2 September 2014

ME TOO, FLOWER!

KOREAN DRAMA REVIEW: ME TOO, FLOWER!






Definitely my first impression of this drama is that I loved it. (More on the ending later)
It is fun and fast paced and has these fascinating characters that are layers deep so that just when you think you have a handle on someone, something else is revealed about them that makes them even more interesting, more real.

Some of the first few episodes is outright comedy, other parts are drama and emotional conflict and then you have this charged, rather sexy, chemistry between our two main leads. Damn these guys are quite hot, and their interactions are quite hot, an aspect of the show that surprised me a little only because I am more used to the sweet innocent vibes that most romantic comedies give off. Not this kind crackling chemistry.
But gosh I am into it!




The plot is fairly crazy but to be honest it hardly matters, I am here for the characters and their interactions, whether hilarious or heartrending, and the story seems more about peeling them back than anything else. The long as my characters are believable and worth watching I am happy.

So as this drama isn't exactly about its plot (it's more like a series of character interactions) I won't really go into those details and instead I will focus here on the characters themselves.

So first of all we have our leading lady, Officer Cha Bong Seon played by Lee Ji Ah. 
This woman is fascinating and I love how slowly we get to know her, little by little over time instead of all at once. She is a huge mixture of different emotions and personality but we see that there is also something very wrong. 
She is indescribably unhappy. 
She isn't some plucky heroine who manages to keep her chin up no matter what she is faced with, this woman is so lonely and isolated. She is quick to anger, definitely outspoken when she thinks someone is not being fair or right, and her personality is sharp and goes back and forth at no notice so that her moments of sweetness surprise everyone. 


But she is also fierce and strong, and due to an incident at the police office, she is forced to visit a shrink who suspects she has depression. We find out she has been alone since she was 15 and clearly is suffering from intense trust issues. This drama is really such a slow burn and bit by bit we start to understand just how truly deep Bong Seon's unhappiness goes.

There is this scene which really got to me. Bong Seon is at home, she has just been lashed out at by Jae Hui (our male lead) unfairly (because he has a whole set of deep problems of his own) and she has just spoken to both her father and mother whom she has incredibly troubled relationships with.
As she is cleaning up the plates her nasty father broke, suddenly her beloved singer Pink Chicken (yes really!) appears, having climbed out from the poster on her bedroom wall to comfort her. This sequence is actually beautiful, covered in glowing candles, her smiling happily as he sings to her that she is beautiful to him as he leads her outside, and she is obviously feeling such joy at this experience of being loved by someone.

But through all the glowing loveliness of it, there is a real darkness there, a hollowness that is overwhelming because eventually her imagination fails her and suddenly it is just Bong Seon sitting alone outside her house, telling herself over and over that she is beautiful, that she is pretty, that she is good. But she doesn't believe one word, she is so lost and cannot believe anyone will ever love her. It is such a lonely awful scene but it just sums her up right there.

But she isn't mopey either which I love. She is deeply displaced and doesn't have a clue why she is alive, but she has it hidden down, she gets on with her daily life and keeps on going. Until she meets our male lead played by the extraordinary Yoon Si Yoon, Jae Hui. (I just adore Yoon Si Yoon! I mean, look at him. Look at him!!)


He is confident and eloquent, quite sexy because of his self assuredness and really is all contradictions.  It's impossible to understand what he wants with Bong Seon, does he like her, is he sorry for her, is he bored, does he genuinely understand she is living through hell?
I think he does.
But he is interesting too, and it is hard to get a read on who he really is and what he wants exactly. And he is also damaged, filled with past scars and wounds that have clearly never healed. He is so utterly strange also, being confident with women, at ease swanning around at clubs being really suave and rich, oozing with charm and this assured sexyness.
Its kind of a weird mix but it is charming and interesting and kind of off-kilter and fascinating.

The two of them together are such an interesting pair as well, all crackling dialogue and hurt. There is this amazing scene where (because he is always teasing her by asking if she likes him) Bong Seon tells Jae Hui that she could never like a man like him, someone all happy and nice on the outside but clearly dark and negative on his inside, no matter how hard he tries to hide it.

And Jae Hui just stares at her, shocked and silent until finally he lashes out at her with cruel words, embarrassing her by bringing up something very private she said to her shrink on the phone, something humiliating that he should never have witnessed. And he even takes it further, telling her no one will ever like her.

It is such a whirlwind of emotions as he lashes out at her and truly hurts her just to try and protect himself from the words that she said that have clearly seen right through to the very heart of him.
Jae Hui has such oozing confidence on the outside, saying things easily that make women weak at the knees, so self assured whilst hanging around in high class venues. But it's just not really him either and there is something there that doesn't quite fit, and this confident almost arrogant exterior hides an uncertain broken and conflicted self within, someone burning with anger, at himself and at the world around him, a true self which he can't help but show through the cracks in his well placed mask.
An absolute mess of contradictions.




And then Jae Hui is forced overseas to save a business relationship, and upon his return he finds Bong Seon, and the way he looks at her. It is real and open. He is in love with her.

But of course life and the dark past step in and remind him of the responsibilities of his mistakes (because this is a drama after all!), remind him that he doesn't deserve happiness himself that he must be a man for the remaining family of the friend he has killed. That they need him more than damaged, lonely but outwardly strong Bong Seon, who has also finally admitted her true feelings for Jae Hui, if only to herself.

