I don’t think I’ll review this series again after it’s done unless there is some improvement, but I’ve decided to keep watching- I’ll explain why later.
Like I said in my initial impressions of this show it is a Korean re-make of the hit Taiwanese drama “It Started With a Kiss”. The story is about a girl who lives with her loveable and almost child-like father. Her mother died when she was four and has grown up as a best friend to her dad. When they move into their new home, however, there is a tiny earthquake (2.0) and their brand new home collapses due to shoddy construction.
If this isn’t bad enough just before the earthquake the girl tried to confess her love for this smart boy in her school (same year, different class). He returned her letter to her with no reply- but with the mistakes in spelling and such corrected and a grade of “D-” written on it. Her further insulted her with the whole school gathered saying he hated stupid women.
Embarrassed and homeless the girl and her father are rescued by an old friend of her father’s. The two grew up in the same house (they took in the friend when he was young) but fell out of touch later on in life. They always regretted it and wanted to get back in touch, and finally were reunited when the friend saw the story about his house on the news. The friend’s wife immediately suggests the father and daughter move in with them, as she’s always dreamed of having a daughter and really appreciates all the father did for her husband when they were young.
So the two families are now under one roof. And you can guess what happened, right? The son of the family just happens to be the boy the girl had such a huge crush on. With all three parents rooting for them to become a couple, and the two hating one another, the drama is about how the two eventually do fall in love.
The story is cute. Simple, but easy to follow and it holds your attention… At least in the Taiwanese drama (I’ll write a separate review for that one eventually, i still haven’t finished it with English subtitles :P). This plot, which normally gets a 5/5 in my book, lost major points for execution. I’ll complain about that in the “Directing” section.
Ok, so it isn’t HORRIBLE- there are two who really save this rating, but it should really get a 0/5, since they are more background characters. The male lead debuted in “Boys Over Flowers” as a male lead, and he was actually quite good, but in this he’s horrible. He seems to have gone for the passive brainy jerk (which is his character) but plays it too hard. He has no emotion and really sucks the energy out of every scene. I get that he’s just going for the character, and I’ve seen him in other stuff and I know his acting isn’t bad, but so far he hasn’t quite fit into that fine line between a dull character and a dull performance.
The female lead is kind of a let down. Her emotions are too exaggerated and there is no subtlety in her performance. She’s playing the character like it was some simple low-budget sitcom, not a heavily funded drama. While it is a comedy, she seems too aware of that fact. Ariel Lin portrayed the character expertly in the Taiwanese version- yes she’s hilarious, but she doesn’t mean to be, it just kind of happens. That is how the lead girl needs to be played.
There is a boy (I’m not posting names, I keep getting them mixed up between versions~~~) who is in love with the lead girl (Ha Ni, there, you get a name). His character is supposed to be of a guy completely lost in his absurd love for a girl who obviously has no interest in him. The actor in the Korean version thinks he’s in the same low-class sitcom the female lead does, maybe even worse. He plays the character like he’s acting down to children, and it isn’t cute, it’s annoying. Jiro Wang had his role in the Taiwanese drama, and Jiro’s particular brand of sweet stupidity is what the actor is obviously going for, but unless it’s natural (I’m not saying Jiro Wang is stupid, but he’s just kind of goofy, if you’ve seen him in shows you know what I mean) it isn’t something you should EVER try to fake.
Ok- so the actors who gave a point are the two who play the girl’s father and the wife of the friend who takes them in. Both don’t try to draw attention to themselves- they are just sweet. I’ve never seen the father in a role he hasn’t nailed, and I’ve never seen the mother before, but I like her. Frankly speaking she’s the reason I’m going to keep watching- any scene she’s in is immediately forgiven and I like seeing her much more than anyone else in the movie. With this kind of storyline you’d expect the mother to be against this girl who her son obviously hates and who is being dropped into her house quite unexpectedly, but she loves the girl like a daughter and is always giggling and happy. She’s also not alone in her desire to couple them- both fathers are also eager, but she’s the most active participant ^^.
It is the directors job (in my opinion) to make sure everyone is doing their work. That means the actors too. The quality of this entire show is at about the level of a kid’s sitcom on nickelodeon in early mornings. The lighting is too bright, the sets are too bright, the costumes are too bright, and the hair and acting is overdone. The director should have pulled the staff back and pushed the actors more for a good performance. That being considered, I guess he did the best he could with what was given…
Other People to Yell At
The hair stylist: what??? The lead girl and the guy who has a crush on her look ridiculous. The guy and his friends all look like they belong in a circus with those hairstyles. It wouldn’t be bad if the one friend of his had blond hair OR an afro, BUT BOTH?!?!?!?! You really don’t like him ,do you?
The writer (for the Korean version, Taiwan’s writer gets a gold star): those fantasy scenes are an embarrassment to film. That is all I have to say to you. And I’m shaking my head and making annoyed sighing noises.
I’ll come up with a longer list as I watch more, I’m sure of that, but that’s all I can do for now.