If you’ve been around the drama scene long enough, I’m sure you’ve picked up on the fact certain types of dramas have a tendency to air during certain seasons. And generally, this works, ’cause a breezy rom-com is usually the sweetest, just as spring washes away and the summer heat sets in or a poignant saga is best felt as the leaves start to turn and the air chills.
I’m a sucker for summer love, in all its capacities but usually in the form of a simple but cute romantic comedy, and thankfully, Discovery of Romance slid in right in time to be added to that list this year. Eric Mun and Jung Yumi have been collected in the basket full of beloved OTPs that reunited this year. Until now, this surge has been unprecedented but I’m thinking Korea may find themselves desiring to make this occurrence a little more common. I’m also delighted that the majority of the reunions have steered from their original genre, proving that their chemistry is a complete package spurred by their character.
And eventhough, it seems a mangy little rabbit will litter my screen for the next few weeks (I hate those things!), I chalk it all up to the things I do for love. Therefore there was no way, Ekun and I were going to let this drama pass by without a few words, and amazingly, we’ve managed to pull a special guest!!! Fellow drama enthusiast, blogger and hilarious friend, Drama Debussie, was gracious enough to join us this time around!
Unnichan: Eric Mun is back in my Dramaverse and I couldn’t be more excited. For some reason I feel showered by the drama gods this year!
Unnichan:*tries to look innocent* Neugu? Nega? Never. However,though I was pleased we got a shower scene so quickly, it felt like a Kwon Sang-woo tease—Give it to us in the beginning and never revisit it again.
Ekun: Don’t even get me started on that… It is one of the only reasons I still turn Temptation on. But that is not why we are here today. ERIC Oppa!!!! ♫Every time I see you, you got me walking out of words, running out of statements!♫
Unnichan: Girl! Don’t get me started singing Move with Me in here today! That’s rabbit hole you know it takes hours for me to dig myself out of. I need to focus on Eric and his acting…
DD: Aww yeah! It’s been too long and already he’s already reminding us why we missed him so much. I mean, those come hither stares, the way he still reaches out on the other side of the bed when he’s searching for the person that should be there…He’s just as good as he was when I fell for him in Que Sera Sera.
Unnichan: I’d say so. And I am glad he and Jung Yumi have another go ‘round. I like them period but rom-coms fit both of them in ways that allow me to have a full range of emotions… At least, the rom-coms they pick. Notwithstanding that debacle Spy Myung Wol.
DD: *shivers* Please, don’t remind me.
Ekun: Don’t Unnichan! You know how it was all fire and brimstone for that and I Need Romance 2012 for me. *Pulls out tissue to wipe eye* This is my first time seeing them together, but I like them at this point.
DD: It’s obvious that they like working with other in real life and that helps. When they’re all lovey-dovey and even when they’re going tit for tat on-screen, they’re absolutely charming together. Although, I haven’t decided if their characters are so charming together.
Unnichan: That is the kicker right? Watching Eric and Yumi reflect their easy and seamless chemistry could get you to forget that their characters aren’t that simple or lovable. I always contend that couples have to be written for me to root for them; written where I want them together. That isn’t necessarily the case here. And since Yeo-reum also gives me horrifying flashbacks of Ju Yul-mae (INR2012), I’m at a standstill. Kang Tae-ha (Eric Mun) and Han Yeo-rim (Ju Yumi) had a go and they broke up— I’m not convinced they ever have to start back up again. Even with Eric warping my mind with his two centimeter proximity.
Ekun: ♪Can I just see you every morning when I open my eyes… ♪ Sorry, I got caught up with Eric for a minute at the end of episode one.
DD: I just pictured you swaying with eyes closed in that moment.
Ekun: I am with you now, and I am not pro Tae-ha/ Yeo-reum reunion. And to be truthfully honest, I wish her current boyfriend Nam Ha-jin (Bang Sung-joon) would break up with her too. Or am I just being a meanie pants?
