Posts Tagged k-drama
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.
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…
This show is infested with cuties, I tell you.
And then the whole set up abounds with cuteness in general. OMG. When dad is crying over his mom not telling him about Ji-Heon’s phobia, and then about how it came about…
what more adorable dad is there? He’s short-tempered, but really compassionate. If he didn’t genuinely like No Eun-Seul and treat her well we wouldn’t know it so well, but those tears sell it. Also, at the core, his mourning of his older son comes into it, from my perspective, that’s why his tears have a kind of more desperate tone rather than disappointed one, after talking with Eun-Seul.
I love also that No Eun-Seul cries over her own inner turmoil. Not that she’s been told she can’t be with Ji-Heon–she’s not the type to take that lying down. But she doesn’t know if it’s worth it–she’s not being let nurse a crush and figure out whether she should go out with him, she’s being proposed marriage and a loss of her job if she makes a single encouraging move. It’s just too much pressure, and she’s *tired*.
And then there’s the fact that all the awkward scenes for the characters aren’t awkward for the viewers. It’s just amusing.
Awkward scenes tend to resonate too deeply with me for pleasure, but the nervous dad and wannabe boyfriend here–the bicker-twins of all stripes together in the elevator–the moms being found out in their plotting–they’re carried off with a lightness that makes it fun to be there.
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.
I’m not actually watching this show–I’m following the recaps at DramaBeans.com zealously, though.
It’s a story with the primary plot-point that a woman discovers she has cancer, so it’s bound to end sadly. There are many tears along the way, too, and stories that BEGIN happily in K-Drama-Land often enough are emotionally wracking toward the middles.
However, the show looks quite fetching–earnest in its emotions, and pretty in it’s aesthetic. Also, there is tangoing. Which, in a show about life in the face of death, love in the face of anger, and emotional intensity of all kinds… is quite appropriate.
The first encounter between the hero and heroine on the floor escalates, their footsteps faltering with each other, and their grips gradually tightening…
The composition of this scene, the shots interweaving from their faces, the full view of them on the floor, and their hands on each other, is so masterful.
Just the description was enough to send me over to watch it, and then I couldn’t help screencapping it. The way his fingers slowly press into her arms is just fantastic.
I’m still not sure if I’m going to watch this drama, though I am following the story. It will definitely depend on the treatment of the issues looming up. But I’m halfway convinced just based on the way it looks and the performances by the stars.
For instance, Lee Dong-Wook is a little odd-looking to me, but the captures of his expressions pull you right into the moment. And he looks smoking in his shirtsleeves. I won’t lie to you.
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
It’s not often that I finish an episode with such an uplifted, excited feeling!
It’s the way I felt about several of the episodes of Myung Wol the Spy*, especially when they ended on just the perfect cliffhanger. City Hunter, too, though more of the scenes within the episode than the endings had that feeling.
Episode 6 of Protect the Boss was the first to do that to me here. It’s a chemistry between fun tone, loveable characters, and an intriguing cliff-hanger, I think…
I don’t know where this one is going at all. In a way, I feel that he’s decided to not let himself be the pushover that Yoon Ah (…is that really her name? Am I imposing my understanding of second-lead girls here?) always goes creeping to when she’s feeling a little low.
I’m also only *almost* sure he doesn’t have more than a little affection for No Eun-Seul.
Is it a fake-out, to test her? Is he going to lead into getting her to a different job? Is he going to actually mean it and try to take her as revenge/comfort? Protecting her from Ji-Heon? As long as this isn’t as pathetic as the Down With Love second-lead man…
* which I’m still a little burnt about (the messy press just makes me leery–the story itself I’m still sold on) but plan to continue watching when that’s settled a bit more in my mind…
The meta of this character’s treatment in the drama can be quite amusing.
Jae Joong, recently voted as Asia’s most attractive star in China, is the kind of idol whose standing as a teen heart-throb is better capitalized than forgotten. This has come to the fore from the second week of airing where secondary characters can take a bit more time to introduce themselves…
I love that this show is delivering fanservice…and then pointing it out. This character is written as the kind of polite, attractive guy who the heroine sees as untouchable, like Won Bin or Hyun Bin. I like that dynamic: she’s not going to turn him down when he takes her out to eat, but she knows it doesn’t mean anything. He’s the kind of guy who would just do that…
I love that when she takes him out to “rebel”, though he gives the same sort of excuses Ji-Heon does about not going into clubs or whatever…it totally sounds like an idol having to not be caught doing something against their image. Ji-Heon’s just fastidious…or agoraphobic.
Note how many of his suits are straight black or navy.
Just as Cha Ji-Heon is suited up in brighter colors, even primary tones, it’s no accident that this sort of ambivalent character in opposition to him is in monochromatics, even to black-on-black sets like this little number. It appears more than once!
It’s after their adventure at the amusement park (where Ji-Heon starts to feel that he likes Eun-Seul) that he begins to wear some grays and lighter colors. It may be her influence, it may be the return of the girl he really likes, and it may be just that the costumer got bored, but I think it’s interesting. The high-contrast clothes don’t look bad on him, either.
And then there are a few moments where it feels a little too tongue-in-cheek, but because he’s adorable, it’s okay…
but that’s not his reaction. He’s the ideal son. I’m betting we aren’t going to see his tattoos in this show…
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.