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[FOCUS] Wednesday/Thursday drama rivalry - Part 1

2010/04/19 Source

"Cinderella's Sister" VS "Prosecutor Princess" VS "Personal Taste"

Picking out your favorite flavor is only possible when you are dealing with ice creams. For drama maniacs, it is practically a torture that three dramas, who each premiered offering similar doses of fun, are all broadcast in the same time slot. You may have yet to decide which channel to settle on with the shows still early into their run, so here is a comparative analysis which could help you make up your mind on which show to watch real-time, which to watch the re-run of, and which to watch through your IPTV service provider.

1. The Moment of Truth: The one scene where you can witness the producers' hard efforts

"Cinderella's Sister" Song Gang-sook (played by Lee Mi-sook) wraps her arms around Goo Dae-sung (played by Kim Kap-soo) when she is startled while riding on the back of his rattling bicycle. But the bike actually rattled because Song Gang-sook had kicked its rear wheel. This single scene describes what the show's two characters are like -- the sly Song Gang-sook and Goo Dae-sung, who is clueless when it comes to women -- and sums up their romantic emotions for each other. Thanks to such scenes, "Cinderella's Sister" explained its basic set-up in one episode and went on to unfold its main story. How the producers left a lingering feeling through using restrained forms of expression, such as simply showing the bike left behind after the two characters fall from a low slanted row, rather than attempting to explain the details to the incident, was also impressive.

"Prosecutor Princess" At work, Ma Hye-ri (played by Kim So-yeon) sometimes positions herself in front of her desk as if sitting in a chair but actually without it or will pose herself in a posture she learnt during yoga class. That is how much she is of a woman who considers that beauty as a woman is important, even while she is at work, and that is why it is inevitable that she clash with the rigid organization composed of prosecutors. Such is how her character is described clearly and the element of conflict existent within the show. It is a bit disappointing to see how she, as one who has a preference for luxury goods, merely adds on a pen with a decoration on hanging from it when she decides to decorate her office at work. The show could have done better in showing Ma Hye-ri's style in more detail.

"Personal Taste" Why did Jun Jin-ho (played by Lee Min-ho) not drive his own car when he had to carry an important construction model. He could have at least called a cab. But he ends up riding a bus with Park Gae-in (played by Son Ye-jin) and as expected, the model breaks. The incident even happens when he mistakenly touches Park Gae-in's bottom and is driven as a sexual molester. The incident is trite and instead of it creating conflict, it is one that has been created in order to produce conflict. The first episode, important to the drama's beginning, wasted time by failing to bring out the characteristics of the two characters.

2. Trendy Drama Version 1.1 - What is the single 'one shot' needed to break away from using the cliche formulas often seen in trendy dramas?

"Cinderella's Sister" Main character Song Eun-jo (played by Moon Geun-young) is not Cinderella but her sister, she tries to escape rather than seek motherhood, and grabs the attention of male characters in the show with their femininity. She is a character that can be utilized by a producer who knows how to figure out the characteristics of main female characters seen in trendy dramas and flip the character over. The show excels particularly in how it shows that every woman is driven by her personal desires rather than defining good from evil.

"Prosecutor Princess" Ma Hye-ri resembles the main female character from Hollywood film "Legally Blonde". But the conflict in the drama emerges increasingly clearly as Ma Hye-ri clashes with prosecutors, the most conservative bureaucratic organization. The fact that a female character who has the looks, the money and the brains yet is senseless when it comes to working in an organization is playing the main character, also betrays the typical set-up seen in typical dramas where the main female character forever remains strong and cheerful. The only task it has left to accomplish is to persuade its viewers that Ma Hye-ri truely is a loveable character.

"Personal Taste" We live in a world where scenarist Kim Su-hyun, now 67, has gay men appear in her drama. But he is not an actual gay but someone who is mistaken as one. And apart from that fact, the show brings together every cliche set-up possible -- a man and woman who live together but do not have sex, a friend who is always causing trouble, another friend who always roots for the main character, a casanova ex-boyfriend, and more. Let us be reminded that MBC drama "My Name is Kim Sam-soon" came out in 2005.

