Posts Tagged characterization
I’m not sure I’ll stick all the way through this, but Flower Boy Ramyun Shop is both fun where it’s trying to be funny, and intriguing where it’s starting to line up it’s conflicts…
Of course, you can blame DramaBeans.com reviews for my watching it at all–I wasn’t interested initially. But they drew comparisons to Hello My Teacher (and it’s quite apt, I’d say this is like a reboot) and then were enthusiastic about some of the viewpoint-contrasts between the main characters, and I needed to check it out.
Of course, Chaebol Boy’s always superlatively well-dressed…
And do you see that? Yes, characterizing…bracelets.
With a sort of childish blocky look, in fact, which I think is to cue us to the fact that he’s actually underage while all the footage before a certain point makes it seem as though he’s quite independant and adult. (Maybe not mature, but acting under his own power.)
He’s pairing them with suit jackets and sweaters and school uniform, all themselves with severe lines such a slim frame carries off so well. It adds a playful note necessary to really perceive him correctly.
Of course, he also has to have his cadre of Flower Boy lackeys. I don’t know if they’ll be the Beauties of the ramyun shop (long-haired one, yes, plz) or if that’s going to be more a One-Man-Show (if this is the straighten-up tactic of his father[‘s secretary] I will be so pleased.
I like that already the shop has a certain honor-code and reverence, that it’s a neutral ground for the gangs and has a heavy significance to both the heroine and her dad.
I also like that they seem to be going to the extra effort of finding new ways to film familiar settings.
I don’t have high hopes for this show, exactly, but it’s a fun thing to have in my queue of things to watch when I need something lighter. And I’m open to changing my mind, too.
There’s something to love about the dynamic these two have after 13 episodes, in Fugitive: Plan B.
They’re not comfortable enough with each other to be friends, and they’re not in a position to be lovers, but they connect about the important things. They’re brothers in arms. Comrades.
In a weird way, they’re on the same wavelength. She’s never lacked for money, and he’s never lacked attention. She’s been on the run from criminals and he’s on the run from the law…while catching criminals. She can fight her way out, while he never seems to get out without a fight.
Very complimentary styles, though they of course madden each other in completely different ways.
Rain’s character “Ji-Woo” is comfortingly predictable. He’ll look like a slacker until suddenly he gets struck by inspiration, and then spout off a cryptic metaphor before attacking the problem with everything he’s got. And go until it’s done. For Ji-Ni, I think his opportunism about money and girls is the kind of flaw that’s bearable. It’s pretty transparent.
On the other hand, Kai harbored an ability to betray her, buried very deep and apparently awoken only to protect her.
She’d rather have control than passion, though. For very good reason.
And why she freaks out when he seems to be changing his ground, or withholding information he thinks she won’t like.
He’s not the kind to actually hide things once they’re done, but he can’t articulate that difference.
I had noticed that it had been a relievingly long time since we saw insomniac-Ji-Ni, right before they’re fight over (literally) the gold, and it was so sad to see her go back to that, the moment he wasn’t present in her heart as a protection.
And yet…his dollar-store magic wand goes under her pillow while she tucks in with her bludgeon. There we see she hasn’t really put him on the list of Untrustworthys. She just has to live raw to stay alive.
While he has (predictably) bugged her, he also is unpredictably relenting about the insult, while firm about getting past their misunderstanding. Ah, this is where his value shines through. His lack of pride about some of the skeevier aspects of his interests also makes him able to do this.
JiNi has little left of dignity or stability, and inner pride is all she has, so he has to be contrastingly yielding. It’s great to have a guy in that role, while being the type of real guy that could be…
Thinking about it like this, it’s interesting to see how well their relationship DOES work. It backs up the way that I ship them, on a basic level–no, I don’t think we’ll see it happen during the show.
But as time goes by, and he remains cheerfully protective, she’s going to want more from him. And there will be other girls to make her aware of it, because Ji-Woo is shameless.
As for him, she pulls the serious self out of Ji-Woo. He has a bit of a learning curve when she rebuffs him, but later on there is enough of a connection whenever he reads an opening. She’s just too quick and stoic. I don’t think he’s in passionate love with her, but I think he’s the kind to build up that kind of feeling once he’s committed. But she’s a woman who can really know him, looking past the flirt and also past the professional.
Their insecurities are obvious to each other, and so are their strengths.
This show does so well not going in the expected direction, or getting there by unexpected ways…someone needs to hug a writer for me.
I’m apprehensive this wardrobe lightening ‘ship is going to disappear soon, but I enjoyed the dynamic of two people who are out of each others’ realms, and so free to be casual with each other. It’s like the early days of Personal Taste with the gay roommate gig, only without the teasing sexual tension.
Another fun thing is the startling openness Ji-Heon has once he’s chosen to accept his crush on No Eun-Seul.
He also is open with her about almost everything–and using his pulse as an excuse for skin-ship but admitting she raises his pulse is some of the cutest flirting ever. It would be awkward if he *thought* he was being suave, but he doesn’t. The (actually mature) candor that seems child-like is more winsome than the hints and implications of a Cha Mu-Won type.
I also love that they’re letting No Eun-Seul stick to her guns without it being a big self-sacrifice thing. She is capable of not falling for him just from proximity and attention, and that’s awesome. It’s more realistic, at least to me…
She wants to help him out, but this is a job, and she’s mature enough to know that it’ll just bring trouble.
