Sunday, January 23, 2011

Mr. Yoo and a Sungkyunkwan Scandal


Quite some time ago, I talked about an up-and-coming actor, Yoo Ah-in. I also talked about the drama Sungkyunkwan Scandal which he starred in and the possible frenzy it will make. Well, Sungkyunkwan Scandal is well over and now we can see what it has become. I said I was going to write about a bit of the lovely SKKS which I loved and Mr. Yoo post SKKS.

Every year there will always be a cult drama, meaning a drama that has a huge fanbase despite low ratings, poor quality, etc. 2008 was home to the greatest makjang (crazy, unpredictable plot) drama of all time (maybe), Boys Over Flowers. It was probably the drama that rocketed Hallyu (Korean) Wave all over the world. Next, in 2009, the drama that had the biggest fanbase was You're Beautiful, featuring young and beautiful actors, Jang Geun-suk, Park Shin-hye, Lee Honggi, and Jung Yonghwa. I wasn't well aware of the fanbase this drama had until I heard someone saying that, "Well, this drama created a huge fanbase." Hm... Okay.

2010 gave way to Sungkyunkwan Scandal. All four main actors, Park Yoochun, Park Minyoung, Yoo Ah-in, Song Joongki, became household names (at least in Korea) in a matter of seconds! It was marketed as a trendy historical drama and that's what it become. For the record, trendy and historical never really went out to be good until SKKS came along. Actually, I'm not so sure about that but I'm seeing a lot more historical dramas with a modern twist, like incorporated with detectives and aliens. Okay, back to the actors. If you've been following Korean celebrity news, the four who were called Jalgeum Quartet during the SKKS days are getting more jobs even more than ever. Which is good, right?

Maybe I should talk about the plot of the drama. Warning, spoiler alert. Okay, here we go. The basis of this story is, well, in the olden days, as we know, girls aren't allowed to go to school. Well, Kim Yoonhee did just that, and into one of the most respected universities in Korea at the time, and actually even today, Sungkyunkwan University. The reasons of her admission is pretty typical of a Korean drama: sick sibling, poor household, the loan sharks breathing down your neck. You get the idea. Kim Yoonhee took this opportunity to get money for her sickly brother because, well, students who enter Sungkyunkwan gets a monthly allowance. Nice. Along the way, she met Lee Sunjoon, a student who always obey the rules and puts studying in the very top of his list, Moon Jaeshin, the dark horse of the campus, and Goo Yongha, the womanizer who cares for his friends from the back. Well, the story goes through up and down because the whole plot is pretty tricky. You see, because the setting is in olden times, Yoonhee wouldn't get away with dressing up as a boy, as we will see later in the plot.

One of the things I like about this drama is that even though the whole drama is supposed to focus on the Yoonhee-Sunjoon couple, we get to learn bits and pieces of the other two secondary leads as well. The drama later deals with Jaeshin's fatherly problems and Yongha's family secrets. As I was watching the drama, I was often shocked at the things uncovered each and every episode. I also love how all four actors really seem like they get to be really great friends along the way. A little fact: the three boys of the drama turned out to be really good friends in the end too. The chemistry amongst the four are undeniable, it's so adorable! I came watching SKKS for Yoo Ah-in, but I ended up loving all four.

Now, we move on to Mr. Yoo. To say the least, Yoo's fan base exploded with his amazing portrayal of the tough but hurt Moon Jaeshin, also known as Gurreoh (roughly translated to Crazy Horse). My predictions were correct! I knew from the start that Yoo would be the best actor among the four. Maybe because I haven't watched the other three act, but I knew for sure that Yoo has some amazing acting chops. The ever-growing fan base of course resulted in more offers in photo shoots, interviews, and TV appearances. I found more Yoo Ah-in photos in the last few months than the one whole year I've been a fan of Yoo. It was overwhelming, actually. About him and his new found fame, well, I'm not so sure how he handled it. I'm no friend of his so I can't ask directly. But there was a side of him that I didn't know before. It's that he's actually very fond of his fans. I guess because he's not someone who's unlike other celebrities who obviously showed how much they love their fans. I actually like Yoo's way of showing his love to his fans. I'm not one to say how he does it, but he's just a cool guy. Am I correct?

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