Archive for category City Hunter
One of the funniest moments I had in encounter with fangirldom was about Jang Geun-Suk’s clothes as Hwang Tae-Kyung in You’re Beautiful, when one of the Viki commenters complained, tongue-in-cheek, about his “slutty blouses”.
It was the first time I’d seen someone use that word for a male. Instantly hilarious. Esp. with up-tight Hwang Tae-Kyung, who did have a somewhat obscure fashion sense, rocketing between clerical collars when out and barely-there knits when at home.
It would not be the last time I came across this particular brand of collar-bone pimping fanservice, but since You’re Beautiful was I think my first K-Drama, it left an impression.
Of course, City Hunter pandered to us and the inevitable love of Lee Min Ho by giving him a similar taste going bare up there, even under his suit jackets. It could be the perfect blend between a Thai upbringing to heat-friendly clothes, and the metro persona he’s put on–I think the real Yoon-Sung would be bundling up a bit more in the cooler climate, if he had a choice…
Anyway, I went to look at a little Full House since it had been a while and I have a new appreciation of Rain lately, and it struck me.
Of course. Of course he was the first.
He was the first to rip his shirt on stage, on national television, and continues be quite shrewd about using his physique to get him attention.
So apparently the world of k-drama fangirls owes him a lot more than I ever knew…
You can tell you’re caught up in a show, when at the big Birth Secret reveal…
you think, “Yeah, he looks WAY more like him!”
Haha. Okay, so my actual thought was, “Right, that mom and that dad make more sense when it comes to creating a Lee Min Ho, though he’s a little tall for both of them.”
Still, they did a good job casting, right?
Something interesting I hadn’t thought of before: the fact that this father also makes more sense in the City Hunter that grew up than Jin-Pyo’s brother’s actual son probably would have. I did kind of wonder, what if this kid had been completely unadept at all this stuff? What if he’d grown up like the actual second-best dresser at the Blue House?
But Jin-Pyo and the president are actual more similar to each other than any of the other men (except Yoon-Sung and Young-Joo, but in that generation). A man who can make hard decisions. A man whose emotions are actually quite vulnerable, but also support his moral code.
They haven’t gotten soft just because they’re in charge, behind the frontlines, either.
I mean, look at how hot this guy’s hands are…
Jin-Pyo and Yoon-Sung are both *way* too vain to ever wear a hat like that with complete unconcern for anything but comfort, but it’s actually quite cute. (Yoon-Sung *is* Jin-Pyo’s son by nurture…)
Anyway, it’s cool to think that Yoon-Sung could grow up like this–someone with regrets, sure, but able to live as a human despite it, not a one-dimensional passion for money, power, or…revenge.
have a gratuitous art-shot from City Hunter, may it live forever:
This whole scene was about the unspoken, things we know and the characters don’t, and so the open-ended focus and back-profiles are just good cinematography as far as I can tell…
The space is both obvious, but not awkward. And I notice, that the scenes of the president are all very uncluttered but not high-style, either. The only really exciting place in the Blue House is the security room, actually. This choice, to not glorify or stiltify the national headquarters, is one that both makes the tension not about lifestyle but moral code, and makes the accessibility of these places to our main characters much smoother.
And stuff. Probably.
Last: gratuitous art shot of Himself.
I admired the Arch-City Hunter for his good looks and steely manner from the moment we go to see him in his guerrilla-chick gun vest and cargo pants in the second half of the first episode. When he made the switch to Steve Lee style, in his palatial new house. as he got ready to send his son off to Yale, it seemed so drastic a switch I was wondering what was going on.
Yet, he never lost that kind of debonair edge of the man ready to jump for a gun. It was kind of intriguing…
It wasn’t until the first real scene of danger to him that I realized there was something about him (a little obvious in the screencap above because I was wanting to capture it, once I noticed) that kept that past visually present.
Right there, with his (no doubt very nice) watch, are those surfer-style bracelets. What are their functions? Who knows. He hands the bullet over to Yoon-Sung, maybe they’re some sort of memento. He’s definitely the nostalgic type. (In an ironically twisted way? Heh.)
Or maybe, there for in case he has no gun anymore and needs to hang someone. With Jin Pyo, who knows? He sleeps sitting up, hand on a firearm.
There’s something inscrutably hot about this guy. And I’m going to make this clear: every time he does something cruel I was disappointed in him. It’s mostly the actor, you know? I think it’s *awesome* they got a hot actor, who can pull off layering leather bracelets, to play the Bad Dad.
The Prez also had hot arms, but we’ll have to get to that some other day…
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.