Monday, March 15, 2010

Thoughts / Review: My Girl (2005)

There has been a Korean drama drought in my house. The last drama I watched ended around Thanksgiving last year so I am way overdue. I picked this title because it keeps cropping up during my various research efforts for new dramas to watch. The Hong sisters had such a hit penning You're Beautiful that I thought I would try this one to see what put them on the map.

Dramas are dramas so let's just say that the plot is your average sticky situation between man and woman posing as fake cousins who fall in love but have added secondary characters to create a love rectangle. Through various trials and tribulations with family heritage, secondary character blind-love induced sabotage, misunderstandings etc. etc., the lead characters win each other's affections and they finally are together. It's a basic formula but we arrive at the obvious conclusion. There were a few episodes that were lackluster but were quickly redeemed with more comedic humor in the episodes that followed. And the ending was also probably one or two too many episodes to conclusion.

The female character, Ju Yu Jin (played by Lee Da Hae), is pretty entertaining. The actress is very animated and cute. She also does crying and depressed scenes well. She is the most entertaining character and really leads this drama. The male lead character, Seol Gong Chan (played by Lee Dong Wook) is rich, cool and reserved. Completely opposite of his lively, swindling, love interest. Typical drama male lead no? Chemistry is good and they are cute together. She is pretty without being annoying and he is cute enough as a boring workaholic to make this pairing work.

What I really enjoyed actually were the secondary characters and their annoying faults. Seo Jung Woo (played by Lee Jun Ki), is a suave, charismatic womanizer. He makes a strong entrance in the beginning. Despite his womanizing ways, he is charming and very likeable. Unfortunately, as he develops feelings for the lead female, he loses the charm and just becomes this pathetic guy pining for a gal who doesn't love him. He spends all of his time turning on the water works. Whether it was the director's decision or his improvisation, it killed his coolness factor. I think if he wasn't so teary-eyed, I would've still "liked" him.

The second female is Kim Sae Hyun (played by Park Si Yeon), old flame of our male lead. She is an accomplished, international tennis star who abandoned her flame during his most difficult time in order to pursue her dream of winning a world championship. She returns two-years later expecting to pick up where she left off. My problem with her is not really her character. Again it is your average jealous ex-girlfriend who is futiling trying to win back her love. Thankfully, she doesn't over do the sabotaging. What was repetitious were her facial expressions. Turn head to the right, roll your eyes to the sky and utter disbelief/incredulous "ha's." Wow, can we work on your acting range here? I know you're the spurned ex but let's get more creative now ok? Your bit is getting old.

The most entertaining supporting characters would have to be the brother and sister team, friends of the female lead. They are totally fun and constantly lay the guilt trip on their friend regarding her sticky situation through their a cappella karaoke renditions of forbiden love, un-requited love, and love in general. LOL.

Overall, My Girl was an enjoyable watch. While not perfect, the antics are fun and characters are all loveable enough. I can see why the Hong sisters have earned their popularity. If You're Beautiful is the perfection of their formula, then My Girl would probably be early draft version 2.0 or something like that. I rate it 4 out of 5 stars.

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