Review: Doom at Your Service (2021)

Doom at Your Service (2021)

Doom at Your Service was my most anticipated drama of the first half of 2021, because the trailer seemed to promise a dark, emotionally devastating story with a fantasy element. And while I’m not saying the drama doesn’t have these aspects, it turns out that my favorite parts of the drama were the slice-of-life moments, the humor, and one of the side characters.

The Central Storyline

Seo In Guk plays Doom, who isn’t a human or god, to perfection. His facial expressions, his wardrobe. I recently watched Reply 1997, the first time I’d seen him in a lead role, and really wanted to see more of him, so the timing worked out well! Doom is a very unhappy character, trapped eternally by his responsibility.

Park Bo Young, plays Tak Dong Kyung, a web novel editor who is diagnosed with a brain tumor and learns that she only has three months to live. To top it off, the first episode also reveals that her boyfriend is a dirtbag and that her parents passed away in an accident when she was young. I’ve been a fan of Park Bo Young after watching Oh My Ghostess (one of my favorites!!) and Strong Woman Do Bong Soon (too comedic for my taste, but I love her character and her chemistry with Park Hyung Sik is incredible). In Doom at Your Service, she really cries her heart out!

The premise of this drama is that Doom and Tak Dong Kyung enter into a contract that presents them both with a difficult, heartbreaking choice. It sounds so simple when I type it out, but I was extremely confused for the first few episodes, wondering if I missed something or failed to read between the lines. There were some very cryptic, mysterious lines that probably went over my head.

The development of Dong Kyung and Doom’s relationship sometimes didn’t make sense and it started going in circles. For the most part it didn’t have the emotional impact that I was expecting.

Adding to the fantasy aspect of this drama are conversations between Doom and God. Sometimes I did find these insightful, but overall, I can’t say that it was particularly memorable.

Slice of Life / Supporting Characters

Instead, what I loved was Tak Dong Kyung’s daily life and her interactions with the people in her life! Her co-workers, Team Leader Cha and the three team members, were such a treat. The dry, deadpan way that Lee Soo Hyuk delivered Team Leader Cha’s lines was spectacular. He’s the kind of character who you may not think much of initially, but slowly reveals his character by what he chooses to say (and not say). Even his scenes with his father were immensely entertaining. Their banter! I admit that I have rewatched all of Team Leader Cha’s scenes and I will be looking for Lee Soo Hyuk’s past dramas so I can see more of him.

Dong Kyung also has many interactions with the different writers she works with. There are a variety of different personalities, and I especially loved the “Young Prince” and the sass he threw at Doom. Ji Na is another one of Dong Kyung’s writers as well as her long-time friend. I loved that she’s a hopeless romantic and a passionate, exuberant person. The flashbacks that showed how Ji Na and Dong Kyung met were a lovely touch!

Dong Kyung has a brother Seon Kyung, played by SF9’s Dawon, and he brings a lot of energy and lightheartedness into the drama. Sure, Dawon’s performance was a little over the top, but I found it charming rather than annoying. It was also cute to see Dawon becoming a part of Hyun Gyu’s growth arc as he finds himself with someone to mentor for the first time.

Dong Kyung’s aunt was a nice character but her Canadian husband’s lines were all so bizarre and felt so out of place that they would take me out of the drama…

The Secondary Love Triangle

I am typically not that big a fan of love triangles because they stress me out, but I thought the love triangle between the supporting characters in Doom at Your Service was really well done. It was a storyline about regret, letting go, and moving forward, for all three of the characters involved. This was the most moving and emotionally resonant part of the drama for me, rather than the main romance!

Overall, Doom at Your Service doesn’t make it into my favorite dramas of 2021 but I did genuinely enjoy watching it.

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