Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Golden Rainbow: Mining the good stuff

I am loving 20% of this show. I don’t have any quantitative results to back up my statistics. This is just an estimation of how much is squee-inducing rom-com. And that 20% is so worth fast forwarding through the other 80. Believe me.

Golden Rainbow is one of those 50 episode weekend family dramas that throws every kitchen sink cliché in there: birth secrets, noble idiocy, separated first loves, wrongful imprisonment, scheming chaebols, backstabbing second leads, etc. But the hilarious push-and-pull relationship between Do-young (Jung Il Woo) and Baek-won (UEE) keeps me digging for more, more, more. Allow me to offer some choice nuggets for your inspection.

She started it 

So . . . the GIRL grabs the GUY, on the STREET, and kisses him. FIRST. Unbelievable, right? This is a Korean drama. Isn’t she supposed to stand there like a wide-eyed, block of ice? The wide-eyed one is actually Do-young. But he recovers quickly and grabs her back for one passionate po-po. You may ask what brought on this public display of affection? She pushed him away emotionally for a few episodes. (I’m not sure why since I fast forwarded through that part, but I think it was a misunderstanding involving the evil second lead female.) They finally have it out and she tells him to ignore her and look after himself. But he replies that he can’t even see himself, because he loves her so much. I find her response quite natural. Grabbing him by the collar and laying one on him. And I find her response to his return kiss even more natural. She runs away in complete embarrassment, while the hero (and me) grins like an idiot.

You aren’t getting off that easy 

Jung Il Woo’s character cracks me up. (Think Cha Chi-soo from Flower Boy Ramyun Shop minus the entitlement issues. He’s completely cuckoo for our heroine, but not in the unhinged stalker way of Secret Garden or the violent, revengy way of Secret. He just flat out adores her.) Any other guy might give a girl a chance to process, but not him. He beats her home, and is waiting there to tease the life out of her. Being a prosecutor, he says he’s arresting her for sexual harassment unless she compensates him. They end up at a cafĂ© where he strikes an aegyo pose while she hems and haws. He relentlessly cross-examines her for why she kissed him until she finally whispers meekly, “I like you.” Again, any other guy might be happy with this. But not our cheeky Do-young. He declares that you “like” dukkbokki and coffee, but you don’t kiss them. And she yells back, “I love you. I LOVE YOU. Satisfied?” I bet I’m not the only one who assumed they were in some quiet, out-of-the-way place, but we find that’s not the case when the camera pulls back to reveal this:

Yes, the room is FULL of diners who burst into applause. If I heard a conversation that interesting at the table next to me, I’d be eavesdropping too. What does our heroine do? Runs away for the second time. And Do-young (and me) is once again left grinning like an idiot.

This guy is relentless 

You know those K-drama heroes that take 10 episodes to confess their feelings and then backpedal immediately afterwards. Yeah, well that’s not Do-young. Now that he’s got the advantage, he’s gonna work every angle he can. Baek-won, like any normal girl, is reliving the glorious liplock that night in the safety of her room, when she gets a text-pic from Do-young of a kissy-face. He follows this up with a call saying it was the most intense kiss he’s ever had. She calls him a player and hangs up. And then he texts her an audio file of a heart beating, saying he won’t be able to sleep because his is pounding so fast. *Sigh* I must have the wrong service provider, cause I never get texts like that.

Why does feeding always equal love?

Is it a Korean thing that feeding someone is a sign of affection? When Baek-won prepares lunch for her new beloved, he opens his mouth with the cutest “aaaaaaaaah.” She, of course, refuses to comply. Keep in mind that her Oppa is sitting right across from them, but Do-young has no shame. He then tries a variety of “Aaaa-eee-aaaaah?” and “AAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!” until she chopsticks the sashimi into his mouth. I know it’s a little thing, but again, it just makes me smile.

From 0 to 60 

After their lunchtime shenanigans, Do-young remarks how fast they’re moving when they haven’t even held hands. He offers his for Baek-won which she hesitantly accepts, and then he pulls her into a full-body bear hug. And remarks that after hands and hugs it must be time for another kiss. Sadly, we don’t get it. I like how he always pushes for more with Baek-won, but not in a randy, player kind of way. He teases and twists and gently bullies affection out of her, and you can see that she doesn’t really mind.

Lest you think I’m overreacting to the cuteness of these two, I’d like to point out that all of the above moments happened in only one episode (22). Girlfriday wrote a great review of the show over on Dramabeans if you want to check it out (www.dramabeans.com/2014/01/gold-rainbow-an-introduction). Golden Rainbow begins when they are teenagers and skips ahead after episode 11. So if you really don’t want to commit to 50 episodes, just start with 12 and then only watch the parts with our dynamic duo. It’s working for me.

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