I Am Legend Episodes 1-2: First Impressions

I was so psyched for this drama to come out, even though I wasn’t a Kim Jung Eun fan. And guess what? I’m still psyched, and I’m loving Kim Jung Eun in this role!

I don’t want to go into a recap mode, since you can easily read it on dramabeans. I’d rather just give my impressions of the characters in the drama, and where I think it’s going to go.

Some of the characters…

Let’s start with the annoying husband Ji Wook, otherwise known as Kim Seung Soo. He is a selfish Momma’s boy who claims that he never loved Kim Jung Eun to the point of wanting to marry her. Girls – let this be a lesson: this man is known as the ultimate non-committal cad. I wonder if he knows about Seung Hye (Jang Young Nam) being a single mother; if he knew that she had such a “past,” he probably wouldn’t want her as a wife either. In fact – he seems like he wouldn’t marry Seung Hye no matter what. She’s a mistress but he’s having fun with her. I doubt he even seriously considered marrying her. Because of that, I almost hope Seung Hye will side with Seol Hee in the future. The whole divorce matter seems like it will be done by episode 3 or 4, and so if that is the case, Ji Wook might stick around as the rival love interest (as hinted by the poster above). If so, it totally means that he sees women as novelties and will move on to the next sparkling lady that attracts his attention. (Too bad Seol Hee doesn’t look like she’ll ever go back to him.)

I would rather he get embarrassed by her performances as he runs for a political office, then all of a sudden be sneered at for not letting his talented wife take the stage because she became an uber-celebrity and he is just… a divorced, wanna-be politician. That would be so much more fun than seeing him try to win back Seol Hee.

Also, the reason why I think Ji Wook is a Momma’s boy is because everything that comes out of his mouth echoes her sentiments about Seol Hee. If Seol Hee was right about him liking her in the past, then it is possible the vile mother poisoned his thoughts when Seol Hee got pregnant. Dude – it takes two to tango ya know? Maybe you should have taken a little more care of yourself in the situation and you wouldn’t have gotten into the mess in the first place.

I love how he is slowly losing control of the situation. Take that!

Now to the mother – she is the typical Korean mother in law character who despises the “new girl” that marries her precious eldest son. But lady, didn’t you marry into a family too? It doesn’t matter whether she was the rich one or her husband was the rich one; either way, she still married into someone’s family. All these mothers should keep that in the back of their minds before they start ripping their daughter-in-laws apart. I love that she, Ji Wook, and the dratted sister-in-law got a scolding from the father during episode 2. They totally deserved it. Unfortunately, the number of people who do not like Seol Hee outnumber him, and therefore his words might have no effect. I wonder if the father will show up in future episodes; I fear he won’t, but I would love to see a rich supporter on her side just so the mother can have a a frozen “OMO!” face.

Hwa Ja (Hong Ji Min) is a grating character – her hoarse voice doesn’t help the situation. However, I didn’t think she was annoying in these two episodes, and I think it is because I hated the mother more. She might become annoying later, but until then I enjoy her character. She knows exactly how to prod Seol Hee along. When she teased prim and proper Seol Hee about Tae Hyun, it was a great way of showing that Hwa Ja knows exactly how and who Seol Hee really is, and she might prove to be the guiding force for Seol Hee (perhaps in pursuing a relationship with Tae Hyun). Not to mention, she and her husband Gong Duk Soo (played by Beethoven Virus’ Jung Suk Yong) are adorable and I love how Duk Soo is naturally on Seol Hee’s side in hating Ji Wook.

Now Jang Young Nam is far more striking (and this role really shows off her beauty) than she was in Dal Ja’s Spring, where she just plain freaked me out. I actually feel some sympathy for her. Aside from being a total hard-ass ex-wife and absent mom (both of which I don’t really like her for), she is a successful lawyer who is unfortunately going to be relegated to mistress-status for quite a while. I felt bad for her that she had to be the one to help her love Ji Wook stay married, when it would be better if they divorced. Again – shows you what a selfish bastard Ji Wook is, and how he doesn’t really appreciate the ladies in his life (except for Momma). I hope she will have some respect for Seol Hee in the end and like her, because they are both the same – they both pursued their own lives at the sake of marriage.

If Seol Hee can prove  her husband’s affair, I’m sure she will win the case. As for Seung Hye, she is going to have to decide if she will twist the pictures into making it seem like Seol Hee is having an affair with her ex. That little dilemma that she is having is kind of trite; I don’t really believe her reaction of shock and anger when she saw those pictures of them together. I thought she would have been more cold-hearted than that.

Noo Ri – the son of Tae Hyun and Seung Hye – is absolutely adorable, and it’s not just because he still has his baby teeth. I like a smart kid, and am glad that he’s perceptive enough to see that his mother is an uptight distant mother. He knows what happens if his mom hears he’s sick, and I’m sure Tae Hyun doesn’t say anything negative about his mother in front of him. Therefore, the kid just knows that dad will always get in trouble. Another example of his perceptiveness: he knows his dad is God in the music world and therefore all newbies must pay proper respect.

As for Ran Hee (Go Eun Mi) – I’m on the fence on this character. I have no idea what purpose she is going to serve. Sure, she might be a singing rival to Seol Hee, but I feel that she is not going to be that much of an obstacle. Sooo… writers – start figuring out what she’s going to do there!

And finally Kim Jung Eun. I think she suits this role perfectly. She does a good job in being respectful to Ji Wook’s family and yet being closed up just enough that I can feel stifled too. Then you put her in a scene with the Madonna Band and all of a sudden she is loose and carefree, and actually happy. She switches between a perfect woman in control, to fun and crazy schoolgirl, to nurturing mother figure to her sister. She even becomes more insolent to her husband when she starts living alone. I don’t think Kim Sun Ah would have been able to do all three sides of Seol Hee well.

Now for the little things…

Ever since Coffee House’s split screen cuts, I notice more quirky editing. I Am Legend interwove still images with regualr footage during the transplant surgery scene and the concert. It gets to the point, is short and sweet, and provides something new for my eyes to pay attention to when they come on.

As for the soundtrack, I actually like all the songs except for “We Will Comeback.” There is one scene where it goes from a slow solo ballad that Kim Jung Eun sings, to a rock song (“Killing Me Softly”). The change is abrupt, but it reflects Seol Hee’s personality in some ways too.

During the concert, the montages that are interwoven with the performance showed the effect that the performance has on all the members. For Soo In (Jang Shin Young) she is more energized in training her boys. For Hwa Ja she manages to sell a lot of beauty products via the manager. For Seol Hee she is energized in her law studies. For Ah Reum (Hyun Jyuni) – she becomes more willing to be a part of the band. It’s a nice touch in saying that these ladies are all the better for letting their true, musical selves boogie down.

And one last thing: I liked that the note written by Soo In’s boys had spelling mistakes – makes the band seem more like kids who don’t know how to properly run away from their “parents.” Heh.

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4 comments

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  1. gailT 11 August, 2010 at 16:05 Reply

    I love your thoughts on the characters. I’m finding myself really drawn to this drama. And although I love KSA, I feel that Kim Jung Eun is perfect in this role. She cries very very well; she moves me.

    The whole drama is giving me a City Hall vibe. And the actor playing Tae Hyun looks like he’s channeling Cha Seung Won.

    Anyway, are you going to be recapping this at dramabeans?

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