Tuesday, September 30, 2014

My Secret Hotel Episode 11 - Ambiguous OTP Hell

Hey all you awesome readers!  Kmuse here, back with the recap for episode 11 of "My Secret Hotel".  I hope you are enjoying the whiplash between Dongsaeng's and my views of this drama.  A lot of what she sees and takes from this show are completely different from how I feel and I am getting a whole different view than if I alone was recapping it.  It is almost like having a wonderful recap version of a debate.  And I admit that I am never going to be able to look at the Picasso girl the same way again.  Well played Dongsaeng, well played.

Last weeks episodes drove me nuts, so much so, that I blame them for the horrible week long kdrama funk that I suffered.  I watched maybe 6 drama episodes during the whole week, and considering I am watching 20 different dramas, that is saying a lot.  Mostly I moped and watched Judge Judy on youtube (did you know you can watch judge shows on youtube?  How awesome is that?).  Yes, that is right, your kmuse took a kdrama break.  The first in the four years since I began obsessing over everything kentertainment.  Luckily after a marathon baking session yesterday, I am back and ready to tackle the insane amount of catch up both in my dramas and blogging....so here we go!
Episode 10 ends with Hae Young heartbroken.........again........ (the boy needs to learn about romantic signals.  He is really really really bad at that) and we are forced to watch Jo Sung Gyeom serenades a misty eyed Sang Hyo about their epic love.  Correct me if I am wrong, but haven't they only been dating for a week or so?  And most of that time was while Sang Hyo was on her honeymoon with her ex-husband/current husband.  I am pretty sure this love is neither epic, nor really romantic to date.  And wouldn't you learn that jumping into romance and marriage is not the best idea without first learning about each other and you know......dating first?  Looking towards the future is fine. Not rekindling things with your ex husband, I can support that. Doing the exact same thing again (that ruined your 1st marriage) with a different man is not the road to a healthy and solid relationship.  Two kisses does not make a marriage(or at least not a lasting one). 
Poor Hae Young, his attempts to win back Sang Hyo are failing dismally.  Mostly due to the fact that he has this stupid idea that he winning her back means romantic gestures or simply being in the same room with her.  I personally want to give him a copy of "Relationships for Dummy's".  Until he realizes and fixes the problems that originally broke them apart, there is no amount of flowers or horrible singing that can bring her back.  And it is quickly getting very very embarrassing to watch him try.  After the singing disaster, Hae Young goes out with his staff and they do a very poor job in trying to console him.  Beers are drunk, embarrassed sympathy is given, and I actually winced when Hae Young continued to talk about the "war" for Sang Hyo's affections.  I am all for a persistent leading man, but we have moved from persistent, to creepy ex stalker, to sad lonely loser.  Even I am starting to feel that maybe this relationship is not meant to be.
Brooding (as usual) Hae Young sits at home talking to himself about how much he hates Sung Gyeom.  We flash to Sang Hyo's apartment, she is in a skintight sweater dress that barely reaches her legs (what every woman wears at home alone -- insert eye rolling) when who should appear at her door but Sung Gyeom asking to spend the night.  Sang Hyo breathlessly agrees and he starts to unbutton that barely there dress.  One button, two buttons, and Hae Young shakes his head breaking the daydream... HA, he tells himself to not go that far and promptly calls Sang Hyo to make sure she is not in mid-make out with his rival.  I seriously don't understand how these two can act like that embarrassing moment at the restaurant didn't happen, but we seem to gloss over that and Hae Young begins to warn Song Hyo about her Director, "Men who sing Kim Dong Ryul's songs are players".  Phhttt she counters that men who half sing and dance to Park Jin Young songs are okay then?  This shuts our leading man up, but he leaves her with some sound advice (advice I doubt she will take) to not give her heart completely until she knows Sung Gyeom as well as she thinks she knows Hae Yeong.
Hae Young continues his inner movie of Sang Hyo and his rival getting frisky.  He keeps trying to stop from thinking about it to no avail.  He finally flops on his couch and in a dejected voice murmurs "Finding what you lost is so difficult."
Hae Young continues to use cheep school boy tricks to try and woo his lady love.  I am not sure when I have been less impressed.  Rather then coming across as cute and ingenious, they are starting to scream immature and pathetic.  I want to still remain firmly on Team Hae Young, but when he prank calls Sang Hyo, pretending to be a famous actor doing a radio show, I think some of the glitz fell off this prince charming.  Hae Young is unable to keep the ruse going for long and it is turns into another verbal fight when Song Hyo figures out it is her ex. What was funny in episode 1 has definitely lost its bite in episode 11.  I am almost beginning to prefer him moping and holding onto his pillows in misery.  At least then I don't have to be embarrassed by having him as my OTP (one true pairing) choice.
