Double review today! No idea why but I usually finish things around the same day, haha. I decided to watch this drama out of boredom last week, because I needed something already completed that would be light and not boring. Fate wanted that I chose what I was looking for.
“Successful story of a bright girl” is an old drama (2002) by the same writer of “The girl who sees smells” which I previously reviewed. I wouldn’t define it a comedy per se, but not a melodrama either. Let’s say it’s something in between. It is light and optimistic, but it also presents tough situations that were typical of those dramas of the first decades of 2000 and that now we mostly see on makjang projects or dark melodramas. Back then, it had very high ratings.
SSOABG stars Jang Hyuk as Han Gi Tae, a wealthy guy who is the CEO of a company that produces cosmetics. He is not very good at managing it yet, and has bad temper that results in fights and mistreating people. One day, when he is doing a photo shoot for a magazine, he lands – literally – into the bathtub where Cha Yang Soon, a high-school student of a remote place on the mountains played by Jang Na Ra, is bathing. He loses an important necklace there, and there’s a comic moment when he tries to retrieve it. But this is not the last moment where the two meet. Because her parents are swindlers, Yang Soon is obliged to serve as a housemaid in a rich Seoul household to pay for their fraud, and the house where she has to work belongs to Gi Tae. Yang Soon will teach him to be less impulsive and treat others better, while he will fall for her because she is able to control his temper and rally him to do his best instead of getting angry when something that seems irreparable happens in his life.
First considerations first. I had watched Jang Hyuk and Jang Na Ra last year in “Fated to Love You”, which I appreciated like there is no tomorrow because I do not hide that I love the stories with forced marriages and unexpected pregnancies. I am a bit of a cliché girl, but whatever! I knew that the chemistry of the snail couple was superb, and here it is no less. Plus, you can tell that they are the same as they are now, and they got even better with time. I really like the way they act, and especially Jang Hyuk can pull off a variety of faces that not everyone is able to do. He can be funny, he can be hella mad (his character here was sort of psycho at times), he can cry, and other stuff. Jang Na Ra is also a good actress. She is one of the few that made me cry with her realistic interpretation of relatable characters such as Yang Soon here and Mi Kyung on FTLY. Perhaps the only thing I didn’t like was her accent on this drama, but it was in her character’s personality and it wasn’t intentional.
In general, this was a story of a fall and a rise. Han Gi Tae is wealthy, but he soon loses everything he has to the hands of his false right hand Oh Joon Tae (Ryu Soo Young), who wants to push away the unexperienced Gi Tae to take his place and manage the company. He was a good villain, and I honestly got mad at him several times because he was such a bastard – go to my twitter if you want to check, haha. To this moment, despite I am done with the drama, I haven’t realized what was the main reason behind all of his manoeuvres. I asked myself whether I was dumb, or it was just unclear, then I decided to declare that Joon Tae wanted Gi Tae’s possessions because he loved Yoon Na Hee (Han Eun Jeong), GT’s childhood friend who was in love with him. Perhaps Joon Tae thought that if he also was wealthy and high like his enemy, the woman will love him. He didn’t understand that she loved GT because of him, not because of the money. Speaking of her, this was another character that made me bang my head into the wall. She has loved and has stuck behind Gi Tae since the very first scene she’s in. She cannot bear that he doesn’t feel the same, because she thinks that if she persists, she will succeed. It is good to show determination, but a person must comprehend his/her limits. Basically girl, if he doesn’t love you now because he likes another, he is not probably going to change his mind anytime soon. The wounds of the heart do not heal quickly, unless the person in question regards feelings lightly and flies from a bird to another.
If there is one more thing to say, is the fact that in between I felt a bit lost. In the first 5-6 episodes, there’s a few months of the story narrated, then there is a flash forward that leads to the second arc of the drama where there’s the fall of Gi Tae and the rebuild of his company and the “re-education” of himself to a better human being. At times, the plot seemed to be going nowhere, and I found some explanations empty and just straight out crazy. Perhaps it was just me or the incomplete and bad subtitles, who knows. But I was really getting confused at some point, as if the drama was losing its initial focus and was going into makjang territory. Perhaps it really did go there, because old dramas even by SBS and KBS used to be a little like that. See “What Happened in Bali” or “Sorry I love You”, for example. The writers liked to exaggerate and make every thing more like a soap opera, while now they are more controlled and try to write more realistic works that yet, most of the times get bad ratings because most of the time it’s the same old story revised on a new side. The modern writers must gather their ideas to create something new, although as a writer myself, I know it’s hard and it’s easier said than done. But one can still hope. If there are some dramas that still have success – may it purely by high ratings or by popularity given by streaming sites – it means that there is still something and someone who catches the attention of the viewer.