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04 9월, 2007

Its all about the happy ending...

So, for those of you who I actually keep in contact with (all 2 of you, you know who y'all are), you know that I have been, for want of a better word, obsessed, with a show called Coffee Prince or 커피프린스 1호점 (literally kaw-pi peu-rin-seu 1 ho-cham) . It has literally been the one show that i have watched religiously, waiting on tenterhooks until the next torrent is released, then having to wait for the fansubs to come out. Aigoo. After 17 delicious fun-filled episodes however, the show is over, and Coffee prince is no more. I was quite cut up when the final episode aired, to be honest. I can't quite explain, but my guts twisted, my heart felt so constricted and it felt, really for the first time, that I was truly mourning the loss of something truly dear to me. I'm not sure I was this upset when I left home to attend college. All this over a TV show you ask? Yes, absolutely. This has to be the best piece of television I have seen all year, bar none.

The setup: A la Shakespeare's The Twelfth Night, it involves a girl, Go Eun Chan, who disguised as a guy, falls for main squeeze Choi Han Gyul, who just happens to be in love with his cousin's (Choi Han Sung) girl, Han Yoo Joo, who just returned to Korea after running off with another guy, blessedly only known as DK. Get that? Han Gyul, played by Gong Yoo, is 30, a cavalier playboy, and having run off to the States to be a toymaker, has now been summoned home to Korea to fulfill his filial duties like take over the family business and get married to some suitable filly. Eun Chan (Yoon Eun Hae) is 24, and has lived most of her life as a tomboy, has never been to college and works as a delivery "boy" to support her inept mother and high strung sister. Through several chance meetings HG, thinking that EC is in fact a he, hires her as his fake gay lover to ward off advances from the "dates" his family have set up. Liking her work ethic he hires "him" to work at an all male coffee shop, Coffee Prince.

Now this extremely light and fluffy framework would seem to consign this to the not-much-depth department, but there you'd be wrong. What starts off as a simple tale of a girl and guy falling in love morphs slowly into a tale of a boy becoming a man, dealing with questioning his sexuality, what it means to be true to oneself and the nature of falling in love. As I have mentioned earlier in the blog, Coffee Prince is liberally sprinkled with "play" and the romantic in me loves the fact that they really emphasised friendship as part of any love relationship and not just two people making calf eyes @ each other. It also quite interestingly, showcased a rocky, long-term relationship, how people deal with infidelity, mistrust and how people move forward trying to keep it together. I don't mean to imply that it is all heart wrenching stuff. You get the sense it is a lot like Much Ado About Nothing, or another favourite of mine Pride and Prejudice, where you know everything will end up alright, but the journey is what gets you coming back for more. I like that as a series it had layers to it, is very much worthy of a deeper look, it still was an enjoyable experience. While I enjoy the works of the like of Won Kar Wai, Kim Ki Duk Lee Myung Su and the like, the occasional non-mind bending piece of celluloid is totally needed to balance it all out.

What else can I say? I love this series to bits and my respect for Gong Yoo has absolutely grown in leaps and bounds. Sadly, he's off for compulsory military training for 2 years and this author will truly miss him. An nyeong, oppa.

A beacon of hope for great writing: 5 out of 5!!!

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