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[One True Pairings] One Terrible Pairing


Coffee Prince

By Greenfields

Following from ChinguMode’s beautifully expressed idea of the One True Partnership, I thought I’d explore the other side of the coin: OTPs that are just wrong because it is not a relationship of equals; OTPs that are so unequal that many would never even meet in real life. And yet, because of the magic of K-dramas, we somehow find ourselves rooting for them. I present to you, the One Terrible Pairing.

The Income Gap, or the Power Gap in some dramas, is one of the most prolific fantasy romances found in dramaland. It’s usually the male lead in a position of wealth and influence; the rich and successful women of dramaland fall in love with teleporting aliens or naked firemen. But this trope exists for good reason: The target audience for romance is most often women. As a viewer, I watch rom-coms between male chaebols or CEOs or directors of companies, and a regular middle class girl like me, with a slight sense of discomfort and some guilt.


1% of Anything

“Sure, he’s young and in love with you now, but what about later on it life?” I scream in my head even as I squeal in delight, “As the years pass and your youth and beauty fades, will he not notice and hold your background against you? If things go south, his wealth and influence will most certainly work against you.” Exhibit A: the new 1% of Anything. We can all agree that personality-wise, the characters fit each other well; but the income and power gap between Jae-in (Ha Suk-jin) and Da-hyun (Jeon So-min) is substantial. It’s my guilty pleasure and I can wish myself into believing the pairing is possible, but in real life, I’d be pretty wary if the opportunity presented itself. (Not that I’m against it presenting itself?)

I loved Coffee Prince, but for most of the drama, Han-gyul (Gong Yoo) was Eun-chan’s (Yoon Eun-hye) employer as well as romantic interest. She needed the job so much that she pretended to be a boy. I know well that in real life, a person in a position as desperate as Eun-chan’s is not likely to be so lucky to find love with her chaebol employer.


Secret Garden

And those were the relatively nice chaebols. Let’s not get me started on the not-so-nice chaebols. In Secret Garden, Kim Joo-won (Hyun Bin) uses his wealth and influence repeatedly and constantly to show up where Gil Ra-im works (Ha Ji-won) and/or force her to do what he wants, regardless of what she wants. Despite the body-swapping and the big (attempt at a) sacrifice at the end, I couldn’t bring myself to support this OTP and watched only for some sadistic reason I can no longer identify. Actually, I can. Hyun Bin. Go figure.

The male lead doesn’t have to be a chaebol. Sung-joon (Park Seo-joon) in She Was Pretty was quite terrible towards Hye-jin (Hwang Jung-eum) — she should have punched him when he humiliated her in public at that shoot — but he did at least earn his position as the boss. A classic Ugly Betty, the drama also constantly emphasizes Hye-jin’s average looks in comparison to Sung-joon’s above-average looks. Clearly, she has to get a makeover at some point. The message I got was that she didn’t need to look good to win his love, but she did need to look good to be his “equal.” And yet, my appreciation for Park Seo-joon started from this drama. I do not understand this disconnect between my heart and my brain.


She Was Pretty

Of course, the male lead isn’t always the problem. In Fated To Love You, I found Jang Nara’s (an actress I otherwise love) take on Mi-young in the early episodes (after which I dropped the show) unforgivable. This was the most oppressed-of-her-own-free-will woman I’d ever encountered on television. Yikes.

There are dramas where I wonder what made the writers think this was a good romance to begin with. Why did The K2′s Je-ha (Ji Chang-wook) end up with the clearly traumatized-and-in-need-of-help Anna (Yoon-ah) and not the cool and sexy Choi Yoo-jin (Song Yoon-ah)? It was a downright creepy romance, and the whole time, she felt far too mentally young to be his love interest. It felt more like a baby duckling latching onto its mama than a romance between equals. Another drama that I was uncomfortable watching for a similar reason was Goblin (though I loved it). Ji Eun-tak (Kim Go-eun) was definitely far more mature than Anna, but Kim Shin (Gong Yoo) was simply too all-knowing and too all-powerful for me to support the pairing.


The K2

There are the strange OTPs that make little to no sense. It’s not just a case of the second lead being amazing and the first lead being not so amazing but awesome in his own way, such as in Jealousy Incarnate. These OTPs have a point — their love is so strong and so true that even Perfection himself could not get in the way. I’m talking about dramas like Reunited Worlds where it made zero sense for the thirty-year-old Jung-won (Lee Yeon-hee) to choose the undead Hae-sung (Yeo Jin-gu) over the very much alive and very sweet Min-joon (Ahn Jae-hyun). Hae-sung knew nothing of the new world and could hardly be expected to lead an independent life — surely someone would notice that Jung-won’s husband/boyfriend/lover is NOT aging like the rest of us. How is this healing and moving on with a partner? Though I suppose in a way, the point is the same: Their love was just that strong.

Finally, there are the dramas with what seem to me to be downright abusive OTPs. Boys Before Flowers and Playful Kiss are easy examples. I mean, in the original Japanese version of Boys Before Flowers, he attempted to rape her in an early episode. I can’t really comment on the Korean versions, which are hopefully different.

This is not meant to be a controversial essay; I just think these OTPs would be unlikely to ever meet in real life — and even if they did meet and fall in love, they’d be unable to survive the challenges of real life. The One Terrible Pairing that becomes my guilty pleasure. The wrist grab I forgive.


1% of Anything

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I think 1% of something [kang dong won] version does tackle the issue pretty well. In that drama, Dada family is so adamant that the couple will not be happy therefore they don't give her permission to date him at 1st. It takes 3-4 ep of Jae in try to sneak the time to get Dada and bring his grandpa for a formal request, he also needs to prove himself as capable by having a date curfew.
The new version [2016] is about 8 hours [16 ep 30 minutes], a lot shorter for exoring this view but they also show the part when Dada say how different their life in reality, how her mother warns her that married/relationship with rich people is not ideal for them and make dada realised that in front of other people, she really is nothing unless she wants to take up the chance and prove it.

I want to say this because I don't think this drama is about terrible pairing since it's really about how they only have 1% of success, it's unrealistic, the show is self-aware of that, put it in the plot, put it on the character and give their solution about that conflict.

The similarity for Jae In and Dada is that they both valued their work but with a different approach, Jae In wanting to be successful on his own but always has the risk with a lot of struggle and Dada that wants to chase the safe route that makes her happy. I think this is the relationship that works very well, the ambitionist one and the one who always has plan B to catch when one fails. Dada who can always discipline Jae In and Jae In who grows to respect Dada.

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1% does address the diffiulties yes - and they choose to proceed despite being aware of what lies ahead. But I still think it doesn't mean things will work out fine in the end. It's great that they know what they're going to face; but that doesn't mean they have already overcome the hurdle.

