A CK Discussion: One True Pairing

Okay, so I’m out on a chatting spree again and I’m so glad to have one of my online buddy with me in this venture. Choufy. She’s one of our guest writer and one of the creative brains behind the Coffee House Soompi thread. We practically live 6 hours apart and managed to chat. If others can do a drunk podcast… Well Choufy and I can do a half awake chat and still manage to keep in line with the topic. Yeah, with tea and coffee on hand we chatted until.. well, long enough to complete this 😀

I hope you will enjoy just few of our random thoughts about one of Kdramalands driving force:  OTP (aka One True Pairing).

“I will go down with this ship
And I won’t put my hands up and surrender
There will be no white flag above my door
I’m in love, and always will be”

— Dido“White Flag”
We started off by reading this funny anecdote that Choufy brought in for me to read. Everything went on from there…
leila8mae: I just woke up! Haha… What time is it there?
choufy: 7:36 in the morning *yawn* ^^
leila8mae: What!! Sorry girl.. So we are both like sleepy heads right now! Haha. We have to be creative though. Thoughts limited at 140 characters.
choufy: lol I bet it will be more interesting in this state XD
leila8mae: Right!
choufy: The truth is : I am a TV Show addict since… Forever. But I never heard the term OTP before Dramaland… What about you ?
leila8mae: Eversince I’ve watched Kdrama, OTP is like the “main” thing. At one glance you’d know who they are. It’s rare you find stories like Coffee House where pairings are uncertain…

choufy: lol Coffee House was unique in soooo many ways. But that is correct : hard to figured it out  the OTP on this one.
leila8mae: Anyhow, who’s your favorite pairing so far? People always fight for the OTP. We’d touch shippers war later.
choufy: You mean above all ? Mmmm. Let me think… Well… Are we talking man-woman basic formula here ? OR are we talking about oh-so-true-to-my-soul but silly OTP ? And what about BROMANCE ? Because I would say, sidekick couple are the best. Recently: City Hunter, Yoon-Sung/Shik-Joong ajusshi are just pure LOVE.

leila8mae: We can talk about bromance too! Haha! City Hunter was indeed fun because ajusshi is the sweetest!
choufy: But in a more regular way, got one : Byeong-Hee and Cheol-Soo from What’s Up Fox ? I was really digging the doctor at first, but somehow this young annoying man went straight to my heart. Cheol-Soooooo ~

leila8mae: Are you that regular shipper when you watch a series?
choufy: Basically, I don’t ship. Like you said, the couple which is meant to be is so obvious anyway.
leila8mae: Bromance are good side dish like Sam dong and Jin Gook of Dream High. Have you seen it?

choufy: I watched it untill Episode 14 ? lol They were cute fighting over some underwear… But Sungkyunkwan Scandal ? With Goo Yong-Ha & Moon Jae-Shin ? *3*/ I’m sorry but that was hot!
leila8mae: Yoo Ah In with just about ANYONE will be HOT! Haha!
choufy: True, Yoo Ah In is HOT. Period. lol

leila8mae: Is City Hunter the most recent drama you’ve watched? I’m not really into that kind of OTP…
choufyCity Hunter was more about father figure, not really the OTP I think. So… Why did you choose this topic by the way ?
leila8mae: Because I’m so into Heartstrings that I wanted to talk about the OTP… It’s the driving force of a drama.
choufy: Ah ~Young love~
leila8mae: You’ve mentioned that since PD Pyo wasn’t the director, you suddenly lost interest… Did it bore you? You prefer him as a director? I think he moved the story in a better path…
choufy: No, I watch up until Episode 11, I think… It’s just, PD Pyo is all about atmosphere and I just felt that now the story was more plot driven…
leila8mae: I have to agree… The atmosphere that he created in that raindrop scene is love… Surely he’s involved with that… Rain equals PD Pyo… Haha.

choufy: lol. Oh~ Coffee House‘s phonebooth scene *memories, memories*. 
leila8mae: OH MY GOD!! I see certain connection… Rain must have some special powers in PD Pyo’s heart.. Haha.
choufy: LOL. The plot is not bad but I prefer PD Pyo as a director, definitely ^^
leila8mae: I guess some viewers are looking for plot… But for me I’m satisfied with the sweetness somehow… I guess its the season… One of the things I’m looking for in a OTP is chemistry… The more natural the better… How about you?
choufy: Chemistry is important. Like I said, I don’t ship because storywise, dramas are obvious. But without chemistry… 
leila8mae: Story is dull.. And lifeless.
choufy: In I Am Legend, for example, the heroine had way more chemistry with her ex husband rather than with the musician (who was supposed to be the male lead).

