17 June, 2012

Queen In-Hyun's Man

Why I loved Hee-jin (and Yoo Inna)

What I loved about Hee-jin was her optimistic and careless nature.  When she loses CF offers because of her relationship with Boong-do, instead of being sad about it, she just accepts it because she's so happy in love.  Never does she waver when it comes to Boong-do, and I love how she so blatantly pursues him, and exploits his ignorance of the modern world.  There are things that she has no control over, but she does what she can.  

I've only seen bits of Yoo Inna in Best Love (2011), and she was fine there, but not all that memorable... but then, neither was the character.  She has a singular look, and I think she was perfect to play Hee-jin.  She's cute and comes off as a bit dim (in a good way, of course).  It was also great that she didn't give in to that horrible trend that being a bit dim must include being obnoxious.  

I loved Hee Jin because she was just so assured of what she wanted, and she played up the cute without being to aegyo-annoying. She was also quick on her feet - in a metaphorical sense - and in many ways she had street smarts, but was still naive enough not to be too jaded. I also love how she gave her heart to Boong Do and trusted him. She didn't get all histrionic on him. I love that moment in episode 13 where she has hidden the talisman and doesn't want him to go, but she also understands that he needs to go. And I just loved all the funny moments that she played so well - like when she was "annal-stalking" him when the king wanted Boong Do to marry the minister's daughter. She was just so self-assured from deep down.

I have Yoo In Na in Secret Garden (2011) and I am watching her right now in Best Love (2011), and she was super cute in as the main character's best friend in Secret Garden, but yeah, I am with bustered that her character's weren't terribly memorable, well maybe her character in Secret Garden was...I loved how she shined in this role though.

Why I loved Boong-do (and Ji Hyun-woo)

I think what both Yoo Inna and Ji Hyun-woo have in common is a genuine warmth.  I had seen Ji Hyun-woo in a bunch of his other projects (not that I finished them... except for the most horrible of the bunch), and it was in A Thousand Kisses (2011) that I noted that he has a very natural warmth to his acting.  He feels real and genuine, and he's amazingly gorgeous to boot.  He's why I watched A Thousand Kisses (2011) for crying out loud!  I'm glad he's had this role, because I always found him woefully underrated, and now he's got a big following of devoted fans.  And hopefully, he'll keep getting good roles.

I don't think I can add anything about Kim Boong-do that hasn't been mentioned.  I think what I liked best about him though, was that he began to fall for Hee-jin without finding her attractive.  To us, Hee-jin looks beautiful, but to an old Joseon scholar like him, her modern beauty held nothing for him.  Of course, he got to see her in hanbok, but ultimately, he fell for HER and not her outer shell.

Now I don't know how to follow what bustered said...she took the words right out of my mouth ☺. I actually haven't seen Ji Hyun Woo in anything else (though I will probably watch Mr. Idol (2011) at some point), but I am not thoroughly in love. Yeah - his genuine down-to-earth comfortable feeling just warms my heart. He is the kind of guy that I think I would love to marry (well at least the side we get to see of him). He doesn't seem to care about his "image" in the Korean entertainment industry which I find so refreshing! (Like this interview he had right before QIHM). And who am I kidding, I find him gorgeous - and that smile - it could melt the coldest heart ever. And man, he can play the guitar.

And I just love Kim Boong Do because he's smart and he's not a jerk - and even though he is all cerebral, he also follows his heart. He is willing to risk death (even when he can't remember her) every time he wants to see her. And he consciously chooses to follow that pathway. He is also not domineering - and maybe one of my most favourite moments was in episode 13 where Hee Jin is saying she is dumb, and he says she's not. Hallelujah! This might be the first time a drama hero says a heroine isn't dumb! I am in luff! ♥

What about the other characters?  Were there any that you loved or loathed?

Side characters can make or break a drama.  I thought the side characters were a good mix, and thankfully there were no extreme characters trying to destroy our main couple.  Well, unless you count Min Ahm, the villain in one part of the story.  I guess that's what I like about the side characters: they had their place in one part of the timeline, and they never stepped out of their bounds.  They had their place, and they stayed in those places in relation to Hee-jin and/or Boong-do.  I love Uhm Hyo-sup, so I was thrilled to see him play Min Ahm (though he does overact sometimes).  Kim Jin-woo did well with Dong-min, making him a total idiot, but still likable.  And Soo-kyung got in the way too many times, but still managed to be a good friend.  Yoon-wol was lovely, and a very admirable character.

