KOREAN DRAMA REVIEW: EPISODE 13 UPDATE
Mmmh, ok I was getting very worried about this drama after watching Episode 12 and even got to the point where I was putting off going any further, preferring to watch anything else rather than the next Gu Family Book episode. This was certainly a far departure from how I obsessively ate up the earlier episodes, even staying up to the early hours of the morning for a marathon catch up on those episodes I was behind on (due to my dumb internet connection).
After finally watching Episode 13 (yes I know I am so far behind on this drama) I still don’t think my faith has been restored completely, but I do feel I am a little more invested in this story then I thought I would be, and I am actually strongly welcoming the return of Daddy Gumiho and the clearly evil veiled woman only because it takes a little focus away from the so completely gross Jo Gwan-woong storyline which I totally do not enjoy at all.
The only part of Daddy Gumiho’s reappearance that frustrated me was the obvious plotline of everyone suspecting Kang Chi’s beast side to be the culprit behind the sudden deaths in the woods, but this was actually resolved ultra quickly much to my relief, so fast in fact that I hardly even had time to start complaining. (Which I totally would have by the way. Here. In my blog. Thank the drama gods you were spared that horror).
I still really like that Yeo Wool is the female lead in this drama, I like that she is tough and smart and throws herself into danger (and screw what other people think) to protect Kang Chi, proving herself over and over again as a valuable and indispensable catalyst in Kang Chi’s journey towards self acceptance and humanity. However I can’t help but also think this story would have worked just as well, if not even better with Chung Jo as the main female lead. I don’t at all like the idea that now she has become a Gisaeng she is sort of written off as a real contender for Kang Chi’s affections which is the impression I am getting from the drama, portraying her almost as a fallen woman to be pitied rather than just the same old Chung Jo who now lives in different circumstances.
I think it would have made for quite an intriguing story to take Chung Jo’s character this far (horrible rape and newly made Gisaeng included) only to have Kang Chi still stand by her and continue to love her. It is quite strange really that we have such an utterly compelling and tragic character as the second lead, someone who garners the viewers sympathies and is so likeable, leaving us rooting for her. She has never done anything underhanded or bitter, nothing that has happened has been through any fault of her own, and therefore it is a bit difficult for me to dismiss her as someone I shouldn’t care about in regards to the outcome of her story, which I feel is probably heading in a very tragic direction. And this worries me, as I just don’t really believe I can handle a sad ending for Chung Jo as she has become such a strong and likeable character.
Actually, I wonder if the drama will go in the direction of marrying her off to some kindly old noble, with the whole ‘Sense & Sensibility’ idea that once your true love has burned out and you have been ‘used up’ so to speak, there is no hope you will ever feel so strongly about someone or feel such passion again, your only option then being to marry some lovesick old dude who offers to save you from being a fallen woman and Gisaeng (in this case) and look after you. Boo! I hope not.
I feel the gravity and seriousness of Chung Jo’s situation tends to overshadow the other plotlines in this drama for me, for instance making it much less romantic when I see Kang Chi running through the streets desperately trying to find Seo Wool for their date night at the Lantern Festival. I really wish this wasn’t the case because that couple are so uber cute together and their scenes are sweet, light and charming in a way that makes me really want to care about them and get sucked into their romance. And I do feel I would be totally invested in them already if it wasn’t for Chung Jo’s super awful plight.
But maybe I am way too sensitive and just need to accept that Chung Jo is not a lead character and therefore has no guarantee whatsoever of a happy ending.
This is why I am quite welcome to the idea of the reintroduction of some more villainy characters to up the stakes and danger for Kang Chi and Seo Wool, hopefully creating a stronger sense of connection between them due to more life and death circumstances, because although it’s obvious they are falling in love (and in Seo Wool’s case is already far beyond that), everything still seems way too easy for them at the moment with no deep emotions involved for me to hold onto.
Of course I am writing this after only watching Episode 13 and with three more episodes having aired since then, it is totally possible nothing I am saying is at all relevant anymore, so if that is the case I do apologise!
I will hopefully get a chance to watch Episode 14 tonight and will update my thoughts after that.