Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Trot Lovers: What is this?

Wow, this show is weird. They buried the leading man up to his neck in dirt, stuck a paper bag over his head, and made him sing along to Korea’s version of the golden oldies. I just don’t even know what to say except . . . I think I like it.

Enough with the super spies, serial killers, and first love angst. Rom-coms FINALLY rolled back around on the drama schedule, and one of the first to hit the airwaves is Trot Lovers. I feel like I sat through the first two episodes with my face scrunched in slackjawed disbelief. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but it wasn’t this. I wouldn’t call it charming. The bad attitudes fly at random. I wouldn’t call it romantic. The main couple don’t have a love-hate relationship. It’s hate-hate all the way, and they have yet to show us any real connection. But TL has this kind of crazy neighbor appeal that keeps you staring out the window, wondering what they’re gonna do next.

It had to be you

But with this couple . . . not so much. I think Ji Hyun Woo and Jung Eun Ji more than proved their chemistry potential in past dramas like Queen Inhyun’s Man and Answer Me 1997. They sizzled up the screen opposite other co-stars, but right now I’m still waiting for the bells to ring with their current characters. The setup may be campy and ridiculous, but their acting itself is good. I just don’t get that squeeful feeling watching them butt heads, yet. Don’t get me wrong, I’m enjoying the ride. But my fingers are crossed for some fissions of attraction to start showing soon.

Is there such a thing as 5D?

I learned a new term while watching Korean television. 4D. They use it to describe a person who’s kinda left of center. While everyone else operates in three dimensions, they’re in their own little world, and might just wander away in the middle of a conversation and show up a month later to finish it. But after watching Shin Sung Rok as the hapless and reluctant new music president, I wonder if he might be 5D. He listens politely while his father chews him out on the phone, and cheerfully insists he can do so for an hour since his Dad is the one with all the money. (Cracks. Me. Up.) Poor papa gets so frustrated he hangs up. Things like passcodes and whose cell phone he’s holding stump this guy. He’ll spend ten minutes trying to open a locker with the wrong key, until someone else comes along and solves his problem. I can’t figure out if he’s serious, or just too lazy to think up a new plan of action. Either way, he’s hilarious. So far, his scenes are the highlight of this show.

Maybe I should start downloading some Trot

On a scale of 1 to 10, my knowledge of trot music ranks around .47, but I might start paying more attention because of TL. Jung Eun Ji makes the bouncy cheesefest sound heartwarming, mood lifting, and capable of recalling every long buried, happy hearts-and-flowers memory you lost along the way. It takes her away from whatever scary situation she’s currently in and puts her in a safe, little soft-lit cocoon with just the music and her family. The ending scene of Episode 2 hit a sweet spot for me when she starts her American Idol style audition with her back to the judges because she just can’t face reality. But then she imagines her father, sister, and deceased mother cheering and swaying in the audience and the rest of the people just fade away. Call me sappy, but I just love Awwwwwwwwwwww moments.

I really like this show. I’m not sure why. If they’d just mix in a bit more chemistry with the leads, I might start loving it.


  1. I am also enjoying the reemergence of the romantic comedy this summer. And we still have two more coming out in the next week! I was not sold on the first episode, but the cute scenes in the second episode and the hilarious 2nd leading man have hooked me. Can't wait for Mondays now!

    1. Me too! Have been waiting for the next episode every week. EUN JI EUN JI!!