Finally… someone comes right out and says it somewhere on the internet… “I don’t understand what Ahn Jeong-won sees in Jang Gyeo-ul and why he would fall for her.” While those of us who root for them might reel at such glaring prejudice , it should be commended for its honesty at least. That sentiment although not as starkly expressed has been a part of
*sigh* Thank you for writing this. So good.
When people insist that other people should like only certain people, suitable, safe and deserving, that's a bit like playing with dolls, don't you think? Feelings should be predictable, and relationships smooth, and no-one ever should struggle or make mistakes. That's a bit childish attitude, and life is never going to give you that. Real relationship are always uncomfortable to a certain extent, and as you mentioned previously, negotiation is the key. Can this irrational wish to pair the pairings as a matchmaker would is a reflection that we don't trust love anymore? This makes me sad. And your post made me hopeful ❤️
Some drama viewers only want ideal things on their screen. Where a handsome, good taste in fashion man be with beautiful and chic woman. I don't know but for me it says a lot about themselves, especially when what they think as not suitable is something on the surface only like face or looks. I don't wanna sounds like a noble saint but it's true tho, in reality nothing is really ideal when it comes to fall for someone. Of course I love to see good looking man or woman, but you can fall and be in a relationship with any kind of person. Even with person who has not really nice personality or the personality not really match with you.
It makes me re-think again to what happened in the drama. I got so frustrate with Junwan and Iksun but I have to admit that at some point of my life I was ever be in that positition, made stupid mistakes, didn't solve problem well, etc. What some viewers said as typical kdrama trope, hence the criticism towards ShinLee, is actually what real people might experience. But since us, the viewers, want only ideal things with ideal problem solving, it's hard to accept when writer tends to do otherwise.
We reflect what we perceive, isn't it? Viewers sometimes forget that when something in a drama or a book fascinates them it is also because of what they see from it. Perhaps the viewers out there thinks a handsome, smart and friendly doctor like Ahn Jeongwon deserves a beautiful, smart and friendly doctor (like the female ER from last season), cos that's what we think we deserve if we were good looking, smart and friendly. The maggot scene just knocked our heads to remind us that Ahn Jeongwon is the Catholic Budhha of Yuljie and he saw St Mother Teresa incarnate the moment Jang Gyeoul gloved herself and started picking maggots off the homeless man's rotten and smelly leg.
Iksun's humour probably filled a void in Junwan's lonely heart.
Ikjun feels the most comfortable with Songhwa because she always appreciates his jokes.
I think being a former literature student had taught me to analyse from the character's standpoint rather than how I would react. :)
To be honest, Gom-Gom was the hardest for me to fathom, cos Seokhyung is such an introvert. But i came to the conclusion that Minha was intrigued by Seokhyung because he is so different from her and such an enigma to her, but as she deeper she discovered a gem of a man.
(Sidetrack: im intrigued by Nevertheles because I think there are women out there who can't keep away from toxic men and relationships because they think the more it hurts the truer their love is. It's a pretty realistic portrayal but frankly I am afraid to watch it because I would be so frustrated, like I had been so frustrated in the past by friends who are just like the female lead. Why spend time watching a drama to get frustrated when I have lived through reali life drama with my friends, hahah.)
Books and covers ... motes and beams. Gyeo-ul IS beautiful, smart, and friendly. Everyone in the hospital thinks so. She is also reserved, direct, and wounded. Maybe she deserves our understanding. Jeong-won is neither blind nor shallow.
I have a hard time understanding comments like that on the internet because Gyeo-ul is my favorite female character (so this post may be biased, hehe). I thought she was so nuanced for being the love interest of one of the 5 main leads in S1, but the writers have just taken her to another level this season. I loved that she was fiercely independent in S1 and I love that the writers are exploring the "why" behind her independence this season. I also love that her showing up in Jeongwon's life challenged him to question and rethink some long-held values and beliefs, not just about his path in life, but the kind of influence he can have with the resources (talents, wealth, connections etc.) he's been given in life. I will always root for WG :)
Agree. Love is the unexplainable and honestly if people sign up for a show with romantic elements or are evaluating a few love relationship shouldn’t they factor that in? If you don’t believe in the beauty and magic of love and think everything can be broken down to a calculation why watch it or analyse it? Why not focus on the patient stories instead?
I’ve been to a convent school and I completely get why Jeong Won first admired Gyeoul in the maggot scene. It was her actions that showed empathy and humanity above anything else. That all humans have a right to treatment and that’s her duty as a doctor. To look beyond the superficial. The man was homeless and not a chaebol or VIP.
Also he’s always always perceived as a Chaebol that’s why hat even SongHwas resident told her and SongHwa clarified that he doesn’t own the hospital. So obviously women who look up to him as a Chaebol is possibly annoying for him. He’s possibly got used to the attention being orb ‘rich’ and even wasn’t rude to women giving him attention but he wouldn’t possibly fall for a women who would look up at his social status.
The qualities he was seeking subconsciously that he didn’t know of till he interacted with Jang Gyeoul was empathy, guts/strong backbone/ strength of character and dedication to your duties/responsibilities.
People always talk about yin yang couples and it’s true they are opposites but the white dot in the black and the black dot in the white I feel also represents some sort of an overlap of qualities that are non negotiable. The ethics, strength of character, the sense of responsibility/duty and absolute dedication to the causes that they choose is their overlapping factor.
