or whatever you want to translate it
missowlhead wanted to know what I thought of the story, once I’d finished it.
Here’s the thing: there are dramas that you like a lot and yet you see their flaws, but that’s okay. THEN, there are dramas that you love and you see no flaws: where every mole is a beauty mark and wrinkle is a smile-line.
This drama just happens to fall into the latter area for me.
It may be in the delicate fusion of fantasy into the rom-com fare, because Queen In-Hyun’s Man was the same way. Arang and the Magistrate almost as much so.
Maybe I just…I have no immunity to seeing a fantasy story well-done, yet rooted in a Korean milieu, with the archetypes of that particular medium playing them out.
There were definitely weaknesses to the story, and at about ep 19 I went back and read all the DramaBeans recaps, kind of comparing their perceptions of it with mine. They obviously were in the group I expected to not really find the villain compelling. To me, since the characterization of him as a totally camoflagued psychopath was so spot-on, and because there is a sense of unease in his family, I found it worked for me.
Everyone else had fairly layered characterization, and so having a villain who is what he is (and unapologetically: a psycho) was fine. It was a choice they made.
this house is where he grew up—kinda get where it all went wrong
I did wonder a lot about what motivated his goons, especially the secretary doing all his dirty work. I mean, was he an army deserter who needed to live under the radar, was he an accidental accomplice at first who then was bought off with money and couldn’t get away because of terror of Tae-Kyung (totally understandable)?
I was SO RELIEVED that he didn’t get killed, you guys, even though he’s the actual murderer in so many cases. Why? It’s not just because he’s pretty—I think there was a characterization nuance there, where he clearly lives in subordination to Tae-Kyung, and there’s a fear there, definitely.
I’m pretty sure they’ll need to work out a plea bargain where for testifying he gets total protection during incarceration from Tae-Kyung, though. Which leads me to the main points…
FINALE: [pro tip this is where spoilers begin]
I can see people being unhappy with this ending, or feeling it didn’t satisfy everything. For me, though, it just worked. The tone was right. It may have been a bit rushed, but I was kind of anxious about the pacing, and felt it was pretty good.
Maybe it would have been nice if they’d worked out the trial to wrap up sooner on, but it had to happen, and there was a nice clinch to that end. It would have left me nervous if they didn’t show that Tae-Kyung had a nervous breakdown over 1) his failure 2) the appearance of Doh Min-Joon
He is crazy. He is motivated. I was thinking of the serial killer in Castle and thinking “if he goes to prison there is no reason for him not to build himself a network in there and get out or just get them out to do massive amounts of damage again”. He *has* to be broken. He has to be made clearly crazy to those around him, to keep him from getting anywhere. Even broken he might still do a lot of harm, but if he can’t keep it together, at least he’s being isolated.
I love sass-back Se-Mi. SO MUCH
these girls can have a real frenemyship, like pain-in-the-butt Song-Yi seems to have with the people who love her. Se-Mi is all like “we aren’t friends” and we all cheer, but then they’re side by side and she’s finally telling it how she feels it, and it WORKS.
All this time, she was holding back, being the nice girl, when it was totally her dark side that was drawn to Song-Yi. She’s the overlooked younger daughter with the sweet overachiever oppa and a mother whose stage-mothering through her boredom with life, and that cynical, two-faced nature is just so much fun to see emerging.
I figured out why Doh Min-Joon falls in love with Cheon Song-Yi, finally. It’s funny, because in a way, we can see that Song-Yi’s dad and him are alike in a lot of ways, and the way she just depends on him, that comfort level makes her love pretty understandable.
Of course, he also interacts with her honestly—not impressed by her status or her appearance or her money, he is (besides brother Young-Jae) the ONLY one in her life who takes her as she is. The fact that he also *does* take care of her would slay any of us, I think.
Think about it. The overarching issue that Doh Min-Joon has is his lack of attachment. In his world, they don’t form families the way we do, and while he bonded very quickly and deeply with Yi-Hwa, when that ended so badly, he decided to reject this human way of relating to others.
Cheon Song-Yi is the ultimate embodiment of humanity, really. She’s loud, unread, impulsive, overly dependant and oh so very emotional. She lives in the moment. She is the very picture of everything Doh Min-Joon has decided to be pestered by about humans, to keep his distance. But she just won’t keep her distance. And something in her calls to him right away, before he ever sees that she looks like little Joseon Yi-Hwa.
I think it’s that he really, actually, is in love with Earth people and the way they live out their lives. He’s fascinated—he came ready to experience it, even if he then planned to go away. Not everyone of his world comes to see Earth—he’s an astronaut, a frontier-seeker.
He wants to try the ramyun, but unless a person makes him, he’s sure not going to go against his knowledge that it has no nutritional value.
And about how they resolved it?
I think the wormhole thing was a bit of a stretch, but I guess they didn’t want to go into much more about his alien race. They’d never really come into play, so I think they kind of wrote away from the idea of interacting with his people, their science. Which is okay.
Let’s just say the wormhole stands for the mystery of his powers.
I liked the idea that back home he is building up to become even stronger—what if he’s actually a bit of a wizard among his own people? But because no one has any reference, and he’s not really in company of his own species, it’s just a non-issue?
The whole mess of him coming and going actually really resonated with me more than a last-minute fix would have. His strength of will is exerted so much, and so you know how strong his love is—and Song-Yi’s sadness about missing him THREE YEARS LATER shows that what her people have said about her attachments is true: she never gives up on something she loves.
I mean, this is actually pretty obvious when you think about how she still talks to Se-Mi after their blow-out, and that she has never just stopped taking Hee-Kyung’s calls. That last seems a bit like a girl who won’t say no though she won’t say yes, but think about how stubborn she is. She wants to be FRIENDS. Forever. And he may be obnoxious about that friendship becoming more when she knows there’s no way she can see him in that light, but she is not going to leave him over it.
And here’s how their happy ending works: all either of them wanted was to live with each other in an every-day sort of way. They have to cherish the moments, and ultimately, they’re living like a military couple—often apart, not able to predict their time together.
But it is a real life phenomenon. Hey, even with Song-Yi just being an actress life would probably be like that without Min-Joon having to gallavant across the Universe.
This felt so very real-life. They had almost insurmountable differences, and the solution is one that’s not 100% bliss, but it’ll get better as it goes, I think. And Min-Joon will age, reconnecting with his own world. Maybe they won’t have kids, which is another celebrity-couple issue, too. But Song-Yi will adopt pets and maybe be an auntie to her brother’s kids who is overly lavish in gifts and “advice”.
They’ve decided it’s worth it. And that really speaks to me way more than a lot of the happy endings where the obstacles were mainly the couple misunderstanding each other.
So…any questions or things you wanted to add, hit up the ask or reblog! (and feel free to cut it down if you do reblog ;P)