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

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Full House Take 2


2012 SBS Plus 16 episodes in 32 parts KDo that starred Hwang Jung eum as Jang Man ok / Michelle Jang (the Cinderella girl), No Min woo as Lee Tae ik, the caustic rich chap and lead lip syncer in Take 2, and Park Ki woong as Won Kang hwi, the lovable sidekick with dyed blond hair and a cute smile.

Compared to the original Full House, I liked this version better - but not by a whole lot.

Different house, different characters, same premise.

Bratty rich kid loses his parents and their house and is forced (forced, mind you) to become a mega pop star in order to try and win said house back.

We're led to believe that Tae ik never wanted to become a pop idol and that is why he remains so acerbic throughout the show. Just like our Young jae in the first version. There are other reasons, too, though, for Tae ik's antagonistic behavior. In the original version, Young jae blamed his father for the death of his younger sister. In the second version, Tae ik blames his sidekick for a lost love.

I honestly wasn't, ever sure why Park Ki woong's Won Kang hwi behaved so goofy, inept, and lackadaisical about his career other than he was purposeful just to get a rise out of his uptight buddy, Tae ik.

I love both guys, though.

Min woo shocked the hell out of me coming from 9-Tail Fox to this. Night and day if you ask me. It was like he shed about 50 pounds of lean muscle for this part, and I continue to ask myself why?

I liked the chemistry between everyone, from the two leads, the two feuding buds, and even the animosity in the office. It all worked so well and lent itself to a ton of credibility I so appreciate any time I watch a Korean drama. I'm always anticipating the usual, and when that doesn't occur on a regular basis, I'm happy.

I really, REALLY, hontou ni hate gossip, but there is this thing about Min woo having had plastic surgery on his nose. Personally, I liked his big kid nose and I think he simply insists on air brushing and photoshop techniques while maintaining his own sense of dignity. I don't see a huge (no pun intended) difference between his kawaii baby boy images and what he exudes on screen.

Like all gossip, and why I can't stand it, it simply shows a lack of character on the part of the spewer and a sense of jealousy or dislike for whatever reason. Find something more meaningful to do with your time, eh?

In Full House 2, a cute girl who was once a princess loses her parents and ends up with her Taekwondo grandfather. He is invited to the open house of Tae ik's parents, and that is when the two leads first meet (as kids).

She grows up adoring fashion while also helping out at the dojo, and then her grandpa has to leave for awhile, and she gets mixed up with her good friend in this online fashion thing. Man ok and her goofy pal, Kim Do yun as Han Ga ryun are unlikely friends in that Man ok is cautious, sweet, and steady while Ga ryun is haphazard, flighty, and single-minded.

Still, the two fight through their friendship and stick to their own ideals while managing to put together this fashion website and start selling the things that Man ok has designed from scraps and not having any formal training.

I appreciated her sense of style, and I'm sorry, but I loved her curly hairstyle regardless of what the rest of the world (esp Korea) thinks about it.

She went from having a sense of style and uniqueness to being a mushroom head, and if her hair were at her shoulders then, yes, I'd say go with the straight style ON OCCASION, but do keep the beautiful, curly locks!

There is absolutely nothing wrong with curly hair. Straight is becoming boring, so it's always refreshing to see something out of the ordinary on occasion. The curls suited her face and accented her smile.

Ga ryun is super-duper big-time in love with Kang hwi and stalks him both on and offline, messing up Man ok's plans to sell a lot of her designs because Ga ryun is in charge of the online business, but she is too preoccupied with searching everything Kang hwi online instead of doing her job.

She attends fan meetings, holds up signs, and screams like an idiot outside the studio where Kang hwi and Tae ik work.

I got, too, both times I watched this drama, when it first aired and recently for this blog, that Ga ryun was over-doing the fan girly thing (or not) - and I was a bit startled and somewhat disturbed by the fact that these twits are actually labeled. Respectable fans, fanatics, and life and death - the worst, scariest kind of fan.

There's zero wrong with adoring someone bigger and better than you are, cutting out and pasting his/her images on your bedroom wall, day and night dreaming about romantic encounters, etc. Human nature kind of stuff we all deal and live with until we're too old to care anymore. But, when we take it to the next level and start acting out those fantasies, believing that we are somehow in control of their destiny, and have a say in how they live their lives, then it gets stupid.


Aside from the original Young jae and the second version's Tae ik having the same attitude and inability to express themselves properly, the rest of Take 2 is pretty original. Tae ik and Kang hwi are the leads in a 'boy band' of sorts who just dance and lip sync to the same song throughout all 16 episodes. It made me wonder if either lead has any musical talent, and if Min woo can actually play the piano or if Ki woong can actually play the guitar.

