It's finally a new week, and that means new episodes and more developments to delve into in the historical SBS drama remake of 'My Sassy Girl'! As I did last week, in this review, I will be critiquing the drama in relation to the original 2001 movie (the 'OM'), as well as for the drama's original plot and creativity.
(Note: when you see 'OM' in the following review, it stands for 'original movie', referring to the 2001 'My Sassy Girl' movie.)
Original movie and drama remake and say what...?
Let's kick right off into noting some of the similarities and difference between the drama and the 'OM' in episodes 5 & 6. Last week, the drama managed to take viewers on an unexpected ride, re-living some of the best scenes from the 'OM' but put in a historical setting. This week, it wasn't so mirror-image. In episode 5, we saw the end result of Gyeonwoo (played by Joo Won) and Princess Hyemyung (played by Oh Yeon Seo)'s infiltration into a lair run by loan sharks, followed by the duo heading out for dinner. Here come the classic, easy-to-spot 'OM' to drama remake themes: we see Princess Hyemyung being as one-sided ever in choosing weird menu items for Gyeonwoo, and we again hear Gyeonwoo's adamant claims that women who are rough and outspoken are absolutely not his type. The trick from this point on is to carry on the drama in a manner that speaks aloud, "Same, but not the same!" So how will this drama manage to do that? We have our characters, who have the fair amount of similarities to the 'OM' to have viewers comparing and contrasting. This is where plot comes in, to move the drama in a direction more like the 'OM', or in a new and undiscovered direction!
Jungshin be like, "I may not have done much in the drama yet, but I'll still look good doing it."
Those of you who have seen the 'OM' know that while in the beginning, it seemed like Gyeonwoo's family stood as an obstacle to him fulfilling his relationship with Geunyeo, toward the end, it was the complete opposite. Gyeonwoo's family had been objects of fate pointing Gyeonwoo in Geunyeo's direction from the beginning. Will that be the case in this historical drama? The most important figure, as of now, to determine yes or no to this question seems to be Gyeonwoo's younger sister Gyeonhee (played by Jung Da Bin).
Gyeonhee's current goal is to see her older brother married to Da Yeon (played by Kim Yoon Hye), the daughter of the royal advisory board member Jung Ki Joon. Gyeonhee is the culprit responsible for the jade ring being missing from Gyeonwoo's possession, and the ring ends up falling into the wrong hands… but circumstances seem to suggest more that Gyeonhee is a young, upper class girl who wants to appease the other upper class girls around her in order to fit in, and no so much an antagonist against Gyeonwoo. And in her state, being the bridge between her older brother and Da Yeon just happens to be the device to allow her a place among the other girls. But toward the end of episode 6, it's more or less indicated that Gyeonhee, who saw Princess Hyemyung being abducted, told her older brother so, thus allowing Gyeonwoo to rush to the Princess's rescue… while it's too early in the series to determine whether or not Gyeonhee will really become a fateful supporting character similar to Gyeonwoo's aunt in the 'OM' or not, she serves as an interesting character enough herself already, having been a key figure in causing some major plot advancements in episodes 5 & 6. What are your thoughts on Gyeonwoo's sister Gyeonhee so far?
A 'Goblin' recycled prop..?
The political conflict we have steadily building between the King and the royal advisory board's Jung Ki Joon is something we can't ignore. It'd been left up for questioning whether or not Jung Ki Joon already had some sort of plan devised to threaten the King and the royal family last week, but many of the scenes and elements from episodes 5 & 6 suggest that Jung Ki Joon did in fact order the loan sharks to kidnap the Princess, through the hands of the mysterious soldier with the scar above his eye. The formation that the King and his band of travelers took on at the end of episode 6 served an interesting point of observation. The King, though a good and wise king, is constantly being followed by a group of advisors in red, who wear the same color as the warning note at the end of the arrow which missed the King by inches. His guards immediately surround him and close him in inside a circle after witnessing the arrow, while his servants fall back in alarm and fear. The formation heavily suggests how alone the King is in his struggle to rule justly, with none but his enemies, those who turn their back to him without listening, and those who would rather save themselves than protect the King, in his vicinity. That's about all I can observe from episodes 5 & 6, so let's see how the Princess's abduction becomes entangled in with the political struggles later on.
But what we really wanna see is the romance, eh? /wink wink/
Finally, at the end of episode 6, we're left with the almost canonic K-drama situation of the damsel in distress being rescued by the man whom she'd despised up until now. Strange, because in my reviews last week, I spent a fair amount of time discussing how the 'OM' was a movie heavy in themes of women's strength and independence and how the main male character in the film was able to accept these ideas affectionately. Never in the 'OM' was there ever a situation where Geunyeo had to be saved by Gyeonwoo. So I find it personally very disappointing to see this too-frequently-seen man to woman's rescue scene emerging so early and at such a critical moment in the drama series. In the next episode, if the tides were to turn and the scene developed into something more alike to the iconic hostage scene in the 'OM' involving the runaway soldier, than the drama will manage to earn my attention and interest again. If not, thwn it will have already managed to fail as a remake of the 'OM' in one, very important sense. In terms of scoring episodes 5 & 6, we're still hanging in a mediocre range where plot and character development have yet to take off on a full run yet, while the spark and excitement from the hyped title of 'My Sassy Girl' is dying down quickly… Let's pick up the pace in episodes 7 & 8, SBS!