07 November 2012


My Top 5 ... Tree Scenes

Posted by Kakashi Sensei on November 07, 2012
This post seems random? Hey, it totally is! The ideas for these Top 5 lists are generated like this: I think about what to write about next, a random image appears in my head, and I turn it into a Top 5 list.

Here is five trees that I remember from the KDramas I have seen. Since my memory tends to be focused on short-term things more than on long-term things, and trees in dramas are usually not all that well-represented and noteworthy, you shouldn't be surprised to see two very recent dramas (with relatively little tree exposure) being considered.

No 1: Iljimae 

Iljimae was a rating hit back in 2008 and it had two of my favorite actors in it: Park Shi-hoo (how many days before I can see you again?!) and Lee Jun-ki. Ah, Iljimae ... thinking about you makes me nostalgic. And always sad. I'm still not sure whether he actually dies in the end? Or whether the ending seems to suggest he is still alive? Or is it just the idea of him that's alive?! I want to believe he lived, but am somewhat certain he died ... hence the sadness.
The name Iljimae stands for "branch of plum tree", which is also Iljimae's trade mark. Young Iljimae witnesses the brutal murder of his father under the blooming trees, and he meets his one true love under the same tree, and he goes and sits in the tree, and meets his one true love again in the tree, and they kiss in the tree, he makes the evil king kneel in front of the tree, etc. etc. etc. This tree actually does play a rather substantial part in this Drama, so that's why it gets to go first. 

No 2: Arang and the Magistrate

How wonderful, another Lee Jun-ki drama! There's three trees I remember. No 1, the incredibly beautiful red tree in the episode when Arang goes to the Underworld. Yeah, okay, this is just scenery. But it's the most beautiful red tree I've ever seen in a drama. I think (yeah, cause my memory is not all that good, really).  
No 2 is the blooming tree(s) they go to see together in episode 9, which probably is my favorite Arang episode altogether (not least because it introduces us to MC Sniper's incredibly cool OST-track). Particularly memorable (with a touch of sadness) is that she says she wants to be reborn as a flower when she dies; or rather, a butterfly. When he grumbles that he must have seen these flowers many times before, being a ghost in this town for three years, she replies that, yes, of course, she has seen them many times already. But: "It’s the first time with you. Being with you makes the same landscape look different". Hell, girl, after this, you try to convince him you are not at all interested in him?!

Tree No 3 is the tree he falls off from in episode 7. It's the most evil tree in the show, probably because it came in touch with the evil amulet.
Apart from these three trees, there's tons of others that make random appearances, because many shots are taken in the forest. And there's trees in heaven too, but I didn't like the way they looked, so they don't get to be featured on my blog.

No 3: Faith

Faith's end is rather touching (despite the moustache on LMH). For 24 episodes, trees played no role whatsoever and then, suddenly, it becomes a symbol for their love, and their anchor through time. She loses him 'under' the tree and she goes to look for him by the tree and he waits for her by the tree. And it is a very beautifully situated tree.

No 4: Rooftop Prince

Ah, Rooftop Prince. One of the dramas that start so well and end so ... un-well. When did it start to go from heartwarming-funny to angsty-painful? Trees don't play a particular role in it, but for whatever reason, I clearly remember their (semi?)romantic tête-à-têtes under the branches of a big, very green tree. And I remember how he starts fading (first?) under that tree. 

All in all, this drama made me like Yoochun quite a bit, which made me finally go check out Sungkyunkwan Scandal, the show I cannot spell without cheating and looking it up on the Internet, which made me like him even more, and with him, like Song Joong-ki (I would like to claim that that was before everybody liked him, but that's just a lie) and Yoo Ah-in, who is one of the few to wear a moustache (or a trace of it) well, even though they're under 30.

No 5: Kimchi Family

I am a bit unsure whether this tree deserves to be on the list, because I suddenly remembered quite a few blooming cherry-blossom scenes, for example the one in Prosecutor Princess, which would have given me a chance to mention how much I love Park Shi-hoo, but since I have mentioned that fact quite a few times already, but have not mentioned that I really, really like Song Il-guk, too, this tree gets to be number five. 
The tree is where the grave of her mother is. That's about it.

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