leila8mae: Not every actor can pull off a chemistry… So those who do, really make fans the craziest.
choufy: It is impressive how fans can react about OTP. We can be really invested.
leila8mae: True.. If you go to threads… Shippers war is the bloodiest !!! Haha… Nothing beats a “tug of words”.
choufy: Do you know a drama where the OTP has zero chemistry to you ?
leila8mae: Actually I was thinking about that… But can’t remember anything because surely I’d drop that series in an instant… Useless to watch when pairings are dull and don’t move me. Wait… the MIDAS couple.. I felt them during the first Episode but it suddenly died when the male lead turned dark.
choufy: To me Dalja’s Spring OTP has zero romantic chemistry… Thank god the humour was there !
leila8mae: And The Greatest Love OTP didn’t get me like many others… Have to blame Yoon Kye Sang… Seriously it’s his fault!! 

choufy: lol I’m with you for The Greatest Love. The drama over all was ok, but I was not moved by the OTP.
leila8mae: Yoon Kye Sang is just perfect. It hurts still up to now thinking what happened *sigh* Second lead syndrome is the worst…
choufy: But I’m selfish. It’s fine if the heroine doesn’t want him. That way he is ALL MINE mwahaha ~
leila8mae: LOL!! Anyhow, taste does contribute to, you know… Because love triangles work since we all prefer different persona…
choufy: Yeah but love triangle are often tiring to me v_v It sounds like a math formula thrown to my face… The love triangle formula is the root of ship war I think…
leila8mae: Triangles are there to make us feel confused. I don’t know where’s the fun in that! Haha. But believers are awesome. they can really justify!

choufy: lol Do you have an exemple ?

leila8mae: Hello!?! Those fans of Ham Eun Jung is one!  Haha (I’m prepared for arrows to be shot!! Haha) When one is a fan of the actor… It always interferes with the OTP even if it does not make sense… For the love of the actors.
choufy: lol Well Seung-Yeon and Jin-Soo had a chemistry, a funny-sidekick one. And Seung Yeon was the typical bubbling k-drama heroin ^^
leila8mae: With Coffee House we know that some pairings are just meant to be great partners. That does not have to equal or mean love… One of the best thing Coffee House did for me is realizing that…
choufy: I love EunSoo to the core, but I maintain that Coffee House plot was confusing…
leila8maeCoffee House plot is better to watch after it all ends! Though the hype of the live streaming is really contagious! It was fun when creative juices from different people just gives you a lot of perspective. Especially those who were able to analyze it…
choufy: I think watching it live with other people is a great addition to the madness.

leila8mae: So true. Those who didn’t, miss on A LOT. But in a way those who weren’t with us saved themselves from being CRAZY and insane!! LOL. Moving on, I think leads always have a certain gene that ALL of them had to have. Eun Young was unique though.
choufy: Eun Young is quite unique as a K-drama heroine which is why I love her. It might be the first time that I actually identify with a heroine.
leila8mae: Have you watched Lie To Me ? What do you think about it ? The OTP was a netizen crack of the May season.. They were sensational, but did not get me… AT ALL.
choufy: I didn’t. Yoon Eun Hye is a hit or miss with me and I really didn’t feel this story ^^ But I read about the OTP sizzled chemistry… Did it challenge your EunSoo ship ? ^^
leila8mae: Have to say EUNSOO ship is engraved in me. It’s like a mountain that can’t be moved ! But I love Yoon Eun Hye. Just that, the chemistry didn’t work for me. I’m stuck with EP4. I have to rewatch and rethink..
choufy: You think it’s because you are faithfull to Eunsoo ? lol
leila8mae: It is a fact. Haha. But I gotta say, people loved the LTM OTP to bits. It must be because of the the infamous cola kiss…

choufy: I should try Lie To Me one day, just to check this infamous chemistry… Well maybe… Eventually… When I will have time lol
leila8mae: Goodluck with that!! Haha.
choufy: I realize that in Scent of a Woman, the OTP is quite related to tango dance… And Eunsoo got me with this symbolic too… I have a thing with OTP and couple dance obviously lol
leila8mae: I can’t believe how MANLY Lee Dong Wook had become! I think ALL guys should join the military! seriously… Hotness abounds *fans self*
choufy: lol And all those shower scenes… Such fan service is good~ v_v
leila8mae: Jo Hyun Jae in 49 Days!! I swear… It makes US happy!! Hahaha.

