Big: First Impressions


This will probably be the first Hong Sisters drama that I will finish to completion since You’re Beautiful. Already it’s so painfully cheesy that it cracks me up, but I like it. At least the cast is young and I totally buy into the whole jokey tone of the drama.


I’m going to summarize the first two episodes really quickly, as you can read the full recaps at Dramabeans, or watch on Dramafever. Basically, Gil Da Ran (Lee Min Jung) is a bit of a clumsy but endearing woman who’s studying to be a teacher. She hasn’t received her certificate just yet, and spends her time as a substitute teacher until she passes her test. An accident lands her in the care of Seo Yoon Jae (Gong Yoo), who is McDreamy for Korea. They end up getting engaged, and Da Ran is the happiest girl in the world.


That is, until one month before their wedding, he starts becoming distant towards her. He’s also got quite the “sexy” coworker Lee Se Young (Jang Hee Jin – who’s bearable) hitting on him, and it’s suggested that the two have been carrying on an affair without Da Ran’s knowledge. What we do know for sure is that he’s got a plane ticket for the States, and he’s going to go but hasn’t told Da Ran yet. I’m guessing that Se Young is the one loving him one-sidedly, and he’s just leaving to go on a project. I REFUSE to believe that Gong Yoo is playing a cad!


At Da Ran’s school, there’s a gym teacher who’s so adorkable in that he protects Da Ran from the wrath of the school principal (Choi Ran), but never admits out loud that he likes her. He would hide her from the principal or make an excuse that he doesn’t need Da Ran’s help so that she can get out of school early. Her younger brother Choong Sik (Baek Sung Hyun) is the “bully” in the school, but once he sees his sister, the tough act drops and he becomes a meek mouse. Heehee – I never expected to see Baek Sung Hyun like this, and I LOVE IT. And then, she has a new transfer student, Kang Gyung Joon (Shin Won Ho), who likes to interject a lot of random English words because, hey, he’s from the States! He’s quite aloof about everything, especially since he’s grown up without his parents and lives in a vast apartment by himself. He’s a sad little rich boy, but he ends up having a soft spot for his foolish teacher.


He can’t believe that Da Ran is so in love with her fiance, and when she finally blows up on Yoon Jae for bailing on her again, he cheers her up by driving her to the riverside. Yoon Jae finally gets to his senses and realizes he needs to make up to her BIG TIME so he rushes over to the riverside. Yoon Jae and Gyung Joon end up in a car accident and fly over the guard rail, landing in the river. Gyung Joon is immediately unconscious, and Yoon Jae dives deeper to save Gyung Joon. The scene ends up matching Gyung Joon’s card of angels, which he keeps in his wallet as a memento. Hong Sisters are never subtle…


Gyung Joon ends up in a coma, and Yoon Jae dies. HOWEVER! Once in the morgue, Yoon Jae wakes up – but he’s no longer Yoon Jae – he’s Gyung Joon! Gyung Joon’s body is still in a coma, and the theory is that Yoon Jae’s soul is in Gyung Joon’s body. They just need to figure out a way to switch back. Da Ran discovers this, which I didn’t expect to happen. I thought she would just wonder why her fiance was so weird. Gyung Joon is forced to act like Yoon Jae until he and Da Ran figure out how to switch them back. I love Gyung Joon’s meeting with his “in-laws” because his personality is so vastly different from how they know Yoon Jae. (And yay – Ahn Suk Hwan as the benevolent father!)

But then! Se Young comes in and confesses her love to Gyung Joon-as-Yoon Jae, and that makes things really awkward for Gyung Joon. “Yoon Jae, what’d you do!?” he cries at the end of episode 2. No kidding.

Overall, I am intrigued over how they’re going to solve their soul-swapping problem. It’s clear that Yoon Jae is a much better person with Gyung Joon’s soul, and so I’m thinking it’s going to be very awkward if Da Ran falls in love with Gyung-Jae (Gyung Joon-as-Yoon Jae). And yet, I’d really like to know what Yoon Jae’s deal is, and why he was such a jerk to Da Ran, so I want him to wake up!


Right off the bat, I can say that the tone is quite cheesy and Min Jung is overly cute in her role. The music editing is also a little choppy and I hope it can be more fluid as we go on in the series. However I think the reason why I can buy into this is because of Gong Yoo. He’s seriously amazing as an actor in that I think he embodies both Yoon Jae and Gyung Joon characters so well. It wouldn’t work if the actor couldn’t play an 18-year old kid, but Gong Yoo sells it. Just like how Yoon Kye Sang managed to sell that he was both a cold hearted 30-something and a loving father, Gong Yoo convinces me that his body has been overtaken by Gyung Joon’s soul. My favorite line is when he shows Da Ran his abs, and says “Look. This guy’s abs are like chocolate!” I love that he’s making fun of himself, as well as stroking his own ego – all thanks to the Hong Sisters.

My only sadness is that we won’t see much of Shin Won Ho if he’s going to be in a coma for a while. He was quite good.

It’s because of Gong Yoo that I think I could finish watching this show. I know Lee Seung Gi was adorable in My Girlfriend is a Gumiho, and that Cha Seung Won and Gong Hyo Jin were great in Best Love. However, My Girlfriend is a Gumiho simply got sucked into the “I have no time” portal, and Best Love ended up being more ingratiating that I had thought it would be. With Big, I could very well end up hating how this drama goes (who knows?), but for now I think I can enjoy the ride. Especially if you keep showing me Gong Yoo’s abs.

Verdict: Watching it. Let’s see how far I go this time!


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