10 October 2014

잉여공주 Surplus Princess

Title: 잉여공주 Ingyeo Gongjoo
English Title:
  • The Mermaid
  • Mermaid Princess
  • Surplus Mermaid
  • Surplus Princess
County: South Korea
Language: Korean
Year: 2014
  • 조보아 Jo Bo Ah
  • 온주완 Ohn Joo Wan
  • 송재림 Song Jae Rim
  • 김슬기 Kim Seul Gi
  • 남주혁 Nam Joo Hyuk
  • 안길강 Ahn Gil Kang
  • 이선규 Lee Sun Kyu
  • 김민교 Kim Min Kyo
  • 박지수 Park Ji Soo

Aileen is the eighteenth princess of the mermaid world who is fascinated with humans and their world. She loves smartphones and she's always looking for a wi-fi connection. Her hobbies include celebrity filing, online shopping, searching for fashionable items, watching new dramas and movies, and searching for popular restaurants.

Aileen is in love with Kwon Shi Kyung, who she's been eyeing for six months. She describes him as having the perfect face and perfect body, with a cute apple bottom. Aileen drinks a bottle of potion that turns her mermaid tail into legs so she can be with Shi Kyung.

She adopts the name Kim Ha Ni and in order to remain as a human being, she has to find her true love. Ha Ni aspires to work at the company where her crush works so she can be with him everyday.

Surplus Princess discusses a lot of important issues, such as unemployment of the youth of today. In particular, it focuses on people with satisfactory qualifications who couldn't find permanent employment because of lack of social connections or having lesser credentials compared to other stellar job hunters.

It also references a lot of popular culture, and as I'm not always updated on the current trends, I'm afraid I didn't understand a lot of these parodies. I suppose I'd probably have more fun watching the drama if I knew the background, but I still managed to enjoy it nonetheless.

I think the best part of Surplus Princess is the friendship among the residents of the share house, officially named Fate House but fondly called Surplus House by its inhabitants. In particular, I really like the close friendship between Ahn Hye Young and the mermaid Aileen, who later adopted the name Kim Ha Ni as a human being.

I also like the romantic development between Hye Young and Park Dae Bak, who insists to be called Big because he wants to keep his real name a secret from everyone. Although I'm not really behind the premise of 'opposites attract', Hye Young and Big somehow seem perfect for each other despite their many differences.

I wasn't particularly interested with the main love triangle of Surplus Princess because the production team was deliberately vague on the one true pairing and the development of the romantic relationship between the main couple was poorly executed.

Ha Ni fancies herself in love with Kwon Shi Kyung and for that alone, you can't help but root for her and Shi Kyung, especially when Shi Kyung starts to become interested in her. However, because Ha Ni only sees Shi Kyung as someone physically attractive and not much else, you can't really be behind them as a couple all the way because their pairing seems quite superficial.

Ha Ni ended up with Lee Hyun Myung, but their romantic development was unconvincing. Because they were both shown to be in love with someone else for majority of the drama, and then were later presented as growing closer to each other but just as good friends, it wasn't easy to see the sparks between them, if there was any.

I don't think Surplus Princess followed through with its premise in the sense that the parameters established at the start of the drama didn't hold for the main character until the end. Which is a pity, because although I love happy endings, I prefer endings that actually make sense.

Ha Ni will disappear into bubbles if she didn't find her true love within 100 days of drinking the magic potion. She supposedly found her true love but why did she still disappear in the end? She managed to come back to earth after some time but how did she do it? Why is her case different from the other mermaids?

잉여공주 Surplus Princess