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The Demise of Smile, You

January 5, 2010

I tried to pretend for as long as possible. As much as I like to think that I’m objective, I have a foolishly loyal streak. If I like something, I’ll try to defend it as long as possible, until I can’t, in good conscience, continue. And Smile, You has finally hit that point.

I think episode 20 was the turning point for me. I like a cute romance as much as the next gal. (Actually, that’s not true. I don’t like it as much…) But I started seeing hints of lazy writing. It hadn’t been stellar by any means, but good enough for the fairly talented cast to shine. And then it started feeding us weird and unreasonable secondary plot lines.

    A family vacation with a name, called PARADISE??
    Kyung Soo as the third part to the Sung Joon/Ji Soo love triangle?
    Han Se’s mom is jealous that Jung In is now dating Hyun Soo?

What are you, Creating Destiny?

I thought to myself, I’ll take it as long as they don’t start the usual kdrama shenanigans with Jung In and Hyun Soo. (i.e. Break up, get back together, and repeat.) They wouldn’t do that to them, would they? But after sitting through episode 29, I almost wish they had. When did Smile, You turn into a melodrama? Why is Hyun Soo on his knees, begging, with tears streaming down his face? AND why, oh pray tell, have you decided that the OST has become God’s gift to mankind? Did Jung In have to sing a song from the OST to Hyun Soo on their way to the ski lodge? Were you unable to get the rights to any Christmas songs? Aren’t some of them free to use?

It’s pretty difficult for actors (no matter how good) to save bad acting AND bad directing. (See Uhm Tae Woong in Queen Seondeok) And as much as I love Lee Min Jung, Jung Kyung Ho, and Lee Chun Hee, the utter ridiculousness shows through in their scenes. I especially bemoan the loss of Jung In, who had been one of my favorite female characters of 2009, as she has become a shell of herself.

I do lay quite a bit of the blame on the 16 episode extension. I had originally held out hope that the staff would be ready to work in the extension since the announcement was made fairly early into the series, and it had at one point been linked with 50 episodes. I just don’t think they had the plot to turn this into 46 episodes, or maybe the place they wanted to go (sisters and 1 man angle) didn’t work out and they didn’t have anything to replace that storyline. Whatever the case, we need to endure 17 more episodes to get through the end. SEVENTEEN EPISODES! That’s one more than the usual miniseries.

So why will I stick around? Am I a masochist? By no means. (Although I did love the movie, Secretary.) As I said, I have a foolish side. I watched all two million seasons of Friends and almost stuck through Heroes, although I finally gave that up at some point. And if I can watch Creating Destiny, albeit with an IV stuck in my arm, I can get through Smile, You. (Although I’ll probably have a grimace on my face.)

13 Comments leave one →
  1. Smiley permalink
    January 6, 2010 4:33 am

    I don’t know what you’re talking about… I think this is the BEST drama I’ve ever watched and followed. What’s so great about this drama is how the writers have taken the story a step up from the usual kdrama clichés of antagonism. They made the story unpredictable and the results close to reality… Well, you own your opinion but for me and the rest of the 1 million viewers around the world who watches this drama seem to appreciate and love it. Matter of fact, I’m really hoping they will extend the episodes to more than 50! …they are just starting at Ep 30! Oh and by the way, I do find you a “masochist” and really, there’s no need for you to stick around for this drama…

  2. January 6, 2010 7:16 am

    hi there~~
    i wonder if u can do the re-cap of 1n2d extreme winter camp ep???
    by the way i really like ur blog….keep it up…

  3. Gaby permalink
    January 6, 2010 8:10 am

    OH, sound like watching “Smile, You” is becoming a burden to you?! Why have to force yourself like that? Why don’t you just stop at the point it’s still an enjoyment for you? Why keep going, and then remember about the show not because of the fun it’s brought you, but because of its downside?!

