21 October 2013



Okay I am totally loving this drama! It has such surpassing depths in character without sacrificing any of the crazy glitzy surface stuff we Kdrama fans love and expect from our romantic dramas.

(Sorry about the weird white background!!  It's not my fault!  I swear!  I am just totally useless with computers and can't even fix it.....sigh)

Episode 3:
I really like Tan. I like that he is reserved, covering up and keeping so much of his true self hidden, so that to Eun-sang he must seem like a bit of an enigma. I like that he doesn't talk all the time, never revealing himself with frivolous words, yet still coming right out and saying the most important things (as in 'I like you' and  'I want you to stay').  Yet it is his silences that are so genuine and moving, as if when he stares he is almost laying himself bare. 
And its as if in front of Eun-sang he can't hide that part of himself, meaning around her he is quieter and less carefree, but also more himself. 

He really is such a different kind of male lead and I find that facinating.

Tan's tentative hope at seeing his brother for the first time in  three years was just heartbreaking, and the way he had to steel himself before walking into the party showed just how worried he was that he wouldn't receive what he wanted from the meeting. 
And oh the crushing heartbreak of a little boy lost when he is so cruelly rejected, though even as his Hyung's words burn deep and bitter he still tries to be positive and find one thing that his brother might like or want about him. It is such an absolutely crushing moment of defeat for Tan and even after he has seen Eun-sang at her absolute lowest it still hurts him to have the aftermath of his meeting with Won witbessed by her.

But seriously his face in that moment, the obvious gut wrenching pain as he holds back his tears just standing unmoving.  Frankly I am not sure how Eun-sang didn't fall in love with him right then!

I really enjoy all the conversations between our leads too. They are usually pretty short and to the point due to Tan's lack of words, but they also really pack a punch nonetheless, always bridging that gap between them and making them less and less just strangers. 

On that note I loved the simplicity of their exchange in the almond farm, the sprinklers (yeah I know it was cheesy and over the top but also oh so romantic) raining down on an unmoving frozen Tan as Eun-sang asks him if he is alright, to which he answers immediately and with no pretence that he is not. And when Eun-sang says she was waiting to save him and drag him away, Tan just asks her why she didn't because he needed saving that whole time. 

Tan's silence extends to their car journey home where he tells Eun-sang to forget what happened but she just answers almost wistfully that it is what she always planned to do anyway, as it is all just like a midsummer's night dream, none of it is real.

Things get decidedly cheesy after that, but still oh so much fun, as our leads are forced to spend a night out in the desert.  
Their budding friendship/romance comes to a screeching halt though when Chan-young turns up to whisk Eun-sang away as soon as they return to the house in L.A. 

I really enjoyed Tan's attempts to get Eun-sang to stay with him, and I like that he doesn't hide his feelings and instead remains open and honest about wanting her in his house instead of resorting to some made up story as a cover for the fact he wants her to stay because he likes her.
Also his petty jealousies are pretty damn cute!
I am just loving this male lead more and more all the time.

We also gain some more insight into other characters this episode, mainly Rachel who constanly lashes out to hurt those around her in the cruelest way she can, as if she doesn't even know how else to socially function.
Yet there is also something very brittle about her too as if she is constantly teetering on the edge and she knows it, making her very interesting. I think she is fully aware that she is alone and this has a lot to do with her bitchy personality.

Another interesting insight was into Won's character later in  the episode during the visit to his mum's grave.
Finally we see past his cold and inscrutable exterior to find that on the inside he is a man with enormous pressure laid upon him, clearly utterly bitter over his mother's death and the role he believes the sociecty he belongs to had in it. Also he seems to have this ambition to be on top of everything, constantly in control and so terrified of losing that control that he would even make an enemy needlessly out of his younger hapless brother.  

We also get another glance into Young-do's life, a young man who is clearly smart and intelligent but so overpowered by his father and their stifling relationship that he seems to take his fury out on everything and everyone around him.
I get the impression he is desperate to appear in control of something within his life, hence his manipulative relationships with those around him. I thought Rachel's comment about Young-do continuing to do what Tan and he used to do together was also quite interesting, making me think that Tan was a bit of a bully too once before he decided to give up on everything for whatever reason, clearly some sort of dark incident involving Young-do.

Interesting ..... and also a little worrying. 

