I’m still too lazy to make individual posts for these Wednesday/Thursday dramas, so here are my thoughts on their second and third week. Oh well, maybe i should, since this post ends up being so long…
Legend of the Blue Sea
First off, there’s a huge misunderstanding regarding the show’s basic plot on my part. During the first week, i assumed that the mermaid was an immortal living for who knows how long, probably influenced by the writer’s previous work about alien-superstar’s love story, also because she has Dam-ryung’s bangle. It wasn’t until the third or fourth episode did it finally dawn on me that the Joseon (Se-hwa) and Seoul (Shim Chung) mermaids most likely are NOT one and the same. I did notice the different tail colors — golden in the past, white in the present — but didn’t think much of it. I was more bothered by the fact that Chung doesn’t recognize Joon-jae’s face and that she has to ‘re-learn’ the language when Se-hwa was able to communicate with Dam-ryung just fine…
…when we really are getting TWO stories of a man and a mermaid in TWO different eras who happen the share the same face. And fate, as history is repeating itself in more ways than one. Now that connects the dots. Now what seems to be plot holes are filled up. It’s my bad.
Blue Sea continues to give us the Joseon story at the start of every episode, a few minutes at a time. While creating a nice parallel and/or transition to the Seoul’s counterparts, it would make more sense if told in full, all at once, as i believe the workings, rules, and repercussions would be clearer that way. We’re getting ’em in bits and pieces, but instead of being hooked on the supposed mystery, i’m impatient to see the big picture ASAP so that i can be invested in the story and characters.
Because now i was left wondering why Shim Chung kissed Joon-jae out of the blue, wiped his memory of her then spent 3 months swimming across the ocean to seek him out, refused to tell him what happened yet stuck to him like a glue. Is it something she can’t or won’t say? Is she afraid Joon-jae would shoo her away if he knew she’s a mermaid? Without the basics, i just can’t sympathize with her. It doesn’t help that i hardly find her antics funny. They were oddly entertaining at first, but turning ludicrous by now. Her personality is also borderline mental i can’t see what’s appealing in her. If Show didn’t dial down her over-the-topness, i don’t think i’ll ever buy the romance.
I’m still not sold on the story of either timeline, either. The past’s is boring while the present’s runs in circles. Joon-jae has been consistently coming back to Chung before or after the amnesia kiss. He’s currently fixated on figuring out why he can’t remember her and the “i love you” whisper he keeps hearing* — what for? — that his long-term plan to locate his mom takes a backseat. That he’s unable to track Mom down for 10 years when there’s a genius hacker in his con team…doesn’t add up, does it?
Nevertheless, Joon-jae is the only plus point thus far. I like his character and sympathize with his backstory. My fondness of Lee Min-ho has cooled down tremendously post-Heirs and i wasn’t impressed with his acting in the beginning, but he’s getting better that it’s all coming back to me. My next favorite is Tae-oh (Shin Won-ho), the quiet hacker who barely has any lines. The rest are pretty meh, in addition to the piling-up questions/inconsistencies^, that i’ll probably drop this drama sooner or later.
*) Joon-jae finally musters up the courage to ask Chung to say “saranghae” for a confirmation, but why does it sound as if he’s the one confessing?
^) E.g. it was mentioned that feet is mermaid-turned-human’s weakest part, but despite suffering from a fractured bone, Chung recovers really fast. Next, does it mean a kiss is a no go between the leads since it will erase the guy’s memory of the mermaid? But then, Joon-jae is having flashes of memories, which suggests the memory loss isn’t permanent?
Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo
“Do you and your friends ask everyone if they like Messi? Is Messi aware of this terrible fact?”
Aiee, Fairy drama has been my favorite since the first week, but it’s far up in the lead by the third week. It is such a fun, adorable, amusing watch every hour flies by in an instant. Albeit the brisk pace, the plot doesn’t progress quite as fast. Which isn’t a bad thing since each episode is filled with cute bickering between the weightlifter and swimmer, petty rivalry cum harmless shade-throwing between certain weightlifters and gymnasts, supportive friendship beats, and the weightlifter’s ham-handed attempts at (first) love. Well, there’s also shenanigans from the ex-girlfriend, which is annoying, not gonna lie, but has yet to make a dent in my overall impression of the show.
Bok-joo ain’t your typical heroine. She is strong yet not spunky per se; she isn’t feminine yet can get flaily; she may be loud at times, and while isn’t necessarily confrontational, she isn’t afraid to stand up for what she thinks is right. She cares little about body image, or how society sneers at female weightlifters’ masculine features, although she does get self-conscious about her calloused palms, for example, in front of the guy she’s crushing on. Which is completely understandable. What’s great about her character is, despite her efforts to look prettier before meeting her crush, she doesn’t strive to change to be more ladylike. She does lie about her major to Jae-yi, but she’s still herself, only with a bow clip and more colorful outfits.
I was admittedly disappointed that Bok-joo spends so much of her allowance to sign up for Jae-yi’s weight loss program, but she does try her damnedest to shun the calling. And when that finally seems to work out, she gets a text from him saying that he actually likes Ronaldo more. Ha. That pick-up line works, yo! What a love-struck girl gotta do when the love interest has basically signaled a green light? How can we blame her for following her heart? I…can’t. After all, she doesn’t jump at the bait to shed some pounds but merely to be able to
stare at see his face regularly.
