Drama Reactions & Reviews
Accidental Couple: A review
by | June 21, 2009 | 68 Comments

Once again, I’m thrilled to have Dahee Fanel guest-posting her thoughts on a drama — in this case, KBS’s recently ended Wednesday-Thursday drama Accidental Couple, aka Just Looking aka That Fool. It’s always a pleasure, Dahee! –javabeans

 
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The Accidental Couple Review

I remember the first time I ever noticed him.

It was the year 2005. I was watching the lovely, quiet little film “That Charming Girl“, starring Kim Ji Soo. Suddenly, he appeared, from out of nowhere. He only showed up for a few minutes, but there was something about his face that I liked right away. He wasn’t good-looking, really – his features could, at best, be called “ordinary”. And yet he managed to leave an impression on me. I couldn’t quite pinpoint what it was, but it was there.

Fastforward several months. My dad pulled me aside one day and told me excitedly about an actor who had recently exploded on the scene, with the kind of talent that had made his spine tingle to watch. He sat me down, and we watched the film “You Are My Sunshine” together. And I suddenly fell in love, in one fell swoop.

That actor, as you’ve probably guessed by now, was Hwang Jung Min. An unknown who, late in the game, had made a name for himself with his incredible acting, through three completely different roles in one year. From the mystery man in “That Charming Girl” to the vicious, despicable gangster in “A Bittersweet Life“, to the sweet, pure-hearted farmer in “You Are My Sunshine”. He showcased enormous range, and the kind of talent that most actors can only dream of. To top it all off, he was deeply humble, continuing to take the bus alone even after he hit stardom, and making the now-legendary “dining table” speech when he won Best Actor at the Blue Dragon Film Awards.

2009. His star still shining, Hwang Jung Min announces that, for the first time in his fourteen years as an actor, he would be taking part in a drama. Now, mind you, he’s been in numerous plays and musicals, not to mention films, but for some reason, he never made the transition to television. Until now.

Naturally, I was excited. What Hwang Jung Min fan wouldn’t be? The only problem, in my eyes, were the people behind the scenes. The writers weren’t exactly renowned for genius scripts (say it with me: “Prince’s First Love” was C-R-A-P), and PD Gi Min Soo, while having participated in the wonderful 2006 drama “Goodbye Solo“, had been disappointing in other projects. In the weeks leading up to the premiere, I was literally on tenterhooks, hoping and praying that his first drama project would be a good one, but not having much hope for it.

And, predictably, the first few episodes were okay, but nothing spectacular. The directing was barely passable, the script riddled with cliches, most of the acting pedestrian at best. The only highlight, as expected, was Hwang Jung Min.

When you are as much of a master at what you do as Hwang Jung Min is, you have the ability to make a bad drama better just by your mere presence. Which is exactly what he did – somehow, with his magic touch, he gave heart to what would’ve been nothing but a robotic machine without him. Most actors would’ve taken a character like Gu Dong-baek and turned him into a literal “fool”, someone who was naive and a bit too good-hearted to be likeable. Not Hwang Jung Min. In his hands, Dong-baek was a character with his own set of insecurities and his own sense of wisdom.

So seven episodes passed, of faintly diverting, mostly just passable fluff, where Hwang Jung Min was the main – and, I’d argue, only – highlight. A one man show, if you will. And then something happened. Episode eight came around, and it was like watching a balloon suddenly fill with air. Entering its second act, the drama finally seemed to find the key to success.

Reflecting back on it, there are three main reasons, for me, that the drama suddenly picked up in entertainment value:

1) The script stopped throwing angst after angst at the screen, and allowed the characters some room to have fun and laugh a little. This drama is at its best when its actors – who, as a group, have truly wonderful chemistry – are interacting and having a blast with each other. And with the marriage of Dong-baek and Ji-soo, they were finally able to do just that. You don’t need big dramatic shenanigans to be entertaining, and “The Accidental Couple” proved that time and time again, episode after episode.

2) Ji-soo’s change in personality. Yes, I had my complaints about this at first, too – I felt that she became so cheerful and jokey a little too quickly in the space of one episode, and that it was kind of a betrayal of the character we had come to know in the previous seven episodes. Still, there were problems with that old personality of hers, too, in that she was kind of a wet rag, unable to react to Hwang Jung Min’s passion and liveliness properly. If you have a main character who’s always dampening the mood, then how can the viewers, too, have any fun watching? Perhaps if she’d been essayed by a better actress it would have been fine, but Kim Ah Joong does not yet have the kind of skills to pull that off. The choice to have her brighten up so quickly was probably a reaction to the complaints of some netizens about her character, but it sure ended up being a good choice in the end. Thanks to that, I was able to grow fond of Ji-soo and to root for her.