    I’ve notice your lack of enthusiasm toward the show few weeks ago, whilst reading your recaps on Damabeans’ blog. I’ll lie if I say that I didn’t feel abit down and discouraged as I noticed that. Thus I enjoy reading your recaps less and less, and no more of restless feeling as I looked forward to your recaps. Or more precisely, I haven’t looked forward to it any more, as I know it won’t as much a pleasure to read as before. I’m terribly sorry if this piece of mind might offend or discourage you.

    I love the main couple in this show very much, and I’m fairly fond of watching the non-SooIn’s part. If there are any parts dragging for me, I just fastforward. Nevertheless, I really appreciate the overall good acting, the light-heart balance, the warmhearted moments, the non-overused background music (though, many’s already mentioned that they’re now fed up with not many changes or new in OST), etc.

    As much as I wish you could continue recapping this show, I really don’t hope watching it, recapping it would become any tiny kind of frustration to you. I love it when you told how much you like MISA, how is your crush toward SJS. Through it’s not necessary my cup of tea, but I like that kind of enthusiasm. It brings smiles to my face, seeing how much people have fun in whatever they are doing.

    Best regards.

  4. January 6, 2010 10:37 pm

    Gaby and Smiley,

    Thanks for your comments. I never in my wildest dreams would think that my opinions are better or more accurate than anyone else’s. And you’re right, there are millions of Smile You fans throughout the world who would probably disagree with me, which is great cuz I want the drama to do well. (To be honest, I’m usually a bit of a deviant in my assessment from popular viewpoints. haha)

    If I had to rate all the kdramas, movies, and tv shows that I’ve watched in my lifetime, I’ve probably disliked much more than 50% of them. That doesn’t mean that I’ll stop watching cuz then I’ll never see the gems. And even if it’s a bad kdrama, it’s still better than some things (ie laundry, washing dishes, paying bills, etc…) So onward I go, sometimes watching begrudgingly, sometimes (like today CHUNO!) with ecstasy, hoping to come face to face with glimpses of brilliance.

  5. January 8, 2010 12:20 am

    Good points, I think I will definitely subscribe! I’ll go and read some more! What do you see the future of this being?

  6. ditdut permalink
    January 8, 2010 5:41 am

    For a while, I stopped watching after episode 20. I couldn’t even get through the first 15 minutes. But then I pushed through and got to episode 25. But that was about 2 weeks ago. But now, after reading that episode 29 is a dud, I feel no motivation to trudge through.

  7. karened permalink
    January 8, 2010 7:19 am

    I don’t actually feel the demise, maybe because there’s just nothing else to watch already (more about that later).

    I do agree that some subplots are ridiculous, such as the one regarding Hanse’s mother (gosh, her acting when she was talking to Hyun Soo’s mother, the “anyways, anyways”, was sooo fake but somehow managed to poke my funny bones). But I’m also looking forward to see how the couple can win approval, especially from Hyun Soo’s mother. I can totally see why she’s rejecting the match. Though I don’t understand the issue with Jung In’s failed (1-hr) marriage, I understand how Hyun Soo’s life will be burdened by pests like Jung Kil. So, I really want to see how this gets resolved.

    Strangely, much as I liked the Sung Joon x Ji Soo pairing, I’ve been skipping their parts as of late. It’s getting way too sugary (like an ice-cream covered with way too much caramel) and Jun Hye Jin’s amateurish acting isn’t helping.

    With almost 20 eps to go, I wonder how the writers can avoid the drag that tend to haunt extensions. In any case, I’m still sticking to this for now, because there isn’t much else to watch.

