K-Drama--- Full House (풀하우스)

3:38 am


Name of the show: Full House
Lead Actors: Rain and Song Hye Kyo
Genre: Romantic Comedy

Ji Eun & Young Jae in front of Full House
Honestly, I wanted to blog about food right now. But then I changed my mind and decided to write down my take on the K-drama Full House/풀하우스 (NOT to be confused with the American series Full House, which is also one of my ever-green favs) like I said I would in my previous post. Why? Because for once I wanted to stick to what I wrote! And I really, truly do love--lurrrve--Full House. I've seen (and continue to do so) my fair share of K-dramas and so it is quite shocking that I saw Full House very recently.

As to why it's shocking--- Like I just said, I've watched quite a lot of K-dramas. Of all the K-dramas, ever, Full House is among the most popular ones, it seems, world over. The internet is ga-ga about it. In fact, if you google "Full House", I'm sure among the majority of the result that'll come up about the American show, quite a lot would come up about this show as well. The second reason why I'm so defensive about not "having the time" to watch Full House earlier is that this a series that was aired in South Korea for the 1st time in the year 2004, which means that I'm basically claiming I haven't had the time to watch roughly 160 hours of awesomeness. Third, the drama has Bi Rain in it! (As if it's a surprise that I listen to and am a fan of K-pop, really!)

Okay, so a bit of a background about Full House--
It is set in Seoul, South Korea, presumably in their current time (ie, 2004) and is a romantic-comdey kind of a thing. And VERY adorable. Oh, I should warn you that I will most definitely be gushing about Rain. Hee. Yes, so, moving on.... The plot is such: Ji-eun (played by Song Hye-Kyo) lives alone (she had lost her parents when she was a child, way before the story began) in her paternal house by the sea (I know!) called "Full House". She's really messy, not organised and is a very kind person. Also, naive. Or shall I say "stupid"? Because she gets conned in the 1st episode by her two best friends into going to a trip to China (where she is pretty much stranded without any money and a fair share of ramyun noodles), while her "friends" sell her house behind her back and take away all her money and make a run for it. Such friends, I'm sure we all can do without. On her flight to China, she meets Lee Young Jae (played by Bi Rain), a Korean superstar who's on his way to China to shoot his new film. Young Jae is hot (obviously, because Rain plays him) and has been in the news thanks to his very long, interesting love-and-scandlous-life.

 It is mentioned from the very start that if Young Jae stirs up any more scandles in his name, his career is pretty much over. I guess they haven't heard the mantra that says bad publicity is still publicity. Anyway, yes so obviously, since Ji Eun and Young Jae are the lead, they do not get along in the beginning. Young Jae, in fact, is in love with his childhood friend, Hye Won who in turn is in love with their mutual childhood friend, Min Hyuk, who by the way later on falls in love with Ji Eun (whom he met in China, just in case you were wondering).

When they return to Seoul, poor Ji Eun is homeless, pennyless and turns out that her beloved Full House has been sold to Young Jae... Initially, Young Jae allows Ji Eun to stay in Full House (she has NO WHERE to go) as his house help/maid, but as the story moves on, they get into a secret-contract marriage. Young Jae proposes this marriage because he is tired of being hurt by his unrequited love for Hye Won and Ji Eun agrees to it because Young Jae promises to give her Full House as her alimony. But then, of course, they eventually fall in love and after a lot of misunderstandings, they get together for real. Yay.

There are a total of 16 episodes of Full House, all an hour long. I loved each and every cast member/character in Full House. Except Hye Won, who I wanted to stab several times, which just shows what an amazing actor Han Eun Jeong is.

But let's start in the order:

Han Ji Eun

Song Hye Kyo plays Han Ji Eun's character. Honestly, my first reaction on seeing her was "OMG, she's so pretty!". She is pretty and is such a joy to watch throughout the series because she can act and that's always a nice thing in a protagonist of a series. Ji Eun is a happy-go-lucky, 23-year-old. She lost her parents at a young age and is a writer. By "writer", I mean that she writes internet novels and clearly has done a decent job out of that considering she was paying her bills etc till the story began but as the story progresses, we find out that even though she has the talent, her writing skills aren't polished and she is very vague in her writing. She doesn't care about stuff like cleaning up the house that she so loves or getting organised. Apart from her two best friends who con her, she has no one else on earth until of course she meets Young Jae and Min Hyunk. And Young Jae's family.

Song Hye Kyo plays Ji Eun delightfully. She's so naturally bubbly at the right places that she made me smile throughout the series (except where she was crying). Her character is really caring and kind and all but I was also happy that she doesn't forgive both her best-friends, or Young Jae as easily as a lot of heroines would. I really liked her character and I could relate to her as well... the fact that she hates waking up early, doesn't like exercising and enjoys all types of food. But I'm not like her at all, no. What I really liked about Ji Eun is that even though she's a delight, she is never portrayed as being perfect. She has her temper tantrums every once in a while, threatens to leave the house many times, struggles with house work, is an aspiring writer with flaws and makes the mistake of singing the Three Bears Song to her in-laws as a gift (more on that in a while).