3) The beginning of Sang-chul’s more pivotal role in the drama’s plot. I don’t think Baek Sung Hyun is an amazing actor or anything, but his character brought a much-needed breath of fresh air into the drama. True, Sang-chul was often nothing more than a romantic plot device, but his entrance changed up the dynamics so that we could see some truly fun scenes of the whole “family” – Dong-baek, Ji-soo, Sang-chul and Min-ji – playing together and just enjoying each other’s company. Plus, this paved the way for other relationships to be formed, namely the one between Dong-baek and Sang-chul, which provided some true highlights throughout the show. Their scenes in the last episode, especially, provided some of the show’s most heartfelt moments for me. And no, it’s not just because I love bromances. Well…okay, it’s not entirely because of that. Shut urrrrp.

As the episodes progressed, everything just seemed to get better, somehow. It gradually became less and less of a one man show, and more of a team effort. Even the directing and script improved, with episode thirteen, especially, being a highlight in smart choices, with everyone involved letting the characters react to unfolding events in a low-key, undramatic way, and help things become much more laid-back and realistic.

Well, maybe “realistic” is the wrong word. This drama was never really realistic, opting for more of a fairy tale feel to it. But a few of the characters felt real, and it was nice to see a decided lack of a truly heinous villain (in this world, there are no truly “evil” people, and everyone has some goodness hiding deep inside). The chemistry between the characters felt real. I swear, I could watch Dong-baek, Ji-soo, Sang-chul and Min-ji hanging out together for the rest of my life, and be happy.

That’s this drama’s charm, after all. Its optimism, warmth, and hopeful atmosphere. The belief that dreams can indeed come true, that what looks at first like an endless chasm can, when dove into, turn out to be a refreshing ocean. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, it doesn’t have illusions of grandeur, and it never pretends at glitz or glamour (“City Hall“, take note). It’s just about ordinary people who happen to be famous who happen to end up discovering love and family. I always felt happy watching “Accidental Couple”. Its joy was infectious. It turned my bad days into good ones, and improved upon the good days.

Honestly, looking at everything objectively, this drama shouldn’t have turned out half as diverting as it did. Without Hwang Jung Min, it would have been nothing. Even if the directing and writing improved slightly, it was never what you could call really great work. Even if a few of the actors showed some improvement (especially Baek Sung Hyun, who made me cry twice in the final episode), most of it was pretty average, with only Hwang Jung Min as the real standout. (Kim Ah Joong was okay, but she had some pretty awkward moments, especially after her character brightened up. And really, when you’re working with Hwang Jung Min, you can’t help but look rather blah in comparison.) The music, too, while better than a lot of drama music out there (such as the overbearing pop tunes that polluted “Boys Before Flowers“), was really just so-so. And yet it managed to jump over all those hurdles, and become quite a fun ride. It’s kind of a miracle.

Like the fool of its (shortened) (Korean) title, “The Accidental Couple” is not particularly brainy, and offers nothing really surprising or out of the ordinary. Even the message it left behind, that of learning to reach out for happiness instead of “just looking” at it from afar, is one that many dramas have boasted in the past. But by the time I finished watching the final episode and wiped away my tears, I knew that all of that didn’t matter. When you have a heart as big and warm and beautiful as “Accidental Couple” does, you don’t need anything else. You just have to accept, smile, and be happy.

Rating: 7 stars (out of 10)

 
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68 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Elena

    Though I agree with your review, I loved this drama from the beginning to the end and enjoyed all the characters. I know I am into it when I am booing and hissing at one character and saying “No, No, No” to another. I loved the head butt scene, and the cooking and eating scenes. Oh, I loved it all. And I’ve decided that “That Fool” is the new blueprint for men in my life !

    Thanks, :)

     (0)


  2. JiHwan

    I agree completely. Hwang Jung Min is one of those actors who appears ordinary at first but once you see him in action you can’t help but feel drawn to him. He’s really charisma and talented. Kim Ah Joong and Hwang Jung Min really made the drama shine and without them I don’t think I would of enjoyed it half as much.

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  3. andygal86

    Thanks for the review Dahee_Fanel! I really loved this show! Hwang Jung Min made the character of Goo Dong Baek to be a really endearing character! The beginning was a bit stiff, but I’m really glad it picked up! I think my favorite scene from the show was when Dong Baek and his co-workers (Goo Dong Baek and the Swallows!) performed “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”. I could rewatch that part over and over again!

