Posted in Commentary, Drama Series

Greatest Love aka Best Love

I thought I could write this later, but I guess if I didn’t do it now I wouldn’t have time to do it once real-life kicks in. I’m unsure yet, but it may take a looong time before I’d write up another post – given that I hardly had time or motivation to compose anything during that period some time last year. Nevertheless, I’m afraid this will be my one and only post about Greatest Love (GL) as I’ll no longer be able to tune-in in the afternoons to catch it – dubbed – on TV. It’s unfortunate since I’m enjoying the series – till episode four. Unless I could stream them online…

Cha Seung-won. First watched him in Athena: The Movie, next I see him in GL. It was quite shocking, actually, his transformation from the cold, heartless character in suspense, thriller production to this silly comical rom-com character. He delivers Dokko Jin character quite hilariously so far, but I guess his facial structures and features advantage him to slip into villain post better. He has this menacing, savage face even as he plays up irrational, exaggerated persona of Dokko Jin.

As for the story, I won’t go much into details as I believe many would’ve caught this series as it’s aired in May last year. I also cannot say much about the plot as I’ve only seen a quarter (4 out of 16 eps) of it. But if I am to put it into words, GL is about a yesterday idol (Ae-jung) who’s struggling to keep afloat of the entertainment industry. The drama isn’t that depressing or serious given that the heroine’s pretty bubbly, earnest, and positive. She bumps into the A-list actor Dokko Jin, a charming persona in public, vain and full-of-himself in private.

The fateful encounter that is followed by a series of unfortunate events largely for him, yet quite a lucky acquaintance for her as she’s starting to receive more public attention thereafter, though negatively. Well, that’s not relatively new for her – she’s been in a bad light for the past 10 years ever since the disbandment of her girl group KBSN in which she was the leader as well the one rumored to be behind the breakup. Followed later on by a series of negative gossips and reports surrounding her, her image has never been the same. Mix that with the peak, top actor at-the-moment who is less than ungracious and somewhat a jerk towards her and you get the it-factor of GL.

In light of her newfound ‘popularity’ Ae-jung gets to appear in Couple Making 3, hosted by ex-member Se-ri whom she isn’t really in good terms with. The chosen guy – who’s supposed to flutter hearts – is Pil-joo, the cutest doctor ever. He’s so absorbed in his field and job that he’s completely oblivious to the pop culture or celebrity world. His first encounter with Ae-jung was a faux pas but enough to pique his interest of her. So, he decided to take on the show (“it’ll be interesting”) upon knowing that she’s gonna be in it too.

By episode four, the game has just started with both guys are yet to make a move on her… ARRGH!! I’m gonna be missing all of future fun and excitement GL seems to deliver. Oh, well. Anyway, aforementioned I’m enjoying the series so far despite the slow pilot episode. The premiere’s a bit draggy – leans boring – with not much of fun(ny) scenes that I noticed myself re-checking the clock every now and then. It might be the longest hour of an episode worsened by over-the-top roles and silly settings. Luckily it picked up right at the end, saved by the invigorating guessing game and the oopsie parapraxis – I’m in.

Episode 2-4 are definitely better and funnier than the first. They aren’t hella, laugh-out-loud funny, yet enough to make me giggle and chuckle almost throughout the episodes. I’m pretty much sold-on tho’ I already fall hard for Pil-joo. His glasses, innocent clueless expressions, and dorkiness grab my attention instantly – well, not that instantly as I found him awkward and a bit pervertish with all of that butt-health talk and motions (o.O) at first but am soon converted. NOW I see him as actually adorable. Gosh, it’s been a while and now I’m getting the second-lead syndrome again. I KNOW it ain’t gonna work, that he’s gonna get hurt, but I just can’t help rooting for him. Breaking such a fine man’s heart is cruel beyond repair =’(

So, yeah, this is my biggest pet peeve: the formula used. Why the hero so often has to be loud and cranky and difficult, and have him bicker endlessly with the heroine? It’s hilarious to watch, don’t get me wrong, and makes a more interesting pairing to follow… but then we have Mr. Super-Duper-Nice guy as second lead – because it’ll be so wrong for the heroine NOT to choose him. He’s not necessarily nicer than our lead guy who tends to be exceptionally sweet and reveals his big ol’ softie-ness before our lady, BUT still!

And then we have a meanie second-lead girl. Yes, I have to agree with a comment on dramabeans: why we always have a nice second-lead guy who makes us feel bad for him not to get the girl when we never have a nice second-lead girl that makes us feel bad for her not to get the guy? Oh, dramas…

The next big issue is the plot absurdity. How can a grown-up, mature man never falls in love, thus not knowing that he’s attracted to a member of the opposite sex? It’s acceptable in the context of Sassy Girl Chun-hyang or You’re Beautiful, but is ludicrous in GL. The problem is in either the setting or the cast, and fortunately the wackiness somehow makes up for it – it’s a treat to see Cha Seung-won acts Dokko Jin out. Ermm…about the pairing…I’m yet to see if they’re a good match cuz I don’t see that in them now. It’s hard to imagine them being a couple.

And Pil-joo, please don’t fall too deep in like with Ae-jung or the blow’s gonna be much harsher. My heart already breaks a little every time he smiles towards her, and the little sweet gestures he’s shown, and the preview for the following episode – his face seeing Dokko Jin drives off with Ae-jung is just ack!

I really want to finish the series… *cry*

_
p.s. many would’ve loved or decided to watch GL as it’s a Hong Sisters’ drama. I don’t start this based on that since the other Hong Sisters’ dramas that I watched in entirety were only Chun-hyang and You’re Beautiful – and on-and-off with My Girl. Chun-hyang’s my favorite although its repetitive plot slashed the overall fondness I’d otherwise had of the drama, whilst I never quite liked You’re Beautiful – the story’s kinda bland, and the second-lead guy drove me nuts.

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