Monday, October 22, 2012

To The Beautiful You Drama Review

And To the Beautiful You has ended. This is the first drama I have watched while it aired and I liked it much better than watching a drama that was already out and completed. I thought I would hate the fact that I had to wait a full week for a new episode but this allowed me to do homework, and sleep rather than just watching one episode right after the other and finishing the drama in a week or two. Now onto the drama.

Goo Jae Hee is a Korean girl living in the United States. Because she's different from the rest of her school, she's treated differently. After slipping into depression, Jae Hee sees a track and field competition and becomes inspired when High Jump star Kang Tae Joon(Choi Minho) wins the gold medal. She begins running track and starts to idolize Tae Joon, but when he suffers an injury that has the potential to end his career, Jae Hee makes a split decision to move to Korea, dress like a boy, and enroll in his all boys high school in order to help Tae Joon jump once again. Once at Genie High she meets and befriends Cha Eun Gyeol(Lee Hyun Woo), a soccer star with a bubbly personality, but as the two get to know each other, Eun Gyeol starts to develop feelings for Jae Hee though he still believes her to be a boy. With the help of the school's doctor, Teacher Jang Min Woo, Jae Hee manages to, somehow, keep her being a girl a secret from the school but what will happen when Tae Joon accidentally finds out that she's not really a guy, and what her motive is for coming to Genie High?

I freaking loved the characters in this drama. The plot was not so great, the lead girl's explanation for dressing like a boy was stupid, but the characters made the show worth watching. Every character, with the exception of Goo Jae Hee, had depth and brains. They were smart!! Mostly. I hate when we get stupid characters in a drama who don't think/think too much, or are just plain stupid. Every character had reasons behind everything they did and behind every emotion and the reasons weren't completely stupid!! Mostly. Now Goo Jae Hee, she's was just plain dumb. If you're going to sneak into an all boys school by dressing like a boy and acting like a boy, continue acting like a boy! I'm shocked it took some characters as long as it did to figure out that she's a girl. She was careless to a point that you seriously questioned her intelligence.
If we remove Jae Hee from the cast and we get a wonderful group of characters. Eun Gyeol, that poor boy; he starts having feelings for Jae Hee from the start and we get to watch as he struggles with the fact that she's a boy while coping with his feelings. By far, his imagination was the best part of this drama. Whenever something happened and he couldn't figure it out, his imagination would take over and depict these fantastic, elaborate, impossible scenes. Rarely do we ever see his optimism falter when he's around Jae Hee but when he's alone, we get to see the depth of his character.  Eun Gyeol struggles to keep a happy demeanor so Jae Hee won't worry about him. He wrestles with his emotions, his dreams of making the National Soccer Team, and his beliefs of what is right. I loved Eun Gyeol from the start, he is so freaking adorable. Way to be such a noona killer, Lee Hyun Woo.

Min Hyun Jae, this is a character you pity from the start. He's Tae Joon's high jumping rival, though no matter how hard he tries he cannot meet Tae Joon's records. he struggles wiht confidence more than anyone in this drama. We go from feeling mild pity for this character to deeply feeling for his struggles. I'm so happy with the bromance between Min Hyun Jae and Cha Eun Gyeol; those two were so cute towards the end of the drama when they were really becoming good friends. I also loved it when Tae Joon and Min Hyun Jae became friends and started understanding each other and even though they were rivals, the actually had a good friendship bond. Loved it.
Seung Ri was a cute but wise, and stupid, dorm leader who grew to have a soft spot for Jae Hee (not that he "liked" her but he liked having her in his dorm).

Tae Joon is probably the cutest when he's jealous, which happens a lot after he realizes that he likes Jae Hee. Like almost every lead male, he has family problems and a second lead female chasing after him. He's also standoffish and of course, doesn't like to show his true feelings. And let's be honest here... they make every opportunity to take this boy's shirt off. I counted at least four times where he is not wearing a shirt/showing off his chest.
Heck, the drama tries to take off every guy's shirt at least once, and it succeeds very nicely. Hyun Jae is another character who isn't allowed to wear a shirt in this drama; I found this out pretty early and it took me about half a second to accept it. I understand Hyun Jae, you cannot wear a shirt/you must wear really tight shirts. I understand.
If you can't tell, I loved the characters in this drama. Watch this drama for the characters alone, and try to ignore the plot and Jae Hee.
We also get one of the best lines ever! Doctor Jang delivers this line after he notices that Tae Joon isn't treating Jae Hee like a guy but rather like a girl. Quickly he texts Jae Hee telling her to be more careful (about acting like a guy) around Tae Joon, cause "not everyone is as stupid as you." A man after my own heart...
P.s. Tae Joon/Minho, I totally saw you reference SHINee's Sherlock in one episode. Totally caught that! ;)
Rating: 7/10

Memorable Moment:
I'm going to say, anything that Eun Gyeol is in; I loved that character, hard core. He is the first third wheel male that I've actually wanted to end up with the girl. I usually get Second Lead Male Syndrome but I've always wanted the lead guy to end up with the lead girl; this is the first  drama where, though I LOVED the lead male, I desperately wanted the Second Lead to end up with the girl rather than the lead getting her.
For this memorable moment I'm going to pick a scene where we see the struggles of Eun Gyeol and where, I think, we really get to see the depth of his character.

Episode 10: After struggling with his feelings for Jae Hee, which of whom he believes is a boy, Eun Gyeol decides that making the National Soccer Team will help him impress Jae Hee and then he can confess to her once she's realized what a cool guy he is. (Aw honey, I think you're cool, you don't have to do anything to impress me)

Eun Gyeol has just finished tryouts for the National Soccer Team and he is feeling great, that is until his coach comes over, puts a gentle hand on his shoulder and suggests that regrettably, they should try for the next time. You can all but see Eun Gyeol's world crash down on him as he gives the most heartbreakingly confused, disappointed, realization look ever! Not making the National Team is not only a huge blow to his soccer ego but this also means that he doesn't feel like he has confidence in confessing to Jae Hee.
We then find Eun Gyeol sitting in the soccer stadium holding the shirt Jae Hee gave him for good luck and after stroking the South Korean emblem she embroidered on it, he lets out two of the saddest sighs I've ever heard, then a tear rolls down his face. Eun Gyeol shakes his head, trying to clear it or denying the gravity of his double rejection before the tears really start flowing and he ends up burying his face in the shirt while he cries.
What really kills me is the next time he sees Jae Hee, which is shortly after this scene, he forces a smile so she won't see that he's in pain and lies that he made the team so she won't worry about him. it absolutely kills me that he then tries to cheer her up even though he's still feeling like his world has ended.
We see this character struggle with his feelings and confidence in confessing his love to a boy, but we've never seen him really sad. He always has a smile on his face, he never takes anything to seriously or worries too much but right here is a turning point and we see his confidence shaken. This unfortunately is just the beginning, we get to see a lot more of sad and unsure Eun Gyeol but we also see him still trying to put on a happy face for Jae Hee. Eun Gyeol, why must you love such a cardboard cutout of a character?

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