I am officially torn. Like many, I was pleasantly surprised by My Princess, despite my aversion to the top billing actors. A few mind-boggling plot lines and holes got in the way, and I have to strain myself to jump over them, but otherwise, I’m stuck with a dilemma:
Sign or My Princess?!
Why didn’t Kim Tae Hee do more romantic comedies? If she had done more of them in her career instead of romantic melodramas, I would have liked her a bit more. She’s such a natural fit for the role. My favorite part from her was when she stalked Song Seung Hoon‘s Hae Young to the parking lot and begged for his receipt because it could be redeemed for a gift certificate, and she totally invaded his personal space. Which is hilarious considering she’s tinier than him.
But that’s also the scene that kinda bugs me. I mean, Hae Young looks way too amused by Seol from the get go – he’s already unleashing his “Oh my God you’re so cute I love you” smile, when I think it would have been more appropriate to give the “Oh my God you’re annoying and have no idea what you’re talking about” smirk. It’s like, episode 1 and sparks are flying?!!? HUH?! Chemistry among leads is great – but while Ha Ji Won and Hyun Bin have chemistry AND manage to look like they hate each other, Song and Kim don’t…
In other words – I feel like Song Seung Hoon is enjoying filming this drama so much he has a hard time controlling his laughter or amusement whenever he has scenes with Kim Tae Hee. That’s all I can see and feel whenever I watch his scenes. The cuts of the two of them together and the close ups on Tae Hee show Song giving inconsistent emotions; in one shot he’s smiling like a fool and in the next his mouth is closed and tight. Basically, Song looks like he needs to have better control over his emotions!
Aside from that, Song Seung Hoon is kinda interesting in here – I’ve never seen him in a comedic role, so it’s refreshing. I don’t understand his urgency in the first scene when he grabs Lee Seol out of the dressing room, because the entire scene feels a little contrived. I mean, I understand he’s got a time limit, but it’s a little weird…The other part that’s weird is he jumped into conclusions about her intentionally approaching him in the first place. My first thought was, “Wait, shouldn’t you be asking that question in like, episode 5?” Then I reminded myself that his character is a smart fella, and he quickly made the decision to stay at her home (perhaps to scout her out) to show that he’s kinda suspicious of her still.
Ryu Soo Young (as Nam Jung Woo) – is it OK if I say that he’s hot, and that’s it? He’s damn fine-looking, way better than Song Seung Hoon. One look at his smile – and his nice, charming personality – and I’m hook, line, and sinker for him. Plus – he’s witty:
“Avoid (reserving a room at) the Love Hotel. It’s…noisy.”
“Ah you were thinking of something else and I was in it? Wow…”
Him: “There’s a blanket in the cabinet.”Seol: “OK.” A beat. “Eh? How’d he know?!”
I really don’t like this trend of the short boy hair cut on the leading ladies nowadays – in Secret Garden, Sign, and on Park Ye Jin. Ha Ji Won pulls it off nicely because she doesn’t have the Justin Bieber haircut. Uhm Ji Won I’m getting used to, even though it is the Justin Bieber haircut. And Park Ye Jin? No. Absolutely not. No. Please wear extensions. But moving on… Her character is very flirtatious and plays with the feelings of both Ryu and Song’s characters. She also has a potential to be devious, because that look she gave when Jung Woo said he was about to find the descendant of the royal family was purely calculating (which turned out to be because she already had the evidence about the descendant without telling him). Her character description says she’s going to try to make Lee Seol’s adopted sister the princess instead, which makes me very fearful for another Autumn in My Heart episode. Or Shining Inheritance. Or any drama that has someone trying to steal the rightful inheritance of another. *Cringe* I hope that issue gets effectively crushed in one episode. Two, max.
Speaking of which, Lee Dan is mad spoiled. Or acts it. Then again, maybe more of her character will be revealed later on.
There’s also a scene where Lee Seol types up a question on a website and it brings up a bunch of answers that mostly have nothing to do with what she asked at the speed of lightning; nice commentary on the world of Internet, especially in Korea/Asia. Me likey.
In the end, episode 1 is such a set-up episode, because for me, things make sense – but the pieces also don’t really fit very well. I know that things will be cleared up in no time, but the characters feel a little inconsistent for me. Perhaps it’s because I’m used to the stereotypical characterizations. I know I’ve complained about them, and always wished for something more refreshing, but Song Seung Hoon is just…weird. I don’t know – his character bugs me. It’s not so much his fault as the writer’s, I guess, but he really flips the switch between cold and suspicious, and warm and awkward-cute. (What, you have a delightful day with her at the museum, but once you find out her name you’re all suspicious and think she’s your enemy? What happened to your first impression of her?) I could go on all day trying to analyze Hae Young, but I just might end up confusing myself even more and it’s not worth it for the first episode.
I can see why the ratings are heating up though. I kinda wanna throw my support in for Sign just because I know it’s gonna be the dark horse and falter in ratings. But if not, then VINDICTIVE VICTORY! mwahaha…
But the best solution to this dilemma: WATCH BOTH! Whee. I’m gonna die from exhaustion.