Just Bananas About: Week of 1/2/17

Happy New Year!  It’s been a mad dash for me to complete my reviews before I can put out my End of the Year TV Reports and I still got a few more to go.  If only I was better at not procrastinating… well, I suppose that’s what new year resolutions are for, right?  And still, that didn’t stop me from adding another program to watch on top of what I’m already watching.  Last year, I attempted to watch a web drama, Splash Splash LOVE, and loved it.  Each of the episodes are about 10 minutes or so in length, they don’t require much commitment and they’re often silly and entertaining.  So during the break, I was interested in doing that again and came across Seven First Kisses.

Ji Chang Wook – KISSING YOU

지창욱 – KISSING YOU

I’m about 7 episodes in and the webdrama is about Min Soo Jin (Lee Cho Hee), the information desk girl at the Lotte Duty Free Department Store.  She’s never had a boyfriend and today is her 25th birthday.

After helping a mysterious woman (Choi Ji Woo), the woman grants Soo Jin her wish to experience romance and seven “kisses” from seven different men.

Each episode featuring each of the men has its own genre, whether it’s makjang, thriller, romcom, melodrama and action.  Okay, I have to admit that the writing for this webdrama is pretty terrible.  However, I couldn’t resist watching because the cast includes men like Lee Jun Ki, Park Hae Jin, Ji Chang Wook, EXO’s Kai, Ok Taek Yeon, Lee Jong Suk and Lee Min Ho.  I mean, seriously.  It’s not much of a commitment and the webdrama makes me laugh more than it annoys me.  Plus, the terrible writing is partly due to the fact that the webdrama is basically a big commercial for Lotte and its affiliated business ventures.  A big clue is the shooting location for the drama and the fact that many of these actors are celebrity spokesmen and women for the Lotte brand.

The first guy to flutter our hearts is Lee Jun Ki.  What is interesting about Soo Jin’s encounter with the men is that she recognizes them as celebrities but they each have a different role in the series.  Lee Jun Ki is an IT genius who turns out to be a childhood friend of Soo Jin’s.  He’s made it big but the one thing that has remained out of his reach is confessing his true feelings to his first love, Soo Jin.

He does just that and as soon as she accepts his proposal, they move in for a kiss.  That’s where her date with Lee Jun Ki ends.  There are some mysterious forces at work here as she is transported back to the same moment in time when she first meets Lee Jun Ki.  Not to mention, she (and I) am completely bummed that they didn’t seal the deal on the kiss.

However, when she looks up next, she sees Park Hae Jin standing in front of her.  He’s an executive at the department store.  He first chastises her for looking at her phone while she’s on duty and tells her to pick it up after work.  Soo Jin stops by his office to do just that and he asks her if she can stay late to work.  Does she have plans, does she have a boyfriend?  No on both counts.

His idea of working late is basically keeping him company by eating dinner while he works.  Afterwards, he offers to take her home but she finds some photos of her on his desk.  The nature of the photos look stalkerish.  Suddenly, the drama turns into a thriller as Soo Jin decides to run away and not take his offer of being driven home.  Why is it that Park Hae Jin’s storylines have some kind of thriller element to it?  I’m telling you he was just too good in Bad Guys and Cheese in the Trap.

It turns out that she did have a stalker but it wasn’t Park Hae Jin as he comes to save her at the end of the day.

As the stalker is being dragged away by the cops, Park Hae Jin confesses his feelings for her and leans in for a kiss.  Soo Jin returns back to square one and she realizes that all of her romantic experiences will end as soon as they’re about to kiss.

The next leading man in her lineup is Ji Chang Wook.  He’s a secret agent who has managed to get her an important USB.

The only problem is that the bad guys are right on their tail looking for the USB as well.  Together, they beat up the bad guys but Ji Chang Wook ends up getting shot in the scuffle.  Cue the scene where she suddenly knows how to remove the bullet and patch him up.

He reveals that although he has feelings for her, they can’t be together because all he brings is danger.  He’s doing the chivalrous thing by pushing her away.  (Insert eye roll.)  But Soo Jin is glad to hear that because that means he won’t kiss her and she’ll get to spend more time with him.  Ah-ha, I see where you’re going with this.  Unfortunately (?) for her, he turns around at the last moment and tells her that he doesn’t care and moves in for the kiss.  Doh!

Back to the beginning, her manager comes by and asks Soo Jin to help some Chinese customers as their translator while they’re shopping in the store.  Soo Jin doesn’t even realize that she’s able to speak Chinese but apparently in this fantasy, she can.

Cut to, meeting EXO’s Kai after she’s done with her shift.  He’s come to see his language tutor who helped him to debut in China as an idol.  She’s sure that she can keep this fantasy going as she doesn’t plan to go beyond the teacher/student relationship.

And yet, he has other plans at the end of their date.  He confesses that if she doesn’t accept his proposal, he won’t see her again.  Well, what’s the point of the fantasy if she’s stuck in one but can’t see the male hero?  But as soon as she accepts him and they move in for a kiss, the fantasy ends.

Looking at the cards that the mysterious woman left her, she only got two men left.  She’s gotta hang on to at least one.  That’s when her colleagues tell her to leave a little early so that she can meet up with her boyfriend.  Soo Jin is confused as she doesn’t know who it is until she sees Ok Taek Yeon.

He’s dashing, charming and rich.  Soo Jin is overwhelmed by all the gifts that he planned to buy for her and as they’re about to walk out, they see a woman waiting for them.

There’s something weird about this woman as she shrieks about how their families want them to be together instead of him being with Soo Jin.  He’s resolute in his feelings for Soo Jin.  Then out of nowhere, a butler appears to bring the woman a glass of water… to splash Soo Jin with.  Soo Jin realizes that she’s stuck in a makjang.  To make matters worse, the storyline gets more and more absurd with the appearance of his mother.  Soo Jin tries to kiss him just to get out of this fantasy but he pushes back.

Instead, he has other plans.  He’s planned a press conference to state that he will give up his chaebol inheritance to be with the woman he loves.  Soo Jin suddenly realizes that she doesn’t want to let him go.  I wouldn’t want to either.  Ok Taek Yeon, his muscle and even his dopey ears.  However, he swoops in without warning.

The last man to enter her life appears to be Lee Jong Suk.  He and Soo Jin are scheduled to shoot an ad for the department store.  They have to play a couple who is very much in love.  In love and loves to shop ‘til they drop.

Acting is not Soo Jin’s forte and acting like she’s dating Lee Jong Suk makes her nervous.  However, she makes the decision to give it her all as long as they don’t do a kiss scene.  After all, this is her last card.

Unfortunately, the director has different plans.  Seeing that the two look good on camera, after the initial first jitters, the directors decides that the two will have their kiss scene after all.

And just like that, Soo Jin returns back to reality.  She’s bummed that she got to have lovely dates with these hot men but all she’s got now is an almost, near kiss to remember.  That’s when the mysterious woman pops by again to say they’re not quite done yet.  Now that she’s had all these experiences, she has to choose one guy to become her boyfriend.  Uuuugh, this has got to be Sophie’s Choice of all flower boys decisions.

I think Lee Cho Hee was perfectly cast in this role.  I last saw her in Lucky Romance and she was funny as hell with Jung Sang Hoon.  Her exaggerated expressions are key to what makes her amusing to watch.  Especially for a drama that’s fast-paced and not very well written, she’s very entertaining.

Now back to the choice that Soo Jin needs to make.  The webdrama promises 6 different conclusions for the 6 different choices Soo Jin makes.  The strange thing is that I know Lee Min Ho is in it but hasn’t made an appearance yet.  So does that mean she ends up with him?  I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

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