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10 July 2011 @ 12:49 pm
[Review] Coffee Prince, Episode Two  
And it's time for episode two, where the comedy couple has Amazing Fake Gay Boyfriend Adventures and the drama couple triggers a whole slew of Advice Columns. Also noted: some plot stuff.

Comments you should definitely read from the last post: [dreamwidth.org profile] via_ostiense on gender pronouns and stuff I'm not getting from the subtitles, fragilistikal (whole thread!) on manly junk, subtitle problems, and Korean cultural stuff I didn't get, and [dreamwidth.org profile] ranalore on pooping, peeing, and piggy back rides. (Beware mild spoilers.)

A Further Note on Bodily Secretions

[dreamwidth.org profile] ranalore's comment made me remember my first time reading, I think it was, Franny and Zooey, when I was 13, which is, for the record, exactly the right age for first reading all of Salinger in one glorious weeklong orgy. At one point, one of the kids describes their mother as looking satisfied in a way that could only mean she'd been talking to her oldest son or had learned that everyone in her family was going to be regular for 24 hours.

I still remember that because it made me blink - like, how would their mother even know if they were regular or not? Did they, like, talk about pooping or something? By then, though, I was an old pro at recognizing cultural gaps - this is what happens when you spend your childhood reading books written in another country long before you were born - and I just figured, okay, mind the gap. But Franny and Zooey was written in the US in 1961. (By, I might add, someone from roughly the same cultural subset as I am, as far as I can tell.) So apparently the monumental level of delicacy we have achieved with respect to bodily functions in the US is not only not shared by every single country out there, it also wasn't shared by our own country fifty years ago.

In other words, we're probably the weird ones, which is something I will try to keep in mind as I watch future episodes.

Episode 2

1: The Comedy Couple Hatches a Plot

We pick up exactly where episode 1 left off, with: "Hey, do you want to be my lover?" Han Kyul then checks out Eun Chan like she's a suit he's planning on buying, but actually it turns out that she is a beard he's planning on buying. Well, wait - she's supposed to help him pretend to be gay, not straight. Does that make her a reverse beard? Would that be - like, a hairpiece? A soul patch? A very close shave? Whatever the term is.

Eun Chan, to judge by her general attitude, is still very much stuck on, "WTF, dude? What the fucking fuck is even wrong with you?"

Han Kyul writes up a contract - presumably he found a Fake Gay Boyfriend sample contract online. (I can only hope it included a section on Unplanned Genuine Romantic Feelings and an option for Fake Gay Marriage. People never really plan adequately for their fake gay relationships.) She says she won't be his fake gay boyfriend unless he apologizes for insulting her father and family. I love this sequence, because it shows why Eun Chan is perfect for (and maybe too good for) Han Kyul: she is the very first person in his life - like, his entire life to date, one suspects - who will not put up with his bullshit. She actually makes him come through. She rejects his insincere apologies until he gets it right. It's fabulous.

They negotiate terms and eventually come to an agreement, although not before he uses his phone to snap a picture of her. "If anything happens," he tells her, "this will be your mug shot." Oh, Han Kyul.

Then they go out his car, which is DOUBLE-PARKED. That bastard. I knew I was right to name him Jerkface!

Eun Chan is still fairly dubious about Han Kyul, but she really likes his car. I mean really. She feels it up for quite a prolonged period, and then she morphs into a kid who is getting to sit in the front of the car for the VERY FIRST TIME. Poke! Bounce! Spring! Play with the radio! I wait patiently for her to start putting the windows up and down over and over until he engages the window lock. (I am not saying I do this, mind you. I am just saying it is the most fun you can have as the passenger in a car, provided you are with someone who is required for reasons of blood ties to forgive you for this behavior. Or someone you hate, I guess.)

She opens the convertible roof. AND THEN SHE STANDS UP. I am deeply appalled. She sings a song and does a little dance, and really she looks very happy, but I cannot enjoy it or even really watch, because EVERY BONE IN MY BODY IS SHRIKEING ABOUT DARWIN AWARDS.

Han Kyul, by the way, looks amused by all this. After he drops her off, he says to himself, "He's a monster." To judge by his expression and tone, that is a very good thing to be.

Meanwhile, at Eun Chan's house, her mother is busy writing on sticky notes, and I quote directly from the subtitles:
  1. Leather shoes are my enemy
  2. Branded goods are a short cut to bankruptcy
  3. Pink is an angel from hell
I read the last one and immediately consider changing my user name. (Note, by the way, that she is writing this on pink, angel-from-hell sticky notes.)

Her mother is experiencing guilt for being a spendthrift, and after we get some numerical details, we feel that her guilt is not nearly enough. We have to pause for an interlude of seriously worrying over the Go family's budget. It is stressful.