From episode 1 to episode 16, we see Ji Eun grow, both as a person and as a writer.

I really liked that even though she's in love with Young Jae and would do anything to see him happy and successful, she also thinks about and wants her own peace of mind. Go girl!

Lee Young Jae

RAIN plays this character.  Honestly, enough reason to watch the show. And not just because, you know, it's Rain, so that's hot and he's got such an amazing voice but also because he really can act. Also, I like his smile.

Lee Young Jae's character is that of a famous and successful South Korean actor. As soon as I know that, my mind goes--ah, a role so meant for Rain! And he does such a good job of it. It must be hard, I suppose, to play the role of someone who's this national heartthrob (no, really, we see mob following him at Amazing Land) who's always in the headlines for his scandalous affairs with his co-stars and somebody who's shy of confessing his love for his own wife and someone heartbroken in love. Which, yes, I was initially like, yeah right, who would scorn anyone even played by Rain? But then I saw that other guy who plays Min Hyuk and he's pretty hot as well so I see Hye Won's dilemma.

Initially seemed to be a cold, uncaring casanova, Young Jae turns out to be an extremely warm and caring person who just seems to be scared of showing his kind side to Ji Eun (who sees it anyways), calling her "rice bowl" and "chicken" and somebody who would go to any extent for the one he loves, provided of course, that he is aware that he loves her.

He is some really sweet childish habits like eating ice-cream when he's upset and making others eat ice-cream when they're upset. And he also has daddy issues. Unlike Ji Eun, Young Jae was a top student and was also a med student until he quit to become an actor. He doesn't get along with his dad. Dad, in turn, is upset because Young Jae gave up a career in medicine.

I really, really loved this character. He is so adorable! And confused. Very confused. But like all good K-drama heroes, he does his fair share of sweet gestures like getting Ji Eun flowers (I love flowers!), taking care of her and Hye Won when they're unwell, teach Ji Eun to ride a cycle, freaking out like crazy (even shedding tears) when Ji Eun suggests breaking up and getting Ji Eun a tape recorder "that writers use" for her birthday (awwwww).


Yoo Min Hyuk

First of, naaaaaice choice of getting Kim Sung Soo to play Min Hyuk. No, really. Min Hyuk is supposed to be this calm, collected, HOT, suave, sophisticated guy and Kim Sung Soo looks every bit of that. I almost fell in love with him while watching Full House. Almost. Because in the end, I did want Ji Eun to end up with Young Jae (they're SO cute!). But I was still a bit sad that Min Hyuk pretty much ended up alone. He really shouldn't have. He's such a nice character, so calm, so collected, so thoughtful, so kind, so hot and so...busy (he forgot his own birthday...his secretary had to remind him). My only regret is that Min Hyuk is a character that even though we saw quite a bit of, wasn't developed so much. Other than that, brilliant. He loves Ji Eun, doesn't bother to hide it per say but isn't insistent or cheap about it either. And he has guts! And he serves as the perfect agent to make Young Jae jealous. At one point I was thinking-- Poor Young Jae, he probably thinks that all the women in his life fall for Min Hyuk. And probably that's why he gets really insecure of Min Hyuk. Even when he rejects Hye Won, who is his childhood friend fyi, he does it with so much grace.... really, come on, people snub people horribly! Min Hyuk was a darling!

Kang Hye Won

First of all, I hated her. I HATED Hye Won. Why? Oh, because she was such a selfish bitch! Which made me realise just how brilliant Han Eun Jeong is as an actor. So, in that sense, I also loved her.

Hye Won's character may not be someone that I liked like in the sense that she was the main reason our love birds Ji Eun and Young Jae couldn't get together, but wow, her character is so real. And Han Eun Jeong does such an excellent job of keeping it real. I say that Hye Won is real because no matter how much I L-O-V-E-D Ji Eun and Young Jae and Min Hyuk, there are really few people who are truly that nice or that selfless or that honourable. I must clarify here that I don't think for a moment that any of those three are unreal. They're all very real characters, with their own flaws and strengths and desire of trying to get what and whom they want and so on. I am just saying, that Hye Won's character is the most real.

She isn't even an out and out negative/bad character, which is what I meant by her real-ness. She is known to have had a long time crush on Min Hyuk (can't blame her there) and he doesn't care about her "that ways". She gets jilted by him in the 2nd episode I think and come on, being rejected is tough. To save face and to divert her own frustration, she confronts an unguarded Young Jae about his feelings for her. It'd not a nice thing to do, no, but it's still something natural in the sense, a lot of people would do that. People generally want to save their own face first.

