13 June, 2012

Ode to Kim Boong Do

[For those of you who have not yet watched Queen In-hyun's Man, and if you hate SPOILERS, read no further. If you want the spoiler free review, then read our soon to be posted review, and come back to read this once you've watched the drama. Once you've watched the drama, you should also check out the most spectacularly awesome Facebook fanpage for QIHM.]

Queen In-hyun's Man (QIHM) might just be the best drama I have seen so far, and I suspect maybe ever. To quote some Mary Poppins, it really was "practically perfect in every way"; or we could name it the "agony and the ecstasy," though perhaps Michaelangelo might not think QIHM is as perfect as the Sistine Chapel. I think there were many factors that went into making it so dang perfect, excellent script/writing, assured direction, beautiful cinematography (so many beautifully framed shots and such attention to detail), great rapport between actors, excellently used OST, but most of all, it was because fans all over the world fell in love with the InHyun OTP, and with our leading man, Kim Boong Do - played so beautifully by Ji Hyun Woo. Omo! He might have even dethroned Hyun Bin from my K-drama first love!

Kim Boong Do is everything a woman could want. He is intelligent, actually super intelligent, observant, kind, honourable, patient, handsome, funny, and has a killer smile to boot. I am also not sure where KBD and JHW begin and end, JHW seemed made for the role. He was just perfect. I think I could watch QIHM over and over again, and never get tired of it which is why I think I'm writing this post. JHW also happens to be the most photogenic man alive, or something, because boy, I couldn't stop taking screen shots for this post.

Okay, now that my love for KBD is somewhat established, and before I go on with my fangirling -the writer for this drama (Song Jae Jung) seems to think that KBD is a fantasy, a perfect, midsummer's dream - somehow unattainable. And while I see her point, why do we want to settle for anything less than someone as wonderful and kind as KBD? Too often I think we are like K-drama heroines, content to be pushed around by a guy like Han Dong Min. Why is this the case? Why do we not expect more from the menfolk? That's not to say that I don't have other K-drama heroes that I love even though they started off as totally jerks, but I think we are of enough worth to want more, to expect more men like KBD. I think it has also been really interesting to watch the bloggersphere erupt into fangirling sessions of our InHyun couple (particularly after the JHW love confession), and it kind of also inspired bustered and I to actually start the blog we'd already been talking about. KBD has really inspired a lot of us because he is someone we can all cheer for. InHyun couple hwaiting!

We want Hee Jin and Kim Boong Do to be together because we want that kind of love. I think Joonni really expressed what was in many of our hearts with her love letters to Hee Jin and KBD and to the drama. Their love story just felt natural, and happy, and lovely, and beautiful. And while I know it's a drama, I think their love feels real, it feels tangible. I think that has a lot to do with what JHW and YIN brought to the table, but it was also just good writing about people who could be real.

The drama didn't shy away from showing plenty of skinship either, but it flowed naturally from how the director chose to frame the couple, and how he showed them together. They were pretty much always in each other's space which really reflected the attraction they had for each other. They were like two magnets drawn to each other, and that is a very real and natural thing when people are in love/attracted to each other. We show our love for people by how close we want to be to them physically - and that goes for friends and family too. Touch is such an important part of human affection, romantic or otherwise. I think the booth scene is my favourite scene for that, but there are so many other scenes. Like the elevator scenes, and the car kiss scene. And the scene in the library where they are framed among the darkened library bookshelves, but held close together under the light of the lamp. There are also often lines framing them which creates such beautiful imagery. I think it comes back to the theme of space and time which the drama played with so much. Whenever they were together, they were definitely in the each other's space, and when they were apart, we definitely felt that. And ultimately it's that "being in the same space" in the palace courtyard that brings it full circle. 

I think another aspect of that closeness/being in each other's space that I really love is that it shows how much they trust each other. There is none of that forceful wrist-grabbing-ness that the K-drama heroes often initiates (and she initiates the first kiss); there is so much hand-holding in this drama. I LUFF it! Okay, I just love this drama the more I think about it. And they COMMUNICATE!!! It's so lovely and refreshing. Ultimately their communication - PHONES - is what allows their love to work out. She calls him. Yeah people - communication - the pathway to true love.

I think another thing that makes me love Kim Boong Do is that he is not afraid to act on his feelings, and neither is Hee Kin. They are both willing to get out there and declare their feelings - they're not afraid of being vulnerable. And I think that's what it takes to fall in love for real - we cannot be afraid to be vulnerable. I think we see that very beautifully at the end of episode 14. His confession comes from a completely vulnerable heart, and it's beautiful (and really attractive). And we see how he's not afraid to risk it all to be with her. He's in it all the way - wholeheartedly. If we want that kind of love, we have to be ready to lay it on the line (but we don't have to let arrows hurtle towards us, or try and slit our throats or anything).

The Perfect Engagement Picture
And I love KBD's cute, mischievous side. He's just so cute. Omo, and that killer smile. KBD can you just smile at me for the rest of my life, please, pretty please?

And of course, I loved all the hotte kiss scenes. 

And now after all those pictures, I am sure that you need to actually watch the kiss scenes all over again. Or maybe I should just watch them again. Luckily I found two compilations... Deok Hwan (덕환) - I'm Coming to See You and Ji Hyun Woo (지현우) - Baby Elephant. (And if you need another does of the cute and sweet, here is JHW singing "Baby Elephant to YIA in her radio show).

And really, a post about Kim Boong Do that leaves out that episode 15 letter writing scene - I cried as I watched it raw; I cried as I read the recap; I cried as I watched it subbed; I cried when I read posts about it; I cried as I read another recap. I think that might be my all time favourite scene in this drama, even though it's actually impossible to choose just one scene. Watch it again, cry some more.

And then watch the final scene, and cry some more. Ohtokay, Queen In-hyun's Man, what am I going to do without you?

And if you still need some more Queen In-hyun's Man fix, here are some lovely fanvids I've found, made with love and care. I know I'm going to watch them again and again.

Oh, and another thing I learned from this drama, (선수) seonsu - Kim Boong Do, can I meet a player like you? 

◀ GAKSITAAAAAAL!!!!!!!                                                                Gaksital: Episodes 5 & 6... ▶


  1. I ♥ this drama so much!!! Oh Kim Boong Do - I miss him and Hee Jin :/. I really, really hope that the DVD comes out with English subtitles!

  2. Thanks for being so thorough dewaaani - the links are really helpful if I need a quick fix of dear Boong-do and Hee-jin :)

    I love everything that you had to say about this wonderful drama, and in particular, this wonderful hero. May we all find a player like him.

    Also, I LUFF all of the photos. Especially the one with Ji Hyun-woo, his top knot and sunglasses. Thanks again for writing this :)