Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Jo Hyun Jae (조현재) and Yong Pal



I’ve been trying to encourage myself to watch Yong Pal until that fateful day when we had our lunch meeting (me and my best friends). We work for different Government Institutions so it’s not easy for us to get together, it’s either one is flying overseas or the other one flies all over the country.

But, when we get together it’s inevitable for the question ‘What are you watching these days?’ to pop up because we all love Kdramas. What I didn’t think would happen was for that normally innocent conversation to kill my already limited desire to watch Yong Pal.

When the question came to ‘Is there anything worth watching?’ Yong Pal was one of the answers. I excitedly announced that my man was there. When I was asked whether he was the lead I explained that he was not and that he was the bad guy.

That’s when my friend who watched Yong Pal and said that it was good calmly said ‘He died.’

There’s no rain, no storms, no earthquakes, no bombs nothing but it felt like the earth was being snatched from under my feet. My jaw dropped to the floor. My heart stopped beating. Then I saw red.

It’s not that I really wanted to watch Yong Pal but to hear that my man was being killed just because he was the bad guy really made me furious. I was also angry at my friend for delivering the bad news just like that. Who said we shouldn’t kill the messenger?

So what if Jo Hyun Jae is the bad guy? How many people did he kill? Since when Kdramas is so obsessed with punishing the bad guys? Just look at Hello Monster (I Remember You), we have psychopaths who love to kill people with enormous body counts but end up having a peaceful life free of punishment.

What happens to the usual punishment reserve for the bad guys in Kdramas? What happens to amnesia? Look at the evil guy in Oh My Ghostess (I was glad that he died and couldn’t believe my eyes when he didn't). Why can’t they give my Jo Hyun Jae amnesia instead of killing him? Where is amnesia when we need one?

I’m so angry at Yong Pal even without watching it. A story that couldn’t even find forgiveness in itself when other stories are being so forgiving to those who deserve no forgiveness is not going to get my forgiveness.

It’s hard for me to watch Jo Hyun Jae when he isn’t the male lead. Partly because I don’t want to waste my time seeing the other guy who I don’t care about (I don’t care for Joo Won and Jin Goo, it might be a different story if the male lead is the wonderful Joo Sang Wook or the beautiful Song Seung Hun who although is far beneath Jo Hyun Jae in acting department but is equally loved by me) and partly because I want him to get the girl (the second male lead or the bad guy never gets the girl).

If Jo Hyun Jae wants to change his image by playing an evil character I’m all for it. Whatever makes him happy will make me happy. He isn’t just a pretty face. He has what it takes to play a completely different character, even a complex one.

The problem is there aren’t that many evil character for male leads. In fact there aren’t that many different characters for male leads. The worst of them are the cold indifferent ones nothing more.

I could only pray that next time Jo Hyun Jae won’t be so fixated on an evil second male lead role. I’m sure there are other twisted male lead characters out there. The one who doesn’t die and gets the girl.

*Praying he’ll get that role with one of my favourite artists i.e. Han Ye Seul (한예슬)*
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