Monthly Archives: November 2011

Ojakgyo Brothers, Ep 33-34

Happier episodes, FTW!!!

This is what I’m saying about the writer’s prowess with pace. The change of tide came not a moment too soon. Another week spent in hazy gloom would have me drag my feet yet if Jaeun followed through too soon, the impact of Mama Hwang stealing her land deed would be diminished and as Jaeun mentioned, would be a total disrespect for her dad who’s still MIA.

I really like that the road to getting the farm back and forgiving the Hwang family is NOT merely about the land deed being stolen and the betrayal and so on. Jaeun needs to overcome that, first and foremost. But it’s also chock full with intricate family dynamic and Taehee’s long lost half family. This is incorporated into the farm plot and tied back neatly with Jaeun coming through for the family. The fact is that she loves Taehee and the family, she just can’t sit back and let them get hurt and it’s what finally allowed Jaeun to start forgiving them. She can put her victim status, second still, to the people she loves.

The beginning of forgiveness is also aptly illustrated, as the farm is not a done deal yet.  Jaeun needs to come up with $50,000 of farm revenue in six months in order for Kim Jaeha to forfeit the purchase, no external help whatsoever. I dig this condition so much, because this gives a valid foundation for Jaeun to a)seek help from The Hwangs and thus forgiving them and b)cultivate herself as the true farm owner. This also gives a great time frame of the show’s future.

As the farm plot was settling down, Taebum and Sooyoung’s storyline is getting a spark of conflicts. Taebum’s ex girlfriend, Hyeryung is divorced, back to work, and the new writer for Taebum’s new show. In short, the bitch is IN! Writer is such a genius, really. To be honest, while I was gunning for Ryu Sooyoung and Choi Jungyoon at the beginning of the series, the teen episodes made me more invested in Jaeun/Taehee. But it’s to the writer’s credit and of course the actors’ chemistry, that Taebum/Sooyoung became just as compelling, and definitely better acted on top of it.

Also, I’m so rooting for Yeowool and Taepil. They may be 9-10 years apart, but they communicate well and they complete each other. I hate to say it, but Yeowool is a damsel in distress, in a sense. She may be in her 30s, but her mindset and naivete sets her way back. She needs to learn to stand up for herself and not be bossed around by her sister. Whereas dealing with Yeowool forces Taepil to mature up and gives him someone he can protect. Being the youngest brother, everyone did that to him. So now he has to learn to pay it forward.

I’m so in drama heaven right now. I don’t particularly follow a lot of dramas right now, but the two (this and Flower Boy Ramyun Shop) that I’m following at the moment are going so so SO well that I’m just over the fucking moon.

Ojakgyo Brothers, Ep 23-32

In these 10 episodes, all hell broke loose. And then some.

The inevitable happened when Jaeun found out that it was really Mom Hwang all along who hid the land deed and made her suffer through nights in sleeping bag living in a tent. All the awful treatments she received her way started coming back to her, and while she was furious, she was more heartbroken at the fact that she’s betrayed yet again by someone she loved. She ordered the Hwangs to sell the farm right away.

Entering the picture, was Kim Jaeha, who expressed interests in working with Taehee. He owns a movie company and hired Jaeun to adopt her animation . This is pure coincidence. But the guy had an ulterior motive in getting to know Taehee. As predicted by a lot of people, he turned out to be Taehee’s stepbrother, the son of the man Taehee’s mom married after she fled. To put us further on the edge of our seats, Kim Jaeha relayed a message that Taehee would no longer be able to reconcile with his mother as she had passed away recently.

Rounding up this merry go round of confusion and coincidences, Kim Jaeha purchased the Ojakgyo farm per his father’s instruction. And when the Hwang family found out who ended up buying their farm, the family Taehee’s mom left them for, Grandma went berserk.

In terms of plot progress, this is pretty much the main big conflict that we’re dealing right now. The other brothers have their minor storylines too. Taeshik and his newfound son are still at an impasse, especially since Yejin finally found out about Gooksoo. The good thing is that I think Taeshik and Gooksoo have started to get along better, with the help of the awesome, awesome Misook.

Whereas Taepil and Yeowool started getting closer. I’m not sure if theirs is intended for a romantic pathway, because it would be breaking SO MANY rules. They’re supposed to be at least 10 years apart and not only she’s an inlaw, but she’s the inlaw’s aunt, which means one generation above Taepil, which would just blow all social rules out of the water. It doesn’t help that they’ve got quite a crackling chemistry together.

Last, but not least, Taebum and Sooyoung. With the appearance of Sooyoung’s senior who became their new boss, Taebum was spurred on by the new alpha male competition, especially since the new boss was so not shy from professing his undying love for Sooyoung. Taebum was pushed to jealousy and forced to face his growing attraction for Sooyoung. Finally, after all this time, Taebum began to reciprocate Sooyoung’s feelings. And now, JUST when things had gotten good, his ex just had to make a friggin comeback, geez.

