Monday, March 4, 2013

Love Is Reel: Or The Case Of The K-couple ♥ Part 3


So, I am finally on my third entry of the Love Is Reel series.

Since I finished an entry about school, might as well bring out another K-drama in a school setup. However, let us fly back to the Joseon era.

Sungkyunkwan Scandal

I was not interested in watching this at first because I seem to have some dislike for some period dramas. This drama made me change my mind because the plot makes all the drab colorful.

Unlike your usual drama with the perky girl and the insensitive guy, this is a bit different. The outlook of the characters in the drama are the outcome of the society in which they live in.

Kim Yoon Hee (Park Min Young) is born into a poor family, and because of an ailing younger brother, she works her days like a buffalo. Being an intelligent girl with the flair for the classics and calligraphy, she is working in a book store as a scribe, writing class notes to erotic novels. She is being careful with her work and with herself because... she is working as a guy...and using her brother's name, Kim Yoon Shik! Because of the injustices she has experienced and seen all over Joseon, it is no wonder why she never thinks of Joseon as a great nation. Her mindset is about to change the moment she meets Lee Seon Joon (JYJ's Park Yoochun).

Unlike the usual rude Hwang Tae Kyung or the curt Seol Gong Chan, Seon Joon actually has manners to boot aside from the distinguished family to which he was born into. Despite his politeness and being a gentleman, he is rather bookish, a bit self-righteous, and says what he thinks is right. However, because of his innocent nature, he is not that street-smart, and he cannot decipher vague idioms and feelings very well. Think of the case where he is tasked to go to the Bu Yong Hwa, the chamber of the daughter of the Minister of War. It is his servant Soon Dol who has to interpret it for him. And because he has no other friends, being with Yoon Hee makes him think of himself as a homo.

The idealistic Seon Joon and the realistic Yoon Hee get together in Sungkyunkwan. Despite their differences, both of them help each other grow. This is one pairing which I root for, aside from K-couples in "Gumiho Oejeon" and "My Girl." I like this pairing for the reason that Seon Joon looks at Yoon Hee as his equal and contemporary, and has high regard for her, unlike in other dramas wherein the female lead seems to be (as usual) second class to the male lead. I like the pair because Seon Joon is a gentleman. I consider this pair, however, my OTP #3 for certain reasons.

The Park couple: Park Min Young and Park Yoochun

Most of the second lead guys are often the calm, caring, and flower boy types. Think of Kang Shin Woo (You're Beautiful), Seo Jung Woo (My Girl), and Yoon Ji Hoo (Boys Over Flowers). The second lead in this, however, is the exact opposite: the rough guy with the I-don't-care-who-you-are attitude. Nevertheless, the second lead is burning hot! Kim Yoon Hee might be a smart girl, but I doubt she knows that her Moon Jae Shin-sahyung (Yoo Ah In) has feelings for her. Oh, so lucky girl! One thing that also make girls swoon over Jae Shin is when he hiccups when there is a girl. Does that make up for the tough persona, eh, Moon Jae Shin? There are so many chances that Jae Shin could have taken Yoon Hee's heart, but like in any K-dramas, the second lead never gets the girl. Moon Jae Shin and Yoon Hee pairing is my OTP #1.2.

Park Min Young and Yoo Ah In

 Wait... 1.2?????

So, who is OTP #1.1? That will be Yoon Hee and THE Goo Yong Ha (Song Joong Ki). For those who had seen the drama, Yong Ha has the interest in Yoon Hee even in the first episode. When I saw Song Joong Ki for the first time, I was thinking he was absolutely cute and adorable. And who would not melt with his playboy acting as the smart player Yong Ha? We know that Seon Joon and Jae Shin saw real evidences of "Yoon Shik" being a girl, but I had been wishing that Yong Ha could also, at least, see an evidence. But of course, because of Yoon Hee's awkwardness, Yong Ha could get what she really was about. It was too bad that Yong Ha and Yoon Hee never get to have a love line on their own. Maybe to cut all the complications? Those times when Yong Ha would playfully tease Yoon Hee are, for me, not sufficient. I would like to see Park Min Young and Song Joong Ki again in a drama.

Song Joong Ki and Park Min Young

As I have an OTP #1.1, OTP #1.2, and OPT #3, where is my OTP #2?

If you have seen "Sungkyunkwan Scandal," you will see that there is a cute OTP that is composed of two hot guys. That spot will belong to Yong Ha and Jae Shin. We know that Yong Ha is not gay. We know that he has a lot of flings, and that he is a friend to the gisaeng Cho Seon. We know that he plays mischievous pranks on Yoon Hee. But have you seen how he acts around Jae Shin? Like he has some feelings for his friend? And have you remembered when he shed some tears when Jae Shin ignored his warning? If you have read the 2007 bestselling novel "Lives Of Sungkyunkwan Confucian Scholars," which was written by Jung Eun Gwol, you will read the chapter wherein Yong Ha kissed Jae Shin. No kidding!

Yoo Ah In and Song Joong Ki

My list of K-dramas will include this drama. I did not regret watching this funny and inspirational drama.

Up next to my list...

