Sunday, December 23, 2012

Cheongdam-dong Alice: Episode 8


Oh Se Kyung. How much further must you go with this plan of yours? Can't you see a chance for honesty and trust when it comes, rather than continuing to wade in a path of lies and deception? Our heroine's gone further down the rabbit hole of her marry-rich plot, and has made it clear she puts highest priority on the fake, guaranteed route over the slightly riskier, truthful one. I'm conflicted because we finally get to see a truly non-Candy, immoral heroine in dramaland, but she's not exactly as I'd hoped. I don't mean in terms of the deception, which I can understand, but more in terms of why she continues to cheat her way through when a much cleaner path stands waving its arms in front of her.

I didn't get much out of any of the women in this show today. We had Se Kyung doing less and less sympathizable things while shedding tears to (ineffectively) make us see just how conflicted she is, Yoon Joo continuing to overact her shaky-shock at the thought of being in-laws with Seung Jo, Ah Jung calling out but doing nothing to advise against Se Kyung's assholery, and Se Kyung's sister getting more screentime than her spoiled brat face should ever receive.

Se Kyung was clearly the winner of the least-desirable-female contest today. She does all of the following exceptionally irritating things:

1) Walks out before Seung Jo's introduction. To which I ask, WHY? If she were trying to maintain her facade, the smart thing to do would have been to stay put and let him identify himself. By leaving, she only roused his suspicions by leaving early for no reason. And it felt like a cop-out for both Seung Jo and the audience. I wanted to see some reactions, damn it!! Poor Seung Jo, standing alone after his lovely confession.


2) Stupidly leaves her cell phone, despite it being RIGHT UNDER HER FREAKING PURSE. Shock, I can understand. Stupidity to the point of failing to notice and grab the GIGANTIC ORANGE SAMSUNG GALAXY from right beneath your fingertips - no, I can't comprehend that.


3) Sits around writing an essentially nonsensical list of what's happened and what needs to be done while crying boatloads of tears that make no sense given the context of her decisions and situation. I'm sure she's crying for some symbolically sad reason like the fact that she's no longer a Candy right when she meets her perfect prince, but I still don't really get it. If she were a logical person, she should a) be happy that the Secretary Kim she likes is loaded, or b) be surprised and a bit upset at herself for rejecting him earlier, but still be happy. And realize that she should probably tell him the truth now, before her lies catch up with her. So why all the tears? Does she feel so far gone from her past self that she feels the need to cry about it? Does she feel sorry for what she's about to do to Seung Jo? I wonder if this is a logic gap in the writing, or if Moon just got carried away with the scene.


4) Has the gall to write a fake "I quit because I love Secretary Kim" letter and send it to Seung Jo. Just - I can't even. Cruel on so many levels, and even worse because the man actually shed tears for something so undeserving.


5) Refuses to back-off even when faced with Yoon Joo's clear unhappiness. That's just stupid. The girl is giving you a clear warning that things probably won't work out with your lies-lies-lies plan, and yet you keep moving with it. Also, walking around that hotel room with a "I'm going to get all these riches" expression on her face. Yes, please just rub your corruption all over the screen, cause I totally wouldn't get it otherwise.

6) Hides out like a deceptive coward at the bath house, again for unknown reasons. Is this the "absence makes the heart grow fonder" game? Isn't it a little early for this kind of dramaticism? Making Seung Jo run around unnecessarily after you is also extra mean.


7) Faking a surprised look at the end. Another moment when I kept hoping she'd see the light and tell him the truth, and another moment when she disappointed me. I shouldn't be surprised at how far she's going to go at this point, but I guess I'm conditioned to still think of her as a normal, essentially honest K-drama heroine. But the fake surprise gasp was just too much. I really hope Tommy Hong tells Seung Jo the truth SOON, like in the next episode. Time for this heartbreak act to end.

I need to start seeing some sort of humanity from this girl again, and by that I mean ACTION, not ineffective, useless tears of remorse that lead to nothing but further conviction. She's been hard to get behind from the beginning, and I can see less open-minded viewers getting seriously turned-off by her unrelentingly selfish, fake behavior. Even if I understand her, I don't support her nor do I care to see much more of this without some fair realizations on Seung Jo's part. Does she think she can get away with lying to him for a lifetime? Clearly.


Moving on, Yoon Joo's indiscretions paled against Se Kyung's here, but her persisting pathetic-ness still leaves a distaste in my mouth. As if kneeling to Cha Il Nam wasn't bad enough, she's still a quivering sack anytime Seung Jo is mentioned. Yes, we geddit, she loved Seung Jo. But she also chose to dump him, and she needs to start moving on and looking her mistakes in the face rather than shrinking in fear anytime they surface up. It's getting repetitive to watch this level of mopeyness from such an otherwise interesting character. I think the actress may be taking it too far with the deep breaths, unsteady hands, hands to the chest, and other exaggerated looks of PERPETUAL FEAR. Seriously girl, calm down, especially as you don't even know half the story yet.


Seung Jo was still cute, but his scenes were fewer than Se Kyung's in the episode, and I'm missing the oddball humor from the earlier episodes. He's gotten a little too sad and angsty, especially since the terrible truth hasn't even hit him yet. He also seems overly invested in a girl he's known for all of a few weeks, and whom I'd expect him to like but not lurve. They've only had two good conversations with each other, both in episode 6, but aside from that, he really only likes her because of who he thinks she is. Which we all know is no longer true. I want him to man-up (but still be quirky, cause I need some comedy in my life), and be strong and ready for the truth. Or better yet, do something himself rather than just be the naive, fooled rich man.

The main error in this episode is that it didn't allow the OTP to spend any time together, and all entirely due to an illogically evasive heroine. The drama flourishes when the two actors come together and sparkle off one another, and when that doesn't happen, we're left with two less interesting halves. At least one good aspect of Se Kyung's plan is that it should allow her plenty of quality time with Seung Jo, before the truth falls.

I wasn't left with an OMG I need the next episode now feeling after this, but I'm still really sad we'll need to wait two weeks until the episode 9 (time for some binge dramas to pass the time!)

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