2: The Drama Couple Makes a Scene

Yoo Ju and Han Kyul meet in a park, where Yoo Ju is emphasizing her femininity by doing art with little kids. (I suspect part of Yoo Ju's plot purpose is to provide a foil for Eun Chan by being a very girly girl.) Han Kyul has one of his noble moments, here, realizing that even though he's dating her (and, also, he's supposed to be in love with her, although frankly I am not buying this so much), she really wants Han Seong. There is a meatball metaphor involved, but trust me: the meatballs are the essence of nobility. Han Kyul takes her off to Han Seong's house to wait for him.

But Han Seong is not home when they get there, because he has run into Eun Chan near a convenience store. He has alcohol, she has ice cream; they share it and have a chat. I would recount the conversation, but I couldn't take notes because of the horror. I really wish she would not eat like that. Oh god. I am not going into it. I am not that strong, frankly.

Back at Han Seong's house, Han Kyul and Yoo Ju are waiting outside his gate. Han Kyul, who cannot have a moment of nobility without a commensurate relapse (otherwise people might start thinking he's a decent guy, after all), says, "Yoo Ju, you've become pitiful. Is Choi Han Seong really that good?"

We pause for another round of TFV and BB's Advice Column: Coffee Prince Edition:

TFV: If you want someone to love you, maybe don't describe her as pitiful.
BB: It suggests you don't actually want her to love you.
TFV: YES. Also, it makes you look like a total asshole.
BB: Looks like? IS.

But then Han Seong shows up and Han Kyul walks nobly off, looking wistfully back just to emphasize that they are so in love and he is not a part of it. Instead of a gorgeous artist girlfriend, he has a hired boyfriend. Annnnd it's back to BB and TFV's Advice Column: Coffee Prince Edition:

TFV: Look at your life choices, Jerkface! Maybe they are responsible for this tragic state of affairs!
BB: You really can't expect us to feel sorry for you when you made it this way.

Back with at the gate, Yoo Ju says she'd like to start over. Han Seong walks off. He goes into his house and sits on the floor in the dark. I want to give him a stern talking-to, and also remind him that emo is a whole other variety of music than the one he produces.

Yoo Ju is still outside. Which is not a surprise; she doesn't have a ride home. There is sadness everywhere. I find myself wondering what Eun Chan and Han Kyul are up to.

Annnnnd then Han Seong comes back out and they go back in together. The music swells! Passionate kissing! Tears! Confessions and apologies and then slow motion as Han Seong scoops Yoo Ju up and carries her off to the bedroom. My reactions are:
  1. Oh, please. This is the second episode of a seventeen-episode series. If you think your problems are solved, you are WRONG.
  2. Can we please go back to Eun Chan and Han Kyul now? PLEASE?
And we do! Specifically, we go back to Han Kyul, who is angsting to the same music Han Seong and Yoo Ju are banging to, which, ouch. Not on, musical director. Not. On. The classy choice here would be to give him different music to be angsty to.

Han Kyul gives good angst, though. He throws rocks in his rock garden and then flops down dramatically. I would maybe feel worse for him if I was not distracted by his gorgeous, gorgeous home. This is what it means to be old, people: you're more interested in the hero's real estate than his pain. Don't let this happen to you!

3: The Recapping Couple Mouths Off

A new day dawns with the drama couple, outdoors in yet more beautiful real estate. They do romantic foot touching and woeful staring, and I want them to just pick one, damn it.

Han Seong is ANGRY. He asks Yoo Ju what kind of person she thinks he is. Is he just easy? She says no, which seems like a gimme answer, but then he tells her to just go, and that they should not see each other again.

The Advice Column returns:

BB: I want to be on your side. I like you. And you have a great dog!
TFV: But this is a conversation you needed to have BEFORE the sex.
BB: If you keep this up, you're going to be the jerk. You are on thin ice here. You can do this once. Once. And then you have to grow up.
TFV: See, Han Seong, you can have the moral high ground, or you can have Yoo Ju. If you keep trying to have both, you're going to end up crying in the shower while you jerk off to the last voicemail she left you.
BB: ...Wouldn't he get electrocuted?
TFV: LOOK AT HIM. HE'D ENJOY THAT.

We sigh and return to the scene. Han Seong continues to cede moral high ground like he works on Wall Street. Eventually, Yoo Ju leaves. Han Seong hurls himself down and says, in tones of Most Extreme Anguish, "I told you to go and you really went." We have to pause again for more Advice Column:

BB: YOU CAN'T DO THAT.
TFV: You absolutely can't.
BB: You're LOSING POINTS.
TFV: See, Han Seong, there is a time in your life for telling people you want things and then sulking when they don't magically divine that you want the opposite thing. That time is when you're FIFTEEN.
BB: Thirty-one is MUCH TOO LATE.
TFV: Say what you want and see if you get it. Or don't say what you want and accept the consequences. Saying what you really don't want and testing people to see if they love you enough not to give you what you claim you want? NO.
BB: Unless you want to make everyone crazy and end up alone.
TFV: AND DESERVE IT.

Seriously, in this one short scene Han Seong has plunged maybe fifty points in our personal estimations.

We are both very relieved to switch to Eun Chan. After she meets Han Kyul - late, of course, but trying hard - he disapproves of her clothes. Any boyfriend of his is damn well going to dress better than this.

