Secret Garden Week 3: The Switch

(He’s so cute, isn’t he?)

Sometimes, when you’re watching a drama, you often wonder what the hell is going through the characters’ heads. Joo Won, you like her so why are you being such a douche? Ra Im, he’s a complete douche – why are you still giving him the time of day? The Joo Won I know wouldn’t drink that stuff, eww.  We often come up with all sorts of theories to explain why characters do certain things but after all that fanwanking, you realize that there’s only one real reason: Because the writers’ said so. That, I think, is the theme of this week’s episodes.

So episode 4 ended with Oska and Ra Im running into Joo Won in Jeju. How did Joo Won get there so quickly considering he’s so claustrophobic that given what we know, he couldn’t have gotten on a plane? Because the writer’s said so.

Okay, moving on. They were at some outdoor restaurant and given that Joo Won had reserved all the tables, they had to sit with him. Does this make sense? He reserved all the tables but his? Or reserved all the tables so that they would be forced to sit with him and he could keep a close eye on them because the next table would be too far away?

Anyway, while sitting at his table, they chose to ignore him and flirt with each other instead. We all know Ra Im has a crush on Oska since she’s got his posters on her bedroom wall and in her locker but I guess we’re to think she’s mainly flirting with him to piss Joo Won off.  It works and at some point, the music plays, they stare at each other and we get some flashbacks from episode 3. We get to see that Joo Won had followed her home after making her feel like crap and also all the effort she’d put into dressing up for their date.

From seeing that scarf around her neck in episode 3, we already knew that she’d dressed up for him so we didn’t get any new information here. But I think it would have been more effective had this been shown as she was on her way home that night but perhaps that would have made us dislike Joo Won a tad too much. Especially as these flashbacks are supposed to make us feel a little more sympathetic to his plight since it shows that he did feel a little bad about all the crap he’d pulled. That’s all well and good but why didn’t he ever change his behavior? If he knew what he was doing was wrong, why did he keep doing it? This reminds me of a Catholic friend of mine who would go to Confession every Saturday and admit to the same sin. After a while, the priest had to say something. Your apology means nothing if you haven’t learned from it. Your apology means nothing if you’re going to turn around and repeat the same ‘mistakes’ all over again. Your apology means nothing if you do not change your actions. So if that flashback was supposed to make the audience feel more favorably towards Joo Won, it had the opposite effect on me.

Then there was some stuff about the Oska’s wannabe protege being gay. Truthfully, when Oska first paused when he heard that singer at the lounge, I thought that perhaps he was gay. It was something about the way he looked at him. Had the singer been a woman, I would have guessed that it was love at first sight. And Oska being such a player might just be the manifestation of his stay in the closet.  But then they introduced the first love story with Seul so I changed my mind.  But now, they are making me raise my eyebrow again. I wondered what this storyline was meant to add to this drama and this makes me wonder yet again.

I’d been successfully ignoring Seul in the past few episodes but now the drama has forced me to watch her. She manipulated and paid her way into directing Oska’s video for reasons yet unknown. After some shenanigans with other characters, they meet, he’s pissed off and this leads to some flashbacks of her breaking his heart.

He then decides that he wants to race against his cousin. The logic is: “Hey, since we love to compete against each other, let’s race and if I win, I get to use Ra Im to piss Seul off.” On hearing parts of this, Ra Im thinks it’s a cool idea so she decides to join the fun. Why? Because the writers said so.

There are some dramas where things flow naturally: 1+1 = 2.  The letter after B is C.  The story follows a natural pattern and everything that happens is based on something that had occurred. The first few episodes were character driven and the progression of the plot suffered a bit as a result. Now that we know them, it’s time to make up for lost time. But sadly, the characters aren’t taking us there – The Powers That Be are. Things aren’t happening because they naturally follow. They are happening because the writers have a certain plot they must follow.

