Sit tight. Because what you’re about to read is a tale so fantastical it’ll leave you alternately reeling and hooting. If owls (and diaper-clad chickens) are your thing, and if you enjoy intrigue and romance (and also a spot of comedy, intentioned or not), you’ve come to the right place.
But first, a disclaimer. Any resemblance in this story to old or current TV fare is purely coincidental and should not be misconstrued as mischief (punishable by hard labor on a treeless and TV-less island). If there’s any mischief at all, you’ll find it in this extremely tall tale, all eighty-two episodes of it. And now we begin with Episode 1.
Gong Hyo-jin is really pretty in Biscuit Teacher and Star Candy, perhaps the prettiest I’ve ever seen her. That “you’re putty in my hands” sneer is so captivating I go crazy screencapping it. At this rate (500 screencaps for episode 1 and 829 for episode 2), I’ll need a restraining order by the fourth episode. Stop being so cute, Show!
But don’t stop doling out the surprises. Because you should see how my eyes widened when THIS GUY appeared.
The name’s Karl. Karl Go. Male lead character in Get Karl! Oh Soo-jung. What do you mean, you’ve never heard of my drama? Fine, I’ll concede that quality-wise we rank way down the pecking order in that year of sterling offerings, but I’ll have you know my drama boasts something that none of the other 2007 dramas can lay claim to.
A fat suit.
Sure, I looked like Barney the Purple Dinosaur in my fat suit, but is that my fault? Damned budget cuts eating into my prosthetic makeup and causing me to look like someone dunked my head into a tub of violet-red paint. Still, I was king of the kdrama fat suit and reigned without a rival for four heady years.
And then Romance Town (2011) came along. HE came along. Waaahhh!!!
I need to begin this post with a little rant. Who coined the title Hateful But Once Again?
It isn’t just about semantics. Try substituting “hateful” with any other adjective (like “batty” or “butyraceous”). The phrase is still ungrammatical and illogical. But once again what?
So I’m going to go with Again, My Love as my preferred name for this 2009 drama. Privately, though, I’m calling it The Lioness, the Itch and the Warthog. Don’t tell the folks at KBS.
The “lioness” in the drama is Han Myung-in (Choi Myung-gil).
The children wait expectantly, one of them more eager than the rest. A childless couple is coming to the orphanage that day, purportedly to check out a child to adopt, although in reality the wife is reluctant, insisting she will one day conceive. So what if ten years of trying have produced only tears and a bitter resolve? But the husband is adamant, so to the orphanage they go.
Already identified for them is a young boy, Hong Eun-sub (Kang Ji-sub). If the couple picks him, Eun-sub’s life will change forever, for the couple is a pair of professors, learned and rich. But in the end they choose another child, a girl whose tear-stained face caught their eyes, whose death-grip hug took the woman by surprise. And so they leave, with Kim Han-suk. All Eun-sub can do is throw himself on the ground, his anguished cries echoing through the orphanage.
Kim Han-suk is renamed Shin Do-young (Shim Eun-kyung) and for a while everything is perfect. Her new parents dote on her; isn’t she their only child, after all? But shortly after, the mother discovers she is pregnant. Overwhelmed that her cherished dream will soon become reality, the mother says aloud to her husband (and within Do-young’s earshot) that they should not have hurried to adopt.
The arrival of the baby girl, Ji-young, means Do-young is now an afterthought for her mother. Not a day passes where she is not made aware that she is less loved and wanted. Her sister owns all of their mother’s heart and all Do-young can do is watch with growing resentment… until one day when a reckless impulse leads her to do the unthinkable.