There is a dressing sequence that is seriously fun, largely because Han Kyul is more careful with suits than I have seen him be with anything so far, including Yoo Ju. He selects several thousand (off the rack, but mostly nice, except for the one that makes her look like she got dressed out of the parts they cut off the fabric to make the other suits) outfits for her and demands she try them all on. He rejects outfit after outfit until at last she is dressed exactly like him. (Except with a different color tie.) Then he approves. And by "approves," I mean he checks her and the suit out with incredible lasciviousness. Maybe he's clothesexual? Or maybe he just seriously loves himself a lot. He is his own masculine ideal!

What follows is a sequence of such profound awesomeness that it is worth seeing the entire series to this point just for this. They walk to Han Kyul's matchmaking dates - and it is quite the walk, down streets, through parks, all kinds of stuff - and Eun Chan is learning to imitate Han Kyul's every mannerism and gesture. She is so happy to be getting some hands on experience with being a dude! And while this is happening, we learn that such is their combined hotness that they control the weather. Wherever they pass by, there is a small localized tornado. Car doors pop open! (And their lights flash, so we can see that parked cars appreciate hotness, at least if it comes in a black suit.) Fruit and pancakes fly about! Laundry takes an unexpected excursion! Cotton candy and hats go on an airborne field trip! (Except Eun Chan ends up with two sticks of cotton candy, because she loves food. A lot. She does share with Han Kyul, though.)

Also, there is a leap that they do together that has us dying. It may actually be the best thing ever broadcast on television.

Even a sequence of absolute glee cannot last forever, though. Eventually, they arrive at the matchmaking dates. Han Kyul is insufferable with the first girl, and calls in the fake gay boyfriend after about five minutes. ("Show time," he says in English over the phone to Eun Chan, looking happier than he has in the entire series so far.)

I cannot describe what happens next in any kind of detail. It's a fake kissing sequence, I got that much, but the awkwardness is too much for me. I end up accidentally punching myself in the eye as I flinch away from the screen - GRACE I HAS IT - and as a result I miss some stuff. Apparently there are neck closeups and stuff. Can't say; busy hoping I won't bruise.

When I manage to return my attention to the screen, the matchmaking girl is beating the crap out of Han Kyul with her handbag. It is, frankly, awesome; I mean, I like Han Kyul, but I also like seeing him cowering away from a girl with a handbag.

4: The Canon Writers Are Familiar with All Fan Fiction Tropes and Memes

When we pick back up, Han Kyul's mother and grandmother are conversing. "I hear he kissed a guy and got beaten up by a girl," the mother says. I tell you what: that is a plot I would read again and again.

"That lad is full of so many tricks," the grandmother responds. I find myself wondering what she'd say if Han Kyul were arrested for murder. "Oh, he'll do anything to get out of a meeting," perhaps.

Back with the comedy couple, we get to see a montage of ruined matchmaking dates. After each one, Han Kyul and Eun Chan engage in a more complicated and involved celebratory handshake; the sequence begins with a simple fistpump and ends with something resembling dudebro ballet. In their moment of ultimate triumph, Han Kyul, extremely excited over the fact that he no longer has to pretend to date girls, kisses his fake gay boyfriend on the mouth.

At this point, I am not as sold on Han Kyul's heterosexuality as he is.

Eun Chan responds by gagging and running to rinse her mouth out. When he complains that she's over-reacting - what's a kiss on the mouth between fake gay boyfriends? - she says that was her first kiss. I feel really sorry for her. I mean, fine, if you get to 24 and just haven't wanted to kiss anyone yet, but in her case I suspect that it's more that she has not had time, what with taking care of everything and working four jobs. My new motto is "People should at least have time for a kiss before they turn 24. Even if they choose not to have the kiss, there should still be a spare moment somewhere in their lives for it."

I make a mental note to tell the earthling this motto. When he's older. Like, 20.

Han Kyul says it was his first kiss, too. With a guy. He buys back her affection with lots and lots of food, proving that Han Kyul already knows exactly where Eun Chan's buttons are.

We have a brief interlude with the grandmother and mother, during which:
  1. Grandma dismisses Han Kyul's mother's worries about his burgeoning homosexuality by saying, "Just relax and eat some cake." This is excellent advice, and I would adopt it as my new life plan if it did not make me think unfortunate thoughts about Portal crossovers.
  2. Grandma hatches her plan about forcing Han Kyul to take over a failing coffee shop, which is presumably where the, um, remainder of the plot will come from. I am sad it won't be all Eun Chan and Han Kyul's Fake Gay Boyfriend Adventures, but I guess you can't spend all your time that way. Although, to be honest, I am not sure why not.
And then it's back to Han Kyul and Eun Chan, who are eating the extremely large amount of food he bought for her. He adds up all the money he owes her, for the dates plus each time they touched. And, yes, he instantly knows exactly how many times he touched her, and where. He was keeping track, apparently. As you do! When you are just casually touching someone and really it has no significance to you! Then, because he has to be a dick whenever he thinks someone might be taking him seriously, he takes back a watch he gave her.

She drinks a worrying amount of alcohol. We cringe, anticipating that there will soon be a scene where she gets hideously drunk and probably embarrassing and then maybe he has to take care of her, but in fact, no. That is not how Coffee Prince works. Han Kyul just shakes his head as he watches her fill a water cup with liquor and says, "Wild. Totally wild." He does not say this judgmentally, exactly; it's more in the tone you would use while speaking of someone who is much better at Guitar Hero than you are.

What comes next is one of those bizarre interludes we have come to expect and indeed look forward to. Eun Chan starts sniffing really, really hard, and insists that there is a distinct smell of coffee. It turns out that she's smelling coffee a woman outside the restaurant has spilled on herself. Eun Chan says very proudly that her nickname is Dog Nose.

We pause so I can do some character math in my notes.

Always hungry
+ Ridiculous sense of smell
+ Nickname of Dog Nose

= WEREWOLF. Eun Chan is clearly a WEREWOLF. This explains so much!

I spend some time being pleased with the result of my calculation, which fortunately allows me to mostly ignore the part where she talks about other things she smells. Although I do have to note that one of the guys at a table near them is relating a story about how he peed behind a dumpster that morning. What the actual fuck? Am I going to spend my life pursued by dumpster peeing?

BB and I pause to try to figure out why this scene is even IN here, but unless there's a werewolf transformation coming up, we can't figure it out. We conclude we are missing something major, culturally speaking. When we hit play again, we see Han Kyul accidentally drinking Eun Chan's full glass of alcohol. Whoops. Especially given that he is a documented lightweight; he passed out from one glass of red wine in the first episode. So it's going to be Han Kyul passing out! Way to foil our expectations in the best possible way, Coffee Prince!

5: All the Couples Get Crazy

And it's back to the Two Emo Lovers. At this point, I believe that they are in here to prove that no matter how pathetic Eun Chan and Han Kyul get, they are healthy and sane and so much better than Han Seong and Yoo Ju.

Han Seong is being an ass to his employees; it's ten at night and he hasn't let them take lunch or dinner yet. Aaaaaadvice Column!

TFV: You cannot deal with the problem of having been a jerk by being even more of a jerk.
BB: That is a really good way to make everyone hate you, though.
TFV: Including us.

So, Eun Chan has to carry Han Kyul home, because he is, as we expected, passed out drunk. And I do mean carry - like, on her back. She even has super strength. (Also, note [dreamwidth.org profile] ranalore's comment about piggy back rides. She's once again taking a masculine role, although admittedly because Han Kyul is unconscious.) I am so right; OBVIOUSLY she is a werewolf. And then she carries him to her dojo, because she can't get him into his house.

The next morning, she brings him soup and goes off to deal with an Evil Sister crisis, leaving Han Kyul in the unfortunate custody of the cutest little kids in the world. Seriously, there is something about tiny people in uniforms that is so cute I think I'm going to have to enroll the earthling in martial arts, just for the adorableness factor.

Of course, just because you're cute, that doesn't mean you can't also be evil. (See also: Eun Sae.) The kids tie Han Kyul up and gag him with their belts. (You know, I never see martial arts studios advertising that - self-confidence, sure, goal-setting, sure, but where is the mention of BONDAGE SKILLS?) I am all tense; it's like the pictures you see on failblog where the passed-out drunk guy is, like, entirely covered in duct tape. I never laugh at those; I am too busy worrying he's going to DIE. The way the kids are jumping on Han Kyul does not ease my worries any.

Fortunately, Eun Chan comes back and saves him, and she conducts her class while he watches. It is so cute, right up until the poop jokes start again. For the record, tiny children doing martial arts are less cute when they are yelling about poop. Although they are still some cute.

Han Kyul is apparently not a fan of poop, which makes me like him even more, damn it; he pukes, although we THANK GOD do not actually see it. (I am guessing he gets to puke off camera because he's the romantic lead.) Eun Chan takes him to her apartment to find him clothes and get him cleaned up. She has to leave him there, and he wanders around judging the apartment - no style! So cheap! And I want to hate him for it. But then he sees Eun Chan's daily schedule, which is a horror; it's like if you were simultaneously doing law school and medical school, basically, and also had two small children.

Han Kyul realizes he's a jerkface who has it easy. He gives Eun Chan the full amount of money she needs (for the moment) - part of it is payment for services rendered, the rest is a loan. He leaves her a note and a watch, and she smiles, reading it. Awwwww. I love you, comedy couple!

I remain much less enthused about drama couple, though. We switch back to Han Seong, who is angsting while watching small windup figurines sing and dance. I am not even going to talk about how horrifying and awful the figurines are; I'm just going to say that this guy needs some new angsting triggers. Or less angst. I would vote for less angst, actually.

But, WOE, once again Han Seong is remembering Yoo Ju and being so very sad, and frankly I would feel worse for him except:
  1. If hadn't been a jerk to her, she'd BE THERE.
  2. His flashback of Extreme and Total Sorrow Oh God I Hate My Life Whyyyyy Did She Leave Me Whyyyyyy Am I So Alone Oh God WHY? once again includes flirtatious nose picking.
At this point, I am rooting for an amnesia plotline for Han Seong. We'd still get his voice and his personality, but we wouldn't get his angst and flashbacks. WIN.

Instead of hitting himself hard on the head, though, Han Seong goes off to see Yoo Ju, for another round of miserable staring and horrible speeches. This particular horrible speech begins with Han Seong explaining that he is wretched and can't work, but she is just fine. Not said but clearly implied: "You heartless bitch." Annnnnnd it's Advice Column Time!

BB: No. That is not how it goes.
TFV: You start off with, "I'm sorry. I was a jerk. I won't do that again."
BB: And you mean it. Or you don't bother coming.

Instead of taking our - I think you will agree - extremely excellent advice, Han Seong cries and lectures her about ignoring him. Yoo Ju says, "No matter what I say, you won't like it." We award her seven thousand Maturity Points. Han Seong, unimpressed, talks about how much his heart hurt when she left him. I swear, there's an Advice Column every minute with these two.

TFV: Um, see, I would have sympathy, except for the part where you slept with her. In a way that indicated that you had gotten over it.
BB: You needed to deal with your issues first.
TFV: Yes. THEN you fuck. That is how you do that.

Han Seong apparently drove down here to announce, again, that he can't be with her anymore, which would be more believable if he didn't come down here to be with her. She hugs him and thanks him (for WHAT?), and he responds with one of the All Time Worst Ever Lines: "I want to hurt you."

BB: RUN. NOW. RUN.
TFV: Yoo Ju, if someone says he wants to hurt you, believe him.

She does not run. I don't know why we bother telling these people anything.

It is an intense relief to return to Eun Chan, who is worrying about money, and Han Kyul, who is having a prolonged fantasy wedding dream involving bubbles and Eun Chan in a suit and veil. Then the real Eun Chan wakes him up with a phone call, and he yells at her for not letting him finish his dream. His gay wedding dream.

After they hang up, he rolls around in bed with his pillow and says, "Rascal," in a tone that strongly suggests that he is about to beat off thinking about Eun Chan. And given what else they've shown on this show, I am actually expecting them to show it. Frankly, I think I am owed a tasteful masturbation sequence, given all the bodily secretions I have had to put up with, but no. Instead, Han Kyul's grandmother shows up and drags him off to the coffee shop.

We learn that Han Kyul will be managing this shop. And that Eun Chan has lost her dojo job; the owner packed up in the night and disappeared without paying her. We strongly suspect that in future episodes, these two things will turn out to be related to each other.

Also posted at Dreamwidth, where there are comments.
 
 
 
Erintingler on July 10th, 2011 08:35 pm (UTC)
Grandma dismisses Han Kyul's mother's worries about his burgeoning homosexuality by saying, "Just relax and eat some cake."

Think she knows Jack O'Neill?
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV bluethefourthvine on July 11th, 2011 04:08 am (UTC)
THAT IS A CROSSOVER I WOULD READ.
Hollyhollyxu on July 10th, 2011 09:41 pm (UTC)
It's actually super unusual for kdramas to have bed scenes, especially this early in the game, so I was surprised by that, though Han-sung immediate douchebaggery overrode that.

And, this drives me crazy, but a lot of Asian rom-com shows have parents who are irresponsible gamblers/spendthrifts who generally make their kids' lives miserable and provide impetus for plot. It's played for laughs all the time, and the kids can never, ever get away from them (if they do, it's the consequences that follow). There's also that extra masochistic angle of bearing with it and being on the hook because these are your parents, and it's one point where my Western upbringing really shows - fuck Confucian piety, these people are using you. Apparently it's okay if they love you or something. This trope practically plagues the genre.

Anyway, all that to say, Eun-chan's mom is actually not the worst that's out there. D:
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV brownthefourthvine on July 11th, 2011 04:17 am (UTC)
It's actually super unusual for kdramas to have bed scenes, especially this early in the game, so I was surprised by that, though Han-sung immediate douchebaggery overrode that.

I was actually interested to note how relatively similar the - um, values? I guess? - have been so far. When it comes to sex, anyway. I mean, Han Seong slept with Yoo Ju when they were technically broken up, and also it's clear they had a sexual relationship before DK. And Han Kyul has loads of one-night stands, or that's how I read his scene in the airplane in the first ep. So it's interesting to hear that this is actually a bit atypical.

Anyway, all that to say, Eun-chan's mom is actually not the worst that's out there. D:

On the bright side, maybe this at least avoids the Awesome Childhood Syndrome, where every single hero has, like, multiple horrible tragedies, and his father is a drug dealer and also abusive, and ALSO tried to sell him the Mafia. I hope. There are only so many tragic childhoods I can handle. So I am really hoping we don't discover that Han Seong was hideously abused and Han Kyul was, despite his existing family, a TRAGIC ABANDONED CHILD with HORRIFIC ISSUES.
Holly: Targeted - Davidhollyxu on July 11th, 2011 04:30 am (UTC)
Han Kyul was, despite his existing family, a TRAGIC ABANDONED CHILD with HORRIFIC ISSUES.

*cough*
tried to eat the safe banana: My shame is tl;drthefourthvine on July 11th, 2011 06:21 am (UTC)
...Seriously? He CAN'T be! He has a mother and a father and a grandmother! WE'VE SEEN THEM ALL. Did they, like, LOSE him and then find him again? Do his issues of never actually doing what his family expects come from his HIDEOUS ABANDONMENT TRAUMA or something?

Hollyhollyxu on July 11th, 2011 01:36 pm (UTC)
Do his issues of never actually doing what his family expects come from his HIDEOUS ABANDONMENT TRAUMA or something?

Haha, between this and the impending gay angst, you and your wife are going to have so much fun. :D
2naonh3_cl2: huggletwirl2naonh3_cl2 on July 10th, 2011 11:00 pm (UTC)
You make me want to rewatch Coffee Prince for like the nine millionth time. -_-;;;; I actually may end up rewatching it. Uh oh...

Random factoid regarding the piggy back thing: Yoon Eunhye--the actress who play Eunchan--is known for being super strong. Actors, singers, and models in Korea tend to do a circuit of the variety shows, where they do absurd games, Yoon Eunhye is known for doing a lot of the boy bits in these sorts of games. In one particular series, her partner was a pretty well-built guy and she would just casually pick him up and piggy back him around. It was hilarious when she first started because she was a lot slimmer than she is now, and the juxtaposition was extreme.

This is a random cultural thing, but in some ways--depends on the wording--certain insults aren't meant to be taken the way a Westerner would. For instance, in the US, you tell someone that they're fat, it's a flat out insult. In Korea, if someone were to say the same, it would be seen more a constructive criticism...as in, "You've put on some weight, maybe it's time for you to get proactive about it?" So when Han Kyul calls Yoo Juu pitiful, it's more that he's suggesting that she get over Han Seong.

Also, just because, CP is actually pretty cutting edge for Kdramas. At least it was at the time it came out. I remember watching it as it was coming out and flipping out throughout the entire series. I kept yelling, "OMG, this is not a Korean drama!" Normally, homosexuality, beds (O.O so many scenes in bed!), sex before marriage--implied or explicit--is very rarely, if ever, shown in a Kdrama. And I feel like I should warn you about an episode about three or four more into the series, because of the way Han Kyul's burgeoning sexuality crisis--if only you could hear how bitchy this sounds in my head--is handled...it's rather appalling. If you want more details, comment back, otherwise, just brace yourself.
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV dogtagsthefourthvine on July 11th, 2011 04:22 am (UTC)
I actually may end up rewatching it. Uh oh

...I am failing to see the bad here.

Random factoid regarding the piggy back thing: Yoon Eunhye--the actress who play Eunchan--is known for being super strong.

FASCINATING. Also the variety show thing is VERY FASCINATING INDEED.

This is a random cultural thing, but in some ways--depends on the wording--certain insults aren't meant to be taken the way a Westerner would.

Again, VERY FASCINATING. It's hard for me to hear that as anything BUT an insult, just because my ears are very Western-trained, and I don't think any Westerner would ever say something like that without intended to insult. But I will note that the characters wouldn't necessarily hear it that way!

And I feel like I should warn you about an episode about three or four more into the series, because of the way Han Kyul's burgeoning sexuality crisis--if only you could hear how bitchy this sounds in my head--is handled...it's rather appalling. If you want more details, comment back, otherwise, just brace yourself.

YES PLEASE WARN ME.
2naonh3_cl2: hikago warmth2naonh3_cl2 on July 11th, 2011 02:57 pm (UTC)
1) Bad because I'm super busy at the moment and barely have time to sleep these days. Work and some stuff I'm doing for a religious organization I'm a part of...in the last week, I've slept 8 hours total...If I start watching CP, I'M GOING TO DIE! T-T

2) I would waste entire summers just watching those shows back-to-back. And these shows are hilarious, ridiculous, and adorable. When you've got time and are done with CP give it a whirl.

3) I grew up American with distant parents...and I hadn't even picked up on that particular phrasing nuance until I was in my late teens. Even now, I still have to pause a moment after my parents tell me things and hash out if it was an insult or a suggestion. The American in me will always feel insult first, though.