The writers decided to introduce this race because they needed to get Ra Im lost so that Joo Won would go looking for her and they’d end up in some creepy restaurant.  They get there and the restaurateur makes them eat some food. Personally, I’m not buying it. The Joo Won I know, the one who looked down on Ah Young and Ra Im as they ate pork rinds wouldn’t eat anything at that weird place. But the lady insisted so I’ll give them a pass. While feeding them and after confirming that Joo Won has a healthy body, the lady then says that she makes home brews to save her daughter to which Ra Im replies that her dad also liked to make home brews. Cue creepy music.

As I’ve previously said, I’m no Jong Soo fan but there’s something about a man in glasses that just gets me. I still don’t like his non-smiley, controlling, overly protective nature but when he’s wearing those glasses, instead of rolling my eyes whenever I see him, I’m thinking, “How you doing?”

Anyway, so after our couple returns from the restaurant,  Jong Soo and Joo Won do their usual love triangle males thingy, beating their chests as they both fight to protect the heroine. And as in all dramas, Ra Im decides that it’s better to go with the jerk stalker dude than with the level headed man she’s known for years. Hey, I don’t make the rules.

Perhaps it’s because Joo Won took his medicine or Hyun Bin needed a break from the yelling, but for most of the episode, Joo Won had been less of a douchebag than usual. But since it’s a drama and characters can’t be mature and reasonable for too long, Joo Won needs to be a douchebag one last time. So after he and Ra Im get to his room, he asks her for a hug. And she’s all like, “Why?” So he tells her he’d buy her some Gucci bags.  Then she says, “Oh, Tiger Woods, are you going to turn me from a nanny to a billionaire’s wife?” And he says, “No. You’re going to be one of the girls I send text messages to.” Ouch.  She naturally gets mad and slaps him in the face. Heck yeah, I’d slap him too. There’s a world of difference between $100 million and a club sandwich.

So they go their separate ways and later that night, decide to drink the home brews. Fine, since Joo Won is jealous of Ra Im’s love for Oska, he didn’t want him to receive anything from Ra Im. I get that. But I don’t believe for one second that Joo Won, the guy who looks down on almost every single thing would even consider ingesting that weird yellow liquid.  But the writers said he would so what can I do?

Our couple drinks their weird home brews and wake up in each other’s body. We’ve been in anticipation mode for this to happen for five hours and even though there were some previews and spoilers, we’d been waiting to see how this would turn out. So was it worth the wait?

Well, it goes without saying that both Ha Ji Won and Hyun Bin are good actors and have both done a good job with their characters. However, because the drama took a while to introduce them to us, we’ve become accustomed to them and feel like we know them. So now that they are switching bodies, we expect them to stay consistent and judging from what we’ve seen so far, this is going to be quite a challenge.

Ra Im woke up next to Oska and thought she was having a great dream. I don’t blame her cos I enjoy those dreams once in a while. But alas, she wasn’t just dreaming that Oska had his hand on her chest – he really did have his hand on her chest!

The hell? She jumped off the bed, horrified that she’d somehow spent the night at Oska’s place (what was in that witch’s brew???) but when she looked down below,  she saw an even bigger surprise. Really, what was in that witch’s brew?

Joo Won woke up sitting next to some old woman. Okay, what da heck? The mighty Joo Won doesn’t sleep next to random old women.  Then this woman had the gall to refer to him as “Miss.” Miss? Who would dare refer to manly Ji Won as a woman? What da heck? Then he caught his reflection in the mirror and saw Ra Im looking back at him. No, no, seriously, what da heck?

I quite enjoyed their reactions to the switch. Which got me thinking about what I’d do if I ever woke up as a man. Maybe the first thing I’d do would be to try to force myself out of that nightmare (?) but if that didn’t work,  maybe I’ll run out of my bedroom like Ra Im and Joo Won did.

When I began to watch this drama, I thought the writers had intentionally made Ra Im tomboyish and Joo Won a little less manly to make the switch easier on the actors. But now I wonder if that was the case at all. Because Joo Won is screaming a lot more than Ra Im ever did, and acting a lot girlier than Ra Im ever was. And we have Joo Won who’s the stereotypical kdrama lead male who’s only got eyes for the heroine acting a little like Oska.  Seeing Joo Won ogle that lady at the sauna reminded me of the scene at the club where he cut Ra Im down to size over her safety pinned bag. Loads of women were checking him out but he didn’t bat an eyelid. So how am I to believe that he’ll get all pervy when he sees some busty chick at the sauna? It makes me wonder if I’ve gotten the switch all wrong. Perhaps it’s really a quarter of Oska and three quarters of Joo Won switched with Ra Im’s soul.