Also, I don't think they'd ever meet + power imbalance even if they do. The real life example of the lead actress of Return not being allowed to see her child (if I remember right), etc is an extreme example of what I mean can go wrong if things go south.

I should check out the original though, I've been meaning to.

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> But I still think it doesn't mean things will work out fine in the end. It's great that they know what they're going to face; but that doesn't mean they have already overcome the hurdle.

I made the argument to counter that 1% of something is a terrible OTP.
The 2016 version is the love only version OTP story while the 2003 version is the weekend family drama with another marriage [between Dafa's friend and Jae In's cousin] happened.

They did work it out in the end.

1. [2016] ends with grandpa donating his wealth to charity which makes Dada and Jae In doesn't have the chaebol big gap anymore. They accepted it and they work it out together,

2. [2016] Dada takes the challenge, she married him, she attends a social gathering and her mother in law is supporting her.

3. [2003] Dada and Jae In married in 20 of 26 ep, they have trouble because he keeps getting calls and works they have some talk then they resolve it.

4. Jae In family always tell him to take care of Dada when they see him working too hard and Dada helps the family relation seeing that Jae In's sister has something with his lawyer friend. They also established another marriage [between Dafa's friend and Jae In's cousin].

> The real life example of the lead actress of Return not being allowed to see her child (if I remember right), etc is an extreme example of what I mean can go wrong if things go south.

Things indeed can go south but in this drama, that called 1% of something, depicted the chance of the couple to meet, be together and actually perform a working relationship is far from a terrible pairing description.

OTPs that are just wrong because it is not a relationship of equals; OTPs that are so unequal that many would never even meet in real life. And yet, because of the magic of K-dramas, we somehow find ourselves rooting for them. I present to you, the One Terrible Pairing

Dada and Jae in are equal, that's the reason Grandpa thinks that it will work. If equal is all about position and wealth, then how people actually make a relationship?
The relationship is not always 50/50 but 80/20, 40/50 and fluctuating depending on their speciality. Dada can balance Jae In to make a working family and that the same as Jae In. It's not just about how an individual is worth but how they make their family,

Then the drama named itself as 1% of anything, it already addresses the chance of their meeting, therefore saying them not equal just based on their wealth [because the meeting is out of the equation] and not on their character makes it incorrect. Jae in never become the sole successor at the end. He didn't get it easy. The drama is not about the meeting but how they make it work, how that 1% grow into something more because they did work it out.

nb : not that I acclaim the drama is a masterpiece but this drama actually balance their character throughout the episodes to make people realised that they are...

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... to make people realised that they are matched because they matched even before they met. Only Dada will stand Jae In and discipline him, only Jae In will straightforwardly say his heart and persistent to pursue her, the story is about how they learned and make effort to make each other see that they indeed can work it out.

Regarding Go Hyun Jung, not including the divorce, I don't think she has 1% chance meeting her ex-husband, she was a Miss Korea runner-up in 1989 and the star in Sandglass [1995], one of the highest-rated, well-praised drama, everyone knows her and she married her ex-husband in 1995, the peak of her career, beloved universally, sufficient to say that she was far from nobody going into the marriage. What happens after the divorce is messy but how is that adequate for the drama that shows about family acceptance.

I agree that drama may not represent the reality that people can just marry chaebol and lived happily ever after but in 1% of something, the story is about how it happens, how the characters keep saying that they weill never work out, not out of silly smirk moment but also when they are being sincere, they don't think it will work either, it doesn't just about love, it's about learning to see each other, actually giving time to each other, be on time on occasion [they never late on appointment], actually asking for commitment, have trouble and persistant to overcome it. The idea is less likely about you'll meet chaebol but about how you can grow that 1% of chance as long as you keep trying, do the right things and be understanding.

TLDR : 1% of something is not a terrible OTP because it's not about meeting chaebol fantasy but showing how the character is self-aware, keep deny the idea of being together, understand that being together is better for them, work it out and that 1% chance can grow in term of relationship with someone, even to your rival cousin.

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*read all of it, but thanks also for the tl,dr*

Thanks for the response. ^^; Just want to say that I also think 1% was a great show; and I like your interpretation about it being more about how they a 1% chance and make it into something real.

I do agree that it is realistic and well-presented OTP. I love the show.

Money, wealth and power are of course, not all that goes into making a relationship equal; nor do I think one should 'know where they stand' or 'stick within one's own economic class' - I merely think that such a relationship will face very real problems in the future because of their differing social backgounds.

Re Go Hyun Jung, I meant - despite all of her own success, she was at a loss during/after the divorce. A woman in Dada's postition would be much worse off if things don't work out.

Nobody goes into a marriage expecting it to fail. They get married becuase they're in love and think it will last (err...excluding arranged marriages). And that's what we saw in the show. The family acceptance is good! I wish Dada and her CEO (no longer chaebol) husband all the luck as well.

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Congratulations on the publication of your One Terrible Pairing essay, @greenfields. ;-)

I've only seen the original version of 1% OF ANYTHING, and really liked it. Then again, I'm a Kang Dong-won fan. (Check out the film DUELIST for a truly terrible pairing between Sad Eyes and damo Namsoon, who are on opposite sides of the law. It's based on the same manhwa as the drama DAMO, but has an open ending after the most intensely smoldering tangos with swords you will ever see. The cinematography is gorgeous. Although no one ever sees them battle in the shadows again, I like to think that they survived and managed to pursue their relationship after working hours.)

Right, back to 1%: Although in real life the OTP's paths would have 1% of zero chance to cross, grandpa was the wild card who was looking for a granddaughter-in-law to help shape up his headstrong grandson. The last thing he wanted was a spoiled brat of a chaebol heiress. I don't recall exactly whether grandpa read the riot act to snooty relatives about giving the young teacher the cold shoulder, but I think he had to. It's par for the course with stories such as this one that commoners and serfs are treated as wangtta by their social "betters."

I recently began watching DISCOVERY OF LOVE [recently uploaded to KBS World TV on YouTube with nifty subtitles] for about the third time, and am reminded of just how much I disliked the female lead. She treats both the first- and second-lead dudes like crap, and has a huge chip on her shoulder. Eventually we find out why. She seems to be constitutionally whacked (and a congenital liar) and expects persons of a male persuasion to read her mind. And then gets bent out of shape when they don't perform flawlessly when she tells them to jump. She does weird, random stuff and expects others to clean up after her. She's also very manipulative, like Ji-ho in BECAUSE THIS LIFE IS OUR FIRST. I don't recall whether it's supposed to be a rom-com or a melodrama. I originally watched it a couple of months after live-watching OH HAE-YOUNG AGAIN to see some of Eric's earlier works. He comes off as an Grade A ass in the beginning, but the reality is quite different from appearances. Really, aside from the female lead (who succeeded in making me loathe her character), I enjoyed just about everyone else's performances. Kim Seul-gi was terrific.

