49 Days: First Impressions

Wow – I should not read the recaps and spoil this drama for myself anymore. It’s too good!

This drama is way better than I expected because in the FIRST EPISODE I already felt so sad and like I was going to cry.

Characters:


First off I’ll talk about the actors. I love how Choi Jung Woo (Shining Inheritance, Prosecutor Princess) is becoming a So Hyun Kyung staple, and same goes for Yoo Ji In (Lee Seung Gi’s mother in Shining Inheritance). The two of them play Nam Gyu Ri’s parents in the drama, and that makes them the parents in law of Bae Soo Bin. Bwahaha.

Bae Soo Bin is quite generic in his role, but he hasn’t really shown much of what he could do yet. His character in the first two episodes is pretty much the ideal Prince Charming who’s super sweet and also super guilty. In fact, his sad eyes scream “I’m feeling so guilty!!” for cheating on Ji Hyun.

Jo Hyun Jae on the other hand is quite fun to watch; a complex mash up of emotions pass over his face every so often as the conflicted friend, and he’s good at acting super uncomfortable. I love watching him mainly because I really can’t wait to see who he ends up with. Weird. I think he triggers the same reaction that I had towards Ryu Soo Young in My Princess – he’s just the awesome second male lead that might become the first male lead.

Jung Il Woo? He’s so lovable. In fact, this is the Jung Il Woo I loved watching in Unstoppable High Kick. I now can see why My Fair Lady totally wasted him.

For the girls, Bae Geu Rin is effortlessly kind and Seo Ji Hye is… wow. I can’t decide whether to hate her or not. In fact, I don’t want to hate her at all. (I might change my mind down the road…) Nam Gyu Ri has an easy time being the ever-optimistic and pure Ji Hyun, but one thing I can’t get past is how plastic and frozen her face is. I know when she’s happy, when she’s sad, when she’s angry – but I can’t see those expressions. I don’t think she’s a terrible actress, but she sure can’t seem to emote. Or maybe it’s more because her face is over-Botox-ed.

As for Lee Yo Won, now that’s someone I can see the expressions on. Oddly though, I don’t feel anything towards her. She’s good at switching between being such a Debbie Downer and a perky Ji Hyun, but I’d rather her go more extreme with the changes. What Yoon Kye Sang did so well in Who Are You? was be nearly apoplectic in his zany switch-ups between his normal self and his possessed self. It was so extreme, but he sold it. Lee Yo Won is so far acting “asleep” and “awake” rather than two very different characters. I guess you could say I’m a little disappointed and expected more from her.

Best Friends?

Now I have to say I actually feel very sad for once about the current love square. I rarely feel sad – if anything, I never feel bad about the second leads in the drama. But in this one, I feel bad. It’s basically a case where the best friends are in love with their’ bestie’s partner. Han Kang loves Ji Hyun, and In Jung loves Min Ho. The unfortunate thing is that Min Ho loves/wants In Jung too, so that makes their pairing a little more wrong. A quick fix would have been if everyone were just honest and switched partners.

I also hate that Ji Hyun and In Jung seem to be the best of friends, even closer than Bae Geu Rin’s character. They’re so close and yet In Jung is heartless enough to betray her friend over a guy. (There’s a saying of “bros before ho’s” – can girls have the same thing? ‘Cause honestly, there should really be an honor code…) I think the guilt that she feels though makes her tears more painful because even if her tears aren’t pure, we know that she’s a good enough person to feel so terribly guilty that she cries. Some people are guilty but they don’t cry because they’re secretly happy. But In Jung cries very hard for Ji Hyun, so it indicates that there’s still some goodness in her. That might change in the coming episodes though.

Plot Notes:


That has got to be one of the largest pile-ups ever.

I really enjoy the constant theme of tear drops or water in the drama. Some are quite blatant like a huge tear drop design in the hotel, but some are a little subtle, like the transition that occurs when Ji Hyun has a flashback. The scene ripples through as it changes to her memory. On top of that the soundtrack helps evoke that fantastical, magical element that underlines the entire drama. It honestly reminds me of the elven world of “The Lord of the Rings.” No lie.

I find it interesting that Ji Hyun likes to cry out “Dad!” whenever she finds herself in some sort of trouble. For me, that’s becoming a constant theme in So Hyun Kyung dramas – where the female character has a very close relationship with her father. I’ve only seen three so far (including 49 Days) but it’s quite recurring: Shining Inheritance had Han Hyo Joo’s character have a very close relationship with her father; Kim So Yeon’s character in Prosecutor Princess had a close relationship with her father as well despite being the spoiled princess – because she also couldn’t bear the fact that her father was an accidental murderer. Now in 49 Days, Ji Hyun is the apple of her father’s eye. It’s touching.

Based on Yi Kyung’s flashback, it looks like Jung Il Woo really is her boyfriend. While we didn’t see his face, it’s hard to mistake his permed hair. Unless every guy during that time had permed hair… O_O I would love to be wrong on this though – just sayin’ So Hyun Kyung!!

As for Yi Kyung’s secret admirer, I wonder if he’s just someone there to prove that Yi Kyung is completely oblivious to her world, or if he has a larger role. I would love to see him again. Right now it’s almost a guarantee that we’ll get pure tears from Han Kang, but who are the other two people?! Will it be that In Jung and Min Ho’s tears will become pure as time goes on? Or will there be completely new people that we haven’t met yet?

And now to the Scheduler – he’s hilarious. Jung Il Woo is a young guy so he works best in “young roles” – he’s so impertinent and arrogant as the Scheduler it makes the character so lovable. I do think that Jung is trying hard to make his lines into catchphrases though, a la Hyun Bin in Secret Garden with his, “Is this your best? Are you sure?” He says, “Follow me,” “Lies are what humans say – am I human to you?” and “The Scheduler does not meddle in human affairs!” a lot. A lot, a lot.

Verdict:

GIVE ME EPISODE 3 NOW!

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5 comments

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  1. missjb 24 March, 2011 at 05:12 Reply

    omg me too! I have invested with the story since the first episode despite some bad acting, but I don’t care. I can overlook that since I more intrigued to the storyline. It suprise me since in previous so hyung kyun’s drama, the first impression didn’t impressed me, though as it progressed they become getting better.

  2. tinysunbl 1 April, 2011 at 18:46 Reply

    Hell yeah, I’m glad you enjoy it as much as I do! Doesn’t this drama remind you of Prosecutor Princess? The way the mystery is unfolding, the bickering rapport between the characters, the clueless heroine, and the creepy stalker! I hope the scriptwriter won’t let us down in the end.

    • kaedejun 1 April, 2011 at 18:50 Reply

      LOLSSSS – i didn’t even notice the similarities until you mentioned them! thank goodness it’s “different enough” that i didn’t notice or else i would have hated the writer. more reason why i LOVE her.

  3. daisydorothy 26 September, 2011 at 09:01 Reply

    I also agree that Lee Yo Won’s portraying of the character of Ji Hyun is not in accordance to the character of Nam Gyu Ri as Ji Hyun. Isn’t she supposed to act as Nam- Ji Hyun when possessed? As if she acted her own way as Lee- Ji Hyun. After watching the whole thing many times, I don’t like how she portrayed it before the wall between them was broken. I feel for Nam here. I think I heard Lee say in an interview that she was doing it like a trial and error? when she could have put more effort in studying Nam do the scenes herself as i saw her being shown a video of Nam playing the piano…I love the rest but am also disappointed at Lee. Was she stealing the story for herself? 49 days is Nam-Ji Hyun’s story and not Lee – Ji Hyun’s!

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