So the long-awaited moment (for Yoon Eun Hye fans especially) has come. My Fair Lady, touted as YEH’s big comeback drama after 2 whole years has finally kick-started last Wednesday. And needless to say, almost everyone flocked to the Soompi drama thread to witness and laud upon the grand opening and entrance of Princess Hye Na (YEH’s character name in the drama). So, did it deliver?
First of all, I’ll digress a bit here. Let me just back-date to when Coffee Prince was such a huge sensation in 2007. I think I’m one amongst the minority group who didn’t go GAGA over Coffee Prince when it aired. I concur that YEH was probably best thing that ever happened to that drama (and I loved Eun Chan), but that’s pretty much all of it. Maybe because back then I wasn’t used to PD Lee’s way of delivering her lines and scenes (which I now have gotten used to, having watched CP and then Triple right after)? Her picture of the drama was somewhat more of a subtle and not so overdone mixture, a far cry from the usual K-drama standard and formulaic direction. It just wasn’t my style, thus my odd and weird indifference to the supposed (?) greatness of the drama. However, like I said before, YEH was a magical revelation in that drama. She brought so much heart to Eun Chan’s character that I just wanted to root for her in whatever she did. Be it to be with Han Gyul, to study overseas or whatever. She was an endearing and lovable character made a delectable feat to enjoy in the drama. A guilty pleasure amidst my ignorance of the drama’s overrated sensation. Whilst I don’t think she’s a great actress and all, I think she has improved A LOT counting from her Goong days to her CP days. People have reasons to love her, and I could see why. And from there, I could totally see why people would have high expectations for YEH to pull of this female Goo Jun Pyo (BOF) character, Hye Na in My Fair Lady. After all, how hard can it be for one to act mean, arrogant, bratty and *add whatever adjectives suitable for a bratty princess* when one already has the looks, the composure of a model, the style…etc? Surely YEH can do it, right? She has all what it takes.
So having seen the first 2 episodes, I can only conclude that everyone’s doing a mediocre job so far (well, save for Moon Chae Won – just love this girl! No reason hah!). Nothing more nothing less. Doesn’t sound too positive huh?
Well, let’s see why then.
- Fab and glammed up settings.
I liked how they introduced Hye Na in the beginning and all. What with her hailing from this super conglomerate group in Korea, being this most sought after model-heiress, her being capable in all kinds of stuff and so on. Her dresses and gowns were also spot on and chic (and for a fashion freak like me, I’d do anything to get one of her outfits man!). I also liked how they did some close-ups on how Hye Na was dressed and prep-upped daily for her countless occasions everyday. (Okay, I’ll admit it, I liked those scenes because I loved her pretty clothes and accessories, and I wished I had maids to dress me up too -___-’’… )
A lot of ppl lamented on the vast similarities it had to BOF’s introduction scene. But BOF was so crappy and forgettable that I just didn’t bother to even relate. I thought those scenes were well incorporated enough in MFL and I got the message. Who knows maybe in real life those rich and famous do the exact same things? I don’t know so I didn’t bother about it too much.
- Moon Chae Won as Eui Joo
Gosh, this girl should not be here in MFL. She totally deserves a leading role in another rom-com or something. I’ve been observing her since Painter of The Wind (her debut drama) and by then I already knew she would hit it big. Then in Brilliant Legacy she proved that she was able to tackle a villainous role and at the same time garner the sympathy of many. Not an easy feat I’d say. One word, this girl has immense TALENT.
Hark back to her role as Eui Joo in MFL. She plays this really spunky and happy-go-lucky friend of Dong Chan (played by Yoon Sang Hyun) who aspires to become a shoe designer. I totally love her take on this really ordinary but lovable role. Altho she comes off really un-trendy and un-fashionable in most of her scenes, she gives out this comfortable and happy vibe that makes you want to root for her. Can she get a guy for once please…pretty please… maybe Tae Yoon (although I’m not too fond of him, will get to that later)? Hehehehe…
I need to mention this suit that she wore when she went to get Dong Chan out of the police station in Ep 1. Goodness, the outfit was HIDEOUS!! But guess what, I thought she looked soooooo cute in it that I kept laughing and giggling non-stop. She was on the verge of tears seeing Dong Chan being detained but I was laughing like crazy@! 😛
If anything, MCW plays spunky and bratty pretty well…and the inner side of me thought, “If she played Hye Na, she would have rawked.” (Sorry YEH fans, if there are any here..)