Things are not fairing well for the shippers of the other possible OTP (Director Jo and Sang Hyo) either.  As the drama delves deeper into the deaths of McCreepy and Blackmail girl, Sung Gyeom is looking more and more suspicious.  Especially when we discover he was actually being blackmailed by the hotel's favorite con artist (but then again, who wasn't she blackmailing) and is desperately searching for the mysterious necklace.  Sang Hyo catches him rifling through the dead girls things, not once but twice!  
Now I am not saying that she should be leading the villagers with pitchforks and torches to string him up.  But at least hesitate over your future infatuation with the guy.  And then she actually says Sung Gyeom probably has a reason for his mysterious and possible felonious actions?  If this was a horror movie she would be the next victim because it is just stupid to excuse this type of behavior with a murderer running lose.
"I don't care if you call me clingy, I don't care if you call me cheesy, but Sang Hyo, seeing you with someone else is driving me crazy."  Usually these words would just be more of Hae Young's selfish monologue about his love for Sang Hyo.  But finally something he said felt sincere to me.  Beyond all the huge gestures and jealousy moments, this scene touched my heart the most.  His despair over the situation that he finds himself in is just heartbreaking.  And just like that I am back cheering for team ex husband.  My feelings were compounded when a drunken Hae Young had a conversation with an imaginary Sang Hyo (why do I always like dream Sang Hyo more than real Sang Hyo - she just seems to have more personality) where he finally comes to grips with letting her go.  
But this is episode 11 and we still have five more to go so of course this is not the end.  Hae Young is awoken by an unexpected telephone call from his parents.  His parents who think he is blissfully remarried with his first wife.  His parents who can't hear about his failed marriage because of his dad's heart condition. So Hae Young's self revelations are chucked out the window and it is off to Sang Hyo's to beg for her help.  After some serious guilting, Sang Hyo eventually agrees to move into Hae Young's house for a week after which Hae Young's parents are traveling to the US.  So now we not only have a forced marriage but a forced cohabitation situation because this show just refuses to let either of the possible OTP's die.
Now that the recap is completed, lets discuss the ambiguous OTP (one true pairing) concept that TvN seems to want to ram down our throats.  I once thought it would be delightful to have a drama where you truly did not know who was going to end up with who?  Think of all the fun story lines that could be told?  How exciting would it be to never know what is going to happen?  I take all that back.  It sucks, it sucks like a black hole of angst that is this drama.  When you have a limited amount of time with a set of characters, you try to figure out the patterns of the romance and relationships.  For example, they meet in episode 1, have some romantic glimmerings by 4.  Episode 5 through 10 are plot movement bringing them closer together followed by some kind of angst taking them apart in episodes 11 through 14.  Finally we get happiness, connections, and closure in the last two episodes.  There might be small changes, but that is the basic timeline.  When you add in two male leads to the story it messes everything up.  Writers are trying to juggle two story lines and making both possible.  They also try to make both men likable, because who would want the leading lady to be with a total jerk.  But by doing this, they are never able to really flesh out either scenario and limit both relationships.   And then this also splits the fans by making them pick a lead.  I am sure you all remember the ship wars of Reply 1994?  Friendships and fans were separated by whether you were Team Trash or Team Chilbong.  Profile pictures were changed, words were exchanged, and most people came out of the experience feeling a bit battered if not all out bitter.  A lesser example is the drama "Surplus Princess" which again tried for the who will she end up with crap concept.  This time people were not going to go for it, ratings tanked, and a whole four episodes were cut from the already short drama.  TvN is going for the trifecta by doing a similar style with My Secret Hotel.  What could have been a clever and quirky drama has become mired in lead couple hell. We are constantly ping ponging back and forth between the two men's love lines, and am getting sick of the writers trying to win me onto either team.  It just makes the leading lady seem shallow (or at least she will if she switches guys again) and leaves a sour taste in my mouth.  So let's just leave vague OTP's as a fantasy concept since, just like chicken and waffle potato chips, they should just not exist. 
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