Friday, January 3, 2014

You From Another Star: And he's down for the count

After a round of kisses, co-habitation, and fake eyelash shopping, our touch-me-not teacher is finding it hard to stay on his feet when love keeps knocking him for a loop. Let’s count the chinks in his emotional armor, shall we?

Mr. Passive-Regressive 

Is it jealousy season already? This week the green-eyed crop was in full bloom. Never has a purple hair tie caused so much conflict. Min-joon just HAD to mention that Song-yi left it when she slept at his place. And he just HAD to mention that she was stone, cold sober at the time. This sequence played all the better intercut with the lecture our Passionless Professor gave on how childish and regressive the emotion of jealousy is and how he’s NEVER felt it. Welcome to the human world, Sir. It’s petty, but amusing.

So what’s the deal with Saliva, anyway? 

Has spit ever caused so much discussion with a drama before? Our strange visitor from another planet made one mention that he couldn’t mix blood or saliva and our imaginations ran wild. Was it poison? Could he get drunk off it? What was the deal? But then came the kiss. And now a shared meal. Seeing Song-yi grab his food with her own cootie-laden chopsticks kind of puts the final nail in the speculation coffin. Is it possible that there are no evil aftereffects at all? Maybe he just has a serious case of Extraterrestrial OCD.

400 year-old issues

Now we know why Min-joon feels sorry to the girl from so long ago. She traded her life for his. Whoever this young actress is, she’s just killing it. She makes you forget the age difference. And there’s already ample evidence that Kim Soo-hyun is an excellent crier. But that didn’t lessen the impact when he sobbed like it was the first time in his life. It looks like Min-joon truly loved Yi-hwa, even if his future self tries to deny it.

The Reincarnation Wrinkle 

In the real world – past lives? Give me a break. But in the drama world, it adds up to all sorts of interesting twists. I doubt it was accidental that they kept emphasizing Yi-hwa’s wish for her protector to see her all grown up. It’s like her dream is finally coming true in the person of Song-yi. But do they just look alike, or are they the same person? The scene in the museum points toward the latter. When Song-yi stared at the ancient hairpin, I expected them to turn it into a joke. Like when she got so nostalgic at the first snowfall, then she says she’s craving chicken and beer. But not this time. Out of all the exhibits in the room, she zeroes in on the pin. And then admits it makes her feel sad. Poor Min-joon’s frozen heart doesn’t know what to make of it, as it melts like a polar icecap.

Every centimeter counts

The epilogues are like a box of those mixed candies where you never know what you’re going to get. One moment it’s a good-natured nougat with Song-yi biting her manager on the head, then they suddenly drop the bitter, dark chocolate that she refuses any Sageuks because she hates the Joseon period. Even though she doesn’t know why. And I loved the sweet, cherry cordial extension of the balcony scene where Min-joon orders his reluctant houseguest to stay at least a meter away, then silently steps closer because she went too far. The poor guy tries so hard to keep his guard up, but fails every time.

I feel a little like Min-joon when I watch this drama. I know I should keep it at arm’s length because there’s a strong chance I could be huddled in a weepy little ball at the end. And then I take one step closer, because it’s just too beautiful to ignore. Whatever the ending, happy or sad, I'm in too deep to turn back now.

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