Big Korean Drama - My Review
BIG is a drama which has a BIG warm heart but unfortunately entangled in so many korean drama cliches and noble idiocy; combined with the writers inability to knit the loose threads to give the viewers a satisfying open ending.
However, despite its flaws, BIG delivers many sweet adorable moments between our OTP Gil Da Ran (Lee Min Jung) and Kang Kyung Joon (Gong Yoo). I have to honestly admit that their sweet chemistry and Gong Yoo superb acting were the only reason I stayed in this ship that was tossed around in the middle of a heavy storm. I'm very conflicted with the ending; Da Ran's growth in this drama is so pleasing and I'm glad that she had the courage to confess her real feeling; but on the other hands, there're so many unanswered questions that were left hanging. Seems like the Hong Sisters were trying to resolve these questions off-screen and treating us like smart viewers to predict what they wanted us to predict.
BIG is so much different with the majority of The Hong Sisters' drama. I used to their over-the-top comedic dramas; while BIG is more mellow and slow-paced. Sometimes it's going in circles; especially as Gil Da Ran's feeling was swayed many times between "I love Kyung Joon" -v- "the guilty feeling that I cheated with my husband/fiancee's younger brother". And sometimes I can't stand Ma Ri's stalker behavior even though yes, throughout the drama she's very consistent with her one-sided love to Kyung Joon.
If you enjoy a drama which focuses on the OTP love story, you will definitely enjoy BIG.
Are you satisfied with Big's ending?
10 Memorable Moments in BIG (in no particular order)
Gil Da Ran & Kang Kyung Joon First "Fateful" Meeting - The Green Umbrella
"Fate", as Gil Da Ran didn't realize that she took Kyung Joon's green umbrella which coincidentally has the same color as hers.
"Fate" as Kyung Joon is the new student at the high school she's currently teaching at.
"Fate" which changes Da Ran's & Kyung Joon's lives forever.
Da Ran was so upset after she found out that Yoon Jae (her fiancée) has passed away. She cried and sobbed; but then she saw someone's coming towards her.
That's Kyung Joon, in Yoon Jae's body! The soul-switched which started it all. Soul-switched which turned Da Ran's life upside down; but also the one which built Da Ra's confidence as she had to face and be honest with her real & true feeling.
The Big Itchy Body aka Back Misunderstanding
BIG didn't have lots of comedic scene, so I truly appreciate their efforts to insert "sexual" but exaggerating over-the-top BIG itchy body scene.
It started from Kyung Joon's in Yoon Jae's body (I will just call him "Kyung Jae" to avoid confusion). He ate his favorite food pizza which has mushroom in it. Unfortunately, Yoon Jae is allergic to mushroom. Kyung Jae was in panic because of his itchy burning back (due to mushroom allergic rash).
So Kyung Jae caught a taxi to meet Da Ran (who was already in trouble because she came in late for the school's assembly).
He jumped up and down to relieve the burning feeling from his "burning body" and asked for money to pay for the taxi. After he paid the taxi driver, he came back to embarrassed Da Ran who kept asking him to leave.
To make thing more hilarious, he lifted his tshirt in front of her and the school's assembly; wanted to show her his "burning body".
So Da Ran dragged him inside and the rest is the history =) (watch this Big Itchy Body misunderstanding clip below)
If I was in Da Ran's shoes, I would run away and hide in the corner hahaha...
Kyung Joon's Protecting Da Ran
I love Kyung Joon's character; he is only 18 years old but he knows how to act as an adult. His character was painted in the gray area, as initially I thought he is protecting Da Ran because of her tender loving care treatment. He misses his mother's care; so Da Ran's sweet gesture probably reminded him of his mother.
In episode 4, he was trying really hard so Da Ran wouldn't find our about Se Young's house key. He lied and lied not wanting to see her heart being crushed. But as Da Ran was preparing herself to find the truth, Kyung Joon came to be her shield.
Kyung Joon's First Kiss
Teacher Gil Da Ran stole Kang Kyung Joon's first kiss! I love it that Kyung Joon truthfully admitted it and just by looking at his expression, I could see that he totally enjoyed it.
Ma Ri found out the truth
Ma Ri's character is very consistent; she's there for Kyung Joon. She'll do anything for Kyung Joon. And she's smart!
So I'm very glad that she found out the truth very early (on episode 6). It's interesting too because even though Kyung Joon doesn't love her, but he trusts her and sometimes he listens to her judgement.
Even though I didn't quite like the "breaking up" window scene, but it's needed because Ma Ri needed to see with her own eyes that Yoon Jae is not Yoon Jae because the real Yoon Jae is not scared of blood. And the Yoon Jae who lives with Da Ran is indeed Kyung Joon, the person Ma Ri truly loves, the person who's so scared of blood because of his past trauma.
