First Impressions: “I Miss You,” “King of Dramas,” and “Can We Get Married”
My apologizes for the late update. I wanted to give each drama a two-episode watch before I gave my first impressions so it took me a while to get through them.
Starring: Park Yoochun, Yoon Eun-hye, and Yoo Seung-ho
Director: Lee Jae-dong (Thank You)
Writer: Moon Jung-hee (Can You Hear My Heart)
Episodes watched: 2/2
Oh the angst. But thankfully “I Miss You” is not all tears and gloom as the poster would suggest. I went in expecting heavy angst so I was pleasantly surprised by the innocence and the whimsical present in the story. For the first time, I am glad a drama started with a childhood back-story because the innocence of Han Jung-woo (Yeo Jin-gu) and Lee Soo-yeon (Kim So-hyeon) as fifteen year-olds in love help to lighten the atmosphere of the generally makjang drama. I find the parental stories typically overwrought with lots of crying, screaming, and bug-eyed glaring, which do nothing to help me build a connection to the drama. The childhood story of Jung-woo and Soo-yeon becoming friends, opening up to each other, and falling in love is where the heart of the drama lies. It is the space where the viewers can make the emotional connection to what they are watching.
Typical of a makjang, the plot and narrative elements of “I Miss You” are all set up to evoke very discrete emotions. In other words, the drama sets up each scene with flashing signs that say, “This is a sad moment,” “This is a horrifying moment,” “This is a romantic moment,” with no spectrum in between. I disliked being emotionally maneuvered this way but thankfully, the acting of the child actors and beautiful cinematography are compelling enough to bring me into the story instead of leaving me to watch it pass like an annoyed bystander.
If she does this for much longer, I think she is going to need those glasses to help keep her eyeballs inside her skull.
I think I have to watch at least two more episodes until I can make a commitment to this drama because while it is better than I expected, I still feel very wary of where the drama will turn once the childhood portion ends. That poster is seriously the worst poster ever. I want to run away screaming whenever I see it.
King of Dramas
Starring: Kim Myung-min, Jung Ryeo-won, Choi Si-won
Director: Hong Sung-chan (Take Care, Captain; Smile, Mom)
Writer: Jang Hang-joon (Sign)
Episodes watched: 2/4
Immediately off the bat, we are introduced to the pompous, self-righteous, and unlikeable lead character Anthony Kim, who is a president of a drama production company. Let me emphasize how much I hate this type of character. H.A.T. E. HATE. It is a great credit to the actor, Kim Myung-min, for drawing me in within a minute of the drama instead of sending me dashing off for the hills. I don’t know how he does it, but despite the awful character and fashion, I find Anthony Kim magnetic, hilarious, and very complex. I love how Kim Myung-min is such a physical actor, who not only speaks and emotes the character, but also inhabits the character with his entire body and aura. Guh, I can gush all day about him.
As for the story itself, I like the subject of drama production and find the take different enough from “Worlds Within” to not constantly compare. In fact, I can’t compare it all. “Worlds Within” was very slice-of-life and it took its subject matter seriously, while “King of Dramas” is sort of tongue-in-cheek and geared for the masses who are content to be entertained, not preached at. “King of Dramas” started off meta, emphasizing the ludicrousness of product placement in contemporary dramas. However, the drama never goes deep into a real critique of the current drama production system, content to remain a character-driven and mass-consumed entertainment piece. It’s good at not being pretentious, unlike it’s main character. 😉
Death by product placement.
Can We Get Married
Starring: Sung Joon, Jung So-min, Lee Mi-sook
Director: Kim Yoon-chul (My Name is Kim Sam-soon; Que Sera Sera)
Writer: Ha Myung-hee
Episodes watched: 2/6
I have pretty mixed feelings about this drama. I find the story realistic and diversified among its different characters but the subject matter itself is not something I am interested in. I particularly don’t like dramas about in-laws fighting and cheating husbands so this drama is riding a very thin line on my nerves. What keeps me engaged is the story between Ki-joong and Dong-bi and their sizzling, sexy chemistry, and the sweet and hopeful story between Min-ho, Deul-rae, and motorcycle.
This drama is populated with characters who talk a mile-a-minute (“Gilmore Girls” style) and not always in a very likeable manner. The characters just keep saying everything out loud and while it can be refreshing to have characters who actually talk through their problems, there are just moments where I want to scream, “THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK!” It keeps me feeling pretty agitated throughout the whole episode and it doesn’t help that the cuts are frequent and rapid. Ultimately, I think I can watch this drama with liberal fast-fowarding so I can enjoy the good without being chased away by the bad.
What about you guys? What dramas are you currently watching and what are your impressions?