Drama Bites July 29, 2012 Edition- Big & Bridal Mask

I’m surprised Bridal Mask came out as my favorite for the week. Not bad considering there’s only one episode due to the Olympics pre-emption.

Bridal Mask Episode 17

I haven’t seen an episode this powerful and rich. Man, I considered rewatching it because it was that good. I was planning to include thoughts from the previous episodes but I’m not sure if there’s going to be any room left for it. There’s just too much to discuss. >.<

It was interesting how this time it was Kang To who was putting the pieces behind the Kishokai, which is Gaksital’s real enemy in this whole drama. It’s just personified in the person of Shunji. I guess that’s the reason why he’s gotten a whole lot cockier knowing he has the support of that of a strong organization.  Shunji pulling off strings and the main motivation is because of his love for Mok Dan.

I just really can’t understand how his motivation with Mok Dan runs this deep. She’s one of the most annoying female leads I’ve ever encountered. It’s probably because she runs to the point of unrealistic. She thinks the whole world is just plain black and white, with her being in the white. It’s quite presumptuous of her to imagine this ideal world where the white side can dominate. But she’s better when faced with harsher realities, which will discussed in awhile.

Going back to  Shunji’s character, I like him even know he’s plain evil. Or is he really? There were traces of his humanity shown once more. The fact that he doesn’t want power to control the Far East and his the desire to go back as a teacher further drives this point. He’s such a complex character because it’s like you can predict him but can’t completely due to some surprises.

One such scene that shows this is the confrontation between Mok Dan and him. The slap has a dual meaning, just like the whole characterization comes by twos. It may seem that Shunji was mean because he was looking for self-gratification. He wants Mok Dan to acknowledge him badly. But the slap can be interpreted actually as a sign of Shunji’s love for her. He’s protecting her for crying out loud! He wants her to see that. Also, she said how she rather suffer than be free like this while her comrades are in dangerous situation. He deliberately gives her what she wants.

Rie thinks that his feelings are ruining an endeavour. But what she doesn’t realize is that hers are ruining it as well. The fact that she hates Mok Dan stems more on jealously that Kang To likes her more.

Shunji and Rie have always been a pair of contrasting forces. They both want to get stronger for different reasons. Rie to gain power and acceptance not only as a real Japanese but as a woman for Kang To.  As for Shunji, it’s to protect his lady love. It’s boils down to the same thing: They want their significant other. Too bad they end up clashing at each other.

It’s see to know that Kang To understands finally that Ra Ra approached him intentionally. It makes you wonder how he’ll deal with her later on. Anyway, what was the best thing about this episode was the fall out of the BIG revelation.

I was surprised that Kang To disclosed the fact that he’s the young master. But if it’s the only way to make Mok Dan go to his side, so be it. That scene was so jarring. It’s natural to be in disbelief. She can’t process how it’s possible that a despicable person was who she pinned all her hopes on. The tears and angst there was where I saw Mok Dan’s strength as a character. In the end, Kang To didn’t get the information he needed.

He approached Dam Sa Ri instead. I liked how the two of them look at death differently. They don’t want lives to be wasted. For Kang To, he wants to give tribute and meaning to the lives that were gone. On the other hand, Dam Sa Ri wants to protect those who are still alive because they are

Another thing I loved was the mini-tag team batlle! Love how feisty even the women are when they fight. Wowowowowow! Kudos to Rie, those were some crazy action scenes. I was amazed they took the action several levels higher. I was a bit frustated at Mok Dan that she just stood there gaping. She’s so stupid to stay and wait when Gaksital told her to leave while he hold them off. Anyway, I like how she finally knows he’s Gaksital even though the execution with the horse is not what I had in mind.

I guess we’ve got to hand it to the beautiful directing that this week had. My golly, I have not seen movement and use of space portrayed so well. Another thing worth commending is that Jin Se Yeon has finally started to improve her acting! I always thought that Joo Won and Park Ki Woong were the stronger actors but she’s finally getting her act together. Hopefully she can deliver once more.

PS. Sorry the incohesive post. Not feeling well, just forcing myself to write so you guys could read on time.

Big Episode 15-16 (completed)!

I know there are a lot of people who threw rage fits in the last two hours. Well I’m more forgiving but I understand where they are coming from. Noble idiocy! OMG, that’s a big no no! I like the thought of making Da Ran strong enough to be without him. It’s quite cute and sweet. But erasing and throwing everything isn’t the way to go because Da Ran is already stronger than that. She’s willing to fight for Kyung Joon no matter what circumstance there may be. The fact she knew that it was all an act, is proof she knows and loves him all too well. Although this case of noble idiocy brings us back to the point that Kyung Joon is really a child. He thinks he’s protecting Da Ran but he won’t admit that he’s protecting himself as well. It’s an annoying trope and set-up that I wished wasn’t done. Its purpose is undermined due to the predictability factor.

Delving deeper into this noble idiocy, it would have been better to have a clean break up with the open-ended promise of going back together. But of course, this is just wishful thinking.

Choong-shik does bring a point about what the head doesn’t remember, the heart will. They should have taken the chance earlier and explore that struggle instead. Well the ramen metaphor makes up for it by a tiny bit.

 I’m glad that that the noble idiocy in the first half of episode 15 ended with Kyung Joon’s realization that Da Ran was prepared to leave. The difference with their preparedness for the situation is a far contrast. Da Ran did play her share of being a noble idiot. But that’s only to show Kyung Joon what it feels like to be treated in that manner. I’m not sure how to react to Kyung Joon revealing the truth and ending it with the throwing of the watch. It literally shows he’s willing to dump all the memories because he knows it’ll disappear. I can’t agree how he easily gave up. That’s not the Kyung Joon I know!!!!

I’ve seen Da Ran’s spoiler pictures where she’s all dirty. Man, I didn’t think of the beauty behind the imagery until the actual episode. My golly, that was one of the most heartfelt confessions ever. I respect Da Ran so much now because of it. That award public confession just wanted me to give her a standing ovation. Bravo! Going back to the dirt, it symbolizes all the hardships she’s willing to go through just to get KKJ. That includes being accused as a “cheater” and judged for being a cougar.

Just a side comment for episode, what awful camera handling. The frame for some parts were shaking. I was a bit bothered by it and I’m not the type to comment on the angling and all. I guess it’s the effects of a live shoot.

Now to talk about the last hour. I’m sad to say that it was a BIG disappointment. I don’t have the heart to even write a comprehensive post like what I did for episode 15 because all they did was waste all the good stuff that could have happened. 😐

But before I go on on semi-rant mode, I must commend something. I love love love how strong Da Ran is. She decided to protect those memories. She’s willing to get hurt and called crazy just to remember all those time. She can’t pretend that he never existed. She can’t lie to her feelings. Now that’s a one of a kind strength. I had to replay her scenes over and over again because that’s the only thing that I loved for the last two episodes.

After the confession, the cute OTP moments begins once again! The question and answer game where he asks when she fell for him was adorable. Although it got tiring to a certain point because it felt like a mini-recap of everything that has transpired.  Including some of the next scenes that followed.

I was feeling really bored because I was more anxious about the switch. I wanted Da Ran to be able to tie all the loose ends with the Kyung Joon’s original body. BUT NO, nothing happened like that happened.

Then we have a time skip, which is a convention I personally hate so much. Everyone has their mini-happy endings. That annoyed me a lot because these characters were never important. They were just used as tools to  move the plot so they don’t deserve that kind of screen time. Hello, the Seo family didn’t even get that kind of focus when the story was about making Kyung Joon be part of the family. Plus, The switch never really happened from what I understood. It’s good they got to together but the execution sucked BIG time.

My parting thoughts is that I’m disappointed. I was one of Big’s fervent supporters from the beginning. I love the mystery so much, it’s just that they weren’t able to play with the elements properly. So much wasted potential that I don’t know where to begin. I’m sad that I can’t include this in my top dramas because the flaws are too much to handle. Gong Yoo, you were the only saving grace for most part. Your great acting has convinced me that this wasn’t the best for an army comeback. I hope you get a good project next time.  Anyway, the Hong Sisters should take a break and reassess their dramas. I guess it’s good to look from a bigger perspective to be able to create something worthwhile again. Below is an alternate ending MV. I wish it was like that but my it’s still not enough for me to love the drama as much as I did before:

Update: Apparently the final umbrella scene is KKJ in his own body, but he just looks like Yoon Jae because they were meant to be twins (but KKJ’s embryo was frozen). So KKJ has aged and looks more mature and like his brother. The Hong Sisters left the ending open for interpretation though but it’s not as if this one is the best answer.

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