Da Ran's first confession
I fully understand that it takes Da Ran 9 episodes to finally discover her true feelings to Kyung Joon. She's confused, scared and doesn't know if she's actually attracted to Kyung Joon or to Yoon Jae.
But the feeling grows stronger and she unintentionally confessed her feeling to Kyung Joon. Lee Min Jung portrayed this scene beautifully, I could feel her love towards Kyung Joon just by looking at her expressions below:
Kang Panda -v- Gil Panda; Panda Wars!
Da Ran who "pretended" going to China for her honeymoon went shopping to purchase "made in china" gifts.
Kyung Jae is a smart sneaky boy! He asked Da Ran to cheat by painting parts of the white little bear in black to become a Panda bear. And Da Ran agreed with his clever idea, overall, it's a very great idea! I wondered why I never thought about that before. =)
Their cute argument started in the shop as Da Ran believes that panda has black eyes, ears and stomach; while Kyung Jae believes that panda doesn't have black stomach but it has black feet.
Soo.... they made a bet, a race... to paint the panda correctly.
The winner? He/she will live like a panda; eats and sleeps. That's it.
The loser? Do anything the lazy panda asked her/him to do.
Da Ran & Kyung Jae are sooo cute in this scene even when they're bickering about how the real panda looks like and their chemistry explode.
So who will become the winner?
Kang Panda? or Gil Panda?
Find out the answer from the clip below:
Please Remember Me, Teacher Gil Da Ran
This scene broke my heart and ripped it so hard that it's suffocating.
Kyung Joon asked Da Ran that if he lost his memory, he wishes that Da Ran will still remember him. That even though Da Ran may be happy with Yoon Jae, he wishes that Da Ran won't erase him from her memory.
What an earnest request from him, and it's really painful to hear as he silently said it to the sleeping Da Ran (who didn't sleep, and she listened to him with teary eyes).
Kyung Joon faced the truth
The truth is painstakingly painful; but this is not the birth secret that anyone wanted to hear after everything he's gone through in his life.
That his existence in this world was only to save his older brother. That his own father used Kyung Joon's step-mother and he didn't even care about her & Kyung Joon.
I cried with Gong Yoo and he's stunningly brilliant in expressing all the angers that're exploded inside his heart.
Da Ran's Bold Confession
Finally, Da Ran has grown up into the mature woman.
She finally accepted her true feelings after going in circles and declared to her family that she loves KKJ.
That KKJ exists in this world and in her heart.
My most favorite metaphor from this drama: 10:10.
Kyung Joon hypnotized Da Ran that twice a day at 10:10AM & PM, she will think about him.
Love it when her arms unconsciously formed 10:10 position after her dreams of going to the moon & going to the ocean came true (okay it came true only in her dreams, but it;s still cute)
Confused, but Da Ran still confessed her feeling to Vice Principal Kim (who practically didn't understand what she's talking about). And she realized that she's thinking about 10:10 and in other words, about Kyung Joon.
Everytime the clock turns 10:10, it reminds her to Kyung Joon. I found it really sweet and glad that finally Da Ran accepted her true feeling.
The BIG Unanswered Questions
1. Did Yoon Jae really love Da Ran? And the biggest question is: What did he want to tell Da Ran in that lake?
2. Why did Yoon Jae buy an airplane ticket to LA? Was it because he found out about his younger brother? Or was it because he was sick?
3. Da Ran's family, Se Young, Yoon Jae's family knew that Da Ran cheated with a guy with initial "KKJ". However, they're too ignorant or the writers were just too lazy as until the end none of them knew that KKJ was Kang Kyung Joon! In this case, I appreciate Ma Ri, because she's sooo smart. Why couldn't the Hong Sisters give 1% of her smartness to sweetheart Choong Sik?
4. Why the writers didn't have enough confidence for Shin Won Ho's acting ability? He was sleeping for most of the duration of the drama! His acting is good and I love his chemistry with Lee Min Jung (especially the "fateful" green umbrella scene, their chemistry was so palpable there). How can you resist his adorable and cheeky expressions, THS?
--- to be continued ---
One more thing I really love about BIG is its OST. I will update this page with BIG's OST songs reviews soon.
Big is not a flawless drama, but as I said before, it has a BIG heart. It gives us many memorable BIG moments; but it also left us with a BIG hole.
But at the end of the day, BIG is a drama. And BIG has touched my heart deeply with the sole message:
Regardless of whether or not the soul-switched happen, Kyung Joon is back to his body and Yoon Jae is back to his own body; I believe it's the miracle of life that Da Ran is fated to be with Kyung Joon. And if the switch did happen and Kyung Joon lost his memories; Da Ran will pledge her time for Kyung Joon and start a fresh relationship with him with all the memories that they made together
Note all pictures above (except the OST cover album) are screencaps from BIG episodes
What's your personal impression / review / rave / rant about BIG? What's your favorite scenes? Feel free to leave your feedback below: