The Beginning – My name is Kim Sam Soon

20 05 2010

2010.5.19 –
So let’s start at the very beginning… The first k-drama I watched was My Lovely Sam Soon or My name is Kim Sam Soon. I had this sitting in my Netflix queue for a long time before I actually pulled it. But Wow! I think this is still my  favorite k-drama. So smart, funny, and romantic.   The leads had so much chemistry and for the most part the story was cohesive and delivered.  I absolutely fell in love with Kim Sun Ah . She is amazing, so believable in this role, but until you have seen her in other roles you don’t realize how amazing her acting was. And Hyun Bin, can I just say “Wow!” First of all as an American, we are hardly ever exposed to such good looking Asian/Korean men. He was so sexy and I loved the role he played.  I’ll take a bloody nose from him any day and twice on Sunday.

This series had a good mix of comedy, drama, romance and I loved the music – Clazziquai did the opening and closing songs Be my Love and She is. I still love to hear those songs, they totally bring me back to the show.  As a side note, I have watched some of We got Married (A Korean Variety show) season 1 and I was shocked to figure out 20 eps later that Alex is part of Clazziquai.

Being unfamiliar with k-dramas I had not a clue what was going on in the first episode, it probably took 2 or 3 episodes before I was so hooked it totally stole time from my life.  I’ve read that many compare this show to Bridget Jones Diary and I would say that is accurate, different but similar.  I think it is a great recommendation for anyone who is interested in k-dramas, particularly American’s.  The only problem is that it is so good, that other k-dramas may disappoint after this one.

I thought the chemistry was excellent between Kim Sun Ah and Hyun Bin. I totally bought their relationship, *spoiler alert – although he should have called, at least on the way back from overseas. Those of you who have watched it will know what I mean.  Lee Kyu Han who plays her ex-boyfriend seemed like a miscast, although he grew on me later (the flashback of them in Paris helped) and he had some good scenes with Hyun Bin.  Jung Ryeo Won who played Yoo Hee Jin (the former love of Jin Jeon) drove me nuts; there must be something in the translation of how she comes across in America.  She seemed wooden and fake in most of her scenes.  Downright annoying in some but I will say her big cry scene was by far her best work. *(update – I recently watched her in What Planet are You From?  and she was not as bad, but still not good in that either)  I could also be critical of Daniel Henney (Hee Jin’s doctor) who is American born but ½ Korean.   Though nice to look at (especially when he isn’t trying – love him in glasses), he needs some work on his acting.  The scene where he points to himself and states, “I’m her doctor” almost had me in tears from laughing.  It felt like I was watching rehearsals for a soap opera.  I did like him much more in his scenes with the two leads.  Especially the scene with him and Sam Soon, although he hardly spoke they were really cute together and it made him more likeable.  Maybe this is more of a reflection on how good Kim Sun Ah and Hyun Bin are as actors.  They can lift a scene for all the other actors.

As a side note, I watched this series through the videos via Netflix and the subtitles were much better than the ones I’ve found on the websites available here in the States.  I’m not sure if the Korean companies the produce and release these series understand just how important the subtitles are, because even the slightest word choice can make a big difference in character appeal etc.