First Impressions: Winter 2011 Kdramas

So, I won’t be recapping either My Princess or Dream High because the good folks over at Drama Beans are doing that, but I will post my impressions of the two dramas along with my impressions of Sign, which I am recapping since it doesn’t seem like anyone is doing that as of yet. These are after watching the first two episodes of each drama.

So, here goes by order of my liking:

My thoughts on Dream High: I abhor the main leading lady Hye Mi (played by Miss A’s Suzy). I don’t know why, but sometimes dramas have these perfect leads that you love to hate for various reasons. I can’t find myself sympathizing with her totally even given her current economical hardships. Why? Although I do empathize with her harsh situation, her attitude and pride make it hard to like her. Kind of like with Prosecutor Princess and Hye Ri and Snow Flower with Dami. Main characters that you may be able to find some aspect to sympathize with, but can’t necessarily really like given their personalities. Hye Mi is selfish, self-centered, prideful, and contemptuous of the arts that don’t involve classical music, opera, and dance. And she is quick to judge and shoot off her temper. She thinks that she is the best and doesn’t really care who she stomps on – even the girl who was supposed to be her best friend.

Despite not liking Hye Mi, I really find myself being drawn in to the other characters and the drama in general. It’s nice to see Taecyeon in another drama finally and Wooyoung’s acting debut is pretty decent (from what little we’ve actually seen of him thus far). I am liking how the story will revolve around a group of kids with maybe four strong leads (Suzy, Taecyeon, Kim Soo Hyun, Ham Eun Jung), who all come to Girin Art High School for their own reasons. Instead of being the protective little brother in love with his noona, Taecyeon is the protective bad boy who is scarred from his past (he likes the fireball that is Hye Mi as he met her once when they were children). He secretly loves to dance, but is constantly in trouble. Kim Soo Hyun is a country bumpkin who loves to sing, but is afraid to show his true self to his mother. I have to admit that his character seems like an odd duck, but what brief glimpse we get in episode two definitely makes me want to know more about him. Ham Eun Jung’s character is a little confusing. Was she truly friends with Hye Mi because she liked her, or did she hope to ride on the girl’s wealthy coattails? Still, I like how after Hye Mi pulls her theatrics at the audition, that her character comes to her senses and finally steps out of Hye Mi’s shadow. As for Wooyoung, IU, and the others, I can’t wait to watch their journey as the blossom and come to realize their dreams.

My thoughts on My Princess: It’s no secret that I am not a huge fan of Kim Tae Hee. I have watched her earlier dramas and movies and cringed at her not-so-great acting, but with IRIS and now My Princess, she has proven that she can act decently. Her portrayal of ordinary girl Lee Seol is delightful. It is hard to peg just what can of a girl Lee Seol is as just when you thinks she’s a money-grubbing ditz, she shows a softer, nicer, more vulnerable side. I have loved Song Seung Hun ever since watching him in He Was Cool (although I admit to not liking the movie necessarily all that much). His character isn’t too bad, though I admit that I don’t know quite what to think of him at this point. He seems nice, but yet appears to be a male lead who will put his female lead through a rough time, kind of like what happened with Lee Da Hae in My Girl. He is practical and has a government job, is rich, but does seem to have a more snobby side then I necessarily like.

I am enjoying this drama with its absurd plot of restoring the Korean monarchy and Lee Seol just happening to be the princess Hae Young’s grandfather has been looking for. Also, throw in Lee Seol’s professor she has a huge crush on and that professor’s first love who is also in love with Hae Young and you know this plot will get crazy fast. Professor Jung Woo is obsessed with finding the late prince and if he finds out Lee Seol’s true identity, will he like her for her? And just what is going on with his ex Yoon Joo who appears to like Hae Young? I am placing this as second because I am enjoying it thus far, but previews for episode 3 have me thinking that I am probably going to be disappointed in this drama as it goes on and the plot gets even more ridiculous.

My thoughts on Sign: I like Park Shin Yang in Lovers in Paris and he’s good in Painter in the Wind as well. For this drama, his character is going to get annoying really fast as he is quick to lose his temper and start screaming for no apparent reason whatsoever. He loves his job, great. He believes a medical examiner should tell the truth and be neutral, excellent. Does he need to be so naive and yet realistic and carry a huge chip on his shoulder? Oh, I don’t think so.  I loved Kim Ah Joong in 200 Pounds Beauty and am excited to see her in a drama with a character I like. (I didn’t like her Hee Won from Our Attitude to Prepare Parting). I can’t find really any huge, gaping flaws with her character thus far (unlike Hye Ri in Prosecutor Princess who thought her job was a joke and really didn’t take it seriously at first). Despite being wealthy, Da Kyung chose a gritty profession as she loves the idea of science catching bad guys.

As for the storyline? The parts where they explain technical aspects of forensics and investigation bogs down an otherwise fast-moving plot and seems almost like over-explanation. This keeps you watching with its cliff-hangers at the end of each episode and makes you want to know more, but having such a huge conspiracy straight from the get go is crazy, along with these already complicated relationships between several characters. There is supposed to be romance plots thrown in, but I think that could lead this drama to go off kilter fast in just trying to keep up with everything that is going on. I do hope that this drama doesn’t get too crazy and confusing and leave you scratching your head at the end going what just happened?

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