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Big Korean Drama - My Review

Updated on September 22, 2014

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?

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10 Memorable Moments in BIG (in no particular order)

Gil Da Ran & Kang Kyung Joon First "Fateful" Meeting - The Green Umbrella

BIG - Da Ran & Kyung Joon First Meeting
BIG - Da Ran & Kyung Joon First Meeting

"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.

The Soul-Switched

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.

10:10

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 ---

OST Album

Big OST Album
Big OST Album

One more thing I really love about BIG is its OST. I will update this page with BIG's OST songs reviews soon.

Conclusion

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

I created this page solely as a fan of Big Korean Drama. Big is copyright of KBS, its respective writers, production teams, actors, actresses and everyone's involved in this drama.

Please do not take any portion of the this page without any link back to this page. Thank you for your co-operation.

What's your personal impression / review / rave / rant about BIG? What's your favorite scenes? Feel free to leave your feedback below:

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  • profile image

    anonymous 3 years ago

    Okay! Horrible ending. 1)da ran didn't get the answer she has been waiting for almost two years! Was dying to know all that. 2) if they switched back why does he have YJ body? Or did kkj got old instantly within one year? Sooo confused! Too bad the story is really good and it got me interested but they wasted the ending.tsk..tsk..tsk

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    anonymous 4 years ago

    I didn't like the ending at all,, the story took a lot of twists and turns.. they made me wait the whole series for them to switch back and at the end they didn't and what abt SYJ where is he in this whole triangle love story I think it went out of the story line and the director couldn't manage it well, it didn't make sense at all for a teacher to fall in love with a student so madly,, fail!

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    anonymous 4 years ago

    I guess what happened was they have returned to their own real body, but the director said that it'll be a lot awkward if in the end it is KKJ (young face version) will show.

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    anonymous 4 years ago

    @anonymous: You're over thinking it.

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    anonymous 4 years ago

    I love the series and it made me cry. I become a big fan of the two lead actors and each scenes that I watch etched in my heart. I understand the ending though its not exactly as what I am expecting and did not answer all mysteries its okay. :)

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    anonymous 4 years ago

    i don't like how the story progress since episode 1..now im watching episode 9..looking forward for the ending..curiosity rules!

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    anonymous 4 years ago

    @anonymous: It is indeed an awkward situation. Well, look how KKJ acts maturely when others are around and how playful he gets when it's just them, I guess I wouldn't mind too if I were Gil Da Ran (hahahahaha!)

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    anonymous 4 years ago

    @anonymous: Yes, they were talking about KKJ. He doesn't have to try remembering cuz he he never forgot his memories with Da Ran :) I believe SYJ and KKJ never returned to their respective bodies. KKJ is still stuck in SYJ's body.

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    anonymous 4 years ago

    I read your review before I decided to continue watching BIG. Honestly, I lost interest in it while watching Episode 1 :)) But, after reading your review, I got curious and end up sleeping very late at night (though I have work the next day), crying and laughing at the same time :)) I am satisfied with Big's ending. SYJ deserved to be happy after what he had gone thru. He had suffered and sacrificed so much to save SYJ. He deserved to know the truth. For me, KKJ and SYJ didn't switch back even after KKJ left. KKJ is still stuck in SYJ's gorgeous body :) I had reasons to believe this because first, Da Ran's parents were talking about a guy who will come to their restaurant after he visits the school were he used to study. SYJ didn't study in that school. He was already a doctor. Actually, I think KKJ (in SYJ's body) wanted to visit his old school so he could follow Da Ran and that's why he was on that bus too. Second, according to that young boy a "hyung" came by the house and told the boy that he used to live there. Okay, I agree that KKJ and SYJ in their own bodies can be a "hyung" to that boy BUT SYJ did not live in that house before the accident happened. Da Ran and KKJ (in SYJ's body) bought that house while planning to get married. Third, the voice and physique/appearance of that guy who called out Da Ran's name after getting off the bus is so much like of an older guy. If KKJ really has returned to his body then he would be approximately 21 years old. His voice shouldn't sound like of a mature guy and he shouldn't have wide and broad shoulders too. But, why was this older guy in the bus and why was he holding this umbrella the way KKJ did before the soul switch? Third is, he was wearing that watch that Da Ran gave to KKJ. If it was SYJ being back in his own body, do you think he will wear that watch? I don't think so. So for me, SYJ didn't wake up and KKJ is still in SYJ's body. Well, we all have our own interpretations of the ending. It's just that, for me, I scrutinized the ending actually cuz the review kept me wondering. The reason why the directors didn't show the face of that guy is just to add thrill and make us think. As for the BIG Unanswered questions, here is what I think. Answer for Q#1: I think SYJ really loved Da Ran. I guess, what he wanted to tell Da Ran is the truth about his brother KKJ. As we know, he was looking for KKJ and that's why he can't marry her just yet. She'll have to wait. Answer to Q#2: He bought that ticket to find KKJ. As it was in the drama, KKJ lived in LA with Ma Ri before he came to Korea. SYJ was not sick in the early part of the drama. SYJ's illness came back a year after the accident happened. It was right after KKJ (who was in SYJ's body) came back from USA with SYJ's mom. Answer to Q#3: It was actually answered in the drama. Se Young realised that KKJ could refer to Kang Kyung Joon but she concluded that it was impossible since KKJ is there lying in the hospital unconscious. Our question should be, why is it that nobody got interested to find out/dared to asked Da Ran who KKJ is? Why did they not bother meeting the guy? Answer to Q#4: I, too, do not know why :)) He had the simplest and the easiest job to do in that drama :)) All he did was to sleep :))

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    anonymous 4 years ago

    At the end of ep 16 Da Ran's parents were discussing how a guy was going to come visit them after he visited his school. Were they talking about KKJ? I'm so confused. if they were, does that mean he remembers?

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    anonymous 4 years ago

    Doesn't anyone find it wrong for a high schooler and his teacher to be in love? Isn't this wrong? Beside that, I really loved the drama, and I'd like to imagine that KKJ and GDR does get together later on. Guess love knows no boundaries and age doesn't matter.

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