my favorite dynamic writing duo: The Hong sisters
Let me introduce to you two screen writers from Korea. Collectively known as the Hong sisters, these two siblings have a great talent for writing romantic comedies, funny, sad, and always heartwarming. Hong Jung Eun and her younger sister, Hong Mi Ran have written several dramas. Known for their witty style and use of common things that become symbols of love for the characters, they are, by far, one of the most innovative pair of screen writers to date amongst the Korean drama wave, if not the world. As of 2011, they have seven TV series under their belt, with a new on on the way... Personally, I cannot wait.
Their writing is such, that this viewer watches these dramas over and over again, because at each viewing something else will stand out. In reading the subtitles, I find myself wanting to go back to truly visualize the character interaction, which, is as equal a treat as the subtitled dialogue. But I digress.....
Their newest drama called "THE GREATEST LOVE" is about a top star of Korea, Dokko Jin, falling hard for one of the lowest candidates in the entertainment field, Ae Jung. Ae Jung was a previous idol music star ten years before with her singing group, The National Treasure Girls. She fell from grace after the group fell apart. She shouldered all the heat to protect all the members of the group, but Korea never could quite forgive her. So she is stuck in "reality TV" and game shows, trying to still provide food for her family. Nothing is beneath her, like trying to eat noodles while on a roller coaster, or, wearing a frog outfit...as long as there is a paycheck. Dokko Jin, at the height of his career, hoping to make it in Hollywood, truly has never been in love before, except with himself.... and so, fate steps in and the repartee, the incidents, and accidents draw these two people together, like magnets.
Remember when I talked about the Hong symbolism of love... in this one, a pair of purple tennis shoes, potatoes, magnets, rose petals and an ink pen are only a few items that keep these two connected. The Hong sisters recieved The Writer of the Year award. Both actor Cha Seung, playing the role of the egotistical Dokko Jin, and actress Gong Hyo ,playing the misunderstood Ae Jung, won the Mini Series Excellence award for acting. These two actors recieved the Best Couple award. This sixteen episode series also won the Best Drama award.
So many scenes stick in my head from this drama that I am not sure which one I would share. I think the scene of Ae Jung trying to get into the hospital to see Dokko Jin is priceless. She is being blamed by all the netizens for causing a car accident, injuring the great Dokko Jin and now he cannot go to Hollywood to make his movie. But the reality is, Dokko Jin is the one who rear ended her car, and is only using the fake injury as an excuse, since he did not get the role for the Hollywood movie. There is just too much to say about this drama. Maybe the only fault I can see is that you need to see at least the first two episodes to get into it, since the first one is all about character background, then picks up in the second one. Those who are willing to watch will be in for a treat.
the greatest love
In 2010, the Hong sisters wrote another drama called "MY GIRLFRIEND IS A NINE TAILED FOX". This based on an Asian story of the nine tailed Fox demon who wants to become human. It also won the best actor and actress awards, and best couple. But, please remember. it is the Hong sisters that created the characters. I have not yet watched this one and it is next on my list.
my girlfriend is a gumiho
2009, the Hong sisters wrote "YOU'RE BEAUTIFUL". This was the first one of their dramas that I ever watched and was immediately addicted. Cute, funny, yet heart breaking, it gave a whole new meaning to stars, stuffed animals, tazors, night blindness, and a seafood allergy. The premise, the idol group, A.N.Jells, are looking for a fourth member. Go Mi Nam wins the prize but cannot make it to the contract signing due to a botched plastic surgery on his eye lids. His manager's solution is to find Go Mi Nam's twin sister and have her impersonate her brother. Unfortunately for the manager, the sister wants to become a real SISTER and is training to be a nun....It is really cute and does have some scenes reminiscent of the Sound of Music.
In 2008, the Hong sisters took on another legend. "HONG GIL DONG", true to form as a romantic comedy, but, placed into a Korean Historical Drama. The sisters loosely based this story on a Robin Hood type character, Hong Gil Dong, an illegitimate son of a nobleman, grew up as a slave in his father's house. He did learn to read and write. He also learned martial arts from a monk. He saw life as meaningless. His pranks and scams made him notorious through out his villiage.
Lee Chang Hwi enters into the picture. Raised his entire life that his brother took his throne away from him by force, he returns from China to claim his rightful throne from his deranged brother who is the present King.
Heo Yi Nok is a funny, stupid girl who is also on the boat with Lee. Her father and she are returning to Korea to sell "Chinese" medicine and make their forture.
The three become involved with events greater than themselves,entangled by fate.
Those symbols I talked about earlier???? A chamber pot, a hair pin, a staff, sunglasses, a telescope, and cobras.
hong gil dong
In 2006, the Hong sisters wrote "COUPLE OF FANTASY". This was a Korean remake of a popular American movie called "OVERBOARD" starring Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell. It recieved the Best Drama of the Year award. The premise is a rich, spoiled American born Korean returns to Korea with her hen pecked husband. When her shower is broken on her yacht, she hires a handyman and then refuses to pay him. He finds himself and his tools in the water. Later, she gets drunk and falls off her own yacht, ending up with amnesia and becomes the handyman's "girl". His plan is to have her work off what she owes him by taking care of his little cousins and the house work.
couple of fantasy
"MY GIRL" premiered in 2005. It is a very different romantic comedy. The sisters outdid themselves in creating a character named, Yoo Rin. Growing up on the run due to her father's gambling debts, she is fluent in Japanese and Chinese. She is a true con artist, only because she had no choice. She constantly tells lies. Lies to make people feel better, lies to get out of trouble, lies to make money. A rich heir to a hotel chain, Gang Chan is in need of someone who can speak Chinese, and Yoo Rin becomes the translator. He asks her to be his long lost Japanese cousin to help his ailing grandfather to improve.... and hires her. Prepare for angst and laughter, as the kind hearted queen of lies brings joy to those around her.
Those symbols...come shining through again. Snowmen, snow globes, stars, Building 63, and the Skytower.
The first Hong sister drama premiered in 2005. Called "DELIGHTFUL GIRL CHOON HYANG", I have not had the privilege to view this one yet. It is difficult to find. But from the synopsis, I have read it is about a sassy girl who tries to help her first love. Then, as another man appears in her life that seems to think he can get any girl, she turns him down. Only to be pursued by him in ways that would boggle the mind.
In the first episode, you realize that these three are intertwined by fate, as they were involved with each other in the past. They still are fated to coexist in the present day.
delightful girl Choon Hyang
I do not own any of the above videos and am not making any money off of this. I just want folks to be aware that there is a unique experience waiting for them if they take time to watch one of these series. The Hong sisters are truly one writing team that is worth a look. Hope you enjoy, and thankyou for your time in reading this.