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  4. Irene

    After reading the review, i felt like a complete round up of the whole drama.
    I agreed, the story itself is nothing special or suprise, the chemistry between the artists brighten up the whole drama. I really enjoyed it a lot.

    Thanks.

     (0)


  5. Gia

    Thanks for the review, makes me want to give it a second chance.

    One question, though, does anyone know what speech he gave when he won Best Actor at the Blue Dragon Film awards? I’m not sure what the dining-table speech is referring to and I tried to look up the speech or a video clip but couldn’t find anything on it…

     (0)


  6. graceh

    such a coincidence that i just finished the drama serial too.
    i love it. i love all the heart warming scenes.
    and my heart wrenched with hwang jung min’s little actions to show that leaving hurts. gosh. i’m missing the show already as not many drama serials can make me LOL at the later half of the drama. and i swear i LOL at least once in every episode from episode 8 onwards.
    and oh, it just so happened i started watching from episode 8. based on your review, i guess i missed out the bad and saw all the good scenes? hahaha. (:

    oh, and did i mention i totally heart sang-chul? :D

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  7. jacq

    I’ve been a faithful fan of this drama and was longing for the new episodes to come out every week. I absolutely love Hwang Jung Min as Goo Dong Baek and I think he portrayed his character flawlessly. He was cast perfectly no doubt. All his tearing up & crying scenes made my heart sank and cried with him. Kim Ah Joong’s acting is still quite young IMO, but as the author mentioned when you’re working with Hwang Jung Min, one can’t help but look rather blah in comparison. Overall I enjoyed this drama tremendously and yes, Hwang Jung Min is indeed a BRILLIANT actor. I hope he will partake in more dramas in the future!

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  8. deeta

    Dahee, thanks for the review. I stopped watching after 7 episodes and let it hang in the air for a few weeks, I just couldn’t stand all the bullcrap what with the annoying Kangmo, the annoying Jisoo, the annoying Kangmo’s dad, etc.

    For some unknown reason (okay, fine, I saw you and Mister X commented about how enjoyable the drama was) I ploughed on and now I’m so glad I did. I began to understand why people like this.

    It’s obvious that Minji and Sangchul are total hoots, but I have a secret love toward Park Kyungae, the resident ditz who’s got the hots for DB. She was annoying at first glance, but the more I watch her, the more awesome she becomes. She’s just so ridiculously hilarious in a way that this actress never managed to be in her previous works. She only has a considerably smaller role here, but this is so far my favourite.

    I’m finishing it up soon, another 2 episodes. I don’t know what will happen to Kangmo at the end, but I have this blinding urge to bitchslap him like Manager did, he needs a thousand of that.

     (0)


  9. hjkomo

    Thank you, Dahee!

    Hwang Jung Min…what can I say?
    You said it all. Heart – big, warm, beautiful.
    This drama brought tears…smiles…and made me all feel warm and fuzzy inside. :D

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  10. 10 sayroo

    dahee! What an awesome surprise! :) haha!

    wasn’t surprised that you had to give a big scene for the man-love that you had been pointing ever since in your blog! haha! ^^
    One word about Hwang Jung Min– POWERFUL!
    yeah yeah! such a great actor! So glad that Ji Soo is a very giggly person now! haha!
    Manse manse..

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  11. 11 Katrin

    I agree, this drama was surprisingly good and made you feel great, and that is all thanks to the brilliant acting of Hwang Jung Min.
    First, I wasn’t interested in this drama because I can’t stand romances in which one of the leads is a bit dumb (as in “It started with a kiss” – for all those who watch Taiwanese dramas).
    But here, the acting of Hwang Jung Min was kind of subtle.
    As the episodes passed by I forgot to be annoyed by his inhibited, obedient behaviour and shy smiles. He really grew on me. When I watched the final episode, Dong Baek seemed to be the truely strong one.
    And all the other characters where really nice, too. I did like the acting of Ji-soo.

    Thanks for your comment. It was a great round up.

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  12. 12 Kender

    I agree, this show was adorable. It wasn’t spectacular or world-changing, but every episode after episode 7 was wonderful. (Did anyone else laugh out loud at the name of Dong-baek’s a capella group? My non-Korean-speaking mother didn’t get it even after I explained it to her, which made me sad since it was so cute.)

    I really loved most of the characters, especially Sang-chul. He was so ridiculously adorable (He lisps! And not in the annoying KSW way, but in the way my little brother used to lisp when he was younger. Or maybe I just think it’s more adorable because I’ve always hated KSW..), and I loved his interactions with the rest of his “family.” Minji’s infatuation with him was adorable, too, and I really loved their conversation in the last episode.. It confirmed suspicions that had been hiding in my shipper heart. :3

    The character I actually had the most sympathy for was Kang-mo’s fiance. She genuinely loved (or at least really liked) Kang-mo, and the fact that she got dragged into the whole mess because of Kang-mo’s father’s campaign made me angry. She didn’t do ANYTHING wrong and had absolutely no choice in the matter.. I’m amazed she didn’t bitch-slap Kang-mo, to be honest.

