(They are cute, aren’t they?)
I wish I could claim that I was saying it with love but I really am not. This week, especially in episode 4, Joo Won proved himself to be a complete and utter douchebag. The kind of douchebag that once ripped, doesn’t deserve to be put back together with safety pins.
Episode 3 started off with Joo Won saving our heroine from the screaming director then treating the entire cast and crew to lunch. Then he swooped in and “borrowed” Ra Im by grabbing her by the wrist Flintstones-style and dragging her away for their private lunch on the 9th floor.
Then he surprised her with a candle lit dinner. Except there was enough food for a soccer team laid out for just the two of them. I must admit that for a split second, that food kinda made me wish I was her. Or at least, one of the staff who’d have to clean it up afterwards.
So here’s my problem with this. Does Joo Won think that he’s in some romantic movie? Okay, okay, I know I’m watching a romantic drama and Joo Won is one of the main characters but does the character know this? Why I ask is because he seems to think that Ra Im should be impressed by his grand gestures.
Now, if they were in a relationship, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with what he did, but seeing as they aren’t in a relationship, wasn’t he being a bit too much? He didn’t seem to understand that which was why he couldn’t understand why Ra Im wasn’t impressed by his antics. And as Ra Im pointed out, what he did only put an unwelcome spotlight on her. I think this incident pretty much summarized last weekend’s episodes as: Ra Im and Joo Won are not in a relationship although Joo Won is painfully unaware of this fact.
Remember our typical second lead, Jong Soo? Having heard of Joo Won’s Knight In Shining Armor moves at the department store, he decided to go and have a manly lead actor – second lead actor chat where he told him to back off. What I liked about this is that Joo Won is a douche and talks down to everyone but Jong Soo can hold his own. Too bad he’s still going to lose this battle in the long run. Well, not really “too bad” since I don’t want him with Ra Im. He comes off as the type of man who’ll always make all her decisions for her because he “knows what’s best.” No thanks.
Since Joo Won doesn’t care about what anybody else thinks but him, even though Ra Im warned him to stay out of her life, he still goes to see her at her workplace where they proceed to do this cute sit up thing which consists of him shoving his face close to hers countless times. This was before Joo Won had become the King of Douches so I must admit to enjoying it. Even though I felt it was a tad contrived, it was still cute. Then they go up to the rooftop where Joo Won then spits out Mr. Darcy’s first confession from Pride and Prejudice almost verbatim. This sums up to: “I love you despite myself.”
When they first met, she hadn’t really thought that much of him. But he refused to stay away and has expressed an interest in her. I think most women can relate to considering a man like him. Sure, she might not have been interested at first but it wouldn’t hurt to hang out with him a little, right? And this was exactly how Ra Im felt when she met up with him. Yes, he’d done his Jin Heon of My Lovely Sam Soon’s thing of using money as an excuse to see her but I’m sure she realized that it might be more than that. Which was why she wore that scarf around her neck and instead of just returning the 2000 Won, indicated that she’d stick around and buy him a beer.
But see, Joo Won is an idiot. He’s this condescending person and seeing her bag stitched up with safety pins brought him back to reality. His problem is two fold: He’s disgusted that he’s fallen for someone he shouldn’t have and pissed that she’s not even making an effort to be different. As a completely selfish person, he isn’t thinking about her. Which is why I wonder if he even knows what “love” is especially as he once implied that he had no real use for it. Love isn’t simply about thinking about someone and doing things to impress him or her but actually thinking about his or her feelings and trying to understand that person. Sure, he didn’t like that she had to keep apologizing all the time but when he spewed all that vitriol at her at the dinner table, yelling at her for not dressing up for him (why should she? He’s not her boyfriend), upset that she’s not rich enough to buy herself a new bag or different clothes, he didn’t think about what it would feel like to be at the receiving end of that tirade.
Now, the side of me that’s not so hard on him, perhaps that side that has been taken in by his cute face thinks that there might be a third problem. Perhaps he wants her to be different because that would mean that she wouldn’t have to be ridiculed while being with him. In episode 4, we got to hear how Director Park described her, not to speak of his mother’s comments. Plus Oska himself alluded to Ra Im not being marriageable. So perhaps if she made an effort to be different and be more like the women everyone (including himself) feels is best suited for him, she wouldn’t have to go through some B.S.. It might be a bit of a stretch but as I said, this is the side of me that’s under the spell of Hyun Bin’s cute face.
But on a side note, this is why only hot, sexy men are cast as jerks. Because how many women would sympathize with a cold, mean, fugly dude?
Now, we’ve all met a bunch of douchebags in our lifetimes and there’s no special day like the last day you ever have to see their faces again. But see, Joo Won isn’t the kind of douchebag who makes you feel like crap then disappears out of your life. No. He’s the kind that has to keep appearing in front of you and making you miserable all over again.
So Ra Im won a prize for a contest she hadn’t even entered. She knew it was fishy but decided to pick it up anyway. She runs into him at this store then they go to his office. I personally don’t even know why she had to go to his office in the first place. Do prize winners have to see the president? Or was he the one who asked her to his office for a private chat? I assume the latter and while they were there, he then proceeds to insult her for not considering his image because a woman the president is interested in shouldn’t be coming into the store to pick up sweepstakes prizes.
