Saturday, December 10, 2011

thoughts: Flower Boy Ramyun Shop (Korean) -- shipper status update

This article contains spoilers, but mostly opinions; proceed at your own risk.

I had not intended to continue posting thoughts about this particular series until the end, but I couldn't resist writing down some notes while watching. So here we are now, with a full out article -- involves Episodes Eleven and Twelve, to be specific.

Why not?

Reporting the Post Open-Mouthed-Hot-Kiss Shipper Status Update:

While the Cha Cruise Liner tempted with luxury, beauty, and ended up becoming quite an exciting experience that makes all women of the world fluster, we ended up hitting some bumpy service and security issues. All aboard have abandoned ship and pulled onto the Pillar Inc. Rescue Boat. We will continue to drift alongside the Cha Cruise Liner until all seems secured and fixed.

Yes. I know it happened all too quickly even after claiming that I would remain on that luxury cruise for the rest of the ride. But really, can you resist a guy who not ONLY takes care of his love interest, but also looks out for the welfare of his love rival like a father would his child? Cue big sigh here!

Besides that, Captain Chi Soo isn't exactly in winning territory right now. The waters are only getting more dangerous because I don't know what's going on within them. Anyone can see that the little punk is attracted to Eun Bi. And while I got excited because Chi Soo was excited about his little confession speech, by the time he was done, I was on Eun Bi's side, "Did that really seem like a confession speech to you, you cheeky little bastard?" Setting the cuteness of his descriptions with use of physical ailments aside, "This woman who's less attractive than me keeps appearing in my eyes. So stay by my side. Until I come to my senses."

Just like Eun Bi, I'm running for my life jacket already and gauging the distance it would take to jump from this luxury cruise onto the safely following rescue boat.

Setting romance lines aside, is it strange that I actually found that comically awkward moment following a hot kiss kind of adorable rather than strangely out of place? We have Chi Soo stuttering while trying to figure out what just happened, not mattering that HE'S the dude who dragged Eun Bi out of her date and planted his face onto hers. Some serious moment just came to pass (which is why we left it as a cliff hanger from last episode), but here we are traversing that line between hilarity and The Cute without missing a beat. I totally LOVE it!

Anyway, back to the Shipper Status Report...

For only about a millisecond did I wonder what the heck Kang Hyuk was doing, stepping back so easily. For his charm? To look cool? For sympathy points?

Well, buddy, it worked. Because after that millisecond, not only did I find him to be an extremely Perfect Oppa type, but also a very loving, caring (and hot) Big Daddy Guardian figure (okay, maybe that sounded a bit wrong). But what I'm seeing is that Kang Hyuk seems to acknowledge a lot more things in the bigger picture than we as the viewers are probably seeing concerning Eun Bi and Chi Soo. So I'll let you off the hook this time, since Chi Soo's ignorance started grating on my nerves again.

Anyone can see that Eun Bi wouldn't be able to accept the kid's selfish, whimsical feelings. And when he showed up, practically DEMANDING that Eun Bi accept his feelings, rather than letting her decide for herself, I jumped ship (the subsequent Caviar Date also did not help his case).

It's a given that Chi Soo likes her, but now his new assignment is to learn how to properly "love a woman" rather than just demanding that everything fall into place for his sake. He's going crazy because he's never felt emotions before and in order for him to have peace of mind, he needs Eun Bi to reciprocate as well as remain with him until he can figure out what's going on. And so to her, this pretty much just sounds like he's got a thirst that he can't quite satiate without her around, but there is no knowing when or where he'll finally have drunken enough to "come back to his senses." So it's ridiculous to her that she should even entertain ideas of being together with someone who could potentially leave her just as easily as he's confessing to her, all because he's not quite sure what's going on with his mind, heart and body at the moment.

The kid's like a bomb that could explode at any moment, really.

And so herein ties the deal for our beloved Pillar's rescue boat being much more desirable:

My heart went "Aww...!!!" upon his confession that he saw Eun Bi kissing Chi Soo and riding away with him. Poor, soft-hearted big guy... he's like a teddy bear.