    The only real problem character for me was the manager.. She kept trying to push Ji-soo back to Kang-mo even when it was painfully obvious Ji-soo was falling head over heels for Dong-baek, and I could never figure out why. Misguided loyalty? Love (sibling/man-woman/woman-woman)? Blindness? She drove me crazy for a long time, until she finally loosened up.

    On the whole, I’m glad I soldiered through the first few episodes, because the rest of the show was totally worth it.

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  13. 13 lala25

    I too was unexpectedly blown away by the acting of Hwang Jung Min in this drama. What I enjoyed about him was the quiet subtle core of strength that he brought to the character. Great actor and I am looking forward to viewing his other works.

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  14. 14 KTV

    I totally agree with you. This drama drove me crazy at the beginning with Kim Ah Jong’s character. However, it has slowly drawn me into it and I totally enjoy it. There are few awkward moments but in general, this is acceptable. Thanks for the review.

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  15. 15 Icarusfalls

    I was one of those people who stopped watching after around episode 6 as quite frankly I was quite bored with it. I regret it now after hearing that it got better after episode 8.

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  16. 16 Samsooki

    Want to say hello to Dahee and JB. I am skipping the review however, until I watch at least a little bit of this drama.

    When we get to watch Accidental Couple, I’ll come back and cheer on Dahee and her very likely to be a very well done review.

    =)

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  17. 17 jing

    Hwang Jung Min is truly a verstile actor..I really loved him in this show…I also watched his performance in the show Chocolate,wherein he sang Red Sunset (the same one he sang in the housewarming party with Ji Soo)..and his voice was decent..it was good,..he can also carry a note…I hope he can do more shows that are lighthearted and funny…

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  18. 18 majata

    Gosh, I never gave this drama a chance, maybe because of the not-so-goodlooking male lead. But after reading your review, I’ve put this drama into my to-watch list. Thanks.

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  19. 19 ilovekangmae

    I remember Javabeans giving a short introduction of this series way back and how she pointed out Hwang Jung Min’s heartfelt performance during the first few episodes as Goo Dong Baek. I decided to take the plunge and boy, I’m glad that I did. This drama made me smile most especially during tough times. I smiled a lot, it seems that Dong Baek’s optimism and warmth has rubbed off on me. Things were a bit lighter and brighter; it was such a blessing indeed!
    I totally love this series, I even started recommending it to friends. :D
    Oh yes, I LOVE HWANG JUNG MIN! I’m an avid fan! :D

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  20. 20 reluctantbutaddicted

    Thanks for the thoughtful review. I agree, Hwang Jung Min was excellent. I will look for him in other projects now, definitely. The Sangchul and Minji actors were so good and had such presence (they made me smile every time they were on camera). The Jisoo actress was passable.

    I want to note this because origins, borrowings, and citations are important and I haven’t seen this mentioned yet (though maybe it has been on Korean sites): this is a remake of a French flim titled La Doublure. That was a feature film, this was a 16 ep drama, so clearly there are significant departures. The original needs to be acknowledged, however, and if you enjoyed this drama, you might enjoy La Doublure too (Gad Elmaleh was very good in the lead role).

    Between this and City Hall, it’s been a great couple of months. I’m enjoying Sons of Sol Pharmacy House, too (the singing interventions are hysterical, and the 3rd brother is just great).

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  21. 21 hanjanman

    I’ve been following this together with City Hall. I have a soft heart for comedies anyway so I tend to watch them all. I thought this drama actually had a better start than City Hall. It has immediately put us into how the story will develop from episode one. With City Hall, I was still at a loss at how the story would pan out at episode 4. This is the point where I just couldn’t get why the ratings are in City Hall’s favour. BUT, City Hall immediately turned around at episode 5-6 while Accidental Couple faltered on its good start and only picked up at episode 8. In the end, both dramas have found their audiences with Accidental Couple finishing off with decent double digit ratings.

    The (relative) success of Accidental Couple is mostly due to Hwang Jung Min. I am really surprised to find out (thanks, DaHee) that this is his first foray into kdramas. For me, he is in the same league as Kim Myung MIn and Park Shin Yang. He has made the character Gu Dong Baek truly his own just like Kim Myung Min did with Kang Mae in Beethoven Virus. I’m happy to say that there are a couple more actors who have given us memorable characters and simply nailed or nailing their roles this year; Kim Kang Woo as Chae Do Woo in A Man’s Story and Go Hyun Jung as Mi Shil in Queen Seon Duk. I wouldn’t be surprised if Kim Kang Woo, Go Hyun Jung and Hwang Jung Min are all in the Baeksang next year.