SHE WAS PRETTY was my first case of SLS thanks to Choi Siwon and his undercover journalist. But for some reason the heroine insisted on staying with the thoroughly underwhelming and tsundere protagonist she had known since grammar school or whenever. The actor did such a good job that, like the female lead in DISCOVERY OF LOVE, I have one of my rare aversions to a drame professional. LOL. Color me petty. ;-)

Thanks again for a fun read, Greenfields! ;-)

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"expects persons of a male persuasion to read her mind and then gets bent out of shape when they don't perform flawlessly"

nice conclusion, that also my problem with Jiho

Re : she was pretty.
I am in the camp of not SLS, not because I like the male lead but Siwon's story just doesn't cut it.
It's the same as above albeit not as manipulative, misconception that without action and clear path, someone will reciprocate your feeling. I will probably like it if he had tried to win her over while the male lead, on the other hand, is showing her his gratitude for something, Siwon is inoffensive but not charming, it's a friendship and not romance like.

I think this also about the commenter below that "hate the fixing boyfriend" but imo the writer actually goes for "bring back their real character boyfriend".

It wants to show that in this world that only mean people seems to succeed, being back to who you are, the kind, the gentle one is worth it and she will guide the way for you.
People got bitter along this life, hating and acting because that's what always works rather than who they are and the story usually aimed to "bring back that view" that their way is missplaced.

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Thanks @pakalanapikake

I didn't watch all of BTLIOF and in fact, skipped scenes in the earlier episodes and also, stayed away from the db discussion on the Show because I wasn't enjoying it too much; so I didn't think of Ji Ho as being manipulative. At least not from the early episodes that I did watch in full. Most interesting point! Now I'm glad I didn't watch it.

Re She was Pretty, I agree with @kokkuri. I wasn't in Siwon's camp either for the same reasons.

Re: 1%, I've responded at length above hahaha ^^; yes despite grand pa being the wild card bringing them together, I want to say - isn't he generalising too? Also, will reiterate that I loved the show and hope they can make it work. ^^

Haven't seen Discovery of Love.

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Ji-Ho was manipulative? How? (not trying to attack your opinion, just curious)

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@poulpion,

For the short answer to your question about how Ji-ho was manipulative, start with @javinne's post that got the ball rolling on a discussion of BECAUSE THIS LIFE IS OUR FIRST. It starts with this post:

http://www.dramabeans.com/2018/02/one-true-pairings-when-death-would-have-been-a-happy-ending/#comment-3197424

IIRC, I was already smelling a rat and said so in the BTLIOF ep. 14 recap comments. Extensive and in-depth discussion of Ji-ho's covert manipulations continued in the ep. 15 and 16 recap comments.

I had been noticing small quirks in Ji-ho's character that made her an odd duck from the get-go. But when I looked at the overall pattern of her behavior and attitudes as the finale neared, I was deeply dismayed by what I observed. Your mileage may vary. ;-)

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@PakalanaPikake
Ah ok, thanks! I didn't watch episode 15-16 maybe that's why I couldn't see it. When Ji-Ho said they shouldn't divorce I thought "unnecessary plot device ahead, let's skip that".
Maybe I will watch the episodes in the future so I'm not gonna look at the spoilers for now :)

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*they SHOULD divorce, sorry

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What about Heard It Through the Grapevine? I think it's a great example of power imbalance that doesn't only concern the OTP but also their families. I don't know how many of you watched that drama since it wasn't exactly a mainstream or popular drama internationally but it was a masterpiece - a great satire, and a dark comedy about the rich, the powerful, the young, and the old. You'll be surprised that it wasn't just about teenage pregnancy and how well it portrays the ridiculousness of social hierarchy. And oh, feminism and women empowerment was also discusses, i.e., the strong female bodyguard character, the cunning and smart female secretary, and the wise maid. Best of all, the awesome female teen lead who just won't back down against the egotistical and rich adult characters. You'll be surprised of how determined she is in just about everything.

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Haven't seen it - not sure if I've even heard of this one. Certainly sounds interesting. Thanks! May check it out.

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I finally made an account lol. Yeah, you should definitely check it out, especially if you're familiar with PD An Pan Seok and writer Jeong Seong Ju. They created A Wife's Credentials and Secret Love Affair. Best of all, he is also the pd for Pretty Noona Buys Me Food. Those writer and PD love to tackle societal issues, especially in regards to women.

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Yay! Welcome to the DB fandom! ^^

I loved Secret Love Affair and am seriously looking forward to Pretty Noona! O_O Now I feel like I MUST check this one out! <3 Many thanks!

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"I scream in my head even as I squeal in delight"

"I do not understand this disconnect between my heart and my brain."

HAHAHAHUHUHU yes, the legit guilty pleasures kdramaland presents us with. Love this post, @greenfields!

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Thanks :D

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Also, Park Seo-Joon. I feel in love with Dong-ha in Witch's Romance (he's pretty well my perfect man) so I think I can't help loving Park Seo-Joon in everything. Kind of like Jisoo, who makes my heart skip a beat just by existing even if he is in Bad Guys 2.

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This is me watching a drama. Thinking of the ways the OTP might break up in the future.Except unlike the writer, I never enjoy it for the characters. Eg. Oh My Venus, Bride of the Water God, anything with a king, or anything where the couple fall in love because they are in a conflict-ridden situation. I have to see the couple face the both mundane and the extraordinary.
Sometimes the going away and coming back a better person does make sense. Although, it's much better when they do it mid-drama not 5 minutes to the end.

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Oh gosh I think I would be scared if I started thinking of all the ways OTPs would break up in the future... 😱

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LOL the 'mandatory forced separation' trope is what I call it. I sincerely dislike that one; but sometimes it does make sense, es. Also - I agree. I have see the couple face both the mundane and the ordinary.

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It's not kdrama but I did this for Doctor Who. Everyone was like 'Doctor2 and Rose!' and I'm like, "Divorced within a year".

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I actually never liked that pairing. .probably because it was so overhyped that I started kinda hating them..But I know I'm in the minority. .I preferred 9 with rose and 10 with Martha. Also 11 with Clara not Amy. I think people only liked the females who were little bit naive and helpless (just my opinion)..whoever showed a little bit of spine or brains were looked down upon.

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Good observation about Doctor Who guys! That's another show with romantic pairings I find completely unncessary - sad as I feel that the Doctor has to go through life without a romantic partner, can we not just find another Time Lord? They keep coming alive/dying anyway - around when I stopped watching Doctor Who, the planet had been discovered in a bubble universe. The Dalek's failed.

