Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Basketball Episode 3 - "Two Men and A Twit"

Two Men and A Twit:

Two of our three characters suffer setbacks and are forced to start making decisions that will shape their futures.  The other is a Ditz who I suspect has little to no brain function.   Can you guess who is who?

We start ep 3 at the basketball stadium where the crowd is chanting "Min Chi Ho" with extreme fervor. Except of course for our street urchin who had been forced by Chi Ho to come see him in action. She is screaming that he is a bad man but is drowned out by the rest of the crowd. We see a flashback where her father says goodbye (to his slightly less dirty daughter) as he sets off to find his riches. He is confident in his endeavor since the ad he hands her has Min Chi Ho's stamp of approval.  He instead is stolen by the Japanese government (who was notorious for stealing Koreans for the war efforts by making them think they were going abroad for work).  The Korean team plays a strong game and Chi Ho makes the winning basket. But as he looks up in the crowd his street urchin has left (and whatever the point he was trying to make falls flat). Somehow I feel that him proving that he is a good human being to her is going to be an ongoing plot line.

For a street urchin that is horribly dirty even for a street urchin she sure does have white teeth.
Oh Why do you have to be so Ditzy:(
Surprise surprise our empowered female reporter has actually noticed one of the little people and given our street urchin (someday I will learn her name) a ride home. What a genuinely nice thing to do. Except that it seems like she is mostly interested in finding out why she is so upset at Min Chi Ho and if he had truly done anything horrible. Our prickly urchin demands that Shin-young stop the car (I seriously crack up at the duel expressions of surprise from our snooping heroine and her companion) and then berates her for acting as if she was her older sister since her father only has one daughter. HEHEHE. Miffed at the blow off Shin Young leaves her car on the middle of a bridge and rushes after her only to be shocked as she sees the poor shanty community that she lives in.

  YAY They are finally trying to give our heroine a social conscious that does not revolve around how to find the perfect man. I can only pray that this makes her a little more likable.

 A Man So Misunderstood:
Switch back to San who kneels sobbing over the beaten body of his best friend. The bookie Ahjussi delivers the message to all the peasants in the shanty slum that this is a warning and that they are all expected to vacate post haste or suffer the consequences. I love that you can literally see the rage building up in our Hero. And when he tells the bookie that he is done with him, he is hit with the reality that he owes him the money he was lent for his dates and that they will never be over till he pays up.
Yup, that is what happens when you go stupid over a girl to the point that you get money from a loan shark to take her ice skating. Borrowing money always ends in tears when it comes to Kdramas.

Our hero's mother comes home to find everyone's homes in shambles and a lot of unhappy neighbors blaming her son for their woes. Seems San has become the most hated kid in the community since they all assume he was in cahoots with the thugs. And where is our misunderstood hero while all this is happening? He is industriously doing manual labor so that he can pay off his debt and be free from the bookies clutches.

And can I just say how fine our hero is looking here. I personally enjoy watching him in angst. He is just one of those actors that looks hotter when he is sad, angry, or intense.

Annoyed and for once not by our heroine:
So I am fine with them reusing the same actor for several of the lesser rolls. It is a tad bit gimmicky for me though but once or twice I will accept it. But writers I am done with the concept. It is only episode three and I have seen him in close to 12 different characters. It is starting to get really really annoying. I am sure that it is something that is going to bug me throughout the drama so I will just mention it this one time. But whatever writer thought this gimmick up should be forced to do a 1000 sit ups for making us suffer.

A Manly Man:
So far my favorite character in this show is still Min Chi Ho. His over the top ego is still cute and endearing. He is so upset that both the women he invited to his game (our urchin and ditzy princess) ditched out before the end of the first half that he fumes and is all kinds of adorable. He is determined to make them see how rude they were and first is off to find the urchin.

 However he is shocked to find Shin Young handing out shoes to the poor and trying to get a grandpa to blow his nose into a handkerchief. (because proper etiquette for dealing with a runny nose is important even for those living in squalor). But I guess this does not seem so silly to our basketball star because he starts to do the whole gaga gooey eyes towards Shin Young as well. But he (like many kdrama men) lack basic manners when it comes to women and he manages to scare the urchin (who cuts her hand while falling to the ground) and upset our princess resulting in much shouting and a trip to the hospital to tend to the wounds.

 In case you were still confused over who the ditz was in this episode I will just let you know it was Shin Young.  I dont hate her per say, but her vapid portrayal of this character is really distracting from the awesome job done by both the men.  Is it to late to switch out actresses?????

Shin Young sees San run past her as she exits the hospital but he is too fast for her to wave down. Instead she is intercepted by Chi Ho who stands drenched as he covers her head with his umbrella.

Awwwwwww he is so cute as he tries to make amends for his brutish behavior.