DD: Not at all! The problem is, that all of these characters are stuck on someone from their past. Tae-ha can’t move on because he has unfinished business with Yeo-reum, which is understandable since he has no idea why the hell they broke up in the first place. Yeo-reum may say she’s moved on from Tae-ha but we all know that can’t be true, if she’s calling him up when she’s five sheets to the wind. Nam Ha-jin seems perfect but he’s stuck on Scar girl with the weird name who has just entered his life just as soon as he’s decided to propose! I would support a breakup, if only so that everyone can get their feelings together and stop living in denial. I’m talking mainly to you, Yeo-reum.
Unnichan: ♪Is that your girlfriend? Is that your girlfriend? If that’s your girlfriend… she wasn’t last night ♪ So, I’m not the only one who couldn’t find any rational reason for Yeo-rim to drunk dial Tae-ha? I mean, it wasn’t just your typical drunk dial either (not that drunk dialing is “typical behavior). It was purposeful, perhaps not pointed but she certainly had some sort of intent.
Ekun: But wasn’t the only reason she called Tae-ha because he had her phone? I am not excusing her dumb behavior, but that was the impression I was given.
Unnichan: There’s no way I’ll ever believe she called Tae-ha solely for her phone and I thought we were supposed to believe she’s matured in these five years— but nuh uh, all she’s done is learn ways to manipulate. Then to lie incessantly, “the morning after,” and turn the blame around on Ha-jin , playing games for the next few days? I was gobsmacked at her shamelessness.
Ekun: Either way, the games she’s playing, is more than the NBA, NFL, and Olympics (including the winter games) combined.
DD: Yeo-reum’s games will be the death of me. If you’re in a relationship and you’re playing games, then it means you’re keeping score. Anyone who’s in a loving relationship is not interested in keeping score because they already understand that when one wins, they both do and vice versa.
Ekun: And what makes it worse, is she drags her friends into her foolishness. Joon-ho is a good one for going back and forth between those idiots… And Yoon Sol is just any and everybody’s life enemy! But I love that girl!
DD: I have to agree that Yoon Sol is my girl as well. She’s honest and wears her heart on her sleeve. Refreshing but can also be really awkward when she lays her intentions out on the table…Or presents them in a wrapped box with a bow.
Unnichan: And Do Joon-ho (Yoon Hyun-min) and Yoon Sol (Kim Seul-gi)? What’s wrong with these two? Get your lives and get together. I aint got time. But poor Yoon Sol does have an aversion to those little things we call— social cues.
Ekun: I think Joon-ho has been trying to make that work for a cool minute… Since college if you ask me. He needs to hop out of Sol’s friend basket and get in the “boo-thang” mix! How can he accomplish this? [Ekun’s guide to courtship aka “Boo-ship” = any crazy scheme you have seen in a K-drama in the last few years! But the #1 get’em… Alcohol!]
DD: Something tells me I’m going to have a handful of “Bye, Felicia” moments with them. He’s known her for far too long to not have expressed his feelings by now. I already know we’ll have to watch her go through all the wrong men, before he finally confesses just as she’s on the brink of joining a monastery or she’s met the perfect guy that actually poses a threat. Nevertheless, I’m rooting for them simply because they HAVE known each other for so long and, most importantly, Joon-ho needs something to do! He is way too invested in everyone else’s love lives! You’re a surgeon, how do you find the time?!
Unnichan: They make it happen on Grey’s Anatomy? Why not our
dear, unrequited bestie? Look, Joon-ho runs that mouth too much for me. I love him, I do, but he needs to hush it! And it’s hilarious that he doesn’t notice half the time he’s being used, or perhaps he’s just a masochist. Whatevs. But that gets me to Scar girl— Ha-jin has been searching for her for double digits, ne? Wonder what all that is about. I mean her scar, a regular ole scar, in my book, has been etched in his brain. Something intense must have happened on that childhood mountain trip.
