Monday, May 7, 2012

More Queen SeonDeok

Almost a Big Fat Fail.

I had moments where I thought Queen Seon Duk was going to be another Jumong.  The Mishil Smirk. Hot Hot Yu Shin.  Bi "I'm the Duck" Dam.  Twin #1.  Woot Tae, I mean, Munno.  Some really great cliffhangers, clever maneuvers and out maneuvers.  Kites.  You just can't go wrong with kites.

You know what killed it for me?  The length.  The freaking d  r  a  w  n  o  u  t  baaaaaaatttttttllllllleeeeeesssss hiiiiiiiiidddddddddinnnnnnnnnnggggg, ccccrrrrryyyyyyiiiiiinnnnngggggg, taaaaaaallllllllkkkkkkkkiiiiiinnnnnnng    mmmmmmarrrrrrcccccchhhhhhiiiiinnnnnnggg ssssssssiiiiiiiittttttttiiiiiiiinnnnnnngggggggg aaaaaaattttttt taaaaaaaabbbbbbbllllllllllllllllllleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeessssssssss.  Oh my goodness, and it just doesn't end.  Taking for freaking ever to do anything.

And it wasn't about the length of the series.  "Jumong: Legend of the Three Han" was 81 episodes.  I was sad when that series ended because I loved every single one of the characters - I even became fond of the bad ones.  Daeso?  Come on - loved that drunken sunuvabitch.  "Jewel in the Palace" - at 50+ episodes, I think I've watched that 5 or 6 times.

But somehow I just didn't fully connect with the characters.  I thought I was going to and I really tried. In the end, it was like basketball.  I don't like watching the game because all I can focus on are the squeaky sneakers on the gym floor.  I'm not even watching the game, all I can focus on are the stupid squeaks.  I stopped caring about the characters and started counting the pans across a room when someone would say something shocking - Mishil, BoJong, SeJong, Mi Saeng, Seol won, Ha Jong, Smirking Mishil, BoJong, SeJong, Mi Saeng, Seol Won and won and won and won.

YuShin sacrificed his love for a woman for the love of his people, Woot Tae, I mean Munno intrigued me, Seol won - I loved the way he loved Mishil.  The can't kill him Chil Sook and his tender love for Seowha, and then Korea's Johnny Depp steps in.

As I said before - Bi-dayum.  Kim Nam Gil injected something into the whole series for me; not just - is he good or bad - is he Mishil or WooTae - I mean Munno - but his characterization, the flexibility in his face; this wasn't just a one dimensional character.  Bidam was the best of Mishil's spawn, a diamond in the rough, waiting to be cut and given the facets that would make him shine from within and become the strongest and most beautiful rock in the foundation of Queen SeonDeok's impossible dream.  The dysfunction of a lifetime, his fear and his inability to really understand how to fully love and trust brought about his own end.  He was a fascinating character and I cheered for him even as he got as close as 10 steps to the Queen. 

Similar to Song Il Guk's Yeom Moon in "Emperor of the Sea", it was Bidam that forced me to come back to the series.  It was his multidimensional character that brought it all together and then mercilessly ended it, not DeokMan. 

I think I would have liked to see a little more of the strong and forward-thinking SeonDeok.  The woman who brought a Renaissance to her people.  Who built Buddhist temples and helped her people grow.  It was alluded to, but never realized.  It was plot plot plot, war war war, screw with Bidam, screw with SeonDeok, screw with YuShin.  And unfortunately, I got tired of that.


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