Sunday, December 18, 2011

thoughts: Me Too, Flower! (Korean) -- to whom it may concern

In keeping with my recent need to blog about these K-drama series in the (freakin') middle of broadcast, here is yet another post. Episodes Nine and Ten really DID seem to slow all the way down upon hopping into the "let's reveal secrets all around" bandwagon, in connection with the "evil love rival set to action" cliche. I seriously swear that I've got too many thoughts floating around in my head sometimes. I guess this is at least making my initially expected December somewhat more exciting. AND I didn't have to resort to randomly publishing intro info articles for older drama series.

We've got spoilers and some ranting, so move in carefully.

First note:
To Jae Hee,

Thank you so much for not being the typical male lead. (Aside from the constant man-handling of our main female lead, you're perfect; we'll let it slide just because you're so Pretty and this IS K-drama after all, not that it makes it okay. We'll talk later about that.)

First of all, I appreciate that you stood there silently (at the beginning of Episode Ten) and took the scolding like you deserved, because you SO totally deserved a verbal lashing from Bong Sun (you looked like a child guilty of stealing a cookie when Mom said no, so that was cute and I liked it). Unfortunately, that spell didn't last long and you seem to be under the impression that all would be well if you just apologized and explained the situation. But I'm not asking for much, so AGAIN, we'll let that slide (am I maybe too forgiving?).

Secondly, thank you for being so persistent, because since Bong Sun still loves you, persistence WILL pay off in the future. This brought a smile to my face to watch you continue to try getting Bong Sun to come back to you. I was almost worried that your history of misery and distrust would make you lose hope too quickly. Or that you would pull the standard: "If she won't forgive me, then there's nothing I can do about it but let her go," big man action. I would have really also hated it if you decided to be a Noble Idiot again and choose to give up on Bong Sun because of the misunderstanding as well as that dormant feeling of self-worthlessness that you've been carrying around all these years. And I'm glad that you've recognized that she's important enough to you that you don't want to lose her (at least this is the vibe I'm picking up, so don't make me believe otherwise).

Thank you for not easily forgiving that evil scheming piece of work who calls herself a friend; Park Hwa Young doesn't own you and, yes, she was totally at fault for ignoring your personal decisions just to get what she wants. I understand that you must still feel obligated to take care of her, but the sympathy can stop at that. There is no need to treat her like a friend anymore and your coldness towards her, maintaining a "business only" relationship is much appreciated. Please continue your upset and draw that line where it matters most. I'm sensing a slight bit of softening towards her though and it's worrisome, because I know that you still see her as an important person you must protect. However, sooner or later you'll have to cut ties, because two sassy women in your life is NOT going to help your survival rate. As we can see, Miss Representative is fully capable of taking care of herself (if she can pull a lame stunt like that and scheme to break up a happy couple, she's capable of surviving on her own, case close).

As for the man-handling, please stop it. Just because you are in a K-drama doesn't mean you must follow all of their rules; I had figured your non-standard male lead type to be better than that (or at least I was hopeful). The wrist-grabbing must stop. The yanking Bong Sun out of cars and forcing her to talk to you must stop. The forcing her onto your little motorbike and practically kidnapping her must stop. The demanding tone you take with her must also stop. And thinking that she'll forgive you easily... well, let's just say that you and I both knew that she wasn't going to be all giggly "Oh my boyfriend's actually a billionaire" about it. Buddy, she's GOING to remain angry at you for a while, so we'll just have to accept it. You have a ton of groveling to do, so let's get started and realize that you were at fault for keeping secrets. It's not easy to trust someone when you find out he's not being completely honest with you. Especially with Bong Sun having trust issues already.

Does that look like a happy girlfriend to you right now?
That's just a prettier, more saccharine version of the'WTF' look.
But it's NOT a good WTF.

And so becoming a puppy and following her around with hopes of reconciliation wasn't a bad move. HOWEVER, be careful that your joking around doesn't end up blowing her fuse. We all know that Bong Sun has a very short one and may try to pull a gun on you once again. Throwing your glove at her like a jilted child while sporting an insipid grin probably won't win you any points (even IF I found it kind of cute). Bong Sun is a LOT less forgiving and you should know better than to act like a five year old around her. Also, don't play around with guns by pointing loaded ones at your head just to make a point; you and I both know that you wouldn't have done that if you knew Bong Sun would really shoot you. Still, guns are not toys and accidental death really isn't the way to go if you wanted to make an unnecessary over-dramatic statement. Let's be adults about this (even though you look like you're pushing twenty, you're role is supposed to be closer to thirty).