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  22. 22 mimmay

    Thanks for the review. I was wondering if I should give this drama a try, now I know I should just skip it. I actually have to sit through 7 eps (almost 7 hours) before it gets good? I usually only give dramas the first two eps before I decide to continue or move on. Maybe I’ll try some of HJM’s other work instead.

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  23. 23 Nea

    This drama truly was wonderful and like everyone else, I was surprised at how much I grew to love it. It was a drama that I turned on just to give me some down time from Story of a Man and it became my weekly obsession. I think it’s addictive for the simple fact that you will feel exactly as you described…”I always felt happy watching “Accidental Couple”. Its joy was infectious.”

    I loved every minute of this show.
    Thanks for the positive review. So thankful that it was a cheerful blessing to so many as well.

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  24. 24 bbm

    thank you for your review dahee, coz i gave up after watching the first 4 episodes, kangmo-his father-jisoo always made my hand itched to throw something at the TV screen and as much as i want to watch this drama, i love my TV even more :P
    when i see a scene with kangmo and his father my sole reaction was “GROW SOME BACKBONE YOU A*****E!!”
    maybe i’ll try to catch up, and hopeffully KBSW had showed all the bad episodes and i’m left to watch the good ones…

     (0)


  25. 25 funniebones

    Thanks for the review!

    Although the concept has been overcooked into a burnt steak, I watched it anyway. Despite my brother’s every day attempts to convert me over to watching Shining Inheritance instead, I found myself staying faithful for this one.

    I agree with you that watching it would improve my days, although it did not evoke the obsessive compulsive behavior Boys Over Flowers I used to suffer from.

    I found myself really awwwing over Sang-chul’s character. When he decided to jump on Dong Baek’s ship, I really found myself cheering him on as he cheered Dong Baek on.

    Overall, cute drama, and I felt that it did not overcook the overcooked concept. Just the right amount of bright and cheery.

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  26. 26 cosmopolite

    Appreciate the review. :)

    What was the “dining table” speech referring to?

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  27. 27 elise

    truly, truly enjoyed this drama…. i am so glad i watched it from week 1….i was treated to the brilliant acting of hwang jung min… HJM as Goo Dong Baek really grows on you, you will feel his happiness, his heartache and you can’t help but cry with him. What an AWESOMe actor!!!!!! No wonder he is considered one of the best! what surprised me the most in this drama was the pairing of HJM and KAJ, they have this chemistry that you feel not strongly at first but as the episode goes on it becomes stronger…. i also love the bro-mance of GDB and Sang Chul. I had fun watching their scenes together. I am also glad the writers did what they did with Min Ji and Sang Chul’s relationship. I would have been a little disappointed if they have them end up as more than in laws.
    I am missing this drama already, withdrawal syndrome probably…. i would just watch HJM’s over the rainbow performance over and over again….
    thanks for your review! I’ve been also following your blog for a while now… thanks

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  28. 28 yoonah

    #5, #26:

    HJM’s memorable acceptance speech at the 2005 Blue Dragon Awards when he won Best Actor for You Are My Sunshine:

    “I always say this to people… that I am nothing but an actor; because the real key is those sixty odd people, the crew and my fellow actors, who arranged this wonderful table for me to feast upon. All I had to do was just sitting down and cheerfully eating what they prepared for me, nothing more. But, for some strange reason, the spotlight only points at me now. And I sort of feel sorry about that. And thankful at the same time.”

    credit: MisterX’s review @ http://tinyurl.com/nwplto

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    • 28.1 johnandvan

      Thanks so much, now I know why I adore this man, thanks for posting. Humble, so humble…..bless him.

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  29. 29 Louie

    For me, Gu Dong Baek’s character is a fantasy. I say there could be no real person who would be as good as this character , but thanks to Hwang Jung Min’s subtle but amazing rendition, it made me believe that there could indeed be Gu Dong Baeks in the real world!

    This is one of HJM’s roles that people will remember for a long time!

    “Hwang Jung Min… (bow) we’re not worthy!!!”

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  30. 30 ilovekangmae

    @yoonah:
    wow! that was an excellent and heartfelt speech by Hwang Jung Min. I can’t help but admire the man, all the more. Thanks for sharing!

