Saturday, February 16, 2013

That Winter, the Wind Blows Episode 1-3

Zo In Sung as Oh Soo and Song Hye Kyo as Oh Young
I am completely hooked on That Winter, the Wind Blows. It has everything that I value in a Korean drama: hot Korean guys, layered plot lines, a romantic coupling that seems impossible at first, crazy rich people, and a very dramatic OST. So far, I am feeling a strong connection between this drama and last fall's Nice Guy (Innocent Man). The first similarity that stood out to me right away is the music. The opening theme music which is used often throughout Nice Guy is almost identical to the music that plays during dramatic moments in That Winter. Other similarities I noticed: the fragile yet strong leading lady, Oh Soo is a man doing bad things because he was wronged by a woman (his mother who abandoned him and ex-girlfriend who sent him to prison) like Kang Ma Roo (Jae Hee, the girl he loved, caused him to spend years in jail), and the muted but vibrant coloring. Maybe I am stretching to compare the two, but that's what I've noticed so far.

Zo In Sung and Song Hye Kyo
In the first 3 episodes that have aired so far Oh Soo was falsely accused of embezzling millions of dollars by a psychotic girlfriend (played by the queen of crazy-eyed girls Seo Hyo Rim), spends a year in prison, is stabbed and beaten over the money, and takes on the identity of his recently-dead friend of the same name. By a twist of fate, his dead friend is Oh Young's long-lost oppa which leaves him an opening to get the money he needs to stay alive. Oh Young is the blind daughter of a dead billionaire. So, from that summary it is easy to see how complicated the relationship between Oh Soo and Oh Young will become.

Song Hye Kyo is so perfect at portraying the beautiful sad girl (see Autumn in My Heart and Full House) that I feel like the role of Oh Young was written for her. Whereas Moon Chae Won as Seo Eun Gi in Nice Guy had a bitchy bite to her that made her soft-hearted love for Ma Roo slightly hard to believe at times, the sadness in Hye Kyo's eyes makes it seem like the lonely Young will be open to trusting her fake oppa.

Zo In Sung, on the other hand, makes up for the bitchy bite that Hye Kyo is lacking. Though I love Song Joong Ki as Ma Roo, his extreme self-sacrificing pissed me off sometimes. The whole reason Ma Roo got himself into the intial mess of being accused of murder was because he took the fall for Jae Hee. I don't see that personality trait in Oh Soo at all. He appears to be much less of a "nice guy" than Ma Roo, and his aim to entangle himself in Oh Young's family problems is not for revenge, but because he needs the money to save himself. It's too early to predict how he will evolve throughout the course of the story, but I hope that he doesn't become unbelievably selfless for Oh Young's sake. Loving her is one thing, but taking it the extreme kills the sincerity.

Jung Eun Ji as Moon Hee Sun
Kim Bum as Park Jin Sung
The lighter side of That Winter is brought to you by Jung Eun Ji (Reply 1997) and Kim Bum (Boys Over Flowers). They act as Oh Soo's side-kicks that are aware of his true identity. Kim Bum is adorable and silly and he looks like a cute little elf when standing next to the over-six-feet-tall Zo In Sung. Eun Ji portrays a spunky florist who has been keeping tabs on Oh Soo ever since he dumped her older sister who subsequently died in a motorcycle accident. At this point in the drama they are helping Oh Soo in pretending to be the deceased Oh Soo. I doubt they will contribute much to the overall plot, but only time will tell.

Watch That Winter, the Wind Blows with English subtitles DramaFever,com

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