Thoughts on: Lovers

(LJ 22/3/2008)

Yes, I’m now going to blather about Lovers – a lot, so you’ve been warned. ;P I need to get this baby to bed, it’s been crowding my thoughts far too much of late. Lovers is another K-drama and they really seem to be utter crack for me. I can’t start watching one without getting obsessive. So I think I’m going to take a little break now. Anyhow here’s some thoughts upon Lovers.

It’s an odd sort of drama that mood wise is split in three. It starts out as a funny RomCom. Some of the early episodes are laugh-out-loud silly. Then it mutates into a cute love story with some shadows already apparent, to finish off as a dark drama. It did get somewhat melodramatic at times but I don’t think it crossed the line to maudlin at any time. I love the cast of characters and adore the main couple.

Kang Jae is a gangster, a bossman in one of the local crime organisations. He’s a tough cookie who doesn’t think twice about bashing someone’s head in if need be. Well, it’s a given really because the sort of life he’s had. And orphan who got ‘adopted’ into the crime family in his teens and had to fight his way to up the position he’s now in. But there’s also a softer side that can manifest at the most inappropriate moments, embarrassing the hell out of him. He’s so cute when he’s all confused, ha. Well, his ‘downfall’ is Min Joo, a slightly ditzy plastic surgeon with a good heart. She is supporting his widowed father who is a reverend and takes care of few orphans he’s adopted. The twain happen to meet and since then the fates seem determined to push them together. They start bumping into each other in the oddest of places and their lives start getting entangled in other ways as well. Against their will and better judgement, they start falling, hard – in love.

All the secondary characters are great as well. There’s Sae Yeon, the son of Kang Jae’s big boss who also falls for Min Joo; Yu Jin, Kang Jae’s pregnant girlfriend who just happens to be Min Joo’s next door neighbour (yeah, yeah, I know but it kdrama); Sang Taek, Kang Jae’s right hand man (whom I loved dearly btw and I’m now very pissed off about his fate); Tae San, Kang Jae’s cute overall dogsbody; Chang Bae, another bossman in the same organisation who’s Kang Jae’s rival and a very scary S.O.B (the actor playing CB is wonderful!); Mrs Kang – Sae Yeon’s mommy dearest, lol…. and several other interesting types we meet along the way.

Lovers is funny, sweet, romantic, sad, dark, violent in places, filled with emotions and there’s enough sexual tension to fuel a powerhouse. I especially loved all those moments that seemed to be so highly charged with emotion that they crackled. One of my favourite spots is when Kang Jae meets Min Joo outside of her apt building. She babbles, he just stares at her (yup, there’s lot of that) then when MJ starts to leave KJ grabs her arm, pulls her into his arms and hugs her. Then he looks at her again for a moment and touches her face ever so gently, almost kissing her but instead hugs her again and rushes away. Leaving shell shocked Min Joo standing on the spot. Oh, poor bewildered Kang Jae. You can see how he fights with his feelings, trying to understand what’s going on. He’s got a pregnant girlfriend of many years and his life was, well – so predictable. Then along comes this woman who drives him mad in more ways than one and he just can’t seem to get her out of his mind. Ah, the angst! Anyway when KJ grabs MJ’s arm I got goosebumps, the hair in my neck was standing on end and I think I forgot to breathe till the scene was over.

The the ending, I don’t seem to get that out of my mind. The last episode is so depressing. But it works, fuck. I don’t know what the makers had in mind but to me it signifies ‘The End’. It’s Kang Jae’s purgatory, he really needed to crash and burn in order to make a clean break from his past. Of course, being Kang Jae he tries to purge all of his past. Then there’s the guilt tripping. Honey, it’s ok to feel guilty, a lot of it did happen because of you. But taking a blame on all that’s wrong with this world is a bit overdoing it. Global warming did not happen just because of you. I do forgive you though, you did come to your senses in the end.

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