Monday, July 16, 2012

{Monday Morning Therapy with Dongsaeng} More Bonus Reviews

Remember how I'm watching 5 dramas right now?  And how I'm reviewing my least favorite of them all?  And how it's killing me because I really, really want to talk about the ones that I'm watching and loving, not just the one that I'm watching and tolerating?  Well, this week on MMT, I'm going to give in and once again spend some time chatting about these shows.

Consider yourselves forewarned, however.  Unlike the last time where I just gave a very brief and general synopsis of the story lines and my brief and general opinion on the shows, this review will contain more spoilers.  I'm going to treat this more like I would my Friday review and speak as if you are watching these right along with me and are as caught up as I am.  Pick and choose amongst the shows here you want to read about.  I've got I Do I Do, Big, and Bridal Mask for you.  I skipped A Gentleman's Dignity for obvious reasons - Unnie's got that one covered already.  But know that I like it.  A lot.  It's still my favorite out of all of them even though we're in the middle of the sad break up episodes.  

I Do, I Do
I Do, I Do, indeed.  Love this show that is.  I'm eagerly awaiting ep 13's completion later today.  At last check it was at 37%.  I'm sure I'll have more to add once it finishes and I watch it, but for now, I can chat about the first 12 episodes.

We have two characters, Ji An and Cutie Pie Tae Kang.  We all know that Ji An was knocked up by Mr Cutie Pie, right?  Only Mr Cutie Pie doesn't know that he's a daddy yet.  He is still crazy in love with her though and is planning on proposing to her after this big collaboration project is over.  There might be a teeny tiny issue as he has been offered this amazing job in America working and training with a top shoe designer (the guy he's in competition with at this collaboration).  He's so young and has so much potential - would it be right to tie him down with a wife and child at this stage in his life?  (Not making any personal commentary on unwed parenthood and the whole marriage debate here by the way - it's just kind of the theme of the show and where I predict they're going with it - that he's not in a position where he should be getting married quite yet, baby or no baby).  Then there's Ji An's doctor, who has also proposed to her a couple of times, but who she has refused.  She's smitten with her baby daddy.  And determined to raise the baby on her own.  Even if it means she loses her job.

How crazy did that Madame President suddenly turn by the way?  Holy smokes.  Talk about a fair weather friend.  She's like this mother figure to Ji An, taking her under her wing and preparing her to take over the company, until the second Ji An tells her that she will be keeping the baby.  Then suddenly she's warned that she will be fired if she does so?  For taking responsibility for her child?  Oh, but then it gets better.  Now Madame President is all cozy with the Vice President, Na Ri, who she formerly scorned for being, as best as I can tell, the child of her husband's mistress or new wife.  Did I get that relationship wrong?  I'm still a little fuzzy.  I know that Na Ri calls her "mother" but that she isn't really her mother and that she is mercilessly cruel to the girl emotionally.  She flaunts her affection for her "favorite" (Ji An) in front of her just to make the point that Na Ri is garbage in her eyes.  Yet suddenly overnight that changes and Na Ri is now being treated more like a proper daughter?  Wow.  I really didn't see that switch coming from her.  I should have.  But I didn't.

I am dying for the truth to come out - for Tae Kang to learn that he is actually the father.  I wonder if the doctor suspects it?  Do you think so?  I think he has an inkling.  He's been looking at him with that look -- that look that says, "Hmm...something tells me you're more than just an employee".  He at least knows that Tae Kang likes Ji An.  That part is pretty obvious.  Did I mention that he is just such a CUTIE PIE?  I adore him.  I really truly do.  He's so sweet and caring and thoughtful and wonderful and funny and adorable.  He makes me smile, especially after their two kisses when he is just so over-the-moon happy.  If I were her I'd just kiss him all the time in order to see that reaction.  My favorite moment though in the whole show and the one that still gives me butterflies every time I think about it was their almost kiss when she was sleeping on his shoulder in the park in episode 9.  
Funny transitional screencap. I loved how he lightly brushed her lip though and just had to include it even if it is superimposed.
Kiss her kiss her kiss her
No!  She woke up.  Bummer.  So close.  Better luck next time.