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I only ship the doctor with River!
I think you are talking about 11's final episode if I'm not mistaken. I watched 2 more seasons after that I think. Till Clara was there.

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@superwhopotterlock
February 27, 2018 at 12:34 AM

River Song FTW! ;-)

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@superwhopotterlock and @pakalanapikake - River Song makes sense. For one, she has some agency and capacity of her own. The doctor's companions on the other hand are like helpless children without him. In an early episode, maybe the 4th or 5th doctor early, a companion is actually abandoned on an alien planet and lives out her life there!

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@greenfields I haven't watched the old versions so I don't know. But you're right- river song can kick ass even the doctor's! Plus she's a half time lord or something so she can be with him longer-something the humans can't do.

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I have found my Dr Who soulmates

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@superwhopotterlock Ah yes, I love River x Doctor! ♥♥♥

I never bought in too much with the Doctor x companion because yeah, he's still the same alien who just regenerates, I just don't think falling for a companion is a good thing for him. The Doctor Who ship I adore the best though is Amy x Rory. Rory is just too precious. T_T

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A big yes. What I don't really like about both Clara and Rose is who the doctor is with them.
And #marthawasrobbed. Of what? I dunno

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When she left, I did feel like she was robbed because they made her fall in love with the Doctor (at that time, I was like "wait...is everyone going to fall in love with the Doctor?"). She could have had more adventures (even a second series), but she felt it was time to leave because she didn't want this one-sided love.

But she did come back as a badass member of UNIT. So she's got the best post-Doctor future so far. Rose was trapped in a parallel universe. Donna's memory was wiped. Amy was sent back to the past (sure she lived out a happy life...but I don't think I could go back to a time without cell phones and personal computers). Clara was killed, but she's sort of postponing death...?

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@weaselking yes I loved Amy and Rory too.rory was the only one who behaved normally like we would- nervous, scared excited etc at the right time...His exasperated expressions at the doctor made my day. And of course his love for Amy was epic.

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@misspeppermimi @greenfields
The breakup (or "mandatory forced separation" in Oh My Venus was soooo bad/awkward/unnecessary and definitely put a bad taste to the show's ending.
and don't get me started with BTIOFL ...

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*sends @kethysk a flagon of Yeon-hee and Heo Joon's homebrew Forgetfulness Potion*

I hope that helps with the BTLIOF Blues, Chingu! If it doesn't, there's always soju. ;-)

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"What show?" she said, having finished guzzling the Forgetfulness Potion
(thank you, @pakalanapikake lol)

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Agree with you. The separation and noble idiocy in oh my venus was absolutely absurd. But the one in BTLIOF was way worse and it ruined two of my favs characters ever. Me dreaming about it, wonderfully satisfied that some fictional characters could spend the whole drama telling the truth, simply and then that happened!!!😣😠

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"Why did The K2′s Je-ha (Ji Chang-wook) end up with the clearly traumatized-and-in-need-of-help Anna (Yoon-ah) and not the cool and sexy Choi Yoo-jin (Song Yoon-ah)?" I wondered this while watching that drama, I was a shipper for this couple, there was a tension and spark between them that was undeniable and it was wasted.

I only watched three outof the dramas you talked about, and besides the K2, I agree on what you said about BBF and Playful kiss, but my stronger feelings go to PK, at some point I was almost angry and disturbed with HaNi character, because this girl needed help, her only motivation in life was to be liked by this obnoxious jerk who treated her bad without any reasons, and even when he "showed" her affection he was mean and always degraded her and making her feel bad (even during their honeymoon) ugh... I think I would've included Tan and Eun Sang (I know this is not a popular comment, I'm used to everytime I talk about Heirs.) but I do think that it was a toxic relationship that shouldn't happen...

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I read the original Playful Kiss manga, on which the Japanese and Korean dramas are based and have read similar reviews about the drama so I kept in in. Similarly, I've seen the Japanese BOF.

Heirs, yes - I've read many reviews along the same lines so I haven't bothered to check it out. I can imagine tbe OTP must be just as terrible haha. ^^ Since I have no exposure to it at all though, I felt unqualified to include it.

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Heirs is horrible. Absolutely horrible. I didn't watch it, I simply read most of the recaps because I couldn't understand why people liked it. And not even the recaps were worth!!!

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I mean, the recaps were ok, in which they simply told everything we needed to know, but the story in itself is horrible, LOL... that is what I wanted to convey

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Hahaha yeah I thought it would be. Which is why I haven't bothered with the Show.

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I tried to watch Heirs but the first episode set in California killed it for me. K-Dramas are comically notorious for casting random bad actors as 'Americans' but that show was beyond the pale. It actually offended me.

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Yes. Honestly, I know Lee Min ho is super famous, and I hope I won't offend his fans, but I don't find him a good actor. I have refused to watch the legend of the blue sea, even though I love Jun Ji hyun, because of him! Even when he cries in a drama, I don't feel anything. And I also don't find him attractive. 😐.
As a story, Heirs was stupid, degrading, full of bullies and absurd... I really cannot believe they made money out of it, but well... you have things like Heirs in the korean tv and you have the south American soup operas!!! 😂😂😂😂

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I have a version of K2 in my head where Yoona drowns herself in a lake wearing a white nightgown like the horrid gothic cliche she is and Je-ha and Yoo-jin run away to Healer's South Pacific Island. My version is 19+

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HAHAHAHA That's extreme. I wish her a happy end where she actually learns how to live in the real world as an adult. How to adult. Which I'm terrible at, but whatever. Why should she not even have to try?!!!!

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Any chance you wrote it as a fan fiction somewhere? :D

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Ha! If I did it would be pure crack. Sorry, no I haven’t.

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Oh well. :D I will always have the version in my head.

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@luzitania
I wrote it just for you....

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Where? Where?

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@luzitania
On my fan wall. But it is VERY cracky. You're warned.

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By all rights, Yoona should have caused the death of the K2 villainess herself then transformed into an evil all-powerful villainess herself in the last shot of the series as she inherits the evil supercomputer..

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One of the ways the show subverted the Snow White myth was by saying that all Evil Queens were originally Snow White. They only became Evil Queens because that's what the world made them. But instead of doing that, they ended up with "if you find a nice man to take care of you, you never have to grow up!". Which is a truly groanworthy "happy" ending for several reasons.

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While reading your comment I thought immediately, let's blame the original Japanese Mangas! 😂😂😂 And then I read Greenfields answer, so there you go. I didn't eve watched the PK or BOF original mangas, but she did. There you go

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Yup - please pray for the hours I wasted watching the Japanese BOF drama (even MatsuJun and Oguri Shun couldn't save it for me); and reading the Playfull Kiss manga. :/ I may even have seen the first season of the PK Japanese drama, but I'd like to pretend I didn't. So I didn't.

