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Some Thoughts on Big Episode 8 (Spoilers Ahead!)

Eight episodes in, Big continues to be a delight. With a lot of heart in the story, Big feels like the warm afternoon sun. But perhaps because it is so gentle and warm, Big seems to lack the romantic tension that I’m used to feeling while watching a drama. From years of conditioning, there is a part of me that is expecting to feel the little twist in my stomach from romantic scenes and gestures, and while the drama delivers that a bit here and there, it really doesn’t carry it through. And I can’t blame the writing for that because I don’t think that Big is actually a romantic drama. It seems to be more a story about about growing up and maturing- not just for Kyung Joon but Da Ran too.

The question of OTP has been looming over my head since this drama started but after this episode I think I’m just going to stop thinking about it. I know that Kyung Joon likes Da Ran but  I don’t think that feeling is romantic. Sure, there is a bit of jealousy and possessiveness but I think he sees her more as a friend or sister. We’re also seeing Da Ran feeling a little flutter for Kyung Jae but I don’t think her feelings are ultimately going to blossom into love.

There was this moment in episode 8 when I could actually see Kyung Jae and Da Ran as a couple, rather than a student and a teacher. It was when Da Ran went over to Kyung Jae’s house and they started to play around with the water hose together. It was a moment of play when age did not matter, when innocence met innocence, and they simply enjoyed the moment. I thought for a second here that I could see this pair working out if Kyung Joon stayed in Yoon Jae’s body.

Big Ep 8Big Ep 8

Big Ep 8Big Ep 8

Big Ep 8Big Ep 8

But ultimately, I don’t want the body switch to be permanent. I wrote in my previous post about Big that I was concerned about the possibility that Kyung Joon would stay in Yoon Jae’s body because I really don’t want Kyung Joon to grow up that fast and be stuck in a life and family that wasn’t his choice. Kyung Joon is still young kid who has a bright future ahead of him and the body switch stole that. In episode eight, we see what a permanent body switch will be like for Kyung Joon.

Kyung Joon is at the hospital cafeteria having lunch with Yoon Jae’s friends. They are talking about businesses and weddings- the stuff that only interests adults. Kyung Jae hears kids talking and laughing over at the next table- they are his real peers having fun. He looks at them wistfully, knowing that he can’t be part of that group as Yoon Jae.

Big Ep 8Big Ep 8

Big Ep 8Big Ep 8

Kyung Joon needs his childhood back and he shouldn’t stay in Yoon Jae’s body forever. But if he returns to his own body, the OTP of Kyung Joon and Da Ran really wouldn’t work anymore. I think that the Hong Sisters are going to switch back the souls either sooner or later, and since I also don’t think they are planning to make Da Ran and Kyung Joon the end game (because romance isn’t the point of this drama), I’m not going to worry about the OTP anymore.

What do you guys think about Da Ran agreeing to marry Kyung Jae? She has two reasons for saying yes. One is that she thinks she still likes Yoon Jae and the other is that she wants to help out Kyung Joon. The first reason annoys me a bit because I want her to have a clean break with Yoon Jae. I’m fine with her getting back with Yoon Jae when he comes back, but not like this. As for the second reason, I don’t really see this marriage as necessary. The excuse of the parents on both sides just doesn’t seem compelling enough to make a such huge decision.

Another thing I noticed about this drama is that while it is populated by fun and interesting side characters, those characters just don’t provide that much tension to the main conflict. It’s fun to watch their scenes but I feel like the overall story lags when they are on. Thankfully this is counterbalanced by the zippy KyungJae-DaRan conflict.

This drama is definitely quieter than the Hong Sisters’ previous dramas like Greatest Love. All the emotions of Kyung Jae and Da Ran are quietly portrayed. I really love this but I think it might be affecting the humor in the drama too. Perhaps its the execution, but while the humor is creative, I don’t find myself laughing out loud. Maybe I’ve watched too many of the Hong Sisters’ dramas but watching the comedic bits are more about how the Hong Sisters’ can make a situation funny, rather than actually being funny. Or maybe it’s the emotional quietness of the DaRan-KyungJae interactions are carrying over into the humorous parts. Either way, comedy is not that striking.

