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

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Full House


풀하우스


Pool Ha-woo-seu


2004 KBS 16-episode comedy/romance that starred Bi as Lee Young jae, a spoiled actor always caught up in some form of 'scandal' but who also has a hidden life of anger, pain, and a long-festering resentment toward his appah,  a doctor.

You can tell by the date of issue that I watched this YEARS ago, and I can't remember why it took this long to blog. So, I watched it again, and sometimes that can be a benefit - or a huge mistake if the story is no good.

Even more strange is that I watched both Full House dramas, and this I remembered with more clarity than I could the second version, which came out in 2012, much later.

I think Rain delved a bit deeper into the music side of his career of late, working with his MBlaq group and likely experiencing more freedom now, too.

Then again, as most Korean hallyu stuff goes, we are given mere glimpses of these hot guys before they are put out to pasture, and that is a big, fat shame.

Bi starred alongside Kim Seong soo in this one, and I haven't seen him lately, either. I know he has appeared in recent dramas, but not everything is made available to the outside world, and it's always hit/miss with what I am able to watch here in Michigan.

So, Seong su's Yoo Min hyuk is a hyung who makes lots of money as a talent scout of sorts - Min hyuk owns his own business and knows Young jae through the business, but they are also neighborhood buddies from back in the day.

Han Eun jung as Kang Hye won is the 'other' woman in this drama. Hye won grew up with both guys, but it was Young jae who carried a torch for her since he was nine. She likes Min hyuk, though, and Min hyuk is a playa with no time for games, of which he outright accuses Hye won of playing, telling her that is why he's not interested.

Young jae knows them both really well, and while it bugs him to think hyung is playing the girl, it doesn't stop him from trying and trying unsuccessfully to make her come around to his side.

Then there is the beautiful and quite talented Song Hye kyo as Han Ji eun.

She lives in a lovely house by the sea that her father built, and she is a wannabe script writer. At the start, she said she was an online novelist, and the phrase doesn't mean anything to me: blogger? She writes novels and posts them on a web page? Whatever.

I think she is one of the rare beauties in the Korean Hollywood world, and even when she tried to be dowdy, only one hairstyle made it seem real

The tumor she sometimes had growing out of the side of her head.

She wasn't hip or cool, and yet she exuded a sensuality quite rare to our Korean actresses. So few can pull it off, much less make it believable.

Ji eun lived in her own, private world until her conniving friends sent her on a trip to Shanghai (?) and on the plane she meets Young jae.

Here come the ubiquitous parts:
she pukes on him, she has to beg him for help/money, he treats her like dirt, and she has to struggle to get back home.

When she does return to Korea, she discovers that her 'friends' have (only in Korea) sold her house and furniture and run away. Oh, yeah, and they also cleaned out her bank account.

Because this is somehow do-able over there without the authorities finding out - or a 30 day closing period, the freakin' house deed, photo ID, or whatnot.

Guess who bought the house?


You know it!

And, there were a grand total of THREE shower scenes this time around, too.

Girl tries to get back inside her house, guy tosses her out, girl struggles to get back in, guy ignores her, girl gets sick sleeping outside, guy takes her in and nurses her back to health ...

Guy and girl fight, bicker, shout, abuse, and torment one another throughout the 16 episodes.

Girl finds her friends, who don't have any money - even after selling a big, waterfront home to a movie star, liquidating all the assets, AND draining a bank account. It's always the way, isn't it? What was the point? Something about a gangpae issue or whatever.

The point was to bring guy/girl together in a most unnatural and unbelievable way, that's why.

She ends up being his maid, he makes a lot of unreasonable demands on her time, but she still manages to crank out more work that miraculously end up in the hands on our hyung, who tells her she's a budding talent despite the fact that no one liked her work prior, and even he said she's pretty boring and raw.

Which means he's feelin' something, eh?

Of course he is! She's pretty, and Young jae has his claws in her, so ...

I swear in every scene these two were in, in every episode, it was the same dialogue. He is looking over her manuscript, she is pouting, he asks what is wrong, she smiles and says nothing, he asks if she is hungry, she says (nothing) and they end up at a restaurant.

Every, single scene. No deviation even.

This was 2004, though, and that continuity thing wasn't very huge or important, I remember.

Like, when Young jae contracts a marriage with the girl so that she will save him and get back her house - so they go on this tropical vacation together, and they are on a yacht. She's wearing a dress AND heels. On a yacht. In the ocean. Bobbing up and down. On the deck. Of a yacht. In high heels.



I gotta hand it to the writer, though. Isn't this, like, every girls fantastic dream? This is what I want to have happen to me kind of stuff? Just bump into a mega star, get your house sold out from under you by him, be forced to work as his slave, and end up having him fall head over heels in love with you?

I wonder if it wasn't written by a fourteen-year-old 'online novel' kind of thing?

The story was ridiculous while also being worthwhile in some respects.
It had its merits, but again, to be rewritten in a more credible way, using the same cast but different writers.

The story had its funny moments, and I like Rain's style in the comedy department. It isn't forced or irritating. Unlike his angry outbursts. That got old real quick, especially when it was the same thing day in and day out, episode after episode.

I get it already! He's spoiled, angry, and unable to express himself. Still, there have to be dozens of other ways to show this, aren't there?

Poor guy.

Poor chick having to put up with it. Poor US having to watch it again and again, too.

There were also the questionable decision moments and parts that made me very confused as to why he or she did, said, or felt the way they did. Bad writing.

I loved the house, though, and the sub plot between Young jae and the other woman. It wasn't as contrived or predictable as usual, but it did drag on a bit longer than reality would dictate, or a viewer would want it to.

The happy ending was a bit of a yawn, and too cutsie girly for my taste, but whatever.

I really liked Song Hye kyo's part, her acting, and her credibility. She nailed it, and the scenes between her and Young jae's family were funny, likable, and sweet without being overly patriarchal, domineering, and boorish.

I gave it a 3 out of 5 because of these issues, but the two leads did a great job, and the story itself would have been fun if it weren't for the poor writing.

Here are the rest of my screen shots






 I know it's not, but this necklace looks like Michigan, so I captured it



yeppun bar scene




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