A Good Day to Be a Dog - Full Review - kdramaandramen (2024)

A Good Day to Be a Dog – Full Review

Welcome to A Good Day to Be a Dog – Full Review. A young teacher has 100 days to break the family curse that turns her into a dog every night. If you haven’t watched this drama yet, I recommend checking out my unspoiled review here.

A Good Day to be a Dog

Aired: October 11, 2023 – January 10, 2024

# of Episodes: 14

Where to Watch: Viki

Genre: Fantasy Romance

Starring: Cha Eun Woo and Park Gyu Young

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The Story

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A young teacher has avoided dating her whole life because of a family curse that makes them turn into dogs if they kiss someone. But following a work drinking party, she kisses a fellow teacher, mistaking him for the man she has a crush on. Now every night for 100 nights, she turns into a cute little dog. And after that time she will become a dog forever, unless she can break the curse. Breaking it requires the same person who kissed her to kiss her again in dog form. But she has two major problems. First, the guy she kissed doesn’t seem interested in her and second, he is deathly afraid of dogs. So she sets out to befriend him, help him overcome his fear of dogs, and eventually gain his help in breaking the spell. And as she gets to know him, she will discover that this teaching rival that she had once despised as cold and uninteresting actually has a sweet, charming side.

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The Leads

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Cha Eun Woo as Jin Seo Won

Jin Seo Won is a math teacher at Garam high school. As a young person, he was bullied by other kids in his school and experienced a trauma when they threatened him with a big, fierce dog. Now he is terrified of any dog, regardless of size or temperament. But when the history teacher he has had a crush on offers to help him overcome his fear of dogs, he is thrilled with the excuse to spend more time with her. Little does he know that the cute dog his nephew keeps bringing home is actually her. And if he is going to save her from becoming a dog permanently, he is going to have to kiss her while she is still in dog form.

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Jin Seo Won is shy and embarrassed by his extreme fear of dogs. He hides behind a cool, quiet exterior. But inside, he is a warm and caring person who works hard to support his students and raises his nephew singlehandedly. And if he can find a way to show that true side of himself to Hae Na, he just might be able to win her heart after all. Cha Eun Woo is charming and it’s fun to see him as this slightly awkward, insecure character. This drama never digs too deep into character development, but Cha Eun Woo creates a character that is likable and sincere.

Park Gyu Young as Han Hae Na

Han Hae Na is a high school Korean language teacher. She avoids romantic relationships because of a family curse that causes her to turn into a dog if she kisses someone. But when she gets drunk at a work party, she finally decides to take the risk and confess her feelings to Bo Gyum, who is a fellow teacher. Unfortunately she ends up kissing Seo Won instead. Now every night she turns into a dog until morning. But there is a simple way to break the curse. She just needs Seo Won to kiss her while she is still a dog. But as luck would have it, Seo Won is deathly afraid of dogs. So she is going to have to help him get over that fear if she is going to avoid living the rest of her life as a dog. And she has 100 days to make it happen. But more important than the spell itself is the story of how it all began and who else had a part in the original curse.

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Han Hae Na is friendly and outgoing. She has always found Seo Won’s cold personality to feel condescending and rude. But when she is forced to befriend him and spend time with him, she begins to see that he is not at all the person she had assumed. And her desire to help him with his fear of dogs becomes less about saving her own destiny, and more about helping him heal from his past trauma. Park Gyu Young plays this kind of spunky, optimistic character well. I liked her in this role, and I enjoyed watching her relationship with Seo Won develop.

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Supporting Characters

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Lee Hyun Woo as Lee Bo Gyum

Lee Bo Gyum is a history teacher at the high school. He is the teacher Hae Na liked. But his interest in her goes beyond this lifetime and involves a long and sordid story of pain and grief. And he is finally close to getting the revenge he has always dreamed of. But as the present unfolds and collides with his unfortunate past and his role as a Mountain God, things will become more complicated.

Yoon Hyun Soo as Choi Yool

Choi Yool is Seo Won’s nephew. He is also a student at the high school his uncle teaches at. And when Yool accidentally discovers the truth about Hae Na’s curse, he vows to do whatever he can to help her break it. Yool develops a crush on Hae Na but in the end, he has to concede to his uncle, Seo Won, who finally succeeds in winning her heart.