So Jae Hui stands Bong Seon up because of his emergency family commitments, and of course the whole situation makes him believe that he needs to end it with her, because no matter how much he wants her to be, she just can't be his first priority.
He visits her at the police station to tell her its over (because she's too good for him or whatever.... excuses!) and Bong Seon cries and tells him to stay. She doesn't care if he is poor, she doesn't care if he has no direction in life, they can just get through it together. She tells him she likes him and he is totally dying as he tries so hard to do what he believes is the right thing. 



He rips away from her and then her hubae police rookie partner (who is totally crushing on her and totally hapless and gorgeous) gets all up in Jae Hui's face, and seriously it is like Jae Hui is going to blow. He has such rage and also actually violence thinly veiled and masked, but there is this volatile nature just bubbling below the surface ready to he provoked. Scary.

And then later Jae Hui witnesses some richy witchy bitch trying to humiliate Bong Seon in the shopping centre and he totally flips out. He yells at her, he yells at the richy bitch, and he even yells at the Director (his brother's widow who is scary but also completely in love with him.....but manipulative, broken, damaged and with a cruel streak). The Director is the very woman that Jae Hui feels he needs to protect, but when it comes down to it, he cannot stand by and see someone take advantage of Bong Seon either. 

Dragging Bong Seon outside and pulling her away, Jae Hui tells her he has some people he must look after, but he admits he wants to look after Bong Seon too, he wants to take responsibility for her as well.
And although Bong Seon has been so deeply hurt by his constant hot and cold advances, she loves him so she can do nothing to resist, she can't even be angry anymore.
At a house near the sea they hang out and when Bong Seon shows sympathy for Jae Hui's difficult life without his parents he just breaks down sobbing. I imagine he hasn't had much of this type of love before, it is always about survival or taking responsibility, but suddenly there is someone near him who he can lean on, who wants to take care of him. And he completely breaks down sobbing, all those years of pain and hurt surging forward.

Buuuuut sadly, things begin to slowly head downhill. I think those beginning ten episodes of this drama are truly compelling stuff (and totally worth watching for!), it is deep character interactions, sexy and lovely romantic chemistry as these wounded individuals begin to realise that they are in love.
And everything is a mystery!
People are presented as enigmas to be explored, characters with layers that must be peeled back to reveal who they are and what makes them tick...... until our leads get together and Bong Seon finally finds out the truth about Jae Hui being super rich and the two second female leads both go totally fucking mental (seriously so so so boringly fucking mental) to a point where I can't really bear to watch either of them on screen anymore.


I think the main problem with the end run of this drama is that once our couple finally became a couple, the writers decided they needed to add angst so they made up a thousand dumb reasons why Bong Seon and Jae Hui should not be together. So it is literally one thing after another, non stop obstacles to their happily ever after, all of which could really have been easily solved by a normal calm conversation between these two adults.

It is annoying because it is like this rather unusual drama took a step back from its own maturity and fell down hard on all the old boring drama tropes such as adding in crazy females, misunderstandings, noble sacrifices, instead of just giving us viewers what we really deserved, a mature and in-depth study of how our two leads could just stay together and make it work.

But no, instead of a look at how these two would have adjusted to being together and growing together despite their differences in life, all we get is a long boring merry-go-round of reasons and plot contrivances of why they can't be together, all of which are pretty stupid and pointless.
It kills me because for the most part this drama really was super intriguing and fascinating (and Yoon Si Yoon was damn sexy) yet by the end I was so sick of everyone's crap (not too mention the two dumbest second female leads ever - psycho rich woman and her crazy dependency on Jae Hui and then the total gold digger bratface of a step sister with her totally evil morals whom I am still meant to give the time of day to in regards to her own romantic storyline - no thanks!) that by the end I didn't even care about our lovely lead couple and whether they get together or not!

It is so sad that so many dramas feel that a story is no longer compelling once the couple admits their feelings for each other, and though I admit it can be very hard to hold onto that crackling chemistry and the 'will they won't they' vibe, I still really thought this drama could be different, staying compelling and interesting as our couple faced all the real and fascinating issues that would have come to light had they just stayed together without breaking up every two seconds. I understand both are damaged and so afraid to be hurt, but instead of exploring how these feelings might have affected them in their relationship we just watch everyone become paper thin and flat, going through the same old boring stuff we have all seen before a million times.

So I guess to finish off, this drama is definitely worth it for an awesomely compelling first ten or so episodes, or if you just happen to think Yoon Si Yoon is ridiculously gorgeous (which duh, I do). Yes it gets boring towards the end and loses steam but it is still a good one to have watched and I am glad in hindsight that I did!

Now to finish I will post some more pics from the drama, with possibly one or two photo-shoots of the stupidly handsome Yoon Si Yoon just because he is so pretty. 

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3 comments:

  1. I couldn't get into this one, though the hubbie was a faithful viewer. The only thing I liked was the career role they put her into -- however she hardly ever drove the police care.

    We're watching Tree with Deep Roots at the moment -- fascinating take on a very historical event so early on in the Joseon era.

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  2. Replies
    1. Haha, yeah I admit it was a weird drama, but I totally got into the start run (but I kust admit I really do love Yoon Si Yoon so wonder if that had something to do with it) but I can see how it may not have been everyone's cup of tea. And I must say the end run of episodes were truly terrible. ... and totally crazy.
      Yeah it is a shame she wasn't a bit more doing real cop stuff, instead of just being a traffic cop or whatever. That would have been fun!
      I enjoyed Tree with Deeo Roots, but I have decided I prefer the more swoony sagueks, which I guess are maybe a little less full on. Like Joseon Gunman I guess, which is more up my alley. But then again I have never gone mad into Jang Hyuk so never got really invested in his character. I liked his mute girlfriend heaps though (whose name I have totally forgotten) and would have enjoyed more of her in the story!
      :-)

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