Archive for August, 2011
Wow, I’ve gone and done it. I actually watched episode 9 live! Without subs! In Hong Kong! In my hotel room! (Am here for work.) Haha! Yes, it shows how much I adore the show. Thanks to Rebel Soul’s live recap of episode 9, I could understand what I was watching. Here’s the gist of the episode – don’t look if you don’t want to be spoiled!:
- Ji Heon kisses Eun Seol. She doesn’t deck him, and doesn’t tell him if she thinks he’s a man too but Ji Heon is happy nevertheless.
- Na Yoon runs away and ends up rooming at Eun Seol’s.
- Dad finds out who Suk Hui’s spy is. Dum dum dum!
- Eun Seol’s dad marches to DN hq, confronts Ji Heon’s dad and nearly gives Ji Heon a black eye. Needless to say, maybe-future dad-in-law is not impressed with his maybe-future son-in-law.
- And the biggest development of all: Chairman Cha finds out about Ji Heon’s phobia. Grandma already knows about it, oh my! He wants to put Ji Heon in the hospital asap, and Grandma says that that’s why she never told him. Tells him to keep it a secret. It’s really touching how he cries over Ji Heon and is all concerned and worried about him.
- Ji Heon’s trauma may be deeper than we think.
- Chairman Cha asks Eun Seol to tell him everything she knows about Ji Heon’s phobia and she tells him it has something to do with Ji Heon’s mum.
- Moo Won is upset when he hears about the kiss, but ups the ante by wooing Eun Seol in a big way at the end of episode 9.
My, how the plot flies! Now, episodes 6 and 7 is all about love. I was quite surprised that the show went there so fast, and I really appreciate them not beating about the bush. Usually we have episode after episode of the two leads denying or hiding their feelings for each other. But here we have Ji Heon and Moo Won declaring their affections for Eun Seol.
But to be very, very honest, I’m not a fan of love triangles. I rather loathe them actually. It is a tired plot device, and I was a wee sad that PTB went down the route when it is so obvious who’s gonna get the girl. Unless PTB ends up being one of those shows that surprise us but I don’t see (nor do I want it to) going that way.
Right now, Moo Won’s love for Eun Seol feels “tagged on”. Like it’s there only to create some kind of dramatic tension. It doesn’t feel real enough for me yet, because one moment Moo Won’s all hot for Na Yoon and the next episode he’s into Eun Seol? I am seriously wondering if he’s actually into Eun Seol just out of habit of competing with Ji Heon. Ji Heon’s love for Eun Seol feels deeper, while Moo Won’s all due to Eun Seol making him feel happier. In a way I agree with Ji Heon – I don’t accept his reasons for chasing after Eun Seol.
Still, without this love triangle, we won’t get the awesome fight scene in episode 7. Ha! Lawd, I don’t think I’ve seen a better fight in a kdrama. It heightens the competition between the two cousins, and when this happens, Moo Won just regresses into a two year old. It makes it all worthwhile, I suppose.
There’s one thing that worries me, however. With all the focus shifting to the love triangle, will we forget the conflict in the background – the wresting of power from Chairman Cha’s hands? I actually like that subplot quite a lot, and I hope they don’t forget that – though, indications are with the whole share problems at the company, it’ll return at some point.
Also, with Grandma asking everyone to get along – including Moo Won’s manipulative mum Suk Hui, and then threatening her and Na Yoon’s mumfrom acting towards Eun Seol, I’m worried that the show will be devoid of formidable antagonists.
I personally believe that a kdrama needs a formidable foe. Defanging Suk Hui and turning Moo Won into a lovesick puppy competing for Eun Seol’s heart so early in the drama is worrying me.
I mean, this is the same Moo Won who wanted to use Eun Seol as a spy and also accessed Ji Heon’s medical records, found out Ji Heon’s weakness, and used it against him. There’s a manipulative and calculative spirit in Moo Won that I find compelling. I hope they don’t lose that.
Still, I’m enjoying the hell out of Protect the Boss. (It helps that the other two dramas I’m interested in – Scent of a Woman and The Princess’s Man – has “tragic, heart-crushing ending” written all over it.) Ji Sung and Choi Kang Hee are just bringing the laughs, and I’m impressed that Jaejoong is capable enough to keep up. He needs more practise, but for a relative newbie in the acting field, he’s quite all right.
But PTB is not just hahaha all the way – there’s a depth in it that is subtle and amazing. The relationship between Ji Heon and his dad is one. And then there’s the theme about one’s sense of worth running through the show. Can you be worth something if you have a crippling phobia that prevents you from being the best you are? Can you be someone if you graduated from a third-rate university? And if you’re already “someone”, can you be more than your successful facade? Yes, yes and yes – as Ji Heon, Eun Seol and Moo Won demonstrates.
