[Review] Take Care of Us, Captain – 부탁해요, 캡틴

CRASH AND BURN

The drama is about the work and love lives of the crew at an airline company.

Han Da Jin (Gu Hye Sun) loses her mom after an accident that occurs while in-flight.  Two young, flight crewmembers were involved but they later become leaders in their fields.

Soon after her mother’s death and the subsequent birth of her premature sister, Da Jin loses her father in a traffic accident. First Officer Da Jin aims to become a top pilot to make her father proud but still holds Choi Ji Won (Yoo Sun) responsible as she was the young flight attendant whose blatant ignorance caused her mom to die and her sister to contract septicemia which is constant health issue.

However Da Jin is unaware that her captain, Kim Yoon Sung (Ji Jin Hee) was the young, hotshot first officer on that same flight and caused the turbulence that led to Da Jin’s mom death.  Yoon Sung is tough on Da Jin at first, unaware this his old mentor is Da Jin’s dad, but then his guilt and affection for Da Jin brings him to warm up to her.

Kang Dong Soo, a hotheaded flight tower manager, also starts off on the wrong foot with Da Jin but they soon become fast friends and Dong Soo quickly realizes his feelings for Da Jin.

I don’t know where to begin.  The drama started off on the wrong foot with me from the very start.  The beginning was so hackneyed and used so many of the tried, boring drama clichés in the first half hour of the first episode.  However, I felt that there was nowhere for the drama to go but go up, right?  The writing in the subsequent episodes did seem to improve a little because it found a formula for each episode.  As the love lives of the main characters begin to evolve, the crew dealt with their everyday work lives encountering passengers on their flights that needed help or touched the lives of the crew.

The reason I wanted to watch this drama was because I’d been watching an American drama called Pan Am.  It was somewhat the same formula and even the poster for the two shows seemed similar.  So sexy lives of airplane pilots and the cabin crew was something that seemed intriguing in a superficial kind of way.  While Pan Am hasn’t been renewed for a 2nd season and I’m not even sure that it has a good chance of getting renewed, it did something that Take Care of Us, Captain didn’t do.  The spy storyline was unexpected and intriguing and they even based it on some rumors that the CIA recruited stewardesses as their couriers.  Unfortunately, this drama didn’t even attempt to do something different than the normal Korean melo.

Gu Hye Sun.  How can I not sound harsh?  I’m so sick and tired of seeing her play these tomboy types.  I get it. She’s good at it but a tomboy who dreams of being an airline pilot seems typical than a normal girly-girl in that role.  A girly-girl would have a harder time adjusting in that environment and therefore it would be more of a challenge.

Also, the romantic pairing between Ji Jin Hee and Gu Hye Sun couldn’t be more uncomfortable to watch.  The kissing scenes, the inability to recognize romantic advances and her awkward expressions made me watch the drama with my shoulders up to my ears.  I got the same thing in The Musical.  And to see that back to back really just says one thing to me.  While I originally thought she could act, Gu Hye Sun only seems like she could play only one type of role.

Finally, Da Jin’s outright hatred for Ji Won in the workplace, to the point where all the flight attendants couldn’t do their jobs because of her prejudice was downright unprofessional and it made me dislike Da Jin.

Ji Jin Hee is fine as an actor.  It’s the way his character was written: as a completely spineless coward.  It was one thing when Kim Yoon Sung didn’t know that Da Jin was the daughter of his deceased mentor.  However he learned of this by Episode 4 and yet it was decided that he wouldn’t say anything about it until the very end.

The reason for this seems clear to me.  The writer had nothing else to lean on in terms of dramatic tension.  So all throughout the drama, Da Jin hates Ji Won and doesn’t realize that part of blame falls on Yoon Sung as well.  Yes, it was a mistake but it was difficult to support him as the hero for this drama when there was nothing I really liked about him.

The one saving grace of this drama was Kang Dong Soo (Lee Chun Hee).  Only because he added moments of lightness to an otherwise drab drama.

He falls for Da Jin very early on and they have a very playful friendship.  His scenes really help to move the drama along.  He secretly helps her only to find that the Captain Kim Yoon Sung is thwarting him at every chance.

So the drama is okay to watch until he confesses to Da Jin and she flat out refuses him.

In the 2nd half of the drama, we’re treated to a very angsty Dong Soo who helps Da Jin out with her family but he’s strictly in the Friend-Zone.  It’s a bit painful to watch Da Jin snuff out his light after witnessing Da Jin and Yoon Sung making out in an elevator.  A drama that’s already at the bottom of the hill is now digging itself to the Earth’s core.

