Monday, July 30, 2012

{Monday Morning Therapy with Dongsaeng}: What the What?!

Dear AddicKts,

As addicKts, we have at some point or another learned a hard lesson.  The hard reality that is Korean dramas - sometimes a drama that has proven to be exemplary for 15 episodes - leaves us falling flat on our face on the very last episode.  We reach that moment, so excited to see the dramatic conclusion, only to walk away afterwards feeling cheated and wondering what we are doing with our lives.  Staring blankly at a computer screen as it gradually dawns on us that that is it.  There is no more.  That's where they're leaving it.  We are disappointed.  We are frustrated.  We may even be a little angry for we have invested so much of ourselves in to this story only to leave us dangling and empty.  We here at TCA understand.  We too have been there.  That dreadful moment that all drama addiKts fear when taking on a new drama.  Will this one leave us battered and bruised at the end or fulfill our wildest dreams and fantasies?  It's a gamble we all take when embarking on a new and untested drama.  This dreaded moment has struck many of us recently.  Yes, fellow addicKts, this ahjumma has heard and has felt your frustration with the 16th and final episode of a particular show this past week.  Yes, Big, we're talking about you today.

One reader said it perfectly with the following insightful query, "What the What?!"  Yes indeed, what the what was that? is the question on all of our minds.  What kind of ending was that?  What loose ends were tied?  Pretty much nothing.  Does anybody end up with anybody?  Who knows.  About all that we do know is that Yoon Jae and Kyung Joon do end up switching back to themselves, neither one of them having memories of events post accident. as far as he knows, Yoon Jae is still engaged.  Does he not contact Da Ran?  Does his family tell him there's another guy (oh, and by the way, it's your little brother)?  What about the other characters?  What is it, a year goes by and.....  What?  What the heck is going on?  Gil Da Ran is teaching at that other school.  Okay.  Then there's the "reenactment" of the first time she met Kyung Joon on the bus.  In and of itself, it's pretty cool.  I even kind of liked the back and forth between Kyung Joon when he was still Yoon Jae and her talking about what they would do.  It was all good.  Except there's no real resolution.  At all.  And we never ever even see the face of Kyung Joon - just a body shielded by an umbrella.  Any face shots are Yoon Jae.  Poor Shin Won Ho (the guy that plays Kyung Joon) - other than the first episode, the guy gets no screen time awake and speaking (well, other than the occasional flashback).  Almost his entire appearance in this drama is spent asleep in bed.  I really, really wanted to see him come back.  Was it just too icky to actually show the teacher with her student?  Maybe.  I mean, that kind of really did bother me a little throughout the show as they were falling in love.  I could never quite get past that hurdle of "but she's his TEACHER!"  So I suppose that was a reason why they don't show them together.  Well, that and the fact that when you have a leading man such as Gong Yoo, you don't give the final scene to a younger lead.  I get it, but c'mon!  There had to be some way of fitting him in.

And don't even get me started on the whole "treatment" and "mystery disease".  So, can anyone explain to me how Yoon Jae started receiving treatment but then stopped?  For a long time.  And then he went off to Germany to finish it?  What?  That whole thing was just confusing.  I understand for the plot's sake that he had to still be in Korea for the part where they start to switch back but Kyung Joon says he needs more time.  Speaking of what I'll just call Treatment #1/the ALMOST switch...  Why was Kyung Joon's body in bed while Yoon Jae spoke to himself?  Well, while the Kyung Joon Yoon Jae spoke as the Yoon Jae Yoon Jae reached out his hand and said not a word.  Why three people in that scene?  Why not Kyung Joon speaking to Yoon Jae as himself?  They really must not have wanted to give poor Shin Won Ho any speaking lines past that first episode.  That whole scene was hard to follow, trying to figure out who was who.  Sure, the Kyung Joon Yoon Jae's hair was more rumpled whereas the Yoon Jae Yoon Jae was all nicely coifed and "doctory" so that made it sooo obvious.  ????  Weird.  Anyway, so obviously, they still needed to be in Korea and close to Da Ran so that Kyung Joon could wrap things up there.  For some reason.  Could that not have happened before?  What purpose was served by him coming back and supposedly forgetting, only to turn around and not have forgotten?  Practice round I guess???  By this point I was already lost. And confused.  But then they take off to Germany for the treatment, I suppose again, for the plot's sake to get away from Da Ran.  To get characters where they needed to be for the storyline.  But why not make the story fit one location whether Germany or Korea or the friggin moon?  I hate it in shows where the continuity goes out the window in order to make situations work.  Write it better, don't just randomly jump back and forth to make it fit and expect us to just accept it without a second thought.

Big had potential, but now it's just another one on the list of Unsatisfying Endings.

I think the Hong sisters and I may just have to part company.  I might give them one more chance, but they're really going to have their work cut out for them to convince me.

In other drama finales, I also finished I Do, I Do.  That one was a decent enough ending.  Nothing spectacular, but not horrible.  One little issue....  Okay, so Ji An decides to become president of the shoe company while Tae Kang starts his own line of heels for pregnant women.  He had asked her to join him, but she ultimately decides that her time at the company isn't quite over yet.  Fine.  All good.  But then we have a 5 month time jump.  And when we reconvene, we are given the impression that in those 5 months, our two leads haven't seen each other.  Almost like they broke up.  I understand you were both extremely busy being a CEO and starting a new business.  But really?  5 months with no contact?  Is work truly that all encompassing?  Granted, it's a sweet reunion with a yummy SWAK moment.  That SWAK moment is made even better when her water breaks at that moment and she is rushed to the hospital.  I loved how she was in labor and screaming at him for doing this to her, but then she proposes.  I was a funny scene.  Wayy too overdone in labor scenes across the world, but still, cute.  But did anyone else notice how afterwards, everyone runs into Ji An's room and not a single person asks about the baby?  Maybe it's different in Korea, I don't know.  I've only given birth twice, but both times the baby was kind of the star of the show and the person everyone wanted to see.  As the mother, you're there as the bringer of the baby, not much else.  All attention is focused on that new little life.  But in this scene, the baby was like an after thought.  Just struck me as odd, that's all.  Not really trying to complain, just curious if anyone else had noticed it.  I was sad that we didn't get to see the family together at the end, other than a "dream" by Ji An where "Ankle" was already like 5.  Never do we see the new mom and dad lovingly cradling their newborn.  That magical moment where three people become a family.  Sigh.  Oh well.  I'll just have to imagine it in my head.

