Archive for July, 2011
Oh, Young Joon! When are you gonna be pals with City Hunter and work with him? Just a secret wish of mine – but the thing with City Hunter is that you just never know what’s gonna happen next. For all we know Young Joon could end up being the next City Hunter! (Now, wouldn’t that be awesome?)
I can’t believe it’s almost the end of the series already. Mum and I are gonna sit down and watch the drama in one nice stretch
Yeo Bong Soon (Eugene) finds an injured man and nurses him back to health at her mountain home with her grandmother. Little does she know the man, Jang Joon Won, is the President’s son. She also meets the rude and arrogant Presidential bodyguard (something like the US’s Secret Service) Nam Bong Ki, who was sent to retrieve Joon Won (though he’s not told of Joon Won’s real identity).
The lives of these three become entwined after this incident. Later, Bong Soon leaves for Seoul to look for her parents and bumps into Bong Ki and Joon Won, who is a doctor. She finds a job as an assistant cook at the President’s Blue House canteen and because of Joon Won’s secret identity a comedy of errors (and can we say love triangle) ensues.
What I love: Lee Min Ki is sure adorable as Nam Bong Ki. Poor Bong Ki is considered no choice at all by Bong Soon, who has a massive, massive crush on Joon Won. Though, one can’t blame the girl – Joon Won is nice, kind, compassionate, sexy and gorgeous, and a doctor - lethal combinations in any reality.
Bong Ki, on the other hand, knows only to communicate his feelings by teasing and being rude to Bong Soon, so it’s no wonder the girl doesn’t think romantic thoughts when it comes to him.
I really enjoyed the three main characters’ growth and interaction (for the most part): Bong Ki’s growth as a person, Joon Won opening up and finally letting go of a terrible burden, and Bong Soon’s growth from a naive hillybilly to a confident and competent chef. Their interaction with with Bong Ki’s father and his boss, who is a tenant at his house, is also fun to watch. It’s also rather educational to see how life is like in the Blue House from the perspective of the staff there.
What I don’t like: This is going to be a list, so brace yourself:
- This drama should have been 20 episodes, not 34. There are unnecessary side plots involving pesky side characters that I’m just not interested in, so I fast forwarded through most of them.
- If the side characters were interesting, it would have been worth paying attention to, but they were downright annoying. There’s one involving the nutritionist who is a gold digger (Cannot. Stand. Her), and another involving an overweight cook. I hate, and I repeat, hate it when overweight women are used or rather, debased, to make you laugh. She’s a caricature, a person most people think do not deserve a looker just because she’s above acceptable weight standards, so they go make fun of her pursuit of this hot Presidential bodyguard, who of course, looks at her like some kind of gnat. Hatez this side plot with the passion of a thousand supernovas.
- Bong Soon was really likable in the beggining. She had joy de vivre, she was optimistic and bold … then the whole Joon Won infatuation kicked in and she became this mopey love-sick puppy for, oh, 3/4 of the series. She was so into Joon Woon that she did not even see how Bong Ki was lifting her spirits up at every downward spiral (and she sure had a lot of them). Yup, she’s that kinda self-absorbed heroine – dense about who she loves until something really drastic happens and she realises oh-so-suddenly that she really loves said person. By episode 30 I wanted to throttle her and demand that she take her eyes off her navel.
Watch-o-meter: Looking at the list, you’re probably thinking: Oh man, I’m so not going to sacrifice 34 hours of my life to this. To this I say a) there’s the fast forward button and b) it’s really worth some of your time – at least, the bits involving Bong Ki, Joon Won and Bong Soon. The payoff comes in episode 33 – though I’d say it is almost too late! – when finally Bong Soon breaks her self-absorbed streak and realises who she really loves. (Like, it’s not going to be a surprise who.) It’s probably my favourite episode because it’s gratifying to finally see realisation come into her eyes. Still, having just one episode left for the One True Pair to come together is way too rushed.
So, worth your time? It all hinges on Bong Ki’s charm – if you dig it, you’re bound to stay for the long haul.
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Oh no! Is Yong Soon going to do something he’s gonna regret for the rest of his life? Will Young Joo finally go down the Javert road? Damn you, City Hunter. Why are you so addictive?
Transcript for the preview, courtesy of Soompi:
Eun Ah: Tell Lee Yoon Sung sshi thank you for the food!
Shik Joong: Yoon Sung didn’t make it….I did…
Yong Joo: It’s still not too late. Please turn yourself in.
Jong Shik: Turn myself in?! Shut up!
Yong Joo: I resent being your son. Take care of yourself.
Jong Shik’s secretary: I’ve sent out some guys to tail people who are close to Kim Nana.
Jong Shik: Find her and kill her.
Prosecutor head: You are no longer part of this city hunter case.
Yong Joo: I have an idea of the key suspect.
Yoon Sung: As a father, what can you do for your son?
Yong Joo: Father!
Yong Joo: Come quickly. Lee Yoon Sung.
City Hunter has become the No.1 show in its time slot in South Korea. This is great as sometimes great shows just don’t get the ratings recognition they deserve. Hopefully City Hunter will avoid this fate and break the 20%, heck, 30% ratings threshold. That’s because I secretly hope for City Hunter: Season 2.
Story: It’s hard being a celebrity. Especially if you are hated by all of South Korea. Ae Jung may have once been the most popular member of the beloved singing sensation The National Treasure Girls, but now, 10 years later, she is at the bottom rung of the celebrity ladder. Her career consists of a series of humiliating ventures in variety shows (where she has to eat noodles on a roller coaster, for example). People blame her for breaking up the band 10 years ago, and it seems that they still enjoy seeing her humliated.
Despite that, Ae Jung chugs on happily, content to make do with what scraps she has left. Then she meets A-list star Dokko Jin, who is both repulsed and fascinated by her. When she is cast in a dating reality show, she meets Yoon Pil Joo, an oriental medicine doctor. Yes, can we say love triangle?
Here to complicate matters for Ae Jung is her former bandmate Kang Se Ri, who has survived the break up and has emerged an A-list star, and who is also dating Dokko Jin. May the best lover win!
This may not be for you if … you can’t stand Dokko Jin. The success of this drama really hinged on Cha Seung Won’s performance as the over-the-top self-absorbed diva that the man is. For the most part, I bought it and enjoyed it. Some parts, I can only squint and wonder if he has somehow escaped from the loony bin.
Fortunately, Cha Seung Won is superb as Dokko Jin. I’ve only seen him in City Hall, so seeing him all crazy like this was a revelation. Dokko Jin is probably the most eccentric character of the 2011 kdrama year. You may not get him, but he is certainly not someone you can forget.
What I love: Okay, I may not understand the weirdness that is Dokko Jin sometimes, but I do love him. There’s something about him that makes you wanna hang around and ogle him. (Cha Seung Won’s super-chiseled abs not withstanding.) From his oh-I’m-so-aware-it’s-fashionable hairstyle, to his booming laughter, to his obsession with potatoes and heartbeats … Dokko Jin is simply endearing.
The calm and perky Ae Jung is a great complement for him, and their romance is one peculiar ride, which is why you want to stay on till the end. It’s sweet, unusual and like Dokko Jin, over-the-top weird.
What didn’t work: It’s actually pretty seamless; nothing much to complain about! However, there are times, especially towards the climatic last few episodes where the writers (the ever-productive and reliable Hong sisters) totally did not capitalise on the tension, and as a result the suspense fell flat in the last two episodes. But that’s probably not the show Greatest Love is. Makjang, it is not.
Watch-o-meter: Very watchable. Sweet, endearing and funny. Fluffy happy viewing. What’s not to like?
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars