New Hyun Bin Drama Thoughts – Feb 7, 2015 – Feb 22, 2015
(A spoiler-filled scene by scene commentary)
Jekyll, Hyde and I (JHI) – the title which I will address it as I knew it before.
Unfortunately, since I was watching this on my phone, screenshots of the actual episode will not be included.
This is admittedly a very late commentary considering the show’s run, but in any case, here goes.
Having read the synopsis online and the title in earlier anticipation of the drama, I already had reservations of what I was getting myself into. “3rd generation chaebol”, “split personality”, “girl falling in love with other personality” – other than the actual psychiatric disorder of Dissociative Identity disorder, all these were reminiscent of what I thought was the magnificent failure of Taiwan drama Fall In Love With Me starring Aaron Yan. Nonetheless, being powered by admiration for Hyun Bin from his performance in Secret Garden, I decided to give it a shot anyway (since my drama mood seemed to be recovering).
In the first scene, Hyun Bin is shown at some circus platform in a somewhat hazy setting. A kid runs into him with a balloon tied to his back. Being the block of wood that he is, Hyun Bin’s character just stands there and does not avoid his face being rudely blocked. Furthermore, logic was such that to remove the balloon from his face, he was to flick it away for a convenient shot for the camera to reveal his handsome face in a nerdy getup. Of course, being a balloon and TIED rather securely, the balloon quickly floats back to his face.
And then, the first traces of Hyun Bin’s character’s personality is revealed to be that of an asshole as he nonchalantly pulls away the balloon from the child and lets him stand there crying.
(Unimportant spoiler part: the scene continues when he notices a disco ball about to fall on a girl walking under it and waits to the last second to barely save her from being hit. Of course, this is later revealed to be a dream.)
Hyun Bin then wakes up to be in his own room and suddenly terribly concerned about his heart rate. Having read the synopsis beforehand, I understand the circumstances, but perhaps to some extent, those who haven’t may be confused as to who is this Robin? (I can’t speak much for that but they do suggest in very non-explicit ways that he has a split personality)
Then my next important comment – Hyun Bin rushes into his lush and luxurious indoor garden which can only remind me of Kyoya’s indoor pool resort as shown in Ouran High School Host Club (the anime and manga) minus the actual water bodies. Then he proceeds to doing yoga and lowering heart rate with high tech equipment around him to monitor his readings, all in pattern print pants that look like the next potential replacement meme for Kim Joo Won’s (of Secret Garden) sparkling sports jacket.
Along comes his side-kick assistant that is already less identifiable than the face that was Kim Joo Won’s Assistant Kim although it is predictable they will play the exact same role. They discuss more about the heart rate and Hyun Bin’s dream while Hyun Bin strategically changes into his work clothes. Despite being a Hyun Bin fan, I have to admit Hyun Bin’s body isn’t hot. It’s definitely not as sculpted as someone like Song Seung Heon’s so well… (Hyun Bin’s chest is quite simply just there and serves no purpose as a result.) Producers, it is fine to not include such changing shots for fan service because it’s not that effective.
They proceed on to the grounds of the setting, which is a theme park named Wonderland which now only seems to be a Korean Disneyworld without the actual cartoon themes. Personally, this just seemed lacking in creativity and somewhat of an excuse for interaction between a character with a physically active career and an otherwise standard chaebol. Wait, this already sounds like Secret Garden… Instead of stuntwoman with barely any career-related interactions and proactive stalking by Kim Joo Won, JHI has already created a setting for more interaction given it will not be love at first sight now (oops spoiler).
Then Hyun Bin’s character proceeds to solidify his standing as a complete childish asshole that for some reason is still in a position of power. Having been scarred from his dream with balloons, he demands that his theme park with myriads of children to be removed of balloons and have even balloon-looking items banned with zero consideration for how it would affect a business at all.
Having watched Secret Garden before, it occurred to me that “Hey, Kim Joo Won didn’t exactly show business prowess either in his role.” However, it still occurred to me that he did still partake in superficially professional business roles and deals such as in convincing his cousin to remain as an endorser for his company. Here, not so much.
In addition to a self-centred and childish boss, now his theme park lets loose a gorilla from the circus (supposedly) whereby a) there is no one staff running to catch after it or warn of this danger b) security is non-existent and does nothing to ensure the safety of the patrons c) the boss and his entourage are completely clueless and helpless with dealing with the situation. Why do I not want to be anywhere close to this Wonderland now?
