Of Disturbing Plots and Evolving Formulas

Today we talk about another Kdrama (Korean Drama for the uninitiated) but the one I disliked. Since it is the first one to be disapproved by me, it deserves an entry of its own.

One Fine Day

On why I finished a crappy show

I started watching the show one fine afternoon, and my day went downhill from there. In fact, the show was so listless and disagreeable that I gave it up somewhere in the middle of the fourth episode. However, it was not to be and by sheer coincidence the next show I picked up and loved watching had the same actor – Gong Yoo – and Coffee Prince left me kind of liking him. Hence, it was logical for me to pick up One Fine Day again after Coffee Prince just for the sake of eye candy. Big mistake, because now I do not think Gong Yoo is anything special!

And while we are on the topic of cute Korean actors, the female lead of this show – Sung Yu Ri – is extremely popular as well, or so the interwebs and my kdrama-krazy colleagues tell me. She is pretty, I will concur but even her pretty face and Gong Yoo’s charm could not save this one. Let me tell you why.

Because if you develop romantic interest in your sibling, you need to go to the psychiatrist! It is not a subject to make sweet quixotic shows about.

About its crappiness

The drama opens in a scenic seawall somewhere in Australia, with exotic underwater shots of a very fit Gong Yoo who plays Seo Gun, a cheat who fakes marriages and steals money off dons. He lives with his adopted family of an old man and his daughter, Hyo Ju, who regards Gun as her boyfriend while Gun insists she is his sister! Hyo Ju has a severe heart condition and needs a surgery immediately but for some reason or the other, she keeps refusing to get one. Post the first couple of Australian episodes, very predictably the scene shifts to Seoul (a fascinating trend in most Korean shows), where Gun discovers his long-lost step-sister – Seo Hanuel (played by Sung Yu Ri) – who was tragically separated from him after their parents’ death in a car accident. She had been adopted by a rich friend of the father. While the adopted family pampers her, the mother sees her as her dead daughter and her brother refuses to think of her as his sister and instead molests her; while the father just sits back. Go figure.

And I have not even reached the disturbing part of the show yet.

So Gun rescues his doe-eyed little sister from the molesting brother, troubled mother, and weak father. However, he thinks he might as well make a few bucks out of the situation. While his girlfriend-who-he-thinks-of-as-his-sister-but-doesn’t-mind-kissing-on-the-mouth returns to Seoul to be with him as well. The doe-eyed sister works in an aquarium which gives a stunning backdrop to many aquatic scenes of colorful fish and flapping turtles. Her boss at the aquarium falls for her head over heels despite being constantly pegged against the molesting brother and/or the savior brother who the whole world mistakes for Hanuel’s boyfriend.

Amidst all this relationshippy madness, throw some mystery and thrill from the past and you will realize that Gun and Hanuel are not siblings at all. They have two different sets of biological parents and therefore, the last twenty years that they spent believing each other to be kin are now meaningless, and they can happily fall in love. Yay!

On why I continued to watch the show

Despite the super disturbing plot, the four main actors have done a fine job of playing the characters with out-of-control emotions and twisted fate. The twists in the tale are a little too many but they give the actors ample chance to perform and keeps the audience wondering what next.

The aquatic shots used frequently in the show are quite gorgeous, and although you could instead switch on NatGeo, one has to admit fish look prettier when there is some drama involved.

Plus, I really wanted to know whether the siblings would actually end up together. They did.

Besides the story

Leaving aside the distressing plot, I also failed to understand the need for “After Three Years” in the second half of the final episode. All was sorted, the baddies were dead, the hearts of the non-siblings were broken, and romantic confessions were made, but then someone decided that the couple should pine for a few years before they can be together.

Although, I am only onto my fifth Korean drama at the moment, I am already beginning to get the super hit formula template for Korean dramas:

  1. Cute faces
  2. A couple of episodes in a foreign location (Already seen Venice, Thailand, Milan, Sydney, Paris – wait that’s five on five!)
  3. Passage of time before the couple meets again (Four out of Five, but I have only just begun the fifth one, so.)
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