- Emotional scenes by both YSH and YEH
Okay I know this is damn weird and random. But hey, that’s basically pretty much what I’ve observed from YSH and YEH in these 2 episodes… which actually warrants some good positive feedback.
The Yoons are definitely spot on when it comes to emotional scenes. I think they both cry beautifully. Altho I can’t agree entirely on the necessity of the scenes incorporated in the first 2 episodes, I did feel the intensified emotions going thru Dong Chan and Hye Na when they were crying or tearing up. And to top it up, they still look crazy good even when they’re in tears. *so unfair!*
I think things have progressed a bit too fast in Ep 2. But still, it’s better than them dragging out the whole thing. I’m a little bit worried that they may not have much to emphasize upon towards the middle/end if they draw out their cards on Dong Chan/Hye Na falling in love too soon. But so far so good…I’m crossing my fingers for that it would not turn too sappy or draggy soon.
- The triangle
Altho everything’s all cliché and done before, I really appreciate how the drama’s trying to bring it all out again for amusement and enjoyment. The skits and comedy aren’t the funniest or the most laughable, but I think I’ll enjoy the drama because of the triangular relationship between Hye Na, Dong Chan and Tae Yoon. Altho I’m not the least intrigued by their characters, but I’m looking forward to see how their relationships will pan out. The preview of Ep 3 showed DC teaching HN to attract TY, and to me, it’s the best way to test DC and HN’s relationship. I’m not expecting something really extraordinary out of this, but nothing beats having to feel the pain turmoil of characters pining for love in a Kdrama (and I get to see YSH’s sparkling watery eyes again! YAY).
(I have plenty to complain here, so please do not continue if you have a tendency to flare up when you read anything negative about your idol YEH, YSH and JIW – yes, I’m overall indifferent to their performances here.)
- Hye Na (YEH)
I wouldn’t categorize her as a miscast in MFL. But she has definitely done better and IS capable of doing better. There is something about her acting style in here that bugs me. I don’t exactly know what it is, but it’s definitely not great or stellar. (I also blame her failure to come off convincing on the penning of her character.)
First of all, her character Hye Na’s supposed to be like the Gu Jun Pyo in BOF. But heck, I didn’t feel any GJP vibe from her at all. BOF may have been devastatingly bad, but Lee Min Ho was the only one who made a difference in the drama. It probably would have been better if they did not publicize everything and say how HN would be the female GJP, cos she’s not even CLOSE. (Okay, not YEH’s fault.. my fault for harboring too much expectations.)
While I think she’s good in emotional scenes (like others say so about her), I think she over-reacts a bit when she’s angry. Granted that she didn’t appear angry that many times in the 2 episodes (cos most of the time she’s just annoyed or irritated), I only have myself to blame for having spotted her overdone expressions. Reminds me of Da Hae playing the angst-y Hye Rin in East of Eden (a drama I would like to chuck away in the trash bin). But still, that didn’t bother me too much.
What bothered me to a very HUGE extent, was YEH’s lisp/slurry speech and her way of walking. Goodness, forgive me for being expletive here, I really HATE the way she walks! I can cut her a whole lot of slack when it comes to her slurry speech, because a lot of her fans said that’s how she speaks in real life, so it’s okay. But the way she walks really irritates me to no end. She’s supposed to come off really confident and arrogant…but when she walks, I just see plain vanity and acting. She’s trying too hard.
I’d really like to see the YEH in Coffee Prince. Who had so much heart. Who had color. The HN in MFL lacks the spunk, feistiness and is like a half-baked potato. She should be arrogant and mean but isn’t, and even if she isn’t meant to be one, it doesn’t seem like she’s the other way round either. It’s like the actress is trying to grasp her way around to find a solid ground on what kind of princess/heir-ess she should be. Paris Hilton or Nicky Hilton.
- Dong Chan (YSH)
I never expected myself to include YSH in this category. But sorry to say, I’m just not happy with what I’m seeing of him in here. He was amazing in Queen of Housewives because he nailed his character Tae Bong to a tee, making him one of the most loved characters of the year. But in MFL, he’s nothing more than a easily agitated ahjusshi, who screams and shouts whenever something gets in his way.