So Ra Im and Joo Won realize that their bodies have switched and they try to figure out the best way to fix the problem. What could have happened, they wonder? They come up with different theories and none of them is the fact that they went to a creepy place, met a creepy person and drank a creepy potion. Hmm. Just like everyone else, they’ve seen enough movies to know that perhaps kissing each other would mean that their souls would return to their rightful places. It doesn’t matter that a kiss certainly didn’t cause the mix up in the first place but hey, the audience wants to see you guys kiss so pucker up. Ra Im gives him a peck but since that doesn’t work,  Joo Won pulls our girly Ra Im into a deep kiss.

While they are kissing, we are taken back to the creepy lady and get to see that she’s in fact Ra Im’s father. He apologizes to his daughter but says that this is the only way he could have saved her because it’s her fate. Instead of wondering if this means that Ra Im might meet a tragic end, I wonder if this means that Daddy Dearest also used this potion to steal the body he currently inhabits. If so, bad daddy. You might have killed someone else just so you can live. That’s totally selfish and not cool, Appa. Let’s hope this is not the case.

Our couple gets so into their kiss that instead of acting like they normally should, they act exactly as the bodies they currently inhabit would (damn those hormones). Instead of girly Ra Im putting her arm round Joo Won’s neck, she puts it round his waist like men normally do and instead of Joo Won using the rare opportunity to really kiss the girl he’s been obsessed with, he pushes her a way like a shy girl would. Again, damn those hormones.

For me, the best part of the switch is the madness with all the other characters. While I think the switched characters are quite inconsistent when they are alone, I think they work best when they are with other characters – especially Oska.

I think a lot of women like bad boys because they love the fantasy of being the woman to tame him. For me, my fantasy is making a player fall so deeply in love with me that he’d be dying for commitment. So while some women might fall for a bad boy and take the road filled with violence and emotional and/or physical abuse, I choose the one paved with STDs and baby mamas.  And maybe that’s why I’m slowly falling for Oska. There’s something about a player being turned to mush when he sees the face of the one that got away – even if it’s Evil Seul. There’s something about a playboy declaring that he can easily give everything up for a woman. Or maybe there’s just something about Yoon Sang Hyun.

Yoon Sang Hyun might be awesome or maybe it’s my brand spanking new crush on him talking but I loved everything about Oska in episode 6. His reaction to Ra Im’s screaming was so hilarious although I don’t know why he would even ask if he’d done something at night then look down to check (pause). His reaction when he unknowingly hugged Joo Won while being filmed and got told to back off was perfect. Touching girly Ra Im and witnessing the extremely weird behavior from the person he thought was Joo Won got me laughing. And then of course, flirting with Joo Won. Haha. Okay, maybe it’s just because Yoon Sang Hyun and Ha Ji Won have some great friendly chemistry. I think they really work well together. I liked them both as Oska and Ra Im and now as Oska and Joo Won. I loved seeing Ra Im’s shy yet playful reaction to Oska and now Joo Won’s brash and bored reaction to him. It’s love, y’all. I want to be the little flower girl at their wedding.

Not that I don’t like Hyun Bin and Yoon Sang Hyun together. Girly Ra Im and Oska are also hilarious mainly because Oska generally has a WTF look the entire time but it works a little less because while Ra Im had a crush on Oska, she was never this obvious about it. So seeing girly Ra Im takes a little out of the fantasy because I really don’t believe that Ra Im has inhabited Joo Won’s body at all. I think some other female’s body is wandering around with Ra Im’s soul in it, while she’s in Joo Won’s body.