And none of the relationships are the paper-doll playtimes that many shows deal in. Mu-Won and Yoon-Ah are a bad couple of a classic type, but you can see why he likes her. When she’s at a loss we get to see the kind of aegyo cuteness that when she was less goal-oriented must have been more charming.
She’s got a bad case of evil mother…one who’s a fox in her own quirky way, rather than the usual Chaebol Ice-Princess Special. And the girlish transparency with Mu-Won seems to be good for their long-term, so I’m not too torn. I just wish I knew why she thought he couldn’t love her and be devoted to her…just because he’s got his own ambitions? Telling by her relationship with her mom, she needs someone like that to hang with.
And we got a much more tongue-in-cheek meeting between Sis-in-Law and Prez Daddy–where you could actually hear the enemy-agents music playing for their weird little subtext.
Whoa, another whole post not focusing on clothes? SCANDAL
I am now a week behind here, but I just watched episodes 3-5 of Protect the Boss.
The theme that is emerging is one that I didn’t expect–and that is, how *all* the characters have faces of childishness. I mean, what is up with these bicker twins?
The hate is so strong, you can almost feel the love coming on…
Even Madame Grandmother, hiding her face from Eun-Suel to spare herself embarrassment and continue to be just a humble granny to her, the way she’s still emotionally where her son is, and they reflect each other in their troubles.
As is right, Cha Ji-Heon continues to have the mannerisms of a boy, not even a young man.
This impression is reinforced in all his brightly colored outfits (if he wears a proper suit, it’s in blues instead of black or gray or white) that sometimes veer more toward *cliches* of school-children clothes than what kids actually even wear. It’s hilarious…
And yet, the acting itself is touching. Even when he gets turned down by No Eun Seul, his stages of realization are that of a small boy’s, not a man’s. Not understanding…
pretending it’s not a big deal…
and deciding to just keep on with it and wait till her mind changes!
I love this. The fact that the actor’s excellence is making me notice the details is only because I’m paying attention; it feels really natural. And it actually heightens the moments he’s showing darker emotions, the way it’s not the predictable manly-emoting of many heroes.
It’s also awesome how firm she is about propriety…and I really think she doesn’t feel strongly for him either way at this point.
He likes her, and is equally forthcoming and firm about that, which is also refreshing! This is an organic conflict that feels much more lifelike than the usual tears because someone’s family is too good, or their pasts are conflicting.
Lawks, this show is so cute.
The hero keeps trying to be That Chaebol Leading Man:
But he’s NOT. When he get’s a shower scene, we watch him spazzing over “How much did she see?” Literal flailing.
…When he was in his cartoony boxers and a T-shirt. Embarrassing but really, not that disastrous. He’s not mature, not because he’s willfully self-absorbed, because his life has been so limited. You know a girl has never seen him in his PJs before. And he hadn’t chosen her to be the one…
This is something superior with a mature actor. Ji Sung, who plays Cha Ji Heon, is 34, has done his military service. He reportedly dropped 30lbs. before filming, which gives him a boyish look. His ability to look completely uncool, unconscious of the camera, is one I haven’t really seen in younger thespians.
And he manages, that way, to be completely adorable.
Though I actually am more drawn to him in his “mid-thirties” glory:
…he looks like he could carry the groceries, but would put his foot down at carrying a purse. But also pay for dinner, right?
This kiddo? Not so much.
I will go knit sleeves on my sweet-loli-kodona sweater while I watch it
I did already see enough to screencap some truly awe-inspiring sets we’ll be spending time with…
I love how much space there is. This is a theme–in fact, this house Chaebollie resides in kind of reminds me of the Taiwanese drama concepts of rich-people-houses, which tends to involve lofted ceilings (the ultimate waste of space and antithesis to most Asian housing, not to be rude) and useless objects d’art.
The living trees are something I saw a bit of in Lie To Me, being used well, but here they’re on a completely different scale. I love the “eco-grandeur” of even the office. I don’t know what this company does, but it believes in SCALE
The whole company building feels a bit more like a modern-architecture-showpiece museum than any kind of industry center. Which is really kind of neat.
Also, I think some of the set pieces are also from City Hunter, which makes me feel a bit at home…
I was rewatching a bit of Playful Kiss, partly to review Hyun-Joong’s acting, and was reminded of how enchanting the first episode was.
The BFFs and their weird little phrases…the school that feels like an actual school, just a particularly clean and nicely landscaped one…the uniforms…
If you’ve ever picked one of the many manga featuring an elite school, or a school with some form of elite class, you’ll probably see some wish-fulfillment uniforms. Not even joking, that’s really one of the criteria Japanese girls thought about in choosing a high school…and I kind of understand now.
The Japanese middle school I attend for some time had very mundane, but at least not ugly, uniforms. Navy blazer with no sartorial embellishment, red clip-on ties, a houdstooth check skirt with a pattern so small it had no personality.
If you haven’t worn such a set of clothing for months on end, can you understand how beautiful these ones are?
Cute little cap sleeves, piping on the sleeves to contrast, a tailored vest, and the cutest elements of the sailor skirt, without being too flat.
Ribbon ties for the girls, btw, are definitely one of the cuteness factor Pros.
‘course, this won’t keep anyone from trashing them to look a little more independent…
…how hilarious is it that the placement chart is *everywhere* at this school? It’s so true-to-life. It is VERY hilarious.
Asian schooling, FTW!