A little disclaimer - romcom is my least favorite kdrama genre. It doesn't mean there are no romcoms I adore (there are some wonderful ones out there), but it does mean that the chances of my loving a romcom are smaller than loving a drama in any other genre. It's been years since I've loved a romcom proper from beginning to end (let's face it, Secret Garden was really a romantic fantasy melodrama with some funny bits and not a comedy).
And yet, despite it all, I really really adored the first ep of BL. I am not emotionally attached, not yet - that invisible magic switch which gets me to see these people as real beings I root for, hasn't flipped yet.
But it's a funny clever drama with huge potential. And after Hong Sisters' recent outings, it is fun for this ahjumma to see leads who are definitely adults (whatever their mental state may be - does anyone really think Dokko Jin is mature? :P)
Like in a lot of their dramas, the heroine is pretty awesome from the start but the male lead is immature and spoiled and has a lot of growing to do. (I think My Girl is the only one of theirs which actually breaks that pattern). Dokko Jin may be a huge superstar and south of 40, but he has the childishness, self-absorption and capacity for reflection of a five-year-old. Cha Seung Won, who usually excels in playing dangerous, cold, thoroughly grown-up men, is a total hoot here going all-out playing a man who is the opposite of those three characteristics. I don't like Dokko Jin as a person but he's a hell of an amusing character.
But the heart of the drama, so far, is with Gong Hyo Jin (who is an actress that I loved in everything I've ever seen her in). Ae Jung is down on her luck, her celebrity is almost gone (due to long-ago rumors which are, I am pretty sure, untrue) but her optimism, cheer and strength are wonderful. Nor is she the usual clumsy, 'cutely' incompetent heroine which the bane of kdrama romcoms. Ae Jung is very much a grown-up, a woman who earns a living, and who may be funny/be in funny situations without coming across as a nincompoop. And she and CSW have very good chemistry.
I don't have much of an impression of the second leads so far, beyond the fact that Yoo Inna plays the usual Hong Sisters plastic, brittle secondary bitch and that Yoon Kye Sang is very adorable and funny but I wish that he was able to go back to leading man status (Crazy for You, Who Are You, and She's 19 were all so awesome). But then the Hong Sisters never spend much time on secondaries - the OTP is King in all their stuff. The drama is populated by the usual cast of funny supporting characters, Hong Sisters-style.
You know, the drama BL reminds me of the most is not one of Hong Sisters', but Choi Jin Shil and Jung Joon Ho's wonderful Last Scandal. You have the formerly popular woman who hasn't been treated well by time and people around her, you have a spoiled and childish superstar with a hidden heart, you have he fishbowl funny world of celebrity etc etc. If BL can manage to be one-fifth as amazing as LS turned out to be, we will indeed have a winner!
Oh, and even though a lot of the first ep is set in the wacky, bizarre world of Korean variety shows, the drama is still hilarious if you've never watched a second of those. I found it all very funny and my total exposure to Korean variety shows was a total of one ep of WGM.
Did you work your whole way through this opus? Have a reward: