Archive for July, 2011
Zany, is the word for the set-up on this show.
(Isn’t it curious how many excellent words for varying shades of crazy we have in our language?)
JavaBeans and girlfriday of DramaBeans.com were discussing how it’s an unusual note for a K-Drama to strike, this intentional-camp-and-pastiche with over-the-top plot points being integrated into a coherent plot. The craziness they love of the Hong Sisters’ dramas is similar (You’re Beautiful, with it’s meta-awareness at points, was pretty fun) but not quite the same.
Does it make sense that the North Korean spy-girl, who is so conservative and military-issue she’s never had a crush before, wears the cutest shorts with her button-up shirts over tees, and schnazzy (but not stiletto-heeled) boots?
Not really. And yet…yes.
She’s so clueless, she’s cute in a way that can be conceived as accidental.
I’m pretty sure this is why “top star Kang-Woo” can’t get her off his mind.
He’s the one *I* can’t get off my mind. With half his clothes, I want to avert my eyes (it’s like seeing someone trying to mimic G-Dragon’s fashion sense without access to the actual designers)
one begins to wonder why he doesn’t spend MORE than a quarter of the show in that classic jeans-and-wifebeater combo he works like a boss.
And then you remember it wouldn’t be so hot EVERY TIME, if absence didn’t make the heart grow fonder.
But really now.
This guy’s charm is not like Lee Min Ho, and suits may look cute on him, but they’re never going to fit his actual personality.
One of the things about City Hunter that I’m surprised to actually support is that while the love-line between Na-Na and Yoon-Sung took the fore in a mini-arc, once it was kind of settled, the actual mission came again to the front. Na-Na was still a major player, because she was set up as a character involved with the whole package, not just his solace in a nasty storm…
though very good at that, too.
The focus of the drama was all about relationshipS, a network of them, where no connection came without a couple of knots with others. Even though the action was hot, it was the pieces of this network falling together that was the primary suspense.
And so, what was the best love-line? All shades of love are involved in this drama…
appropriate since the denouement conflict is over choosing between the love of loyalty, blood, and altruism, too.
So then, we have Jin-Pyo, who made him who he is, and who is his harshest enemy. His mom, who he has the sweetest, bitterest reunion with. Young-Ju, with whom he has a rivalry that pushes both of them to excellence…and the funniest dominance games.
But who brings out the best in him? The human flaws and virtues?
Not Na-Na, actually. She heightens his conflict as City Hunter, and throws him into the hyper-reality of romantic love. No, this honor goes to everyone’s favorite ajumma…
I mean, look at these guys.
They have the sweetest exchanges, in terms of every-day back and forth in a friendship. The credit-cards arguments?
BEST THING SINCE COCOA
They’re the kind of besties that usually you only see in US chick-flicks. Lee Min Ho’s other best pairing notwithstanding…
It’s so cute, because while Yoon-Sung still feels the emotional lack of a mother, and all the ugly pressure of a swarm of fathers, Ajussi is the one who makes sure he’s living well, who gives him someone to take care of (who’s not a burden emotionally, but a real motivator to stay alive) and also a buddy who can help with whatever he’s up to.
Na-Na can keep up with the action, but Shik-Joong can be talked into doing the grunt work…
How cute is it that he’s the opposite of Yoon-Sung’s suave, plausible con man, and yet, he ALWAYS succeeds, too?
Aw. I will miss you.
This is a show set firmly in the 2kteens.
In a way, it must be horrible for actors to have to be on-target facially to such a high definition. Lee Min Ho does not have to cry over this, though.
I mentioned toward the beginning of the series that costumers know they have a good thing when he’s under their hands. I notice, in my screen caps, that there’s a lot of black, of course … and also hues of baby blue. It’s kind of in metro fashion these years, but it’s also definitely a good color on him.
Since there is almost no softness to his figure and features, the gentle colors don’t take away any masculinity.
EVEN if you put him in lace-texture blouses, too.
(I noted how they didn’t cop out on his sick-pallor makeup for several episodes after he got shot, and then again after being gassed. In looking back over the recaps I’m reminded how awesome that little detail is.)
Something else I’m seeing even more clearly from my screencaps is the introduction of warm, pinkish tones when NaNa is on the scene. I noted at the time the strong, but romantic light in this scene:
It’s true to the very high-intensity light of the rest of the show, but softened by the contrast of red phone and bright blouse, and a small diffuse effect.
But it’s not just in warm moments that this is true, actually.
Even if it’s Lee Yoon-Sung wearing maroon in the shot, can you deny it?
It’s a color that looks well against the sky and steel blues of most of the rest of the show, yet has a very distinctly different vibe.
You may also note (in upcoming photos, and previous ones) nature colors of wood and greens are the others to temper the black and glass-clear tech of this show’s 2011. Sky blue is noticeable in lightening the mood, because it has more green and yellow notes in it than the powdery or clear colors elsewhere.
So hot it BURNS.
…of course I’m talking about that jacket, what else?
That’s how many screencaps I have of this show. Usually it’s more toward 30 total, but you know…
this was just a gorgeous show. The shots, the sets, the people. Any time the beats of the scene were going to be a little slow, they plopped it in a place with visual energy.
It’s really not surprising me at all that I took that many without really trying too hard. This is probably only a handful of episodes worth. The story is so absorbing I plumb forgot most times.
Just as Myung Wol the Spy (my new favorite flavor of crack) is working the rebellious energy of the Eric/Han Ye-Seul pairing, Nana and Yoo Sung are both eager-to-please, dedicated people with a taste for danger. It’s not just chemistry of their clear-lined looks. Their characters, and the actors behind it, have rapport.
I’m going to be so sad when this show is over. Since it’s never for a minute bored me, though, I’ll probably be rewatching it someday.
Anyway, fair warning: thematic posts on City Hunter to turn my mourning energies to productivity likely to fill the next week or so.
Do they know how to dress this boy or WHAT?
I mean, he’s wearing the Color of Hate and Filth, and I screencapped this before I even realized it.
I mean, I feel a little bad for the boy, the moment his wasp-waist goes he’ll no longer be the beloved pet of the wardrobe designers…
But I say, live in the now. As the Patron Saint of SuitFetishers everywhere.
Oh yes. And of hairless Asian chests in scoop-neck tees. That, too.
We’ll save characterizing detail posts for other days. I’ve got more City Hunter to watch…
and screencap, for your pleasure. As always.