All told, it wasn't the best ending, but it wasn't the worst either.  It just...was.  I enjoyed this drama but think that overall it will fall away to the "I don't really remember much about it" recesses of my memory like so many others.  A few stand out as either amazing or not-so-amazing where the others just kind of meld into a "sure, it was good but don't ask me anything about it because I don't remember much" category.  If you like shoes, watch it.  If you like a few romantic moments, watch it.  If you think Lee Jang Woo is just the most adorable if not entirely sexy guy, watch it.  If you are a fan of Kim Sun Ah, then sure, watch it.  If you don't like her, whether in this drama or others, don't watch it expecting her character to change and suddenly become bubbly and cute.  It doesn't.  She pretty much stays constant throughout.  I know that her character threw a lot of people off.  Personally, I was fine with her, but I can see where she might be a little off-putting to others.  She warms a little towards the end, but not a whole lot.  So, do with that what you will.

Now that 2 of my 5 drama slots are empty, I've had to look for replacements.  I've jumped back into Bridal Mask and am still playing catch up with that one.  I believe I'm somewhere in episode 10 or 11.  So far, so good with that one still.  I do have one little sniggling issue with it.  Why does NO ONE ever notice the fact that the new Bridal Mask is like half the size of the old one?  Especially Mok Dan who has been the closest in proximity to him on multiple occasions?  For people who seem so finely tuned to minute details in faces and body shape (who ever looks swollen in the face to you when they are supposedly swollen from crying or eating ramen? - just saying), they are oddly blind to the fact that Kang To is a lot smaller than Kang San was.  Like a LOT smaller.  And thinner.  And their faces look totally different, even in the mask.  But not one person picks up on that.  Not very observant, are they?  Other than that little teeny tiny issue (and obviously for the story's sake the characters shouldn't pick up on it - they are all to still believe that there is only one Bridal Mask and he hasn't changed, but still....), I am loving this drama.

I've also added a new drama to my currently watching list and that is I Need Romance 2012.  Never having seen or even heard much about I Need Romance 2011, I didn't know what to expect, but a friend was watching it and loving it, so I jumped on the bandwagon.  I am really enjoying it.  It's a lot more mature than any drama I have ever seen (read: they talk a lot about sex).  I think of it as the Korean drama version of Sex in the City.  I'm somewhere around 6 or 7 episodes in and am a fan.  I especially like that it's one of those rare dramas where each episode is only 45-47 minutes long instead of the typical 1:05-07.  It makes it clip along at a nice pace and is easier to fit in to a schedule.  I love the main female lead, Joo Yeol Mae played by Jung Yoo Mi.  She's beautiful and fun to watch.  And the two men in her life, Lee Jin Wook as Yoon Suk Hyun and Kim Ji Suk as Shin Ji Hoon are hot and gorgeous of course.  About half the time I sit there and wonder how they got so much past the censors (some of it makes Junsu's Tarantallegra look like bubble pop), but I guess the censoring doesn't work like I think it does.  Maybe it's like here where they can do pretty much anything they want as long as they slap the TV-14 or TV-MA on it and show it late enough at night.  Maybe.  Probably.  But never having been there, I can't say for certain.  Either way, it's a drama that is helping me get through my Gentleman's Dignity withdrawals.

And that does it for me and my ramblings this morning afternoon.  I hope your weekend was fantabulous and that your Monday is stacking up to be a winner as well.

For today's Monday morning prescription, I leave you with an oldie, but goodie - DBSK's Mirotic.

Sometimes you just need to hear a familiar song and see some familiar caramel abs faces to help you through your Monday.

I have an assortment of viewing options here for you today - the original MV, the dance version and then the Korean version, so take your pick.  Or do what I did and watch all three.  On a continuous loop.  Eyes wide open, mouth agape, drooling slightly.

P.S.  I am so relieved that I came into the KPop world post-DBSK break-up, otherwise I think my heart would have been shattered by it all.  I am a big JYJ fan and I like TVX2 okay, put them all together and... wow oh wow.  I join with the throng and hope that someday the 5 can reunite, though honestly, as time passes, that looks less and less likely.  :(  It would be a dream of mine to see DB5K all on stage together.  They have a great sound all together that you just can't get in the splinter groups, as AWESOME as they are.  Sigh.  Oh the sad sad life of a Cassie, huh?  Either way, I hope you enjoy a little Mirotic on this Monday Morning.

Until next time,

1 comment:

  1. Dear Dongsaeng,

    I agree. There have been a few shows where I found myself saying either, that's it?!?! or What on earth was that?!?! I have found myself in the last year wanting to know from others, whether a show had a good ending, meaning a logical, concise, makes sense ending or a really delicious SWAK ending, before I started the show; just to protect myself from the burn, of the few shows, that left me with a bad taste in my mouth. And Big is going on that "What on earth?!?!" list. So disappointing & frustrating.

    Another awesome MMT. Thanks for not letting life keep you from prescribing the perfect form of therapy to get us through the disappointment of Big. DBSK is the PERFECT way to make me say, "Big who?" *_*



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