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Kim Yi Kyeong as Min Ji Ah

Min Ji Ah is a new student at the high school. She is a known shaman and her classmates are interested in her special abilities. But when Ji Ah starts to have flashbacks to one of her former lives, she discovers that she knew and loved Bo Gyum in the past. And his current anger and plans for revenge stem from their past relationship.

Things I Liked

♥ Choi Yool

I really loved the character of Choi Yool. The way they handled his crush on Hae Na made him come across as mature and well-grounded. And the relationship between him and Seo Won was touching and fun. I did wonder at first if they would put him with Ji Ah, but that didn’t work out for him either. I think it would have been really easy to paint him as childish and jealous, but I am so glad they gave him more depth of character than some of the average “second leads”.

♥ Fun Humor

Especially in the beginning, this drama had some fun comic moments. Talking dog shows can get really cliche, really fast. But this one managed to make the moments sweet and funny without a lot of cringe factor. And I liked the relationship between Yoo Na and Woo Taek. They also had plenty of sweet, comic moments that kept things light without ever getting too heavy-handed. All in all, the cast handled the story with just enough levity to make it fun.

♥ The Dog Story

I enjoyed the concept of the dog curse, and although the story sounded a little weird, it was well told. I especially liked the first half of the show when they were focused on the curse, how to break it, and how to keep it a secret. I think this portion of the series was easily the strongest and most interesting. I didn’t like some of the other elements quite as well as the central story itself.

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Things I Didn’t Like

Uncle’s Story

I loved the idea of an uncle who had been unsuccessful at removing the curse. He is the cautionary tale of what happens if you don’t get your second kiss. But his storyline was strangely non-cohesive. The scenes of the very old, sick dog are heartbreaking, but then we move on to his miraculous transformation back to a human and he just seems fine. Then he loses his voice but mysterious gets it back again with absolutely no explanation. I’m not sure what the point of his character is most of the time, and they did nothing to explain any of it in a way that makes sense or makes me care.

Bo Gyum’s Lack of Development

The set up of Bo Gyum as a Mountain God was interesting and had lots of potential. But the big reveal was just that he got mad and decided to take revenge. There is no motive that really makes you sympathize with his character or the life he has led. The fact that he just runs away in the end is pretty anti-climatic as well. Also, why make Ji Ah a student, so that their relationship is weird and awkward? She could have been anyone from the school or community. And even so, she is just about to graduate. He only needed to wait a bit longer until they could be together. There is so much they could have done to make his story and character interesting in his own right, but in the end it all fell kind of flat.

Flashbacks and Repetition

Even with only 14 episodes, this drama seemed a bit too long for the material they had. The use of repetition in the story and endless flashbacks to the the same scenes over and over began to lose their appeal over time. Particularly toward the end of the drama, there seemed to be more memories then new material. Which is a shame, because I think there are other parts of the story they could have focused on if they had removed some of the overused scenes.

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The Ending

Pretty much everyone gets a happy ending in this one. The final episode starts with Hae Na getting all her memories back. Then we jump forward one year to catch up with all our characters. Now that the curse is broken and Bo Gyum’s revenge is complete, he and the Vice Principal have disappeared. Dong Cheol finally is back to being a human with a voice. After a rough patch, he and Ms. Yoon get back together and are moving forward in their relationship. Yoo Na and Woo Taek officially define their relationship and get engaged. Once Ji Ah graduates, she goes to find Bo Gyum and confess her feelings for him. The couple share a special time together as they release lanterns into the sky. I hope Bo Gyum can be honest now and return her love. After hiding the fact that they are dating, our lead couple decide to go public. Seo Won has overcome his fear of dogs and he and Hae Na adopted a dog of their own. The drama ends with Hae Na’s voiceover about how they are learning to enjoy the normal things in life together.

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Should I Watch

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“A Good Day to be a Dog” is a light fantasy rom-com. The concept itself is interesting and original, but the plot line wears a bit thin, even for a shortened 14 episode format. Cha Eun Woo is adorable, as always, and the cute dog scenes are hard to hate if you are an animal lover. If you are looking for a sweet, simple romance, this one certainly isn’t bad. The lead couples’ story is fun and their chemistry is well-played. But if repetitive memory sequences and obvious story fillers bother you, you might want to save yourself the frustration and find something with a bit more substance. I give “A Good Day to be a Dog” a 7 out of 10 ramen.

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A Good Day to Be a Dog - Full Review - kdramaandramen (2024)
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