Choi Ji Won, I get her.  She loved Yoon Sung and wanted to get him back.  After being forceful in the 1st half of the drama, she realizes that he’s not coming back to her and she strangely takes a back seat in the drama.  Which is a shame because I think Yoo Sun is a far more capable actress than this drama gave her credit for.

Most of the 2nd half of the drama, the secret about her past work history is out and she’s deemed as an outcast by the Wings Air’s Mean Girls Crew.  Ji Won is supposed to be the antagonist but she switches to a sympathetic character when her past is revealed.

We got a bit of Yoon Sung’s history as a child in the beginning of the drama. Deputy Director Hong Myung Jin has it in for Yoon Sung.

However his daughter, Hong Mi Joo (Lee Sung Min/Clara) recognizes Yoon Sung as the fond older brother who had saved her life from a deadly fire when she was a child.  She also works for Wings Air as the Business Strategies Manager.  She’s interested in fostering a romantic relationship with Yoon Sung.

Ummm…  Who the hell told her that was a pretty haircut?  Because she should sue for damages.  Her hair does get better later half of the drama as she puts it in up-do.  And I cannot stand the way she inserts random English phrases in her conversations to make it seem like she’s worldly.  Don’t get me wrong.  Her English accent is great but I see no purpose for her to do that than to sound belittling.  It’s clearly different from the way Yeo Chi uses English in History of the Salaryman.   Jung Ryeo Won is creating a well-rounded character while Lee Sung Min is just pissing me off.

As an antagonist, Mi Joo is all in support of Yoon Sung against her father until the end when she discovers that she could never have him.  Then, she switches sides but it’s so illogical!  One second you love him, the next second you’re scheduling the board to have a meeting to fire Yoon Sung.  Bipolar much?

As soon as she goes bad, her father switches over to the good side because he’s so tired of being jealous of Yoon Sung.  (Wha-pah!  Anyone have whiplash?)  Yoon Sung’s mom brought him to Myung Jin’s home after he lost his whole family.  After his mom died, Myung Jin refused to keep him around because he was the son of Myung Jin’s rival.

Finally, let’s talk about the episodic airplane passenger stories.  They were very much makjang, manipulative to bring about tears, without adding much substance.

Even at the end, the coincidence that Da Jin’s younger sister’s hospital roommate is need of a heart transplant and the doctor for that transplant happens to be on her plane.  Really?  I did like that that episode dealt with weather, engine trouble and the dangers of birds on the tarmac but why wait until the last episode to talk about that?

Also, the drama didn’t even broach the topic of airplane terrorism.  It’s a very real thing and something that is dealt with every day at Incheon Airport.  I don’t need to see a bomb on a plane but to have to think about how much liquid I’m allowed to take on a plane still causes me headaches and confuzzlement.

I’m surprised that I actually sat through this whole drama.  I actually did save up the episodes and watch them in chunks because there were more important things to watch.  It’s going to be awhile before I can watch Gu Hye Sun in anything again for a long time.  It’s sad when someone of Gu Hye Sun’s Hallyu recognition level does something that’s of piss-poor quality.  Pass.  Seriously, pass this one up.

Rating

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5 thoughts on “[Review] Take Care of Us, Captain – 부탁해요, 캡틴

  1. Wow, I just watched the first episode and it bored me up so bad =.=. The first half of it was tense and all nerve-wrecking which is not sth to be expected from Korean dramas since they tend to be rather light-hearted, or at least start off nicely. And before I know it, one person dies, and before I find myself, another one’s gone, and in the same family @.@. Wth??? I know there’s tragic thing happening all the time, but it makes it seem like something very casual. And I’m very uncomfortable with that. But I thought, well, just like some dramas, the stories won’t develop until later episodes and that’s only when it gets interesting. And I love Ji Jin Hee and his acting, thought nothing could go wrong with that. Until I read your reviews =.=.
    Now I’m wondering should I continue with this drama or not :(. Ji Jin Hee is so fine and I’m sure Chul Hee will be able to pull all those hilarious acts, plus he didn’t disappoint me in the first ep at all. although it was short. But I agree, GHS’s acting and especially her English really put me off >”<. She's cute and all but I can't take it when she seems to act cute even when speaking English commands on the plane =.=.
    Thanks for the reviews. I may probably just skim over the whole drama 😦

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    • Lol. Truth be told, I didn’t really understand their English except Mi Joo’s. It was easier to read the Korean subtitles instead. It’s funny though. Chun hee made a point of talking about how his part of the script was entirely in English for the beginning when he was on Strong Heart but I didn’t really understand his English on that show either.