You see, I can tolerate when someone screams, as long as it’s required or reasonable in a drama. But if it happens ALL THE TIME, it becomes a big big turn off for me. Dong Chan isn’t that bad of a character. In fact I think he has his endearing moments, especially when he’s with Eui Joo. YSH isn’t doing a bad job either, but it’s nothing stellar or as close to how he performed in QOH. In the latter, my emotions went up and down like a roller-coaster ride with Tae Bong. But in here, all I felt was him screaming whenever he was annoyed or unhappy or irritated. His comedic and OTT acting did nothing to lessen my irritation and I was like, “Please do not scream anymore.” =(
- Tae Yoon (JIW)
I feel bad for saying this… but still, I have to get it out of me. This one is not much of an acting nit-pick as JIW hasn’t had the time to flesh out his skills so far. This is more of a genuine dislike of his character Tae Yoon. I know yes, I’m such a weirdo. But for some reason, despite his charming boyish smiles, I just don’t like him. I don’t know why. Maybe he’s just too perfect but yet the perfection just seemed to be made out and fake. Maybe I felt he has something up his sleeves and is planning to use HN or something. Maybe I just don’t like how he smiles because he knows that his smiles can melt hearts of many. Maybe I just hate the confidence that he has and which I don’t (ya know we work in the same field).Weird logic I know but still….
- Lacking chemistry
This is the worst of the bunch. No chemistry between the leads at all! =(
It definitely takes two to tango. But too bad, I felt nothing even when HN and DC danced together in DC’s imagination. Maybe it’s due to the lack of coherency in DC and HN’s interactions… HN initially detested DC but immediately changed her mind right after (all in a span of one episode). I know I said I liked the pacing before…but liking the pacing of a drama is different from liking the flow of a story… and here, it’s the flow which is affecting the overall chemistry between the cast.
Don’t blame the production totally tho, since it’s not easy for actors/characters to click in a go, especially with roles which they’re not suited for (or rather, roles that they’re not sure of). But I’m willing to give the actors a chance as it’s only the 2nd episode… The same thing happened in its prevailing drama Partners whereby I just didn’t feel anything between Lee Dong Wook and Kim Hyun Joo. But by the end of it, they became my fav drama couple of the year following Kim Sun Ah and Cha Seung Won in City Hall. It takes time I guess…. so I’ll wait.
NOTE: The best chemistry out of the bunch – Eui Joo and HN’s cousin. Random choice. But I totally adored their exchange about their aspirations and inspirations in shoe designs. That’s what I call “click in a go”!
- Storyline lacks coherency
As I said before, I like the premise of the story although it’s just a rehash of typical Korean drama formula. But the development of the characters and the storyline just lacked coherency thru out.
The classic example is of Hye Na becoming friendly with Dong Chan after like hating him for 1 episode? And just what did DC to do make her change her impression? Usually K-dramas always do the thing with the guy or girl falling for the other for a reason, and the reason either stems from plain physical attraction or a changed perception of the other person’s character (which usually takes time), never for no reason. But here, I don’t know why Hye Na suddenly became nice after having done for by Dong Chan (kidnap is a serious thing I tell you)…I get why DC would feel for her, cos he saw her crying vulnerable side…but HN towards DC? Because he saved her from the raging horses? Well maybe, but I don’t buy it.
- Other minor nit-picks
- Music nothing near great or extraordinary. Just plain average.
- Characters lack depth (but it’s not a deep drama to start with so yes, I’m just complaining for nothing).
- The fact that Hye Na has to change into a glamorous gown before seeing her grandpa at home (!) when he was just in the living room next to her is just beyond me.
So there goes, I officially became the number one enemy of My Fair Lady/Yoon Eun Hye fans. 😛
I usually don’t go on a bout criticizing dramas that I watch, because it just takes away the fun. But I decided to try it out with MFL and surprisingly it felt really good to be able to voice out for once.
Just hope that none of the MFL Soompiers are reading this. Hehehe…
Lastly, here’s me hoping that Ep 3 would be better. My initial anticipation and excitement may have been dampened by the lackluster pilot episodes, but I’m holding out hope.
And give me more Moon Chae Won please, thank you!