This is my first time reviewing a Kdrama, and it may be my last. I thought I would share my thoughts on DGCH. It isn’t easy to find since Viki, Dramafever and Crunchyroll don’t have it; alot of people may not have been given the chance to see it and may want to know if it is worth the trouble. I will try not to have spoilers, but I’m not going to consider information from the Korean folk tale as a spoiler. You can read the folk tale here.
Sorry there are no screen caps. The shows I watched were of poor visual quality, so I’m using that as an excuse.to avoid the work.
The site where I watched it was missing part of the 1st episode, but I filled in the blanks by reading DramaBeans excellent (as always) recap of the 1st episode (all other pieces were there).
Once upon a time, Boy meets girl; girl thinks boy is a pervert; girl breaks boy’s phone; hijinks ensue; boy & girl get married because his dad thinks she’s all that and 2 bags of chips; man (Ahjussi) falls in love with girl [can I just say – eew]; boy’s 1st love says “Wait, I actually like you now that I’ve been dumped, so leave your wife for me.”; more hijinks; boy & girl finish high school & move to Seoul; insert separation, hijinks, misunderstandings, moving in together, hijinks, schemes and lies, hijinks and lovers quarrels, I love yous (and 1st kiss between the married boy and girl).
Ahjussi blackmails girl by saying he will ruin boy’s life if she doesn’t leave him and go to Ahjussi; girl tells boy she never loved him; divorces him; insert lots of crying; justifiable (mostly) time skip; All 3 meet up again; insert fights and more hijinks; and they all lived happily ever after.
Good. Not nearly as outstanding as the Hong Sisters other dramas, but good. There weren’t a whole lot of laughs (in fact, the middle was kinda 😦 ), but some of them were hilarious. The dad’s reaction when he thinks he’s going to be a granddad & starts picking out names and when he show off his sword play skills in ep 15, and it actually works. The dad’s facial expressions in general are funny. BTW, Dad is currently playing the evil uncle from rooftop prince. Dad gets the best stuff.
Ep 15 was the best episode and showed the Hong Sister’s spirit.
I am just going to start with the characters and see how that flows.
Ahjussi – evil, but there is substance not just evil for the sake of evil. He believes that he genuinely loves her and that all is fair in love in war including framing Mong-Ryong and blackmailing Choon-Hyang.
I am really creeped out with him falling in love with her when she was in high school, but I don’t think that is meant to be part of his evilness. Later on after they graduate, their HS teacher marries their classmate, and no one thinks that is creepy. Except me. At least in Biscuit Teacher Star Candy & Flower Boy Ramen Shop the age difference wasn’t that great. The actors (teacher/student) are 20 years apart, so you know the characters are easily 25 years apart. So that is creepy to me. Granted, that is probably because it is a young girl, and her former teacher so it seems like abuse of authority to me.
Ok, off that rabbit trail.
Choon-Hyang – kind of a Mary Sue, but one with a temper, so she is forgiven (by me at least) for being the person everyone loves except mothers-in-law and the other woman. She is one of those kdrama heroines who work a slew of part-time jobs and is still 1st in her class.
Eventually, she has to leave her husband who she just realized she loves and break his heart by going away with Ahjussi who she just realized is evil. I actually find her behavior believable (since she kinda lacks the common sense and tactical knowledge to come up with a better plan). If you love someone, you would sacrifice your happiness for his life. She thought if she broke his heart then he would stop loving her and find happiness with someone else. I had to wonder what would I do if I were stuck in a similar situation, if being around me would cause the virtual death of someone I loved. I would like to think that I would have the strength to sacrifice myself for them.
One thing I really dislike about her, she never shows affection for her husband even after she realizes she loves him, but before she is forced to leave him for another man. Ribbing and teasing are all well and good, but sometimes it is just too much, but it did make the harsh things she said before she left him more believable.
Mong-Ryong – One of those kdrama boys who just need a woman’s touch to turn him into a man. He genuinely loves Choon-Hyang even if it took him too long to realize and even longer to say so. When he is being loving, he is sweet but most of the time he is an annoyance. Again, ribbing and teasing shouldn’t be the only way affection is shown or even the primary way. But I think that just shows he is still a child.
