“There’s no such thing as Jan Di’s world, or Jun Pyo’s world – just as you and I are of the same world.” – Ji Hoo
Starring: Goo Hye Sun, Lee Minho, Kim Hyunjoong, Kim Bum, Kim Joon, Kim So Eun
Am I the only one who didn’t buy into the craze?
Yes, yes, this has been a long time coming. It was the first drama that I watched as it was airing in Korea – I just had to wait a few days after Korean viewers in order for subbers to get to the raw files. I’ll say now that I’ve never read the manga, and if I had ever thought about it, that desire no longer exists. I’d heard of it before, yes. Even seen it multiple times in my many years as an anime fan. Also, I know that this is tagged as a romantic comedy, but I refuse to tag it as such. I was not laughing nearly enough for it to be called that. It’s dramatic high-school romance. Anyway, let’s get this over with, shall we?
Geum Jan Di (Goo Hye Sun) is a high school student, and daughter of a dry cleaner. She quickly goes from dry clean deliver girl to commoner hero when she finds her client about to throw himself off a roof. News of her heroic deed spread throughout the country, and she is allowed entrance into that school: Shinhwa High, the most prestigious school in the country. There, she meets F4: its idiotic and arrogant leader and heir apparent to Shinhwa Goo Jun Pyo (Lee Minho), violinist prodigy Ju Ji Hoo (Kim Hyunjoong), playboy pottery genius So Yi Jung (Kim Bum), and mafia’s prince and “Don Juan” of older women, Song Woobin (Kim Joon). She soon discovers that because they are the sons of the country’s richest families, they bully students and do whatever they want. When her only friend at this snob school becomes a target, Jan Di stands up to their leader and becomes a target herself. At first she suffers incessant taunts and cruel pranks, but all this soon fades as romance blossoms. But this match has enemies preventing the couple from being together. Will their love stand strong in the face of the storm, or will Chu Ga Eul (Kim So Eul) have to piece her best friend back together?
I’ll let you guys know right now: dramas become VERY LONG when you are immediately able t0 recognize that you despise a main character. Lee Minho himself is really hot, and he’s an amazing actor for sure! However, there is a current trend in pop culture that I’ve noticed: the sudden rise in popularity of unhealthy relationships. Edward Cullen isn’t half the controlling (and I would say abusive) bastard that Goo Jun Pyo is. But whatever floats your boat.
My personal stance is that Ji Hoo, though distant at first, is a better choice for Jan Di. He is supportive and always listens to her problems. In the series, he calls himself her “firefighter,” in the sense that she runs to him to put out all the emotional flames. Which leads one to wonder, if you’re almost always sad, why the hell are you still dating the source?
Of course there’s a love triangle, and side-romance. The love triangle comes with the introduction of completley fabulous Ha Jae Kyung (Lee Min Jung), who is clearly much more compatible with Jun Pyo on the outside. But we can’t be trifled with to wait for love to blossom when love already exists between two people destined to destroy each other whether they are together or no. The romance that doesn’t get center stage is that of Yi Jung and Ga Eul. You may have noticed that, at the time this post was written, they are the poster children for my blog. Probably because the dynamic this couple displayed was the only thing that kept me watching.
I also didn’t think that Goo Hye Sun looked like a high-schooler at all. From the first episode, I thought they were in college. She looks 23-25 to me. She and Kim Joon are the oldest castmates, so I feel justified. Speaking of Kim Joon…who the hell thought it would be a good idea to add “Yo, yo!” to the end of everything he says? It’s stupid and pointless. It’s not like it’d damage his gangsta reputation, since he’s about as ghetto as my teddy bear (which he is more than welcome to be). He didn’t feel like a high school either. The others had a sort of childishness (or adorkability?) that made it more believable even if I knew that they were all older than their roles.
I’ll stop ranting for now. So even if I completely hate the star couple, the acting is amazing, and you could tell there was a hefty budget for this drama. Not only are the people beautiful, but the backdrops? Gorgeous! Not to mention sexy men driving sexy cars! In the end, there were enough well-rounded characters to make up for a romance that made me furious. The scripting was pretty awesome, except that, as the end drew near, it seemed like they were running out of ideas to keep Jun Pyo and Jan Di apart till the end. As previously mentioned, I’ve never read the manga, so I’m not sure how much was legit and what was changed (though I’m sure a lot of it was left out). I’m not sure I could watch this again without getting a headache. though.
“When I do [meet my soulmate], I won’t let him go. Because I’d regret losing someone like that for the rest of my life.” – Ga Eul