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LOL 😂😂😂😂😂😂
I must recognize I watched playful kiss (basically because I fell in love with Jung So min, I mean her acting), and re-watch the parts I liked the most, but it was ages ago when I didn't know anything about the world!!! In regard to BOF, I didn't like it from the beginning. It felt unreal and simply wrong. So yes, I also have to believe it was not me, because it was not worth it.

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You know it's weird- I didn't like Playful Kiss and disliked Hani and I didn't like Jung So Min for a while because of that drama. It actually took Because This is My First Life and my love for Lee Minki for me to start and finish a drama with her in it. Her acting in her leading lady debut drama put me off, I realize now that it might have been the role and the writing that was at fault. On the other hand, for some reason It Started With A Kiss (Taiwanese version) was actually the reason I liked Ariel Lin, Joe Cheng and Jiro Wang.

It could be that I watched these dramas in two different moments of my life, and that's why I had had two very different reactions to the dramas that shared same story. I was still in High School during ISWAK and in College with PK so it could definitely be my immaturity that made me love ISWAK so much. And that's why I haven't gone back to see ISWAK because I don't want to ruin fond memories I have of that drama.

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ISWAK was my very first Asian drama. I was in 7th grade when I watched it. I have not seen any of the other iterations. I honestly do not think I would like ISWAK if I were to go back to it today—the way I interact with my TV shows and fiction in general is just so radically different from back then. I’m just not a fan of those character archetypes anymore. However, it introduced me to this wonderful world of dramas and I have to thank it for that. Also, it made little 13-year-old me feel ALL the feelings. So it did something right!

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I've watched the second season of ISWAK a number of times. I was always turned off by the first season. I can't deny, however, that the second season is also full of problematic elements. That can't be denied, and yet there are still many things that I enjoy about the second season.

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I adore They Kiss Again. In part because of the problematic elements. I like what it says about happily ever after. That you don't magically become different people just because you have a ring on your finger. That all the things that kept you from being a couple for the first 20 episodes of the story are still in play, but you figure out how to work through them because you love each other.

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I agree. What I also appreciate about the second season is that Zhi Shu comes to realize just how much he also needs Xiang Qin. Even though there is no magical personality transplant, he grows so much.

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I agree that WHEN you watch the drama really plays a role in whether you like it or not. I saw ISWAK when I was a college underclasswoman and loved it. I think the message of "if you try hard enough, you'll succeed somehow!!" really resonated with me. But since then, I'm more like "even if you try your best, if you don't have the skills or even a knack for it, it won't work. Sorry kid. Give it up and do something else." I didn't watch PK, but I did end up watching some episodes of subsequent Japanese and Taiwan remakes, which lightened up on the incompetent, doormat-y aspect of the heroine.

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You can also see Jung So Min in FATHER IS STRANGE. She is one of my favorite actresses. And Because This is My First Life may be the most perfect romantic comedy of all time. I think that the reason you did not like Playful Kiss is because, as you know from having seen the Taiwanese version of this story, the Koreans cut the story short- which means you never get to see Ha Ni develop as a person. An even better version of the story is the Japanese version Mischievous Kiss- Love in Tokyo.

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"I do not understand this disconnect between my heart and my brain."

SAME, GIRL, SAME! I don't even know how many times my brain is firing off with "Um, this is scenario wrong" but my heart is all "Whooooo cares, it's fake, swooooooooon"

In all seriousness, you made very valid points. There are many dramas I have dropped because a plot point just doesn't sit well with me while there are others who have questionable moments and I continue to watch for reasons I can't even begin explain. Thank you for your post!

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"There are many dramas I have dropped because a plot point just doesn't sit well with me while there are others who have questionable moments and I continue to watch for reasons I can't even begin explain." Yup. Only in K-dramas. ^^

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Love this article, @greenfields! Especially the beginning about the power gap. This is actually why I love me a good noona romance. They take the power imbalance (and just gender roles/expectations in general) and flip it on its head. You mention that a possible reason that these sorts of unrealistic tropes are so common is because the audience caters to women and it’s kind of a fantasy for many, but I think noona romances are the same way even though the roles are flipped. I think that a lot of women love the idea of being the career woman, the breadwinner. That doesn’t often happen in real life even today, so I think that seeing it portrayed on TV gives some of us a sense of satisfaction that we aren’t likely to experience in the real world. But I say this as a girl in her early 20s who basically isn’t a noona to anyone... LOL.

Of course, the best, healthiest relationships are usually those between equals, but messing with the power dynamics in fiction can be fun.

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I'm the same with Noona romances. Even though I can only think of one that was well-written (and that was I Hear Your Voice, which - not that well written) they're still my catnip because they're the only kdramas where the power dynamic sits right with me.

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Agree with you ladies! I love noona romances for the same reason - they are my catnip, pretty much. ^^; And I wouldn't mind a noona romance in real life *cough* Yoonki *cough*

@chingumode - what about Witch's Romance? Even though the second half was pretty ridiculous and I skipped over much of it, I thought it was a well written noona romance?

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Parts of Witch's Romance were really well done. The characterisation in particular was great. The male lead was the epitome of perfection for me. The female lead was possibly the best female character in kdrama. But I had two major gripes with it:

1. The pacing was way off. She stayed with her ex for far too long for reasons that weren't well enough explicated and I got bored and annoyed with it

2. After an awesome beginning, their skinship got kdrama'd. And by that I mean, after their encounters early on I thought "when these two finally get together they're going to explode" and then the writers wimped out and opted for cute.

For both of those reasons, the show sort of limped to its finale in a way that felt anticlimactic*.

*she wrote about almost every kdrama ever written

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Hhahahaha I so agree with point no. 1 - I mean, it's why I skipped over half of the second half. ^^

True, true - that skinship at the beginning was a rare moment of Kdrama glory. :D :D Hilarious that scene, where she saw his age on his ID card.

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@greenfields

I think I've watched that make-out scene/courtroom fantasy/age freakout 10 times. It's sexy and hilarious at the same time.

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oh lord @leetennant (ChinguMode), I am sooo in agreement with you on Witch's Romance !!
I've re-watched it about 2 - 3 times and each time, the same 2 observations ruined it:
1 - the arc with the ex that never seemed to end
2 - the dazzling mature skinship that got killed and replaced with the typical "we're 10 yrs old" kdrama blah...

I am glad I'm not the only one who felt that way about an otherwise great Noona romance !

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@kethysk
I read a comment somewhere that said, "I loved all their conversations in the courtyard" and I yelled "They're in the courtyard so the writers don't have to deal with skinship!!"