He tells her to take the umbrella since it looks like it is going to rain for a while and then hands her a clean handkerchief saying that he had noticed that she did not have one since she had let the elderly person use hers. 

 (writers......... really you had to remind me of that silly scene. You are starting to annoy me with you cheesy writing of her character and I wish you would just go back to San's trials and tribulations. Everything you are doing now with these rich princess just seems shallow)

And his grand gesture of giving her his umbrella is lessened when he walks a few feet away where his manager is waiting with another umbrella for our star.

There is another part with Chi Ho that is an absolute must when dissecting this episode...  YUP WE HAVE A SHIRTLESS SCENE!!!!!!  There was a lot of talking about having to change his name to a Japanese name (the Japanese forced the Koreans to change their names to Japanese names by 1940 in order to help them lose their cultural identity) but really that part is lost in all the pretty...

 You have to love kdramas and their great interest in providing women everywhere with at least one shirtless scene per drama. LOL

Hero still hating life:(

Poor poor San, not only is he being underused so far in this episode but he earns the money for his loan only to find that our bookie is not an honest person (surprise surprise). He has in fact forged a promissory note stating that not only does San owe him money but even more important, he owes a very high interest.

This ensures that San will have to stay under his thumb indefinitely. He then arrives home to find his home unusually silent and his best friends grandmother life threateningly ill. He brings her to the hospital only to be told that there is no room for her.  He runs in the rain from hospital to hospital searching for anywhere that will take her as a patient. But finding nowhere that will see her without money up front he goes to the Bookie Ahjussi telling him that he will work for him for the money to cover her hospital costs.  Truly an amazing acted scene and watching him give up his pride for others always makes me fall for him again and again.

This scene was brilliantly done and Bookie Ahjussi's laugh was so evil it gave me chills.

San's new Job description:

1.Play fixed Bball games CHECK
2. Beat up welcher's or people who say the games are fixed CHECK
3 Refuse to do that and beat up fellow thugs instead CHECK
4. Look amazingly attractive while doing all three. CHECK CHECK CHECK

    Poor San, nothing goes right for him lately. While defending some poor guy he attacks his fellow thugs and off course this is when his mom catches him. And there is nothing worse then getting chewed out by your mom over things that you are trying so hard not to do. I really feel for him because no matter where he turns there is no way out of this situation for him. His girlfriend does not know he is lying to her, his mom sees him as a disgrace and is ashamed of him, and society has written him off as a Korean street rat worth nothing.

    So he does what any guy would do in this situation. He runs away from his problems, dresses up in his fake university uniform and goes straight Shin Young. Hmmmmmmmmmm does anyone else get a tiny bit of glimmer of the Aladdin story here?

    No difference at all
     It seems like Shin Young has decided to take her bad decision making skills to a whole new level. Upon learning of the street urchins sad story involving the flyer with Min Chi Ho's picture on it, she rushes to write a scathing article denouncing him to the world. This article of course does not get past the censors and she is chewed out by her boss.

    How dare they tell me no!

    Pouting in only the way the spoiled rich can, she decides that she is going to get her article to the masses no matter what and prints it out herself. With the help of a bunch of street boys and a twitterpated San, she floods the street with her anti Chi Ho story. Not only did she try to ruin poor innocent Chi Ho but her article also caused a backlash on her magazine which was put on suspension. Instead of standing by her coworkers while they are being harassed, she is to busy holding hands with San as he walks her home. And we close episode 3 with their first kiss. And it is about what you would expect. Wide-eyed shock and pretty much no feelings on my part when watching since she has killed any interest I have in her having a happy ending.  At least for now.

    My Thoughts:

    I am so sad that stupid Shin Young is not going to have to suffer for her actions. She runs about pretending to care and wants to let the world know the truth. But everything from her writing, to her relationship with San and her humanitarian efforts are very self serving. I would be totally happy if she pretty much disappeared from the majority of future plots. I am much more interested in the stories of Min Chi Ho and Kang San. Both boys have a very strong sense of right and wrong, and both are also fighting to stay true to themselves.

    San wants to avoid turning into the street thug everyone assumes he is and in short play basketball, and on a larger scale Chi Ho is fighting to keep his sense of Korean identity from the Japanese and of course, play basketball. I can already foresee a great rivalry between the two boys and I hope some awesome bromance moments. For a show called Basketball we have had a huge lack of actual Bball action. So lets ditch the girl and get to whats important, sports and eventually fighting Japanese oppression.


    1 comment:

    1. Usually I am okay with dramas being a tad bit unrealistic, but I'm finding it hard to suspend disbelief long enough to persuade myself that a supposedly educated girl in 1930 occupied Korea does not understand the rules and consequences of Japanese censorship! She supposedly even studied abroad in Japan.. I know she's rich and all and therefore living a sheltered life, but this is just too much for me.

      I love the men though. I'm with you. Can we just ditch the girl and get on with it?


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