The Anatomy of A 2010 Kdrama Kiss version 2

A kiss in nearly every Asian drama is the definitive romantic gesture. It alters the meaning of the couple’s relationship, especially when the relationship had a cold start. Usually midway to the drama’s run, the much-awaited first smooch happens, deepening the development between the leads, and each kiss that follows is another milestone (and a screenshot for shippers).

2010 dealt some of the cutest Kdrama couples, making the lip-contact–or lip-to-cheek–between them all the sweeter. So, which drama couple brought their A-game? Well, not too long ago, Msclockwatcher shared an impressive, comprehensive review of the Kdrama kisses of 2010 (see here). In this version, I’m taking a complacent approach, and the pool of liplocking comparison is limited to the dramas I’ve watched this year: Pasta; Oh! My Lady; Coffee House; My Girlfriend Is A Gumiho; and Playful Kiss.

What makes an excellent onscreen kiss is a subjective gauge, and one drama, in particular, sets a high osculatory bar that I’ve based my judging criteria on it:

Close-up Shot
So close you could join them.
Good enough you won’t need glasses.
Binoculars are a must!

A fly must have been shooting this.
It looks good from this side, too.
Camera man took a half day.

What day is it?
Hold the bathroom break.
Were they crunched for time?

Please! Get a room.
It’s the warm fuzzies.
Needs several lessons from Kang Ji Hwan.

5. Oh! My Lady: Yoon Gae Hwa and Sung Min Woo

Close-up Shot. Good enough. You won’t need glasses.

Perspective. Camera man took a half day with that first kiss, but a  zippy fly shot the final one.

Duration. They were definitely crunched for time at first, but the second kiss was worth delaying a bathroom break.

Passion. It’s the warm fuzzies.

Oh! My Lady had two kisses, and the first deserves a frustrating groan. The kiss had the potential to be warm and passionate because the long build-up called for it: There was alcohol and a long, intent study of Gae Hwa’s understated beauty, as Min Woo’s attraction to her brimmed. I wasn’t expecting a replicated scene from 9 1/2 weeks, but the swiftness of the deed, worsened by a quick cut to the back of Min Woo’s head, couldn’t thaw the coldness in the open fridge.

It’s the final kiss in episode 16 that elicited the warm fuzzies. Min Woo and Gae Hwa sealed their heartfelt proclamation of commitment [to each other] with a time-stretching smooch. If the camera wasn’t zooming close around them, the “fuzz” of the lengthy kiss would have worn out fast. It was the camera that gave movement and vivacity to our couple’s action.

4. Pasta: Chep and Seo Yoo Kyung

Close-up Shot. Good enough. You won’t need glasses.

Perspective. It looks good from this side, too?

Duration. Hold the bathroom break.

Passion. It’s the warm fuzzies.

The cuteness abounds! The romance between Chep and Seo Yoo Kyung made the flatly paced Pasta endurable to watch. Chep and Yoo Kyung may have saved the passion for their cooking, but every quibble, flirtatious gab, laughter, and playful kiss–on the cheeks, forehead, lips–teemed with sincere affection. The fun-loving chemistry between the leads infused soul to the ofttimes obscured kisses.

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3. My Girlfriend Is A Gumiho: Cha Dae Wong and Gumiho. Hoi!

Close-up Shot. Good enough. You won’t need glasses.

Perspective. It looks good from this side, too, but there’s that chipper fly again.

Duration. Hold the bathroom break … maybe for days.

Passion. It’s the warm fuzzies.

Notwithstanding stationary smooches, the kisses of My Girlfriend Is A Gumiho were romantic and warmed fans’ hearts. The stand-out liplock took place at the airport. Much like Oh! My Lady, we got a circling view of our leads’ kiss, topped with an otherworldly breeze to complete the vim and significance of the moment. Unlike the final scene in Oh! My Lady, however, there was urgency in the long exchange, particularly from Dae Woong.