    @hanjanman:

    “For me, he is in the same league as Kim Myung MIn and Park Shin Yang. He has made the character Gu Dong Baek truly his own just like Kim Myung Min did with Kang Mae in Beethoven Virus.”

    I absolutely agree. Hmm, now I tend to favor these character actors who shine brilliantly because of their astounding performances even though they are not heartthrob material. :)

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  31. 31 epyc

    Thanks, Dahee, for this review. I’ll read it when I have a chance to finish watching the whole drama. I started this together with Brilliant Legacy and City Hall but dropped both AC and BL after 4 episodes. (CH is the only one I follow feverishly.) Kim Ah Joong, to me, is the weakest link here although I like her a lot in 200 Pounds Beauty. Too much a flower pot without the emotional pull to make me care for her character. Nonetheless, I do intend to see AC in full later on for Hwang Jung Min’s sake if nothing else.

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  32. 32 PrincelyLuna

    i believe Hwang Jeong Min is not a complete unknown before You Are My Sunshine and A Bittersweet Life. He’s already made a big name for himself in movies like A Good Lawyer’s Wife, Road Movie (playing a gay) and Waikiki Brothers to name a few. and yes … he may not have a great look but he is as an incredible and versatile actor. i just love his bad guy character in A Bittersweet Life.

    i have already watched the first three episodes of this drama. though his acting is good, i can’t say i like the storyline that much. and it beats me how did i find Kim Ah Joong awesomely gorgeous when i first saw her in 200 Pounds Beauty. anyways. thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on the drama.

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  33. 33 ruthie

    i hope u guys do a city hall review too… ilove that drama!

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  34. 34 Blue Lily

    I’ve been head over heels in love with Hwang Jung Min ever since the day I laid my eyes on him in ‘My Lovely Week’. And that love’s only grown bigger and bigger upon my acknowledgment of his other incredible roles in A Bittersweet Life, Black House, Happiness, You are My Sunshine… When That Fool came out, I was totally thrilled in anticipation because it is the very first drama he’s ever appeared in. Ironically, almost everyone around me just focused their mind on the come back of KAJ, and completely had no idea who was this ajjushi (old and plain man!) with a funny expression on his face luckily standing next to the pretty woman on the poster. And then came numerous silly comments on how this ajjushi is not handsome/young enough for KAJ. I was kind of… furious and more than ready to crush them with a super long speech on who is actually lucky to stand by who here. But then I stopped myself and decided to let some eye-opening truth speak for itself later. And here it is, HJM never let me down. His GDB made me laugh and cry so hard that I couldn’t remember when was the last time I laughed and cried all my heart out over a drama like that. Every single thing he did in That Fool was just so right, so subtle, so simple, so natural and so unique that it overshadowed all other things happened on the screen. Luckily, later of the show, his co-actors improved bit by bit and finally somehow managed to stepped into the light, making the drama much more enjoyable than it initially was. Gradually, I grew to love Minji, Sang Chul, Ji Soo, GDB co-workers, including Miss.Scandalous PKAe. Now, besides HJM, I’m in love with the whole drama and ready to re-watch it several times with the focus on the awesome chemistry of “fantastic four” GDB-HJS-HSC-GMJ. I really love the scenes they played together – so real, warm and funny.

    Last words to say, even though That Fool is not a really great drama, I am grateful to it for making my family and friends aware of HJM’s talent. His GDB just makes me proud to be his fan.

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  35. 35 Blue Lily

    I’ve been head over heels in love with Hwang Jung Min ever since the day I laid my eyes on him in ‘My Lovely Week’. And that love’s only grown bigger and bigger upon my acknowledgment of his other incredible roles in Black House, Happiness, You are My Sunshine… When That Fool came out, I was totally thrilled in anticipation because it is the very first drama he’s ever appeared in. Ironically, almost everyone around me just focused their mind on the come back of KAJ, and completely had no idea who was this ajjushi (old and plain man!) with a funny expression on his face luckily standing next to the pretty woman on the poster. And then came numerous silly comments on how this ajjushi is not handsome/young enough for KAJ. I was kind of… furious and more than ready to crush them with a super long speech on who is actually lucky to stand by who here. But then I stopped myself and decided to let some eye-opening truth speak for itself later. And here it is, HJM never let me down. His GDB made me laugh and cry so hard that I couldn’t remember when was the last time I laughed and cried all my heart out over a drama like that. Every single thing he did in That Fool was just so right, so subtle, so simple, so natural and so unique that it overshadowed all other things happened on the screen. Luckily, later of the show, his co-actors improved bit by bit and finally somehow managed to stepped into the light, making the drama much more enjoyable than it initially was. Gradually, I grew to love Minji, Sang Chul, Ji Soo, GDB co-workers, including Miss.Scandalous PKAe. Now, besides HJM, I’m in love with the whole drama and ready to re-watch it several times with the focus on the awesome chemistry of “fantastic four” GDB-HJS-HSC-GMJ. I really love the scenes they played together – so real, warm and funny.

