Namgoong Min and Hwang Jung Eum | Hoon Nam Jung Eum

handsome-guy-and-jung-eum-nam-goong-min-and-hwang-jung-eum-3.jpgAnother drama came to an end last night and much like many other Korean dramas, this was a fluffy romance drama for the most part. This made the content of the show very light and easy to digest. There was not much depth plot-wise, but this was made up by introduced ample cute moments that melted my heart. The people responsible for the cute and the fluffy all require an introduction, so here goes.

Namgoong-Min3.jpgThe main lead of the drama is Kang Hoon Nam (played by Namgoong Min), whose name literally translates to a handsome man. He is an illegitimate son of a politician, raised all alone by a single mother. However, when his mother passes away in a car accident, Hoon Nam is sent over to his father’s family, where he is raised and treated better than most would expect of his new family. As an adult, he moves out of the family home to open a gallery where he holds regular exhibitions displaying rare toy collections owned by the influential people around Korea. With such a twisted concept of family, his only solace while growing up had been his toys that happen to be the only remnants of his mother that he has left. Having inherited his father’s tendency to be easily attracted to women, Hoon Nam keeps away from them because he is bent on not repeating his father’s mistakes. He therefore puts all of his knowledge of romance and dating to good use by writing a dating advice piece in a magazine run by a friend of his.

Hwang-Jung-Eum2.jpgOn the other end, there is Yoo Jung Eum (played by Hwang Jung Eum), who is spurned by love and has completely lost all hope on ever being able to settle down. A celebrated diver, her last break up left her severely traumatized because she lost her mother right after it. As a result, she changes her career entirely by joining a dating agency where she is responsible for finding appropriate matches for her clients. Her last break up was an embarrassing event that took place rather publicly and coincidentally Hoon Nam witnessed it all. However, their paths cross again in the present, when they come to have a mutual client. As Jung Eum seems to be doing badly at her job, she ends up seeking Hoon Nam’s help at securing clients and helping them form relationships. While helping others with their romances, their own romance ensues. However, there is a great history to these two that goes back in time to when they were both less than ten years old.

Hwang Jung Eum Namgoong Min.jpgSomehow the drama ends up steering clear of makjang territory by a number of small gestures. They manage to take certain Korean drama tropes and use them in a way that a relatively fresh concept comes out of it. Hoon Nam’s stepmother, for instance is shown as quite a matriarch, despite her lack of control over her husband’s nightly activities. The kind of strength that she showed was commendable to say the least. Furthermore, the way Hoon Nam and Jung Eum’s childhood story was knit together with the theme of toys and memories really helped make me believe in the couple as something real. Every episode reinterpreted and reviewed the concept of love and romance in a new capacity giving us new fodder to think about. Nonetheless, considering how loud and wacky Namgoong Min usually is in his roles, seeing a much more gentle and complacent man in the form of Kang Hoon Nam was a breath of fresh air. He is definitely not the best Korean actor out there, but whatever he does give his audience is impressive, to say the least. The way he also calmed the hyper-active Hwang Jung Eum is also worth applauding. This was an amazing drama and it made me immensely fluttery.

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