Ekun: I am intrigued by Scar girl as well, Ahn Ah-rim (Yoon Jin-yi)? I think that is what she said her name was. I am confused to why it has to be a secret from Yeo-reum. You know, Ha-jin tries to keep a lot of stuff from Yeo-reum… that can’t be good. Even more reason I need this couple to call it quits… I don’t believe in them.
DD: ♪ Don’t stop *breath* believin’♪ Sorry. I guess if Yeo-reum plays games can we really expect Ha-jin not play games as well?
Unnichan: Heh. Well, if you put it that way… All I can say is I’m just glad Sung Joon is playing in a drama I can try to be committed to. This “secret” is interesting but he seems to be rather forthcoming in every other area, so I’m willing to extend some benefit, for now.
Ekun: Look, I love me some Sung Joon! I was more excited to hear he was in the drama than Eric (put away your pitchforks)! Just because I have seen him more projects and enjoy his acting. But you are right, I can extend some time for things to play out with Ha-jin and what he is up to. Speaking of playing, Tae-ha what in the world is up?! *flirty voice with a giggle* I don’t think he is a guy who plays games (which makes me love him even more) but I want to play around with him… And not in the Yeo-Reum stupid kind of way. More like the “Ekun’s world of endless possibilities” kind of way. Thoughts?
Unnichan: Sorry could you repeat that… Still distracted by the blasphemy of you being more excited about Sung Joon. Something about playing and endless possibilities?
DD: Ha! Any way I approach Tae-ha would never be in play. It would always be in the most serious of ways. I have to agree that Tae-ha doesn’t strike me as the game playing type. If anything while Yeo-reum was going on and on about how she felt ignored and unappreciated during the tail end of their relationship, it seemed he was doing everything to ensure she didn’t feel ignored and unappreciated. Was he maybe distracted? Yeah, sure. Can you blame him, though?
Unnichan: One of the things I like about Tae-ha is that he seems to be the one that has grown during their time apart. He’s still the same guy, but makes the effort not to repeat all the same moves. I don’t know if Yeo-reum really had a substantial reason for believing she was being neglected and from what I infer from their “breakup” argument, she wanted this man to be a mind-reader. She wanted something she knew he wouldn’t give without prompting and still stayed silently demanding. It’s a situation where just because you “feel” a certain way, doesn’t make it fact. And though we all love to think things just “happen” to us, we always have a choice and a hand in our own issues.
Ekun: Spoken like a true Unni! My biggest question was, “Yeo-reum, Tae-ha seemed to be trying to get his career off the ground… WTH were you doing?” I mean, you seem like a competent woman, with an established business, and you have a passion for what you are up to. Why are you clinging for dear life, and not “doing you”? Every time I see female characters like that, it really gets to me because I am simply not that girl. I don’t understand it, so I have a hard time processing it. She crying on his voicemail, she banging on his door, she was just being extra. *hard eye roll*
DD: I always seem to run into that same dilemma when I’m watching Jung Hyun-jung’s dramas. She writes these heroines that seem like they have their stuff together, but make questionable choices when it comes to the men in their lives and the games are always a factor. These women are usually out of their twenties and have had no healthy relationships by playing the games so it baffles me when they keep playing them. They should know better. If we really want to dig a little deeper into the psyche of our female lead, she’s obviously been hurt by her relationship with Tae-ha (hurt she brought on herself) and she’s trying to protect herself. Of course, I say this with the unspoken fear that I may see a small part of myself in characters like Yeo-reum. *silently looks for therapist’s number*
Unnichan: Hands down, I identify with Tae-ha more, but that’s no surprise and to be honest, the only reason I was willing to subject myself to another Jung Hyun-jung drama was the Eric-Yumi reunion. However, the largest issue I had with Yeo-reum’s “breakup begging” is that the precedent had been set. In a relationship, there are some lines that should never be crossed, some things that should never be repeat or broached, out of love and respect for your partner, however, Yeo-rim decided to burn that sentiment. For, not only did she know how he would react, they even reviewed once she said the words. How can you then renege? And then, think I’m supposed to sympathize with your lingering hurt feelings five years later? I’m not saying pain doesn’t come with every broken relationship or that it was “right” for Tae-ha to ignore her calls when he didn’t want to. But I’m a firm believer in humans being creatures of habit. Yeo-reum said “I quit” and she meant it, knowing it was a hot button for him. If he’d taken her back, being fully aware she purposefully threw his convictions in his face, there’s no way she wouldn’t pull that mess again.