    Last words to say, even though That Fool is not a really great drama, I am grateful to it for making my family and friends aware of HJM’s talent. His GDB just makes me proud to be his fan.

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  36. 36 bjharm

    I been wondering if I should watch this, afraid I been mainly interested in City Hall..:-)
    So read the review to see if I should start watching this show.
    First up, perhaps the fuss about the lead actor is that he is not the normal tall handsome Korean male lead and is more about ‘acting’ than looks. {something Taiwanese tv drama could learn from}.
    In many way it is the reverse of so many of the fairytail type Korean dramas so loved in the 2002-9 years, the ‘plain’ [cute] but sweet and brave ‘girl’ is replaced by a male version.
    What was holding me back was..will it make me smile or be full of pathos and drama…..so from your review I well give it a go once City Hall has done its run.

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  37. 37 Otk

    That’s a very good review similar to what I’d say!
    I really loved this series ! Kim Ah Joong and Hwang Jung Min were such a cute couple !!!!! I started loving/get addicted the series right after episode 8 where the couple stay in the same house.

    I hear stuff on a Season 2 but I don’t see any doors to it. Then again, even if Last Scandal ended last year with a pic-perfect ending, it also had a season 2 being planned.(which got cancelled) I don’t know if I’d like a That Fool 2, but I’d love to see these actors again!

    I gotta say though the OST use was limited to only 4 songs or so, I hated how all the endings ended ONLY with Lena Park’s theme song.

    Otherwise, I saw strong acting from Baek Sung Hyun(Sang Chul), I adored Min-ji !! and Park Kyung Ae made this series just plain crazy. I also loved Ji-Soo’s classy look, the first time when she was getting married, She looked very sophisticated and the dress spoke for itself but I kept questioning why they did not make her a necklace.

    Anyway, now I can keept going with Brilliant Legacy, and start on Partner and definately checkin out Swallow the Sun when it comes on (even if the preview looks too action packed and hollywood-ized)

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  38. 38 birdscout

    Thank you, Dahee for your thoughtful review.

    Like some others, I too stopped watching this after 4-5 episodes despite my admiration for the lead actor because of the lacklustre acting of the lead actress. Now, however, I will definitely continue and will check out other movies that Hwang Jung Min has been in.

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  39. 39 jandoe

    my MUM is totally in love with this actor and watches this show faithfully on KBS World each week, reminding me instead to tune it in for her! i agree that by the end of the day if we’re to look at it from a drama-junkie (my personal term, hehe nothing offensive here no worries) view it’s not really a gret big Standout drama- honestly it’s a little cliched and all that jazz BUT i totally agree that this guy makes it a total WIN.

    other than that, i don’t know about other people but personally this kind of plot (all this coincidental marriages sort of thing) always works for me :D

    and Sang-Cheol’s character, i actually do love him (pretty boy factor aside heh) cos his character keeps the story going and the relationship between the two main “attached” and while Min-ji’s character sometimes tend to keep me feel so annoyedddd with her, for the most part she’s bubbly and a great character for the show.

    i know i’m still only halfway through it but i agree with your reviews in general, really. so good job and thanks for writing this out! :)

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  40. 40 amy

    I totally agree with your review. This drama couldn’t have made it without him. I am glad that it reached decent ratings toward the end because I really wanted it to be successful since it’s HJM’s first drama. HJM never disappoints!

    I think the first time I began to notice him was when I realized that he’s the same guy who appeared in Waikiki Brothers, YMCA Baseball Team and Road Movie. He’s such a versatile actor who flawlessly camouflages himself in every role (at least in the ones I’ve seen) he plays. I hope he’ll come back in another drama in a more masculine and attractive role.

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  41. 41 maxon888

    Hwang Jung Min as Goo Dong Baek was the highlight of this show, what a joy, he was what kept me hooked….every time the show came on I had a wide grin in awe of how his character just drew me in…even my hard to please husband enjoyed the show…He portrayed such a gentle soul that always brought out the best in so many bad situations. This was really enjoyable. That angelic face that in reality could tempt anyone. I hope he does more dramas. Thanks for the recap. I’m glad many enjoyed this show too.

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  42. 42 dannielle21

    Good review!!! Both HJM and KAJ are really good actors(I am a fan). I hope to see another good show like this also shows from ah joong… By the way, i saw HJM in KBS – guerilla interview – and he was far from the character GDB but he really gave justice to it!

