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Posts Tagged ‘Park Yeon Seon’

White Christmas poster

White Christmas is worth checking out. It’s interesting for being a rather different k-drama creature from what we usually get to see. And in any event, it’s really rather well done.

It’s an eight episode KBS drama special written by Park Yeon Seon (yay!) of Evasive Inquiry Agency (brilliant), Alone in Love (lovely), and Wild Romance (sadly marred by terrible directing, but still above-average). And directed by Kim Yong Soo (Hometown Legends).

The plot is a bit Agatha Christie, and a bit dorama-esque, to begin with – a handful of boys and one girl in an elite boarding school in the mountains are staying over the Christmas break together with one sports teacher. They have received menacing anonymous letters. A storm snows them in.

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How did this happen? Is this what falling in love is like? At first I could barely put up with this show at all. Now I love it to itty-bitty pieces.

One episode ago, I was howling with laughter at a brilliant and hilarious move on the part of our Fabulous Foursome, so casually and organically set up by the writer, so beautifully executed, and so touched with matter-of-fact brilliance.

One episode later, I’m tearing up. I’m touched by some sad thing happening, that cuts me as deeply as if it has happened to someone I know and love personally. I care about this unlikely little family as much as if it were my own.

Did the show change, or did I change? How is it that the very things that annoyed me (the show’s outrageous sense of humour, its ambitious juggling of several tones at one time) now seem delightful to me? How does it manage to be profound and hilarious at the same time? To have a light touch and to be heart-stoppingly suspenseful at the same time? It is genius. GENIUS!!

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OK, it’s official. It’s love.

You know I had a rocky start. My friends assured me I would like this guy, but when I met him I was like, “What? But he’s so loud. And what’s with the endless joking?”. It took me a while to see through his frivolity and realize that he wasn’t actually shallow or stupid, far from it.

This was the point at which I realized that under the flippancy was a truly wicked sense of humour:

And this was the point at which it became LOVE:

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Having knocking myself out with the doom and gloom of Sandglass, I’ve decided to go for lighter fare in my back-log watching. I’ve roused out Evasive Inquiry Agency from 2007 (alternatively called “Mixed-Up Investigative Agency“), a show probably most famous for starring Lee Min Ki, but interesting to me because it was written by Park Yeon Seon, who also wrote the sublime Alone in Love (see my review in Thundie’s Prattle) as well as the less successful but nonetheless above-average Wild Romance.

Confession: I watched the first episode of Evasive Inquiry Agency some time ago, but lost interest and ditched the show. Re-watching it now, I remember why. The first episode is rather uneven in tone. One moment there is danger and angst, next moment it’s all sunshine and cuteness. Before you know it, it’s being milked for laughs, and then it switches to pseudo-horror and mystery. The first episode had way too much set-up to give me any opportunity to form any kind of meaningful attachment to the story and characters. And I didn’t find it all that funny. (I think it’s primarily trying to be a comedy.)

The show hasn’t bothered to package itself attractively. There is nothing very shiny about the first episode. It presents to us ordinary people living ordinary lives in a very ordinary neighbourhood and dealing with the very ordinary matter of finding money. But hopefully the show’s very ordinariness can be turned into relatability that can foster interest. By the second episode the show’s four main characters are embarking on some quest, which will hopefully move things along. I still feel the soundtrack could do with toning down, as could the antics of Lee Min Ki and his friends. And I could also wish the editing were less slapdash, and the acting better (particularly by the female leads). But in any event, I trust Park Yeon Seon, so I’ll stick around to see how it all pans out.

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