After being jilted by Min Hyuk, she gets jealous of Ji Eun because she doesn't like Young Jae giving any one more attention that he does to her. I really liked that this behaviour confuses Hye Won herself. Many times she herself says that she must be a bad person to be in love with one guy and be so possessive of another and wanting this other guy to have her as the first priority in his life. Of course, that made both Ji Eun and me very unhappy but the thing is, that wanting to be first in someone's life (no matter what you feel for him) especially just after you've been rejected is again a very natural thing. Later on she even falls in love with Young Jae (can't blame her again) but eventually lets him go when she realises that he loves Ji Eun. And even further on, when Young Jae pretty much kicks his career aside for Ji Eun's sake (don't ask...!), she goes as far so to tell Ji Eun about Young Jae's love for her.

Often when I didn't hate Hye Won, I pitied her. She's not an evil character as much as she's somebody you would pity. She even says how she's been rejected by the two guys she fell for, in a row! And how she wants to be first in someone's life. She's a really interesting character.

Young Jae's family!!

Let me just write about how much I loved Young Jae's grandma! She is such an adorable character. She's supposed to be this really strict person who disapproves of Ji Eun very audibly and to her face as choice for being her only grandson's wife. She always criticizes Ji Eun for an assortment of reasons and even ends up calling her "Three Bears" thanks to her little impromtu performance. But you can see just how much she really does like/love Ji Eun. And even though initially Ji Eun is intimidated by her, she realises what a warm and fun person this ol' grandma is and the two become really close. I love when she pretends to teach Ji Eun a recipe when she doesn't know how to cook it herself, just so that Ji Eun would respect her more. Awww..

Young Jae's mom is one of those typical, adorable TV moms. Trying to make peace between her son and her husband. Initially not sure of Ji Eun as the correct choice for her daughter-in-law but later on warming up to her with a huge amount of motherly love. And a good cook apparently, and unlike Ji Eun and grandma. She's a sweet person. :)

Young Jae's dad is a doctor who isn't on the best of terms with his son but like the rest of his family, gets on excellent terms with Ji Eun.

Ji Eun's friends

Her two best friends, Hee Jin and Dong Wook, who are a couple, and are about to have a baby (and eventually do). They've known Ji Eun ever since they were little kids. They're both lazy and have hopes of become rich easily and with the least amount of work possible. I guess their main job is to provide comic relief and create more tension to Ji Eun's life, both tasks that they do rather well. Both of them are rather stupid, but their mind works like ... oh, well, it works super fast when it comes to ways of getting money. They're both responsible of letting slip that Ji Eun's and Young Jae's is a contract marriage. While Hee Jin really has high hopes for Min Hyuk and Ji Eun, because he is handsome and rich (and according to her if Young Jae can openly be with Hye Won, why shouldn't her friend go out with Min Hyuk?), her boyfriend Dong Wook is loyal to Young Jae and wants Ji Eun to remain with him (because according to him "contract or otherwise, a marriage is still a marriage"). They also provide a set of written rules/manuals on how to win Ji Eun's heart to help Young Jae out.

Young Jae's agent

I mention her because wow.... Im Ye Jin is so different here than what I saw of her in BOF! She is so calm, so collected and even though she is very business minded, she does seem to care a tad for Young Jae.

My favorite scenes:

1. I loved the impromptu performance that Ji Eun gives at Young Jae's parents' house of The Three Bears.  Made me laugh like crazy!

This is how it went--- Ji Eun and Young Jae have gone to his parents' place the first time after their wedding and Grandma has criticized Ji Eun to be lacking in manners, saying that she didn't even have the courtesy to get a gift for her in-laws on her first visit. Ji Eun interjects that she has indeed gotten a present--the gift of a song! And then follows the performance.

Here is a youtube link. Please note the expression of horror + shock on everyone's face!

2. When Rain, I mean Young Jae, sings The Three Bears Song for Ji Eun in an American accent as an apology and attempt to make her laugh. I know, this is beginning to sound like an ode to the Three Bears Song but this really was adorable! Here is the link:

3. The confession! And the day after... I love the way Young Jae buries his face in the blanket just coz he's so shy! Rain is adorable!

4. When Young Jae buys Ji Eun a tape recorder for her birthday.

5. In Episode 15, when Young Jae returns to Full House and Ji Eun sees him at the door. Such an emotional scene and so nicely done.

6. When Ji Eun throws a fit about wanting flowers instead of ice cream.

Also, loved the music of Full House. This series is definitely worth a watch just 'coz it's such a sweet, light, fun thing to watch!

My Ratings for Full House: 8/10

Other K-drama reviews by me:
Boys Over Flowers
Queen In Hyun's Man
Playful Kiss
Coffee Prince
Personal Taste 
Dae Jang Geum
Flower Boy Ramyun Shop 
My Girlfriend is a Gumiho  

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