    I am sad now because I have nothing to watch.. I mean I like the feeling that twice a week I will watch this show in KBS – and replay it on the net… and it become habitual. but now, what can I do? LOL

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  43. 43 infatuated22

    I agree with you this drama wavered me through my dark and stressful past month! It perks me up evrytime I finished watching thism I also fell in love with hwang jung min that now I want to see his past worksm he was fantastic in this drama! He made me cry, laugh, and symphathize with him. I have so many favorite scenes in this drama but the one that rteally stuck out 2 me is gdb and the seallows rendition of over the rainbow! I think I was cring from laughing so har! Aww I’m going to miss another great drama! I’m looking forward to his new projects!

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  44. 44 ashtoh

    wow what a beautiful review
    hahaha u summed up what i want to hear about the drama
    thanks ^^

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  45. 45 polkadots

    A very insightful review! In retrospect, I did enjoy it. It was a good feel-good series. Although, I did absolutely hate KangMo here and JiSoo for a while. The lead actor is very good. I do agree that he is doing a one-man-show. I know for a fact that the series got it’s hype by Kim Ah Joong but the real gem of the show is Hwang Jung Min. Not a scene did he falter in being Go Dong Baek while I find Kim Ah Joong’s acting too lacking and temperamental, even for her portrayal of an actress. Her transition to the cheery girl from a cold actress is too fast. Almost as if it’s in a hurry to get back in the ratings game.

    I actually watched the first episode before City Hall but I got extremely bored and decided to watch the latter. I am now officially hooked by City Hall. But I finished Accidental Couple on it’s last week. If I had to wait weekly for episodes like the rest of it’s faithful followers, my patience and interest would pan out by the fifth episode.

    All in all, it’s a good series to watch but not great. I had lots of fun watching and adoring Hwang Jung Min. ^w^

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  46. 46 bjharm

    Well thanks to the review I watched it, it helped that it was nice and short run with only 16 episodes.
    ‘Fell good’ a good expression for it, other than the turn about in the sex of the roles it didn’t really offer anything original from many other comedy/romance dramas with poor honest V rich jerk theme just as I say the guy is the poor honest one rather than the normal girl. But that not necessary a bad thing because it was all done very well. And I sometimes feel at times some drama just try Too hard to be different and go astray instead. The bottom line in TV drama is making sure your watchers enjoy the show and fall in love with the characters, and while some may call this ‘dumbing down’ these things are made for the masses not the few.
    Watching it, it was fun to see certain set scenes or themes I could remember from other older shows {indeed the political aspect with the son getting married for his father good kind of gave me a City Hall feeling} but there also that tie scene that brought ‘Wedding’ to mind then the star fake marriage divorce and then marriage had to bring to mind ‘Full House’. All this just gave the show some feel good feeling from those classic shows a viewer may have, positively using nostalgia to good effect.

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  47. 47 atreyu112

    i am ok with the main actor, just i can’t stand Jisoo.. her character development is too slow and i prefer an actress who has more backbone and spunky.. oh well, thanks to Gu Dongbaek, this drama is nice to watch.. i love Go Dongbaek.. i wish i would find someone like him..

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  48. 48 wanvogue

    i just finish watching the last episode and sob..sob….honestly this is my 1st korean drama that i watch by accident!( miss few episode but manage to keep up with the story).Since then, i eagerly waited and make sure that the 2 nights i rushed to do the chores so that i can relax and enjoy the drama. Tho’ jitso is so ‘coool’ but dongbaek make the whole story worth watching…i like his smile and ‘naiveness’. Look forward for the new season as real married couple!!!!!!!!

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  49. 49 frankie38

    I really enjoyed this drama. I felt gratified in the end that Jisoo took responsibility for her actions at the press conference. It took her 16 episodes but the writers finally made it right for her.

    Of course, i was rooting for Go Dong Baek the whole time. I think they both learned from each other so that was very nice.

    I think a key scene was with her mother when she explained that in the beginning she put up the wall and then her friend was now putting up the wall. I just love how the walls all came crumbling down….

    Please just watch and enjoy….

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  50. 50 sephora

    i totally love and truly enjoyed this drama series!
    i equally loved both Kim Ah Joong and Hwang Jung Min’s portrayal of their roles.
    i loved all the scenes where Ji Soo & Dong Baek were together, plus when they’re with Min Ji and Sang Chul!
    love the OST.. i believe the script writing, planned scenes/ scene transition was solid.. great cast and supporting roles too!. all in all, it was a great production!
    i hope that there will be a Part 2/ Season 2/ -continuation of this!

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