Every once in a while I will watch a drama that will make me re-agonize over my top 5 list, and this is one of them. I knew from the very 1st episode that this would be one of my new favorite dramas, even though I'm about 7 years late. I literally stayed up all night ,and into the morning, because I could not stop watching. In a lot of ways, this is just another k-drama rom-com with a familiar plot, but it's so well done that it truly stands out. Kim Sun Ah made Kim Sam Soon one of my favorite K-Drama leads ever! Sam Soon is loud, stubborn, charming, emotional, unfiltered, and absolutely hilarious. She was equal parts frustrating, & inspiring to watch. She's not the usual passive female lead, and I loved watching her take charge of a situation. She is matched up with Hyun Bin as Hyun Jin Hun, who walks the line between arrogance & charm so expertly well. At first I didn't recognize him, because he looks so different in this compared to Secret Garden, but his performance in this reminded me of all the things I loved about him in that drama. Together, their chemistry made them a rom-com dream team. The fact that they didn't fit seamlessly together, and that they were not always good to each other, made their relationship feel more honest. I think they were the perfect blend between discord, and harmony. I could literally watch them go at it all day... in fact, that's exactly what i did. lol. The lead performances were a clear 10 for me, and every minor character in the supporting cast was also really great, but I feel like I have to deduct at least 1 point for the 2 supporting leads. It's clear that Daniel Henney's purpose in this drama was to be eye candy. Most of his scenes involve him smiling at people while they teach him Korean language & culture. His acting was decent enough, but far from good. Jung Ryeo Won's performance was also underwhelming. As much as I loved to hate her character, there were also quite a few moments when I cringed through some of her acting scenes (in both languages). It was initially jarring to hear so much english spoken in scenes, with actual fluent speakers, but it made their acting inexperience much more obvious to me. The only moments of boredom I felt during this drama was when these two were the focus. I admit that the plot wasn't exactly original, but it wasn't typical either. The love stories in this drama are far less innocent than the k-drama norm, which was nice to see. There were many great rewatchable rom-com moments between Hyun Bin & Kim Sun Ah, and they share one of the best kiss scenes that I've seen in a drama. Music also plays a key element in the story, which I liked, but I wasn't particularly impressed with the soundtrack. Overall, It's lol hilarious, yet emotionally realistic. Even when the tone of the drama began to change, It never lost it's momentum. I continued to be excited about watching each episode, and I enjoyed every one till the very end. This drama could have easily ended with a pleasingly cheesy conclusion, but instead the ending was simple, and inspiring. I think all rom-com fans should have this on their "to watch" list. Forgive the old school phones, and the ugly clothes, and I think this stands up against any current drama. I agree that "My Name is Kim Sam Soon" is one of the best dramas that I've seen, classic or not. I can see myself easily watching this drama again, & again... while eating a lot of pastries, of course : )
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