Finally, thank you for coming clean with the most significant secret in your life (we will overlook the fact that your other secrets were NOT revealed by you in a timely fashion, which pretty much forced you to speak up about the last secret; okay, maybe I AM too forgiving). Now that you've put all your cards on the table and have made all your steps in apologies and reconciliation, the decision is in Bong Sun's hands. I only hope that this will finally help lead you two back into love-dovey territory, however, since there are still about five episodes left, we might not be through with the rom-com "angsty tropes built to keep couples apart until the last dire minute" yet. If we employ a time skip, I might have to abandon ship (though it might be too late by then). (Of course, this aspect took place at the beginning of Episode Eleven and I got a little confused, but it's still an appreciated gesture, so can we overlook my mistake? I don't want to completely delete this paragraph from my note.)

P.S. I really DO appreciate the range of emotions presented here, because it at least helped me to understand exactly what you're feeling without even hearing you utter a word. (In which case, kudos to Yoon Shi Yoon, cause you're awesome! Kid emotes really well.) Oh yea, about that perm: I'm getting used to it, but I'm still not liking it.

Second note:
Okay Bong Sun, I understand that you're angry. I would be too. As I said before, "Too many lies and too many secrets does not a lasting relationship make." You have every right to be angry and shocked and betrayed. I also understand that you've also grown up in a melancholic environment where Mom left, Dad left, and now you're fending for yourself as Mom tries to wriggle back in with her new daughter and Dad just keeps criticizing and criticizing. It's enough to make anyone crazy and require the expertise of a shrink. I'm also quite proud of you for not immediately forgiving Jae Hee after the first apology... or even the second. You need to stand your ground and let him know that he can't always have what he wants -- this is certain since the kid's been jerking you around for a while already.

But I also think that it's time to stop being stubborn and start thinking with your heart. After the third apology (done by a playful Jae Hee with an insipid grin) I started to soften, but that's beside the point. What you are doing is simply hurting yourself and hurting Jae Hee. And for what? Because now Jae Hee lives in a world you don't understand filled with wealth and riches and expensive designer hand bags? And so now you feel like the two of you don't have anything in common and won't be able to live in the same world together? You're putting yourself down and not trusting that it'll work out just because statuses are suddenly publicly different. Don't you think that HE already knew all of this when he first fell for you? Is your sense of such self-worthlessness still lingering around only to be saved by someone who's NOT a chaebol prince? His true identity doesn't change his person and he is still the same Seo Jae Hee who confessed that he wants to be with you. What happened to not caring who he was because you liked him as a person? It was much easier to say when you thought he was at the same financial status as you, right?

Now is NOT the time to be falling into that low self-esteem pool filled with self-loathing. What you have begun to convey are hints that you think someone of his financial standing will soon get tired and leave you and so you chose to leave him first. It's fine that you don't want to be a Cinderella case; it fits your personality. But does the rest even really make sense to you? I understand the anxious feeling of possible abandonment. Having been abandoned by the two people who are supposed to love you the most in this world probably didn't help secure your self-esteem. However, you are only reinforcing that dratted line drawn between a modest working woman and a wealthy chaebol prince; you are outright admitting that you couldn't possibly be good enough for his standards. In doing so, you are also telling Jae Hee that you doubt his love and you cannot trust that the two of you can have a happily ever after. And that's upsetting.

Because in reality, the more someone chastizes herself, the more irritating it is to hear about for other people. (I would know. I've always been the depressing "woe is me, I'm not good enough" type of person and almost ALWAYS got eye rolls and awkward silences when I'm negative about myself.) Because, sure, they feel sorry for you, but they don't know what to do for you besides remain silent. I only hope that you can finally pluck up the self-confidence to love yourself enough so that you can trust that Jae Hee won't change his heart.

Don't get me wrong. You're a very plucky person and I sincerely admire your out-of-the-ordinary temper and sarcasm. So maybe at some point in time you'll be able to pick yourself up, as I have all the confidence that Cha Bong Sun is strong enough to survive against the world.

And also, it's not like Jae Hee has always been wealthy since the boy actually started out at poverty level before making it where he is today. You two aren't living in different worlds just because your current statuses are a bit different. And if we really WANT to get technical, it's not like Jae Hee has a foundation of inherited wealth to back him up if business goes awry. Miss Representative could do a one-eighty and withdraw her financial padding if she gets pissed off enough, which would land Jae Hee back into the penniless category (in fact, this might make a pretty interesting turn of events, so file that cliche away and present it to the production staff when you get a chance, thanks).

Besides, all of this stubborn refusal to accept Jae Hee back into your life is EXACTLY what old Miss Evil Scheming Witch wants and THAT is ONE satisfaction I am unwilling to give her (yes, I am seriously NOT liking the love rival for more reasons than just because she's meddling). So you get yourself together and show that immature brat (both of them) that you can't be pushed around. Plus, the drunken puppy dog look in Episode Ten sort of won me over already -- I mean, how silly sweet is it that being completely smashed he still has the nerve to demand that Officer Cha come pick him up? Others may not think so, but I found it kind of amusing and cute -- I'm strange like that. And I know that we've established that I'm probably a LOT more forgiving than you are, if only because I don't have the same depressing history that Cha Bong Sun had AND I already knew the big secret and wasn't taken by surprise (one of those advantages of being a viewer, right?).

