“Welcome to Waikiki Season 2” depicts the friendships, love and dreams of young people.

Lee Joon-Ki (Lee Yi-Kyung) is an unpopular actor. He runs the guest house Waikiki, but the guest house is facing bankruptcy. To revive the guest house, Lee Joon-Ki drags his friends Cha Woo-Sik (Kim Sun-Ho) and Kook Ki-Bong (Shin Hyun-Soo), who all graduated from the same high school, to invest in the guest house.

Cha Woo-Sik is a picky person and he wants to become a singer. Due to Lee Joon-Ki, he puts all his money into Waikiki. Kook Ki-Bong used to be a promising baseball player, but he now plays in the minor leagues. Due to Lee Joon-Ki, he also puts all his money into Waikiki. Along with these 3 men, Han Soo-Yeon (Mun Ka-Young), Kim Jung-Eun (Ahn So-Hee) and Cha Yoo-Ri (Kim Ye-Won) all begin to live at Waikiki.

Review : By txc_vertigo (link)

The Good:

(1) It is quite unique in the sense that it is one of the only prime time sitcoms to air in the last couple of years. Yes, there are other comedy shows but very few use the sitcom format, which makes it stand out of the crowd in the kdrama landscape. As it is a sitcom, much of the comedy comes from the situations that the characters find themselves in. Many situations are also created by the characters through their lying and how the lying just keeps escalating is executed really well. Instead of causing frustrating misunderstandings it leads to ridiculously funny scenes.

(2) They use really cheesy effects in a good way, making them intentionally funny. For instance they use the classic comic book effect of a spark in the sky to indicate a home run. This shot isn’t meant to look good or realistic, it’s meant to be funny and it manages that well.

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(3) They use contrastive humor really well. For instance when there is chaos in a scene and they make it into a montage and put cheery music over it. What adds to the hilariousness is that the main cast are all really good at body gags. Through just their facial expressions and bodies they convey comedy that is truly universal and crosses language barriers.

(4) The show integrates aspects that are staples of Korean variety shows. It is not the first drama to do this but it never fails to be funny. Examples includes such classics as blasting Careless Whisper by George Michael when something is implied to be erotic, or Mai Piu by Andrea Bocelli when someone is expecting something romantic, or She Is by Clazziquai Project when there is some implied guy-on-guy action.

(5) The referential humor is on point, when they referenced The Face Reader, I was rolling with laughter. Game of Thrones soundtrack when determining who will take the throne of being the most handsome. Something in the Rain soundtrack plays everytime there is hints of noona romance, that actually isn’t that romantic. There are so many other references in the drama as well, some of which include: Harry Potter, The Guest, SKY Castle, Suicide Squad, Forrest Gump, The X-Files, Kill Bill, Love Actually, and Kimi No Nawa.

(6) The show also manages to deliver some really heartfelt and touching moments in between all the silly wackiness. All of the main cast get to show of their weaknesses, their dreams and their aspirations which makes the viewer really connect with them. It gives the show a lot of heart and makes the joke really count.

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The Bad:

(1) This show is riddled with plot holes and the story is definitely something that comes second whereas the comedy comes first. The natural progression of a story is thrown out of the window for the sake of comedy. While there is nothing inherently wrong with that, it would be more impressive if they could balance the two aspects at the same time.

(2) The comedy by repetition can be pretty funny, but at the same time it can also get really stale when they just spend too much time repeating the same joke over and over again. If you find the joke funny to begin with, it’s probably gonna get even funnier, but if you didn’t enjoy it, you’ll wish they just stopped.

(3) That one suicide joke in episode 14 just didn’t sit right with me. It felt so unnecessary. Considering the very high youth suicide rates in South Korea, I just cannot fathom why the writers would think this was a good idea. There is nothing wrong with dark comedy but when it comes out of left field in an otherwise lighthearted series it just feels out of place and unjustified.

(4) Due to its sitcom nature, the story lacks continuity. Unlike in season 1 where there is the baby left at the Waikiki guesthouse acting as an overarching plot thread that ties everything together, there is a lack of such a thing in season 2. That results in the story line not coming together in the same way. One possibility that they could have utilized was to put the missing father of the character Han Soo Yeon more at the center of the story to act like a similar plot device to the baby in season 1. Another way in which the story lacks continuity is through characters coming in and out of the story so frequently even when they should realistically be present more often. One such character is the landlord of the guesthouse who just disappears after the first few episodes. The guesthouse is also quite inconsistent since at times it feels like an actual guesthouse where there are actual guests living while at other times it just feels like our main casts dorm or collective living where they lounge about however they please without anyone else coming in or out.

Score: 7,0 / 10 – It is a perfect pick-me-up drama to watch whenever you are feeling like watching something fun but don’t go in expecting a mind blowing story. The comedy mostly hits the mark and it is occasionally quite touching. My single biggest wish would be that the story was more coherent, which would significantly improve the quality of the story writing.

5/5 - (2 votes)

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