Once upon a time, there lived a man called Cinderella.
(What do you mean, that’s a name for girls? Says who? Some fairy tale? No, I’m not changing it to Prince! Okay, fine. We’ll just call him Cinderella Man, happy? Geez.)
He was also called Oh Dae-san. And Lee Joon-hee. Because you see, there were two of him. In build, stubble and number of earlobe piercings they were the same; even their hair was the exact length and shade. But there were also subtle differences.
It was about two weeks ago that I had this ‘brilliant’ idea to create a poll of our favorite actors and their most-loved roles. So I posted the first poll (male roles) and then the second (female roles), patted myself on the back and went about my merry way, whistling.
And then it started. A reader told me I had left out Song Il-gook. Oops. Then, while happily sipping my Diet Coke at a mall, I nearly choked when one missing name popped into my head. Uhm Tae-woong!
Still, I resisted. I’m made of sterner stuff, after all.
But last night I was brushing my teeth before bed (and I tend to get some of my wildest ideas for recaps and posts when my mouth is full of toothpaste foam, don’t ask me why) when it hit me.
A trip to the video store got me thinking: What sets me apart from that woman near me who’s also browsing the Korean Dramas section?
Look at me. I recognize most of the titles in that section. I even know which are second or third releases because the covers are different. When approached by a sales assistant, I smile beatifically and reply, “It’s okay, I’m just looking.”
That woman near me, on the other hand, seems completely lost. It’s like she’s looking at a parade of ants; how can she tell them apart? She listens attentively as the sales assistant sings the praises of Cruel Love: “This one is very good. See, Kwon Sang-woo!” It takes every ounce of control in me not to march over and snatch the set away. “Cruel Love? You’ve got to be kidding. Don’t touch it with a ten-foot pole! Here, try H.I.T. instead. It has Ha Jung-woo.”
The cashier doesn’t know it, but the customers standing in line to pay for their Korean dramas are all different. We may look like the same species, but I assure you we are each cut from a different cloth. After more than six years of “study,” allow me to present to you the six degrees separating us from each other. See if you can recognize yourself.
I watched Delicious Proposal (MBC, 2001) a long time ago, back in the age of the dodos when I didn’t know how to do screencaps (or was too lazy to?). Thus, excuse the lack of scene-corresponding pics!
This drama caught my attention for two reasons. First, So Ji-sub! (In a supporting role, alas.) Second, its director was none other than Park Sung Soo, PD of Ruler of Your Own World.
Delicious Proposal marks Son Ye-jin‘s debut and you can tell right off that this young actress is going to go places. Even as a supporting character, her acting is natural and assured. There are many familiar faces in the cast, including two actors (other than So Ji-sub) who now have legions of fans. Back then they were likely still unknowns. (Read on to find out who they are!)
Showcasing wok wizardry and rivalry, the first two episodes set the stage for this 16-episode drama.