DD: I love that Tae-ha actually told her that once they broke up that would be the end for him and that he would not take her back. Yet, she tried to come back as if he would take her back! That’s like telling someone the ending of a story and then you’re upset because it ended the exact way you were told it would end.
Ekun: I just had a Yul-mae and Hong-joo flashback all at once! *Shudder* I understand Tae-ha more, and that is why I am along for the ride (at this point). I am all about saying what you need to say; and I am pissed if you don’t mean it! I understand sometimes things can slip, but things like break up’s, marriages, children, etc. are things that need to be thought about before approaching the other person.
DD: I’m mainly wondering if the writer will end another drama with the heroine choosing the ex over the current boyfriend like she did in INR2012. Do we want to go down that road again? To be fair, Ha-jin seems a little more flawed and distracted than the new love interest in INR2012.
Ekun: DD, it is like a sin to mention the way things went down in INR2012 to me! I was (am) so mad, I have never been more upset over a second lead not getting the girl in my whole entire life! Granted I have a slight case of SLS (Second Lead Syndrome), but it made absolutely no sense for Yul-mae not to pick Ji Hoon! FIRE RAINED DOWN FROM THE SKY WHEN SHE LEFT HIS APARTMENT!!!! *Gumiho eyes*
DD: Listen, I feel your pain and I’ll admit that my feelings are still pretty raw when it comes to that…incident. Let’s pray to the drama gods that we won’t have a repeat. Or if we do have another repeat, that it will be justified.
Unnichan: Exactly. I think the point of this drama is for those two to have a redo but the factors make much more sense here. Plus, Ha-jin has a little cutey on the side, that I’m much more interested in him pursuing. All I know is, at the end of episode two I had an R. Kelly moment… When Tae-ha pulled that chair close and asked to begin again, there were some real conflictions going on. I screamed “NO” buuuut *wrings hands*… uh, I don’t think details need to be given about my other answer.
Ekun: Soooooo, you can’t ever mention R. Kelly and have me thinking about Eric or anything along those lines…*lost train of thought*… I can’t even think right now! Dammit! I think this couple is expected to get back together despite how anti-reunion I am as a viewer. If they do get back together, it better not be a INR2012 incident–I do not think my fragile little heart can take another blow that heavy.
DD: *holds hands* Let us all hope that writer-nim is gentle this time around…or we will find her.
Ekun: But honestly, though I like Ha-jin a lot, I would not blame her for going back. But I need that girl to grow up– and she is older than me!
DD: I’m willing to support the reunion as long as everyone wins somehow. I’m not doing this, “Here’s the reunion, deal with it!” crap again. We deserve better.
Unnichan: I know that’s right. Going back or starting again (depends on perspective) seems to be writer-nim’s MO and I’ve failed to like it thus far, however, this time, though I am not completely sold, I actually want Tae-ha to get the chance to say his peace.
DD: I will say that there is something intriguing about Tae-ha saying that he won’t make Yeo-reum cry if she returns to him. Interesting to find out how he’ll be able to do that, when he doesn’t even know how he made her cry in the first place.
Unnichan: I like that he never understood why they broke up, because I think it’s more that he doesn’t understand why they “had” to break up. From what we saw, he’s the committed type, that believes once you’ve decided to be invested, you stick it out till the end. There’s clearly some personal issues there [review breakup scene], but he never had any intention of walking away. Also, since I mentioned “bodies saying YES,” I’ll just drop this in, what is the deal with the international misconception that sex equates romance?