Cue speech time:
"You don't have to put any effort into grabbing onto me. I'm always going to be here like a pillar. That's why the boss left me this shop. He said there needs to be a place that you can come back to at any time. And without a word, making you a bowl of ramyun... He said that there needs to be at least one place in the world to do that for you. That's why... The shop and I will always be here without changing."

Oh swoon!

And then he tops it off with: "So games and such... I don't care how much you play it. But I would like it if you didn't fool yourself. [...] Don't force Cha Chi Soo out."

Oh geez, is he actually suggesting that Eun Bi try to accept Chi Soo's feelings because he recognizes that she might be attracted to the little luxury cruise liner as well? I'm all "Awws" now and don't know what more we can do for the sake of our softie Pillar-ssi. Because even as I continue to hopscotch between ships, I know that I'm merely biding my time and waiting for the cruise liner to finally reach it's proper destination at Eun Bi Island.

And so I feel bad for Kang Hyuk, because we ALL ultimately know where Eun Bi might end up. If only there were a non-forced, non-awkward, potential love line for Pillar-ssi to have at the end of the series. But then we'd end up following through with that dratted "Couple Curtain Call" that so many series are known to use as an ending device, and THAT would just ruin the series' entire feel-good pacing.

As Episode Eleven's reporting comes to an end, the Cha Cruise Liner seems to have gone through some extensive repair and security measures have been placed in more effective positions. Traveling alongside the ship on our Pillar Rescue Boat, we give a sigh of relief that things look like they're going to be looking better, but we continue to remain on the rescue boat just because it's still warmer and safer.

At least until we all realize that we're heading into more unstable waters, but this time it has nothing to do with the bumpy love line. In fact, we find out that there might be a possibility that the cruise liner and the rescue boat were both manufactured by the same company, even if the president is a different person.

Oh... Em... Gee...

Now there's a new plot twist all of a sudden and I'm about to fall off of the boat.

This is literally what I expressed within those last few moments of Episode Eleven:
Yes, my art skills are a bit lacking...

But really, did we have to go there for this one? I already like the mentor hyung and growing dongsaeng dynamic without there being any "big secret" tying it together. Kang Hyuk makes an excellent father figure to Chi Soo where his own biological father seemed to have failed (because while I'm glad that we have a doting father figure rather than an evil-harsh one, let's face it, Chi Soo wasn't raised normal because Daddy Cha pampered him too much). So let's hope that this new discovery isn't going to get blown out of proportion.

Turning the two love rivals into half-brothers really DOESN'T help get rid of that randomly recurring cliche device that K-dramas seem to be guilty of using often. We don't need more complication, and somehow I smell a Noble Idiocy moment coming around the corner and it's got me a bit worried.

Finalizing this Shipper Status Update:

The tides are starting to turn once again now that the Cha Cruise Liner has steadied itself. Starting with Episode Twelve and our newest revelation, I'm preparing myself to give a teary good-bye to my Pillar Rescue Boat once again.

Yes, I know I'm wavering too quickly and too easily. And it's really interesting to me how, by the end of the previous episode, I will be totally shipping Chi Soo as the main love interest. But then the next episode begins (the first of the week's two episodes) and I'm finding something terribly wrong with Chi Soo and instead have jumped ship to Kang Hyuk. And then we remain there for an indeterminate amount of time before Chi Soo suddenly does something that makes me literally DIVE head long back onto his cruise ship. These boys are REALLY driving me crazy. I don't think I've EVER wavered like this in the face of a love triangle before from one corner to another (outside of the Ouran Host Club manga, in which case it was more of a love pentagon and I'm not including Hunny and Mori). It just goes to show that this "equal strength" love rival thing is really obvious in Ramyun Shop and both boys are holding there own extremely well. And both corners of the rivalry are HOT to boot!

