Just Bananas About: Week of 2/29/16

Happy Leap Year Day!  I’ve been waiting for the premiere of Writer Kim Eun Sook’s latest drama, Descendants of the Sun.  It marks Song Joong Ki’s return to TV since he finished his military service.  He’s paired with Song Hye Kyo in this romance drama that blossoms in a war-torn country.

Captain Yoo Shi Jin (Song Joong Ki) is part of an elite military unit.  After he and his friend, Seo Dae Young (Jin Goo), stop a young thief, Kim Ki Bum (Kim Min Suk), while on military leave, he meets Dr. Kang Mo Yeon (Song Hye Kyo) when Ki Bum is sent to the hospital.

Mo Yeon mistakes Shi Jin for being Ki Bum’s mobster boss but after Shi Jin and Dae Young save Ki Bum from a bunch of gangsters she views him in a new light.  She learns that he is a soldier and sparks begin to fly.

They decide to go out on a date but it’s interrupted by a crisis unfolding overseas and his unit is sent on a mission.  So the two decide to postpone their first date.

Meanwhile, we learn that Dae Young has ended his relationship with Yoon Myung Jo (Kim Ji Won), a surgeon in the army.  She’s pretty, smart and stubborn.  Also, her dad happens to be Dae Young’s Lieutenant General.  She attended the same medical school as Mo Yeon in which there apparently was some rivalry between the two.

After Mo Yeon is stood up for their second date, she realizes that they cannot have a typical relationship nor can she learn very much about Shi Jin’s job.  She decides to end things with him before things get too serious.

Months later, Shi Jin and his unit are in Uruk as part of a peace-keeping mission.  Mo Yeon and her medical team is sent there when she turns down an odious hospital executive’s advances.  Shi Jin and Mo Yeon not only reunite again but now they must work together.

I will say that the first two episodes were well-paced and I’m liking Song Joong Ki and Song Hye Kyo’s chemistry.  However, I’m going to reserve too much excitement as I have been let down by Kim Eun Sook before due to her shallow characterizations and unsatisfying climaxes.  Already, we’ve been introduced to most of the characters and have become aware of their six degrees of separations but it seems all too easy.  I have to admit that I wasn’t too interested in the scenes at the hospital as they felt like filler and was there to just introduce us to a lot of the supporting characters.  I’m hoping that since this drama had completed filming by the time it went on air, it should provide the production staff time to put out a fully thought-out story with some depth.  Kim Eun Sook is known for her trendy dramas and I do like that her dramas are fun and soapy but I still want some meat that I can sink my teeth into.

As for Shi Jin and Mo Yeon, I’m intrigued by the fact that they both come from different worlds.  She’s in the business of saving lives while he’s in the business of taking them.  That’s an oversimplified explanation of their roles as I realize that being in the military is more complicated than that but that’s what I see on the surface level.  Partly, it’s also a fact that he risks his own life as well as risking others and she patches them back up.  Despite their differences, their similarity is that they both crave a sense of control whether that’s on the battlefield or in the operating room.  In that way, their differences and similarities have a bit of that Romeo and Juliet, romantic quality.

That romantic quality extends to the soundtrack as well and you can’t have a trendy drama without a great OST.  I’ve been loving the first two releases.  The first track was released by Yoon Mi Rae and I’ve been loving her voice lately.  It’s not that I haven’t enjoyed her music before but I’ve listening to her ballads on repeat a lot lately as she switches up form her hip-hop style to showcase her tender, comforting side.  “ALWAYS” has that quality but also captures the sound of a sweeping epic romance.

tYoon Mi Rae – ALWAYS

t윤미래 – ALWAYS

The second song to be released is “Everytime” which is composed and arranged by producing duo, Rocoberry.  It sounds very much like the track they did for “It’s Okay, It’s Love,” and not to mention that they got Chen from EXO to sing for them again.  (Now that I think about it, I realize that Yoon Mi Rae also sang for the “It’s Okay, It’s Love” OST, too.) “Everytime” also has that epic romantic quality in which start off with sweeping crescendo of the melody but unlike “ALWAYS,” it’s quite light and feel-good, which seems typical of Rocoberry’s style.

Chen (EXO), Punch – Everytime

첸 (EXO) , 펀치(Punch) – Everytime

I am easily engrossed in the music already that I know I’ll be playing it non-stop while the drama is airing.  Still, I hope that I’ll have that same fondness for the drama itself by the end of its run.  Fingers crossed.

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