Then of course there was the first kiss scene in the shoe closet in episode 10...yum!  He finds the sketches she did of him and asks her what they're all about.  She tries to cover it up, but he says, "Let's be honest for a minute here about what they really mean", and then pulls her in and SWAK!  I think I felt a lot like him afterwards - so happy I thought my heart would burst!  How cute was he?!  Adorable!

I also loved the part where they are waiting for the results of the collaboration.  She's nervous, so he reaches out and lays his hand on hers.  She then actually turns her hand and they hold hands!  Holding hands isn't normally something that I would think of as so incredibly romantic, but in this case, as in other dramas, it definitely was.  What is it about these shows that can take something so simple and make it worthy of screen capturing and sharing on a blog?  ;)
And how about this one, after they have been declared the winners and are in her office?  They are giddy and hug and carry on all cute until someone walks in.  Again, adorable!
So, now by this time I've obviously watched episode 13.  I'm somewhere in 14 right now as a matter of fact.  In 13 we got a marriage proposal.  The sweetest and most wonderful proposal.  He's set up a spot and decorated it with memories of their relationship like the table umbrella from when they met and it was raining.  You know, right before Ankle's conception?  He then kneels down in front of her and starts singing.  Aw!  Melting here! He produces his grandmother's ring and promises to be a wonderful dad for Ankle.

She of course then responds with the news that she had planned on telling him...

You're already the father.
And no, I don't plan on marrying you.

Oh my goodness!  He is shocked and angry that she didn't tell him sooner, that she let him believe that the doctor was the father.  They have a huge fight.  And stay mad almost through the whole episode.  She says awful, cruel things to him.  He decides to run off to America and take Jake up on his offer.  And then, he starts to think.  He starts to figure things out.  And then he runs to her and asks her the right question...instead of "why didn't you tell me?" as he asked earlier, he asks, "why did you tell me?".  Only a minor difference in the question, but makes a huge difference.  She told him because she loves him.  She doesn't say it in those words, but her actions speak louder than words.  She's head-over-heels for him and it scares her.  But she lets her guard down and he goes in for another yummy yummy SWAK moment.  
I loved how she actually put her arms around him and was, shall we say, an "active participant"?  No lame arms hanging by her side while he does all the work, no siree bob.  See, this means she likes him.  I'm starting to learn my drama body language well.  Arms by the side?  She likes him enough to not stop him, but is a little surprised and unsure of her feelings.  Arms around the neck?  Oh yeah, she digs him.  And knows that she digs him.  It's a wonderful moment.  And a great place to end this review.  Aw!  But... I want more! There's still another episode!  Yes, children, there is, that is true, but this ahjumma hasn't finished watching it. Sorry.  I can't talk about it yet.  If I get my chores done for the day and can carve out a little time, I'll come back to it, I promise.  But for now, enjoy the pretty pictures above.

Oh, alright, since you asked so nicely, I finished 14.  It was all for you and had nothing at all to do with avoiding my huge long list of chores.  No trying to avoid reality here for me.  Nope.  It was just because I didn't want to leave you hanging.  ;)

The main points I want to mention about episode 14 are that 1) people are starting to find out who the father is.  Her parents, his dad and the VP now all know.  And apparently the President, but I don't know how she found out.  Must have missed that one.  Zoned out for a moment I suppose.  It happens.  The 2nd thing I want to mention is that Ji An wants Tae Kang to still go to the US and become an accomplished designer and a more fit father for Ankle.  The 3rd is that now that word is starting to spread, the VP is warning her that she, Tae Kang and Tae Kang's father will all lose their job.  She suggests that Ji An resign before word gets out in order to at least save Tae Kang and his father.  We'll just have to see what happens there, won't we?  It doesn't look too good right now.  Even though everything was done honestly and all on the up-and-up, it's true that it won't take much for rumors to start flying that state otherwise.  And the fourth and final things I want to say about ep 14 is that Tae Kang really steps it up and becomes an amazing support system for Ji An.  He sets up a napping spot for her at work.  He arranges for the pig feet lady to come in and teach the doctor how to make pigs feet so that she can have it when he's in America.  He even gives the doctor his "permission" to be involved in Ji An's life and to help her out, though he does set down a few ground rules.  He's too cute!  What a sweetheart he is! I heart you Tae Kang!  We end the episode with Tae Kang meeting his daughter for the first time...on an ultrasound.  Aw!  Heart melting once again!

