Kolorful Palette: Red wedding [Shine or Go Crazy]
It’s amazing what a difference a title can make. If I hadn’t specifically been looking at historical dramas for the sake of drawing I don’t think I ever would have given this drama a second glance or even realized who was starring in it. Based on the title alone I think I would have assumed it was an extra low-budget weekend drama or a rom-com with a terrible premise. I can’t say it’s got the making of a favorite drama for me, but Shine or Go Crazy is actually pretty decent, although I still have no idea what the title has to do with the show itself. Perhaps something is lost in translation?
In a nutshell, this drama follows the story of a supposedly cursed Prince Wang So (played by Jang Hyuk) who can change his unlucky fate through a relationship with one of two women. I’ve only watched the first two episodes, but the first time he meets Shin Yool (played by Oh Yeon-Seo) she coerces him into a fake marriage to avoid marrying someone else (I’m hoping it becomes a permanent marriage eventually!). This drawing comes from shortly after that wedding.
Although their “wedding night” has lots of nice moments I primarily drew this because it’s not every day that I get to draw wedding clothes silhouetted in pretty light. Plus it’s always nice to see a pleasant red wedding (any Game of Thrones fans out there?). I also think this night was the most important part of the episode in terms of character development. After being told his whole life that he is bad luck, Wang So realizes for the first time that he can actually do some good in another person’s life (that seems like a pretty key revelation when it comes to making life choices). This specific shot is right before he leaves, when he kisses Shin Yool on the forehead. It’s not really a romantic kiss, but more of a thank you to Shin Yool for showing him his own value and changing his perspective. Of course he doesn’t even know what she looks like so it will be difficult for them to reunite, but she seems rather precocious and bold so I’m sure she’ll make it happen.
It’s sort of funny that they both went through with this fake marriage not knowing that the other was actually royalty. It hasn’t been revealed in the show yet, but according to descriptions Shin Yool is actually the last Princess of Balhae. Balhae is apparently a mixed Korean-Manchurian empire, but I know very little about it so I’m not sure what the implications are politically. This is a historical drama though, so I’m sure it’ll be dramatic!
In all honesty though, the tone so far hasn’t been all that typical. I find that historical dramas are primarily melo and action (even with humor mixed in) or fall firmly into the fusion category, but Shine or Go Crazy seems to fall in the middle. It’s quite light-feeling despite some pretty serious subject matter, but isn’t quite a rom-com either. That’s just fine with me since I tend to get tired of the endless wailing and crying that some sageuks feature, and tend to enjoy the fusion-y variety more if they feature a young cast (think Sungkyunkwan Scandal). I do think the danger of a middle ground is that it has the potential to be less memorable, but so far I’m digging the vibe and find it an easy drama to watch (sometimes when I start a sageuk I feel like I have to detangle all the knots in my brain to sort out all the history and characters). I wasn’t bored though.
It’s still too early to say how enticing I’ll end up finding the overall story, but so far there have certainly been some fantastic looking scenes and great instrumentals (both of which are large contributors to my enjoyment). Another thing I like in particular is that Wang So’s fate can be viewed as a curse or a self-fulfilling prophecy (and I like to think the writers did it on purpose). It was foretold that he would cause bloodshed, and as a result his own mother tried to poison him, but her plan went awry and instead Wang So’s brother was killed along with numerous staff. Is that really a curse, or would it all have been avoided if his mom didn’t believe in the curse and thus didn’t try to murder him? Does he actually need a woman to change his fate, or will his fate only change because he believes it?
Since last week’s attempt at digital watercolor didn’t go so smoothly, that’s what I decided to use again, and I think I almost have my settings back where I want them, at least for this one medium. Unfortunately I reset everything last week in a futile troubleshooting attempt, so every week should be an adventure for a while! I’m sort of liking it though, since fiddling around is helping me to discover some new things. I guess change is ultimately a good thing, whether it’s the result of software failure or forced fake marriage. I think the whole fake marriage thing looks like a little more fun though.
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- Jang Hyuk and Oh Yeon-seo consider MBC historical fantasy