P.S. Don't let him off the hook that easily even if you take him back, though. Lay down the law that you're still mad at him. It IS okay to remain unforgiving and angry and still stay together as a couple. Stay mad at him if you want, but also get back together since that would TOTALLY throw Miss Representative into a frenzy (which is what I want to see as long as she has no more control over your happy couple relationship). It's called "a difference of opinion leading into cold war negotiations" and ALL couples do it at some point in their relationship. Love can't always sail smoothly like a fairy tale, you know. Boy needs to be put in his place, really.

Third and Final Note:
Dear Drama,

Please lay off on all these frustrating cliched devices -- as if it wasn't enough that Park Hwa Young gets to play string puppeteer with everyone, now we're also pulling Dal into this mess? The old cliched "She's not good enough for him so I need you to break them up" secret mission usually leads nowhere good. And then to also tell Dal that she can be made into a real life Cinderella sans Prince Charming? Yea... I'm sure Miss Screechy Materialistic Model would totally go for that. And this only continues to make Hwa Young seem meaninglessly pathetic in her childish attempts to keep Jae Hee by her side. She sounds like a catty future mother-in-law, but worse because Jae Hee isn't even her son; I don't know if she's noticed, but she DOESN'T really own him. I had a feeling that Hwa Young would end up becoming the crazy possessive uber bitch, but to top it off with an immature "Even if I can't have him, no one can take him away from me either," spiel? Once again lady, you don't own him, so technically you have no rights to keep him. Dear Drama, please allow SOMEONE to realize that Park Hwa Young cannot continue on her power-trip like this; our main leads have enough emotional baggage keeping them apart to create angst without you adding a potential main villain into the mix.

Episode Nine dragged out after a major unveiling event. While I feel like it was high time that Jae Hee's identity be revealed, what about that deflating mess following it? What happened there? Everyone is just parading around being angry or betrayed or angry or betrayed... It got frustrating. Episode Ten didn't fare any better either, although as I've already told Jae Hee, I DO appreciate his sincere initiation of the persistent apologies as well as his final confession about the accidental death of Hwa Young's husband seven years ago.

Anyone else find this "Pretty Woman"-esque make-over scene a little awkward?

What I DON'T appreciate is making Dal into a complete moron, accepting Hwa Young's deal and not realizing that her fortune can just as easily be taken away as it had been given. I thought Dal would be a bit better off in this chaotic mess (because I love Seo Hyo Rim) but she's falling right into Hwa Young's traps as a chess piece. She's totally unable to recognize that her own cattiness isn't enough to fight against Hwa Young's evilness. I'm pretty sure that Park Hwa Young isn't above finding a way to break contract if Dal pisses her off enough -- which I'm sure Dal is bound to do because she wants to be Cinderella WITH her Prince Charming, not according to Miss Representative's plans. These two may fight each other to the death for all I care, but I'm sure that Dal will just end up as collateral damage and Hwa Young will come out of it with few bruises.

HOWEVER, with this new twist, I AM quite interested to see how Dal will react when she finds out who she's scheming with Hwa Young against. Even though the step-sisters aren't exactly snuggling and telling each other stories about their first crush while eating ice cream together, it seems that they've learned to tolerate each other to some extent (almost like real sisters tend to do). We can see that Bong Sun has grown into that nagging elder sister figure already and I only hope that Dal has as much care for Bong Sun as Bong Sun seems to have subconciously developed.

And so, Drama, as I have told Jae Hee already, now that all the secrets are out and we have no more reason for misunderstandings, it would be nice if you don't take the series into the standard inanity of dramaland. I would like for Jae Hee and Bong Sun to step over the barrier that defines both of their depressing personal histories so that they can work together to make it through their relationship. I would like for Hwa Young's scheming to amount to nothing in the face of a strong loving couple. I would like for Bong Sun to realize that Jae Hee's confession about his most fragile memory is indication that he wants to share his world with her so that she can trust him not to abandon her. And I would like for Jae Hee to continue leaning on Bong Sun for strength and hopefully not try to pull another Noble Idiocy ploy again to push her away which would totally continue to fuel those feelings of possible abandonment that Bong Sun is anxious about.

Of course, then I'm not quite sure how to bring this chaotic mess to an end, so at this point in the series, Drama, I am willing to trade off one trope for another if we can wrap everything up neatly. I would like for the main characters to retain their unique-ness as the less than standard male and female leads, at the very least.

Oh, and please give Dr. Park a good conclusion as well; I've really grown fond of him despite the inappropriate "doctor/client" snuggly bits that managed to worm its way into the story line.

You're Hopeful Viewer

P.S. More cute lovey-dovey couple montages with some more hot kisses would be much appreciated if we can find a way to fix this angsty separation issue. I'm not above too much fluffiness.


Related articles:
first impression: Me Too, Flower!
thoughts: Me Too, Flower! -- mid-series


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