I’m hopelessly addicted to this drama. I never thought I would like it this much, actually. It’s not even halfway through the year, but I can promise you, this is one of THE dramas of 2009. With ratings steadily reigning in the 30s%, this is the number 1 drama in this particular timeslot.
My last obsession, Boys Over Flowers, even while watching, I was fully aware that what I was seeing was not quality product. A lot of acting faux pas, a lot of ridiculousness, illogical turns of events, etc. I think I was basically watching for Lee Minho, who admittedly, WAS the best thing about this drama, despite the fact that he doesn’t seem to be advancing with his acting career, choosing to milk all he can off his Goo Junpyo charisma through countless of endorsements.
But watching Brilliant Legacy, I actually do feel like the drama I’m seeing is actually good. Of course, perhaps in a few months, while looking back, I would think differently, from more neutralized eyes, but speaking about now, Brilliant Legacy is IT. It helps because despite not boasting any particular super awesome element, Brilliant Legacy also has no glaring flaws. The acting is okay, nobody really sucks that he/she ruins it for anyone else (like Kim Hyunjoong and Park Soojin did in BOF). The direction is bland, just so so, but it’s not that obvious because the writing is pretty solid and it can overshadow the direction. Scoring is not exceptional, but it is appropriate enough, it’s got more instrumental pieces.
The characters, save for the Evil Stepmother, who is played beautifully by Kim Misook, are likable. True, there’s that one dimensional issue with the characters, but so far, the issues are being worked on as the characters are showing more dynamics. Eunsung is becoming more gutsy. Hwan is relatively a lot more mature. Junse is less perfect and nice. Seungmi is more defensive. Even Jung and her mother are actually hilarious to me now.
I am surprised at how much I like the writing, it’s got that dramatic vein still, but more than that, I like how everything is controlled and well paced. No sudden shift of plots or personalities, everything is in place, the changes are made with exquisite touches at the right time. How Hwan goes from hating Eunsung point blank to seeing her real self and liking the kind person she is. Vice versa, Eunsung never shows interest until Hwan shows that he’s more than just a rude and spoiled a-hole. Not to say that the writing is perfect, the fake dead father and the lost brother story are being dragged to hell, but aside from that things are going well.
I know a lot of people are into Eunsung and Junseh, and while I do agree that Junseh is all sorts of wonderful, I am just too in love with the chemistry between Eunsung and Hwan. I remember the days when Eunsung/Hwan’s arguments had no romance vibe whatsoever. They were just pure anger and fury, from both sides. Then Hwan became more aware of Eunsung, he started to miss her when she wasn’t around; he started to gravitate toward her. Eunsung got in the game rather late. She was much more friendly with Junse and had no intention to humour Hwan more than what she needs. But slowly, her initial aversion for Hwan shifted as she came to see how Hwan worked really hard to change for the better. A person who never learned to apologize all his life, apologized to her sincerely.
Look at that scene above. Compare that to how he used to manhandle ES, pull her by the neck, crush her belongings, etc. This caring side that he used to only show to Seungmi somehow appears when he’s with Eunsung. We are reaching steadily toward the peak in their relationship. I am so looking forward to it.