First Impressions: Manny


Cute, cute, cuteeeee!!! Oh my God, what a wonderful show! I’m actually midway through the fourth episode right now, but I wanted to write up a quick first impressions before I watch anymore. My verdict? I’m totally infatuated with this new series! I’m not yet in love–that will have to wait–but I am addicted. I can’t help it–it makes me very giggly! So will I be sticking around this series even though there’s a huge crapload line-up of upcoming new May dramas? Oh, you betcha!

Ever since I finished watching President, I’ve been on the lookout for something else to distract me, something enjoyable and entertaining. I never expected to find it in Manny, seeing as how I wasn’t really interested in all of the promotional hype before its premiere. I didn’t know what to expect from it and was worried that I’d be wasting my time. Alas, my worries were unfounded. It’s a show full of sugary goodness, but not so much that I’d hate it! Manny may be a light-hearted watch, yet it has wonderful beats filled with touching scenes. I find myself becoming engrossed in the story, only because it’s somehow able to find a balance between the humorous and the serious.

This show owes a lot to its cast (just LOOK at Seo Ji Seok above!–I’m sorely tempted to MINE him. Should I?), and the child actors definitely shine in their roles. The first several minutes aren’t too impressive, yet as the show continued to introduce each character, it starts to find its footing and gets better as time goes on.

Kim Yi Han (Seo Ji Seok) is a popular sought-after manny, the male version of a nanny. When we first see him, we get this impression that he might be another insensitive jerk that’s so stereotypical in any drama. After all, he purposely picks a fight with a little boy and makes him cry, seemingly for no reason. Yet we see that it’s all an act, and that he’s actually a nice guy that knows how to figure out a child’s problems, be it bodily ailments or the psychological, and solve it. His charm is that he’s confident of his every action, making him exude masculinity that’s sensual it makes women nearby acutely aware of his presence.

I suppose that he is a wonderful specimen of a man to look at. I don’t mind that he seems to be so freaking perfect in this series thus far, because it’s still early on in the series. Though he has a detective eye and is perceptive, I’m sure he has a flaw somewhere. He is human after all, even if he is a super manny. I’m curious to see whether he also has some childhood issues from the past that needs to be resolved, with the whole baseball motif and all. Hm, I guess we’ll see where his character goes in the story!

On the other hand, Seo Do Young (Choi Jung Yoon) is a newly divorced mother of two, and has trouble finding a nanny to watch over her children, only because her children have driven away all the babysitters in the area with their childish pranks. She has to juggle between taking care of her kids and her job as a clothing designer, which is tiring. A random encounter with Yi Han gives her the opportunity to hire him as her children’s manny. She’s particularly jumpy and easily embarrassed around him, all too aware of his presence. It’s kinda cute to see a thirty-something ajumma act like a young teenage girl when she’s around a younger, attractive man. It makes me wonder if it’s been a while since she’s had any type of physical contact with her ex-husband prior to her divorce, or perhaps she really is just shy around men.

Contrary to the opinions of others, I find her to be adorable and sweet, not aggravating at all. For some reason, she reminds me of an adult version of Oh Ha Ni in a way. I don’t really know why, since the two are so different in their personalities. The only similarity between the two that I can think of is that they may not be the type of female protagonist others initially like, but perhaps with time, they become much more lovable.

I don’t doubt that underneath the clumsiness and shyness is a woman full of strength. We see that already with the way she’s around her children. As their mother, she puts her children’s welfare above her own, making sacrifices to make sure that her children are not treated differently just because they no longer have an active father figure in their lives. Although she cannot bring back their faither, she does her best to assist them the best way she can: loving and protecting them so that they don’t miss out on their childhoods. Ten points right there for motherly love.

Eun Bi and Jung Min are Do Young’s two kids. Eun Bi (Jung Da Bin) acts like a brat, though that may be a facade for what’s really underneath. She’s more like her aunt in many ways than like her mother–demanding and opinionated, not to mention stubborn. Smart for her age, she’s the mastermind behind many pranks on the past few babysitters who have tried to watch over them. Unlike her brother, she shows no outward signs of depression at having lost the only father figure in her life. It probably won’t be until a few more episodes in that we start seeing the veil of everything-is-alright-and-I’m-in-control fall to the ground.

Jung Min (Goo Seung Hyun) is younger and is thus far the only one who has demonstrated that he’s affected by the divorce. I’m sure that Eun Bi and Do Young are no less affected than he is, but since Jung Min is the youngest in the family, his depression is very apparent. It was this little boy that tugged at my heartstrings, who teared my heart into pieces when he cried and said that he does have a father despite what his classmates say. It was painful to watch, and even more so when we see how much he needs a father figure back in his life when he mistake strangers as his father, and hugs them from behind. But as luck or fate would have it, that’s how he meets Yi Han in the first place.

Miss Queen Bee here is the antithesis of her younger sister. Single, and running a flourishing modeling agency to boot, Janice (Byun Jung Soo) is at the prime of her life. She doesn’t have time for romance or raising children, though she loves her niece and nephew. She and Yi Han dislike each other almost from the very beginning, yet they have crackling chemistry when they’re together. They may be at each other’s throats, but it won’t surprise me if one falls in love with the other, given their dislike for the other. We all know that initial dislike usually turns to mutual or one-sided affection.

I’m assuming that if there will be a romance in this drama, it will be between Yi Han and Do Young. I wouldn’t mind if those two ended up falling in love, but I would also continue to love this show if the story focused more on the family interactions, rather than the romance. Because let’s be honest here, a drama doesn’t necessarily need romance for it to be a great, spellbinding show. At this point,  I think Manny will be perfectly fine if it didn’t add the romance factor into it. Focusing on the lives of the kids and how Yi Han helps them back on track is appealing enough already to draw me in.

Even though this show has bits of predictable scenes, the execution is spot-on, which makes each episode and character all the more endearing. Hence, I’m going to keep watching, because I know that the story will get better. Plus, I love the kids. Need I mention Seo Ji Seok? That man is hot-hot-hot!

So if all of what I’ve said so far fails to pique your interest, how about I stop talking and let this one photo do all the talking? [Yes, I’m appealing to your senses now. Get ready for it.

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BAM!

AHHHHHHHH!!! NEKKID MEN! GIMME SOME MORE!

You better believe that there will be lots of chocolate ab goodies in this drama. Why else do you think I was hooked within five minutes of the first episode? 😛 Anyway, what are you waiting for? *goes off to finish watching Episode 4*

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3 thoughts on “First Impressions: Manny

  1. Where are you watching Manny? I’ve been hearing about Manny and have wanted to watch it from the beginning, but no idea where to start looking for it… It sounds like something I would enjoy watching and my interest is definitely piqued.

    I think I’ll start it as soon as Summer break starts.

    • Hi Jane,

      I suggest that you go to soompi or am-addiction to find torrent & subtitles links. You would have to make an account to access those forums, though. You would also have to write something in the forum for am-addiction before you’re able to see the download links. Mysoju & Viki are streaming Manny, but I don’t like recommending streaming sites to people, unless it’s legal like DramaFever. Unfortunately, DF doesn’t have Manny yet. So I suggest going to am-addiction first. 🙂

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