Netflix’s latest Korean sitcom, So Not Worth It, is a real mixed bag of quality. Despite a welcome sign of diversity and a slew of intriguing characters, this K-drama doesn’t have the legs or the writing quality to sustain it across 12 episodes. With heavy exposition, an episodic format and one annoying laugh track throughout, So Not Worth It is going to be divisive.
The story here takes place inside a colorful and diverse International college dormitory in Korea. It’s home to students from around the world, who speak English and Korean in equal doses. Among those is Park Se-Wan, a business major who’s the head honcho around these parts. Newcomer Jamie Houston is an American with a star-studded past, and these two inevitably flirt with a will they/won’t they romance all season long.
There’s also a whole host of supporting players too, including Carson who’s an American senior and Korean-Australian Sam. Minnie is a Thai Sophomore and a K-content major, while Hans is a Swedish import. Alongside this group are both Hyun-Min and Terris who have the best one-liners in the series.
Best may be pushing it a bit though as this K-sitcom is going to be a real love/hate affair with its humour. The best way to describe this is Disney Channel silliness with a couple of well-timed comedic quips. It takes the show a long time to settle into a consistent groove too, and it’s not until the second half where a more serious story starts to weave its way through the episodes.
The humour is all over the place too, and it’s really not helped by an ill-timed laugh track that seems to play at the most bizarre segments. A few times this just randomly plays during a bite of dialogue that’s not even funny. Other times it arrives before the punchline – and then remains silent during the part of a joke that’s actually quite humorous.
The early episodes also pile on random skits and throw a lot of different styles of humour at you in quick succession, which makes things feel more uneven than they should be. Tis does subside late on, but whether you’ll make it that far or not remains to be seen.
Like any new venture, there’s always going to be some bumps along the way. So Not Worth It perhaps has a few too many to make the ride wholly satisfying but the destination definitely brightens up. The second half is stronger than the first, and if you can take to the laugh track and the sporadic bursts of humour then there’s definitely enough to like here.
It’s just a pity that the first half of this is so stiff and over-developed. You can tell some of these actors are really nervous and the abundance of exposition and random-firing humour does this show no favours.
Compared to other comedies of its kind, So Not Worth It doesn’t quite ring true to its name but perhaps should have been called “it’s not quite worth it.”
Verdict - 5.5/10