4) Korea is a very, very homogenous country, opinions, standards, and morals are all on very similar levels. And while it's not really shown in kdramas, it's, also, made up of extremely devout Christians. When Han Kyul realizes that he's falling for a man, he goes to the hospital to see a psychologist/psychiatrist. For that episode they treat his "gay" like a psychological disorder, rather than something that someone just is. I believe it's episode 4 or 5? From the viewers' POV it's just supposed to be funny since we know that Eun Chan is female...but from Han Kyul's and from mine it was heartbreaking. I could see--probably from the years of kdramas and the cultural osmosis from my parents and local communities--where they were going for the humor...but I honestly remember crying. It's treated as such for that episode and HanKyul spends most of the rest of the series struggling with his own views vs. cultural views vs. his love...some of it ridiculous and some of it heartbreaking--there's one line five or six episodes in that just KILLED me and if I think about it, it will still bring me to tears. He definitely grows from "Jerkface" to rather charming man. Personally, I thought Eun Chan's story arc and how she deals with living as a man, loving a man, while being a woman who has always been the man of the family was incredible. There's one moment that really did make me wonder if kdramas were becoming more progressive because it was explicitly worded with a trans/genderqueer slant. I'm pretty sure you'll touch on it when you do a review of that ep, so I'll pop by again at that point.

P.S. Han Seong and Yoo Joo's arc doesn't get better. Be prepared to only like Han Seong for the dog and the voice. I still look back on that story arc with rage.
2naonh3_cl2: hikago warmth2naonh3_cl2 on July 11th, 2011 03:51 pm (UTC)
Oh! And, again re: piggy back, part of the reason why piggy back rides are kinda a big indicator in dramas for couplehood is that in the Korean wedding tradition, a few days after the wedding ceremony, there's another tiny ceremony with the family members. In that ceremony (pyebaek), it traditionally ends with the groom piggy backing his wife around the room. I saw that someone had said that it was to express the man's willingness to take on the burdens and care for the woman, which is what that particular tradition was symbolic of. So if you keep in mind, symbolically and metaphorically, every time Eun Chan carries Han Kyul's drunk ass around, it's a pretty big deal.
a particularly troubled Romulan: uhura: smileillariy on July 11th, 2011 02:03 pm (UTC)
In one particular series, her partner was a pretty well-built guy and she would just casually pick him up and piggy back him around. It was hilarious when she first started because she was a lot slimmer than she is now, and the juxtaposition was extreme.

I am finding this extremely hot and romantic. *fans self* *giggles* Clearly I should get into Korean dramas. XD
2naonh3_cl2: huggletwirl2naonh3_cl2 on July 11th, 2011 03:03 pm (UTC)
...ask about which drama to watch first. Some a very charming and adorable...many are rage inducing for Westerners. Particularly for the more feminist/progressive/liberal fans. CP is one of best I've seen, and another of Yoon Eunhye's shows was epic and delicious. It was her project right before CP and less angst, but more drama. It continues to be a favorite of mine.
Tinacimera on July 10th, 2011 11:05 pm (UTC)
I agree with everything you've said about Han Seong...especially the need for an amnesia plot!! :)

I'm really enjoying your reviews - though now I have the urge to rewatch the whole series, which would be no problem if I didn't have two exams approaching!
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV flowersthefourthvine on July 11th, 2011 04:25 am (UTC)
Hmmm. On the one hand, a rewatch is a good thing. On the other hand, exams. A DIFFICULT PROBLEM.

And, man, I really WANT to see an amnesia plot for this show. It seems like they're doing so many fan fiction tropes - I mean, we have already had pay-for-dating AND a version of undercover as gay, so I feel like we're getting full value, there - that they should really give us ALL OF THEM. In other words: WHERE IS MY AMNESIA PLOT?
halfway out of the dark: happy trachtenbergvenilia on July 10th, 2011 11:21 pm (UTC)
I've started watching this on Hulu thanks to your reviews. I'm really enjoying it, so thanks!

The Hulu translations are a little different. For instance, Han Kyul calls Eun Chan "different" rather than a monster. (If these words are interchangeable in Korean, that is SO RELEVANT TO MY INTERESTS. I've written two papers to date about monsters, liminality, and The Other. It would be refreshing to see a culture where the similarities are already drawn and out in the open.)

I don't think he calls Yoo Ju pitiful, either, though I don't remember what he does call her. Possibly it was more a matter of perspective, but at the time I appreciated that he was trying to warn her off his douchey, immature cousin, but at the same time not trying to substitute himself as the Ideal Boyfriend. I feel like Yoo Ju and Han Kyul are just incredibly honest with each other, and Han Kyul mistakes that respect and honesty for true love when in fact she's more like his best friend.

I skip most of Han Seol and Yoo Ju's scenes together because they are that painful. If you and your wife actually do this back-and-forth advice column then you win all the adorableness prizes. Seriously, all of them.

I hadn't actually thought of doing arts with kids as being feminine. Childcare is traditionally female, yeah, but most of the guy's guys I know will like to have fun and do outside things to keep tiny children entertained. I've yet to see a man not melt into goo if a kid (especially if the kid in question is in pigtails and pink) uses big puppy eyes and asks him to do something ridiculous.

The part where she beat him up with her purse was awesome. I paused and made up a little happy ending for her in my head.

And in a continence of translations being different, Eun Chan says that her friends call her Sniff in the Hulu version. I like this a lot better than Dog Nose, but I did wonder about her not being compared to a dog. I have an extremely sensitive sense of smell, and my family calls me Hound Dog. It also made that scene over-the-top for me because that is not how smell works! There was a lot of cringing on my part.