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Totally agree with you about Noona romances. I had one myself in RL and it was WONDERFUL. My favorite K-drama Noona romance has to be I Need Romance 3. Oh, it's a sweet potato of a story and the love feels so genuine. Some of the BEST kisses in k-drama history too, which is always a blessing.

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Oh Oh Oh! INR3 was amazing, Sung Joon *swoons* Even though we get no real backstory on him and he's just this amazing guy. He's amazing. *swoons*

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My personal favorite noona romance is Dal-ja’s Spring. It definitely isn’t perfect—it’s a few episodes too long and I hated when the rage-inducing second female lead was tacked on at the very end—but Dal-ja was such a well-developed character who saw so much growth by the end and I think it did the best job that I’ve seen at exploring the themes inherent in the noona romance genre: the lives of working women (not just Dal-ja), societal expectations about gender roles in a relationship and marriage, etc.

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Also, well said about noona romances being aimed at women and catering to a different fantasy! Yes ^^ I also think they're a way of bringing in older women viewers as well, who may be put off by all the younger heroines. The younger female viewer can still enjoy the oppa. Or like me - take comfort in that fact that there's hope later even if I fail to find someone now. ^^ (or *cough* Yoonki is 3 years younger *cough*)

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Hey @Mindy, I am a noona. Not an Ajhuma, but definitively a noona and I love noona romances! But I agree with what the girls have said. I have not watched too many noona romance dramas in order to be useful to this discussion, but I agree it has to be well done, where the male lead brings something powerful to the relationship and not only the power of youth and goodlooking factor.
I also agree that for a relationship to work out for ages there must be a relative equality between them, not necessarily monetary, but definite respect and values.

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Jealousy incarnate though
I got great second lead syndrome i was so disappointed. I dropped the drama when i realised the second lead was really the second lead
Lol
I love JJS but how could she choose him over the awesomely perfect go kyung pyo (there characters i mean) ???????!!!!
It's truly beyond my comprehension

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Hahaha exactly. The point of these OTPs, imho, is to show that the love between the OTP is so incredibly strong. But then again, I thought JJS was a more realistic option - the power imbalance strikes again with GKP's character. I prefer her with JJS, but watching the show it was hard to believe she'd make that choice: look at how perfect the other man was!

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Oh I loved Jealousy Incarnate because I never bought into the perfection of GKP. He looked too young compared to the other two and that made JJS the obvious choice. If he'd looked the same age as the others I might have had SLS but now not so much.

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There was something about how paper-perfect GKP's character was that made me ship her with JJS as well. He was bland. I think the show was making the point that completely perfect is actually kind of boring. Which is good because rich chaebol fashion designers who do all the housework do not exist in real life.

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I wasn't very pleased in the beginning that Pyo Na-ri also had feelings for Hwa-shin because it felt like his were more like lust and jealousy. But it kind of melted when Hwa-shin received his full penance for his cockinesss and ambition.
Haha your opinion about Jung-won's absoltue perfectness made me remember when he and Hwa-shin solely went to their mutual ex's wedding to ask which of them she liked best, and she answered it was Hwa-shin because he always put her on edge so she just really wanted to change his attitude!

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OMG.... Sameeeee......!!
I was so bitter with the second lead was really 'just' a second lead. A wasted good SL character!! I mean I know the reason for not chosing GKY was because he is too bland. Perfect but bland. But he is a nice guy, ready to fight for her love and super sweet. Wasn't that enough? At least gave him an ending where he met a nice girl who loves him too... Damnit!!

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Ok, so I liked GKP in the beginning of the story. Sure he was a little bland, but he was kind. My issues with him (and honestly JJS too) came later in the drama.
As you said: "But he was a nice guy, ready to fight for her love and super sweet."
Both of them were literally just fighting with each other and would disregard how she actually felt at times. The battle in the mud (was funny) but also most representative of this. Just because someone 'won' that fight, would that really mean that the 'prize' was the girl? What about what she had to say?
Sorry if this is an unpopular opinion, but I honestly took issue with parts of that drama.

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Except that was the point. Of the drama and of that scene.

It's funny because I literally just typed this in another thread. They're having this fight through all this mud while she's utterly oblivious and then when they finally catch up to her, she's covered in muds and octopus and screeching at them because she lost their catch. If you wanted to demonstrate that when men behave like this it has literally nothing to do with the woman involved, that's the way to do it. And that was the show's point. GKY's character often verged on Nice Guy. He may have been kdrama-paper-perfect but he had a lot of growing up to do. Both of them did.

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I think we agree, but you are better at expressing this opinion. I was trying to say something similar. The point being made really was that their fights had nothing to do with her. And to me, this made GKP's character less of a "nice guy," and I started to dislike him because of his actions. I liked that the drama was addressing this common drama issue, but I felt that in some ways it could have done so better.

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@rinny
Jealousy Incarnate suffered a lot from the extension. I actually thought it was an amazingly-written drama for most of its run. But 24 episodes were about 4-6 episodes too many and it lost focus. A victim of its own success I guess.

I admit I find it unexpected that so many people have second lead syndrome with it because I thought GKY's character was written as a nice guy with Nice Guy overtones. He was the classic representation of the kdrama lead in that he was the wealthy, handsome, young chaebol who was willing to defy his parents for LOVE. So having him as the second male lead subverted that nicely. And because he was the SML, you could now see he was also petty, childish, spoilt and a bit entitled. Which all kdrama male leads are but that gets glossed over because they're the male leads and because of the fantasy element.

In that respect, I thought Jealousy Incarnate was brilliant. It's in my Top 10 list and sometimes even makes it to Top 5 depending on my mood.

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Wow, your latter post and point of view is rather spot on
I'm now wishing i gave JI a try instead of dumping it because it didn't different follow the kdrama status quo.
I'm embarrassed for doing that...*hiding face in shame....

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I was nodding all along to your post, Even though I haven't watched some of those. BOF is my first Kdrama and not knowing how these serials are and what to expect, I dove right in and finished it even though there was this niggling feeling in the back of my mind that this isn't right. You are right- I guess the reason why we watch these, especially me is because we know that no rich chaebols would fall for us in real life and we live vicariously through these heroines.
Having said that I guess most of us or atleast my brain has an excellent defense mechanism- I enjoy it while it lasts but then forget about it. I guess my brain doesn't want to remember all the horrible things the guy did to the girl and still in the end she went to him or the pairing is so incomprehensible in real life that I don't want to give myself false hope. Of course that means my all time top 3 shows are ones where this problems don't exist or are overcome in a way that I can accept and these are the shows that I remember for a long time and even like to rewatch- the reply series(97 and 88), BTIOFL and JBL.

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Hahaha a lot of people started with BOF. ^^ That's an excellent defense mechanism. But most important, your choice of favorite shows is wonderful ^^ those are indeed partnerships. At least, for three - I haven't seen 97 so can't comment.

