(Side note: Any German speakers among you? I have recently realized that his name Kim Ji-hoon could in fact be read as Kimchi Huhn - which would be Kimchi Chicken in English. Jeez, I can't stop giggling about this one. How yummy it would taste, this chicken!)
|"Did she just call me chicken?!"|
|Look at his hair! What animal does it remind you of? |
Episode 1 is mostly an extended commercial for Jeju Island and I must say, it is working well. I want to go there! NOW! Warm-up oppa aka Kim Hyun-Woo (played by Lee Sang-woo with the killer smile) is also doing a pretty good job (and I am highly tempted to gif or at least screencap him but this is a KimJiCap, so I'm not giving in. yet). The downside: Kimchi Chicken is NOT making an appearance until minute 59, which is just outrageous! He is playing a rich kid (Kang Tae-wook) with terrible parents, a terrible brother, and what seems a terrible temper. In sum, he is there to be hated (and pitied, a little, maybe?). I'm fine with that. I have so much love for him that hating him a little is even healthy.
Song Ji-hye (played by the beautiful and natural Nam Sang-mi), who is a radio writer, goes to Jeju to get her friend's musician husband (a long haired hippie, who mistreats his guitar cause the actor really doesn't know how to even hold one) to come on her radio show. Yeah, right... She fails to convince him (no offense, but he seems to have a brain the size of a pea) and goes hiking. There, she meets warm-up oppa (again).
Lee Joong Seop in the plane. It is full of private comments and pictures that she drew. Kind of like a diary. She dropped it when she fell asleep on his shoulder (of course, she doesn't remember that she did that - but he sure does ... he is already totally smitten with her, also because of her scribbling in the book) and forgets about it when she rushes out. He wants to give it back, fails at first but then succeeds ... and they tour the island together, get wet together (twice) and sleep together (not sure how many times). They also step on cow shit together. I flat out admit, I would have slept with him too in her place, all smiles, caring, attentive, sweet, touchy-feely, you name it. A woman's dream come true. Totally suspicious, of course, but let's see about that.
She has issues, though, big ones, about love and marriage, as we learn. Who is the cause? This sexy beast, it seems (what do you think? prettier from the front or the side?):
- There is Cheating Husband #1's wife, living with the dragon-parents in the Family Palace (the house has about 100 rooms, I'm guessing). She is mistreated by everybody. But for how much longer? My guess: She will blow. Soon. Unless there is a reason why she married her dick of a husband. There are kids, too, and one ex-wife, who has kids, too.
- Then there's Cheating Husband #2, an Anchorman, who is absolutely ridiculous and therefore, in a way, great. He insists his family, his wife and two kids, learn English, cause you cannot get anywhere without it - but he also uses the language as a secret code to communicate with his mistress, another sexy anchorwoman.
- And then, there is Timid Husband (who is Cheating Husband #2's wife's brother) with the SUUUUUpppper loud wife (who is the sister of Song Ji-Hye). There are kids, too: three of them, in fact. I'll let you know if they become important.
So, the big issue between the two is that he is rich. But not only rich, but RICH: from one of the top ten richest families in Korea. That's one part of the problem ... the second part is that he hasn't told her until a week ago. And the third part of the problem is that he gave her money. A LOT of money: So that she could pay for the marriage gifts. And the fourth part of their problem is that they are both very proud people. And apparently stubborn. And I don't want to know what is going to happen when he finds out she slept with another guy .... oh boy.
When he wants to hug her, she bolts, but he does not let her - she doesn't hug him back, though. He apologizes for hurting her pride and asks her to forgive him. And he promises to always protect her. He mumbles into her hair that she drives him crazy, that he feels like dying because of her.
- Warm-up oppa Kim Hyun-Woo goes back to Jeju, to "their" beach (where they first kinda got closer) and waits for her. He hopes she will also come back ... to fully accept him. He definitely wants more pillow talk. And, sure, sure, he is very romantic and it's truuuuue luuuurve. But she doesn't come, cause she already has a guy. He then stalks her on the internet until he finds her and is all broody about it.
- The slightly stupid wife of Cheating Husband #2 sees him and the sexy Anchorwoman together, but does not yet connect the dots ... fully. She is very, very, VERY much in love with her husband. At least he seems to be feeling sorry. A bit. Breaking free will be difficult for this woman. I hope she succeeds and gets her power back.
- The stressed out Carreer Woman (married to Timid Husband) gets fired because she is going grocery shopping during work hours. She really needs to chill, that one. I see a nervous breakdown looming. Timid Husband isn't helping, because he does nothing, really. But she gives her younger sister Song Ji-hye good advise: don't be fucking stupid and marry the rich dude already!
- And Mistreated Wife is just mistreated some more. And more. She doesn't say much, but we get glimpses of what goes on in her head. She is the most difficult character to read and I am most curious to see how she will get revenge.
In a way, this drama reminds me of Cheongdamdong Alice (but, oh boy, how I hope it doesn't go where CDDA went - i.e. down the drain!), which also took a bunch of characters that were deeply flawed and hateful, and played with our feels/non-feels for them. If they do it right, this drama is going to be about trashing our ideas of a perfect marriage, the fairy-tale thing we get to see so often (usually at the end of a drama). It is about "the morning after", the hangover phase, also known as reality. Love and marriage? It is damn hard. You have to work for them.
The topic of expectation vs. reality in love and marriage is a good one and so far, I find it well executed (with some exceptions, of course). The characters are all over-drawn, some of them outright ridiculous, but I am expecting (hoping for) some surprises along the way and some interesting catharsis for all the characters. Yes, all of them are flawed, all of them must go on the road of redemption (there is one exception: warm-up oppa has not shown any flaws yet. I hope he has some, i.e. transforms into a monster when he gets wet after midnight). There is not much sugar-coating and I guess that is one of the reasons people don't like the drama. Especially then men come across as dicks-de-luxe (except for one, see above). Well, some people are dicks - and some people are married to dicks. Some even love dicks. And dicks also love. That is reality.