2011: Best Love

Yoon Kye Sang Gong Hyo Jin Cha Seung Won.jpgAnother classic Hong Sisters drama, that almost brings me to a close with respect to Hwayugi. Best Love stars Cha Seung Won as the iconic Dokgo Jin and Gong Hyo Jin as Gu Ae Jung. It picks up from where You’re Beautiful and My Girlfriend is a Gumiho ended. The former was centered among a fictional Kpop boy band, and the second involved the film industry of South Korea. This drama traverses between the two aspects of Korean media. Dokgo Jin is a successful Korean film actor who has everything to his name: fame, fortune and good looks. Ae Jung on the other hand, is a previously successful leader of a first generation Kpop group who has suffered greatly after her group disbanded. Without any proper avenues to show her talents, she is reduced to appear on variety shows, where she has to continuously embarrass herself in order to make some money.

Cha Seung Won Gong Hyo Jin.pngAdded to the mix, is the ‘contract relationship’, much like Hwang Tae Kyung’s with Yoo He Yi (played by Uee). This drama presented us with Kang Se Ri (played by Yoo In Na), who is the ex maknae of the old girl group that Ae Jung was the leader of. Dokgo Jin and Se Ri may have broken up in real life, but due to maintaining their public images, they are involved in a fake relationship. Since he is at the prime of his career in the present, he is unaware of the massive success of the girl group a decade earlier. Se Ri is also brainstorming for a reality show she will be hosting much on the format of The Bachelor where a man has to choose his favourite woman among a group of female contestants. The main man cast in the reality show is Yoon Pil Joo (played by Yoon Kye Sang) who is a traditional Han medicine doctor, without much experience at dating and romance. His attraction to Ae Jung is instant causing a lot of uproar on and off set.

Gong Hyo Jin Cha Seung Won.jpgUsing this as the premise, the sisters once again presented us with a forbidden love kind of theme. With a hero much in the footsteps of Hwang Tae Kyung and Cha Dae Woong, Dokgo Jin is at a level higher than Gu Ae Jung, who has also been fashioned on the lines of Go Mi Nyeo and Gu Mi Ho. The whole idea that the balance of nature or of the entertainment industry, in this case, will be overturned if the romance ensues also continues in this drama. However, themes such as stars and tails that were used previously are replaced by a heart monitoring device. The whole idea that a love blooming between an A star actor and an ex-idol whose reputation has been thoroughly tarnished is layered by the fact that both of the characters and actors are older than the kind of couples we have seen earlier. The fact that this drama had a much older and slightly maturer cast definitely affected the tone and humour of the show, since we got some incredible acting from some of the most seasoned celebrities. Furthermore, they brought a very different kind of feeling to the entire show, which was rather welcome after the almost coming-of-age-esque stories that we saw earlier. Cha Seung Won’s classic dialogue emphasizing how great of an actor he was, ‘I am Dokgo Jin’, just represented the entire persona of the actor. The arrogant, yet immature celebrity was much similar to Hwang Tae Kyung in the fact that both asserted how incredibly mature they were by stating it in words. The drama is a good case study to understand the kind of controversies Korean celebrities are thrown into, and how their careers are affected by who they date and who they don’t.

Note: Lee Seung Gi made a cameo appearance in this drama, much the same way as Park Shin Hye and Lee Honggi did in My Girlfriend is a Gumiho.