Joo Ki Beum (Song Ha Yoon) was once Korea’s favorite star. On a filming trip she meets Gong Ma Sung (Choi Jin Hyuk) and the two fall in love at first sight. Unfortunately, Ma Sung has an accident and not only does he forget all that happened that day but he can’t form new memories. Three years later the two meet again but what happens now that Ki Beum is not the Hallyu star she once was and Ma Sung can’t form any new memories? Can he fall in love if he can’t remember?
Joo Ki Beum was a helpless star with an attitude an aura of entitlement. She was rude and didn’t really care for others around her. After she was stabbed in the back and fell from fame she learnt her mistakes.
Now she works odd jobs to make a living for her and her family. She is infamous and has millions of anti fans. People still recognize and blame her for her co-worker’s death after three years. She tries to believe that the public’s hate doesn’t upset her. Ki Beum’s not the innocent rich girl she was before. She has done her best to forget the man she met suddenly years ago. Still, the wound and memories are fresh for her.
Gong Ma Sung is a talented neurosurgeon. He helps the troubled Ki Beum and falls for her innocence. On the night that the two promise to meet he gets into an accident and injures his head.
Due to the head trauma he suffers from Cinderella Amnesia which prevents him from remembering anything that happened the day before. He spends his nights writing a journal in his study about his day and the things he needs to remember.
He doesn’t remember the day of his accident nor the tattoo he suddenly has on his hand. Despite his inability to remember he has put his life together as best as he can. He works in a hospital as a Center Director designing a healing village for dementia patients.
After he meets Ki Beum accidentally again he is flustered. He doesn’t think much of their meeting at first but the next day when he remembers flashes of her face and their meeting he becomes confused.
“Your memories disappear every day but your brain is working hard not to forget that love. That’s why you keep thinking about that woman.”
Ma Sung is diagnosed as having fallen in love. He starts his own notebook for his memories with Ki Beum and finds himself drawn to her company every day.
We also have Sung Ki Joon (Hoya) to cheer up Ma Sung and Ki Beum’s days. Unfortunately his mother isn’t as fond of Ma Sung as she appears to be.
Now the first episode of Devilish Joy was painful. The second was less painful. The third enjoyable and fourth fun.
Somehow the writer of this drama wanted to make the start as cliché as possible. We have a useless female lead who can’t even find her way on her own, a good-hearted and otherwise perfect male lead who helps her and offers her love at the same time.
Ma Sung; “Can you give me your heart?”
Ki Beum is then harassed by foreigners and saved by Ma Sung and as they run away together they fall in love in one day. At night they promise to meet again but an accident happens. Of course a tragedy occurs and the female lead falls from grace. Now we have the usual kdrama starting point: a pitiful female lead who is hated by many and a handsome and accomplished chaebol heir who falls for her despite all this.
Now I know I’m being very negative here but give me a second to make my point. Like I said the first episodes were hard because of the clichés listed above. However, somehow Devilish Joy managed to turn those clichés into a working back story. Yes, now Ki Beum is just another type of typical female lead (hardworking and poor) but somehow I’m not tired of this.
I think the reason behind my fondness for this drama is Ma Sung’s inability to remember Ki Beum but his adamant will to remember her despite everything. And this “Cinderella Amnesia” will be an excellent plot tool if the drama works it right. I also have to mention the wittiness of the title and the main lead’s names. Ma Sung (meaning devilishness) and Ki Beum (happiness) are translated straight to the name of the drama but the title can also be interpreted as Ma Sung’s Ki Beum. So sweet.
So Devilish Joy has infinite possibilities and despite a bad start it is on its way to the right path.