And finally…. now I definitely think that Yoon Jae and Kyung Joon are related. And not just by father but also by mother. Did Yoon Jae’s parents give up Kyung Joon as a child? (If the relationship between them is THE big secret of the drama and this is really all it is, I would be a little disappointed after all the teasing that the Hong Sisters are doing.)

This drama keeps us guessing and I’m happy that it does.I might have even to take back everything I have written in this post by the next episode. This drama can really go anywhere. There are still a lot of questions that need to be answered and there are also some questions that haven’t even been asked yet. So far, none of the main relationships are black and white; there are plenty of shades of gray everywhere.  It might be a little confusing and frustrating but I’m planning to enjoy the drama for what it is. I think it will be worth the adventure.

Big Ep8

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18 Comments Post a comment
  1. jomo #

    I agree with most of what you say, that so far, this is NOT romantic love between them. It isn’t YET, but could only happen when KJ becomes himself again.

    You just gave me an idea.
    What if YJ comes back in the next few episodes?

    What if KJ goes back into his body, YJ comes to and finds himself married to DR, and what we witness is
    a YJ dealing with the marriage and KJ watching from a far in his own body?

    This would make me squirm with discomfort. I would feel so bad for KJ being tossed to the side.

    Not that YJ wasn’t planning on getting married, he was, just that he wasn’t PRESENT at the wedding. That is a problem.

    DR now really has to decide what the heck she wants and who the heck she wants to live with.
    Maybe she stays married to YJ and KJ accepts her as a big sister?
    While it makes sense, I would HATE THAT!

    YJ and DR’s love is boring. They match. Her parents like him. He’s a doctor. blah blah blah

    DR’s love for KJ, otoh, forces them to face down a lot of obstacles. THAT love would be challenging, exhilarating, fun.

    Oh, and so I can be consistently irritating on all the boards, YJ dies in the end.

    June 27, 2012
    • joonni #

      So it won’t be awkward for you if Kyung Joon (in his own body) and Da Ran end up together?
      I mean, I do want them to be together (with Kyung Joon in Yoon Jae’s body), but I want Kyung Joon to have his own body back, but then if he does go back into his body, it would just be so weird to see him and Da Ran romantically involved. Shin Won Ho looks too young and if he was a better actor, maybe he can close the age up but he is totally a newbie.

      This drama leaves me so conflicted!

      June 27, 2012
      • I think they have to make it clear there was a time jump, and that he would be like 22 or 23, and they would have to age him with hair, maybe glasses and wardrobe. Or, make them really old – 60’s and do a cute old people scene about when they got together…Maybe with completely different actors looking at photos, or video.

        June 27, 2012
      • am #

        Gah! I know! DR and YJ were super boring so I need Da Ran to grow a backbone and gain some spunk real soon before YJ wakes up to add some spice to their relationship! Girl has no idea Mildang exists and it makes life (in this case, Kdrama life) a lot more interesting.

        If DR and KJ weren’t stuck in that situation, would they really have something in common? It’s not like she had anything in common with YJ but without the body switch, it seems like their relationships wouldn’t really be as interesting.

        July 2, 2012
  2. jaz #

    I’m getting the same vibes. I also don’t know what to think anymore. This drama keeps me asking for more and more questions. The possibility of a loveline between KJ and DR is getting blurry and honestly I don’t like it. I’m fearing that I may end up heartbroken after this drama ends but as you said BIG seems not a romantic drama after all. It is indeed a story of growing up for everyone not only KJ, the lessons that you learn along the way and how you deal with it as you live through life. I’ve been dying to have the body switch to happen before but now I’m having doubts. There are so many conflicts in this drama that needs to be answered. But despite all these uncertainties, still I’m being pulled back to it idk why. So I guess I will still be sticking around and wait for new developments so that I won’t be left hanging…

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts to us Joonni…as always… 🙂

    June 27, 2012
    • joonni #

      I’m so glad that didn’t jump on this ship. I don’t think I will be too heartbroken if they don’t end up together. Still…still!!!!

