29 November 2012

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Farewell to ... Nice Guy

Posted by Kakashi Sensei on November 29, 2012
"Ah, this ending is giving me such a headache!"
 And once again, it's: ♪ *Time tooooooooooo, say goodbye* ♪ lalalalalaaaaa
You're thinking I am a bit late with this farewell post? Yes, I am.
I lost a whole week of my tightly scheduled KDrama-watching-life stalking Lee Jun-ki across Switzerland (in vain, as you most certainly know if you have been following this blog) and then being heart-broken for days over not seeing him and his porcelain-white, perfect skin (as I imagine it) and these amazing, fantagorastic eyes.

In any case, I have now finished Nice Guy and it has made my already sour mood go even more sour. I can't get over the fact that, once again!, they managed to mess up another perfectly fine drama.

You simply cannot show misery and heartache and bitter revenge for 19.5 hours and then, suddenly, switch to a happy, light-hearted, and cute mode, where every single storyline gets wrapped-up in the fluffiest, but also the most unlikely and most unbelievable way. It tastes like an obvious lie - you certainly don't believe it and it angers you greatly, because you feel that somebody is taking you for a fool.
"What a waste! What a waste! 20 episodes ... and then this"
Like for many others, Nice Guy's ending was a big disappointment for me (if you haven't already seen them, check out the alternative endings on this blog!). It started to go steeply downhill in episode 19, with the whole stabbing scene ... what purpose did that serve? But what comes after is many, many times worse: It is rushed in every sense, and only seemingly and hastily wrapped things up, not even making any sense. He had amnesia, became a doctor, she moved to the same place, he suddenly remembers her? He didn't have amnesia, became a doctor, didn't look her up for seven years (because ... hm.... what could be a plausible reason? no idea), but then gives in once she doesn't give up? And ... this power-house of a woman, raised and groomed to be the heiress of a great financial empire, she is now happy with this small life, running a tiny shop in a small town ... just out of love for this guy? I don't find that sweet at all. No, that's the most tragic of all endings in my book: If that is what Maru made Eun-ki become, then he destroyed her.
"Why, Dramagods, why? Why did you allow the writer to mess up so?"
Don't get me wrong. Song Joong-ki, Moon Chae-won and even Park Si-yeon as Han Jae-hee were brilliant (as was almost the entire supporting cast). Cinematography, directing, etc. etc. etc. ... all good. Writing ... well. Not so good. It started out perfectly fine, the story was moving fast, there was suspense, the characters were complex, fascinating, and engaging; at least the main ones. Maru was hard to like, but easy to pity; Eun-ki was easy to like, but hard to pity - before they turned the tables on us and made Eun-ki a victim and Maru a kind of perpetrator, though in love, and her easy to pity and him easy to like and to pity. Han Jae-hee was easy to hate and hard to pity, before they showed us how lonely, sad, and regretful she was, which made her hard to hate and easy to pity ... and ... in the end, I pitied everyone, except for Layer Ahn.