choufy: lol
leila8mae: I haven’t watched Scent of a Woman though.. I’m currently watching 9 Ends 2 Outs… I really have a thing when OTP knows each other LONG enough… Compared to those who just met and fall in love.
choufy: Maybe because it’s the building type, which in a long run tends to be stronger in a way… I enjoy that too. I like OTP which really care about each other.
leila8mae: I agree ! That’s why Heartstrings have a special spot for me. They’ve just met but the relationship is very open. They fight but can talk about it, petty things are manageable… Jealous streaks are there but dealt with much security especially Shin’s character. He drives the relationship and he does it well…
choufy: I guess when love is there to make people grow, that’s the best.
leila8mae: An OTP that manages to tug just the right strings makes a whole lot of difference… Plus the relationship they have, most can relate to it.
choufy: I like first love when they are also age related. I don’t mind the sillyness when they are adolescent…
leila8mae: It’s cute to see… It makes them young and causes the viewers to be nostalgic somehow… Acting silly is cute but to a certain extent… lol
choufy: But Heartrings OTP is quite mature… Or at least honest with their feelings…

leila8mae: You got it choufy! They are honest… Most OTP’s lacks certain aspects… But I think it must be the way PD Pyo views a relationship… Do you think there is a formula of having a BEST OTP in a story?
choufy: I don’t think there is an OTP formula (even if sexual chemistry obviously HAD to be there). But so far, I relate more with the idea of building a love relationship rather than mombo jombo I love you-I love-you-NOT-oops-I-might-be-your-secret-brother-or-sister… lol
leila8mae: I’m not into that too! As a viewer I want to see how things develop and stop all the pretense and nonsense. They only have 16 episodes to prove it… No time to spare!
choufy: And you ? A secret formula to help our dear Drama Writers ? ^^
leila8mae: All I can say is GET THE RIGHT ACTORS!! Haha… Writers will be blessed if chemistry is innate and natural. No formula… just LOVE. PD Pyo deals with the real side of a relationship. I’ve noticed that more now…

choufy: Yep, I really enjoyed Worlds Within for that (even if the story became quite messy at some point). Noh Hee Kyung was the writer. And I believe that she influenced him a lot in that aspect. I love her essay.
leila8mae: I have yet to watch that completely (stuck at a certain Episode)… I’m not sure about the OTP of that series, really. I know they dated, but somethings amiss. I guess Song Hye Gyo have to have more heart… And depth.
choufy: Noh Hee Kyung inspired me a lot during our Coffee House Ride lol
leila8mae: She is spot on… I’ve read her essays… I guess when you’ve been through so much hurt, writing is a breeze…
choufy: Well  Worlds Within is also about other people’s story and the behind the scene work of a drama really.
leila8mae: I have yet to continue watching it since I’m also doing a series review of Worlds Within just to understand PD Pyo more…
choufy: I was in a Hyun Bin craze after Secret Garden failure. So I had to watch him in an other drama lol

leila8mae: Oh crap! The Secret Garden series… It reminds me not to expect too much in a story.. It didn’t deliver for me… So sorry… Going back, I’ve read that Noh Hee Kyung’s dialogues are one of the best.
choufy:  Yep but she is really wordy so it works better in a book (I think). I couldn’t get into Goodbye Solo for example..
leila8mae: She’s deep! I’ve been reading reviews of Goodbye Solo. It’s under my list of MUST WATCH. So I hope I’d have time…
choufy: But on the other hand, I couldn’t pass half of Episode 1 of Full House even if it was directed by my dear PD Pyo. lol
leila8maeFull House is fan service personified!! Haha… I enjoyed the cute… Song Hye Gyo is lively but nothing extraordinary. It’s under the dramas “just like many others” list.
choufyBoys Over Flower is one of my other kryptonites… Or someone has to get me really really drunk to watch that lol
leila8mae: It’s the drama that changed my world though. LOL. Lee Min Ho is just… He’s going to be the death of me!! Anyway, choufy you’re about to have lunch? Can we wrap up the first part? Surely there will be next time right? 
choufy: Alright!
leila8mae: I really enjoyed this choufy!! I hope for more to come?? Yeah?? 😀 Thanks for everything… Especially waking up early 😀
choufy: lol I enjoyed it too ! Don’t worry, the time frame was not so bad 🙂  If you’re into PD Pyo and Noh Hee Kyung, I guess we will have a lot to talk in the future lol. Or we can just spazz for Lee Min-HOT.

leila8mae: I always have time to talk about LEE MIN HO. So Im definitely IN! I have to finish Worlds Within, PD Pyo is also an interesting topic 😀
choufy: Can’t wait to see the result of this crazy talk 🙂
leila8mae: Me too!! 


leila8mae: Shoot that was long!! Hahaha… I think Choufy and I could just talk for the whole day.. Stick around for more! So I do hope you enjoyed this one 😀

choufy : And if there is any topic you might enjoy reading about, please, let us know ! ^^


  • msclockwatcher msclockwatcher says:

    I don’t even know if Heartstrings is plot driven cos where’s the plot? LOL.

