23 February, 2013

First Impressions of "That Winter, The Wind Blows"

Spoiler Alert!!  I don't outright give away stuff for the five episodes that have aired, but I generally discuss everything.

I do like melo, but only when done correctly (The Snow Queen, Giant) and when done incorrectly, it makes my eyes and ears bleed.  I've never watched Jo In-sung, and have only seen bits and pieces of Son Hye-gyo, and I like Kim Bum and Jung Eunji.  I'm also a fan of director Kim Kyu-tae and writer Noh Hee-kyung and really liked Padam Padam: The Sound of His and Her Heartbeats (though I still have a couple of episodes to watch), their drama from last year.  That drama definitely had its flaws, but it's definitely good enough that I was somewhat pleased to hear that the director and writer would be pairing up for another melodrama once again.  Though I wasn't sure if the the quality would be as good, or if I could handle the same emotional intensity.

And I'm pleased to report that it is even better, and that I am willing... because, so far, it is that awesome.

But seriously.  I'm in love with this drama.  I'm finding that the longer I've watched drama (over two years now), the pickier I get, and the more difficult it is to fall in love and to get impatient waiting for new episodes.  Also, if I'm willing to take away time from studying and stay up into the middle of the night catching up on a drama... then that's a pretty fantastic sign.  It's been a long time since I've been this addicted to a drama, and it feels great.
TWTWB has the same visual beauty that was one of the best things about Padam Padam, and it has the same emotional rawness as well.  The colors are dull and cold (and wintry), just like the house that Young has grown up in under the careful watch of Secretary Wang.

From the teasers, it seemed like Jo In-sung would be overacting (and he does once in a while), but I've been increasingly impressed by his performance.  I've never been under the impression that Song Hye-gyo is a great actress (though she is breathtakingly beautiful), but this role seems tailor made for her and she really holds her own.  Kim Bum is basically giving the same performance as he did in Padam Padam, but here he's a little more violent and intense.  And I must admit, I miss his beautiful locks, though he looks great here.  Jung Eunji is doing a solid job with her brash, playful, angry character.  And Kim Kyu-chul is simply the best.  Period.

If there's one thing that I love about these characters (excluding Kim Kyu-chul's Lawyer Jang who's a total teddy bear so far), it's that they all have hardened and prickly surfaces, but also moments and hidden layers of warmth and goodness.  It makes them effective, relatable, and human.  Even when they're kind of silly and do stupid things.
Soo, in particular, is a good example of this.  He's a womanizer, conman, loser, liar, and all around pathetic human being at first look, but there's all the little things that he does.  He does care about the people around him--his buddy Jin-sung, his ex-girlfriend's little sister etc.  He had saved the life of that jerk face that betrays him in the first episode, and it is made clear that he also helped him turn his life around and become successful.  Soo does care, and it shows in his budding relationship with Young, and his curiosity with her.  Not to mention the couple of times that he didn't have to save her, and did, making his own life even more difficult.

As for our "bad" guys, they've all been very effective, especially since they've been given layers and some mystery.  Well, two of them anyways.  I'm still waiting to what they do with Seo Hyo-rim's insanely obsessive ex-girlfriend.

I don't even know what to do with Secretary Wang.  She's sort of creepy, overly controlling of Young, and hardly ever do I know how she is going to react.  She obviously has a lot of issues, and sometimes it's freaky how manipulative she is to Young (and to think that Young had to deal with her growing up *sobs*), but at other times it seems like she really does care (in her own twisted way) and wants the best for Young.

From the very first scene, I fell in love Kim Tae-woo's Moo-chul.  He's so messed up, but I'm a sucker for conflicted villains--especially attractive ajusshi's with cool scars.  Yep... I love his droll, deep voice, the scar next to his eye (a nice little detail that one), and that he seems to take pleasure in pushing everything as far as he can, including our lovely anti-hero Soo.  Yes, he wants Soo to get the money, but he will make it as hard as he can for Soo, not only because he enjoys making life hard for Soo (but who's really to blame him considering their tragic history together?), but also because he sees that Soo can probably handle it, and trusts him to do so.  It's also interesting that he seems to think himself the better man out of he and Soo, which I can understand, due to the different ways they reacted to the Hee-joo situation... but really, Moo-chul is so much worse than Soo.  I suppose I find it funny that Moo-chul seems blinded to how awful he treats other human beings, and I cannot possibly imagine that the way he acts is something that Hee-joo would approve of.  Anyhow, I'm fascinated by Moo-chul, and I'm excited to see what he does and what layers get pealed back in the process.

The chemistry between Soo and Young is developing nicely.  I keep forgetting that they are "siblings", and that I shouldn't get so excited for their romance to happen, but it will, and I am excited.  Usually, faux-cest freaks me out a little bit, but here, I think it makes for a nice complicated situation.  Because it's obvious that he's feeling things that he's not supposed to, but Young seemingly thinks he's her brother.  Though I wonder if she really does know, and she's just testing him--and if she does know who he really is, then she has chosen to trust him anyways.  I sort of hope that is the case, because I think I may sob and wail and scream when she figures out that he's not her brother and all the trust they've built up comes crashing down.  Oh please no.  Pleeease.  Not that.  I don't know if I could deal with that.
I think the main issue here is that she is learning to trust Soo, but she really shouldn't because he's not her brother... but then again, she should trust him because they are lovely together.  Gosh, what am I going to do?

I suppose I'm sort of amazed by how much has already happened in just five episodes, and how much the characters have developed.  The pacing thus far has been awesome.  The first episode was a little rocky, but it has only been getting better.

If you got through that disorganized spilling of my thoughts concerning this drama: congratulations.  Basically, I'm loving this drama and if I didn't have homework and studying to fill up my time, waiting for this coming Wednesday and Thursday would be murder.

And just to be completely honest (and shallow):  Jo In-sung just may be the most beautiful man I've encountered in K-dramaland.  He's just gorgeous, and I love his drama style with all his suspenders and long sweaters and coats.  I love how he uses his stature with this role.  Anyhow... I'll be doing my best to focus on everything else but this drama in order to stand the fews days until the next episode.


◀ King of a Dramas: A Lesson in K-Drama


  1. bustered - why are you also conspiring against me to start watching this drama *sobs* ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ

  2. Muhahaha! If I am taking time out of my studies to watch this drama, you should too! ...Actually, that's a bad idea. But hey, once FBND is over, you can start watching this one! Just one more week, and then we can share the love. ^_^

  3. this review is a terrible idea! i'm trying to hold off watching it while trying to get my case reports, research and whatnot in order before actually starting but TWTWB and Nine look(ed) so promising... UGHHHHHHHHH

    (still, thank you for feeding my drama craving)

    1. LOL, of course. Yeeeeaaah, if I wrote another review up to where I am now (I'm a few episodes behind), I wouldn't be as positive... but it's still worth watching!! "Nine" looked interesting, but I am not so sure now and there's too much going on to actually watch it. If you watch it, let us know what you think!