Ditto? I thought Han Dong Min was a lovely foil for our hero. He is pretty much the stereotypical K-drama hero, but in this drama in contrast to KBD - we can actually see how idiotic domineering men are. He was still adorable though, and Kim Jin Woo is just a beautiful man. (I can't help but think of the line from Disney's Mulan "He think's he's such a lady killer!") I also liked how there weren't any crazy scheming people, and that the drama came from the political machinations in the Joseon plotline. Yoon Wol - beautiful - heartbreaking - beautiful.

What made QIHM special?

The OTP is what makes QIHM special.  I loved that the drama never seemed to forget that the OTP is its heart, and never spent too much time outside of it.  I loved that QIHM's audience fell so deeply in love with the OTP, and was so supportive and fun during the airing of QIHM.

I agree that the OTP really made QIHM special, and the writer made sure that it remained the focus. I think the writer had a really good connection with each character, the actors, and the with the audience. I remember reading in her letter that the three writers would go and read the forums to see what people were saying, but I also love that the writer stayed true to the story. The drama knew where it was going, and it respected it's audience without pandering to it.

What did you love best about QIHM?

I personally enjoyed that the power behind the talisman was never truly explained.  It left mystery to the talisman, and so when things started to go wrong with the talisman, I literally got shivers, it was so frightening.  I liked that some things were left unsaid and unexplained, but that there were still rules that the characters had to abide by.

I loved the beautiful writing that allowed the story to blossom. As I have been watching it again, I have been struck by the beautifully written dialogue and the subtle fore-shadowing. There was just so artfully executed. I am sure we can thank the PD as well for his assured directing, and he made excellent use of the OST in his direction. HJ and BD's theme was just so beautiful - it was this beautiful mix of modern and traditional instruments that just worked so harmoniously together. It was such beautiful symbolism of our OTP. And of course the three main songs fit so beautifully with the themes of the drama - "Just Once", "I'm Coming to Meet You" and "Same Sky, Different Time". Did everyone else catch that shooting star at the end of episode 11? The thing I loved most though - Kim Boong Do.

Was there anything that you disliked about QIHM?

I hated the split screens.  I didn't mind them as much at first, but the more there were, the more I was annoyed by them.  Split screens have their place, and they definitely had their place in this drama, but I couldn't stand when the screen would split to two, then to three, then switch sides of the screen etc.  It drove me bonkers.  There is nothing subtle or beautiful about a split screen, and ultimately, I found the style, as used in QIHM, as lazy and useless.

The split screens didn't really bother me so much - though there were a few times they annoyed me. Sometimes they worked, sometimes they didn't for me. I don't know if there is actually anything I really disliked. I know I will most thoroughly dislike it if the DVD is released without English subtitles - I might just have to throw a tantrum if that were to happen. 

All in all, it is pretty much the perfect drama. Tell us what your favourite scenes, what you liked/disliked, why you love Hee Jin and Kim Boong Do in the comments below. ☺

p.s. Anyone else excited about the latest dating news?

◀ Weighing-in on I Do, I Do                                                                                  a BIG headache ▶


  1. "I think what I liked best about him though, was that he began to fall for Hee-jin without finding her attractive....." I love that you pointed that out because I know that it was happening but it didn't hit me until you brought it up so thank you for that. I love how you word it, too! It's nice to see how he fell for her for who she is. I don't care for the love at first sight story so I have always loved how they grew (even if it was a short time) to love each other. Also, one of my fav things about this drama was the trust they had in each other. Their love was strong because of that aspect. Now, if only I can see more of that in other kdramas. Thank you for your wonderful insights:)

  2. Thanks for commenting! Made my day to hear your thoughts :) Yes, I agree. I would love to see more trust in more K-drama OTPs. After QIHM, maybe more writers will begin to see how happily all us fans have reacted to seeing the portrayal of a healthy relationship :)

  3. I did actually notice the falling star and I made a gif out of it, asking others the same thing.

    Great review :)