(Isn’t he adorable?)
Hola, hola people! I hope everyone is doing well and had a great mini holiday (a.k.a. Memorial day weekend for us folks in the US). After a self-imposed mini mental breakdown, I am semi-back in form.
Below is not a recap (seems like a rather daunting task!), but what I would like to say is the first of a series of impressions (or a progress report?) on the various dramas that are currently playing. First up is Romance Town! I think Kaedejun at Dramabeans is doing a great job of recapping the individual episodes. I guess what you would call below is rather my spin on things.
Amongst the trendiest of rom-coms that are currently airing, I think Romance Town (or “RoTa” as it is affectionately known on the Korean side of blogosphere) got lost in the shuffle. As it was mentioned before, this drama really does have the strongest writing. But what I do feel as though it is truly lacking is cohesiveness. I do see bits and pieces tying together, but there isn’t enough of the “oomph” factor to really come together. It could be that they are essentially dragging everything out at the most awful pace or there is a lack of material, but please Drama Gods, just make something happen already!!!
A few quibbles below:
As I’ve noted here before, what really grabbed me about Romance Town were the little moments. Although the “upstairs/downstairs” dynamic is very much a fascinating topic, I will admit now that I have lost utter interest in it. I honestly don’t really care for the maids’ side stories, which drag this drama into 15 different places. If I really wanted to see something like this played out, perhaps it’s best that I watch a documentary on it.
Also, with all this empty drama time with basically a whole lotta nothing going on, why don’t they have a scene regarding the grandmother and why she keeps disappearing whenever GunWoo comes sniffing around?
I think out of all the characters on the show, YoungHee is the most interesting. He’s quirky, comfortable with his wealth, nor is he ashamed of how he is where he is at present. He knows “value” and can spot a cheapie a mile away. He’s brutally honest with himself (especially when he was contemplating the reason behind why he is so “interested” in SoonGeum which was not the case before, or rather, why he is so interested in her now that he knows that she is really rich) and with DaKyum (when he was asking for SoonGeum’s number).
DaKyum: What do you think (of her blouse)?
DaKyum: (pointing to her blouse- gahh men can be so bloody blind at times!) What do you think?
YoungHee: You cut your hair, it looks nice.
(DaKyum thinking what a total dunce he is!)
YoungHee: What is SG’s phone number?
Actually, can you give her a call to come out for a moment?
I’m kidding, your blouse looks really pretty.
Her number, hmm?
YoungHee: I want to find out if I’m nothing but a vulgar, money hungry person, that’s why?!?
DaKyum: A vulgar, money hungry person?
YoungHee: It’s not like kids have to know (basically mind your own business).
He could also be playing with SoonGeum’s affections or trying to seduce her because of his own secretive, heightened financial distress. Perhaps I may be going blind, dead, or I’ve done too much fastforwarding, but he is not turned off by her profession. He gallantly carried her out when she was sick like a knight in shining armor (swoon-worthy all around), and he frankly admitted that he is rather fascinated by her. It’s not ‘love’ yet but an infatuation that may soon lead to something real, I hope.
As quiet moments go, there is nothing inspiring or revolutionary in terms of the nouveau riche perspective that has not been stated before, if not in different languages, then played out in various “how the lottery changed me” stories.
In the scene between SoonGeum and her HwangYong ajjushi, he tells her that money is exactly that- it only changes outside appearances. But in regards to her dilemma of her Jekyll and Hyde personas, it can also provide a way for her to tell if GunWoo is genuinely interested in SoonGeum, the pauper maid. What I found interesting in regards to this conversation was the undertone of it. HwangYong basically states what every disillusioned and cynical person may say- that there is no such thing as a genuine person liking you for you without money. The content of the conversation is not all that interesting but the dynamic between the loan shark/gangster/shady businessman and the maid is. He’s like her surrogate father, mentor, and friend, which is what makes this relationship all the more interesting to see how it will play out since he has developed a “relationship” with her, and therefore, he has an emotionally vested interest in the outcome.
Now onto the selling point of the drama: GunWoo and SoonGeum.
First- their chance meeting was really, really cute.
Second- if we want to play upon the actual theme of the drama (which is how money changes people), then the dual personas are the manifestation of it- Gun Woo crushing on the glamorous (obviously rich) Lee Shi Ah and then we have YoungHee’s infatuation with SoonGeum (the pauper maid turned secret millionaire)
Third- does GunWoo even like SoonGeum or is it a lingering residual feeling from the days he was the most insecure in his appearance?
Fourth- the best part is that she blatantly said that she likes GunWoo and that in so many words, she is Lee Shi Ah. Now the question is: will GunWoo reciprocate said feelings?
So after my diatribe above, I am still watching this drama. It’s like Pasta in that sense. I have no bloody idea why I’m watching it, there is no romance per se, but like the girl in the too tight dress about to make an ass out of herself based upon the advice given in Cosmo, you can’t help but watch and wait for the wreckage to occur.
And here I am, all by my lonesome self- anyone care to join me in the YoungHee-SoonGeum camp?