I adored the whole pancake shop thing. The way Tan was just so positive Eun-sang would be there was a lovely moment of some kind of affirming fate and the awkward scenes that followed were just a promise of the tangled web that will be coming once the drama returns to Korea.

As for Eun-sang herself, I am quite enjoying her character too. I think she is just as taken by Tan as he is with her, but whilst he believes he has found in her an escape from his numbed world, I think she has more realism to her personality.
She enjoyed her time in L.A and the fairytale-like experience she had with Tan, connecting with him and enjoying being with him, but to her it was literally a moment in time and a fantasy before she must return to the hard and gritty reality of her life.

I think she embraces her moments with Tan for what they are, nothing but a fleeting midsummer's night dream.

Episode 4:
Aaand the action returns to Korea. 

I dunno, I was quite enjoying all the fun yet redonkulous American set stuff so I am not really experiencing any great sense of relief from this change in setting (like so many other bloggers seem to be), yet I am definitely not unhappy about it either. 
I love this idea that L.A was this hazy beautiful dream for Eun-sang and that now she is returning to the daily grind with her tail between her legs and all her dreams gone. Basically she is being forced to begin again and face reality, starting at the bottom to work her way back up again.  This is true fairytale fare right here, which definitely are my favourite kinds of stories.

I love that Eun-san's meeting with Tan was clearly monumental and important for her, but that she has also neatly tucked it away inside her as a precious moment that really has no relevance in her day to day life in Korea or even with what she sees as the real world. 

I also liked Eun-sang's obvious guilt when faced with her mum upon her return and I feel that Eun-sang's experience in America has matured her, meaning I can't see her ever trying to take off and live worry-free again, the incident with her sister truly making her realise her own responsibilities because even though in a way she dreamed of running off into the sunset herself and leaving behind the pressures of her mothers downtrodden lifestyle, she now knows that she could never really do it.  There is nothing else out there for her and even though she has always railed against it, she knows she needs to look after her mum because the poor woman lives such a hard existence and if all her children ever dream of is leaving her behind then that is just too cruel. Because its obvious Eun-sang's mum understands how her daughters feel about the small amount that she has been able to provide them, a harsh truth that makes me feel so sad for her.

This episode had some nice lighter stuff too which I really enjoyed, as well as this strange dreamy atmosphere as Tan and Eun-sang circle each other in the big house, an idea that is rooted in the idea of fate. I love Tan's awkwardness and almost naivety in some ways, like the way he is constantly so hopeful that his family will give him the love he so craves, no matter how many times they let him down. There is a real sweetness to Tan's character that I adore, making him a rather perfect foil to the much earthier, rawer and more realist Eun-sang.

I am always so intrigued by all of Young-do's scenes as their is something so self-assured and magnetic about him, from the way he moves to the confident drawl he speaks with, and yet we can see that there is definitely going to be so much more to him than that. This episode we probably saw him at his most likeable during his meeting with a very sleepy Eun-sang and the screaming kids, and I must say it all made me giggle out loud. Yeah, I know it is ridiculous when you have every dude ever falling in love with our 'average' heroine at first sight, yet in the case of this drama I really feel that enough depth is being given to these characters that you can sort of understand and feel why they are connecting with each other, with Young-do clearly travelling easily down the 'Jun Pyo' route of 'oh she doesn't care about me so now I am in love with her' trope. And yet, it totally works and I am dying for more!

On the topic of Young-do, I am loving all these hints at a dark past he shares with a meaner version of Tan, with Rachel's words about Young-do being nothing more than a 'Fox trying to be king in an absent Tiger's cave' being crazy interesting.  It looks like Tan was possibly pretty hardcore in his heyday, though I particularly liked Young-do's answer, 'maybe the tiger was only acting like a tiger, so ran away because he was scared everyone would found out'.

I also enjoyed our first glimpse of the teacher Hyun-joo and was pleasantly surprised to see that she already has history with the cold Won. Intriguing.
And that is exactly what this drama does so well, providing these deep histories for our characters that makes everything a mystery to unravel, with L.A providing even Eun-sang and Tan with their very own relationship set up and history, all in time for when school starts next week.

There are just so many characters in this drama that it is going to take some time to introduce them all properly but I am totally along for this ride and am quite enjoying this slower set up before school starts and we get all our characters together in one place.  

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