Just Bananas About: Week of 5/9/14

Korea has now returned to regularly scheduled programming and there are some new dramas on that schedule. Here are some thoughts on the ones that I’m watching.

Big Man is a drama that started last week. When Kang Dong Suk (Choi Daniel) gets into an accident and his doctors discover that he’s in a need of a new heart, his parents use their chaebol money to find a good match. The problem is that he’s alive. They hire people to stage a car accident to put their target, Kim Ji Hyuk (Kang Ji Hwan), in a coma, only that his will survive is strong and he awakens shortly thereafter. His parents have no choice but to accept him into the family. Ji Hyuk is to take over the company which his dad is trying to run into the ground and place the blame on Ji Hyuk.

The plot is incredibly convoluted and I have to admit that Kang Ji Hwan was a strong motivating factor for me starting this drama. I can’t say that I love the plot and I have strong doubts that it will improve but I’m hoping at the very least that the actors will surprise me. We’re into the 2nd week and Kang Ji Hwan is doing what he does best, showcasing the lighthearted, comedic side.

Already I’m starting to see some chemistry between him and So Mi Ra (Lee Da Hee). As for So Mi Ra’s character write-up, she’s pretty bland but I’m hoping the drama will allow us to see a different side to her as she opens up.

I am pleased to see Choi Daniel playing the villain and hope that they keep that going all the way through. To me, I’ve always felt that his smug expressions were better suited to play the antagonist rather than the hero.

The best thing I can hope for with this drama is that the acting surpasses the writing like it did with Full Sun. It was certainly a good idea to broadcast this drama right after Full Sun’s run. There are a lot of same themes like corruption, betrayal and love in the midst of that chaos. So this drama is a we shall see one.

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The drama that I’ve been looking forward to the most is You’re All Surrounded, starring Cha Seung Won, Lee Seung Gi and Go Ah Ra. Seo Pan Suk (Cha Seung Won) is a detective who must show the ropes to the new rookie detectives at the Gangnam Police Department. Going by the name Eun Dae Goo (Lee Seung Gi), he shows up at Gangnam PD with his own agenda.

We get Eun Dae Goo’s backstory in the first episode and learn that he’s actually Kim Ji Yong. He and Uh Soo Sun (Go Ah Ra) grew up together in a small town until Ji Yong witnessed the murder of his mother. She agreed to testify in another trial which lead to her own death and the detective heading up the case was none other than Seo Pan Suk.

When Ji Yong’s life is threatened, he comes to the belief that Seo Pan Suk is corrupted and he decides to disappear. Back in present day, he reappears at Gangnam PD aiming to solve his mother’s case and put that person away. Seo Pan Suk has now turned into a bitter, veteran detective who wants nothing to do with the bumbling new recruits.

At the moment, the jury is out on this drama. I do think that this drama will be very popular out of the 3 on Wednesday-Thursday nights but I’m still trying to feel things out. The first two episodes didn’t really make me laugh out loud but I enjoyed watching Go Ah Ra as prickly Uh Soo Sun.

I’m eager to see when Eun Dae Goo will start to open up as I also think that Lee Seung Gi is at his best when he’s playful. However, I understand the need for his cold, reserved attitude in order to build up his character. I mean, the scene where he witnesses his mother’s death is likely to mess anyone up.  The key to him opening up will be his chemistry with Go Ah Ra so we’ll see what happens next week.

As for Cha Seung Won, it seems to me that the case with Ji Yong’s mother and subsequently losing Ji Yong himself has scarred him. Obviously I don’t think Seo Pan Suk is at all corrupted but rather lost his will to be passionate about his job. Not only has his career suffered but also his personal life.

The setup is interesting but I’d like to see how they execute the rest of the storyline and how close the corruption will touch home for all of the characters.

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Lastly, there’s the Monday-Tuesday drama called Triangle. The story is about three orphaned brothers who are reunited 20 years later. Lee Bum Soo plays Jang Dong Soo, the oldest, who is now a hot-headed detective. Kim Jae Joong plays Jang Dong Chul, the middle brother, who now goes by the name Heo Young Dal and is a low-life gang member addicted to playing cards. The youngest, Jang Dong Woo, is played by Im Si Wan, was adopted by a rich family who goes by the name Yoon Yang Ha and is dealing with depression.

I was really impressed with Kim Jae Joong’s acting in these first two episodes. Moreover than when he was in Protect the Boss, he created a multi-layer character in Jang Dong Chul and we’re only in the 2nd episode.

Also, I love that Jang Dong Soo has anger issues and how that will create friction when trying to get the evidence he needs to put away a mob boss. However, I also see how the mob boss’ connections will hit close to home. I’m curious to see how his characters juggles all of that and how that will affect his relationship with Hwang Shin Hye (Oh Yun Soo).

We didn’t get to see much from Im Si Wan and his character. He wasn’t the focus of the first two episodes but I’m already excited to see how he begins to fall for Oh Jung Hee (Baek Jin Hee) and what will happen when he discovers that Dong Chul is also in love with her.

We can already see that Oh Jung Hee is pretty fiesty and hopefully won’t be a damsel in distress type of character.  I’ve been watching her since High Kick and I think Baek Jin Hee has a wide range.  I feel that this role is a bit grittier than we’re used to seeing from her.  Though I haven’t watch Empress Ki even though I know she played the antagonist but when I mean gritty, I mean gruff around the edges type of character.

The most exciting thing about this drama is that all the cards have been setup. I’m a little worried about getting into the thick of the story too fast for fear that the writer will not have enough material to last for 24 episodes but for now I’m totally invested in this story.

Let’s hope the villain isn’t too farcical to ruin it for all of us.

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