Ojakgyo Brothers is flowing really really nicely. It has a whole bunch of mini storylines between a set of characters. Each brother has their own issues to worry about, under which they generally stand. But then we get nice little moments of these characters interacting outside their specified frame. Like Taepil showing care and concern for Taehee, usually the brother he refuses to acknowledge. Taepil’s storyline is considerably less, but he’s given extra depth to round of his role in the drama. Plus, Yeon Woojin is a pretty capable actor and hopefully would graduate into leads soon.

I really like the fact that we’re more than halfway through and no sign of slowing down anytime soon. The writer picks great timing to introduce new people to the show to not only spice things up but also pick up the pace. With the long awaited arrival of Taebum’s ex girlfriend, Taebum and Sooyoung’s line will officially go into full swing. And now that Jaeun has made up her mind to NOT sell the farm to Kim Jaeha, we will reset the score and Taehee/Jaeun will have to rebuild their almost relationship.

Not only that, Jaeun and Mom Hwang can finally start fresh. Nothing will be forgotten, but their formed bond cannot be dimissed either. I miss this dynamic duo the most. Hopefully they will patch things up soon.

I’m in love

….with Crazy Chicken.

Seriously, how awesome is he?? Anyone who’s watching Flower Boy Ramyun Shop and NOT liking Kim Bawool aka Crazy Chicken must be, well, crazy. He’s the most adorable puppy kid ever. He’s kind of a reminiscence of Matsumoto Jun in two different projects: Gokusen and You’re My Pet. Plus, the fact that Bawool has an actual chicken hair, just tickles me so much.

This is his reaction to the general Kang Hyuk-ness of Kang Hyuk

I like Bawool a lot because inherently he’s just a big ol’ softie. He was all tough on the onset, what with all the fighting, the school skipping, etc. But whenever he’s on screen, you just can’t help going all ‘Awwwww’. In these 6 episodes of Flower Boy Ramyun Shop that have aired, Bawool consistently ranks as my favourite character.

And the thing is, I actually like the way all these characters are written. There’s the Diva Chaebol Asshole who’s getting his ass served on a silver platter on account of his newfound rush of feelings for the Constipated Intern. The aforementioned Constipated Intern is a girl in the midst of finding herself, and accepting who she is. Also, girl has an enviable Shinhwa T-Shirt. Then there’s the Sleepy Sleeperson who’s the laziest 2nd lead, but also the most adorable one in the history of drama watching (mine, at least).

I’ve got the worst case of 2nd Lead Syndrome with Lee Kiwoo’s Kang Hyuk. And god knows, I never really have one of those. And to think that having one while my own Flower Boy Jung Ilwoo is playing the friggin 1st lead, is a testament to how giggle inducing Sleepy Sleeperson is. I hope he doesn’t continue to be perfect, but continues to be awesome nonetheless.

And in the middle of all this cuteness, Kim Bawool actually emerges as the winner. He’s got such a high likability factor that I think partly comes from the actor himself. I have no idea who Park Minwoo is, but I’m already anticipating his future roles.

Crazy Chicken’s reaction to the possibility of endless ramyun at his disposal

So, how can he not be UP there in your books?? He’s such a cutie, this chicken.

Flower Boy Ramyun Shop, Ep 1-3

It’s exactly what I expected, and more.

What makes this drama so winning, so far, is how likable the heroine, Eunbi, is. Lee Chungah is generally an adorable, cute actress. But she’s got this ability to be really animated without going too much into the overacting zone. There are perfectly good actresses who you can tell is straining to play cute, bubbly type. Then there are actresses, who may not be as good, but whose vivacity just comes naturally. I think Lee Chungah falls in the second category. Not saying that she’s a crap actress, but I’m just highlighting how this role just seems right up her ally. I don’t really follow her career, but looking at her hancinema page, I just realized that I’ve seen like half of her projects. I remember how hilarious she was in My Tutor Friend 2 (chemistry was off the chart with cutie Park Kiwoong) and of course, she was such a ball of crazy as Hwang Jungmin’s sassy little sis in That Fool.

The drama follows heroine Eunbi navigating through life of being a intern teacher at a highschool. In the first couple of episodes, I thought it was going the Hardtack Teacher and Star Candy/Gokusen-territory and was promptly confused as to how a Ramyun Shop would be borne out of it. But with 3 episodes in the bag, the idea of a ramyun shop is coming together nicely. I like that they don’t set up the premise right on the first episode but instead allow the background story to gain a strong footing so we do get more attached to this shop in the future.

Also, it’s nice that an episode clocks in only for about 50 minutes, not like network TV that goes for as long as 1 hour 10 minutes, sometimes more. This makes for a more brisk pace each episode and less chance of fatigue. The downside is that when the drama is such a fun watch, those minutes just go by really quickly. I was watching episode 3 and somewhere along the way, I just realized there was only 5 more minutes.

I’m liking everyone so far. Jung Ilwoo alternates between being an assface and an assface with depth. This role has flashes of Highkick’s Yunho and the recent 49 Days’ Scheduler. In general, I think Jung is better suited for mellow, low profile characters rather than a bright, charming romeo. He has a tendency to overdo the yelling and the whining, but then knocks it out with a great reflective scene. As for Lee Kiwoo, he’s only been in one episode but I’m in love with his character already. He’s just tres adorable.

By the way, the one that really stands out for me is Crazy Chicken. He’s SUCH a dork!!