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97 is so good! Definitely the best Reply OTP, in my opinion. But I’m biased. I love both SIG and Eunji to death.

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*applauds* Well said indeed @greenfields
The power imbalance is something dramas can’t seem to get away from ~ I think that’s why I have started to prefer slice of life shows, where everyone is on equal footing, just trying to live life.

But this trope exists for a reason, just like you said. The fantasy is that if you are plucky enough, hard working, honest and cute you will get the handsome rich man of your dreams. What’s more, you’ll even reform him ~ for you he'll transform from a jerk to a romantic hero, because you can understand each other in a way no one else can.
That’s the story girls are grown up on, in books, in movies, and yes, even in dramas. The heroines are the every woman (if she can get a chaebol while being that naive and clumsy obviously so could I in similar circumstances), the guys dreamy Mr Rochester and Darcy types, the everywoman and the ideal.
It’s just unfortunate the fantasy includes power plays, though the upside is that it gives us wrist grabs and heart pounding moments. I’m there with you on the heart-brain disconnect. 😅

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I’ve also begun to really appreciate slice-of-life for that reason! That all started with Answer Me 1997 for me, which is still my personal favorite. This past year or so has really cemented my love for such stories with shows like Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo, Age of Youth, and Because This Life is Our First. No chaebols, no Candys. Just stories with regular people living their regular lives.

But I have to say... wrist-grabs are definitely not an upside for me! 😅

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Hehe, only I’m not a big fan of wrist grabs ~ I’ve had enough real life being jerked around by my arms to be charmed by it (biological older brothers have never been as charming as fictional oppas, though they do show off many of the jerk qualities)

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Oh no, I was saying the same thing! Definitely not a fan of them, lol. I will never understand them and at this point if a drama has too many (or the hero is just too forceful with the heroine in general) I am SO tempted to drop.

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Agreed, I caught your meaning the first time ~ I meant to type “honestly” not “only” before 😅

I’m at the place where I watch enough dramas that I don’t feel bad being choosy. Although, I do still love a good chaebol getting put in his place. The comeuppance has to happen satisfactorily for me to be behind it.

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@hotcocoagirl and @mindy
oh the wrist grab... ggggrrrr!!
and it was exactly because of its lack of wrist grab that I fell deeeeply in love with BTIOFL !
(and then they spoiled it but...)

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There have been many great wrist-grab-less dramas lately and I’m totally here for it.

That’s why I was so put off by the man-handling in episode 2 of Radio Romance. I thought we were OVER that, dramaland!

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I love this discussion. Yes! I also loved BTLIOF the first 14 episodes, but we already know how they ruined it. 😩😖😒

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And Just Between Lovers :-)

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The only reason I didn’t mention JBL is because Gang-doo’s life after the accident was too tough and sad for me to consider “regular” 😅 But he and the characters who surrounded him in that world provided for some interesting exploration of the sometimes seedy “bottom rung” of Korean society.

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Bingo. It's the Darcy story - he has everything in the world but a good personality and that keeps him from getting the girl, so he changes himself FOR HER. I fall for that story every time *swoon* 😍

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The thing about Darcy is that he mainly behaved like a jerk because he had to spend an evening in a ballroom with women fawning over the guy who seduced his under-aged sister and he can't tell anybody about it to protect her reputation. That would put even a saint in a bad mood - which is what makes Jane Austen's writing so great.

I love it when the 'jerk' characters actually turn out to be decent people who just behave badly because of the situation they found themselves in

A guy marrying a girl but who has locked his first wife up in the attic? Who is only marrying the girl because she's a penniless orphan and nobody will protect her and therefore he'll get away with his bigamist wedding? Not so great.

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Love the Darcy reference @hotcocoagirl. Also ladies, what's this story about a second marriage with an orphan while the wife is locked up? That's... terrible!! :/

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That's basically the story in Jane Eyre. Paraphrased in a way that doesn't read so well for Mr Rochester.

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Ah I haven't read Jane Eyre - despite it being such a famous classic and all. ^^; Now I definitely won't.

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I remember reading Jane Eyre so well ~ because I read half, then put it down and didn’t pick it up again to finish until a year later. It was like one of those dramas you watch halfway through, then forget to finish until much much later and it sits languishing on your watch list. 😹

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lol

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I partly agree with the Jane Eyre reference: I did not like the concept of Jane Eyre book as such but I must disagree with the part you mention of Rochester marrying Jane because she was a penniless orphan etc. He tried to marry her because he loved her and wanted to be with her. He would probably do the same even if there was not such a huge power gap between them.

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I might have exaggarated my plot description for comic effect :P But, I think that whether he loves her or not is beside the point.

His wife was still alive and in an era before divorce he was committing a crime by marrying again. I think he would not have dared to do that had she been from a good family and with the resources to check out his background. He does actually say something like that.

He might have offered some other arrangement to her as he loved her and wanted to be with her (he did had a child from another relationship) but I think he would not have entered into a bigamist marriage.

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인정 injeong :-)

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I agree that Jane being orphaned played a role in Mr.Rochester even attempting to push through the bigamist marriage. I was in love with the book when I first read it at 14, but fell out of love once I realized that he was going to render Jane his mistress and their children illegitimate in the eyes of society.

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The ending did flip the power gap, and I feel like it’s implied that was the only way it could be a happy ending ~ Jane is independent, with her own money and future, and chooses to come back for Rochester, who had lost much of his money and power. The happy ending is them as equals ~

Personally though, I hate the way Rochester openly flirts with other women and uses his power and position because he wants Jane during the middle of the story.

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Also, he finally married her after the fire and becoming a widow and she not being a penniless orphan anymore. But I agree that the first time he tried to marry her was not right, with the first crazy wife in the attic. That being said: I actually recommend you, @greenfieldsthevegetable to read Jane Eyre, not 100% because of the story, and now you are actually being spoiled about it, but because of the way it was written. It is a very well written masterpiece. I would read it again anytime.

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I second that ~ despite my criticism, I still think it a wonderfully written book that is definitely worth reading. 😊

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Your comment made me remember an author who said her favorite Bronte sister is Anne because her male leads are nice men who don't lock up their wives and who swear revenge just because their loves didn't accept them ;) Her male characterization makes sense because it was Anne who had to take care of Bramwell, their acoholic brother.

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I feel this is appropriate to this discussion:
http://www.harkavagrant.com/index.php?id=202

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That's excellent!

I feel that's me watching kdrama lol

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oooomg .... faaaaabulous 😂

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Lol this was actually the SAME comic strip the author used as an example!

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I liked Anne... But for some reason I loved the twistedness of Emily's Wuthering Heights.