DD: Probably stems from the same misconception that sex means forever or happily ever after.
Ekun: I have no comments on that because I have no clue. But, if I have to say something, people also confuse intimacy with sex, and a list of other adjectives that go hand and hand with a relationship. Sex is believed to be the thing that two people can do to be closest to each other. So it makes sense for people try say that sex=romance.
DD: For someone who “has no clue”, you’re pretty on point, Ekun. I think when people, mainly women, begin their sexual awakening they’ve been trained to think sex is the ultimate expression of love (thanks a lot fairy tales, rom-coms and DRAMAS!) and it may be more convenient/satisfying to think sex is indeed love personified. Although as we get older we learn that’s not the truth and a certain jadedness kicks in when it comes to sex. This is not to say sex can’t mean romance and true love, but the odds of it happening every time you have it is…unrealistic. And the thought that you can only have a relationship when it finally involves sex is REALLY unrealistic.
Unnichan: Yoon Sol isn’t the first woman I’ve seen thrown under the bus this year because she didn’t have sex with some dude, claiming this is the only factor to differentiate romantic relationships from friendships. And having that fallacy out there, maddens me. It’s the continuous perpetuation of women compromising and feeling inadequate by succumbing to the so called “werewolf” or carnal desires of men. Whereas supposedly women have to buy into this idea in order to even have relationships, but in turn it creates insecure, clingy women— traits no man really wants “their” woman to possess.
Ekun: Look, I was flabbergasted at the thought that Sol and her friend were only “friends” because she did not give him the “good goods”. So, I guess sitting down and discussing what type of relationship one is involved in is too much work? Overrated? Or unnecessary, because that is what sex is for? That is what Show just told me; or perhaps I am too young so I misunderstood.
DD: I mean, if you don’t have any other place to form any other opinion on the subject, I guess it would only make sense to come to that conclusion. Assuming the writer did not think that far ahead. It’s not just ahjummas watching here, Hyun-jung!
Unnichan: Ha! Especially since, it was pretty obvious Sol’s “friend” had an inkling about how she felt. I’m not sure if he really cut things because he was just using her from the start… But it does appear that way. Ok, so Yeo-reum is currently a breath away from Tae-ha and by the end of episode three they’ll be working together. Ha-jin has finally found his plucky hardworking Scar girl (Ahn Ah-rim), Mom has her bum widower bestie crashing on her couch every night (which I’m sure has everything to do with loneliness and attachment. Though I’m loving them already!) and we’re certain Joon-ho is loving Sol…. Where do you see our characters going from here?
Ekun: I am going to keep it 100 with you ladies, at this point, I do not care about anything else (fully) but Joon-ho and Sol getting their lives together and being together… in a relationship… that ends in marriage. I also want Tae-ha to have what he wants, and if he keeps making his case in such scary and dangerous ways, I am certain he will get it. I think Scar girl will give Ha-jin a much needed shake,and Yeo- reum will somehow discover she has been an idiot for the last few years. Who is the widower sleeping on mom’s couch?!
DD: I’m going to try not to assume anything when it comes to these characters because we all know what assumptions turn us into. Not because I don’t have an idea of where these characters are going or where I want them to go. Mainly because I’ve made assumptions before with these dramas and it’s set me up for major disappointment. Of course disappointment is something we risk experiencing every time we watch these shows and yet we still do. Because we’re rebels like that.
Unnichan: That is the main reason I stay away from spoilers and previews, once I decide a drama is on my radar. Truly, all I want is for Joon-ho to come clean. Everything else, can take it’s natural course. And I don’t think I care where that leads us, as long as I don’t want to beat tails and shave heads. These first two episodes were great fun, from the characterizations, the light bubbling comedy, funky melo soundtrack and warm comforting directing. I was also quite surprised I wasn’t allergic or manic toward the female characters, which makes it easier for me to remain invested in seeing this discovery through till the end.