I’ve read recently, that fans choose dramas for eye-candy or because of some sense of loyalty, and honestly, that all sounds like a bad idea. There’s no drama that will compel me to turn it on based on those two things, alone or otherwise. I choose dramas, I know I “should” like based on writers and actors (there physical appearance means zilch), genre and sometimes premise (I’ve learned this aspect is rather capricious).
Therefore, Golden Cross was atop my list when it hit my top 3! And luckily I have drama buddy and fellow distractor ExtraKun to dig in with me.
Golden Cross is written by Yoo Hyun-mi who also pinned two of my favorites Green Rose (2005), Scale of Providence (2008) but newer viewers may know her by her latest work 2012’s Gasksital. The woman loves revenge as much as I do, for this drama is about a young prosecutor, who after his sister’s murder, vows to avenge her and gets embroiled in a conspiracy with the Golden Cross (a pseudonym for the top .001% who once monopolized Korea’s economic platform).
Ekun: Unnichan? Can I, Dong- kun, have a corner to express how I felt after watching the first 2 episodes of Golden Cross?
Unnichan: That’s what we’re here for but I have to be honest, I can barely type I’m still shaking after that ending! What is Show trying to do to me?!
Ekun: If Golden Cross was a drug, I am already addicted. If Golden Cross was my lover, its the best one ever. If Golden Cross was a major, I would attend class everyday. If Golden Cross was a song, it would be on repeat all day every day. And if Golden Cross could get any better, we are all in a world of trouble!
Unnichan: ROFL! I know right?! What I enjoyed about these first two episodes is where we began. We started with this skewed view, like we were in first person with Kang Do-yoon (Kim Kang-woo), then we rewind and switch to third and our whole world view crumbles. It was lovely.
Ekun: I mean, I can’t even articulate properly because my mind is blown. We have this stellar cast and a bomb story. I don’t even know where to begin!
Unnichan: Well, I guess we can start with the initial corruption. Or more pointedly, that this portion of the world (the financial world) is absolutely corrupt.
Ekun: The corruption of these people is unbelievable. Even for a person like me who has seen a lot in my little 20+ years of living. It’s like they are so corrupt, you have to be watching a drama; because if you weren’t you would have to go back to bed and start all over again.
Unnichan: I may still need to take a nap after all we saw in these episodes. Everybody is dirty— all the players from Seo Dong-ha (Jung Bo-suk) and Kim Halbae (Lee Ho-jae), Michael Jang (Uhm Ki-joon) and Secretary/Manager Hong (Han Eun-jung)– to any and everyone they hold hands with. Specifically the President of Haemin Bank, Kwon Se-il, who even has Papa Kang’s (Lee Dae-yeon) Union rep in his pocket!
Ekun: Michael Jang is the one who got me scared from the first moment I saw him, but I did want to play on his video game with that motion machine. You know he is stinking rich with money to blow because of such a contraption.
Unnichan: Michael Jang has me quaking. Uhm Ki-joon is excellent at being eery and goosebump frightening but still pulling off sexy. Every time he says “Saem,” I shriek from sheer panic. However, I still have to know more about him, which by default would lead to sleepovers and gadget tinkering. *wink*
Ekun: Look, I am all about Kim Kang-woo, but we did not see a lot of him because we need to know the world and workings of the corrupt.
Unnichan: That is true, this episode was spent with the evils of this world and pretty much solidified Do-yoon and Ha-yoon (Seo Min-ji) as the cutest Oppa-dongsaeng pair of 2014. That first episode, had me wishing I had an oppa of my very own.
Ekun: They were cute, but I am trying, no dying and upsettingly trying to be apart of Seo Dong-ha’s world. I know he is old enough to be my dad or maybe an uncle… He likes them young, ne? But fooling with him can get you killed! I felt like I was watching and episode of Snapped when he… well… snapped.
Unnichan: Uh… yea, that’s the best way to put it. Not that I blame him, given his life masquerade. Then with Jung Bo-suk I’m like a moth to a light bulb or rather a toddler to an open flame… I love him and whatever he does is magical— especially when he’s evil. Here, he’s this man that is excellent at pretending. I mean, the devil underneath this sycophant slug and doting father, just tickles me.
Ekun: Beautifully put UC… Little Sister? Can I talk to you for a momo? How in the world did you get yourself in such a predicament? You’re going overseas without signing contracts, you’re not asking enough questions, you’re not asking to take someone with you… I can’t Unnichan.
Unnichan: The situation was questionable on all sides. Ha-yoon is innocent and pretty much desires an easy way to familial financial stability but this definitely borderlines on stupid. Even for her family. I get that she’s an “adult” and street casting/recruiting is real but the fact that no one was ever with her, whether it was family, friends or strangers, just screamed trap, conspiracy, rape. No one was ever seen, Hong— no one! Not even some decoy lackey, until she was back from Hong Kong! And who goes to HONG! KONG! thirty seconds after you’re approached?!
Ekun: These were all of the questions I needed Oppa (literally her Oppa in the show) to be asking! I mean, your profession is to be skeptical to find the truth. I know he became a prosecutor for his own reasons, but still, this cannot be excused.
Unnichan: I know that’s right. I do like his athlete turned civil servant backstory though. I guess the common case of being too caught up in your own problems. But speaking of “skepticism,” Mr. Reporter proved to be deathly meddlesome. What was he thinking?!
Ekun: Still, what about their father and his back against the wall constantly with the same shady ahjussies? And look, I knew back in episode one that fool was going to get a wench killed!
Unnichan: I’m glad you mentioned this. I think that was one of the hardest things to watch this episode— how Daddy Kang was treated. Not only by the Korean Coalition of Corrupt Ahjussies but also his own family. His wife (Jung Ae-ri) and Do-yoon.