    Anyway, when it comes to OTP, I let the story move me more than the actors. If their love is justified then I will allow the script to convince me they are in love even if the actors don’t have natural chemistry. I’m more about character chemistry than actor chemistry. For example in LTM, I felt that while KJH and YEH had chemistry, AJ and KJ didn’t have much… at least up till ep 10 which is where I stopped watching. But perhaps it’s also related to my EunSoo bias – I don’t know – since I know loads of EunSoo-ers didn’t jump on the HwanHee train. I don’t know. But I do know that I don’t have a problem with watching people from my favorite OTPs in other dramas. E.g I like KJH with Kim Ha Neul and Han Ji Min.

    Anyway for me, unless the actors have negative chemistry and their acting is unbelievable, if the script has an awesome premise that justifies their attraction and love, I can fall for any OTP. And in general I don’t ship because it’s kind of pointless when the pair is so freaking obvious that shipping is just a waste of time and emotions.

    I think my taste is somewhere between both of yours. I couldn’t get into BOF at all but Full House was fun even if it wasn’t the most amazing drama ever. Worlds Within, I just skimmed through.

    Anyway, nice read, ladies.

    • goodange says:

      Yeah, the plot was missing for quite awhile, and I think there was actually a plot on the last episode of Hearstrings. They really could have worked that in the previous episodes instead of waiting to the last minute—doing that feels forced. I’m still trying to figure out the major arc of the show. It just felt like it dealt with a problem per episode. I’ll always love Heartstrings, but objectively, the plot wasn’t much.

    • choufy says:

      Hi girls ! It’s been awhile ! So : how.are.you ? 🙂

      Clock > you’re mean~ There IS a plot in Heartrsings lol The all 100th birthday musical thing ? ^^
      But you made me realize something. I felt that at the beginning, Heartstrings was about Music. And I was hooked by the all contemporary/traditionnal fight-fusion. But once the story was “plot driven” the all thing basically became ” will the heroine be the Musical’s star ? ”
      Like I said, to me, PD Pyo rocks the ambience, so a slice of life drama in a Music Department University ? That would be AWESOME. (Give me the What’s Up ? Drama people ! >_<… PLease ? ;_;)

      So of course, at the end of the day, the story matters… But like the chicken and the egg, I can't tell which one comes first : story or characters/actors ?

      Maybe we should ask you : what is your favorite love story then ? ^^

  • natarodri says:

    The chemistry in Lie to Me was out-of-this-world

  • Anvesha says:

    I feel like I should re watch Coffee House because I thought the bubbly girl (I’m not her fan or anything) was main and watched it in that frame. I really enjoyed their scenes.. And kinda didn’t like the main girl (wasn’t she second lead in My Girl). Anyways, I feel like I missed/overlooked something (their chemistry?) lol

    • goodange says:

      Not every chemistry works for everyone. Maybe because I am an EunSoo fan that the Ji Hwan and Eun Hye’s pairing didn’t strike a chord with me. But really, just reading the synopsis of Lie To Me turned me off really … it was too formulaic. Otherwise, I probably would have given it a chance.

  • goodange says:

    Good job, guys! I really enjoyed reading your thoughts.

    • choufy says:

      Thank you Goodange, glad that you enjoyed it !

      Totally unrelated though : OMO ! Natalia Lafourcade ! I discover her like a month ago, and her Hu Hu Hu album is LOVE. (I want the same feline hat lol). She was touring in Paris in June but I missed her * sigh*. Did you see her in a live show ?

      Anyway, thanks again Leila, you’re amazing. It’s been a while that I didn’t feel like writing ^^

      • couch kimchi says:

        This is goodange! 🙂

        Goodness! I’m so glad you recognized my avatar!!! 🙂 Isn’t she cute?! She went to Paris? Wow. It’d be great to see her live, and no, I’ve never seen her perform live *sad*. So, which songs from Hu Hu Hu do you like? Anyway, I learned of her from the movie Temporada De Patos. If you haven’t yet, you should listen to “Un Pato”. It’s a cute song, and she’s so quirky in the video. And also, if you haven’t yet checked out Javiera Mena and Gepe, they’re very good, too.

        Anyway, looking forward to reading more from you! It’s always a pleasure 🙂

      • choufy says:

        goodange > thank you for the advice ^^
        My Hu Hu Hu’s favorite so far :
        “Let’s Get Out”
        “Ella Es Bonita”
        “Niño Hojas”

        What about you ?

        The CD artwork made me think about Goldfrapp-Seventh Tree at first 🙂 If you enjoy the quirky style, you might try Claire Diterzi – Tableau de Chasse.

        (actually listening to Akeboshi and Brazilian Girl lately)

      • goodange says:

        Hey, choufy!

        From Hu Hu Hu, my favorite would also be “Ella Es Bonita” (it’s so fun) and I really like “Azul.”
        And now that you mentioned it, the Hu Hu Hu cover does have a bit of similarity with Goldfrapp’s Seventh Tree album cover … man, I haven’t listened to her in years! I should revisit.

        With the exception of Brazilian Girls, I’ve never heard of the other 2 artists you mentioned, and since I’m always looking to expand my playlist, I’ll be sure to check them out! Thanks for the recommendation 😉 Always feel free to share your favorite artists 🙂

  • ripgal says:

    Awwww.. miss Coffee House and EunSoo already! XD But it’s still KJH X HJM in Capital Scandal for me. <3 And I guess like you clock, Lie To Me OTP just didn't mesmerize me. Maybe KJH and YEH, but not the OTP.

    My OTP this year and for years to come I believe, Dong Ju and Woori of Can You Hear My Heart, played so wonderfully by Kim Jae Won and Hwang Jung Eum. An OTP who stayed true to their feelings for each other from beginning to end. LOVE.

    And maybe JW and YJ of SoaW? Still can't get tango scene off mind! URHH!

  • mskololia says:

    Nice writeup ladies.

    I first came in contact with OTP during Chuno and then reintroduced during Coffee House. It was interesting in that having different ppl define it for me never settled the question of “Is this what I am actually seeing?” in the dramas mentioned. These viewers were basically telling me to not trust my eyes. 🙂

    I watch to be told a story and led down the drama’s path. LTM lost me early because I saw nothing. It was like watching scenes filled with bubbles that once they are swept away, there was nothing in its place. Where was the story? I bailed after ep 4 because I got tired of looking or waiting for it.

    Choufy, I’m with you on wanting What’s Up? to hit the air…..

    • choufy says:

      I (am deluded) have faith mskololia !
      If Bye Bye Birdie came back from the limbos and Poseidon recasted their team, What’s Up? will find its way to us… It HAS too (è-é)

    • goodange says:

      Heeh, I only started learning about OTP during Coffee House 😉 That show was just … emotional! It was clear who was the true pairing, but somehow, the drama managed to make us guess and become anxious.

  • Jeannette says:

    Hey Everyone,
    Love this site. Big Fan of Heartstrings. Before that a “Shin” would have never been my type. But did he manage to change my mind quick about that, lol. Decided that for now he’s my only type.

    Wanted to ask if any of you had certain favorite “grapping of wrist” scenes. Just thought that there are probably some great ones I haven’t seen, that I should watch.

    • goodange says:

      Hi, Jeannette! Thanks for giving us some lovin’! 🙂

      I agree, Shin is ADORABLE. He’s a little too perfect for my taste, but I certainly wouldn’t mind having one of him.

      As for the wrist grabs … I haven’t really thought of that. I’ll have to think about it because lately the wrist grabs haven’t don’t much for me because it’s such a machismo thing to do. Though maybe those scenes that involve the lead male trying to keep his lover by his side, just like what Shin did with Gyu Won when she wanted to go back to school to clear up the scandal. He pulled her back and followed it with an embrace. The wrist grab would have been too aggressive, but he saved it with that hug 🙂

  • Jeannette says:

    Hey Goodange,
    aah, interesting that you view the wrist grap as something “machismo”, I get it because I’m more on the dominant side myself and if someone grapped my wrist I probably would pull away. But in the dramas I always view it as the men overcoming their helplessness in reference to their feelings. You know, kinda like they finally have the “guts” to show the female that they do like her. In reference to the sceen your describing. Aaww my little Shin trying to be a man….
    Thinking about putting a pic of him in my wallet LMAO.

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