For some reason, amongst the crowds dispersing and running away for dear life, this one lady decides to run towards this nerdy looking guy in a suit frozen in position (yes, Hyun Bin) and asks for help (literally “save me, Ahjussi”) instead of running away with the rest of the world. To make matters worse, guess what this amazingly rich chaebol does? Book his place as a top asshole. He not only tries to shake away this pesky lady from holding on to him, but he quickly decides to even childishly BITE on the lady’s hand to make her let go. Following that, he PUSHES HER AWAY DIRECTLY into the direction of the gorilla and flees to climb up the roof of a nearby stall, even aided by his underlings. All I could do was LMAO.
If it was not Hyun Bin acting this character, I am pretty sure I would already be cursing at this little piece of shit’s uselessness. I mean, are you freaking kidding me? This useless idiot character is the main lead? orz The childishness of Kim Joo Won combined with utter incompetency without reason for any adoration.
Okay, maybe I haven’t given the character enough of a chance yet. He grabs out his gear and finally calms down and lowers his heart rate from a dangerous level of 150. He takes off his gear and seems ready for action. What are you going to do, Hyun Bin? Spring into action? Command authority? Make a decisive game plan?
Apparently not… He does what a big boss should have done long ago – contact his staff and asks them about the situation and preparation for an emergency. However, he simply asks them if they are prepared, not even giving directions on how to possibly strategize to deal with it in a more efficient manner. Of course, no one also seems to care that scared visitors are for some reason encircling the beast instead of running away.
The staff finally arrives with some equipment but look as helpless as a non-professional approaching this creature they’ve never seen before in their lives. And these people turn out to be the people supposedly in charge of the circus where this animal could only have been at. -_-“
They weakly shoot a tranquiliser dart that ends up bouncing off the gorilla’s chest, agitating it further. Then comes the girl who heard about the news while in a taxi and all she does is call out the gorilla’s name “Bing Bing” and the beast is surprisingly tamed after dashing through a path of scared humans and seemed to be waiting to body slam the girl.
This is also ridiculous because I believe no trained professional would still go to that extent of not preparing any strategies to calm the beast down. All she did was call out her name and open her arms wide for a hug that never came. Not even trying to grab the gorilla’s attention, or lean in to seem more approachable and friendly to the beast. In fact, the beast could apparently see her and recognise her voice far away all through a ring of humans enough to dash its way through it. True enough, the girl is the next circus master coming to take over who the gorilla regards almost like a mother having been there in its childhood.
Reporters come, but not much outrage. A PR statement from this lady who hasn’t officially taken up her post and all is well. Okay, I won’t put too much importance on this.
Then out of selfishness to understand his increased heartrate, he forcibly calls up the girl to his office. Why would your heart rate increase upon seeing a gorilla about to pounce on a girl? Well, maybe out of good conscience? After all, that girl might be killed? No of course not, wonders Hyun Bin’s character (whose name I still have yet to remember). Upon seeing the girl, he does absolutely nothing but pulls her into close proximity to him for squealing fans in front of their electronic devices. What? Why?? This seemed nothing as much as fan service reminiscent of Secret Garden’s sudden close proximity with Gil A Rim to examine her wound. In this case, the purpose is even less precise and more socially awkward, since he simply stares at the girl and observes his heart rate as shown on his high-tech Bluetooth-linked spectacles.
Once he is done, he lets her go. By the way, they barely know each other *cough cough* and you expect viewers to somehow ship them together already?! Please…
He even does not consider talking any business with her until he finally tells her simply “Oh I am closing down the circus”. Obviously, this girl didn’t get the memo when she publicly announced herself as the new incoming circus master. The reasoning is superficial and terribly casual and ruins the poorly constructed illusion of a setting that this drama revolved around.
In any case, to throw the girl off, he pacifies her by lying to say that her contract will be not be terminated when in actual fact moments later he actually does otherwise. The girl being the stereotypical headstrong “let’s stand up for ourselves and our rights!” character, trails the immature and useless main character as he miraculously hears from his doctor about a cure for his split personality. While the girl is at first stopped outside the hospital, she cannot be prevented from entering a public compound (if I remember correctly). Somehow she deduces the exact location or direction that Hyun Bin is heading to in this otherwise empty hospital. Given her circus background, why am I not surprised to see her zip-line down (yes, zip-line from building to building with zero safety equipment) to what happens to be the exact office of Hyun Bin’s doctor.