And also, when was the last time that I actually followed a series so closely that I started posting about it by the episode (even though I'm really doing it two episodes at a time). I usually DON'T do that because I'd rather just wrap up my thoughts at the end and call it good. Episode by episode postings require a lot of work and I'm not too proud to admit that I'd rather take the lazy way out and just watch a series and write a quick (or ten page long) review about it.

Anyway, moving back into the progress report:

By the end of Episode Twelve, we have officially re-boarded the Cha Cruise Liner. Why?

Two reasons.

First, the highly anticipated Kimchi Kiss that netizens have been raving about that I didn't get to see yet until now. The kiss itself wasn't another full-on open mouthed experienced, but it was still HOT has hell and had me completely blushing and flustered. In the words of esteemed recapper girlfriday, "I'm pretty sure you're gonna need more than a shower to rub out that memory." And I'm pretty sure that I'm going to need a few more showers to rub out that memory... and I only got to witness it on T.V. screen. Oh... Envy...

Although, I must say that the little pouty Chi Soo version of "Oppa-Wiggle-Pout" (which would be renamed as the "Noona-Wiggle-Pout-Hotness" but with less wiggle and with more pout and more hotness) was really what got me to smile first before the all too breath-taking Kimchi Kiss. And even BEFORE the kiss, there was the "sucking of kimchi seasoning off of finger" scene that REALLY started getting me all "SQEEEEE!"
And that's how I felt.

Okay. Reason Number Two.

Chi Soo cooking his first bowl of ramyun. This was by far the sweetest scene in the series involving Chi Soo and the love line. It shows a certain level of growth in him, even if it's only about a nanometer of growth. Because he's working so hard and being so meticulous, probably for the first time in his life, all for the sake of proving to Eun Bi that he CAN be a man she can fall in love with. The moment that he eagerly awaits her verdict about the bowl of ramyun, he just looks so adorably expectant and shy. It made me wonder what he was more excited about -- having accomplished making a bowl of ramyun on his own, or doing it for the sake of his Eun Bi.

And so you know what I've been neglecting to acknowledge? I totally swoon for men who can cook. This is a known fact and has probably been playing a huge part on my growing interest towards Kang Hyuk, but since Jung Il Woo is just so sparklingly Pretty, I've been kind of distracted. However, there is no doubting my constant ship-hopping because of so many other aspects of Kang Hyuk, uber cooking skills included.

And now we're making Chi Soo a would-be-potential-great-chef with a sense of perfect taste?

I think that the drama is trying to kill me. Eventually I'm going to miss one of my jumps or lose balance and fall into the ocean. I ALREADY LOVE Chi Soo despite and in spite of his world (and I mean huge universe) of flaws. This new cooking thing (forget that I found the new plot twist a bit disconcerting) is probably going to put me over the edge.

And so this has been the Shipper Status Update on Flower Boy Ramyun Shop.

As we speak, this blogger has happily taken a nice lounge on the deck of the Cha Cruise Liner and am thoroughly enjoying the view despite the newly formed tumults of unstable territory we are heading into. As for Pillar Rescue Boat, he continues to drift alongside the cruise ship, and it seems that he's more than happy to watch over us readily. How do I NOT continue to love you too?

On a final note: Yes, Ba Wool IS still my favorite Flower Boy. How much do I love his platonic devoted love for Noona? And how much do I love his innocent So Yi oriented heart? And also, lots of cheers for him finally getting his revenge on the girlfriend, cause it looks like So Yi's starting to get a taste of that jealousy over Ba Wool's "a noona I know" ordeal. Happy LULZ!


Related articles:
first impression: Flower Boy Ramyun Shop
thoughts: Flower Boy Ramyun Shop -- mid-series thoughts
thoughts: Flower Boy Ramyun Shop -- episodes 9 & 10
thoughts: Flower Boy Ramyun Shop -- the end is near
thoughts: Flower Boy Ramyun Shop -- finale on the horizon
thoughts: Flower Boy Ramyun Shop -- the final showdown (sort of)


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