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Will It Snow at Christmas?: Episodes 3-4

December 17, 2009

The other day I made some dwen-jang (fermented bean) stew.  I happened to have a piece of andouille sausage laying around and decided it to throw it in for kicks.  It looked like dwen-jang stew, and smelled like dwen-jang stew, but first taste and you can immediately tell it was not dwen-jang stew.  Yes, it was edible but it didn’t have the usual savory taste because it had been infiltrated by a foreign taste.

That’s how I feel about Will It Snow at Christmas.  Because I’m watching this concurrently with I’m Sorry, I Love You (MISA), I can’t help but make comparisons.  It’s eerily similar.  I’ve never seen What Happened in Bali so I can’t make that comparison, but Christmas even has the same look and feel as MISA.  Long pauses without dialogue, freeze frames, lots of low angle/high angle shots.  It’s not that this is out of the ordinary from other kdramas, but both dramas do a good job of incorporating this into the story.  (FYI:  Writer of Christmas wrote  MISA and director also did Bali.)

I also couldn’t help but notice the music effect similarities.  One thing that I really really like about MISA is how the raw singing is smoothly transitioned into studio vocals.  It’s an important detail for MISA because of Yune, the singer, and the dichotomy set up with Moo Hyuk.  (It’s unlike You’re Beautiful, where the transitions were a bit fat mess, which I’ll write about one day in my final YB post.)  This aspect isn’t that important to Christmas, but the lullaby that Kang Jin and his mom sing to each other sounds exactly like the transitions from MISA.

Christmas is definitely watchable and at times intriguing, but feels foreign to me, kind of like that dwen-jang stew with the andouille sausage. I like Go Soo quite a bit and I think Han Ye Seul‘s natural sadness adds a certain depth to her character. But she just doesn’t seem naturally when acting, which can be difficult to watch at times. Overall, its not bad per se but unsettling. I haven’t yet decided whether its in a bad way or a good way. (I eventually ended up “throwing” it away to the human garbage disposal, my husband.)

Here’s the 2 minute recap:

Kang Jin (Go Soo) is shocked to find that Ji Wan (Han Ye Seul) is the bride to be. When her fiance doesn’t show up to the engagement, she’s forced to eat the food from the party, with Kang Jin stays behind to help her. When she hears his introduction, Ji Wan is surprised but refuses to acknowledge that she knows him. Seeing her again brings back all of his memories and infatuation. He follows her into the bathroom as she upchucks her food.

Meanwhile, her fiancee, Park Tae Jun (Song Jong Ho), is off with his ex, Lee Woo Jung (Sunwoo Sun), who had cut up her wrist due to his impending engagement. He spends the day with her, giving her false hope that he’ll be coming back to her.

I liked Sunwoo Sun quite a bit in Queen of Housewives. She plays a real huge brat in Christmas though, whereas she was quite likable in the former. I think she’s setting herself up well for some massive kdrama redemption.

On top of being fantastic at his job (he almost takes a project away from Tae Jun), Kang Jin is quite the family man. He consoles his brother, who isn’t able to see his dad. (And we find out that they’re half brothers.) He’s also in charge of taking care of his mom, singing her a song as she makes her nightly call.

It also looks like they’re trying to set up Ji Wan’s dad as his father. I think we can assume that they’re not siblings, which makes me wonder whether he really is indeed Ji Wan’s dad.

Ji Wan waits for Tae Jun’s phone call after the non-engagement and heads to his apartment, deciding to wait for him. Kang Jin sees her at Tae Jun’s door (he lives on the same floor) and ultimately brings her back to his place. She’s running a fever and he takes care of her through the night.

The next morning, she wakes up at an unfamiliar location and is surprised to find Kang Jin. When Tae Jun comes by to exchange car keys, he finds his almost fiance at another man’s apartment. Kang Jin, who had been contemplating whether to get involved, decides to be fully involved and treats Ji Wan with excessive familiarity in front of Tae Jun.

Ji Wan tries to yell at Tae Jun for not showing at the engagement but get tongue tied and ends up leaving his apartment with the house slippers still on. Kang Jin sees her with the slippers and brings her a pair of boots, reminding her of how he gave up his shoes for her when they were younger. (This was the defining moment when she started to fall for him.) As much as she’s upset about her engagement, she seems more affected by Kang Jin than Tae Jun.

Woo Jung goes to see Ji Wan, feeling a bit of remorse for ruining her engagement day and curious to see the other woman. She’s pretty confident in Tae Jung coming back to her and tells Ji Wan to be ready for a breakup.