A side note, but Hyun Bin’s doctor’s room looks terribly similar to the brown wooden interior that was I Can Hear Your Voice’s public defendant office. I discovered that at least the broadcasting channel SBS was the same for both dramas so my deduction may be right. I thought this would only be something that Hong Kong or China dramas would be more obvious with. In any case, I am still wondering why a doctor’s office is so much less white, more disorganised and not even clinic-like. It’s like a business office with its own coffee table and such. Or are Korean hospitals different from my knowledge?
While Hyun Bin happens to see this crazy lady zip-line across hospital buildings, no souls are present other than theirs and perhaps this is a good reason to question the hospital security already. Not only did a lady zip-line across buildings directly into the confidential and private space of a medical practitioner through a window, another stranger dressed in black heavily assaulted the doctor to break her glass coffee table and leave many bloodstains around the office. Of course, crazy gorilla lady here witnesses all this frenzy and eventually notices or sees the assailant. Hyun Bin soon arrives and his scaredy-cat nature proves useful for once as he instinctively dashes away from the crime scene for his life. (My memory of the exact episode procession at this point is a bit blurred.)
They run away, not together but at the same time. The drama then takes a sudden turn into the mood of City Hunter or another police action film with dramatic running scenes of mostly running through hallways in a swift but aesthetic manner. What a combination of moods this show has been so far, eh? Hyun Bin eventually reaches the lift and successfully enters it himself. However, the girl being behind him is just several feet away from him barely makes it before the door begins to close on her. The assailant catches up and (iirc) grabs the legs of the girls and pulls her away as one could imagine in a horror film. The only difference is that it was broad daylight with plenty of light indoors and Hyun Bin was out to display his prowess as a hopeless asshole again – he purposefully kicked the girl’s clawing hands from interfering with his lift and rapidly pressed close on the lift button.
Soon, the girl is helplessly carried away to her doom at a roof instead of simply assaulting her or killing her as it seems had been done before. Somehow Hyun Bin’s actually likable alter ego Robin drudgingly makes his long-awaited appearance. After all, anyone else with a semi-decent and normal personality would be a refreshing change at this point. While in the safety of the lift, main character’s heart rate exceeds the 150 threshold. While it was described by the main character to seemingly release a beast, having read the synopsis, we all know it is actually a nicer human being that the main character is so afraid of.
The lift scene is, again, reminiscent of Secret Garden scenes. In Secret Garden, Hyun Bin also had a trauma and tragic past that made him claustrophobic. He also had a very dramatic scene in a lift in which somewhat explains his claustrophobia. Here, in a lift again, I could not help but see the many similarities that were almost lifted from Secret Garden. After much agonising, Hyun Bin as main character slowly becomes limp in position before straightening up again in a Superman kneeling position. Dude, did you just eat some anti-kryptonite serum or something? No really, he looked like Superman ready to fly off to save the world.
And save the girl, at least, he does. While the masked assailant procrastinates in the elimination of a key witness, Robin has time to run up to the roof (no idea how he guessed) and engage in a little bit of a tussle with him/her. However, the girl having been left literally hanging off the edge of a building soon falls off into a conveniently located water body or pond located within the hospital. This is when superhero Robin also decides to heroically jump after the girl to grab her in time (not sure whether physics would allow this since my physics sucks) and seemingly protect her from the main impact of the fall into water.
(Another) Trope Comparison! Anybody else remembered Tamaki jumping off the cliff to save Haruhi in Ouran High School Host Club?! http://mangafox.me/manga/ouran_high_school_host_club/v03/c008/31.html
No seriously, the whole jumping after the girl into a pool of water is… not original that is the least to say. Nonetheless, it seems still rather useless given that unlike Tamaki, Robin didn’t jump in to be able to pull her out of the water. Instead, he simply hugged her and they both sank into the water slowly… How exactly they got saved when there were no other souls in the hospital is another problem. Or is it that I have been reading too much manga too?
But at this point, I have learnt that it is easier not to ask questions about this drama anymore.
The first episode ended with the asshole main character acted by Hyun Bin awaking in the hospital and wondering if his better alter ego did show up and everyone wondering if Robin did save the girl. I’m not sure if anyone remembered the doctor though (lol). As to whether or not I continue this drama will depend on how much free time I have and whether or not I am willing to waste spend it on this train-wreck of an unintended comedy.
~ Jerna (@jernahorizon)