Cuz frankly, i don’t get how people can consider her fat at only 58 kg, especially in proportion to her height. Case in point: provided that Bok-joo is as tall as the actress (175 cm), that puts her BMI at around 20, which is right in the normal category. Hers is 24 in the drama, but Jae-yi does point out that not only does it stay within the normal range, but she also has a high muscle mass. Naturally, he finds something to work on as a diet doctor, which is her flabbier abdomen, and prescribes a healthy diet plan. No problem there.
The problem arises when Bok-joo finds out that Jae-yi is Joon-hyung’s cousin-brother, and the latter is always on the brink of outing her secret. The hotshot swimmer promises to keep it if his favorite weightlifter behaves. Cue: some bossy orders for which Bok-joo begrudgingly obeys, which is so uncharacteristic of her that her buddies are getting the wrong idea. But Bok-joo isn’t Bok-joo if she lets herself being lorded over for too long and quickly finds a way to call it even. She’s probably gotten too tired to get Joon-hyung to stop calling her “Chubs”, but she’s dead serious about Jae-yi and thus making Joon-hyung comply…by admitting her attraction to his hyung.
Joon-hyung is taken aback and looks almost hurt by her confession, but becomes thoroughly supportive of her feelings and even plays cupid to them both the next scene onwards. Which is equal parts endearing and confusing. I mean, is he not aware of his own feelings? He has begun getting flustered by their close proximity (that moment he closes his eyes when Bok-joo holds his face, as if expecting a kiss, is epic!), it’ll be interesting to see when he realizes he likes his childhood schoolmate. I’m not sure if there’ll be any kind of rivalry between the cousins; Jae-yi is amused by Bok-joo, but it’s unclear whether he likes her more than a cute patient. In addition to being equally nice, both suitors deem Bok-joo pretty, and neither picks on her figure at all that i don’t really mind whom she’ll end up with 🙂
Another problem occurs around her weight class change, requiring her to bulk up 5 kg, which in turn messes with her diet program. (Jae-yi’s reaction to her sudden weight gain is hilarious, though — he’s so shocked he steps on the scale himself to check if it’s broken, LOL) If anything, her agreement to move her weight class up only affirms her love for weightlifting comes before her admiration for Jae-yi. Hopefully both her father and coaches won’t be too hard on her following the reveal. She’s a woman who can fall in love too!
So far is so good with Fairy. Weightlifters vs. gymnasts portions remain light and undramatic, the friends stay loyal and awkward together (though i may never remember their names, oops!). I hated Ji Il-joo in Age of Youth but love his cowardly character here. Joon-hyung has also started seeing a therapist for his trauma, which is great. However, i wish the show varied the training scenes more, as they begin to feel very repetitive. The only downside is the ex-girlfriend. At first i did sympathize with the circumstances Shi-ho (Kyung Soo-jin) was in, but quickly lost it when she turns overly clingy and now crafty. I’m glad Joon-hyung draws a clear line between them, and hopefully he won’t ever relent. Cuz i’d rather see him being all perky around Bok-joo than all moody around Shi-ho any day. Keep her appearance to the bare minimum and everyone’s happy. Hear that, Show?
Oh My Geum-bi
Oh, my Geum-bi… I initially thought this would be the kind of show that grows on you over time… and after six episodes, i have yet to see the spark. This drama isn’t boring per se, but it remains pretty much the same. I’m only interested in the familyship between Geum-bi and her father that i don’t care about anything else. Not Hwi-chul’s past, the bad blood between him and Cha Chi-soo (Lee Ji-hoon), much less his conning partners. Not Geum-bi’s biological mother (Oh Yoon-ah), her mean classmates and cowardly boy-crush. Not even Kang-hee (Park Jin-hee) and her family drama. Mainly because the writer is pretty heavy-handed with the backstories.
To be fair, Kang-hee Unni does play a big part in sheltering the estranged father-daughter and helping them bond, but apart from that, she’s quite dull a character. Oh Yoon-ah’s character is more refreshing to watch, but given how she abandoned Geum-bi and sought her out only for her inheritance share, she might make it to my hate-list soon. And as if the precocious girl’s life isn’t hard enough, drama has the heart to write her a difficult school life too. While having enemies at 10 years old is not unheard of, why make everyone turn against her when they all can be friends? They are too young to say the malicious words they’re spouting or fight over a goddamn boy. I know, show informs us that she may not live to 20 but that doesn’t mean you can force a love line before she even hits puberty!
That’s not all; there’s also this doctor who readily breaches medical confidentiality by divulging his patient’s condition to a third party against her wish. I’m fine with him telling Hwi-chul about it — as a father, he has the right to know and i’d rather he knows now than much later. He cares about Geum-bi’s well-being and wants the best for her, but what does Kang-hee’s boyfriend or whatever have to do with it?
Speaking of Geum-bi’s illness, i didn’t expect to have it transpire this soon. Well, i didn’t expect Show to test our tear ducts as early as episode 3, either, and since her poor health is in the premise, i guess addressing it early is for the better. So that there are plenty of rooms to treat the condition, and for Oh My Geum-bi to not end sadly. Because now, everyone needing to know is already in the loop, although Geum-bi doesn’t know it. Because it confronts Hwi-chul’s stance in the equation — if he’s ready to accept Geum-bi as his child, if he’s up to task to care for her for life…
I’m here for the family beats and well-earned tears, and whenever i felt like the plot was too vapid and was ready to leave, it held me back by delivering well-placed moment that tugged at my heartstrings. Every single episode. Like the scene wherein Hwi-chul burns the DNA test result without even opening it, or wherein he scolds Geum-bi for calling him Ahjussi instead of Appa. *tears*