Monday, November 18, 2013
Waiting for Pretty Man
I used to avoid anything with Jang Geun-seok in it like the plague. I think it was the hair. (Which he just cut, by the way. Wooo-hooo!) Then I actually watched one of his dramas. Then another. And another. There’s something about this guy that jumps off the screen. So the news that he’s teaming with IU for the upcoming Pretty Man is welcome indeed.
In honor of his return to television, I thought I’d list a few things I liked in his last drama Love Rain. From what I hear, this tanked in Korea, but did well internationally, so you’ve probably already watched it. But in case you missed it, I’ll give you a tip for how to enjoy this story. Skip the first four episodes and any scene with just the parents. No, I’m serious. The older generation’s tale is weepy, maudlin and depressing throughout the series, and it closes with only a semi-happy ending. That doesn’t work for a happy-ever-after junkie like me. Their children’s modern love story begins in episode five and it has all the snap and crackle that their parents lacked. Focus on them, and you should enjoy this drama. Here are a few things that make the kiddies worth watching:
K-dramas recycle the same settings over and over. You know the ones: the Han River, street food vendors, amusement parks. But introducing our OTP in mid-winter Japan while they search for a famous snowy outlook that sparkles like diamonds in the sunlight . . . that’s different. In a really good way. It lends the story a kind of romantic mystique, and also provides a few good laughs as Jang Geun-seok’s character pathetically falls all over himself in the fluffy drifts.
Speaking of falling all over himself
This playboy photographer’s nickname is Three-seconds, because that’s how long it takes him to pick up a girl. So how awesome is it when Yoona’s character turns it back on him, and uses his own line to reel him in. Believe me, this hero falls HARD. He basically makes an idiot of himself trying to look cool and act like he doesn’t care, all while following her around like a love-crazed puppy.
The basic plot is as follows: Mom and Dad meet in the 70s. Fall in sweet, sentimental love. Are separated by the typically unbelievable K-drama misunderstanding, and go on to marry other people. Years later, his son and her daughter meet and form a much more volatile, passionate bond. Unbeknownst to them, the divorced dad and widowed mom meet up again and rekindle their relationship, deciding to tie the knot. This is where the trouble starts.
If you’re an American, you’re probably thinking, “What’s the big deal?” I’m no Korean law expert, but from what I read, a boy and girl who are listed as siblings in the family register when two adults marry are legally considered related. In their society, this makes Geun-seok and Yoona’s love taboo, both legally and culturally. (Don’t worry. It all works out in the end. Remember, I’m a happy-ever-after junkie.)
Don’t we all love when our OTP are forced to share living space? But this drama goes one better. This couple’s apartment sports two bedrooms which are separated by a bookcase. The kind you can look right through and talk to each other. That’s right, nowhere to hide.
The Fountain Kiss
Even if you haven’t seen Love Rain, you’ve probably seen the fountain kiss on some sort of Youtube compilation. The colored water, the subtle, sexy love song playing in the background, and Jang Geun-seok’s technique all add up to a major squeeworthy moment. And it’s not the only one. There are quite a few cute kisses to enjoy in this drama.
Pretty Man starts this week, which they are now calling the more innocuous Bel Ami. *Sigh* Just doesn’t have the same ring, does it? Still, I have high hopes for an entertaining story and a few more tantalizing kisses that I can watch on Youtube when I’m bored. Fingers crossed!