A poor penniless girl, in the hope of finding her lost brother, helps a homeless pauper who later turns out to be an heir to a conglomerate. There, I just gave you the plot of Shopping King Louie. With a plotline as simple as this how will you churn out 16 drama episodes? Well, that is what I first thought about this drama. But after watching the show I was stunned at how the show makers built an amazing story with two excessively trusting and naive characters. When I started watching the drama I was expecting some silly romance where a girl helps a rich man who has lost his memory and then gets separated after he remembers who he is and then reunites when he realises his love for her. Surprisingly, this drama was far from anything like that. In fact, it didn’t even dip a toe in any drama clichés. An honest show like this makes me glad to have discovered K-dramas.
Shopping King Louie (2016)
Kang Ji Sung aka Louie (Seo In Guk) is the only heir of Gold Group. He is a shopaholic who spends most of his time buying stuff online. Since Louie is the only living family member of the Chairman of Gold Group, Choi Il Soon (Kim Young Ok) she pampers him by giving him with everything he asks for. One day Louie meets with an accident, loses his memory and ends up on the streets. He then meets a girl named Ko Bok Sil (Nam Ji Hyun) who has come to the city in search of her lost brother Ko Bok Nam. She catches hold of Louis as he is wearing her brother’s jacket. She asks him about her brother but since he has lost his memory he cannot recollect anything related to Bok Naam. She then decides to take care of him till he regains his lost memory and finds her brother. The two share a rented room and continue with their search for Bok Naam. As days go by Louie grows fond of the innocent and helpful Bok Sil and Bok Sil too sees herself falling for the crazy shopaholic Louie.
Ko Bok Sil: I have a girl crush on actress Nam Ji Hyun. Her dazzling smile brings a smile on my face. Ko Bok Sil is too naive to survive in the real world. But, Bok Sil’s character develops so magnificently in the show that you start believing in her existence. I will give credit to Nam Ji Hyun for her impeccable portrayal of Ko Bok Sil. She played the character so earnestly I felt as if the character was written only for her.
Seo In Guk: After watching Shopping King Louie I don’t think anyone will believe that Seo In Guk is actually 29 years old. In Guk plays the pampered, protected shopaholic chaebol (rich businessman) Louie to perfection. There is a stark difference in Louie’s body language before and after he loses his memory and Seo In Guk adapts it very naturally.
Couple Chemistry: Seo In Guk’s chemistry with Nam Ji Hyun was simply brilliant. I loved the two actors individually as well as a couple. They both looked young and of the same age (despite the eight year age gap) and that helped in making the couple look convincingly naive. I was shipping the two big time and not once did I ever feel that Joong Won had any chance with Bok Sil. Ko Bok Sil and Louie’s love stands the test of time as they stand by each other through thick and thin.
Distinctive Characters: Be it the ingenuous lead character or the strange supporting characters, the drama had some really peculiar characters. Characters in the drama were not out and out good or bad. There was a little bit of good and bad in everyone, which the show captured effectively. For instance, Baek Ma Ri is actually is a good person but her need for attention and recognition from people often drives her to do unwanted stuff. Similarly, Jo In Sung and his mother Hwang Geum Ja initially try to fool and take advantage of Bok Sil and Louie but gradually grow fond of the two and start caring for them. Meanwhile, the antagonist Mr Baek Sun, does show a human side and even gets a chance to redeem himself, which is something I really appreciate of the writers. By the end of the show, all the conflicts are neatly solved and the drama gets its perfect ending.
I tried my best to find some flaws in the drama but trust me they were too minor to be added here. I am not saying that the drama is flawless. It does have its negative points but the show is so heart-warming and sincere that I do not want to add negative points and ruin it.
Aww and Wow Moments
Episode 2: Louie has lost his memory and remembers nothing. The only person he can rely on is Bok Sil. They sleep next to each other in a sauna and he holds her little finger while sleeping because he is scared that she might leave him while he is asleep. It is also the first time he reveals his fears after losing his memory to her.
Episode 4: Bok Sil is returning home, after a bad day at work, when it suddenly starts raining. Since she doesn’t have an umbrella she decides to run home but as she starts to run someone holds an umbrella over her. We see Louis holding the umbrella smiling back at her. He was waiting for her at the bus-stop as he knew that she wasn’t carrying an umbrella and didn’t want her to get drenched in the rain. His gesture deeply moves her and she is in tears happy to know that there is someone having her back.
Episode 6: Louie is in pain because of all the labour work he has done throughout the day. He is covered in pain relieving patches and is lying on the sofa unable to move an inch. However, when In Sung tells him that he saw a suspicious looking man in the neighbourhood he feels worried for Ko Bok Sil and forgetting his pain he runs nude covered in only pain relieving patches to Bok Sil to ensure that she is safe. The best thing about the scene is the music played. The whole scene of Louis parading semi-nude is too comical.
Episode 9: When Louie finally finds out that he is a rich boy, the first thing he wants to do is tell Bok Sil about it. With his reclaimed wealth he then only thinks of buying stuff for Bok Sil and all those who helped him.
Episode 13: Louie runs to prepare coffee for Bok Sil and she notices that he is aware of where things are kept even when she changed a few things after he left. He then confesses to having stalked her and visit her house in her absence. Aww….Louie-yaaaaa…..you are so cute… <3
Episode 15: Bok Sil is injured and is unable to use her hands so Louie helps her eat food. He tends to her so lovingly just like she did for him when he had lost his memory.
Episode 16: Just before the final scene, Louie reveals the reason why Bok Sil seems so familiar to him. The revelation scene fits perfectly like a piece of a puzzle and adds to the story explaining the deeper connection that the two of them share.
Shopping King Louie is devoid of clichés like a jerk of a chaebol falling in love with a poor helpless girl or a rich boy regaining his memory and forgetting his true love or rich classist grandma not approving of a poor love interest. I am grateful to the show writers for surprising the viewers with unpredictable twists and turns. The drama restores faith in humanity by showing some good-hearted, kind, and genuine characters. The drama also depicts how good deeds eventually pay off. The drama smoothly blends comedy and tragedy to bring the end result of a thoroughly entertaining show.
I give this show 4 out of 5 rating. Sincere characters and an astoundingly unique story make Shopping King Louie a drama that should be watched by everyone.