[vodpod id=Video.5069725&w=640&h=527&fv=]

2. Playful Kiss: Oh Ha Ni and Baek Seung Jo

Close-up Shot. Good enough. You won’t need glasses … but binoculars and night-vision goggles might be handy on occasion.

Perspective. It looks good from this side, too, but what’s with the wall? The umbrella? The posterior shot in the dark?

Duration. Hold the bathroom break.

Passion. It’s the warm fuzzies.

There’s too many to count, and what a fan girl’s delight! Playful Kiss delivered the fan service with 10+ kisses, YouTube specials included. Though deficient in burning passion and maturity, the kisses between Oh Ha Ni and Baek Seung Jo captured the chaste essence and sweetness of youthful romance. After a few years of marriage though, I expected the fervor of the kisses to have ramped up. Nevertheless, I welcome the fluff, and cheers to Jung So Min and Kim Hyun Joong for ditching the typical static kiss and aiming for a more realistic make-out session expected of inexperienced young lovers.

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1. Coffee House: Lee Jin Soo and Seo Eun Young

Close-up Shot. So close you could join them.

Perspective. A fly was shooting this. / It looks good from this side, too.

Duration. What day is it?

Passion. Please! Get a room … and could I … um, yeah. Never mind.

It befuddles me that a number of year-end kiss reviews have left out Coffee House from their list. That could just be they haven’t seen the kisses from the drama. In any case, Coffee House gets our top spot.

The kisses between Seo Eun Young and Lee Jin Soo were a visual feast. They were really kissing! Lips giving and receiving, and heads instinctively tilting from one side to the other. Every kiss stretched for nearly a minute, and each was earnest, momentous, and a prelude to a possible bed scene.

The first kiss stirred excitement because a woman initiated it. Eun Young penetrated Jin Soo’s reclusive shell, and for that minute, he yielded to her intrusion. The gentle kiss reflected Eun Young’s burgeoning desire for a cold, longtime friend. In contrast, the kiss at the train station reflected Jin Soo’s urgency to communicate the sincerity of his feelings for Eun Young. Finally, the kiss at sunset bore a comfortable passion. The pair was free to bask in the moment, cushioned by the knowledge that they’ll be together forever.

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Final Thoughts

As viewers, we become giddy of the kisses between our favorite couples because they not only appeal to our sense of romance, but they tap into our own experiences, such as our first brush with a crush, a tender invitation to make up after an argument, or the revelation of one’s heart felt in a second kiss.

I haven’t seen many Kdramas, but I dare say the kisses of 2010 have been pleasant to watch. Now, I anticipate 2011, with an expectation that it will bring the same treat as 2010.


  • leila8mae says:

    Coffee house’s EUNSOO kiss = Passion.

    Who can top that? In my heart, NONE..

    I enjoyed the videos angie!!! amazing 🙂

  • msclockwatcher msclockwatcher says:

    Love the article and the criteria! And love the way you write – a bit poetic? 😀 You’re right. For that minute, Jin Soo’s defenses were done (body took over brain).

    Yes, many have left Coffee House out because it’s not their favorite drama but it’s all good. We know which kiss was the best.

    Playful Kiss… I dropped it after episode 10 but I hear the youtube episodes are actually nice. Maybe I’ll just watch those.

    Thanks for the vids. I hope we get some awesome kisses in awesome dramas next year.

    • goodange says:

      Aww, thanks, Clock. Coming from a writer like you, that’s a really big compliment.

      And you’re right about our Coffee House kisses being the best in 2010!

      About Playful Kiss … I don’t know why the show has become so endearing to me because from an objective standpoint, it was just so underdeveloped, and I almost gave up after watching episode 6 because of my frustration with the characters. But in the end, I can’t help but like the show. The YouTube specials were pretty nice and sweet, though they did recycle familiar plots.

      Anyway, I really want to be surprised in 2011, like this year.

  • CHOCO FUDGE says:

    i love playful kiss too .

    the best for me ^_^

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