I was awestruck by Min woo's drumming in one episode, and I believe he played them for another boy band (Trax) or something like that. It was pretty intense and cool.

I also much prefer to see our cutie-pie Ki woong with black versus yellow hair, too.

And, I know I keep saying this, and it may get annoying, but I can't help it when some of these stars remind me of people I know. In this case, Ki woong totally reminds me of my friend from childhood, Terri. Yes, she was a she and he is a he, but whatever. It is uncanny how much he resembles her in every way, though her eyes were blue, but they were the same shape, she had the same, oval face, the same mouth, and even the same smile. He is nearly identical to my old friend - mianhae.

Tae ik has phobias to include being allergic to pet hair, synthetics, and chemicals (like me!) and when he wears a scarf on stage that isn't pure, he has anaphylactic symptoms that are remedied with a simple kiss.

The way that Ki woong's Kang hwi handles the situation was both thrilling and hilarious. The fact that he eyed the audience just prior was sublime.

Brave, bold move on the part of the censors at SBS, I must say!

Is that what the plus means, I wonder? lol

Okay, so, like, a few years back Tae ik was madly in love with this bitchy female star who didn't care for him or anyone else but herself (you know the type, c'mon). And she does something stupid bitch in order to further her career (yeah, right, whatever) and breaks Tae ik's heart while driving this wedge between him and Kang hwi. Tae ik saw what happened, and Kang hwi has no idea that's the case. Kang hwi is the glue in this troupe, but despite his best efforts, Tae ik grows more caustic and abusive until Kang hwi (I think) starts to act deliberate just to piss off Tae ik, but I don't know if that's for sure.

Then Kang hwi bumps into our mousy but still cute Man ok, who helps the defenseless Kang hwi escape a bunch of deranged fans.

I so don't want to believe that people like them exist, and that it is just the overly stimulated imaginations of ratings writers, nothing more.

Anyway, Kang hwi is a fan of Man ok's website, but he doesn't know that she is the owner, only that he likes her style both garment and behavior-wise.

They become fast friends, and he ends up helping her to get the stylist position at his agency, where she ends up having to dress both Kang hwi and Tae ik.

Tae ik treats Man ok the same way he does everyone else:  with disdain.

It's funny.

I think it was funny because I'm such a huge fan of Min woo and he can get away with acting naughty on account of his being so cool.

There is one drawback to his androgynous side, though.

He leans more toward the gay than the bi, which makes it nearly impossible for me to believe he could fall for ANY woman.

Kind a like the exact opposite of the way I view Jang Geun suk for the same reason: different kind of femme projection.

Which means Min woo's kae is a lot more believable than Geun suk's. When Geun suk goes after a woman in diamonds, fur, make-up, and sporting a better hair style than her, I still believe he's gonna get some action cause he's all man underneath the façade
Min woo, not so much.

Whatever. I'll bet most everyone's kaedar is on the blink anymore since that line is now so blurred it's barely, even recognizable. Who knows!

So, for 16 (32, but) episodes we are taken on a bizarre journey of vindication, sorrow, humiliation, and uphill battle. Will Tae ik get his house back? Will Kang hwi triumph over evil? Will Man ok remember that she wanted to be a designer and not the love interest of two pop stars? Will the bad guys get crap dumped on them at the right time?

I, for one, wanted to find out BOTH times that I watched this one, and as predictable and (dare I say it) corny as the script was written, I enjoyed this a lot more than I did the first round - but not by much.

The repetition, the same song (even at different tempos), the constant angst, and the forgotten things annoyed me too much to give this any more than it deserved.

Strong cast, though, I will admit. I loved these guys together, and that was what made this one better than the original.

I've also come to the realization that these things aren't written nor cast to placate the ajumma crowd anymore. Although I'm sure they are still the largest audience since they are able to watch on a daily basis, but with things like DVR anyone can watch anything at any time now. So, that means the crowd has not only grown but the demographics have shifted. Well, let me say that while the demographics are BLENDED now, the writers are catering to a new audience, and that isn't fair.

Just because the actors are getting younger every year doesn't mean - like fashion - that anyone over the age of 25 should be excluded from all the fun.

Here are the rest of my screen captures

speaking of photoshop ...

love his smile

his lips SO aren't prepared!

david bowie pose

cutie pie


awesome subs (as usual)

thanks to these guys (as usual)

two, adorable smiles





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