So this drama has gotten a lot of press, both bad and good. But hey, bad press is still press, right? From finding a female lead to starting the adult portion shoot 1 week before its original premiere date, “I Miss You” had some trouble from the start. Now let’s be clear about one thing: I shamelessly admit that I’m one of those girls who watches drama for the pretty faces. Despite Yoochun’s mediocre acting skills, I still move my faces 6 inches closer to the screen whenever he comes on. I don’t even have to start on my obsession with Yoo Seung Ho (and his ability to kiss). And come on, Yeo Jin Goo playing little Yoochun? Who can resist that?
The premise of the drama is abut two teenagers from different worlds falling in love. Jung Woo (JW) is a chaebol, complete with an evil stepmother to boot. Soo Yeon (SY) is a poor girl with a father who was wrongly convicted and executed as a murderer. And overcoming all the odds, the two bond when they are being bullied by their classmates. The chemistry between Jin Goo and So Hyun is clearly there. Both portray the innocence of a first love exquisitely. When JW fixes the lamp and reaches over SY, a scene that will be mirrored by their adult halves, I can literally see the electricity shooting between their eyes. It’s all great and everything, BUT (and it’s a big but) I can never see Jin Goo with anyone else but Kim Yoo Jung from “Moon That Embraces The Sun.” I feel bad for So Hyun b/c she’s a great actress and I definitely see her as one of the top stars in the future, but that one drama will always cast her in Kim Yoo Jung’s shadow. Anyways…
So after some angry adults with inheritance issues wreak havoc upon our couple, we get to see some really emotional and gut-wrenching scenes. JW’s step-grandma and her son (aka Yoo Seung Ho’s role – Hyung Joon) had to escape from JW’s evil money-snatching dad and stepmother, and in turn for JW’s dad kidnapping Hyung Joon, the step-grandma orders JW to be kidnapped. Still following me? Basically, it’s an eye for an eye – kidnapping style. When SY gets kidnapped along with JW, one of the kidnappers rapes SY in front of JW’s eyes. WTF? I know…it’s pretty drastic for a kdrama. It goes to show the progress of entertainment and the degree to which it reenacts our society. The rape scene isn’t shown and all the viewers see is JW’s reaction to such a gruesome crime. This scene was another shining moment for Yeo Jin Goo. The mix of desperation, anger, and hopelessness in his eyes are conveyed SO effectively on screen and I gotta give him major props. I bet every single viewer was screaming along with him. It was also a great choice made by the director to focus this scene on him and have JW convey the moment when his whole life changed and would be determined by this act.
The drama started off weak, with lower ratings than expected, and I wasn’t really surprised. The first episode started off slow, with a lot of adults fighting and not enough cutesy love scenes to pull me in. Then in episodes 3 and 4, we were thrown into this angsty ocean where our lovers struggle to stay together and all the problems come rushing in at once. I’ve read the basic plotline – JW grows up to be a tough cop who chases down every single criminal to make up for his inability to protect SY in the past while SY grows up with Hyung Joon and Hyung Joon is eventually friend-zoned because we all know our leads will end up together. Hyung Joon and JW will probably fight at first to continue their parent’s revenge but then make up in the end because they realize they’re not that different after all. It’s very typical, I have to say, and maybe this is because there has been so many dramas lately that challenge the conventional love triangle/revenge plot like Arang and the Magistrate, 49 Days, and Princess’s Man. The angry adults are the generic plot devices made to drive a wedge between our leads and really have no functions other than that so far. I mean it’s a solid foundation so far and the kids have set everything up nicely. But I’m more looking forward to seeing what our adult counterparts will bring and how many obstacles they must overcome to play out this love triangle.