This show is wonderful and I'm loving it.  I truly am.

Let's recap where we are here, up through episode 10 at this point.  Kyung Joon, 19, is in the body of Yoon Jae, doctor and fiance of Gil Da Ran after an accident involving both men.  Yoon Jae saves the life of Kyung Joon, but dies in the process.  At least he's dead until Kyung Joon's soul enters his body.  Now the body of Kyung Joon lies in a coma for no medical reason.

Gil Da Ran is head-over-heels in love with Yoon Jae, so much so that she is blind to his, shall we say, "distracted nature"?  Something is up with him.  He's hiding something from her.  We aren't quite sure what it is.  We aren't quite sure if he truly wants to marry her.  He hasn't even told her that he loves her.  They haven't even kissed.  It appears to be a very one-sided relationship.  And then there's the possibility that he's messing around with another doctor at the hospital.  She's definitely in to him and pursuing him heavily, we just aren't sure what his side was in the whole thing, and Dr Lady isn't spilling (which tells me that he hadn't actually cheated).  As all of this comes to light, and with her fiance currently housing the soul of an 18 year old student, the wedding is called off.

The next thing we see, a year has passed. Yoon Jae still has not returned to his body.  Kyung Joon has been living with Yoon Jae's mother as she tries to "get him back".  She doesn't know that it's not really her son, just that he's not the same since the accident.  Mom wants him to be with Lady Doc.  He doesn't want to, and so he and Gil Da Ran eventually decide that they will marry in order to get Yoon Jae's mom off his back.    In all of this, there is yet another character of significance, Kyung Joon's ex-girlfriend from America, Jang Ma Ri.  Ma Ri eventually discovers the secret that Kyung Joon is in Yoon Jae's body.  She sits by Kyung Joon's body in the hospital.  She hangs around Kyung Joon and Da Ran, never giving up on her love.  There's a rift between them, as Kyung Joon partly blames her for the death of his mother.

In episode 10 we finally learn of the relationship between Yoon Jae and Kyung Joon.  They are not mere strangers of course.  No, they are half-brothers.  Apparently when Yoon Jae was 12, he was sick and they needed a sibling in order to save him.  Yoon Jae's mother was unable to produce this sibling, so Yoon Jae's father had a baby with "the woman he loved", Kyung Joon.  He was uninvolved in his second son's life, seeing him only once after birth.  It looks though as if he and Yoon Jae had begun searching for Kyung Joon just before the accident once they heard of Kyung Joon's mother's death.  There is the magical, mysterious illustration that links the two brothers and appears to be responsible for the body switching somehow.  The Lady Doctor learns of the connection between the brothers.  Meanwhile, Kyung Joon has returned to his body a couple of times, the second time for a longer duration then the first.  It appears that the body switch is coming to an end.  Lo and behold though, through all of this, Gil Da Ran has started to fall for Kyung Joon.  Kyung Joon who has feelings for her, but has repressed them, knowing that she loves Yoon Jae.  Kyung Joon who is pretty much alone in this world and exists only because he was needed for spare parts.  I wonder how he'll take that news when he learns of it.  That's got to be awful.  He misinterprets Da Ran's sadness as missing Yoon Jae, when in fact it's because she is realizing that she likes Kyung Joon.  Is she upset just because he's so young?  Or is it because she knows he's going to go away?  I don't know.  I don't know what either of them are thinking at this point.  I don't know if they know what they are thinking.  I'm pretty sure Kyung Joon is in love with her and she with him.  He's more or less confessed, but agreed to take it no further, right?  It's all just a big old mess.  I just really worry about him.  He's been through so much already and I don't want to see him hurt any more.