Hat tip: JYJ3.net
Times like these I really wish I understood Korean. Why is Ji Heon’s dad upset for one? I think it really has something to do with Ji Heon – it is quite possible that he found about Ji Heon’s anxiety disorder and he feels like a lousy dad for not knowing or not being able to help his son. We also get to see a bit more about Ji Heon’s past and how he got his anxiety problem it would seem. And Na Yoon having a sleepover at Eun Seol’s? What in the world is going on?
But the best has to be Eun Seol’s dad meeting Ji Heon, his possible future son-in-law. He looks more keen to clobber the man who is sweet on his daughter than to welcome him to the family!
Meanwhile, Koala has the episode 9 written preview.
Poor Eun Seol doesn’t know what to say to Moo Won’s declaration. Like she doesn’t have enough man problems already. She blinks and nervously asks him if what he means is … Moo Won says yes, it means that he likes her.
He says that he’s happy when he’s with her. And Eun Seol suddenly thinks about the time she spent with Ji Heon and his many declarations of love to her. She shakes her head, wondering why she’s thinking of him at this time.
Moo Won tells her that he’s come to like her even more than he imagined, and Eun Seol sighs, and that’s when she spies Ji Heon at the window. He gestures at her to get out. She turns back to Moo Won and tells him that she can’t give her answer to him now as it’s hard for to say yes or no, and since she’s going to be dragged out soon…. Moo Won says that he will make arrangements for them to meet and for now, let them just get along like usual.
She excuses herself and runs outside to Ji Heon who tells her to go back to the office. She tries to he him to return with her to the office, but Ji Heon stubbornly insists that she leave.
In the cafe, Ji Heon tells Moo Won that he likes Eun Seol and that she’s special to him. Moo Won pipes up that he thinks the same way too. Ji Heon tells him that he will give up the company as long as he gives up on Eun Seol. He can’t live without Eun Seol. But Moo Won stubbornly insists that he needs her too because he needs comfort.
Eun Seol rushes back to the cafe when she spots two office workers mock fighting. It was then that she realised that the cousins could end up fighting.
In the aftermath of the kiss, Na Yoon pushes Moo Won away, saying that she won’t make the same mistake again.
Ji Heon and Eun Seol pull away and then stare at each other in a daze for a while … then her phone rings, and he quickly kneels, begging forgiveness while Eun Seol looks ready to clobber him. Later, they sit apart awkwardly on the sofa for a bit, and Eun Seol says she’ll forgive him for what he did. She reminds him that what he did is almost like what the pervert did to her on the bus. Ji Heon tells her that he doesn’t really like skinship, and the reason why he even did so was because he likes her.
Protect the Boss is the first drama I’ve recapped and I must tell you – I never anticipated the sheer amount of work it takes to do a recap. It’s been a challenge this week to get the recaps done and I have a fresh appreciation for the people at Dramabeans, Thundie’s Prattle and Koala’s Playground for the work they’re doing because it’s massive! Anyway, on to the recap!
Ji Heon gives his speech and dad beams with pride while Moo Woon and his mum Suk Hui looks none too pleased. And we flashback to a few hours ago when Eun Seul was feverishly thinking about a solution to Ji Heon’s problem while brushing her teeth. Her musings are interrupted by her father who video chats with her from his phone, demanding to know why she’s on the front page of the newspaper. And the call gives her the idea she needs. She rushes to the Cha mansion, drags Ji Heon out of bed – still in his underwear (the one which she bought for him) – to a waiting car where (former) Secretary Kim and Myung Ran is waiting for them.
As Ji Heon practises his speech at the teleconferencing centre, the gang encourages him on.
In his speech Ji Heon talks about utilising the creativity of netizens to create more interes in the theme park. This impresses the executives attending, who later tell Chairman Cha that Ji Heon’s report was really good.
A pissed off Suk Hui pretends to loose her balance and then grinds her heel on Chairman Cha’s foot. Chairman Cha says through clenched teeth why she’s so childish and she says under her breath not to mess with her. The two, however, pretend to be all cordial and concerned for each other in front of the employees.
Moo Won’s mum tells him that she’s dissapointed in him for not anticipating Ji Heon’s speech. He sighs in frustration.
An excited Eun Seol rushes to the teleconferencing centre, where she hugs Myung Ran, Secretary Kim and at last Ji Heon, who actually extends his hands out in anticipation of the hug. But the two then remember the conversation in the car where Ji Heon talks about rocks and brains. Ji Heon hopes that Eun Seol doesn’t know what he means while Eun Seol hopes that he was too drunk to remember the conversation. They parted awkwardly and Ji Heon tells Eun Seol to go straight home after cleaning up the conference room.
I was not too keen to hop on the Scent of a Woman bandwagon. The summary of the plot, after all, is: A woman is diagnosed with terminal cancer and is given only six months to live. I wasn’t sure how cancer = romantic comedy, and I was not too eager to emotionally invest in a drama that would end in tears. However, it was the hotness of Lee Dong Wook that snagged me in. (Or rather, the shower scene of all kdrama shower scenes.) My, has the military matured the man. Yummy.
