Warning: This post will be FULL of spoilers!!!!!! Bursting with spoilers!!!! Spoilers in every paragraph!!!!
Let’s be honest. This isn’t the most subtle show. I wanted to make a sports metaphor here, like “if this was football Trot Lovers would be a…” and that’s where I stumbled, because I don’t actually watch sports. I’m guessing I’m thinking linebacker, but comparing a linebacker to a show that seems determined to rush head on into every cliche, make every foe and some of the friends pure caricatures, and cram songs in whether they’re needed or not, might sound like an insult to linebackers.
However, I like Trot Lovers. It gives me two hours a week to just be amused and entertained. It isn’t really an important show, except for some of the amazing renditions of songs it contains, but it is an entertaining one. Even if some of the entertainment comes from wondering what the heck the writers were smoking.
(I know I warned against spoilers in the beginning, but I’m warning you here again. Turn back! Point of no return!!! Don’t care? OK, keep reading.)
I know the couple is not everyone’s cup of tea, but I like them. I bicker quite a bit with my fiance, and people commonly ask if we’re siblings. (Can I just digress here and say no, we’re not? We’re just both chubby biracial people will curly hair who argue jokingly a lot. NO shared DNA. I promise.) Anyway…even though the couple chemistry may not be there for a lot of people, one of the great parts of the show is the family-bond between Byul and Joon-hyun. I’m glad that’s continuing to be showcased.
So…we’re past the amnesia. The handling of the amnesia wasn’t horrible, but the way our lead Joon-hyun developed it and the timing was the epitome of ham-handedness. It felt practically like the moment they start dating. (Speaking of moments, Trot lovers also doesn’t really handle time well. Sometimes it’s practically impossible to understand how much time is supposed to have passed in an episode.) I also felt that Joon-hyun hadn’t stopped being a jerk long enough to keep viewer’s affections when he returned to being a jerk through amnesia.
But, I think the way the amnesia was handled was actually quite interesting. If I’m not mistaken, when Joon-Hyun starts realizing his interest in, and memories of, Chun-Hee, one reason he kept his mouth shut was that he feared he was having an affair behind Soo-In’s back. That makes sense, and also allowed a clear transition to keeping his mouth shut in order to spy and protect Chun-Hee. I also liked that Geon-Woo differentiated himself from Soo-In by not taking advantage of Joon-Hyun’s illness, and instead letting him know that it was Chun-Hee he dated, not Soo-In. The moment he told Joon-Hyun about it, not knowing Joon-Hyun’s memories came back, was pretty funny. And let’s be real, Geon-Woo is one of the caricatures I was talking about. He occasionally reaches beyond that, probably thanks to the actor, but he is drawn with incredibly broad strokes and is mostly meant to amuse the viewers, annoy Joon-Hyun, confuse/pay to much attention to Chun-Hee, and provide someone for Soo-In to fixate on. I like the few moments the character is given some depth.
And oh, Soo-In. Do I have to talk about her? What can I say without tearing out every last strand of my hair? Let’s have a show for once where the second male lead is the one who goes all psychotic and the female second lead is nice but just not the one. Okay, those shows exist, but they’re not the norm. If only one person goes pure crazy, it’s often one of the females in the equation. It’s getting old. Plus, Soo-In had potential to be a sympathetic character, even though she did some questionable things even in the beginning. I would have preferred the show continue in that vein, because it would have been something different.
I’m assuming the next bit of angst will come from whatever connections the parents had, and everybody figuring out exactly what happened. Soo-In and her crazy mama will go down, but I’m interested in seeing exactly how that happens and how the show will wrap every thing up.
Side note: I miss Ji Hyun Woo’s big crooked teeth. Is that horrible of me? I think his teeth were probably my favorite part of his face. OK, I’m weird, and maybe because I have tooth issues going on I get a strange amount of pleasure from seeing celebrities with teeth that aren’t considered perfect. But still…and I think he’s still getting used to speaking with his teeth in new positions (or possibly has a a retainer on?) which is making his speech sound a little different. I don’t care, I think he’s an ok actor and will probably be a better one in the future, and I like his singing, especially the duets he’s done with Eunji in Trot Lovers. The song Joon-hyun wrote for Chun-Hee is probably my least favorite, because his voice isn’t really meant for heartfelt vocal acrobatics, but other than that I like him as Joon-hyun. I do think he should start playing characters that are a little older, though. He’s only about 30, and I know actors that age usually play younger, but no matter how I try to look at it he is obviously 30. Every time I hear Joon-Hyun call Tae-song “Hyung” I start laughing, even though Son Ho Jun is also 30 (and is, in fact, 5 months older.)
Second side note: Since Trot Lovers and High-school King of Savvy are airing at the same time, has anyone else gone back and marathoned Reply 1997?