Doona! review: Melodrama supersedes gratifying closures

Doona! follows a young college student crossing paths with a former K-pop idol at a sharehouse. The series is currently streaming on Netflix.


College student Lee Jon-Woon meets former K-pop idol Lee Doona at his new sharehouse. They get off on the wrong foot but soon become really good friends.

A love triangle enters the narrative as Won-Joon tries to get back with his high school crush Jin-Joon. However, he realizes he’s fallen for Doona, who is in love as well.

As their relationship flourishes, opportunities come knocking for Doona, but they also drift her apart from Won-Joon, who eventually gives up on their love.

The ending sees the two reunite and reconcile, before going their separate ways and leading happier lives in a conclusion that’s bittersweet.


Bae Suzy delivers a great and heart-rending performance as the titular lead. She does so much justice to the tormented beauty archetype with her sublime acting.

Yang Se Jong is fun to see and follow as the other lead Lee Jon-Woon. His presence is also rather warm and comforting, and his emotional scenes are really moving.

Ha Young renders pain with her character portrayal of the longing high school crush contending with far too many emotional and personal battles.


The casting is perfect. The actors are not just a treat for the eyes but also deliver competent performances.

The cinematography often uses some interesting angles and shots, and keeps the storytelling fresh, albeit in unremarkable capacities.

The chemistry between the main characters is electric during the intense moments and warm during the lighter and dramatic moments.

The narrative takes unique turns and a happy-ever-after ending being ditched for a bittersweet one deserves acknowledgment.


In-Wook is a manipulative groomer and despite Doona knowing and saying as much, she is shown to again be working with him. There’s no cathartic end to his arc or the treatment that he deserves.

Doo-Na is thriving at the end and it’s a great bit of development for her character. Yet, Won-Joon just seems miserable. It’s a bit unnecessary to not let Won-Joon and Doo-Na be together even after the hugging scene at the end.

Yi-Ra’s subplot is changed drastically from the source material but she’s not properly fleshed out and mostly kept around as a comic relief character.

This just wastes runtime since she doesn’t work as a comic relief but as a major supporting character with a lot of personality and dimension that are never explored properly.

The melodrama seeps through every crevice here and the love triangle at the center of it only drags the story out with characters like Jin-Joon not being fleshed out properly.


Doona! has a lot of heart and there are many good parts of this well-acted, well-made melodrama that are all bogged down by closures that are not there and endings that are anything but gratifying.

Doona! review: Melodrama supersedes gratifying closures 1

Director: Lee Jeong-Hyo

Date Created: 2023-10-20 12:30

Editor's Rating:

Also Read: Doona summary and ending explained

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