Wait, did I say Gi Chan was unbelievably sweet in Episode 5? And that women ought to beware? Yeah, well the Gi Chan infatuation sickness is sure to get worse in Episode 6.
What I enjoy about Bad Couple are all the surprising little goofball moments that catch me off-guard. I’d say I’m pretty drama-savvy, and fairly picky about what I find comedic as well, but somehow Bad Couple sneaks in little surprises that make me laugh out loud.
SONG OF THE DAY
Son Dam Bi – “Start” aka “The female Rain,” who doesn’t remind me so much of Rain as she does Park Jiyoon. Which I suppose isn’t too far off, since both Park Jiyoon and Rain were with JYP, and I’ve always felt JYP’s influence was stronger than the artists’ “styles” themselves. [ zShare download ]
YOUNG and JOON SOO
I’ve been ignoring this pair because I can’t stand the cheating husband story, but I’m warming up to Young and her handsome model boy toy. Although the “fake dating” scenario is an over-used kdrama ploy, at least it’s a little different here, in that they didn’t jump right into the fake relationship even though we’re expecting it. In a lot of dramas, it’s a little hard to swallow that two complete strangers who get off on the wrong foot agree to fake-date, then happen to fall in love (Full House, My Name Is Kim Sam Soon, Dal Ja’s Spring, Witch Amusement…)
But here, at least Joon Soo turns down the offer first. He sees Young going through a hard time, helps her, even punches her dickwad husband, gives her a few words of advice, and still he declines to participate. It’s only after he gets a fairly significant understanding of Young’s character that he agrees to be her fake boyfriend.
Let’s run through the list: First, Joon Soo freaks out seeing Young floating in the pool, and in their initial conversation, she confesses she’d like to die sometimes because she’s so miserable. He sees her being maligned by The Other Woman in public, then witnesses her husband nearly hitting her despite her pleas for him to not leave her. He follows her around as she drowns her sorrows in alcohol, then as she rails at the matchmaker who “approved” her marriage ten years ago.
Joon Soo takes the brunt of Young’s anger as she imagines that he’s her cheating husband, crying and demanding to know why he pursued her and promised to be with her if wasn’t going to stick around through the end. And finally, Joon Soo gives her the drum set and tells her to vent her anger. Only at this point does he agree to go along with the arrangement.
(By the way, that scene had a lovely overlay of the background piano music with her furious drumbeats — it was really interestingly done. Maybe it’s just me, but for some reason I was struck by this scene. Here’s what I mean:)
I’d thought it was strange to separate Young from Dang Ja and Dol Soon — aren’t your best friends supposed to be there when you’re going through something like this? — but now I think it makes sense. First, Young has a lot of pride and can’t confide to them. Second, as good as their intentions are, they tend to judge her for her devotion to her marriage. Joon Soo, on the other hand, may pity her but he doesn’t judge so much as try to understand.
That’s why I find this relationship promising despite the cliche it’s embedded in. Oh, and Yoo Gun is hot.
DANG JA and GI CHAN
Gi Chan isn’t perfect, exactly, and I find that enjoy him more the sillier they make him. In Episode 5, he gets his butt kicked by the burly trucker, unable to fight back properly. In this episode, there’s a moment when he makes a cool-looking leap over a low fence — and falls over. And when he waits for Dang Ja so long he grows hungry, it was hysterical to see him sneak a taste — or two — of the porridge he’d prepared for her. They’re not afraid of making Gi Chan “less manly” or “uncool” — and that makes him endearing.
Then there’s his level of devotion. Dang Ja gets into a car accident on her way to their date, and experiences abdominal pains that take her to the hospital. There, the doctor assures her the baby’s fine, but she’s under-nourished and should take care to eat enough. To prevent Gi Chan from finding out about the pregnancy, she tells him she’s working late — and there’s an “aww” moment when Dang Ja muses to Dol Soon that she must’ve been really hard on him before, because Gi Chan’s reaction to her explanation is, “Are you sure you’re really working late? You’re not dumping me again?”
Gi Chan takes food to Dang Ja’s office, where he finds out she’s not there. When Dol Soon’s husband calls to check in on her, he exclaims, “You’re at the hospital?” which prompts Gi Chan to worry. Afraid he’ll come rushing to see her, she says it’s a mere ankle sprain and she’ll be sent home soon.
Gi Chan waits all day in front of her apartment, falling asleep on the bench outside. When she finally arrives, he insists she not walk on her (fake) injured ankle, and carries her on his back, saying, “You’re lighter than I thought. We’ll have to fatten you up.” Dang Ja thinks to herself, “This is so nice. It would be so great if we could go like this forever.”
Gi Chan surprises her by echoing, “It would be so great if I could walk on carrying you like this forever.” And she imagines him walking her up to the moon:
Dang Ja worries over her stomach pain, remembering the doctor’s orders to eat well. She tries to think of anything she’s craving, and mumbles aloud: “Crab.” Gi Chan perks up, asking if she wants to eat crab, and when she says yes, he lights up, insisting she stay put while he runs out to get it.
And the next scenes had me laughing crazily out loud for about five minutes straight:
Gi Chan isn’t trying to look good or anything selfish like that — he’s genuinely excited that there’s something he can do to make her feel better. And once he’s fixed upon his goal, he sticks with it until he gets it.
The next morning, Dang Ja awakes to find the crabs steaming and Gi Chan tired but pleased to have accomplished his goal. Dang Ja remembers her sickness from Episode 1, when everyone ignored her or avoided reasons to help her, and tears up as she appreciates how much Gi Chan is willing to go through for her sake (even if his devotion is causing her a headache trying to keep up with him). She also notices happily that her stomach pain is gone.
For those who worry over the future of their relationship, I think things are about to take a turn, so I’m personally not worried that they’ll run out of story. For the first six episodes, Dang Ja has generally appreciated Gi Chan, but she’s looked at him from a selfish angle (since she wasn’t intending to stay with him anyway). In Episode 6, when Dol Soon tells her, “Dang Ja, you’re my friend and all, but I think Gi Chan’s too good for you,” Dang Ja agrees that she thinks so, too. And based on the previews for next week, it looks like Gi Chan’s family will become another obstacle, as well as the girl they’re insisting he marry. At one point, a pained Dang Ja tells Gi Chan that she’s not good enough for him, and that ought to take their relationship into a new phase. Can’t wait to see it.