Just Bananas About: Week of 3/14/16

Happy Pi Day!  Which is always an excuse to have the other pie, but I digress.  Lately, I’ve been watching a lot of weekend dramas.  A new one that started up relatively recently is Marriage Contract with Lee Seo Jin and Uee.  It’s not a very unique story but I really like the cast so I’ve decided to give it a go.

The story follows Han Ji Hoon (Lee Seo Jin), the son of a chaebol whose birth mother was his mistress.  Despite being the product of an affair, he was brought into the chaebol family fold.  Having newly opened his new restaurant, he has plans to open a chain of them.  He learns that his birth mother has damaged her liver due to all her alcoholism and needs a transplant.  Unfortunately, Ji Hoon is not a match.

Kang Hye Soo (Uee) is a young single mother who is struggling to raise her daughter while paying off her late husband’s debts.

She first meets Ji Hoon when she saves her daughter from almost being hit by his car.  Although Hye Soo wasn’t hit by the car, she faints on the spot and he is forced to take her to the hospital.  Little does he know that she’s become the newly hired sous-chef at his restaurant.  When Hye Soo is diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor, she agrees to marry Ji Hoon and donate part of her liver to his mother in exchange for enough money to provide for her daughter until she reaches adulthood.

Of course, their scheme is not without challenges.  It’s illegal to give up your organs for money.  So they must convince the hospital that they are a couple and in love.  Once Ji Hoon’s mother learns of it, she is firmly against them going through with it.  However, Ji Hoon informs her that they’ve already tied the knot in the eyes of the law.

And to make matters more complicated, Ji Hoon’s half-brother’s fiancée just happens to be his first love, Seo Na Yoon (Kim Yoo Ri).  Na Yoon’s relationship with Ji Hoon’s brother is a marriage of convenience but it looks like she hasn’t gotten over Ji Hoon, which is likely to cause a wedge between Ji Hoon and his family.

Even on Hye Soo’s side of the family, things aren’t as simple.  Her daughter, Cha Eun Sung (Shin Rin Ah) must provide an interview for the hospital but getting her on board with the scheme is proving to be difficult.  Even if it weren’t for the near car accident, Eun Sung’s dislike for Ji Hoon prevents her from cooperating.

Ji Hoon tries his best to get Eun Sung to like him by buying her gifts and going with her and her mom to a theme park.  However, she’s quite adamant about not welcoming him in.

As for Ji Hoon’s mom, she figures that the only way that will prevent her from getting the liver transplant is by killing herself.  Fortunately, Hye Soo finds her in the nick of time and tells her that by saving her life, Hye Soo’s life will also be saved.  Although Ji Hoon doesn’t hear this, he sees this exchange and he’s affected by the fact that Hye Soo has treated his mom so warmly after he’s been cold to her and her daughter.  We see the beginnings of feelings flourishing for this playboy who refused to have a stable relationship.

Jung Dong Ha – To You Again

정동하 – To You Again

As for Eun Sung, she notices that her mom has been acting strange and particularly hiding some pictures.  They’re wedding pictures that Ji Hoon and Hye Soo took in order to sell the image that they’re engaged.  Ji Hoon catches her ripping the picture but doesn’t notice what it is.  Eun Sung tries to run away and ends up dropping the picture just as Na Yoon shows up.

The story is a bit obvious and contrived.  I mean, what are the chances that Hye Soo just happens to be a match for his mother?  I can live with that improbability because I like the chemistry with Lee Seo Jin and Uee so far.  I can’t wait to see Ji Hoon and Hye Soo’s relationship develop because I think Lee Seo Jin is most interesting when his character is outside of his comfort zone.  The drama touched upon it briefly so far but since there is an age gap between the actors and the characters, I’m hoping that we’ll get to see some interesting challenges as their relationships develop.

As for Uee, I think it’s a new mature role for her.  I’m not what to expect from the role but I already love that Hye Soo is bonding with Ji Hoon’s mother because of the fact that they are both mothers.  As a young mother, I can see how she feels so unprepared and out of her element.  It sounds like she got married because she believed she could rely on her husband but when he was suddenly taken out of her life, she had to find a way to survive in order to bring up her daughter.  Now that her time has been cut short, she feels that this is her last resort.

So far, I’m not sure how I feel about the child actor.  I’m hoping my feelings for her will grow as she begins to bond with Ji Hoon.  In many ways, you can see that Ji Hoon has a lot in common with Eun Sung.  They both cherish their mother and worried about being abandoned by them.

On the flip side, I’m surprised that Ji Hoon’s father and his wife has brought Ji Hoon into their fold.  However, I’m not entirely convinced that they believe he’s one of them.  I don’t even think that Ji Hoon believes that but I know that the family will use that against Ji Hoon eventually.

I don’t expect that the drama will be amazingly unique but the likeability factor of the cast and a decent storyline might be enough to make it enjoyable.

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For those who are watching Descendants of the Sun, you’ve probably squealed at the end of Episode 4 when Kang Mo Yeon (Song Hye Kyo) looks at Yoo Shi Jin (Song Joong Ki) and says that he looks really thirsty and offers him the bottle of wine she’s been drinking.  He says that he can’t drink it directly due to being on duty but there’s probably a way to taste it.  He then swoops in for a kiss.  By the way, if that makes your toes curl, Song Joong Ki has a lot of swoon/cringe-worthy lines, which only he can pull off because of that sweet, baby-face.

Anyways, this past weekend SNL Korea did a skit based on that.  In case you haven’t seen SNL Korea before, they typically do parodies of popular movies and dramas.  But instead of having the comedians using the characters’ names, they typically go with the actors’ names instead.  So here Ahn Young Mi plays Song Hye Kyo while Kim Joon Hyun plays Song Joong Ki.  I wish the video below had subtitles but basically Kim Joon Hyun says the same line as Song Joong Ki from the drama but instead of a romantic kiss, it’s more about drinking and eating the food.  Ha.

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