Our switched combi also makes me like Jong Soo even when he’s not wearing glasses. Seeing his confused reaction to his “amazing woman” being so cold and direct and his love rival acting so sweet also got me laughing pretty hard. LOL

Anyway, moving on. So we’re now shooting the music video and Oska’s filming a car scene with one of his ex “jump offs” and Evil Seul has a problem with it even though everyone else thinks it’s fine. See, the problem is, Oska isn’t truly expressing the emotion of a man who’s just lost the love of his life. So to explain it to him, she decides to give a long soliloquy of the emotions one goes through after being dumped.  We see her face, we see Oska’s face and we know she’s talking about their failed love. Girly Ra Im watches on and feels for them but the whole time, I was thinking, “Evil Seul, didn’t you dump him?” Should someone who dumped another during their heartfelt proposal be going on and on like that?  There has to be more to the story otherwise she needs her head examined.

Anyway, towards the end of the episode, everyone is feeling a little down. Perfect Oska is standing and brooding with his cute face, Evil Seul is in the bath from American Beauty thinking about her life, girly Ra Im is thinking about how shitty her life has become, Jong Soo is sitting away from the rest of his gang, worrying about losing a love he never had while Joo Won decides to take a peek at Ra Im’s body despite girly Ra Im’s warnings against it (even though she already took a good look at his when she had to pee).  Although I must say that I’m a tad confused about this. Girly Ra Im taught Joo Won how to wear a bra by hooking it in front first. Since he had to do that, hasn’t he already seen all her goodies? But it’s a drama so I should ignore it. Okay, ignoring it.

So Joo Won pulls up his shirt to take one good look but before he can get very far, he notices all the scars on it.

They go to bed and my favorite scene in the two hours occurs – they both wake up and realize that they are still in the wrong bodies. I don’t know why I love this part so much. Is it the split screen? Girly Ra Im’s jump or Joo Won’s delayed reaction? I don’t know but it cracked me up big time.

Accepting his unfortunate fate, Joo Won then goes to Ra Im’s room to talk to her. Stuff happens and they end up fighting and ending up in a rather intimate pose. Oh, sexy! Then Evil Seul walks in and screams. A little less sexy.

I can’t say exactly why but I found these two episodes a little less entertaining than the previous ones. Perhaps that by now, I would like the real romance to begin and it really hasn’t. Or maybe the reality of the body swap hasn’t lived up to the dream. Then there’s the weirdness with old grown women asking questions about menopause and having babies.  Plus the writers have planted the possibility of a tragedy in our heads with Ra Im’s father’s appearance. I avoid weepy dramas as a rule and prefer for my stories to end happily. However, being a fantasy gives the drama leeway to come up with solutions to problems that wouldn’t work otherwise so I’m not worried. Because I’m thinking that if Daddy Dearest can come up with a potion that causes people to switch souls, then if not him, someone else can come up with something to heal his daughter’s body. Regardless, it’s still rather early now and we’re not yet in the thick of things, so it not yet time to panic.  Aside from that, the previews for the upcoming episodes look promising so I’m still very much interested in this drama. I just hope that the rest of the show feels less forced and contrived. I want transitions to be seamless and I don’t want anyone acting out of character – even if it makes things slightly less funny.  I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed.


  • leila8mae says:

    what’s up with you and the writer?? are we going to start saying WRITER instead of SHOW now?? 🙂

    I was entertained by the switch!! hehe.. I think it’s Hyun Bin’s charisma taking over.. it’s fun BUT one request writer, please don’t make the switch last longer that it should be.. two episodes more would be fine.. I think the switch is to show how a girl and a boy should act rather than what Ra Im and Joo Won actually are.. and how would love work at this level???

    and clock, what’s with Ra Im’s dad appearing causing the switch? does he really have to be the one doing it.. I hope what you said isn’t the case as well or appa will receive hate mails..

    one more, I like Oska and his story with the girl who got away.. I like that angle! and the scene that really cracked me up was the English dialogue between Director Im and Evil Seul! LOL.

    • msclockwatcher msclockwatcher says:

      lol. Hey, lelia.

      i don’t like Evil Seul but I’m also intrigued by her story with Oska. Right now, I actually like it more than the main couple’s story since we actually have a STORY. lol. I’m sure they’ll get back together after we learn to full story.

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