[Revisiting Dramas] Full House: When it Rains, it pours…
by Guest Beanie
It all started because of Rain.
I was a dedicated Japanese drama, anime, and music addict, happily going about my business basking in the light of Japanese entertainment. I never considered delving into Korean entertainment until a Youtube suggestion list included the music video “Rainism.” Oh.my.Lord. I had to find more.
I preface this submission with the background mainly because I do deeply respect the person who blew me away with his singing, dancing, and acting to the point that I briefly abandoned my beloved Japanese everything to delve into the world of Korean dramas. Rain introduced me to Full House and I’ve never looked back since.
So, after many years of watching a wide variety of Korean comedies, historical dramas, action, romance, etc., thanks to this month’s theme, I stepped back to the past and watched Full House again—the 2004 rom-com about a spoiled movie star who moves into a house, kicking out the former owner who’s been scammed of her home, who then works as his housekeeper. She ends up contract-marrying him for appearance’s sake, and the two fall in love. I curled up in my comfy chair with some popcorn looking for the comfortable and fun I had experienced before. I remember all the reasons why I loved this show while having the same frustrations as I did before—the “I wish I could reach through the screen and shake him/her.”
As I was watching these characters again, I actually found myself picking up details I had missed in my first viewing. For example, the fact that Young-jae’s (Rain) clothing perfectly matched his pompous, spoiled attitude escaped me at first. I initially figured that 2004 was the year for “What were they thinking?!” style clothing. Yet, as he progresses through the show, his clothing and style change to something that fits his maturing personality. As I watched Young Jae’s growth, I also noticed Ji-eun (Song Hye-gyo) mature outwardly and inwardly. Her bubbly persona takes a beating throughout the show, but she finally steps into her own.
I still experienced those laugh-out-loud moments with the various antics the leads put each other through and found their chemistry endearing and wonderful as they learned what it means to be a family. I had happy tears in my eyes again from Ji-eun singing the three bears song… sooo cute. When they were together and not bickering, things were perfect. Ji-eun’s blossoming relationship with Young-jae’s estranged family was the icing on the cake. It was nice to see the empty space in her heart fill with their growing love for her, which brought Young-jae back to them. I still love that.
But that noble idiocy knew no bounds. Being new to Korean dramas the first time around, I had yet to really experience the full force of this trope. This show definitely leaned on the noble idiot actions way more than I remembered, but there it was in all its glory. If the leads had taken just a few minutes to really communicate instead of sacrificing their possible happiness… oh well.
The beginning of the story is based on so-called friends who get in the way every time our girl she attempts to take a step forward. It was bad enough to watch them rack up a friend’s credit card, then sell her house behind her back. Adding insult to injury, they spread rumors and discourage the leads from communicating. Ji-eun was either a saint or an idiot for having (and keeping) friends like them.
While I thoroughly enjoyed Ji-eun and Young-jae’s developing relationship and growth, I found the second leads just as annoying as before. Maybe it was because of my love for Rain that I never found Min-Hyuk (Kim Sung-soo) a threat as second lead. But now I feel he was friend-zoned from the start, and when I watched his lingering looks towards the leads, he knew it as well. As for Hye-won (Han Eun-jung), her continued selfish actions did nothing to build sympathy for her character’s plight, so I never could find a connection with her.
It took sixteen episodes to finally communicate with their hearts, but once they did, Ji Eun and Young Jae’s romance was adorable. Wrapped in a blanket the next morning, with those embarrassed, shy looks and swoon-worthy smiles made the revisit of this drama worth every minute.
Maybe it was fate that I stumbled across that music video. Whatever the reason, I am happy I did because it opened a new world of entertainment that I still thoroughly love.
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