*Update* I just finished episodes 11 and 12.  Wow!  Wow!  Wow!  Drool!  That kiss at the end of 12?  Nice!  That's right - Gil Da Ran falls for Kyung Joon despite her desperate attempts to wait for Yoon Jae (her technical husband)'s return.  How can you not fall for sweet, caring, loving, wonderful Kyung Joon?  Only little snag along the way, besides you know, the whole married thing, is that Da Ran discovers some things about Yoon Jae.  Turns out he was faithful to her all along.  At least as far as we know, according to the lady doc and the old artist.

Other than the relationship drama, there's some interesting familial happenings happening as well.  Kyung Joon/Yoon Jae's father is hell bent on both of his sons knowing the truth while Yoon Jae's mother is hell bent on them NOT finding out about each other.  Not only that, but she wants to completely ignore and abandon poor Kyung Joon yet again, knowing that he is alone in this world.  I really don't like her.  At all.  She's making me mad.  Ooh, lady, you donst want to make me mad!

Kyung Joon is about to come in to a lot of money.  It's his birthday on June 24th.  He's becoming of age and stands to inherit about 4.5 million dollars.  He, posing as Yoon Jae of course, has made the legal arrangements to make this happen.  I foresee some issues here - what with Yoon Jae being, from what I can gather, the executor of the estate until Kyung Joon returns.  Where there's a large amount of money floating around, there's bound to be trouble.  Guess we'll have to wait and see where this one goes from here.  It's anybody's guess at this point.  Just like the whole show.  One thing you have to admit about Big is that it's not as predictable as other dramas can sometimes be.

Bridal Mask
Okay, so I'm still really behind in this one. And more episodes are coming out starting today.  Yikes!  Stinkin' real life getting in the way yet again!  I am about 13 minutes in to episode 9.  Bridal Mask, Lee Kang San, has been killed by his brother, Lee Kang To.  Their mother died at the hands of Kimura Kenji, who was one nasty, nasty piece of work, but who was then brutally killed by Lee Kang To's bare hands (in a scene that still disturbs me when I think back on it - the blood gushing out of his mouth at that last fatal blow - gah!) as he was dressed as Bridal Mask.  Now Kenji's brother, Shunji, Lee Kang To's best friend, has taken his brother's place as head somebody at the police department.  He's in charge, but not as in charge as his rat ****turd father.  How's that?  And he's going to be hunting the Bridal Mask to seek revenge for the death of his brother.  But now his best friend is Bridal Mask.  Oh, and they both love the same girl, Mok Dan, who has been waiting for Kang To to return since she was a girl and he gave her a dagger and told her to hold on to it until he returns.  As fate would have it though, around the same time, Shunji met her and fell for her and has been carrying a torch for her ever since and now she is back in his life.  She thinks Bridal Mask is her long-lost love, but he really wasn't, he was his brother, but now he is, but she hates Kang To, not knowing that he is really the boy she's been looking for.  Follow all that?  And that's only the tip of the iceberg.  The intricate twists and turns of these relationships can be hard to follow and keep straight, but they make this show the amazing drama that it is.  If you're head isn't swimming as you try to piece all of this together, whether you're watching the show or not, then you're pretty amazing, because my head swims as I try to keep it all straight.

Anyway, where we stand now, Kang To has adopted the Bridal Mask persona in place of his fallen older brother.  At the same time, he has taken a Japanese name and seems more dedicated to his job with the Japanese police force.  In fact, he was slated to take over Kenji's spot when Shunji, a schoolteacher, was weaseled in at the last minute by his weasel of a father.  I should also mention the Kishokai organization which was responsible for the death of Kang To's father and who Kang San was getting revenge on as Bridal Mask.  That's what started the whole Bridal Mask thing to begin with - going after this secret organization of evil in order to seek revenge for their betrayal and death of his father.  Kimura Taro, Shunji and Kenji's father, is a local leader of that group there in Korea.

My opinion on this one?  I think I've said it before - I love it.  I absolutely am enjoying it even if I'm taking it a little slower than the others that I'm watching.  It's just so intense and complicated that I'm taking it at a slower pace.  And I'm easily distracted by the fluffier, flashier shows.  Fluffy distracts me.  Fluffy takes less brain activity.  But in no way does that mean that this show is less worthy of applause and accolades.  It is a roller coaster of amazing and quite the squeal-inducing ride.

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