KDRAMAGUK : Korean Drama Soup

a landing site for quick, completely biased, and totally snarky korean drama reviews


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Attic Cat (2003)

Attic Cat
옥탑방 고양이  / Rooftop Room Cat
(Jun – Jul 2003)

who’s in it
Kim RaeWon (The Grand Chef, Socrates - film)
Jung DaBin (Smile You)
Choi JungYoon
Lee HyunWoo

what’s it about
Two collegiate-aged young adults share a rooftop apartment…is this a romantic comedy, you ask? Yes, what gave it away? The sharing of a rooftop apartment being the central plot perhaps? Anyway, this was a big deal because of the co-ed housing situation (as non-married co-habitation is not exactly the norm nor encouraged behavior in the Korean culture). Kim RaeWon spends most of the drama being a lovable and noncommittal horndog jerk (that sort of sounds like a negative description, but isn’t meant to be), and Jung DaBin is the waif that feeds and falls in love with him. 

16 episodes


wildcard factor
It felt a little long considering the really lean plot premise of lazy law student crashing at hard-working female friend’s rooftop pad while pining for the prettier classmate. Thaaat was about it. BUT Kim RaeWon was full of long-limbed goodness and all kinds of puppy dog adorable that somehow a viewer is tricked into watching...and watching...and watching...well, I was anyway. Hmmm, and I guess technically, he was supposed to be a stray cat...but truly, he felt more like mongrel.

after the first episode
Quick and light-hearted. This one felt like it would go by fast (and it did).

gave up

snoozer moments
Any scene with Lee HyunWoo (for me).

Yeah, yeah, and that was followed by some hookin’ up too. But I suppose alcohol and rooftop rooms are a sexy combo, especially when one is freezing one’s butt off in winter.

Random thought: one thing kdramas have got me curious about are these rooftop pads that are so often featured in shows and notorious for promoting misery. They seem fascinating. Is it a strange desire that as a future tourist, I want to stay at one for a night?

what didn’t work
Lee HyunWoo DID NOT look age appropriate for Jung DaBin. Not only did he look too old for her, it also kind of felt like someone’s father hitting on his son’s underage girlfriend. It definitely had that kind of an icky feel. Part of the issue was also that he wore suits and she wore casual clothing. The gap of personality was far too wide and made little sense why either would like the other.

what did
The easy, seemingly natural development between Kim RaeWon and Jung DaBin

what made me want to gouge my eyes out

what kept me going

Waiting for the happy ending…

Other factors:
predictability Yes
engrish No
originality A bit
eye-candy A bit
hair and fashion Kim RaeWon was tall, tanned, and lean. He looked great in yellow. He looked like a local boy from Hawaii in this one...half expected him to dig out a surfboard from somewhere and throw a shaka sign.

is it worth trying to find?
Yeah, I’d say so. It was fun.

total enjoyment factor 

total disdain factor

why this review is completely biased
Kim RaeWon is just my type of chunky hunky monkey. I’m a big fan.

could a non-kdrama fan like this
Highly unlikely

Jung DaBin committed suicide in 2007 and now when I think of this drama, it kinda bums me out. I thought she did a really good job and while I am not familiar with her other work, she did impress me in this one with her ability to make a character so commonplace so likable. The character she played wasn’t one of my favorites as far as kdrama heroines go but the drama a whole was one I most enjoyed because despite its tendency to be circular with its plot devices, it was a really fun and well-acted show. Come to think of it, I think this may have been my first Kim RaeWon drama, too. Ah, the first meeting is always the sweetest…

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