He did get the funniest line ever.
After the time skip, he is a prosecutor. After a big fight (involving a bribery case), his boss rakes him over the coals.
“Are you a prosecutor or a thug?”
“A prosecutor…who beats bad guys up…”
Also, his schemes to ruin the blind dates his mom sends him on were also hilarious. “After I got out of jail, my wife left me.” “Did my mom tell you I was married?” (The truth can be very funny.)
Mong-Ryong’s Dad – my favorite character. He loves his son, but loves Choon-Hyang more; not really. He just thinks Choon-Hyang is the only way his son will “become a person.” (I love that phrase.) At first while they were in HS, he was content with them living in the same house but not having a “real marriage.” But he wants them to become a real couple, and so schemes (w/their friends and her mom) for them to have time alone with lingerie & balloons because nothing says baby making like balloons. (This and another scene remind me of the 1st night scene from Goong.) Several eps later, he is ecstatic when he thinks he is going to be a grandfather. I wanted to see him finally become one, but they didn’t show the happily ever after.
He really gets the best scenes. Most can’t be mentioned w/o risking spoilers.
Chae-Rin – less said about her the better. Not really a redeemable person; although, the show tries after the time skip. But she doesn’t have the other-woman-villain skills of a Se-Na, who I think will always be my other-woman-villain yard stick from now on.
Other characters – standard kdrama cliche’s – for all I know they started the cliche. Grumpy mother-in-law, dim but loyal friends, mom who is less then reputable, etc. I did wonder about Ahjussi’s assistant who is called a director, but never actually tells people what to do – so PA not director. It took me awhile to realize that it wasn’t that being with Ahjussi caused him to go bad, but he was bad to begin with, or rather amoral. That is why he went along with Ahjussi’s plans to frame Mong-Ryong and blackmail Choon-Hyang. (and other stuff)
Watch or not?
Watch. Just don’t expect the normal Hong Sisters’ fare, this is their 1st drama, so they haven’t quite hit their stride.
Kdrama cliche’s spotted
- contract relationship/marriage
His dad, her mom & their teacher say “get married,” so kids do their own contract saying they will decide whether or not to divorce when they get to college.
- wrist grabs
- piggy back rides
- beating up someone while being given a piggyback ride
- inanimate object as a sign of affection
In this case, 2: Ahjussi clings to a diamond necklace that he gave Choon-Hyang as a symbol of his heart which she rejected & Mong-Ryong clings to a mobile phone charm that Choon-Hyang made him.
- drinking to forget
- love square
- BTS of entertainment industry
- assistant who does everything boss says w/o question & knows all boss’ secrets
- Purposefully ruined blind dates
- forced separation
- time skip
2 – neither one were totally unjustified. the 2nd one especially worked for me because it gave Mong-Ryong time to change (even tho people said he would never change)
- someone who acts nice, but is actually bad/mean/evil.
- stupid sounding English name
- Bad guy 1st lead (kinda)
- Plucky kdrama heroine
- mother-in-law (nuff said)
- noble idiot
- Shopping montage
several – best one was Dad going w/ Choon-Hyang when he was scheming for their 1st night.
- after credits extras
twisted version of the original historical folk tale. I haven’t seen all of them, would love to.
Extra info (possible spoilers for My Girl)
You know that scene at the end of My Girl where the real granddaughter shows up with her husband. That is Choon-Hyang and Mong-Ryong. The same actors who play Mong-Ryong’s parents are also in My Girl, and have the line about familiar he looks.
I think it maybe a tradition for the Hong Sister’s to cameo characters/actors from their previous shows on their new shows, I know it has happened at least 3 times.
Hong Sister’s Dramas
Since I was talking so much about the Hong Sisters, I thought I would add a list of their dramas.
- Delightful Girl Choon Hyang
- My Girl
- Fantasy Couple
- Hong Gil Dong
- You’re Beautiful (my favorite kdrama)
- My Girlfriend is a Gumiho
- Best Love