Sell Your Haunted House (2021) Early Impressions
No one is more surprised than me that I’m watching this primarily for the romance but then supernatural thrillers tend to be a bit of a hit and miss for me. I don’t object to the genre on principle but it’s undoubtedly hard to write a good ghost story that’s better than someone else’s particularly when there’s such a glut of them. Master’s Sun wasn’t the masterpiece I hoped it was. Hi Bye Mama I dropped after a few episodes (despite the lead actors) but Mystic Pop-up Bar was a genuine delight. A Korean Odyssey was on the cusp of something good but the final act really didn’t do the rest of the show much justice. I’m still not sure what I think of Doom At Your Service but that’s perhaps a post for another day.
To be frank the first episode did not immediately click with me. I didn’t warm up (no pun intended) to the male lead straightaway or was sold on his introduction as something of a paranormal grifter who turns out quite ironically, to be psychically gifted. But there was something about the end of said episode that made me think that there could be a lot more to In-beom and the bigger storyline to warrant further interest on my part. Moreover there’s a decently written whodunit element that gives this drama some level of complexity. I don’t think the cases are particularly mind boggling but watching the backstories of the wandering, restless ghostly victims unfolding is always fun. There’s nothing new here (the storyline has resonances of Korean Odyssey) but the mysteries add something to the mix, giving the audience some thing to sink their teeth into. So far the case that gripped me and had me guessing the entire time was the one about the talented but penniless artist who was murdered.
I won’t deny that I’m watching too many K dramas right now but yeah, there’s not a lot here that shouts “wow” for me. It’s fun though.
Jang Na-ra I have always liked though not necessarily followed. She’s an actor that’s also discovered the elixir to eternal youth apparently. I can’t in all honesty say I watch this for her but I enjoy what she brings to the table. The truth is I jumped onto the bandwagon because I heard almost universal praise for it. Since I’m semi-convalescing these days, I thought I would take a peek. So far, apart from some initial misgivings, it’s immensely watchable although it doesn’t entirely live up to the hype. Jang Na-ra is good though and her prickly character with a heart of gold is one that works for me, considering her circumstances and history.
I’ve always been somewhat indifferent to Yong-hwa as an actor until now. He’s not a great actor by any stretch of the imagination but he is well cast here as In-beom the psychic who is endowed entirely to be Ji-ah’s other half. There’s little doubt in mind after 7 episodes that romance is on the cards for those two and one that I can get behind. As I’ve said elsewhere, as the two navigate the path of becoming ghostbusting partners, they are clearly being set up as a Yin-Yang couple. Opposites with skills sets that complement each other in a variety of ways. I’m enjoying their dynamic more now that they are working together affecting change in one another. I especially like the effect that In-beom has on Ji-ah and providing her with much needed companionship in her lonely existence. There’s some acknowledgement of that from her too which is unexpected. His optimistic happy-go-lucky is a nice foil to her gloomy world-weary jadedness. He is yang to her yin — Sunny and cheerful bringing much needed warmth to aloof, cold and cheerless. Black looks good on her but it is symbolic of where she is at this time. Their combination seems to call for a future consummation that’s not all about taking down restless spirits. The foundations are there for them to have some kind of happily-ever-after together. Besides someone needs to look after Ji-ah for a change.
Needless to say I’m tuning in for their relationship above all else. I hope all goes well in that regard. The other stuff is just gravy.