      June 27, 2012
  3. So3 #

    For some reason from Ep 1 this drama reminds me of Himitsu the japanese film (there is also a dorama version), in which mother and daughter swapped soul (mother’s body died, daughter’s soul died and so mother’s soul got stuck in daughter’s body) – that I have been wondering if YJ’s soul was forever gone and that’s why KJ’s body is in a coma. The ending of Himitsu was quite tragic from my perspective, dunno whether BIG is gonna go thru the same… I surely hope the soul can be swapped back but of coz there would create some new issues to be solved. One reason why I continue to watch BIG is because from day 1 I know there can be no easy solution to the situation that the writers created (cf. 49 days and Himitsu) so I’m quite curious as to how the Hong sisters make the story into full circle.
    Personally I like the tone of this drama, much more subtle and nuanced than their last work Best Love (personally found BL too OTT for my liking).
    As for how the body swap is being handled…I must say that I now appreciate QIHM more and more (not directly comparable but hey they are both dealing with some magical elements) because I just don’t find the execution here in BIG that convincing, almost like the writers trying to pull in a fairy tale and expect audience to accept and live with it. I believe they can do better than that…

    June 27, 2012
    • joonni #

      I’m in this drama too to see how everything plays out. It’s an interesting drama for sure.
      I think I know what you mean by the clumsy execution of the body swap. It does feel kind of broad and childish to me but it may be because there is so much build up around it but there are so many questions unanswered. I guess with QIHM, it is easier to believe that a monk could write a time-traveling talisman because they are sort of endowed a spiritual status. And we knew immediately that the time-travel had serious intentions such as saving a life. But for Big, we don’t know there was a body switch and what made this happen. The Hong sisters keep wanting us to believe in this larger purpose but it seems at this point to be more smoke than substance.

      June 27, 2012
  4. Hien #

    I’m seriously struggling to get into this drama. Big has so much potential but falls short on execution. Especially in this last episode where I wanted to fast forward through all the side character scenes. So much filler! I find myself thinking when is this drama going to kick into high gear. It’s dragging a little and keeps recycling the conflict. DR’s character is soooo frustrating that I’m just praying she starts to feel something…or else! I’m finding her character utterly passive and contrived! I don’t normally mind the ditzy female leads but in DR’s case, I’m just not connecting with what her motivations are. I’m not sure if she likes YJ or KJ…it’s just flat. What does she really want?

    I guess it’s a little hard coming off a perfectly executed drama like QIHM and then getting no chemistry from Big’s OTP(?). let just pray Big finds it’s groove soon without getting overly convoluted with the messy body swaps/birth secrets/side character fillers.

    June 27, 2012
    • tari #

      yes, I feel like the story pace is sooo slow. The development of 2 episodes is worth only an episode.

      And the marriage is, just simply unnecesarry. The parents’ threats not even scary enough..

      But, then again, Gil Choong Sik is too adorable..

      June 28, 2012
    • joonni #

      I actually don’t find Da Ran that ditzy. I think she has legitimate reasons to be confused about how she feels. But you’re right about the execution…her feelings and decisions just sort of float around in the story.

      June 28, 2012
  5. Linda #

    I agree. But however considering this is a “rom” com I think they’re going to want KJ and DR end together which I would hate. This I feel is more of a coming of age drama. It reminds me, don’t laugh, somewhat of the Graduate. I mean I understand that making KJ and DR end up together in the end is the most easiest solution, but I don’t like it. I’ve expressed this so many times, no matter how mature KJ is he will NEVER catch up to DR or YJ. It’s how it works. I mean I can be the most knowledgeable and wise and smart and mature but if you put me in a 30 year olds body I still couldn’t survive. Life isn’t about going off for a year and taking a break and reading medicine books, it’s about your daily interactions how they affected you, your mistakes and how you learned, your wins and loses. That’s what is age, it isn’t just a number it’s experiences and encounters. And that’s why I feel frustrated with this drama. I feel like no matter what KJ has to return to his body, I don’t want him to end up with DR. I want him to know that there’s still people who love him even though his moms gone like Mari and DR.
    Sorry for that rant

    June 28, 2012
    • joonni #

      Yep, life isn’t learned through books and to deprive Kyung Joon of twelve years of growing up would be criminal.