Innocent Man

Because I got addicted to the charming and cute Song Joong Ki, I was also drawn to the constant flooding of "Innocent Man" on my FB wall, thanks to Korean showbiz news pages. I decided to watch this because of Song Joong Ki.

The plot is rather typical. You get the picture: A younger man and his noona girlfriend. Girlfriend gets into trouble, and lovestruck Boyfriend foolishly takes girlfriend's place. Girlfriend leaves Boyfriend for someone rich and powerful. Boyfriend is put in jail, goes out after many years, leads a wasted life, plans his revenge. Boyfriend comes to haunt Girlfriend. Girlfriend tries to take Boyfriend back. Boyfriend takes revenge by chasing after daughter of Girlfriend's hubby. Boyfriend breaks Rich Daughter's heart, exacting revenge on Girlfriend in many ways than one. Catastrophes, amnesia, more revenge plots.

That's how the story of "Innocent Man" revolves. That is just the little summary I have of the story. However, what makes me like the drama is that Kang Maru (Joong Ki) executes his revenge in an intellectual manner. There is not the usual use of guns and bombs in exacting his revenge. He plays mental games and takes on a psychological warfare with his noona ex-girlfriend, the scheming and gold-digging Han Jae Hee (Park Shi Yeon). He also pulls the strings on the equally intelligent Seo Eun Gi (Moon Chae Won), but too bad, he falls in love with her. Now what with your revenge, Maru?

Though Jae Hee and Maru are the first lovers in the drama, I like the second lovers best: Maru and Eun Gi. One thing I like about Maru and Eun Gi is when Eun Gi confesses to Maru (Episode 7) that in 29 years of her life, it was her first time to fall in love, and that Maru was her first kiss. The confession in the rain was so damn sweet that it made me cry. Kudos to the writer of the dialogue. Where did you get the inspiration for it?

Song Joong Ki and Moon Chae Won

Though I did not like the ending for being ambiguous, I like the drama as a whole, no matter how dark it was. As a writer, I will not always dwell with the cute dramas that I used to like. Sure, I still like 'em, but I have to broaden my horizon and delve in complicated twists in life. And "Innocent Man" shows me this. I also applaud Joong Ki and Chae Won for their acting.

Rooftop Prince

After Goo Yong Ha, Song Joong Ki became Kang Maru. And after Lee Seon Joon, Park Yoochun became Prince Lee Gak/ Yong Tae Yong. Am I connecting dramas or not? Nah~~

I think it will be very overwhelming, confusing, and scary if, in your quest for truth and justice, you will travel to another time. And that is exactly how Crown Prince Lee Gak and his royal entourage feel when they are transported from the 18th century Joseon to the modern Seoul while playing detective.

Sure, it gets mind-boggling that he has to investigate the death of his wife and Crown Princess, but things get complicated when he also has to connect the dots and investigate why he and his men are transported into the house of Park Ha (Han Ji Min), why Yong Tae Yong vanished, and why the people from the Joseon era are being reincarnated.

When you play Nancy, Frank and Joe Hardy, expect to have lots of clues, scheming enemies, and headache-inducing critical thinking.

I am not a fan of Yoochun nor of Ji Min, but I love their team up in this series. I can understand Lee Gak's proud demeanor, for he, of course, is Crown Prince! Be regal, that's what! But of course, our heroine here will not put up with it, and places the prince in his right place in modern Seoul. Ha! That will do some good to people who think they are so high and mighty. Thanks, Park Ha!

When you learn to understand each other, when you learn to sacrifice, it is a recipe for true love, right? Love will always shine through no matter the distance of time, even if it is epochs away. But of course, we have to get real. These things only happen in dramaland.

Park Yoochun and Han Ji Min

Another pair I love in this drama is the scholar Song Man Bo (1993 Lee Min Ho) and webtoonist Lady Mimi (Kang Byul). They are the typical cutesy girl and snobbish guy, but honestly, they look so cute and good together. ^_*

You Who Rolled In Unexpectedly

Being a fan of CN Blue, I wondered why my FB wall was being flooded with tons of news about "You Who Rolled In Unexpectedly," and about Kang Min Hyuk filming the drama. What the heck is it? I read the synopsis but could not understand everyyyyyyything about it, so I decided to watch.

At first glance, I thought, "This drama is so ajumma-esque. Not my thing, Shoo, shoo." However, I was dying with curiosity as to Min Hyuk's role, so I stuck until his appearance in Episode 7. Before I reached the episode, I got hooked in watching the drama, and I did not feel an ounce of regret. Not at all. Why?

Because this drama is a perfect mix of drama, comedy, love, and good feelings. I will not elucidate too much as to why I was able to come up with those realizations, but hey, this drama is worth the watch, even if you have to watch all 58 episodes of it!

Kim Nam Joo becomes included in my list of favorite Hallyu stars because of this drama. Where else can you see an icon so imposing that all the other thugs melt with just her glare? I mean, for me, she has this presence that can set the set on fire! A lot like Lara Flynn Boyle, perhaps?

