…if you aren’t already.
I don’t usually take to dramas very quickly. I would either have to like the actors first or be REALLY interested in the story/writers before I would watch something of my own accord. That being said, ‘Wish Upon a Star’ was not really at the top of my list for 2010. I was more curious about ‘Pasta’ (hello? Foooood!) and ‘God of Study’, so why bother with a lighthearted story that might give me too much angst later on?
But that’s the thing – it’s LIGHTHEARTED. It’s funny, it’s enjoyable, it’s got amazing acting from the kids, and it never fails to elicit an emotion from me in every episode.
I must admit, having watched dramas since 2004 (6 years already!?!?!?!?!) I’ve figured out my taste.
1) It must be a comedy. ‘Winter Sonata’ dramas – stand FAR away from me please.
2) It must have a good story with an attractive (personality-wise) female lead.
3) The guy(s) must be cute.
4) The story requires a girl to disguise herself as a boy and be subjected to verbal abuse from the guy because he’s trying to maintain a cold exterior and deny the fact that he likes said girl. Or he doesn’t know she’s a girl yet. Or is just plain mean to her.
Anyways. Back to the topic.
‘Wish Upon a Star’ stars Kim Ji Hoon (Empress Chun Chu), Shin Dong Wook (Money’s Warfare, Soulmate), and Choi Jung Won (Famous Princesses) – no one I am familiar with in terms of their work, but have seen their faces/names floating around. The kids, I don’t know them either, although Park Ji Bin, who plays Ju Hwang (the second oldest in the family), seems to have a pretty impressive resume for his young age.
The story is as follows: Pal Gang (Choi Jung Won) is a spoiled brat working in an insurance company just because her “soulmate” is the lawyer for the company, Won Kang Ha (Kim Ji Hoon). Her parents have adopted five children, Ju Hwang (Park Ji Bin), No Rang (Lee Yoo Ri), Cho Rok (Joo Ji Won), Pa Rang (Chun Bo Geun), and baby Nami. They have a grandfather figure in Jung Gook (Lee Soon Jae of Sweet 18) but they don’t realize that he’s actually the rich owner of the insurance group Pal Gang works for.
Her parents die in a tragic car accident and Pal Gang is forced to grow up and take care of her younger siblings. She doesn’t have much success as an insurance agent, and takes on the side job of being the housekeeper for Won Kang Ha. Ulterior motive? To win him over – that is, until her parents die, and so now she doesn’t give two cents about what he thinks of her. (He doesn’t care for her, in case you’re wondering.) His younger brother Jun Ha (Shin Dong Wook) and his nephew Tae Kyu take to her instantly, and so all that is left is for her to thaw the glacier that is Kang Ha.
Oh and did I mention – she moves into the Won household with her 5 SIBLINGS in tow.
Take that, Full House!
Now Jun Ha is like Shinwoo of You’re Beautiful, and Tae Kyu is like the older version of Jeremy. Kang Ha is undoubtedly Taekyung without the pursed lip action. Jun Ha is a little more proactive in how he treats Pal Gang/Minam and is more outward in showing his affection for her – a pathetic second male lead he is not. However, he is proving to be a little more devious and a little more complicated – he’s nice to every girl, but that makes him equally cruel.
No girl wants a guy like that. Even if he shares his secrets with her.
The highlight of this drama is really the kids – the younger siblings are ADOOOOOOORABLE and they are so spunky and loud that it’s hard NOT to be amazed at their honesty. I mean really, there is so much toilet humor in the first ten episodes that it’s…well, let’s just say I don’t like to eat while I watch. It’s not disgusting, it’s just amazingly frank and open. Fresh. Very Fresh.
Of course, they’re the ones who make the most inroads with the Won family. Kang Ha does not like Pal Gang, and only puts up with her for the sake of his brother (his excuse) and because he actually has a heart (although he wouldn’t admit to that). But he doesn’t like her. Yet. Nope – the one he likes the most first is Pa Rang, the youngest brother who sleepwalks everywhere and ends up in Kang Ha’s bed a couple of times.
That’s what makes the series a little different. Of course, Pal Gang and Kang Ha argue and yadda yadda yadda, they’ll definitely get together. But his relationship with the kid comes first – and I’m itching to find out where it will lead to. It’s sort of like in Shining Inheritance, where Lee Seung Gi’s character can’t admit to Han Hyo Joo’s character just yet that he likes her. Instead, he connects to her younger autistic brother first and admits to the brother first about his feelings. It’s sweet to see the main lead connect to someone outside of the triangle/square first before they can approach someone that’s inside it.
And then there’s the script – it’s zippy, fast-paced, fun, and light. It never dwells too long on the sad moments to make it too angsty. It never makes the humor way too outrageous that you can’t believe it. And it’s so frank and honest that I really appreciate it.
The actors do well for the most part with their roles. Each one is expressive in his/her own way; Choi Jung Won’s expressions are more varied, because she’s brash. Kim Ji Hoon is less expressive because of his personality, but each crack in the glacier is seen through the way his eyes soften JUST THAT BIT or his mouth is JUST THAT LESS tense from the previous scene. One complaint is the character Jae Young, granddaughter and heir to the insurance company and a ruthless spoiled brat who wants Kim Ji Hoon all for herself. That girl has the face of a plastic doll – so no matter what she does, I cannot feel sorry for her.
For such a polarizing character, if she played it more brilliantly like Yoon Se Ah in City Hall, I wouldn’t have disliked her so much. Yoon made a hateful character sympathetic. And they’re both the same – rich women who want a man even though they know the man doesn’t love her. Jae Young is also similar to Pal Gang in that both would go to any lengths to win Kang Ha. However, Jae Young uses money, while Pal Gang gives up and just shows her true personality.
Another lesson: Be yourself if you want the guy. Being poor helps.
So! Why must you watch this series? Because for all it’s lack of star power (in my opinion), it’s actually a solid story. It makes you happy, and who wants to start the new year unhappy, or at least, feeling angsty about whether or not someone will find their true granddaughter even though that true granddaughter is right under their nose! (Oh – that’s a side story in WUAS too, but it’s not given too much importance, thankfully). And no one’s going to die from some tragic sickness or is the long lost cousin/sister of the main male lead.
It’s addicting in a good way – for me, I want to know what happens. I am not DYING to know what happens (which is good because otherwise it would completely destroy my life as a student), but I can’t not tune in for the next episode.
I can’t wait for episode 11!