K-Drama Review: “Clean With Passion For Now” Proves Healing Is Possible If Given Enough Time
The plot may be basic, but the writers ventured a bit on its story. Clean With Passion For Now hits the mark when it comes to a fulfilling, light and romantic drama, guaranteed to inspire and heal.
The love story of O Sol and Sun Gyeol in Clean With Passion For Now was anything but easy. It was a classic case of opposite attraction. Sun Gyeol, who suffered from a severe case of Mysophobia, was the introverted CEO of Cleaning Fairies. He shuddered at the thought of physical contact with anyone and kept people away from him. Until Gil O Sol entered his life.
TITLE: CLEAN WITH PASSION FOR NOW
LENGTH: 16 EPISODES
BROADCAST DATE: 26 NOV 2018 TO 04 FEB 2019
MAIN LEADS: YOON GYUN SANG, KIM YOO JUNG, SONG JAE RIM, KIM HYE EUN, KIM WON HAE, AHN SUK HWAN, YOO SUN, MIN DO HEE, HAK JIN, LEE DO HYUN, CHA IN HA, KIM MIN KYU, SON BYUNG HO, KIM JUNG YOUNG
HIGHLIGHTS: UNCHALLENGING AND BREEZY STORY
DRAWBACK: PREDICTABLE & HAD ITS BORING MOMENTS, SOME CHARACTERS WERE UNDERDEVELOPED
QUICK PLOT ROUNDUP
SUN GYEOL AND HIS MYSOPHOBIA
O Sol starts working for the Cleaning Fairies. Initially, Sun Gyeol is disgusted over this girl who is almost always dirty. Yet he is unable to stay away from her either and constantly finds himself drawn to her. After protecting her several times in their job and several attempts to push her away from him, Sun Gyeol eventually realizes his true feelings for her.
Sun Gyeol is unaware of the deal O Sol made with his grandfather. O Sol promises that she will help Sun Gyeol in exchange for their help with her brother O Dol, who is facing suspension for using taekwondo to defend his father. O Sol tries valiantly to resist Sun Gyeol and keeps her feelings at bay.
SUN GYEOL AND O SOL ARE OFFICIALLY A COUPLE
Eventually her true emotions bubble up to the surface and O Sol finally accepts Sun Gyeol. As for the germophobic CEO, for the first time in his life, he feels like he wants to get treated for his mysophobia because of O Sol. Initially for O Sol, she tried to do everything she could to make Sun Gyeol feel better. She is patient with him and understands his illness.
Sun Gyeol is apologetic to her because he sees how she has to adjust to his Mysophobia. In order for Sun Gyeol to try to give O Sol a normal life, he goes to great lengths to go on “normal dates” with her. He even rents an entire movie theater and has his Cleaning Fairies thoroughly clean and disinfect the theater for them.
THE BEGINNING OF THE END FOR THE COUPLE
As much as O Sol appears to take things in stride, things come crumbling down for them when the family of O Sol realizes that Sun Gyeol is the grandson of the chairman of the AG Group, who was responsible for the accident that killed O Sol’s mother.
As difficult as it is for her, O Sol breaks up with Sun Gyeol, much to his surprise and chagrin. He does not take the breakup well. His mysophobia worsens even further after he found out that his grandfather was the real investor of his company all along. His emotional state causes a grave accident for Sun Gyeol, which shakes everyone around him. Diligently, O Sol stays by his side while he lays unconscious, begging him to wake up. His grandfather, whose own sickness compelled him to treat Sun Gyeol rashly and to force him to take over AG Group, seems finally guilty.
Upon regaining consciousness, Sun Gyeol speaks to his grandfather. As his last request as the grandchild, Sun Gyeol humbly asked his grandfather to sincerely apologize to the families of the victims. Sun Gyeol then leaves Cleaning Fairies, but not before Secretary Jang revealed to him that his grandfather actually took the time out to understand Sun Gyeol’s OCD and Mysophobia. She further narrates that’s how they met and his grandfather asked her to stay close to Sun Gyeol. However, Sun Gyeol was unperturbed.
Grandfather goes to O Sol’s family and formally apologizes. While they do not accept his apology, O Sol told him that they will not forget what he did.
The Clean Ending
Sun Gyeol leaves for the US and receives treatment while he’s there. Two years later, he returns to Korea and tries to win back O Sol. She refuses out of respect to her family. Unable to give up, Sun Gyeol opens a new cleaning company while he continues to pursue her. Finally, O Sol’s father decides to allow O Sol to date Sun Gyeol and live a happy life together with their friends.
AWARENESS FOR MENTAL ILLNESSES
Because I am a sucker for romance and I tend to shy away from complicated and drawn-out dramas, I have to admit that I was intrigued by the unique plot. I looked forward to Clean With Passion For Now because even though it was not the first drama that dealt with mental illness, they didn’t turn it into a tragedy. Instead, they created a character who was still functioning and was actually a success at work. He used his mysophobia and channeled it into a productive energy, that is, setting up a cleaning company based on his own cleanliness standards.
I must say, what a pleasant surprise Yoon Gyun Sang was. He was definitely in his element in this drama and embodied a man who was deathly afraid of germs. He was believable in his role, right down to the reactions on his face. Yoon had excellent comedic timing as well, because he was the unexpected source of giggle throughout the drama.
The character of O Sol required someone who can be adorably dirty. Someone who can look disgusting but you actually won’t feel disgusted by her. Kim Yoo Jung fit the role to a T. She had a bright smile that lightened up every scene she was in, but she acted extremely well as the forever part-timer, who willingly sacrificed her happiness for her family.
I felt like the ending was too rushed because they tried to cram everything into the final episode. We weren’t able to savor the triumph of O Sol finally getting the office job she longed for. We weren’t part of the healing process of Sun Gyeol. They neatly summarized the progress by sending him away for two years, then he comes back all better and ready to roll around in the dirt with his bare hands. As a viewer who invested time in this drama, I wanted to be part of that journey with them.
KIM WON HAE AS O SOL’S FATHER
I’ve been a great Kim Won Hae fan ever since Strong Woman Do Bong Soon, so I was really excited to see that he was part of the cast for Clean With Passion For Now. However, I couldn’t help but feel dismayed over the lack of his scenes. Whatever scenes he had were very powerful. For example, I loved the scene where he spoke to his wife in the crematorium. In that few seconds, he elicited a powerful emotion of longing for his dead wife. I felt his loneliness too and how much he wanted to have her with him to share his life with. With such great talent like his, it could have been utilized further by having his character be more involved in the story development.
Clean With Passion For Now was light and breezy. But it set a mission for itself to raise awareness on mental illnesses and nailed it. While the drama didn’t delve much into the progress of healing from the disorder, it conveyed a message of hope to those who may be in the same situation that it’s perfectly normal to not be normal. Seeking help is also necessary and isn’t something to be ashamed of.
Sun Gyeol suffered alone in his illness. But he made life difficult for everyone around him by lashing out at them when they came too close. He failed to realize that there were many people around him who wanted to help him. He kept everyone at a distance from him, but he also felt the loneliness he caused upon himself. There are a lot to learn from Sun Gyeol’s story and it’s a must-watch for those, who may be experiencing the same or even know someone similar to Sun Gyeol.
ABOUT THE WRITER
Nicole is on a mission to watch every K-Drama ever made. Her absolute favorite drama would be Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo.
She is currently watching Babel, Liver or Die and Fates and Furies. She is also counting the days until the premiere of The Light In Your Eyes.