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  2. I was just checking some of my old files from my external hard drive when I saw the videos I downloaded for this drama. I stopped halfway a long time ago because of the same sentiments and I was thinking if it’s just me? Or if I should give it another shot? So I went around to look for some reviews since I don’t want to waste hours watching this again if this drama didn’t redeem itself until the end. Then alas found your blog and I was like “See? It’s just not me!” ^^

    After GHS awkward kissing scenes in The Musical, I thought it was part of the acting to look awkward since she’s a first time kisser there but it was the same thing here. Well let’s say she’s hasn’t been kissed here as well but wth?! ^^. Can’t she just kiss and make it look like she’s enjoying it. Now it made me doubt if she can really act because the acting are all the same. Not sure if it’s just the role given to her or how she portrays the role.

    They made a lot of twist just to provide some forced drama in every occasion they get. I also agree with how annoying it is to hear Clara insert random English phrases. Well I can go on and on…but thank you for this review now I can forget about wasting half of my life on this drama.

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  3. Strictly about Take Care of Us, Captain: The disappointment is palpable. **JJH ABSOLUTELY makes the grade in this drama. So much so, I feel his talents were utterly wasted. If the plot was to show some righteous tick in women climbing and exceeding expectations, that was completely trivialized. Crash and burn fail.

    The 1st episode was Emmy worthy. Thought, hmm, they cannot possibly send in the ditzy, awkward, obnoxiously saccharine, and strident heroine. This was after all about pilots, something a little more serious, and with Epi 1 as powerful as it was, no way they (the production team) could possibly skewered this. But while she (KHS) looked promising, the prologue of Epi 1, went from plausible to ridiculous in Epi 2. One could surmise that there was no communication in the writing department. I dropped Gourmet like a hot potato for the same exact reason when the “airhead” popped up at the gate 2-3 episodes in. Didn’t care for the Me Ari character of Gentlemen’s Dignity either.

    You have a character, a high achiever it seemed of a daughter, who seemed to have knocked off a ceiling in a male dominant world. She loses both parents and is now a single parent to younger sister. How you take character to someone who comes off as an amateurish high schooler who brays and snorts inappropriately?? Like REALLY?? My frustration began to mount.

    The male lead could have been anyone else even beyond JJH… but the problem was not the role, but the overt lack of consistency/flow in the screenwriting. Episode 2 forward felt as if these characters came to be on different planets. If you have someone as seasoned, as recognized as JJH, why do him such disservice by not amping up the quality of the female lead? If it’s the role, grow her the hell up. If it is the actress and her natural propensity to laugh inappropriately, then keep looking around. I am sure in Korea, it is not the lack of talent that ails some of these productions. What a producer needs to do with someone like JJH is find him his Sandra Bullock to his Keanu Reeves. The chemistry flows abundantly whatever Bullock-Reeves are doing together. Even if they were casted as sworn enemies, the Bullock/Reeves combo is hard to ignore. Go less with JJH, and one goes away feeling like he was just DUMBED DOWN. He was obviously that in Take Care. Made me want to rattle a few cages. If not Bullock-Reeves, how JJH’s Bacall?

    Other parts of the drama that I didn’t quite care for:
    – Rife in KDramas are nepotistic, egotistic, and manical families. See enough of that stereotype flying around, makes you wonder. Hospitals and airlines run with as much as care as one does 7-11s? While the appeal about KDramas is less of the wham bam thank you ma’am storylines, the tales of such conglomerates being run by family members with questionable qualifications, is a little scary. Case and point, airline with the Veep’s daughter. Overkill on bad writing.
    – The premise of studying abroad (be it US, UK, or elsewhere): more often than not, talk about characters that “return” home… but they go home to Korea with such entrenched God complexes. That’s not exactly a positive view to be promoting, even fictitiously through dramas. I mean, really, why send the best and brightest minds out, only to return as the worst possible that “assimilation” could produce? The best contemporary dramas are those that at least have some plausible root in reality.
    – I can’t find a forum to explain the Korean fascination with being “redheads”. Some of those colorist need to be fired. The idea is compliment faces, not make these folks look they have bad wigs on.

    And I lost it at Epi 6. JJH needs to partnered up with better writers, and with leading ladies who are comparatively seasoned as he is. Anything less for an artist like JJH? is like pearls to swine. Some writer out there – please do the JJH justice on the small screen. Someone call Kim Young-Hyun. Get Lee Young-ae back on the scene.

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