      June 28, 2012
  6. tya #

    I agree..this drama keep me wondering. What happen if they dont switch back? and what happen if they do switch back? what the connection between KJ and YJ? Who gonna end up with who? What’s on YJ mind before the accident? its look like im the one who thinking too much. I also dont think KJ will end up with DR, as i see..i dont feel like DR have a special feeling towards KJ. But..it looks like im gonna stay until the end =)

    June 28, 2012
  7. sb #

    Very well put Joonni. The age gap isn’t so huge between KJ and DR to be totally unrealistic, at least in drama land, FBRS and Buscuit Teacher so I would be okay with KJ/DR OTP. The problem I have is exactly what you wrote. If KJ winds up YJ’s body, he’s missing out on all these experiences that make up life. One of the commenter put it well, where it isn’t about being mature and filling up your head with book knowledge. On the other hand, if KJ is back in his body and winds up with DR, then I have a really hard time seeing the two physically as a couple. While DR looks youthful enough, KJ just looks too young. At least in FBRS and BT, they actors looked older and were actually older than the age they were playing. Plus, we’ve visually been used to YJ’s body and DR all this time. The only way I could potentially see KJ and DR working physically would be if KJ switched back soon and we can see development of their relationship at that point.

    On the other hand, I, too, don’t feel that this is a traditional rom-com. I’m not sure where this is heading, but there seems to be more depth to this drama than the usual HS dramas. On the other hand, all of the HS dramas I’ve watched were pretty predictable regarding the OTP.

    I’m watching mostly b/c I love the chemistry between GY and LMJ and the chemistry between YKJ and DR and curiosity as to where this drama will end. Please HS, do NOT pull a HGD on us. Then I’ll just have to boycott your dramas forever.

    Also, funny how when I sampled Big and IDID, I like IDID better. I was thinking of dropping Big. 8 episodes later, I’ve flip-flopped back and forth and I have to say neither have quite the crack-like feel, both have some seriously annoying weakness, but both have some really great things that keep me watching. I guess having crack all the time isn’t quite good for you either. It’s quite pleasant not stalking all and every sites on an hourly basis looking for every tiny bit of news and just enjoying the episodes as they come!

    June 28, 2012
    • joonni #

      Exactly. With Biscuit Teacher and FBRS the actors didn’t have that much of an age gap so I could buy their love story. But not with Shin Won Ho and Lee Min Jung.

      LOL. Yes, sometimes we just need some easy viewing.

      June 28, 2012
  8. Kas #

    I think the real fun will begin when they switch back to their own bodies! I want that to happen like now…in the next two episodes please. KJ is cute but I don’t think the right person for DR. During the scene with the water hose, I think she was looking and seeing the outer shell of YJ and getting moved. As long as KJ is in YJ’s body, we won’t fully understand whether her feelings are for KJ or YJ. So if we want to know the true feeling we need a body swap asap! (even tho I want YJ to be a good person and end up with KJ…just can’t get over the age difference)
    What do you guys thinkink about Gong Yoo and Lee Min Jung?

    June 29, 2012
  9. am #

    but I don’t think her feelings are ultimately going to blossom into love. – THIS. been feeling it since the beginning. Am I the only enjoying the ride which is the friendship of KJ and DR?

    But that possibility remains very open now that they’re actually slapping it onto our faces via Da Ran’s parents. Da Ran’s mom eventually married her Dad, her previous teacher.

    I think the real tension will happen when they switch back and KJ’s body regains consciousness AND I’m really hoping this’ll happen soon because they’ve been dragging out the Evil Mother in Law, Will You Marry or Not, Stand Up to that Evil Doctor Friend/Mistress waaaay too long.

    July 2, 2012

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