However, while I find the Maru, Eun-ki, and Han Jae-hee truly memorable characters (Eun-ki is probably my favorite female character of all times), the drama did a much poorer job with its side characters - and that was pretty obvious early on.
  • Choco: Is sick in the beginning and then suddenly, entirely healthy. She can sing. Or can't she? She is there to show us that Maru is actually a good guy and cares deeply. Yeah, but we knew that the moment he sacrifices himself for Han Jae-hee, no? She is also there to show us that he is VERY much in love with Han Jae-hee, because he is ready to leave his sick sister alone (and probably dying) for this woman. If that were her dramatic purpose, then letting her die because of his choice (I am very sorry for making that suggestion!) would have been the far better dramatic decision. Pfff.
  • Jae-gil: Best friend of Maru (why?), chaebol heir (why does that even remotely matter?). Cares for Maru and urges him to go to the hospital. There's nothing that I have against Lee Kwang-Soo in particular, but the way he always acts (he moves his lips/mouth before he stutters something - and he stutters a lot) is super annoying. That and the rest adds up to: Utterly redundant character. Pfff.  
  • Choco and Jae-gil: Standard love-story. And BAM, suddenly they're married. Pfff.
  • Lawyer Park: Second Lead, doesn't get the girl, pretends to by gay to make the relationship between them relaxed and easy. Since he is the second lead, he is ... aish, sizzling HOT, with his sad, sad eyes and his beautiful, beautiful face .... His father committed a crime toward Eun-ki's mother and he is afraid she might not like him after finding out, and therefore keeps quiet, even though he has long given up on her and just wants to see her happy with Maru? Riiiight. Makes sense? No. He wants to go confess to the police? What exactly, his father's crime?! And then he wants to go to prison for him? Where is his father, anyway? And does he ever tell Eun-ki about his big evil secret? The ending he gets? Does he even get one? Pfff.
  • Lawyer Ahn: He is evil. That's it. He is a one-dimensional as they come and the stone-faced acting didn't help. He loves Han Jae-hee: it is a very, very deep love and he is willing to sacrifice his life for her? Why again? Cause she's pretty? Are we to believe that he was once nice (Eun-ki's confidante) and then, after beholding the witch, he turned evil, ready to murder people? And the ending he gets? He walks out of prison (how did he even get in?), and away from the woman he loved so much. Why? Beyond me. Pfff.
  • The biggest waste for me, however, was Jae-sik. Strangely enough, I liked this character and his funny way of talking right from the start. I liked how he had a conscience (Even though he's a (potential) murderer and he wanted to sell his sister to a brothel), and I liked how he found a new sister in Choco. There was great potential, but nothing was made of it. The ending he gets? WTF? He now sells fast food and writes love letters with spelling mistakes? What an insult to this character! Pfff.
"Yes, I am HOT but unfortunately, was made to play a very boring character"

So, there's the really messed-up ending and the many little messed up things ... and then, there's this: 
 “I will go to Noona. Love… I can’t promise love, but I can stay with you forever. As long as what you want from me isn’t love, as long as it isn’t that, it’s fine. Wherever noona is, I will wait for you, I’ll be understanding, I’ll be able to hold it in, endure it, and I will hold your hand. I won’t let it go. Stop all the useless acts, and throw away all the heavy weights laid upon you. And if there happens to be punishment that you deserve, accept it all. I will wait for you any time, so… will you come to me?” (and teeeeears flow in buckets)
(at least I look good even when I cry)
HUH? Is it the hematoma in Maru's brain that makes him do weird things? I was starting to like this guy and I thought, well, now he is finally acting like a semi-normal human being, but then ... he takes the blame for Jae Hee ... again??? After doing nothing bad to her ever? Are you stupid, Maru? Or are you taking the meaning of helper syndrome to a new level? You need professional help, that's for sure! Way to destroy all emotional attachement I had to this character!
Well ... this kakashi woman, she is a bit harsh on my last drama, no? Make her stop!
Okay, Maru. Sorry. I didn't entirely dislike this drama. Otherwise I wouldn't have watched all 20 episodes. I would even consider it one of the better ones this year. Yes, I blame this whole mess entirely on myself: I should and could have seen the disappointment coming. You know why? It is very, very hard to come up with 5 Dramas that have truly satisfactory endings. Most KDramas lose their steam towards the finale (if you're lucky) or already somewhere in the middle and leave you dissatisfied or even angry in the end. That's the main reason I have not seen the last two episodes of about 80% of all the dramas I have watched. Because, unfortunately, when they don't get the ending right, it sours the whole drama experience for me. I'll make that a 100% in the future. Unless people can ensure me that the ending is good (or at least semi-good) I will simply stop watching about two episodes before the finale.

Happy, cutie? (And: any plans for your holidays, Joong-ki? Wanna come to Switzerland, maybe?)
cr: joongki-ssi.tumblr.com

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