The Queen of Asian Drama is Back with more Irreverent Reviews and Snarky Commentary.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

연인 / Lovers

2006, 20-episode Korean drama that stars Lee Seo jin and Kim Jung eun as star-crossed 'lovers' from opposite sides of the track who meet quite by accident and end up bumping into one another throughout the first half of the show; eventually succumbing to the destined side of their fate.

Italicized 'lovers' because, to me, they weren't, exactly lovers in the American (or my) sense of the word.

License, I suppose, but the word is misused, overabused ... what have you.

A 'lover' is someone you have sex with on the side - a LOT; yet in this drama, the only one having a good time at the start was Ha Kang jae's foster brother, Kang Sae yeon (Jung Chan).

Jung Chan

I had no idea what to make of this guy from the start of the show, but as things progressed, I started to feel more sorry for him until I hoped that he'd be the one to get the girl -

devastating moment in his life - so sad - someone needs a hug

He can't be considered a 'lover' to the women he bedded since he wasn't romantically involved with either them or anyone else since he still held out hope of reuniting with his first love, Park Yu jin (Kim Kyu ri), who had a seven-year relationship with Kang jae when the drama started.

Yes, a lover can also be described as someone who has a lot of sex, but when it becomes plural, all that changes.

Enough with the grammar lesson, though, and on with the show.

I had a lot of fun with this despite the aggravation faced at the depressingly changed website,

Nothing great or even good lasts forever with me, and sadly, this website is one of those instances.

What I appreciated most about the site was that it is the only website where you can watch an entire movie or drama without pop-up ads, commercials, re-directs, and ten-minute cut-offs.

They run only the shows, full-length, and without interruption, unlike mysoju (ten minute files redirected), veoh (ads, pop-ups, redirects), and so on.

Buffering issues, files not opening, horrible subs, timing trouble, and having the program shut down ten or even twenty minutes into a show have become commonplace now, and it makes me very sad since this used to be my favorite (and only) place to watch anything from Asia.

Now, it seems I'll have to begin searching for somewhere else to go to enjoy these shows, and I don't like that idea one bit.

Okay ~ enough with the bitching, and ON WITH THE SHOW!

I first saw a news article about the leading actors for this drama long before I watched this, and I was a bit surprised to see them together. It looks like they were between takes at the carnival scene.

He was in this white tank top, tanned and sporting one hella physique while she was dressed like your average, twenty-something ajumma spinster: it just, didn't work for me.

I know this is a pic of them on the set, but it's also where their romance blossomed, and even while watching 'Lovers', I didn't see a connection at - all.

Kim Jung eun

She's cute in a kawaii sort of way, and her eyes make that perfect ^.^ whenever she smiles!

Maybe I'm just jealous (again) cause she gets to hop in bed every night with a dude this fine, who knows.

Are they even, still together I wonder?

Some of the comments at the website stated that Lovers was one of their top-five, all-time favorite dramas, and while I disagree, I can't say it isn't one of my top-twenty.

The storyline was quite interesting, and the acting was superb, but it was the 'gaengseuteo' mob boys who drew me in and kept me glued to the screen for twenty, freakin' episodes.

Man, those were some mighty fine bad-boys, huh??

Which, to me, was more of what this drama was about than actual 'love' between so-called 'lovers': the inner workings, the conflicts, the brotherhood, family issues, and the eventual demise of such types.

Everyone on the wrong side of the law (earthly or religious) has GOT to pay the price in Korea, eh???

Funny stuff, but this show still worked for me.

Okay, so Kang jae is in this seven-year itch ... I mean, relationship, with ta-ta chick Yu jin, who just happens to live next door to newcomer-lover, Mi joo, a mousy type who is a plastic surgeon with (here it comes again) no money because she is forced to have to take care of her reverend father and the orphans he takes in at his seaside church in a lovely area south of Seoul.

Whatever ~ I've given up trying to figure out the wage issues from that part of the world.

So, Mi joo has issues with her family and friends, like a pregnant dongsaeng whose gorgeous boyfriend tries to skip town on her, so Mi joo goes after the guy (he's hot, ladies - long, wavy black hair, broad shoulders, nice face ... sigh), only she enters the wrong, Japanese-style dining room and confronts Kang jae instead.

It's hilarious.

She grabs the thug by his tie and demands to know what he intends to do for her sister when five shoji screens open up at once, revealing a host of hunky mobsters all staring at her with the same, ' want to die, bitch?' look on their handsome faces.


What's better, though, is when she realizes she's got the wrong dude, and she proceeds to try and make amends for disturbing the now-obvious gangsta and his bro's during their evening meal.

Instead of getting HER ass kicked, though, Kang jae, his super-fine left-hand man Tae san (Lee han) and older but no, less hawt right-hand man, Uhm Sang taek (Lee Gi young) drag the real dude outside and proceed to punish him for trying to leave his 'heavy belly' girlfriend in a lurch.

Then, Kang jae has bought the land the church sits on (for whatever reason), and he goes out there to hide, or perhaps to find some rival thugs when Mi joo also happens to pay her appahji a visit.

Kang jae gets stabbed and Mi joo takes him home to patch him up.

It's really funny how he maintains his high-rollin' lifestyle in a country setting, ordering his hunky subordinates to lug in all this high-class sh*t so he is more comfortable in the cabin-like, one-room place he's forced to have to recover in and not the ultra-chic hotel room he's used to living in.After they become an item (in their own minds, since everyone else wanted a piece of them - and neither lead knew quite how to let go of their pasts), Kang jae labels Mi joo Doctor on his cell, and she labels him Dimpled Gangster on hers.

Okay ~ so, even if I really liked this drama and had fun watching the storyline play out, I'd like to leave you with the images I captured, and a couple, dozen minutes or so of the ubiquitous, Korean-drama pregnant pauses moments.

First, Mr. hot-stuff:

Then the yeppeun stuff:

love the bg

again, the bg is gorgeous

pretty pink & lights

not sure what it is hanging behind him, but I likey

wedding crashers w/pretty confetti

In this scene, he's just saved Mi joo's life (again) and while she waits for him to return alive, she cries - and then he appears beside her, and the same, monotonous song plays yet again.

It was good stuff, though!

He's so macho in this one, it's not funny. :-)

and then the funny (or questionable) stuff:

totally diggin' this 1950's steering wheel!

what is it about Korean daters that makes it so impossible to just break up??
I mean - what, really, did he owe her anyway?

and, what would a KD be without the silly ho thinkin' her man's homies will come to her rescue if she turns on the waterworks and begs???

insulin shot time!!

okay ~ I've got this on vid, too, but the water was crazy violent, yet his and her hair stayed perfectly still the whole time they stood and stared at one another.

There were two issues with this drama as well ...

like, why was Mi joo so afraid to donate her own blood?

If she had an aversion, then becoming a plastic surgeon would be just as much of a no-no as she alluded to by claiming it was the best of any 'doctor' career choice based on the least amount of blood-letting.

I know that makes no sense to you or I, but that's what they led us to assume, and yet they never explained why she felt the way she did, or why she was so afraid to donate.

Second, and in the very, last scene, they showed Kang jae hop into his SUV (how it got there is a mystery since he was 'kidnapped' by the bad guys) and they zoomed in on him driving over a stud rail, yet the tires never deflated and he chases after the baddy for a few miles before eventually catching up to him.

Was there supposed to be a point to that, and they just ... I don't know ... let it go since it was the end of the shoot?

Now for the annoying, pregnant pauses in every Korean drama I've ever watched.

daydream pause



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