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I love Wuthering Heights, even if it has a total alpha male and makjang antics if it was translated into a drama lol. When I first read the book, I admit that I did find Heathcliff attractive for he is very much the angsty, dark male lead and how he was passionate and obssessed about his love for Catherine. But as I grow up, I am more inclined to a patient, considerate Edgar.

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Ah, but Darcy had a reputation for a bad personality in Meryton before Wickham showed up ~ Darcy is a classic chaebol that is too caught up in his family drama to realize he’s being rude to the people around him. Also he doesn’t enjoy meeting new people, until he falls in love and starts making an effort.

I agree with the trope of someone being seen as a jerk at first because we meet them on the worst day of their lives, so of course they are angsty and selfish.

I’ve never been a Jane Eyre fan ~ though some of the movie adaptations are worthwhile, the insane wife cliche that makes affairs with married men okay is ridiculously overused (I’m watching Downton Abbey currently on my British drama front)

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Well people were fawning over his best friend and his best friends money after all it's in the first sentence of the book: "It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife" and so the society mamas were all over them, if I were him I would be annoyed too.
I think the reason that he is most reedemable after his boorish reaction in the first half was the fact that his servants were treated well and in turn they thought the best of him. After all: If you want to know what a man's like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.

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Agreed ~ no one wants to be wanted just for their money.
I always read Darcy as someone who is kind of introverted and when pushed into social situations with people he doesn't know reacts by either avoiding or acting intimidating.
Elizabeth had the same reasoning as you, it was at Pemberley she realized that he was much more than the guy who didn't want to dance (this was after of course his letter had cleared up Wickham's charges too) ^_^

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Totally well said. Totally agree with you. The point is not wether you have money or not but how you treat people around you, how do you treat your family, are you a spiritual and cultivated person? Do you have values? Theses are the most important things in both men and women.

I have never fancy a chaebol whether is like the Koreans or Americans or these British guys in the XIX century who were the portray of perfection. (Mr. Knightley, from Emma -Jane Austen- for instance). I simply cannot believe they exist where(so)ever.
But then again, in order to "invent" an OTP and sell me a good story, please Dramagods, I also ask you a combination of reality with some twist of whatever fantasy you want to use: humor, creativity, romantic squee-like behaviour, lots of goodlooks (that we know such personalities never come in such packages but we will believe you for 16 hours) and again, a margin of equality: let it be material, spiritual, emotional or intellectual. Is it too much to ask??

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@minnetter your last line reminds me of Harry Potter. It's what sirius said to harry. Nice way of incorporating that line.

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Yeah, Darcy wasn't a jerk at all. He was actually an honourable, intelligent, generous man. His one flaw was pride (obviously, it even said so on the tin!) and that didn't even translate to arrogance overall. Really, he didn't change very much at all. He just learned that his pride shouldn't be the overwhelming driver of his behaviour and that other people had pride too, even if they were temporarily impoverished.

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Well said - what you say about the trope and the fantasy it allows its viewers to live is exactly what I had in mind when I wrote this essay. *high fives*

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*high fives back*
Oh, I posted this above but want to make sure you saw this (one of my favorite comic strips did one on this subject):

http://www.harkavagrant.com/index.php?id=202

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🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 thanks for sharing - this is hilarious. Clearly Anne has missed the most important boat of all. And continues to miss it till this day!

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Anne would have a hard time with the majority of kdramas hehe 😹😹

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I love how she gets more and more annoyed with each panel; until she's just standing there in a sullen huff at the end. 🤣🤣🤣

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"It was a downright creepy romance, and the whole time, she felt far too mentally young to be his love interest. It felt more like a baby duckling latching onto its mama than a romance between equals."

I was reading this sentence and was itching to get to the comments to say that this is EXACTLY how I felt about Goblin. Then I saw Goblin mentioned in the next sentence!

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Yup. haha it's just that I liked Goblin quite a bit if I skipped over the somewhat-icky (imo) romance, so the focus of that was on The K2. ^^

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I understand 😄

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I personally think that there were two ways to handle the Goblin dilemma. She needed to be 19 for plot reasons, so either mature her or demature him. But he's an immortal seriously old dude. But they still needed it for the love story to work. So the Cinderella/candy story came along and Kim Shin had to turn into an emotionally immature man. After all, he would have married a girl her age in his own time period. And he wasn't too bright in the first place.
I have no idea what type of verbal(literal) vomit this was

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Here's the thing: Goblin would still have worked fine if her job as his "bride" was to kill him. No romance, no creepy Sugar Daddy vibes. The show ended when they defeated the evil ghost thing (my memory of the plot is vague because of all the vomiting and fast forwarding). The Goblin died, people were sad but they moved on with their lives. No memory losses, Trucks of Doom or school uniforms required.

The alternative was to have another time jump. Which is what i was expecting at first. They had birth, 9 and 19 and I was originally expecting a time jump to 29 to make it less creepy. And then that time jump didn't happen.

We could ask ourselves why this wasn't a romance between a 29 year old woman and the Goblin who dies but then comes back when she's 39. But I think we know the answer.

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When I still thought that the job of the 'bride' was to kill him, I thought that the choice of the naive high-schooler was a touch of genius.

Because she was going round thinking it was going to be all rose-petals and puppies and unicorns, but we knew better: her job was actually to allow him to die. That discrepancy between her naive view of what being a 'bride' was and what the reality was going to be, was great.

I thought that maybe you needed someone young to actually do what he needed her to do (ie kill him). That whole 'old man being slayed by an innocent child' worked well.

And then it totally didn't go there, and oh right, it was rose petals and unicorns after all, and it was all kinds of wrong and I stopped watching it.

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@cloggie
Goblin was slow and boring. But at the beginning, I also thought they were going to do this great inversion of the 'destined' trope. I thought the show was clearly saying that this relationship would never work in the real world and that she would perform her duty of killing him and then find ordinary love with a nice boy her own age. That's actually why I persisted despite the fact there was acres of text when nothing happened and the screenplay was self-indulgent and pretentious and I was bored as anything.

And then they threw all the in-universe rules out of the window and started prancing around on unicorns with rainbows in the sky and I started vomiting. I did go to the end but I fast forwarded a lot and yelled a lot and that final scene was just awful.

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@chingumode, I'm keeping my sanity by dropping dramas once I get icked-out by them. Or once they turn bad.

I think on average I finish one drama out of three. Because rather than persevering with something I don't like, I can be hopeful about a new shiny drama (that I might end up not liking either lol)

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@cloggie

If I start something I usually try to finish it. But I've gotten a lot more brutal lately with shows because there is just so much content around. Those 20 hours could be spent on a show I love and want to rewatch.

Having said that, I often get curious if people seem to love something and I can't work out why. I keep tuning back in hoping to see what they see.