Ekun: The wives in this show are outrageous, but we will come back to them later. Aboji, is a good man who is always trying to do the right and just thing… but always ends up at the wrong place at the wrong time talking or dealing with the wrong people. That includes his family.
Unnichan: I had the hardest time with Drama trying to break this man and break us in the process. It makes the case that it’s better to compromise, in order to live peacefully. And for the Kang family to be oblivious to his endurance was borderline intolerable.
Ekun: The weight he bears is a great one, and I am surprised he hasn’t had a “snapped” moment. But love can make all those things enduring, ne?
Unnichan: Love endures all things, but he did kind of snap don’t you think? I mean finding your daughter, then realizing all this was because of what he’d not done. And with the family, it’s not that we don’t understand (for I understand both Mom and Do-yoon); however, just like his love for them made it impossible for him to bend, their love for him should have at least extended the benefit of the doubt or an apparent awareness and concern.
Ekun: Absolutely. Now, did mom raise the money for the restaurant and daddy gave it away? Or was she just being a mess because she could be? Because if it is the former, no matter how much I love my husband, I would be a little salty over that too.
Unnichan: HAH! Momma Oh may have raised the initial down payment. And yes, I would’ve been upset over that. I get that she’s had a very hard time with Dad and his “nobility” over the years and she’s tired, even fairly justified. I really do understand, but her husband isn’t a stupid man, nor is he a pushover. He did what he thought was right ten years ago and paid majorly for it, his family suffered and he didn’t want a repeat or worse yet, something beyond his control.
Ekun: But it seems like all these mothers could did was complain, complain, complain. It doesn’t matter if they are rich or poor, they took a course in Nagging 520 in M.R.S. College and it is grating my nerves!Unnichan: If we’re talking about Kim Se-ryung all I can say is — that woman is sleazy. The Kim-Seo family dynamic has me scratching my head, furrowing my brows and sipping ginger ale not to vomit, over their antics.
Ekun: Mom and Dad like to sleep with children! Ok, not literal children (this ain’t that kind of show) but the people they are fooling with on the side are young enough to be their children.
Unnichan: You didn’t have to clarify. They’re children. That’s it. Mostly because both situations give off an air of innocence lost or unaware exploitation.
Ekun: Then crazy Haraboji trying to school Dong-ha? Ha! I bout pissed my pants as I threw popcorn at the screen at his tail!
Unnichan: That moment with Kim Halbae was interesting. I wonder if the iris thing was just a throwaway? And did I mention I love that he owns an iguana?
Ekun: Heh. Now is the daughter (what is her name in the show Lee Si- young’s character?) not Dong-ha’s? Why did mom say she is not a Seo but a Kim?
Unnichan: I’ll be honest, I’m not entirely sure whose child Seo Yi-rye is! At first I thought she was Dong-ha’s kid (given her admiration) but then, Yi-rye said she was ashamed (ep1), Se-ryung made that “You’re a Kim” comment (ep2) and ultimately, Haraboji wouldn’t let his daughter marry a man with a kid. So, I’m thinking perhaps she’s Se-ryung’s daughter. However, she could be theirs, they are just completely dysfunctional.
Ekun: True. Yi-rye is a character we didn’t see a lot of either, but she seems determined to not be like her mother in any way… And that is because she is not aware of what daddy is up to. If she knew… We will just save that for when we cross that bridge.
Unnichan: I agree. I like her but she has some deep mommy issues. And though I don’t think we can blame her, Daddy isn’t the saint she thinks he is. I think it’ll be hard for her to accept that when the times comes.
Ekun: So now that we have discussed, is there anything that you are hoping for from this show? Is it too early to tell?
Unnichan: What I hope is honestly too much to ask for. I want the sadness to stop. And for me to not experience another catatonic moment throughout the remainder of this series. And you?
Ekun: I personally think that this show can be really brilliant or train wreck all the way to Hell! I hope it’s the former…
Unnichan: Things could get insane and derail and never get back on course. We have some strong actors and some main characters we can root for, so I’m hopeful. Very hopeful.
Ekun: Hopeful is good. I cannot wait until we see more of Kim Kang-woo. This is right up his alley and I always look forward to what he brings to the table.
Unnichan: I say that’s the best thing about watching Golden Cross —- having Kim Kang-woo be amazing for 10 full weeks!!
Ekun: But my favorite character to date has to be Chae Do-woo from A Man’s Story… [PSA: TO ALL DRAMA FANS If you have not watched it readers, please do yourself a service and see that! It’s on Dramafever—> here.] And yea, I am excited overall.
Unnichan: UH! Why’d you mention A Man’s Story!!!! You know that was some of Kim Kang-woo’s best drama work to date! Don’t even get me started.
Ekun: Uuuummmmm, that’s why I mentioned it. I need people to know what we know. See what we see. It was hands down the best drama of 2009.
Unnichan: It’s really one of the best dramas I’ve ever seen come out of Korea. [But either way, watch it people!!] Ultimately, I think Kim Kang-woo is the only actor outside of maybe, Kim Myung-min that would have me watching a drama about economics. ‘Cause I have zero interest in the topic.
Ekun: It depends on the aspect of economics that are being played up. Most of the time it is just not done well, so I am left with ???’s of logics in my eyes. Then it hits me, this wasn’t logical and they didn’t care.
Unnichan: Here, thankfully, we have the Law and good old-fashioned shifty shysters, that can keep us all entertained.
Ekun: Anywho, Golden Cross? Continue to be the thing that makes my week a little brighter.
Unnichan: Look we have Kim Kang-woo, Uhm Ki-joon and Jung Bo-suk… IN THE SAME SHOW! Then add the illusory promise of sleepovers? I’m bright… BELIEVE ME!
Ekun: Look at you… *Side eye*