So, I watched the first few episodes, and was inevitably drawn in. And I realise that’s what makes Scent of a Woman so appealing and amazing: Yeon Jae’s (ever-amazing Kim Sun Ah) struggle to live the last six months of her life in the best way possible touches a chord in all of us.
These are the lessons from Scent of a Woman:
1. Don’t live your life for others.
All the characters have been living the life the way others want them to live instead of living for their goals and dreams. Yeon Jae lived for her mother, saving every penny she earns to buy a house. Sae Kyung gave up the love of her life to marry the man her father has chosen for her. And Ji Wook (Lee Dong Wook) may be passively fighting his father’s control over every aspect of his life, but he has resigned himself to a life where he has no control over his career, whom he dates or marries. After her diagnosis, Yeon Jae awakens just in time to grab the life she wants, and she awakens this thirst in Ji Wook as well.
2. When you receive bad news, don’t give in to despair. Instead, find solutions.
Yeon Jae could’ve sunk into deep depression and spent the last six months of her life wallowing in grief. However, after allowing herself to grieve, she quickly whipped up a bucket list, and quickly set out to fulfill them.
3. Don’t live for a better tomorrow. Savour the life you have now.
So you’re saving all your money for your retirement plans. You don’t allow yourself to enjoy any of it. No vacations, pretty clothes or dinners at nice restaurants. Is this a life worth living? This was what Yeon Jae tearfully realised when she checked her big bank balance at the bank. The realisation that she had spent all those years saving and unnecessarily suffering hit her hard, but she didn’t wallow. She went all out after that, getting a complete makeover, buying expensive clothes and booking a first class ticket to Okinawa for the vacation of a lifetime.
4. Don’t hang on to bitterness.
Sae Kyung, the most despicable she-demon to ever grace a Kdrama, has every right to be angry and bitter. The men in her life has either used her or disregarded her. But she chose to hang on to the bitterness and even infected the world with it by trying to make Yeon Jae and Ji Wook’s life as misreable as hers. There’s a big part of me that wants Sae Kyung to trip over the lip of a volcano and fall in, but there’s also a part that wants her to overcome this deep anger in her to awaken to the possibilities that life could offer her. Be a blessing, not a curse to the world.
5. When on a holiday, don’t just be there – be aware.
Ji Wook is so used to coasting through life uninterested and cynical about everything that even when he’s in the vacation paradise of Okinawa, he was just not enjoying himself. Yeon Jae taught him to savour every breath of fresh air, eat weird stuff (black squid noodles) and just dance and laugh at silly things. This is the way to enjoy a vacation, by using your five senses and being aware of your surroundings. We could all learn from that.
6. Pursue your dreams – don’t wait for the perfect day to make them happen.
So you have that dream to backpack around Europe. What are you waiting for? Don’t wait for that perfect day to come because if you wait too long you may talk yourself out of it, or worse, it may never come. Yeon Jae realised that life is short and unpredictable and now with nothing to lose, she pursued all her dreams. However, she must’ve thought: Why didn’t I do this sooner?
I’ve been so busy this week that I missed posting up the preview for Protect the Boss, but better late than never, eh?
The last few episodes have all been about looove. Ji Heon’s in love. Moon Won’s in love. Na Yoon’s in love. And Eun Seul is just confused. But what a happy problem Eun Seul has, being the object of affections for two gorgeous men!
Jihun: You have it all. Then why do you keep trying to take what’s other’s?
CEO Cha: You two—did you really fight because of work?
CEO Cha: There is something else… isn’t there?
CEO Cha: Indeed… it was because of Nayun.
Nayun: You (say that you) fought because of me?
Nayun: You… I won’t forget this.
Nayun: Oh, quiet! Shut up, both of you.
Eunsul: So distracted… At least for me, I will have my guard up.
Eunsul: Are you going to fire me like this?
CEO Cha: Stay quiet and wait for the decision.
Jihun: What do you want me to do /now/?
Jihun: There is a stone named Noh Eunsul…
Jihun: I hope… that for all of my life, Noh Eunsul will be by my side.
Shared by: JYJ3
Oh noes! Chairman Cha is going to fire Eun Seol? But seriously, the girly fight between the two cousins is all kinds of win …
This is so cute and heart-burningly hot that I just have to share it. Lotte Duty Free is, well, exactly what it is, a South Korean duty free chain. But they certainly know that visitors to their store would be tres acquainted with South Korea’s most famous export: Its drama and idol talent. So we have Protect the Boss’s Ji Sung and Jaejoong with JYJ bandmates Yoochun & Junsu, Bi/Rain, Big Bang, Song Seung Heon, Park Yong Ha, and Kang Ji Hwan singing and looking so fine. (My heart, however, absolutely breaks when I see Park Yong Ha, who committed suicide last year.)
Ji Sung has quite a voice on him. He should try a hand at singing – maybe a song for Protect the Boss’s OST? And … I love his hair here. I want this hair back!
A shorter version:
And a Japanese version. Ji Sung sings more in this one :
And the making of, where Ji Sung sings the entire song. What a voice, eh?
So. Much. Hotness.