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Death by trendy dramas, Part 2

Hola hola people- I’m finally back in action!

Piggy backing on Blue’s post, a reason (or several) for watching (not watching) from the “rom com” whirlpool, here are my musings on the recent crop of dramas that are currently airing. It’s a semi-promising start to the second quarter of 2011, but ask me again after the half-way mark for the dramas below…

Trendy romantic comedies are rather typical in storyline and the types of characters, but the execution of it makes all the difference. After all, it’s guaranteed that one or all of the things below will be featured:

  • Abs!
  • Pretty lipstick color
  • Slapstick comedy
  • 2nd lead syndrome
  • Jerk-personified male lead
  • Cute/zany/motivated/semi-dimwitted at times female protagonist
  • Shower scene with said abs and some brooding

1. BEST LOVE

Pros- Tons of heart, fabulous acting from all four leads and supporting characters, but especially Gong Hyo Jin and Cha Seung Won, caricature/parodies or perhaps realistic re-enactments of the daily shenanigans in the k-entertainment industry along with the not so kosher sides, LOL-worthy dialogues, and just plain great fun.

Cons- Utterly predictable, some serious case of the 2nd  male lead syndrome, and what is the whole point of the storyline again?

Best Love doesn’t fail to bring on the funny and it’s a classic Hong sisters’ drama. However, typical of a Hong sisters’ drama, it tends to meander all over the place, and the writing, although funny and full of puns/parodies, fails at times to bring some cohesiveness to the general theme of the storyline (is there one?). I’m not sure what the Hong sisters are attempting to convey through these characters, but I can totally get on board with Ae Jung and her struggles to remain semi-relevant in the industry with her pride and morals intact.

What I especially love about Best Love aside from what I listed above are the quiet and reflective moments sprinkled throughout the four episodes so far. Ae Jung is by far my favorite female protagonist out of the Hong sister dramas (and not because I adore Gong Hyo Jin – at least not to the extent where Bluesy worships her), but the genuineness and sensitivity brought out by Gong Hyo Jin’s characterization brings what could have been a one-note character onscreen turn into a complex one.

I am enjoying the ride so far, so hopefully I can stick with it to the end.

2. ROMANCE TOWN

I was initially hesitant to watch this, not because I think Sung Yuri lacks in the acting department (she still has miles to go in terms of improvement), but rather Seo Sook Hyang’s style of writing is what I would describe as an “acquired taste.”  At times, rom coms can survive on the pretty alone with a zippy plotline, but for Seo Sook Hyang, you not only need a strong cast of actors who can act their heart out but must also play against the subtle and self-restraint with a dash of the naughty that is characterized by Seo Sook Hyang’s writing. Her other drama, Pasta (which I adored), had two strong leads who could carry and compensate for the latter, but with this drama, all four leads, based upon prior roles, fluctuate on a scale ranging from “woah–ehh to shit-tastic.” This said, the first two episodes are very promising in terms of set up for the characters’ situations and its possible storyline direction in the future. I don’t get how hitting the lottery will incorporate into the theme of Cinderella but I may enjoy the ride a bit longer just to find out.

I don’t think it’s a romantic comedy per se but perhaps a mixture of satire with serious and reflective undertones? Like shown in this scene below:

I do hope this one lives up to my expectations since it had a very promising start.

And plus, how can you not enjoy the gratuitous show of Jung Gyu Woon’s abs in the shower?

3. LIE TO ME

I haven’t watched a Yoon Eun Hye drama (ironically enough, she was also known as the chubbier version of Sung Yuri of Romance Town) in its entirety since Goong (nope, I did not even finish Coffee Prince). And Kang Ji Hwan is hot, need I say more? Also the prettiest cast of characters, like ever! As we all know, Yoon Eun Hye is famous for having a certain knack for picking “hit dramas” and “bringing in the ratings” on her star power alone, but I am not too sure if Lie to Me may have been another “miss” on her part. Only time will tell in that regard since I have decided to give Lie to Me another 4 episodes to redeem itself.

On paper, Lie to Me initially had the leg up in terms of buzz and anticipation, but somewhere along the way in episode 1, it lost me. I wasn’t expecting anything different judging by the trailer and drama summary I read along with the introduction to the characters. At first, I thought Ki-Joon was just a poor characterization of the famous Kim Joo Won character portrayed by Hyun Bin- why with his attention to detail and hard to please persona, I don’t think I am too far off my mark. What I do think is lacking in this drama is the certain je ne sais quoi of the storyline to capture my full attention without fail.

I do hope there will be some sort of twist to the typical “2 guys in love with the same girl that tore apart the relationship with girl from the past and the said girl’s return confusing the 2 leads and history repeating itself” story but since it has some time, the drama could have a fighting chance to be salvaged without turning it into a waste of talent and the pretty in the end. Like the oh so beautiful, below:

4. BABY-FACED BEAUTY

Not much can be said on my part than what Blue so eloquently expressed, except for this- watch Kim Hee Sun’s Tomato from the 90s, or better yet,  Secret with Kim Ha Neul and Ha Ji Won. And there you have the 2011 version of the mash up of those two dramas in Baby-Faced Beauty. Soon to be dropped if I wasn’t so stubborn to think that there could possibly be more… which I am starting to think, doesn’t exist.

6 comments

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  1. blue

    Yay, Bella’s baaaack!

    Seeing that you didn’t have a title photo, I took the liberty of adding the capture of JGW’s abs as the title photo for your post. (And only because I thought it was the most appropriate/best fitting photo for the post, I swear! ;-)) Hope you like it!

  2. Bella

    Me likey!!

  3. kcomments

    Helloooooo! So glad you are back in action!
    Thanks for the reviews, I couldn’t agree more. That abs are in fact the important factor I gave RT a chance, heehee (LMAO when saw header abs pic! The funny thing is I can remember whose abs too ^^, isn’t that amazing?).

    Atm, I think BFB and LTM, each has a fighting chance in the ratings. Pls hang in there Bella, I think there are more in BFB. (I still enjoy seeing Choi Daniel every week, hope BB will become a decisive female soon, cuz I can’t see her success with her attitude so far).

  4. kerik

    oh the prettiness that is hyun sang hee, i AGREE!!

  5. IBELIS

    I could not help but notice that both Bella and Blue excluded My love by my side and Pit A Pat will you be commenting on either one of these at a later date?

    1. blue

      Hi IBELIS,
      Good question! For this review, both Bella and I focused on trendy dramas airing on weekdays. The broadcasters sometimes air dramas of other genres (sageuk, modern historical, thriller) during these time slots, but all the new dramas premiering this time have been trendy dramas (those dramas that focus on young, 20-30 somethings’ love and work). From my understanding, “My Love By My Side” is a weekend, family drama and “Pit-a-pat, My Love” is a daily, morning drama, so they were both excluded from the review.

      However, the truth is that I haven’t watched either dramas yet because they didn’t interest me as much. I can say right now that I probably won’t watch “Pit-a-pat, My Love” because I rarely watch morning dramas, unless the cast or the story particularly intrigues me and it is heavily recommended to me by someone I know. In contrast, I’ve been meaning to check out “My Love By My Side,” but haven’t gotten around to doing so. Now that you mention it, watching the first two episodes of it has just shot up on my to-do list. Hehe.

      Do you ask about the two dramas because you’re currently watching them yourself? If so, please let us know if you recommend either drama to us!

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