Now, here’s my thing: THEY ARE NOT IN A RELATIONSHIP. Ra Im didn’t ask him to broadcast to everyone within a five mile radius that he was interested in her. She didn’t ask him to come out and proclaim she was like Kim Tae Hee to him, didn’t say that he should treat everyone to lunch nor did she asked to be dragged by him to a private room. These were things he chose to do on his own accord and things she explicitly said she didn’t want. But because of these unwanted things, he now expects her to consider him, his feelings and his image.
When I was a teenager, I read a few historical romance novels and most of them were about this roguish, devilish rich guy and some innocent, pure virgin. Rogue would try all his moves on Virgin and when he got frustrated with her resistance, would carry her over his shoulder kicking and screaming, toss her into a dungeon and declare that he wouldn’t release her till she fell in love with him.
Well, I kinda made that synopsis up but it could have been the plot of a historical novel, which is my point. This drama almost feels like a 1800s British romance novel on crack.
So after he insults her, she responds with a “Yes, m’lord. You’re right, Sir. I is a po’ girl” routine and this only serves to further aggravate him. One thing I noticed about him is that while he doesn’t mind spewing venom at her, he hates when others – including herself – do it. Perhaps in a different frame of mind, I might find this romantic, but in this one, it shows that he knows better. He knows that the things he says and the way he tries to make her feel ashamed of who she is is wrong. But he does it anyway. So he drags her like a rag doll, throws a bunch of branded items on the floor, tosses her into the dressing room and humiliates her. Wow, what a sexy hero we have here.
Now, as for Ra Im, I guess it’s because this is a drama but could she give me a damn break? I guess I’m supposed to swoon because the fact that she can’t leave it alone is supposedly romantic but can someone please explain to me why a normal-thinking woman would start to like this kind of vitriolic stalker? Is it Stockholm Syndrome or is she just a masochist? I wonder this because after receiving the vacuum cleaner he’d refused her at the store through her friend, why did she have to mount it on her bike and make the journey to his place? If she didn’t want it, she could have simply asked her friend to return it, taken it to the store herself (he didn’t have to be present), or better still, just tossed it in the trash.
But we needed her to go there to receive more abuse from him. Once again, Joo Won was upset that she wasn’t reacting the way he’d expected. Perhaps this occurs when you “fall in love” with someone even though you know absolutely nothing about them. I’m not just talking about her background or her life history. But what about who she is? Her values, her beliefs, her personality? If he knew that, maybe he wouldn’t be surprised about her walking into the pond to fish out the vacuum cleaner he’d tossed in there.
On a side note: I’m not going to lie – there’s nothing like a screaming match between a couple to get me all swoony. And since Ha Ji Won and Hyun Bin are good actors with good chemistry, their screaming matches are intense. But isn’t this just episode 4? LOL. You guys don’t know each other well enough to be fighting this way.
Speaking of that vacuum cleaner, did they think that placing blue tape on the “Ph” in “Philips” would camouflage the brand adequately? I realize that scene was supposed to be angtsy but I cracked up every time I saw the blue tape. LOL.
One thing that really ticked me off was that he had the guts to toss her keys into the water then mention that he can get another one. ARGH! Dude, you just don’t get it. ARGH! ARGH!
Anyway, all this drama led to Ra Im and her future mother-in-law meeting for the first time. And we got to see as I previously mentioned, that while he doesn’t have a problem inflicting abuse on her, he can’t stand to see his mother do the same. How sweet. NOT.
What these two episodes did was make me long for the switch. I think Ra Im is okay as she is, even though she needs to toughen up and gain some self esteem. But Joo Won really needs to be kicked out of the little bubble he lives in – the one that makes him feel that he’s above everyone else. Oska is his hyung but he doesn’t treat him with respect. Sure, Oska doesn’t necessarily act like a hyung so maybe he doesn’t deserve it but if you think about it, everyone around him is comfortable with him. His manager, his employees, all his entourage are not scared of him and can openly laugh at him without repercussion.
I know he and Joo Won have their love-hate relationship thing going on but I hate how Joo Won roped him into the Jeju trip without informing him. And when Oska came to protest, he shooed him away like a fly. Perhaps I could have found it cute last week but now that he’s on my shit list, I don’t.
Plus even though Joo Won acts like he doesn’t think much of his cousin, he’s always barging into his home for advice. And why did he then have to ruin his date with his woman-of-the-evening by mentioning another lady that Oska had spent the night with? Because he’s mean. It might be funny but when you think about it, it’s also unnecessarily mean.
Okay, okay, okay, maybe I’m being a little hard on him because they are funny together and he does love his cousin and we saw him agree to change the schedule plus Oska did call him when he was at the police station and he helped him out – even though it looks like he’s going to make him pay. Come to think of it, as a Hallyu star, shouldn’t Oska have his own lawyer? But this is a drama so I should ignore that.
Anyway, my point was, instead of just needing to treat Ra Im better, Joo Won needs to treat everyone better. Sure, Director Park is gunning for his job but Joo Won brought it on himself. That guy needs a lesson in humility and the drama has made a very good case for why a body swap is necessary. My only regret is that their personalities won’t be swapped as well which means that Joo Won (in Ra Im’s body) will never be at the receiving end of his bullshit. I think that truly seeing himself through someone else’s eyes is something he desperately needs.
I’d planned on saying something about Seul but I really can’t be bothered anymore. She’s truly a boring character although something tells me that there must be another layer to her. Or at least, that’s what I hope.
All in all, even though I think Joo Won is a douchebag, I enjoyed these episodes. I do wonder why they had to spend so much time on the “Oska wants a mentee” storyline. Simply to inject some comedy or will it weave itself into a more important plot later on? Remains to be seen.