The finale of Oh, My Lady

Boy oh boy, if they hadn’t cast Choi Si Won as the lead of this drama, there’s very little chance I would’ve kept watching it because this is one of the fluffiest dramas of the least substance I’ve ever seen. Javabeans put it well in her latest recap of OML when she said that the problem with OML is that no matter how many plot conflicts they touch upon, they always veer away from delving deeper into the issues and instead gloss over them, like the world that Gae Hwa and Min Woo live in is some kind of fantasy place where negative things just don’t happen. I think Choi Si Won was probably the best thing about OML, which although isn’t saying much since there aren’t many good things about it, Choi Si Won put in a great performance in his first lead role in a full length drama. I feel like his acting is improved enough that he’d be able to cross over and become a full-time actor instead of staying with dime in a dozen idol group Super Junior, but that’s a whole other topic to gripe on for another time.

I loved how Choi Si Won succeeded in making Sung Min Woo likable from the start. With a lesser actor, Sung Min Woo could’ve come across as utterly annoying, but Choi Si Won has an innate appeal and charm that he injects into everything he does, and that came across in his acting as well. His chemistry with Chae Rim was acceptable at best (especially having seen how great she was with Lee Min Ki in Dal Ja’s Spring), but I thought CSW was wonderful with the little girl who played his daughter Ye Eun, and since CSW had previously worked with the actor who plays the tenacious reporter Han in his fusion sageuk mini-drama Legend of Hyang Dan, they were good together as well.

Chae Rim is not a bad actress. I think she’s downright adorable and has a very upbeat demeanor, but the main problem with her is that she continues to choose the same roles over and over. I realize she’s not quite young anymore, but I would like for Chae Rim to not cross over into ajumma category just yet because she’s still got a few years before she qualifies as one. Once again, she was good in her role as Yoon Gae Hwa, infusing Gae Hwa with energy and sincerity simultaneously. She also was great with both of the little girls, but when has she ever not been great with kids?

I won’t get into Park Han Byul again except to say that she’s actually not all bad when she’s acting in subdued scenes. Her drinking scene in episode 15 was nicely done, with PHB clearly conveying her sadness over the news of Min Woo and Gae Hwa. I really loved that Lee Hyun Woo‘s character Yoo Si Jun wasn’t a typical male second lead in that his feelings for Gae Hwa bordered on friendship for basically the entire drama. Although there were moments when Si Jun seemed like he had more than platonic feelings for Gae Hwa, it made me so glad when the possibility of reconciliation between him and his wife was dangled in the final episode. One divorce is one too much for a drama, and if they’d divorced, it would’ve seemed too unfair since their entire marriage was wrought with misunderstandings and things left unsaid.

The last two episodes of OML weren’t necessarily bad, but the problem I had with them is probably the same as what y’all felt as well… they were way too rushed. It was as though the writers had realized last minute that they had written absolutely nothing of substance within the past 14 episodes and there was no plot development at all, so they gave up and just wrote whatever came to their minds. For those of you who haven’t watched the last two episodes yet, please don’t proceed because you will be spoiled. What happened to Ye Eun’s problem with speech? Why did Min Woo have such an easy rise back to fame? Not that I have anything against Min Woo, but come on. One good performance in a theater show completely makes up for all of the negative press he’d been receiving up to that point? I really hate it when the last few episodes of an otherwise acceptable drama are rushed and bad overall, because that completely ruins the entire drama for me. OML’s predecessor, Wish Upon a Star, was like that as well, and now OML has gone and done the same thing. We finally got to see the kiss between Min Woo and Gae Hwa that we were all waiting for, but they decided to have that be the last scene? What about the marriage proposal? Did that admission from Gae Hwa mean that she was agreeing to marry Min Woo? As you can probably see, I have as many complaints about Oh, My Lady‘s ending as I did with WUAS, but I think OML was a cute drama to watch if one needs to get away from the stresses of life. It’s a good pick-me-up with a happy ending and has its share of really cute scenes, and that’s about it. Although OML’s charm was what I enjoyed while I was watching it, charm isn’t enough to help viewers remember the drama in the long run. I can only hope that both Choi Si Won and Chae Rim choose better dramas/projects next time. The only good thing about OML’s ending is that now I can see my love Kang Ji Hwan in Coffee House next week! 😀

The Halfway Mark III

Now for the third installment of my halfway mark series featuring Oh, My Lady! starring Choi Si Won (mine!) and the adorable Chae Rim, with Park Han Byul and Lee Hyun Woo taking on the second lead roles. On a scale of gloom and doom (Cinderella’s Sister) to cotton candy fluff, OML occupies the cotton candy end of the spectrum with Personal Taste being an even middle ground between the two (maybe more on the fluff side, but veering towards the more serious in its recent episodes). Again, there might be some spoilers if you’re watching this and have not seen this week’s episodes, so proceed with caution.