I think Han Kyul called Eun Chan a brat, rather than a rascal. Do people still use the word rascal? I don't think I've ever heard someone use that word IRL.

tried to eat the safe banana: TFV glowythefourthvine on July 11th, 2011 04:31 am (UTC)
FASCINATING. I can't watch on Hulu (I abuse my browser too much for it to stand for streaming video), so I really appreciate the subtitle difference notes.

If you and your wife actually do this back-and-forth advice column then you win all the adorableness prizes. Seriously, all of them.


We really do. Although I tone down the shrieking. I mean, sometimes we are pausing so we can YELL AT THE SCREEN for a while. Because, seriously - if someone says he wants to hurt you, WHY WOULDN'T YOU RUN?

The part where she beat him up with her purse was awesome. I paused and made up a little happy ending for her in my head.

It really, really was. I was SO GLAD she got back at him for being a dick, and I agree that she totally deserves a made-up happy ending. Plus, I just - in the future, I will spend a lot of time YEARNING for the various dickhead heroes to get their clocks cleaned by ladies with handbags. IT FILLS A NEED.

Do people still use the word rascal? I don't think I've ever heard someone use that word IRL.

...Well, I do. But I once made someone fall over laughing because I called him an oaf and a lummox, which I still maintain are PERFECTLY GOOD WORDS. So maybe I am not the best judge.
Kumquat Weekendkumquatweekend on July 11th, 2011 04:11 pm (UTC)
But I once made someone fall over laughing because I called him an oaf and a lummox, which I still maintain are PERFECTLY GOOD WORDS.

Indeed! Rascal, oaf and lummox are GREAT words that should be used FAR MORE OFTEN.

I call my husband "ya big galoot". I find it hilarious. It flumoxes him, because he's only a teensy bit larger than me.
lacking in glittertawg on July 11th, 2011 12:05 am (UTC)
TFV: See, Han Seong, you can have the moral high ground, or you can have Yoo Ju. If you keep trying to have both, you're going to end up crying in the shower while you jerk off to the last voicemail she left you.
Bwahaha, yes, that is pretty much exactly where I see their plot going. Except maybe it's the last voicemail because Yoo Ju was killed in a jealous rage and is in a dumpster somewhere... I am so glad that the fake gay couple seem so joyous.

Yeah, definitely watching this sometime.
lynnmonsterlynnmonster on July 11th, 2011 01:20 am (UTC)
Grandma dismisses Han Kyul's mother's worries about his burgeoning homosexuality by saying, "Just relax and eat some cake." This is excellent advice, and I would adopt it as my new life plan if it did not make me think unfortunate thoughts about Portal crossovers.

*dies laughing*

(In case you aren't familiar with it, here's the closing song to Portal, Still Alive, which is amazing and now lives in the "Recently Played" list on my iPod. All because of that Sherlock crossover.)

Han Seong and Yoo Ju are pretty awful and tedious together, most of the time, but I I love Han Seong on his own (although that might have a fair amount to do with his voice and his dog).

I FORGOT about that awesome fake boyfriends montage, and the dream -- must rewatch!

Han Kyul is such a dick. He keeps being great, yet STILL A DICK.
Bettybrown_betty on July 11th, 2011 02:37 pm (UTC)
There is a Portal/Sherlock crossover?

I REQUIRE THIS.
lynnmonsterlynnmonster on July 12th, 2011 02:39 am (UTC)
The Sherlock BBC kinkmeme is truly awesome. Scroll down past the first few comments for the start of the fic:

http://sherlockbbc-fic.livejournal.com/4076.html?thread=10372588
a particularly troubled Romulan: st:xispocklookingupillariy on July 11th, 2011 02:05 pm (UTC)
Hehe! This is just a note to say how much I am enjoying your Coffee Prince recaps. I've never seen any kdrama but this sounds really fun and fascinating. I went to search for a streaming site that allows European viewers but no dice so far - therefore I am extremely appreciative of your level of detail. I can really picture it in my head and giggle a lot. Thank you. :D
a particularly troubled Romulan: uhura: smileillariy on July 11th, 2011 02:06 pm (UTC)
...that was not the icon I meant to use >.> though the thought of Spock watching kdramas cracks me up.
Unovis: momunovis on July 11th, 2011 03:22 pm (UTC)
I'm pretty sure that "regular for 24 hours" was a swipe at advertising of the past couple of generations and not reality -- at the presumed concerns of the American Mom. Or it may just have been a way of coding American Mom, true to the advertisers' model.
mari_redstarmari_redstar on July 13th, 2011 07:14 am (UTC)
I don't feel like "regular for 24 hours" even makes sense timeframe-wise. Is that... a reasonable period to be regular over? I mean, seriously, do you have time to be "regular" in one day? Wouldn't a week or something make more sense?

Also, I have clearly got to watch this show once I'm done with the one about the cross-dressing nun in the boyband. (The reviews I read were disparaging about her ability to pass as a boy, but frankly, she looks about as manly as every other guy in that band, which is to say, not very.)