I love TVXQ!
Why is it that I pick now to start confessing?
So that you will know why a person who is a sworn enemy of sad stories, melodramas and anything remotely close to tear-jerkers would even consider taking the snot-inducingly sob-fest that was MBC’s Winter drama, “I Miss You.” (보고싶다)
Two words: Park Yoochun! 🙂 (Fine, three if you write that differently.)
The basic premise of the story plot can be described in the clever meme above that I found on Tumblr. I could even stop with that and call this a thorough review of the melodrama. But when did I ever stop when there was words to be spoken, or in this case, typed?
Bogoshipda tells the story of two young kids in 90’s Korea; Han Jung Woo, the elder son of a rich businessman and Lee Su Yeon, the daughter of a murderer. Despite Su Yeon being an ostracized girl in school where the kids fear her and avoid her, Jung Woo becomes her friend and brings a smile back into the face of a girl tormented by the life she is living.
The two of them declare that all they need is one friend and that steadfast friendship grows into a cutesy little love that teenagers quite readily will fall into. But before they can even sort out their feelings tragedy strikes and the two of them are ripped apart under horrific circumstances.
15 years on, Han Jung Woo is now a grown man (played by Park Yoochun) who is a detective known for his ruthless methods of interrogation, fast legs and warm personality earning him the nickname Crazy Rabbit. But he has not forgotten his first love, the girl who he abandoned as a scared, little boy.
Meanwhile, Lee Su Yeon (Yoon Eun Hye) is living abroad, working as a Fashion Designer together with the boy that saved her that fateful day. The boy, called Harry (Yoo Seung Ho) is the centre piece of the entire mystery surrounding the tragedy that befell the two young children.
The death of woman investigated by Detective Han Jung Woo happens to bring Harry back to Korea. Su Yeon follows…
SPOILERS FROM HERE ON!
Yes. Been there, done that, kinda plotline; but the reason I liked this drama, despite it’s unecessarily dangerous amount of ‘feels,’ is because of the painstaking realism crafted into the usual cliche of Kdrama.
Lee Su Yeon is a slight, girl with big, frigtened eyes and a thousand and one complications. She suffers abuse from her father who is a habitual wife-beater who takes it out on his daughter when her mother is not to be found. Even after her father is executed as a murderer, Su Yeon is not free of him. The kids in school begin to avoid her, people on the street, the entire neighbourhood labels her “Murderer’s Daughter” and her mother, distraught with the ostracization, beats the young Su Yeon and at one point offers her up to the woman whose family Su Yeon’s father was supposed to have murdered saying, “Here! Take her and kill her if it makes you feel better!” Even though her life becomes better after meeting Jung Woo, because of him and his family’s power struggles, Su Yeon is raped, beaten and run over. As if to poke the already festered wounds, one of the detectives admits to Su Yeon’s mother that Su Yeon’s father was not the culprit. They had executed an innocent man!
It makes you wonder, how similar must real life be? How many young girls and boys must suffer so because of the games that adults play? Everyone knows that in this case, reality is actually ten times worse than what is portrayed in fiction.
The teen who plays the young Su Yeon does a fantastic job, bringing out the fear, the anguish and the hopelessness Su Yeon must have felt, if she was a real person.
That was one of the reasons I really loved this drama. There was not a dry eye in sight throughout the 21 episodes, but it rang true. Brutal, yes, and sometimes a bit much, but not for the sake of entertainment, more the soul-searching kind.
Reason Number Two for loving this drama is Park Yoochun.
I’m going to put aside my biased fangirl opinions on this one!
Though he has acted in a handful of dramas, Park Yoochun has won so many drama awards!
Maybe, some, like the Popularity Awards he’s won is because of his superstar status, but you have to admit that whether he plays a staid, disciplined bookworm who believes he’s gay, or a slightly nuts crown prince learning the ways of the modern world, Yoochun has left us laughing, crying or salivating and definitely wanting more.
In Bogoshipda he plays a role quite different from his role in Rooftop Prince.
While the Yoochun that played the prince was very erect, walking straight and tall and delivering the best laugh out louds, the Yoochun that played Han Jung Woo was two very different characters at the same time.
He would deliver the pain and angst behind the Jung Woo who regrets his actions as a young boy and pines and prays for the day he can get Lee Su Yeon back, and then he comes around that being the playful, joking Crazy Rabbit who flirts with his prospective mother-in-law, calls his police partner ‘wifey’ and sings karaoke in a voice that would do wonderful duets with Rebecca Black!
In a drama that was mostly anguish, Han Jung Woo’s cutesy moments were a thrill to watch.
What really peeved me during the drama was that in every, single episode, Yoochun was crying! It’s a bit too much to handle don’t you think? I mean, come on director! I know he’s very good at turning on the emotion when required, but too much of something is not so good, we learnt that when we watched that scene in Pirates of the Caribbean 3 with all those Jack Sparrows!
The third reason I loved Bogoshipda was the incredible acting talent of the third lead, Yoo Seung Ho.
I mean the kid was EPIC, MAN!
He played a messed up psychopath to the maximum with his smirks, and his eyes and his uncontrollable crying.
This boy should be given an award for this role! I have seen him in a couple other dramas and I wasn’t impressed. His acting was shaky and cute at best but he really came through here.
He was almost a better actor than Park Yoochun! (There I said it!)
I think he really wrapped himself into the role and took on the personality of a human being who has lost everything and grows ever so over-protective of what he has left. In the final episode, Harry’s helplessness and distraught when he realises that no matter how much he loves Su Yeon, he can’t keep her away from Jung Woo, the expressions that Seung Ho sculpts into his features, the questions, the pure force of his obsession were fantastic!
The only part that was unrealistic was him losing his memory at the end.
I mean , come on? Is that the ‘go to’ for dramas these days? Let’s wipe the slate clean and then doodle on it as we please?
But then again, this is the world where pretty girls living in derelict apartments are suddenly surrounded by the hottest, male neigbours of a suitable age imaginable, so what gives?
I loved how fully they portrayed Jung Woo’s relationships with the (mostly female) people that surrounded him.
His flirty, playful relationship with Su Yeon’s mother, constantly hugging her and babying her was one of the highlights of the show for me. I would love it when the two shared screen time, ready to laugh at their jokes. Jung Woo’s real sister and her ‘oni-chan complex’ was funny and cute. She hero-worshipped him and was a strong ally he could count on later in the series.
Also, Jung Woo’s team of detectives. His wifey, the Team Leader and the other two guys who were always hanging around hoping to catch Jung Woo and Su Yeon in action! I loved the portrayal of brotherhood, especially Jung Woo’s senior (his name escapes me) and how they are loyal and look out for their own. The theme of brotherhood needs to be explored more in dramas I feel without giving priority to the romance and the story of the two main leads.
The only relationship that was not explored was him and his surrogate sister, Eun Joo. I wish there was more of that! Eun Joo is a strong, female force with a sense of right and wrong, every bit her father’s daughter. They should have made her a detective too!!
SPOILERS END HERE!
Well, that was way too long a review so time to wrap it up now with one of my favourite clips off Yoochun’s previous drama, Rooftop Prince. Oh, and the I Miss You trailer, if you’re considering watching it!