Monday Musings – Hyde Jekyll and me
First, I would like to say that I will probably be dividing this post between two days because there is just so much that I want to talk about. The first post will be about Korean Dramas I’ve been watching lately, why I decided to start watching my most recent K-drama, and the first of three reasons as to why I don’t really enjoy it even though I really want to. I will complete the post tomorrow with the other two reasons.
Recently I’ve been spending more time watching Korean Dramas. As I’ve grown older, I’ve become pickier when it comes to picking out Korean Dramas. When I was in college, I basically liked watching your typical boy girl romantic love stories. And sure, I still love those now, but I usually try to find dramas that have some sort of story beyond just the romantic aspect. Over winter break, my entire family started watching “Pinocchio,” which we have recently just finished watching, and loved – even my dad. We also started watching “Healer,” which has its moments. Overall we feel “Healer” is a little weaker than “Pinocchio” but it has some great scenes peppered throughout the drama.
Now that “Healer” is almost done as well, I thought it was time to start looking for my next drama, and I finally settled on “Hyde Jekyll and Me” starring none other than Hyun-Bin, the man that made so many girls swoon (me included) when he acted in “Secret Garden” almost four years ago. Despite being arrogant and annoying, we wanted to root for Hyun-Bin’s character Kim Joo Won, and we all felt touched when he finally started showing his sensitive emotional side. We loved when Kim Joo Won bickered with Gil Ra Im (played by Ha Ji Won), but we loved it even more when he was being sweet to her. We loved his fashion choices in the drama (I mean who could forget the blue sequin tracksuit that he sported, which he claimed was made in Italy with each sequin hand stitched on) and of course my favorite part in the entire drama was when Joo Won and Ji Won switched souls and Hyun-Bin was forced to act like a girl. I could even forgive the last two episodes of the drama when it started to feel like they didn’t know how to end the series and started to do what typical Korean drama do, which is to throw in everything but the kitchen sink (but in this drama, I think they threw in the kitchen sink too!)
After being on hiatus, due to serving his 21 month mandatory compulsory military service, Hyun-Bin finally made his drama come back with “Hyde Jekyll and Me,” which I thought would be perfect to watch. I was also intrigued with the plot, which consisted of Hyun-Bin playing a person with multiple personalities (Cold cynical Gu Seo Jin, next CEO of Wonder Group, and Robin, his kind gentle alter ego who likes to rescue people), hence the title of the drama. I figured if there was anybody who is able to pull of the multiple personality shtick and make it believable, it would be Hyun-Bin.
So far, I am on episode 4 of the drama, and I have to say I am actually kind of disappointed. I will continue to give the drama a chance, only because it starts Hyun-Bin, but today what I would like to talk about is why this drama has been such a disappointment so far.
First, In both “Secret Garden” and “Hyde Jekyll and Me” Hyun-Bin’s character lives in extravagant houses, seemingly in the middie of nowhere. Where this works for Kim Joo Won in “Secret Garden,” it feels wrong in “Hyde Jekyll and Me (I’m simplifying this to HJ&M from now on). Kim Joo Won’s house is a perfect representation of him. Kim Joo Won’s house is located on a large plot of land, surrounded by nothing but trees and wilderness. The front of the house consists of a wall of windows, which allow the people living in the house to feel like they are part of nature. There are barely any actual walls in the house, bedroom and bathroom included. This makes this house perfect for a claustrophobic like Kim Joo Won. The fact that the house probably costs an arm and a leg is also the perfect reminder that Kim Joo Won is CEO of Loel department store. I am also totally in love with the pond located outside the house, as well as the little dock that spans the pond, which is the perfect place for Kim Woo Jon to stroll when he needs to work things out in his head.
However, I am not feeling Seo Gu Jin’s house in HJ&M. Yes, it is also located in what seems to be the middle of nowhere. Yes, the house is huge, much bigger than Kim Joo Won’s house in “Secret Garden.” Yes the house has a crazy cool green house where Seo Gu Jin meditates and is even the entrance to a secret room, but it’s basically just a house. To me Seo Gu Jin’s house is just an overly extravagant house, decorated to show that Seo Gu Jin is extremely rich. Everything in the house doesn’t feel like it belongs to Seo Gu Jin. It’s just there because the set decorators felt like that is what a rich person should have in their house. Even the outside of the house is extremely bare, there is literally no landscape whatsoever. The only room that I kind of like is his greenhouse/meditation room, but upon further inspection, even that room disappoints me. While I love the idea of having a greenhouse in my house, I was very disappointed by the decorating of that room. The first thing I noticed was the ivy hanging over the wall which actually doubles as a secret entrance to the “filming room/computer room.” If you’re going to spend that much money tricking out the rest of his house, blatantly slapping us in the face that he is rich, you could at least spend a little more money on real ivy, and not EXTREMELY fake plastic looking ivy that we have to see every time Seo Gu Jin/Robin walk into that room (which is quite often). And it’s not even just the ivy. All of the plants and flowers in the greenhouse look fake and randomly stuck in the ground., I am even disappointed in Robin’s house, which we only got a quick glimpse of in episode 3. Although from what I have seen, it does look somewhat better than Seo Gu Jin’s house, I really don’t think it is that much better. I mean, he has been gone for 5 years right? So why is the outside of his house decorated for Christmas? Why is decorating for him? Did he pay someone? Or are they doing it for free? Who would decorate someone’s house for free? Why is his house in perfect condition without a speck of dust if he has truly been gone for 5 years? Why does none of this make sense? All these problems and questions make getting into the drama really hard.
If you want to read more about my ranting on the new drama Hyde Jekyll and Me, please tune in tomorrow for more.