Kim Nam Joo stars as Cha Yoon Hee, a TV producer who is no-nonsense, means her talk, talks her walk, and walks her talk. She is the embodiment of empowered women in this era, which is why I like her a lot. I like Cha Yoon Hee, and I like Kim Nam Joo. Too bad for all the guys out there, Yoon Hee shuns marriage for the sole reason that she hates in-laws. And what about a compromise? It will be best for her to be married to a guy who is not close to his family so the in-laws, and especially, the typical meddlesome mother-in-law, will stay out of their lives.

Bingo! She hits the jackpot, and finds Mr. Right in the person of Terry Kang aka the long-lost Bang Gwi Nam (Yoo Joon Sang). You know, these two remind me well of Kim Yoon Hee and Lee Seon Joon of "Sungkyunkwan Scandal." Differences are, Kim Yoon Hee hides her identity in order to live free while Cha Yoon Hee (oooh!!! Coincidence!) pushes her way with the knowledge that women in the modern era can do anything. Lee Seon Joon is bookish and naive in the ways of the world, while intelligent Gwi Nam is street smart (though he can be pretty oblivious sometimes that he is in Korea, not in the United States, and therefore, should conform to the Korean norms). 

Not your typical pair of domineering guy and "submissive" and cheerful girl. Actually, almost the exact opposite, though Yoon Hee also looks up to her husband with respect. The gentleman Gwi Nam and the tough Yoon Hee spell Admirable Couple.

Yoo Joon Sang and Kim Nam Joo

This drama has way too many characters that up to now, I still could not memorize the names of the aunts. To add thrill to the drama is to add unusual couples like Bang Yi Sook (Jo Yoon Hee) and Chun Jae Yong (Lee Hee Joon). Not my type of couple though, but I still rooted for them. Why?

Yi Sook is not your typical girl. She is not the makeup-wearing, boy-flirting, status-conscious girl. In fact, she is a real tomboy. Only that, a tomboy who falls in love with a guy. And Jae Yong is not your typical rich guy. You can say the screws in his head are about to fall off, especially when he talks to himself, forms scenarios in his head, and dreams of having a cute and sexy lady for a girlfriend. Despite the fact that Jae Yong still has a crush for his Teacher Cha Yoon Hee, and that he hates the tomboy look that Yi Sook is sporting, Cupid still shoots his arrows of love straight to Jae Yong's heart. Oooooh! Unusual love, I like!

Jo Yoon Hee and Lee Jee Hoon

Uhm, I was talking about Kang Min Hyuk, right? Now, where is he?

OMG!!!!! Min Hyuk... has turned into a heartless playboy???? Yep, my dear friends, Min Hyuk stars as the playboy but Cha-Yoon-Hee-scaredy-cat Cha Se Gwang, Yoon Hee's younger brother. I was so shocked to see him play as a playboy when I was so accustomed to seeing him act as the childish Yeo Joon Hee in "Heartstrings" and the clueless Kim Hae Won in "Bakery Attack," the second segment of the omnibus film "Acoustic." WOW! Min Hyuk has greatly improved! 

Playboy Se Gwang meets Flirty Girl Bang Mal Sook (Oh Yeon Seo). A typical pairing, right? I was not familiar with Yeon Seo until I saw this drama, and I have to say, though in reality, Yeon Seo is older than Min Hyuk, they make a very good couple.

How do I call them? Too bad, I cannot think of any! Nevertheless, I still want to see them in another drama together despite the scandal that Oh Yeon Seo got herself into in her stint for "We Got Married."

Kang Min Hyuk and Oh Yeon Seo

Ohhhhh.... The Bang sisters are lucky! Despite their shortcomings, guys still love them! And what about the eldest, Bang Il Sook (Yang Jung Ah)? Divorce is common in South Korea, but it is still a big deal in the family, especially by the elderly members. Complicated. Despite the fact that Il Sook is divorced from her abusive and two-timing ex-husband, she finds love, inspiration, and the means to change herself in the person of her teenage idol crush, Yoon Bin (Kim Won Joon). And did you know that Yoon Bin also falls in love with her? Whohooo!!! Lucky ajumma! A celebrity falling in love with a commoner is like finding a four-leafed clover. If you are lucky to find it, then it is for keeps.

Lastly, the parents of the Bang siblings deserve a spot. Uhm Chung Ae (Yoon Yeo Jung) and Bang Jang Soo (Jang Yong) are included in my list of K-drama couples or K-couples. There is this thing about elderly couples that I love: the love so strong that they stay together and grow old together. So sweet! Despite the fact that Bang Jang Soo ill-treats his wife for the loss of their son Gwi Nam for thirty years, they stay together. And there will always be room for forgiveness. My heart was crying along with the clouds when Chung Ae releases all the hurt when her husband asks for forgiveness, and I was also melting at his proposal that the two of them go away for a year with just the two of them. So sweet. I wish more couples will be like them instead of ending up in divorce or separation. That is just so sad!

For being a total package, I recommend this drama, and puts this in my list of fave K-dramas.


Whew! My eyes are tired and dry, and I have other K-couples in mind! I had made this longer, have I? 

By the way, photo credit to all owners!

And here, my friends, ends my list of the K-couples. Hope you enjoy, and please watch out for more entries. See you soon!

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