will continue to have a small, but devoted following that I’m happy to be part of. Since this is cable, I have next to no worries about the writing going down the drain due to low ratings, and I’m super excited to see how  everything pans out in the end.

Do you all still follow Dating Agency: Cyrano? Let us know your thoughts about the recent episodes!