“Countdown to Le Min Ho” Drama Review: “Personal Taste”

The “Countdown to Lee Min Ho” continues. My second confirmation e-mail has arrived with more details regarding the event. My guest must be at least 18 years of age, which takes daughter #2 out of the running. Sorry, Ali. Cameras allowed. Gifts allowed. Suggestions anyone?

So, on to another fun Lee Min Ho drama: “Personal Taste” aka “Personal Preference”, a hilarious romantic comedy where Lee Min Ho is mistaken as a gay man. As if!

Storyline/Synopsis: My rating 8/10

personaltaste1Rife with misunderstandings of every sort, “Personal Taste” is a romantic comedy with a different twist. Jeon Jin Ho is a talented architect with a fastidious, difficult personality and a tragic past. Park Kae In is a sweet, naive and rather awkward woman who also sports a tragic past and has a knack for attracting people who use and continually abuse her trusting nature. The two meet multiple times under less-than-friendly circumstances and shenanigans ensue when Jin Ho finds himself in need of Kae In’s resources – namely her home.

Script/Acting: My rating 8/10

Lee Min Ho and Son Yeh Jin worked quite well together to create a captivating and likeable couple. Her warmth coupled with his stoicism, her innocence combined with his worldliness, her happy-go-lucky nature meshed with his driven personality create a yin/yang pair that works remarkably well from the beginning as they befriend each other.

taste3Jung Sung Hwa as No Sang Joon is an absolute riot as Jin Ho’s business partner and “lover”. His overplayed ‘gay man’ act steals many a scene. He and his “Unni” buddy, Young Sun, Kae In’s best friend played by Jo Eun Ji fashion an off the wall couple that add the requisite comic relief.

2AM’s Im Seul Ong pulled off a great debut in his first drama as part of Jin Ho’s staff. As Kim Tae Hoon, the goofy, love-sick office boy, he ardently pursues Hye Mi (Choi Eun Seo) who is equally ardently chasing Jin Ho.

While the script is an original departure from the standard drama formula, many customary clichés remain intact. Included is the requisite drunken piggy-back ride, the accidental shirtless (and more – oops!) viewing, the Kpop idol cameo, parents who have died, people who think with their emotions instead of their brains. Sigh.

Less well-developed was the character of Jin Ho’s mother’s, who’s sympathies swing dramatically to and fro with little to substantiate the  histrionics.

Cinematography: My rating 7/10

The artistic style of the opening scenes fading out into watercolor stills was a pleasing addition. The director also made great use of non-traditional camera angles for a few conversations. Other than that, the cinematography was standard, but adept.

Oh – and Lee Min Ho’s wardrobe rocks. Really.

taste10Music: My rating 8/10

The music for this drama was especially well chosen and enjoyable.

Can’t Believe It – Younha   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LzILD68udIA

Dropping Rain – Kim Tae Woo  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KcVXZTohyx8

My Heart is Touched – SeeYa http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5zdC1mZrC8

You’re My Wings – Kim Tae Woo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIAt6bF5HBQ

Making Love – 4minute http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJ_SA4zLsZE

And my personal favorite:

Like a Fool – 2AM http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-fX9JMbLTU

Overall Charisma: My rating 8/10

personaltasteMistaken intentions are the norm throughout the drama.  Angst, unavoidable pain inflicted on people who trust in you, a bitchy woman that you really love the hate – all elements present and accounted for.

The real charisma lies, for me, in the sweet love that develops between the central couple. The romance is delightfully engaging, if somewhat implausible at first. The characters are developed with the complexity of a woven tapestry – each thread leading skillfully to the next detail, meshing with each other to create colorful exchanges and eventually, a couple-picture. The acting skills of Lee Min Ho and Son Yeh Jin played no small part in this active weaving! Oh, and this drama also sports my very favorite marriage proposal.

Alas, if only real life were more like the dramas. But gorgeous, perfect men who bring home the bacon, kiss beautifully and tenderly, and do the laundry really don’t exist, do they?

Happy Drama Watching!

PersonalTasteWhy we watch