Just Bananas About: Week of 9/4/15

So far I’m really liking the start of TVN’s latest drama, Twenty Again, starring Lee Seo Jin’s other half, Choi Ji Woo.  She plays Ha No Ra, a divorced mom of college freshman, who decides to enter the same university he’s attending and where her husband is teaching.  Also teaching at the university is her high school sweetheart, or more accurately the guy who has had a crush on her since high school and never forgotten about it.  What got me was the teasers featuring the rest of the cast in shock and horror and a giddy Choi Ji Woo as they learn that she’s going back to school.

The drama starts off with Ha No Ra in divorce proceedings with her husband, Kim Woo Chul (Choi Won Young).  She had previously protested the divorce but eventually relented due to her husband’s wishes.  They decide to keep things a secret from their teenage son, Kim Min Soo (Kim Min Jae), who is preparing for college.

Ha No Ra believes that her husband wanted the divorce because she’s ignorant.  She got pregnant when she was in high school and decided to get married instead of attending college.  So she studies furiously, at the same time her son is studying for the college exams.  They both try to get into the university where Woo Chul is teaching at but neither of them get in.  They both get into their 2nd choice, Woo Cheon University, and Woo Chul decides to leave his current position to teach at Woo Cheon instead.

When No Ra first meets with her high school friend, Cha Hyun Suk (Lee Sang Yoon), he’s incredibly rude to her.  No Ra is Hyun Suk’s first love, albeit one-sided.  He’s never quite gotten over her and his memories of his first love aren’t sweet but rather bitter.

When No Ra tells her family that she got into Woo Cheon too, they tell her to decline the offer.  She’s bummed but she does as told until she receives a cancer diagnosis telling her she’s about to die in six months.  She’s upset but realizes this will be her last chance to start something new.  Plus, her grandmother, who raised her, had always wanted No Ra to attend college and had even saved money by secretly stuffing it in her pillow.  When she passed away No Ra kept the pillow but never looked inside.  Now she’s finally getting to fulfill her grandmother’s wishes to use the money for her education and secretly registers for classes.

Meanwhile, at his first MT (membership training), Min Soo meets Oh Hye Mi (Son Na Eun).  She’s pretty, she’s forward and they begin dating as soon as they meet.  As for Woo Chul, he may still be living at home with his divorced wife for the sake of appearances but he already has another woman on the side, Kim Yi Jin, a home economics professor.  Since Min Soo has gotten into college, Woo Chul wants to officially separate from No Ra but she asks that they pretend for 3 more months.  She uses Min Soo as an excuse saying that they shouldn’t separate until Min Soo has settled in at school.

No Ra has a rough time during her first few days at school.  It’s not enough that the students are polite but don’t want to bother partnering up with her.  She also is surprised to learn how fast things move from the campus forums to putting a reserve on books at the library.

She signs up for Hyun Suk’s class who then proceeds to purposely humiliate her in front of everyone.

As for her other classes, No Ra takes a marriage and understanding your partner class with none other than Kim Yi Jin.  That should be interesting since Yi Jin is the woman who is standing between No Ra and her ex-husband.  In the class, she is randomly paired up with another student, Na Soon Nam (No Young Hak), who is annoyed.

Hyun Suk notices that No Ra is the outcast on the campus.  Of course, that doesn’t stop him from acting childish every time he sees her.

Kim Gun Mo – 잘못된 만남(2009 Remastering ver.) (Wrongful Meeting (2009 Remastering ver.)

김건모 – 잘못된 만남(2009 Remastering ver.)

While he’s annoyed at the sight of her, he can’t help but be interested in what’s going on with her.  He also happens to catch No Ra hiding from her husband and demands to know what’s going on but she’s dodges answering the question.  Upon asking Yi Jin for more information, Yi Jin replies that when No Ra was asked about her marital status, she responded cryptically.  Hyun Suk offers to help No Ra get into a psychology class that she wanted to take if she tells him why she’s hiding from her husband.

First off, I liked that despite all the hardships that No Ra is facing, she remains mostly upbeat and positive.  I think that side of Choi Ji Woo would make the drama incredibly entertaining and fun especially considering that all the men in her life seem to come off moody.

Honey G – 잘못된 만남 (Wrongful Meeting)

허니지 – 잘못된 만남

What I didn’t like about the first episode was the fact that it was a cancer diagnosis that prompted her to register for classes.  I think the divorce and the dance performance were enough to convince me that she’d decide to register for classes despite her family’s opposition.

I also can’t get over the fact that Kim Min Jae looks so much like Song Joong Ki.  I’ve seen Kim Min Jae on Show Me the Money 4 recently, which made me do a double take.  However, every time I see or hear him in the drama, I can’t un-think of Song Joong Ki.  As for his character, I get that he’s a teenager and that he may be embarrassed of his mom but I do hope that the drama digs further into why there is discord between Min Soo and his mother.  I would find it difficult to like his character if the drama didn’t highlight their relationship further.

I like that Choi Won Young is a versatile actor from playing villains to the affable assistant.  Here he’s great at playing an uppity professor who only seems to care about appearances.  Granted, he is the ex-husband and mostly likely the antagonist of the story but I wouldn’t mind seeing what kept their marriage together for 20 years.  Did he love her when she got married or was purely out of responsibility for getting her pregnant?

As for Lee Sang Yoon, I don’t think I’ve ever seen him in a drama since Air City.  Which isn’t really fair since he played a small supporting role… as Choi Ji Woo’s friend.  Now it’s coming back to me.  Anyways, I’m liking their chemistry here with their petty bickering.  Hyuk Suk says that he wants nothing to do with No Ra but his behavior suggests otherwise.  But what I really love about Lee Sang Yoon’s acting is that when Hyun Suk looks at No Ra, he could have a caring expression one second and a snarky one the next.  You see that conflict of emotions on his face and it makes their scenes together all the more meaningful.  Hmm, I wonder if he took some of those cues from watching Lee Seo Jin.  Sigh… if I just keep saying, it will come true.  Lol.  Looking forward to tonight’s episode.

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