    Although we’ve got 5 dramas that premiered this week, I haven’t really been caught up with any.
    Wish Upon A Star: Gave it 10 mins, and the lead female irritated the hell out of me (although I know that, according to kdrama traditions, she’ll change for the better after her parents leave her). As at the end of those 10 mins, the other kids haven’t been cute enough to be the alternate hook either.
    Pasta: With it making waves both before (that actually put me off) and after (this made me try it out), I gave the first ep 30 mins. But somehow, I don’t feel the connection. Yet. But since it seems to have won much favour, I guess I’ll give another shot at it.
    God Of Study: Cute kids, but hateful plot. Why? Because ep 1 was almost a replica of its Japanese counterpart. But will still watch for the cute kids. XD
    Chuno: Am watching ep 1 now. While the plot is engaging, I haven’t really got the urge to continue beyond ep 1. =S *crosses fingers*

    Which is good, because school term is starting and I shouldn’t be starting yet another YB wacthing frenzy.

    p.s. sorry for the urber long comment, which is mostly unrelated to your post.

    • January 8, 2010 8:20 am

      Hi Karened! You don’t want to continue with Chuno? I’m a little sad…
      But it’s nice to get your take on the other Monday dramas, the only one I’ve seen is Pasta1 and it’s cute enough. i’ll probably watch 2 since it’s pretty difficult for me to stay away from LSK and GHJ. but haven’t had a huge urge to see it.

      As for SY… i’ll keep watching. At this point, I can’t in all honesty stop. Ii want to see HS/JI win over their parents too and hopefully we’ll get a wedding scene at the end. But i guess I’m just a little bored with the route that they’ve taken. It could have been so much better…

      Ditdut, if 20 made you stop, 29 will make you pull out your hair…

  8. olive permalink
    January 8, 2010 4:44 pm

    I agree with you… I do feel bored with the plot right now though i dont think i’m bored up to your level 🙂 and I also blame the extension for this not-going-anywhere plot for the last few weeks. Two episodes every week and there is just no progress. It gets tiring to watch. I used to wake up at 8 just to catch the live broadcast. *sigh* I don’t enjoy the subplot as much as other people so the hype is gone for me.
    However, i think it’s still one of the more fun and entertaining dramas to get me keep on watching. I can’t watch melodrama like Will it snow for Christmas… it just gets too much crying and tragedies.
    I hope you’ll find it a little more entertaining than what you seem to say ^^

  9. bk5d permalink
    January 9, 2010 3:02 am

    I’m not here to disagree on your opinion, but I would like to point out that you’re a bit u fair in one point: the fact that the male lead’s mom is jealous of her son’s girlfriend/wants a better woman for him is a fairly common theme in a lot of dramas and movies, not limited to just the korean plot scenes (e.g. Monster in Law with Jennifer Lopez, Coffee Prince with the male lead’s grandma although it’s a very minor conflict, and so on) .

    So it’s a bit unfair to pick that one conflict out and compare to it to Creating Destiny.

  10. apdy permalink
    January 10, 2010 7:49 am

    Ha! So I’m not the only one who felt the extension has the effect on the show. I do not like how they write Jung In character, she used to be my fav because of her spunk personality & she has grown into a mature woman but a doormat to everyone else. The girl lacks confidence in herself when she’s with Hyun Soo, ugh!

    I had it with this week’s episode. It turns into 1 big melodrama, yes, I do understand that as the story progress conflicts need to arise but it lost that upbeat aura say from episode 10 to early 20s.

    I’m still sticking around but no longer feed myself with live broadcast episodes & that I can wait a couple of days later to watch and still survive. Of course still my fav character is Hyun Soo “Oppa” aka Jung Kyung Ho 😉

  11. citrone permalink
    January 15, 2010 9:59 am

    Can’t say it better! Totally agree on all points you mentioned!

  12. nabi permalink
    January 17, 2010 1:36 am

    Agreed. To me 32nd ep was the worst but surprisingly I’ve seen quite a few people commenting that it was the best episode so far.. How funny..
    Anyhow, I think Smile, You is doing pretty well considering the extension.. it still keeps you interested.. but err.. 14 more episodes… I just hope it doesn’t get any worse. This is the only current drama I’m watching so Smile, You.. please don’t fail me.

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