3. The "It" Items - The personality of female characters are defined by their items

"Cinderella's Sister" In the first scene of the drama, Song Eun-jo rolls up her hair before she starts cooking. The hair, tied up ever so loosely that it seemed it would unravel any moment, comes undone on the tip of Hong Gi-hoon's (played by Chun Jung-myung) fingers and flutters in the wind. This moment proved Song Eun-jo's attractiveness as a woman, as well as foreshadowing that she too is destined to live as the 'beautiful woman' that the mother she so despises is.

"Prosecutor Princess" The drama starts at chasing after a red car. The car, which stands out from its backdrop of the grey city, is followed by a pair of heals which too stand out at a solemn prosecutors' commission ceremony. And Ma Hye-ri, the owner of the two items, is a character who dazzles and stands out even when she's amongst other people. It is a explicit yet effective set-up in explaining the character's taste, vibe and personality.

"Personal Taste" She goes around with a Band-aid stuck to her forehead. She wears mostly hoodies and wears glasses at home. And she does not mind looking ridiculous by pinning the hood of her hoodies behind her ears. It seems that the drama is trying too hard to make Park Gae-in looks as ugly as possible when it comes to the set-up regarding her looks. But this does not mean she will necessarily be 'bad at dating' or 'have no sense'. Such a set-up only reflects her taste.

4. The Personal Preference of Princess Sister - How much are the actresses into their roles?

"Prosecutor Princess" Kim So-yeon said in an interview that she interpreted Ma Hye-ri as a character who "acts like a kid because she just doesn't know better". And her interpretation has given birth to a character who is a full-grown adult and a prosecutor who lives by firm principles, but also has yet to mature in other aspects. The enthusiastic acting she shows in the scene where she sings at a karaoke bar or her crying which makes her seem a naive character is impressive, but how she naturally spits out an exclamation of glee while holding up her drink, is a witty interpretation. Even more so when you think of her previously serious works.

"Cinderella's Sister" Moon Geun-young's acting is impressive even from the fact that she can turn over her formerly kind and innocent image. But her seeming like the rebel in almost every scene also tires out viewers. Especially more so when her pain seems to be much more deep and horrible one -- not enough to be shown in the uniform seriousness she has displayed so far. But viewers can be hopeful upon seeing from the third episode onward that her attitude toward Han Jung-woo (played by Ok Taecyeon) and Hong Gi-hoon starts to change. Her narration is also sounding more natural.

"Personal Taste" Son Ye-jin is an actress who has many strengths yet it is difficult to see them in this show. Her having to maintain a different rhythm from other actors who speak aggressively may have made her create an unnatural set-up. The biggest problem is that it is hard to tell between her acting drunk and sober.

5. An animal, a gays and a prince -- How attractive are the men who capture the female characters?

"Personal Taste" Lee Min-ho's presence placed "Personal Taste" at the center of attention instantly. One can naturally accept the fact that Jun Jin-ho is a classy guy because Lee Min-ho plays the part. He has also become quite skilled at playing a guy who is not easy-going. But there is no additional detailed description of Jun Jin-ho's character in "Personal Taste".
It is time the producers to something about it quickly.

"Cinderella's Sister" Chun Jung-myung's smile still pulls at viewers hearts. But he has to show it to teenage rebel Song Eun-jo who is in need of everything about her to be embraced. If he wants to become the man who can console her with a cheery smile despite his having experienced his own painful memories, he needs to express deeper emotions and expressions.

"Prosecutor Princess" From the very start, the show's male characters have had defined personalities -- a playful, mild-mannered man and a curt yet upright man. But these are typical characters. A considerable amount of star quality is necessary to pull off these characters. That is why the male parts played by Han Jeong-su and Park Shi-hoo cannot help seeming bland, an issue which is apart from their acting. They are in dire need of bringing out more details of their character through scenes with Ma Hye-ri.

Senior Reporter : Kang Myoung-Seok two@
Reporter : Yoon Hee-Seong nine@
Editor : Jessica Kim jesskim@, Jang Kyung-Jin three@
<ⓒ10Asia All rights reserved>

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