With the character of Sung Min Woo being such a top star, I expected him to be reserved and a man of little words with his charisma fueled by mystery. But boy, was I wrong. Choi Si Won is showing a side of him I never expected to see, expressing bursts of comedic timing that I had an inkling were hidden away somewhere in that nicely sculpted chest of his. He’s especially great with his facial expressions, which are priceless and absolutely hysterical. Choi Si Won reminds me of Lee Seung Gi because although OML and Brilliant Legacy (respectively) weren’t their first roles in dramas, it was the first time for the both of them taking on the lead role and both of them are crossing over from the music industry to the acting world quite smoothly. Although Choi Si Won isn’t quite on Lee Seung Gi‘s level of acting in dramatic or emotional scenes yet, CSW definitely has LSG beat with his comedic timing and that adds to the charm of OML, knowing that it’ll always succeed in making me laugh with each episode.

Although it took a while for Sung Min Woo’s character to develop and mature (12 episodes!), we’re finally seeing some progression in this week’s episodes, which I’m pleased to see. The bonding scenes between Min Woo and his daughter Ye Eun are becoming more frequent and adorable, adding to the overall feel-good atmosphere that this drama emits. The bond between CSW and the little girl who plays his daughter has been reported on, and CSW has posted charming pictures of the two of them on his twitter account, with their relationship becoming more apparent onscreen with each episode.

Although Choi Si Won is at his cutest during the laugh out loud scenes, he’s no amateur at acting the aww-inducing scenes either. I love that Min Woo is starting to develop feelings for Gae Hwa out of the respect he initially felt towards her (although I kind of wish they sped up the process.. we’ve had way too few romantic scenes between CSW & Chae Rim so far for my liking). Min Woo is starting to realize how big of an impact Gae Hwa has left on him since she came into his life, and he’s taking steps to utilizing that impact to become a better person. Not that he was a horrible person in the first place, but the number one lesson that knowing Gae Hwa has taught him is humility and the ending of episode 12 is indicative of that.

Yes, I realize this entire entry has been about Choi Si Won so far, but you can’t begrudge me of fangirliness, can you? Didn’t think so. Chae Rim is lovable as Yoon Gae Hwa, although Gae Hwa isn’t very different from other roles that CR has acted in dramas. CR has decent acting abilities, but she hasn’t gone past her safety zone of playing similar characters in all the years I’ve seen her, and so I hope that one day she’ll take that plunge and try new things. The two girls are adorable, particularly the little girl who plays Ye Eun. Although the role doesn’t entail much except not saying anything and looking like a bite-sized piece of precious, I still love Ye Eun anyway. Those who are watching OML can attest when I refer to that look that Ye Eun gives Min Woo when she wants some acknowledgement from him. She looks up at him and bats her eyes innocently, looking on the verge of tears. It just makes me want to pinch her cheeks and take her home to be my own daughter. (I realize I’m gushing. I’m at the age where I’m starting to want kids, so please be understanding. :P)

I don’t want to turn the rest of this post into a rant, so I’ll just address my qualms about OML without getting too in depth into them. Park Han Byul is one of the worst actresses to ever grace this planet, and it totally grinds my gears that the only reason why she’s famous is because she’s pretty, and she’s Se7en’s girlfriend. That is all. Moon Jung Hee rubbed me the wrong way in the beginning and middle of the drama, but that might just be because of how self-entitled her character was, and I’m starting to warm up to her little by little, despite the whole her being an adulteress bit.  Lee Hyun Woo is also playing the same exact carbon copy of the characters he always plays, but for some reason, he makes me want to cut him some slack. It doesn’t even look like he’s trying that hard, but there’s just something about him that leads me to give him a pass although he’s not a good actor either.

So on the whole, Oh, My Lady should be watched purely for entertainment value because if you’re looking for a drama with substantial conflict and depth, this isn’t the one for you. I like how the dramas I’m currently watching don’t all fit into one category of either rom-com or makjang, but are on different points of the spectrum. It helps me separate them and form more solid opinions about them. On an ending note, yes, I am aware that all of the screencaps I included in this entry are of Choi Si Won. And yes, it’s because I wanted to share the pretty with all of you so you could see the pretty too. Until next time!

Musings on the Dramas of Late

I was eagerly waiting for March to roll around because so many new dramas were going to start that I was invested in mostly due to the actors that were going to star in them, and after watching at least a few episodes of each, I have some thoughts on them.

I’ll start with Birth of a Rich Man because it’s been on the longest, and with recent news of its extension, I have a lot to say about it. When I caught the first episode on the day it began, I enjoyed BOARM. I thought Ji Hyun Woo was great as usual, and although Lee Bo Young was stiff, the way the first episode went gave me high hopes that this would be a fresh change from the cliched dramas that the Land of the Morning Calm has churned out for the past few decades. However, the writers (and the director?) managed to completely squelch my hope in the second episode. Since then, I keep telling myself to drop this drama because I just wind up fast forwarding any of the parts that don’t have to do with Ji Hyun Woo and Lee Bo Young‘s budding relationship, but I haven’t yet. I was annoyed when I heard about the four-episode extension, but a person commented that because of all the storylines that have yet to be resolved, more time to flesh them out could do the drama some good, which I agree with after thinking on it more. At this point, I just park my brain at the door, keep my finger poised ready to fast forward, and watch BOARM because of how freaking cute Ji Hyun Woo and Lee Bo Young are together. Seriously, they make one good-looking couple.

Next up is Personal Taste. From what I can see, Lee Min Ho losing his Gu Jun Pyo hair has done him a whole lot of good because boy, does he look good. Although I wasn’t a huge fan of him watching Boys Over Flowers, I had to agree with those who said that he was one of the saving graces of that addicting trainwreck, and when Sohn Ye Jin signed on to PT, I was invested right away because she’s one of my all-time favorite actresses. PT hasn’t disappointed, persay, but the female second lead, played by Wang Ji Hye, infuriates me with her holier-than-thou attitude and her perpetual cattiness. I’m not crazy about PT yet but I can see that once Lee Min Ho and Sohn Ye Jin‘s relationship starts to blossom, they’re going to have great chemistry. I think that’s one of the great things about Lee Min Ho. He seems to have good chemistry with most of his leading ladies.

Oh, My Lady is not my favorite of the bunch, but I’m impressed by Choi Si Won‘s acting so far. He’s talented enough to convincingly act out the character of Sung Min Woo, an actor who lacks talent. I feel like for other people his age (He’s 22), that’d be difficult for them to do convincingly, but both he and Lee Seung Gi have managed to cross over from singing to acting and show some impressive acting chops for newbies. Chae Rim is her usual adorable self, and I just have to say that the little girl who plays Choi Si Won‘s daughter is so freaking cute. It took me a few episodes for OML to pique my interest, but this week’s episodes were an improvement so far, and I’m definitely looking forward to where OML goes from here.

Life is Beautiful is one that I was interested in solely because of my love of all things Nam Sang Mi, but it was actually a pleasant surprise. I’ve been working on translating it and it’s been insanely hard because boy do they love to talk, but I am enjoying watching LiB. When I heard that Song Chang Eui and Hamster Boy Lee Sang Woo would be paired together as a gay couple, I was intrigued. I have to give writer Kim Soo Hyun props for being brave enough to come up with that storyline, and I have to say that it’s been interesting to watch thus far. There was a scene in episode 5 that really bothered me when Lee Sang Woo‘s mother in the drama is incredibly harsh with his character and calls him a monster, and it just reminded me of how conservative our motherland still is. But I’m impressed that they’ve loosened up enough for a gay storyline to be included in a family drama, and I’m definitely sticking with LiB at least a little while longer to see where it goes. And on a completely superficial note, I’d like to say that there is MAJOR eye candy on LiB. Seriously. Check it out for yourself. 😉

Last but not least, Cinderella’s Sister. This is my favorite drama of the bunch so far, and for good reason. I was almost salivating when I heard that Chun Jung Myung had taken on the male lead role, and Moon Geun Young was the cherry on top. I hadn’t seen anything of hers before, but I had been wanting to watch her in something for a while, so this drama was the one that I was most excited about. They haven’t disappointed so far. I usually like more lighthearted dramas and if the terms melodrama or makjang appear in any of the descriptions for upcoming dramas, they’re enough to send me running highspeed for the door. But my adulation and obsession with Chun Jung Myung ever since I watched What’s Up Fox a few months ago kept me in high anticipation until the drama began. I was pleasantly surprised to see that CS wasn’t as dramatic as I expected it to be, although I suspect that it’ll definitely take a more melodramatic turn in later episodes. Chun Jung Myung and Moon Geun Young have wonderful chemistry, and I’m completely invested in their relationship already even though it’s only 3 episodes in. There was a scene between the two in episode 3 (when CJM comes back drunk) that had me squealing and clenching my hands in fangirly hysteria. I love CS so far and if CJM and MGY don’t wind up together by the end, there will be blood. Or a very disappointed, slightly pissed off Soluna.

I caught the first episode of Prosecutor Princess and decided to drop it because although I think Kim So Yeon is a talented actress, I was bored during the entire hour. I thought about watching the second episode just to see if it would pick up, but I didn’t feel like it. When I realized that I had no interest whatsoever in seeing where PP would go, I knew it wasn’t for me. I tried watching episodes of Dandelion Family and Merchant Kim Man Deok too, but they didn’t capture my interest either so I dropped those as well. But with all the dramas that I’m sticking with, where would I have the time to watch anything else? 😛