As expected, Ji Wan’s dad still cares about Kang Jin’s mom. He acts cold and distant on the outside, but we see him parked outside of her coffee shop and takes her to the hospital for some x-rays when she complains of pain from getting beaten up earlier.

I usually don’t get too wrapped up in parent relationships but find myself looking forward to seeing them on screen. I find Chun Hee to be really believable and makes me want to hit her and hug her at the same time. I also can’t believe that Jo Min Soo (Proposal, Ice Flower) is playing mom to Go Soo. (She’s only 13 years older than him.)

Even though Ji Wan pretends not to know Kang Jin, she still has his pendant and always wears it. It’s pretty clear that this is going to be a big token of their love and the connection that he has with his father. And to have Kang Jin keep up, he keeps her hairpin and uses it as a tie clip.

Woo Jung is elated to move in with Tae Jun and happily heads to their new apartment that she had prepared. Unfortunately, he’s only there to say goodbye. The scene between is pretty well directed, with Woo Jung holding onto Tae Jun as much as possible while he finally breaks it off with her with the right mix of care and detachment.

Tae Jun heads to see Ji Wan. She thinks that he’s there to break up with her to get back together with Woo Jung. She tries to look confident and cool, telling him to just go back to her and not worry about her. Tae Jun is fairly drunk at this point and head out.

Ji Wan follows him to return his credit card and sees him falling to the ground in a druken stupor. She runs over to him and tries to block him from oncoming traffic. Kang Jin sees them as he walks passed the store and runs after Ji Wan, hugging her and blocking her from the oncoming traffic.

I’ve developing a bit of Go Soo crush watching this drama. Hmm… is it bad that I want to be the one being hugged? Haha.

In the evening, everyone’s wallowing in their sadness. Kang Jin is speaking with his mom, who sings him a song this time around. Ji Wan takes care of a drunk Tae Jun, thinking about Kang Jin. Woo Jung is left alone in the apartment. And Jun Soo, Ji Wan’s dad, looks up into the night sky, thinking about Chun Hee (Kang Jin’s mom.)

I must say that there are a lot of great shots, even if they’re a rip of MISA. That shot of Woo Jung totally reminds me of Moo Hyuk. Again, Christmas has potential. But atleast to this point, it makes me want to go watch MISA more than anything else.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. ripgal permalink
    December 19, 2009 11:16 am

    I actually felt very underwhelmed whilst watching this drama. Maybe because I had too much expectations for it? Everything, from the writing, to the direction, even down to the acting just fell flat for me. Or am I already starting to not feel for melodramas anymore? 😮

    I’ve seen up till Ep 5, and I still CANNOT feel a thing for the characters. Go Soo’s portrayal as KJ, I must admit, whilst engaging and intense most of time, I just can’t help but spot some over-reacting and stiffness. His does use a lot of his eyes and gazes, but still, I found it difficult to grasp the emotions and messages he intended to convey. Maybe it’s the character, maybe it’s the actor… I really don’t know..

    HYS’s okay, she’s got good moments, but her flaws really do stick out most of the time. Not that the rest are any better than her, but everything she’s displayed thus far can be considered at surface value/skin deep. Nothing more. I wish I could feel for her, but I just can’t.

    Overall, I’m not impressed. Writing and direction wise, I really cannot follow thru with the rest in Soompi, complimenting on how great both aspects are. The OST’s just mediocre too..

    If there’s anything that I really like about the drama, it’s Go Soo. And that said, he’s not even perfect or stellar in here. Sighz.

  2. Lm J permalink
    December 21, 2009 6:53 am

    I have just finished ep 3/4 … is it me or is the drama very slow??

    Maybe the pacing for subsequent episodes will pick up?? Otherwise I will have problem keeping my eyes open …

    I think HYS’s acting is commendable. She is able to emote well and I rather have her restrained than acting over-the-top like in Fantasy Couple.

    And Go Soo … *sigh* a cutie pie.

    He is the sort of tough and shy/quiet kind of a guy. A bit too restrained in his role.

    But he is my Mr McDreamy #3 *sigh*

  3. December 31, 2009 1:06 am

    I hear you guys. I actually didn’t expect too much so it’s better than I thought but there’s something a bit off about the whole thing. I’m up to ep5 also and still don’t get any of the characters. The only one I feel anything for is Go Soo’s mom.

    And HYS is just not a good actress… I give you that she’s better than I expected. Right now, my plans are to just watch Go Soo as eye candy when I have time and call it a day.

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