The return of the studded jacket!!
Hm. I will say that it is interesting to see the main male lead become so forward and go after the girl, while the heroine plays hard to get. It’s not the first drama where that has happened (Athena, Dal Ja’s Spring, Woman Who Still Wants to Marry, Secret Garden, etc), but it doesn’t usually happen in a Hong Sisters drama. Usually the girl gets “caught” first by the love snare, and then the guy can’t help but think about her.
In this case, Gong Hyo Jin is certainly not interested in him until she gets confused by a very forward Cha Seung Won. I was highly conflicted about this change in him in episode 5, as I didn’t find it particularly consistent with his character. I had initially seen him as a grown up version of Hwang Tae Kyung, where he’s so self-involved he would realize he was in love until way later. I’m thankful that he realized it quickly, but I didn’t expect him to be so forward and bold about it right away. It’s kind of off-putting, because then I feel like I’m watching a character who doesn’t know who he is.
And maybe that’s the crux of the matter – Dokko Jin is someone who doesn’t know himself, but knows himself through others. He knows what he is to his fans, his managers, his fake girlfriend, but he needs that constant self-affirmation (“I am Dokko Jin.”) I’m not complaining that he’s quite the complex fellow, but I am complaining that his actions are just so juvenile.
There are moments when I feel like Cha’s at a loss at what to do with his character. He goes from being the guy who tries to help her out in the best PR-way possible (by trying to tell her to get out and by trying to spin her negative comments in a different way when Ae Jung breaks into his little “surprise” for Se Ri), to the guy who’s a complete ass to her (“Why don’t you just stay the night and we can get this over with?”). He goes from someone who can be completely romantic (that SMOLDERING LOOK he gave her outside the movie theater) to a complete buffoon (the entire subsequent wine bar scene). If that’s the character, then I have a complaint: Why, Hong Sisters, are you writing a role that should be played by someone in his teens for a 40-year old man?
(Fine – Dokko Jin is 37 supposedly – but Cha is 40+).
So far – this is my bone to pick with the Hong Sisters. The character is such a joke. I like Dokko Jin, but I feel like I would love him even more if he weren’t such a teenager. The drama was initially meant for a younger cast, but they went with an older cast to avoid some plagiarism issues and whatnot. But now that you have an older cast, can’t you write with a more mature sensibility? If your funny-ness comes from your wittiness, then stupid things like having Dokko Jin slap himself in the face and turn himself around (so that he won’t see Ae Jung cry) shouldn’t be there.
I was actually quite happy with episode 6, and felt that things were picking up a bit. I paid more attention to it as the hour went by, and smiled more. But then it went downhill as I noticed Dokko Jin become weird.
As for Gong Hyo Jin, she’s certainly growing on me. However, I like her individually, just as I like Yoon Kye Sang and Yoo In Na individually. The latter two are sweet and perfectly narcissistic respectively, and truly fit their roles. However, Yoon Kye Sang is more of a one-note wonder at this point. They’re all good, but I just don’t feel the cast clicking in that magical way. It’s a regular, acted, chemistry. It’s not magic like Park Shi Hoo and Kim So Yeon, or Park Shin Hye and Jang Geun Suk.
And the games you boys play!! “What is the best way to give her the pen without embarrassing her?” Wow – you boys REALLY think a lot when it comes to girls eh? This conundrum for Pil Joo and Dokko Jin just confirmed my theory that boys really are like girls, except with different equipment and a simple manner of speech.
(Girls – stop talking with too many levels of meaning; simple straightforward talk is best, unless you’re purposely alluding to an inside joke, making a veiled insult, or a veiled joke. Ah – but that is a topic for another post…)