Tuesday, December 13, 2011

first impression: Me Too, Flower! (Korean)

And so I finally got around to actually watching this series rather than just reading recaps from Dramabeans. At first, it was merely curiosity that got me interested in just reading the recaps. The first episode sounded interesting, but not quite enough to hook me. Of course, the snarky, sardonic female lead was pretty neat to see. A little bit of "Hey, you dropped something. [...] You're eyes. Watch where you're going." Well, that was straight up cheeky, but I'd take it. And then the male lead was just as cheeky as his female counterpart with his University of Confrontation as well as a little dabbling of "this and that" in the job area.

Needless to say, the humor of the series was a sure win with two fairly non-traditional main leads in a rom-com. Our female lead, Cha Bong Sun is pretty, but she's also got a flying temper and some text book psychological problems which her shrink has noted as Bipolar Disorder. What better way to introduce a female lead than having her lose her cool around her superiors, but then get giddily excited when she is convinced she can't have Depression? To top it off, she's a police officer too. So, anger problems, unstable moods, crappy childhood past, AND law enforcement power?

The math adds up in a rather nerve-wracking combination.

Our male lead is Seo Jae Hee, who seems to be a playful, cheeky, young spritely thing at first. But then we end up learning that not only does he have his own horrific issues from the past, but that he's also not just any young carefree spoiled brat. The guy helped to build a company with his talents and so he's not even a second generation chaebol riding on Daddy's coattails. This makes it all seem so strange since we're so used to the male lead always being from a rich family of sorts; but here we actually have a young man who worked his way into his own wealth with his own skill and had to go through a ton of hardships just to get there.

I'm impressed.

The two main leads are almost immediately collided together in classic rom-com confrontational relations; which isn't surprising considering both of their personalities. However, it can be noted that Jae Hee seems to be the party holding more interest in the other while Bong Sun is simply just wanting to be left alone.

While part reading and part skimming the recaps, I slowly became very interested in watching this series, especially seeing how the relationships were developing. And so I finally made myself search out where I could find this one with decent English subtitles to watch. While I've only actually viewed the first episode, I've read enough through recaps to have an idea about characters and their back stories as well as the premise of this series.

The first episode sets us up for the impending love line as well and gives some sporadic plot devices to work on. Upon judging from the recaps, it occurred to me that the series seemed to be a little scattered and chaotic, which doesn't seem too different from watching the actual series itself. It made me wonder if this was done as a tribute to the psychiatric issues theme that's being waved around in the series wherein both of our main leads seem to have unhealthy mental stress due to their past, despite both having suffered a different type of terrible history. Or maybe it's just the editing, but the scattered-ness doesn't really bother me too much.

In essence, what's keeping me wanting to continue watching this series is really the plot devices. While I'm not quite certain what the main story line is yet, there are so many little arcs floating around that makes you curious about where the series is taking us. The actors and actresses are great and the sharp-tongued female lead does wonders to make people enjoy a refreshing type of rom-com. This series is quirky and fun in it's own way, even though there are still some blatant flaws about it, such as editing and pacing; there are some awkward scenes in the first episode alone that made me cringe.

As for the developing relationships as well as the established ones, they're rather amusing. It's always fun to have a bickering couple star in the love line, but when both sides of the bickering couple are cheeky and sarcastic, then we've got some nice word play and dry humor involved that wins in my book ANY day.

Finally, I must say that I'm not sure about my impression on Yoon Shi Yoon who plays Jae Hee. I find myself wondering if I would have had a problem with his baby face cast in a pushing 30 role; and my answer is that I'm not sure. Because the issue was really only brought up when I read the recap and opinions on Dramabeans. I don't know if I would have noticed until part way in that, no Jae Hee is not in a full-out noona-dongsaeng love line even if Jae Hee is a little younger than Bong Sun. But I sort of see it -- that he looks like he's a spritely little 20 year old, so I was a little surprised that Yoon Shi Yoon's true age is actually at 25 (if internet profiles are accurate). The kid really DOES look extremely young. Another note about him: he really doesn't rock the perm look too well (not that too many guys are able to rock that look) so hopefully it doesn't turn up too many times; he's currently floundering between a perm and messy hair and I would prefer just to see the latter.

Nonetheless, I love the casting and the acting for all the characters so far. And I've grown to love Seo Hyo Rim, so I'm wondering how this spoiled-not-so-rich-brat-without-a-home character will be played out. Especially when she ends up becoming the tempered Bong Sun's little sister AND house mate.

Yoon Shi Yoon has hotness in his emoting eyes, which totally makes me melt for any male star who can emote silently like that. Lee Ji Ah is still in speculation for me, but she pulls off Bong Sun's heck care indifference and bipolar behavior quite well.

And then there's Jo Min Ki who is Dr. Park Tae Hwa, Bong Sun's therapist -- he's... well, he's also cheeky and for a shrink, he's also kind of an asshole, but in a good way. Han Go Eun as Park Hwa Young is kind of bland so far, but I have the distinct feeling she's going to turn ultra-bitch pretty quickly. There's this distinct possessiveness that you can see in her expressions concerning Jae Hee which I'm not sure is going to be a very healthy point for her. And Jo Ma Ru... is simply cute, but I'm not picking up anything else from him yet.

So there you go, a little chaotic first impression post to accompany the chaotic plot scatterings of Me Too, Flower! I found that it was kind of hard writing a first impression post for a series wherein I've already read up to Episode Seven of the series, but have only seen the first episode. The problem, I think, is that a lot of these opinions might not really be my own since I had a distinct idea what to look for while watching the first episode. So maybe this will be a note to myself not to ruin a series by reading about it before watching it.

At least through this experience, I have an idea how I feel about spoilers. They really DO ruin a viewing experience if you're not careful. So it's a good thing that I have only really gotten part way through the series in recaps before making myself find the actual series and watch it first.

See, THIS is why I like to warn people in advance if I'm about to give away spoilers. And THIS is why we should all think twice about reading recaps BEFORE actually watching the episode. But then again, everyone has their own preferences, right?


Related articles:
thoughts: Me Too, Flower! -- mid-series
thoughts: Me Too, Flower! -- to whom it may concern


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