08 March 2010

그대, 웃어요 Smile, You

Title: 그대, 웃어요 Geudae, Useoyo
English Title: Smile, You
Country: South Korea
Language: Korean
Year: 2009
Episode: 45
  • 이민정 Lee Min Jung
  • 정경호 Jung Kyung Ho
  • 이천희 Lee Chun Hee
  • 최정윤 Choi Jung Yoon
  • 이규한 Lee Kyu Han
  • 전혜진 Jeon Hye Jin
  • 최불암 Choi Bool Am
  • 천호진 Chun Ho Jin
  • 강석우 Kang Suk Woo
  • 송옥숙 Song Ok Sook
  • 허윤정 Heo Yoon Jung
  • 윤주상 Yoon Joo Sang
  • 박준금 Park Joon Geum
  • 정민성 Jung Min Sung
  • 최권 Choi Kwon
  • 홍일권 Hong Il Kwon
  • 최송현 Choi Song Hyun
  • 염경준 Yeom Kyung Joon (경준 Kyung Joon)
  • 조윤희 Jo Yoon Hee

정지환 Jung Ji Hwan - 웃어요 Useoyo (Smile)
Seo Jung In got married to Lee Han Sae but when it was revealed that her family is bankrupt, Lee Han Se left her on the highway on their way to their honeymoon.

Jung In's family lost everything they own, including their house. Jung In, her father Seo Jung Gil, her mother Gong Joo Hee, her older brother Seo Sung Joon, and her older sister Seo Jung Kyung are left homeless and penniless once the creditors took all of their assets.

Their family chauffeur Kang Man Bok offered to take them in because of his loyalty and gratitude to Jung In's late grandfather. Jung In and her family gets to live with Grandfather Man Bok and his family: his son Kang Sang Hoon, his daughter-in-law Baek Geum Ja, and his grandson Kang Hyun Soo.

For people like Jung In and her family who had everything they could ever want and more, it was quite difficult to learn how to live ordinarily as people with modest means.

멜로 브리즈 Melo Breeze - 안녕 내사랑 Annyeong Naesarang (Goodbye My Love)
신지 Shin Ji - 잠도 못자요 Jamdo Mosjayo (I Can't Sleep)
Smile, You is one of the best Korean dramas I have watched. It didn't seem that amazing when I watched the first few episodes actually, but the characters grew on me over time.

I have to admit that I only watched Smile, You because of the actress Lee Min Jung. Honestly, for someone who thinks 16 to 20 episodes for one drama are sometimes too long, imagine what a difficult decision it was for me to watch a drama with 45 episodes!

I try not to rewatch productions I've already seen because I think the time is better spent watching something I haven't seen yet, but I have no qualms watching Smile, You all over again even though it is quite long. I think the fact that I'm willing to do so is enough proof that I find this production particularly engaging.

From my perspective, I think the thriftiness of the Kang family is too much and that's saying a lot because I think the Seo family, with their wasteful ways, are also too much. The way of life of the two families are too extreme and when these two very different worlds come together, clashes are inevitable.

In a way though, I appreciate that the drama brought about reflection and possibly even discussion about careless habits that waste money and resources. Not everyone can actually live as righteously as the Kang family, but I think everyone can make adjustments in little ways.

Honestly, I don't think I can live with the Kang family, the ones who took in Seo Jung In's family when they have nowhere else to go. I want to think that I'm careful with my money and how I spend it but the Kang family takes thriftiness to a whole new level.

Smile, You is quite refreshing  because the lead characters in this drama are not what you'd normally expect. The characterization of the lead characters are different from the norm but a very welcome one.

Kang Hyun Soo is smart and accomplished but he has a type B personality, which is not typical of most male lead characters. He's a wimp but what he lacks in physical strength he more than makes up with his strong convictions. He's a sheltered individual who sometimes cannot read modern social cues, but he is very observant and caring of other people's feelings.

Jung In is rebellious, plucky, and full of faults. She makes a lot of mistakes but she manages to fix the ones that should be fixed. She knows how she feels and she is not shy to let the object of her affection know too.

One of her supposedly faults is the fact that she was previously married and her husband left her. I don't get why it is such a big deal because Jung In and Lee Han Se only conducted the wedding ceremony and nothing else. It's sad that being previously married is taken against her when the marriage fell apart due to external causes.

I really like how the romantic relationship between Jung In and Hyun Soo progressed over time. They met each other face on, and each of them are aware of the other's real personality, some account of the other's history, and even some knowledge of the other's past love.

I adore that they are equals in the relationship. It's nice that they talk openly about their feelings and their opinions when there are conflicts, and they discuss their course of action whenever they encounter difficulties.

Although it may seem as if Hyun Soo is leading Jung In, especially in front of other people, it is quite obvious whenever they are alone that Jung In also has a say in important matters and whatever they present to the outside world is something they came up with toegether.

그대, 웃어요 Smile, You