Sunday, February 22, 2009

Terroir; or How Drunk Do I Have To Be To Like This?

Tip #1 – How can you tell that the writers and the producers didn’t terroire03kor081208hdtvyb1-1care a whole lot about this series? If they can’t get something as basic as “Bordeaux” right in WINE poster in a WINE series…bless me - I should have stopped watching at this point.

I hit a trifecta of craptacularity in some recent samples of Korean entertainment. While it hasn’t put me off the genre, to the dismay of family and friends, I realize that some shows just suck and I don’t have to finish watching them. No I do not.

I made no secret of my disappointment in “Kingdom of the Wind”. Being a firmly grounded fan of Song Il Guk, and still feeling the guilt for never having finished the equally craptacular “The Lobbyist”, I forced myself to finish that particular saeguek. The film “100 Days With Mr. Arrogant” was just insipid. But I finished it. I find I just can’t finish “Terroir” and it’s a shame.

I wanted to like it. I thought highly of Han Hye Jin in “Jumong” as Soseono and I 081125_p14_sipwanted to see her in a different role. In “Terroir” she played the irrepressible Lee Woo Joo. Playing opposite HHJ was Kim Joo Hyuck as Kang Tae Min.

Now when I first read the premise, I smelled marketing. I could hear Korean guys in a room saying, “Yeah, see, Coffee Prince, see,” all plotting guys in a room sound like Edward G. Robinson in my head , even if they are Korean, “Yeah, that Coffee Prince, did a lot for the coffee industry. Yeah, yeah. Let’s make one up for, wine, yeah, wine, see? “ and so they did. Indeed, promotional stills showed everyone raising their wine glasses in joy, toasting each other – mmmmmm, wine is so goooood! Yum! Let’s go to France! Let’s dress up in black! We are so sophisticated! Sadly, this was no Coffee Prince andterroire04kor081209hdtvuy1-1-1 any wine I wound up drinking was only to make the series slightly more palatable.

Tip #2. We are supposed to be in a restaurant, presumably to sell food and wine. It would help to be able to read the specials on the menu.

I had a difficult time at first believing that Woo Joo and Tae Min were supposed to be our love interests. Tae Min was cold and cruel with a face carved out of wood, Woo Joo was immature. loud, brash and quite frankly, annoying. I’ll admit, as the series progressed, I began to enjoy the characters and their development as a couple more and I was optimistic. It was poetic in some ways, really, that Kang Tae Min and his old girlfriend Ji Sun – their relationship was like the wine “Chateau Margeaux” - having not been kept carefully it spoiled. The relationship between Tae Min and Woo Joo, was represented by the the “Chateau Mouton Meyer”, getting better and more precious with time.

Then, I don’t know what happened. It was like they took all the good writers away and replaced them with chimps. The last third of the series had all sorts of plot twists thrown at the viewer without warning – like angry chimp poo. Sweet sweet Joey (played by Ki Tae Young - Dr. Whiny Crybaby from “White Tower”) turning all evil because no one would forgive him for setting Auntie and Uncle on fire when he was a kid and killing them so he decides to go psycho and take over Grandfather’s company to PUNISH THEM ALLLLLLLLLL.

WTF? I mean, seriously, WTF? Do you think I’m an idiot? Obviously the writers did, because that was only one of the ridiculous plot devices used toward the end to beef it up. It lost me. I didn’t want to finish. I realized today that I don’t have to finish it. I decided to keep the few sweet moments in the series and just let go of all the rest. I still like Han Hye Jin and am willing to watch Kim Joo Hyuck in something else, I simply can’t bring myself to finish this series.

No enthusiasm. No review. Too bad. So Sad.

The good news is I am watching “When it’s At Night” with Kim Sun Ah and Lee Dong Gun. This series? Not a chimp-poo fest. Not yet. So far – fabulous.


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