* Well..it’s not that spoilery. It’s quite general for it’s been a year since I watched the show.*
*In any case, I’m still spoiling the show for you beyond this message*
This is another show I watched because of the leads. It’s not because I like the two, but because I have never watched them act before. Call me weird. I don’t mind. With regards to the storyline, I didn’t have much expectation. It’s simply because the Hong sisters have a penchant for a very narrow writing focus, leads wise, (I always get distracted by the sides/other leads) and the episodes leading up to the end always fail to deliver.
[ The storyline]
Bumbling beta-male action-star wannabe Cha Dae Woong(Lee Seung Gi ) accidentally releases a Gumiho (9-tailed fox, Shim Min Ah) that was sealed in a painting many years ago (oh deary) and his fear of this nine-tailed terror(!!…=.=) causes him to fall and injure badly. Kind-hearted, meat-loving Mi Ho lends him her fox bead(no woman must kiss you!) to save his life for the time being. This simple act tells us that this drama is very far off from the folklore. What happens after the release is actually not very much: just Mi Ho finding ways and getting started (ironically with the help of a gumiho hunter) on her gumiho-to-human transformation that, can possibly kill her off.
I am a fan of the fantasy genre and found it only right to bring the lovebirds back together using the supernatural way. The genre for this show served as a question and an answer at the same time which was why it felt quite obvious that the pair would end up together. But somehow, Hong sisters seem to think angst (oh dear we can’t end up together but we still love each other.)…
*the update: Please don’t be mistaken. It’s not that I don’t like angst. Angst done right just makes me want to watch the couple in more sticky, dangerous-as-in-what-if-the-whole-world(?)-crumbles(?lol I’m exaggerating too much)-if-they-get-back-!-dangerous situations. Intense forbidden relationships carry the angst forward even without intentionally creating the situation. Perfect Eg: Thousand Day Promise Ep 1. The thing with Hong sisters is that they don’t do it well. Cough*Noble Idiocy*Cough.*
…is an important period in romcoms. To do that, they use my most hated plot devices of all time – noble idiocy (found in MY Girl and DGCH. I think YB also has it. ). I, as a viewer, am frustrated by it a lot. I dislike noble idiocies because it’s not only a waste of time, it’s also losing its power on me. I understand it’s to serve us angst but!! The thing with Hong sisters is that they use this wishy-washy plot device in a manner that somehow fits and yet so frustrating.
I love the rom-com part of the writing but with regards to the other parts of it, I feel that’s where the Hong sisters don’t do too well. One area is that they tend to drag out their writing which seems to me like they can’t bear to let go. (I literally feel like I’m watching a daily drama. You know those 100+ episodes that have at least 2-3 families. Yeah, I have watched one before – A Good Day for the Wind to Blow.) For instance, they sit their characters too long on the final issue and make it overly dramatic which somehow gets quite ridiculous. This became the reason why I eventually stopped following their shows. I don’t mind their startings. It’s the way the last 3-4 episodes are written that puts me in lazy mode. The worse thing is that if I want to know how the story ends, I would have to watch it. And I’m the sort who watches without skipping!!!
It’s quite a pity because I admire them. The way they write the scenes of how the initial hate/dislike/irritation develops into love between the main couple, is so smooth. Plus I am mostly always rooting for their main couples. But that’s also where they self-destruct. Like what Javabeans mentioned, a Hong sisters drama’s focus is always the main leads. This leaves the side/supporting characters very little reason/meaning to exist. Okay, I get that the main lead should be the main pull of the show. But what about the supporting characters then? Aren’t they supposed to ‘support’ the leads (and the show)?
The best thing of the show? Lead actress Shin Mina. She was so cute, so straightforward and so *insert swear* loveable. She’s not extremely pretty to me but her adorable presence makes up for it. She’s like the Kang Ji Hwan to Hong Sisters’ Hong Gil Dong in that her portrayal of the gumiho added more to the writing. Lee Seungi as the bumbling male lead is my first time watching him in a show so I won’t judge him too harshly. Not too good not too bad.
I liked the actress behind dae woong’s aunt though. 😀 I remembered how she portrayed the elegant queen back in Goong and seeing her here as a character providing humour was a totally different angle for her as an actress and for me as a viewer.
No Min Woo is the emo-driven gumiho hunter/veterinarian Park Dong Joo, having lived for thousands of years and completing the love square(or bridge? Dong joo doesn’t have any connections to the other female lead..) is Tae Woong’s noona crush Eun Hye In (Park Soo Jin, BoF Kim Bum first(?) love). No MinWoo has seriously intangible onscreen presence. Emo + brooding + not much character development = boring. Seriously minwoo, why did u pick up such a project? Go do other stuff like Jung Il Woo. (It could be the director’s fault…) So in terms of comparing the second pair of leads, No Min Woo’s Dong Joo with Park Soo Jin’s Hye In (Dae Woong’s nuna), I preferred Hye In’s constantly annoying personality. I pretty much hated her, in a good way. (OMG SOO bitchy and scheming!!) The minute she went on-screen, I would be cursing her. LOL.
I think the show was just okay. Typical Hong sisters drama. If you were to ask me, my fav Hong sisters dramas would have to be fantasy couple (no guarantee because I watched it a long time ago) and Hong Gil Dong. The craziness between Han Yeseul and Oh Ji Ho was so much fun and Kang Ji Hwan literally breathed life into HGD:P
Thanks for reading and hope you enjoyed! A 2012 drama review (#11) is still uncertain:P You can go for a DB recap or review for a more detailed/current read by more than 1 writer.