For Iksun and Junwan I really don’t see him falling for anyone anytime soon. He was really happy with her and so was she. It’s just sometimes that A alone and B alone are different people but together A+B have some synergies that can’t be defined. I just don’t see them finding that synergy with anyone else. Their relationship did not have a strong foundation but their break up did not seem to have any grounding at all.
IkSong well it’s star crossed people and an unfinished story and till they are in each other’s vicinity and meeting each other everyday, their schedules and the overlapping free times that they accommodate each other in , until then I don’t see space for anyone else coming in. Also IkJuns mind has a nagging question of what if I was or can be with her. And I don’t think at the moment he can actually silence that and move on as some viewers suggested.
Well the only rule of love is that there are no rules!
Looking at it from a loose and general view, anyone of the characters can be paired up to anyone in the series as I think Shin Lee were able to flesh out each characters. However, ShinLee was able to set-up a strong foundation on why the OBVIOUS pairings work. Hence, it irks me that there are some that are pushing their pairings and justifying it by vilifying the character that stands in the way of that pairing that they have in mind. Fanfics are there for a reason, they can search their own pairings and broaden their imagination. I did that for Reply series, when the "husbands" that I was rooting for where not the endgame.
WINTERGARDEN - Like most everyone here, Wintergarden couple is my favorite, just cause I love them and I SERIOUSLY LOVE GYEOUL. I feel JW's attraction with Gyeoul started maybe even before the maggot, but that is left for us to imagine. I do think its Gyeoul's honesty and purity that attracted him to her. Gyeoul is a what-you-see-is-what-you-get kind character, she is honest with her emotions, her weaknesses and her dealings.
LOVE, LOVE this post! I cannot agree more!
I believe ShinLee deliberately created the role of GU to challenge the stereotypes people have about female medical staff and love interest for an almost perfect male lead, both on personalities and outward appearance. My thought was confirmed during the casting video of Shin Hyunbeen, when they talked about how the character might come across cold / blunt (although a male character with the same personalities may be forgiven); they even titled the video as “not a bad person”.
They also did not try to show her in a good light until the maggot scene either in S1 Ep1 and Ep2 – she was straight forward to the point of being senseless with the guardians. Of course, we saw how upset JW was during their first behind-the-curtain talk; a red herring was even thrown in, I felt, to have JW look at the very pretty Dr. Bae with fondness seeing how well she soothed a mom.
So, naturally, I (and I believe ShinLee as well) expected that some people would not like GU and would not approve of her relationship with JW, especially when they did not straightforwardly talk much about JW's perspectives in S1. What I did not expect was the lack of civility (borrowing your word again, since that sounds much kinder than what I had in mind) in many of the comments I see. It is just unfortunate.
But I totally applaud what ShinLee has done and still doing. I have never gotten so attached to a drama character in my not-so-young life until I found GU in HP, and I definitely fell for her before I fell for the WG ship. And just as I thought knowing and loving about her personalities is enough from S1, ShinLee are now going even deeper with a potentially very complicated and painful background.
As sad and uneasy I have been feeling starting Ep5 knowing that another arc is being developed on GU and WG, this development also shows me how much ShinLee value JW + GU as characters and as a couple (and the same goes for the other couples). Fluffy scenes are sweet, but they are superficial and do not portray a deep / supportive relationship. ShinLee appear to be building up tensions surrounding the “truth” about GU’s family and when it finally boils over and they can finally overcome it, the depth and closeness of their relationship would make their union so much stronger and intimate, much much more than most of the couples in your typical K dramas.
And as the time goes by, I am more and more convinced that whatever GU’s backstory is, it will not be just one-dimensioned; even the most popular suspicion of DV would not be just it. I have heard comments from potential foreshadowing of psychiatry being a featured specialization, GU’s hometown being GZ not being a coincidence, upcoming month of May, etc. There are multiple scenarios that I have come up with in my mind, but of course, they are all just my imagination as a viewer, and I believe the final version from ShinLee would be much more surprising / impactful than my ideas. So, like a broken record, I am super excited to see what is to come, including who would be playing the characters of GU’s parents (I hope we get to see them)!
And to close with a response to the title of your post, I would like to share my interpretation of their handshakes in Ep7: Saying that one has to deserve the other’s love (and vice versa) seems to be viewing relationships as business transactions, where you will only pay the price that matches what you perceive to be of equal value from the other side, and you are assuming that once the purchase is done, the goods / money would not change, or otherwise the deal may need to be called off. And how do you usually close a business transaction meeting? - A handshake just like the first one JW got from GU in his office. But we all know JW is not superficial and he desires a deeper, more intimate partnership – just like how he finally got what he wanted when GU returned the second handshake offer by pressing her palm on his and interlocking their fingers, leaving no room between their hands. While some people may be satisfied with the first handshake when it comes to relationships, I think ShinLee just love GW too much to have them stop there. LOL, I am definitely partial, but I think GW may be ShinLee’s favorite couple😘😁.
Thanks for writing such a lovely post! I just loved the closing questions and how they refer back to your point from a previous post that love/friendships are not transactional. Sometimes it's not what someone has done or can do for you, but who they are in themself that draws you to them.
Also, what is the Good Samaritan reference from S1 that you mentioned? I would love to rewatch that episode with that reference in mind sometime!
To close off, just want to say I love reading all these comments and seeing how much all of us love Gyeoul! I really worried that others would not like her character when I watched S1 just earlier this year, but I love that ShinLee has done Gyeoul in such a nuanced and compassionate way so ones that can appreciate her do.