Or Lee Sang Yoon to be precise. My computer is presently jam-packed with screencaps of his gorgeousness, his brooding eyes and his…anything really. Honestly, I watched Angel Eyes while it was airing and thought he was adorable, but here? Phew! Boy heats up my screen.
Uh…yeah…not obsessed at all. Honestly, he barely had any screentime in the first ep, so I just went on thinking that this would be your typical K-drama-ized version of a story, blablabla. And then. That ending, when he stretches out his hand. It was barely one second. But I sat up and went, “oh shit”. Love at first sight, with this fellow.
I honestly found it a full 180 since his last role, he’s gritty, he’s ingenious and he knows it. He works super well with our heroine and umm…dimples, anyone?
I love how Nam Da Jung bring out a softer side in him, and I absolutely adore how he wasn’t one of those dawdling, noble hero/ arm-dragging he-men, who just always know best for you no matter what. He isn’t telling her what to do because he’s better than her. He’s telling her how to win, because he genuinely wants to help her, by her request. And I have so much respect for a man that can just go up and call himself her possession without being torn to angsty bits over it, or worrying that its demeaning him. this is a guy who knows want he wants (answers) and means to get them WITHOUT hurting anyone. (K-drama heroes you have a lot to learn from Ha Woo Jin).
Ha Woo Jin is shrewd, untrusting and…um…a murderer. Is it bad I sorta adore him? It’s hard not to see why he did what he did, and honestly I find him even more appealing for taking justice inot his hands and finishing things as cleanly as that. He doesn’t rationalize his crime, he doesn’t try to make anyone understand, he goes into the slammer, and hell, even the guards owe him favours. I could go one and on about how much I love his character and those brooding eyes in which the barely banked fires of passion flare. But that would take ten more pages.
Onto the Liar Game itself. And the enigmatic, possibly evil, definitely dangerous Kang Do Young.
He makes an excellent foil to Ha Woo Jin. The man who eschews the mask, versus the man who watches from behind one, if you will. Neither of them are above stirring the pot, if it means that they benefit. The difference is in how they stir it. Ha Woo Jin is subtly volatile, Kang Do Young is subtle to the point that you wonder how he does it. Most K-drama villians are merely those at hold all the cards. But this one is far, far more than that. Not only does he have all the cards, but he’s a master dealer. The puppetmaster orchestrating the chess pieces, such that they’re still convinced they’re only bystanders. And as Ha Woo Jin discovers, they’re not.
I have real trouble putting how much I love this show into words. The side characters for one. I love Dal Goo and his marked disparity to loan sharks of tales past. This isn’t your average thug. He genuinely cares of Da Jung like a sister, loan shark though he may be, and has her best interests at heart. Jaime’s another. I simultaneously love her and abhor her. Yet it’s hard not to pity her. Before the startling revelation that she was Betrayer X, I honestly fell for her act, hook, line and sinker But what makes the reveal of her true nature even more surprise, and perhaps even a bit sad, is that character-defining moment when she stands up to Bulldog to save Da-Jung. The moment is pretty moving when you consider her true nature. Something pretty darn awful must have happened in her past for her to have turned this way.
As for Da-Jung herself? I love her. I get that there are some who wonder why on earth she keeps trusting others (especially Jamie) and why she doesn’t just do an about face and revert to being a normal human being. But think deeper about that. That’s honestly pretty whacked. The notion that she needs to stop trusting other, and be prepared to trick and betray them, in order to be considered a regular human being. To quote her: “Why is it so wrong for one person to trust another?”
The answer is that in trusting another, we open ourselves up to the eventuality of betrayal, of pain and heartache. And no one wants that. So we build these walls around ourselves, walls that we lower with a few people, but rarely drop completely.
But she doesn’t have these walls. She’s open, happy, and honest. She’s aware of what that may bring her, she’s been hurt repeatedly. But that won’t stop her from believing, that somehow, people will change. And it makes the bonds she forms that much stronger. Sure there will be those that use her. But finding the few people that won’t will last her for life. She’ll continue radiating positivity, helping others and generally making the world a better place. Some heroines are spunky, some are goofy geniuses (a la Nodame), Da-Jung is just purelygood. That’s her quirk, if you will. And I love her all the more for it. Not that this makes her immune to betrayal, hurt or thoughts of revenge (as Ha Woo Jin discovers) yet the difference is that she’d never act on them. Our Professor Ha, however, is not so sure given, his own actions upon what happened to his mother. Does he have cause? I don’t think so, especially now that Da-Jung knows his story. Hopefully the upcoming revelation of their connection (this is not a spoiler xD I’m just guessing here) won’t result in weeks of angst. Both our leads are better than that.
Finally, we appear to be moving into a more interpersonal portion of the show, as the bonds between contestants get deeper and Woo Jin begins to dig deeper into the past. The games and ingenious mechanisms in and out of them stole my heart along time ago. But its the gentler moments where this show really shines, in the little things Woo Jin and Da Jung do for her each other. Like when he bought her ramyun, even though he had to settle for a tiny bit of milk instead (and looked damn fine, sipping on that straw). I’m really, truly hoping for a Woo Jin x Da Jung pairing here. Please show, you can do this. (Who else thinks that they’d be great together?). I love the dynamics of their partnership and basically just everything that happens when these are on screen. I love that he doesn’t talk down to her, that she doesn’t take crap from him (Episode 2 anyone? When she retorted with “what do you know?” and he sorta went “wha?”)
He’s damn gentle with her, and she’s clearly affected by him (that near-kiss in Episode 2 *dies*). Honestly, they’d be great together. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for this pairing. GIVE IT TO ME SHOW. Besides Woo Jin is just begging for some love. Look at those eyes. Who could resist him?
^ (Err…hey there babe)
Aight. I’m done. I’ll probably create spam posts of Lee Sang Yoon hotness screencaps soon >.< Can’t wait for next week’s episode!