Strange. I never expected a melo about life and times of a woman set in the political and financial background during the 1970-1990’s to trump over Joseon Gunman. What is even stranger – it’s actually pretty good. Melodramas are not my preferred genre by far, though I can pick up one if it doesn’t scare me away within the first few episodes. 🙂 This usually means that the whole package is tied up neat and not peppered with overblown makjangy elements. Oh, there are a couple of gory deaths, a birth secret or two, suffering, plotting, betrayal, revenge and endless luuuuurve but all part of the parcel with no appendixes dangling outside. Neat and orderly it is and if we are lucky it’ll stay that way till the end. You never know with these long ass dramas.
What Endless Love has managed to do right is to make me care about the characters and what happens to them, right off the bat. I also find the whole political/financial set up very interisting and I’m already intrigued enough to want to see how all these different storylines develop and what the end result may be. The cast is very good across the board and as far as I can tell, there are no weak links. As per the caveat of most melos, life is a valley of shadows, but so far Endless Love has not been a total weep fest. Don’t expect the funnies any time soon though, This Is A Serious Bizniz.^^
There aren’t all that many good dramas centered around a female protagonist but I think we’ve seen more of those made in the past few years. Or maybe it’s just that I have recently watched several with females in the central roles. Anyways, Endless Love also happens to have a female antagonst, Min Hye Rin who seems to be a slightly toned down, female version of Daddy Satan of Giant, with an appropreate moniker of Steel Butterfly. What’s with all these psyco ladies in dramaland recently? XD This one isn’t a comical harpy though but an intelligent and rather scary individual with resources and manpower to do a world of harm, if she so deems. She may have found her match in our heroine In Ae though. At ep 8 In Ae is still just a kid but she already has the makings of another scary lady and I’m looking forward to her journey of becoming just as formidable as the other one. It’s not going to be smooth sailing (is it ever) and there will be heartbreak and more hard times ahead (almost guaranteed). Steel is tempered in a fire, so I’m sure she’ll come out several shades tougher. Hopefully with her soul still intact, it’s a commodity easily lost or sold in the world she’ll soon be entering.
What would a kdrama be without a triangle or two and In Ae already has three men oribiting her, ha. There are Kwang Hoon and Kwang Chul, mismatched brothers and her childhood pals. Kang Hoon is the older of the pair. He is the serious, accomplished ‘good son’ and In Ae’s sweetheart since way back when. He is an interesting character but I find it hard to warm up to him. He is such a prick at times and I don’t like how condencending he is always towards Kwang Chul. Yeah, KC is a handful but he is not stupid nor is he inately bad, boy’s got a seriously soft heart. With such a paragon as an older brother it was pretty much destined that Kwang Chul would become a rebel. He’s been carrying a torch for In Ae for years as well. The third satelite orbiting In Ae is Tae Kyung, the son of the prime minister and Hye Rin. He is a wild card and I don’t yet know what sort of place he’ll have in In Ae’s life, other than being in love with her too. Probably an ally, which certainly won’t go down well with Mommy Dearest. At the moment he is still to young and powerless to even break free from the constraints set by her mother but I can see it happening later on.
Both Kwang Hoon and Kwang Chul each have a daughter of a powerful man crushing on them. Talk about synchronity. ;P Hye Jin is the viley daughter of KH’s boss, General Chun and dead set on marrying KH. As papa is of the same mind, she may well succeed in the long run. KC’s little fan is Tae Kyung’s younger sister, Se Kyung. She is a bit of a spoiled brat but I like her. There’s no malice in her and it’s been fun watching the bickering and KC getting totally flustered with her. I don’t see her snaring KC though, he is treating her like an annoying little sister. Besides, I don’t think anyone or anything can oust In Ae from his heart. There’s the big difference with these brothers. KC is willing to do just about anything for IA, even die if that’s what is needed. KH on the other hand….. He is too ambitious and by now between a rock and a hard place. If he chooses In Ae, he can kiss goodbye to any governmental position he might fancy as that would get him in serious trouble with his boss and mentor. Maybe even put those near him in danger. General Chun is not someone to be trifling with and he is clearly set on having KC marry into the family. If KC Chooses the Chun family he’ll loose In Ae and clearly he does love her a lot. I’m just not convinced it’s enough to turn his back on a ‘future so bright you need to wear shades’. Besides, he is already in so deep with all things General Chun that breaking away may not even be an option anymore. He should have gone while the going was good. Dang that lust for prestige and power!
All roads lead to Rome and all kdrama roads lead to Seoul. The world in kdramas tends to be rather claustrophobic and everyone is connected to everyone else, often several times over. Endless Love is no different. Insted of the one usual workplace/conglomerate to unite them all, here it’s the politacal and montary circles the main threesome ends up in, albeit all through quite different roads. It’ll be interesting to see where the battle lines are going to be drawn.