KDRAMAGUK : Korean Drama Soup

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


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Good Days When the Wind Blows (2010)

Good Days When the Wind Blows
바람 불어 좋은날 / Happiness in the Wind

(Feb – Oct 2010)

who’s in it
Kim SoEun (Boys Over Flowers)
Lee HyunJin (Boy Meets Boy – film)
Jin YiHan (Who Are You?)
Seo HyoRim (Good Job, Good Job)
Kang JiSub (Dear Heaven)

what’s it about
Meet Kwon Obok:

She’s a young aspiring graphic designer/illustrator who finds herself without money or home when her father runs off and disappears with the deposit for their rental. Taking fate’s cruel turn as an impetus to charge after her dreams, she heads to Seoul and meets a crazy guy named Jang MinGuk on the first day there under extreme circumstances; MinGuk is played by cutie Lee HyunJin:

Through him and through some cosmic buffoonery, Obok gets more deeply entangled in the affairs of the Jang family, including MinGuk’s older brother Jang DaeHan (the brothers both very patriotic in their names as together Daehan Minguk means the Republic of Korea):

Yes, the story follows lovable Kim SoEun as Kwon Obok, but really she’s the bridge to the real purpose of this show, which is a family affair and that central family is the Jang household. The windy and overly long drama follows the love lives and career trials of all the Jang siblings—Minguk, DaeHan and sister ManSe—

—and all the other players in the show are merely planets that gravitate around one of these attractive suns.

A lifetime, or that’s what it felt like anyway. Translated into tv-metric-speak, that roughly amounts to about 173 episodes, or something like that…


wildcard factor
How much patience do you have? Do you enjoy endless miles of open fields instead of the dramatic ups and downs of mountain ranges? If so, this may be just the type of flat-footed and non-turbulent and loooong road trip for you.

first impressions
An airy daily drama with a lovable young cast lead by Kim SoEun, Lee HyunJin (MinGuk) and Jin YiHan (DaeHan), the men being rather tall glasses of handsome. I was especially a fan of Lee HyunJin who had such a convincing air of lovable troublemaker about him. The quintessential puppy that chews on your slippers then looks at you with big innocent eyes, pleading, “Did I do something wrong?” He was that type of frustrating adorable. In fact, the entire cast appeared to be casually likable in the most inoffensive way. I found everyone charming and couldn’t wait to see how all the couples would fall into place. What’s the downside? I saw the potential for this drama to drag a little. Dare I worry, even become a tad boring. I don’t know if there’s enough material available or enough conflict in this kind of a story to hold my attention for so many episodes…if possible, could this show end up being too harmless? We shall see…

gave up
Well…my worries were not completely unfounded, turned out. This drama was like the wind that never stopped blowing. This one felt like it went on forever…hmmm, actually, I guess by nature, the wind always goes on forever...hence it is called wind...also the Korean word for a guy who goes from woman to woman to woman is derived from the word wind...just as Takeshi Kaneshiro was like the wind in House of Flying Daggers...and now I’m becoming long-winded just like the show. Get it? Good Days When the Wind Blows...long-winded...because it’s a long show...yeah, that was bad. I apologize. It’s early and I haven’t had quite enough caffeine yet.

Moving on. What was so snoozy about this one? While it wasn’t a complete dud, there really wasn’t much of a plot either and essentially, when each pea-sized issue started to drag out over decades worth of episodes, that became a huge problem for my attention span. Worse, I didn’t feel there was enough creativity, humor or originality within the characters themselves to make up for that frozen-lake-in-springtime thin plot. Not to mention, as the story progressed, it took a turn for the crazy, in my opinion. Read between symbols for spoilerish hidden text:

{ I’ve mentioned this in other reviews when this particular plot device rears its head: Me. Not. Fan. Of. Teacher. Student. Love. Blech. Here, let me outline a little of the main plot points, in relation to the four main players, as it may sway you one way or the other on whether this is a drama for you.

Kwon Obok is a girl barely legal who falls in love with her boss, a single father who raised his son alone after his first love (a rich girl) got preggers and ditched him for the States. That single father is none other than Jang DaeHan, who is put in a difficult position when that ex-gal slash mother of his son wants him back. What difficult position is he in exactly? Well, he is busy struggling against his growing feelings for this cutie “kiddo” employee in his life named Kwon Obok (hey, don’t look at me, this couple calls each other mister and kiddo as romantic pet names).

Then we have Jang MinGuk, DaeHan’s aimless younger brother, who is developing an absurd crush on his former high school teacher and pining away longingly in that direction. I won’t go into detail on my hang ups on the sanctity of keeping boundaries between certain types of relationships, but let’s just say I’m not a fan of teacher-student amour, not to say it can never work in a show or be successfully portrayed, but I find it often doesn’t work, and this was hardly an exception. He also has a cute best friend in Ha SolJi, who harbors a bit of a crush on him, but will he ever notice?

Last, we have ManSe, the young pretty daughter of the Jang family who has snagged the interest of a rich kid who is heir to a cow of a fortune. Pity his mother is a mega witchy witch and will stop at nothing to keep them apart.

There you go, the drama in a nutshell. }

To be honest, I don’t want to really discourage anyone who has any interest in starting this one because it wasn’t a badly made rom-com family ditty and there were some veritably sweet and enjoyable parts, but just be prepared for the length. I will admit that despite my lack of love for it, I can still see how this might be enjoyable over the course of half a year for viewers/families coming home every day after a hard day’s work/school to enjoy a light half hour of innocent drama fun. I am certain there are drama lovers out there that really enjoyed meeting these characters Monday through Friday, and while I do understand that...

...for me…a time-constrained drama lover caught in a harvest-plenty year where great dramas seem to be falling from the sky in over abundance, this one simply could not compete. Maybe in 2008 it might have kept my attention. Heh. Anyhow, I was most disappointed that such a cast of exciting young actors were written out to become so dull and dry. That’s skill, I tell you, to suck the cute out of natural cuties like Kim SoEun and Lee HyunJin.

In general, I must say, I have a bit of an ongoing beef with KBS [one-sided battle being waged in the secret mental asylum of my head, heh]. I’m a little worried about their dramas of late, for they all seem to lose the plot after a while. So strongly they all start, but so completely do they fizzle by the end. Of the three major stations (MBC, SBS, KBS), I definitely find I am more skeptical of KBS dramas when I start watching, almost trained to expect a drop in story consistency nearing the middle, followed by a blind alley of bitter pills at the end. For example, I am currently enjoying Baker King, Kim TakGu on KBS and while it hasn’t derailed yet, I’m popping antacid pills in anxiety hoping against hope that it won’t...I was so relieved when the drama’s production team rejected KBS’ request to extend it. Why do you like to draw things out interminably, KBS? Desperately grasping onto high ratings aren’t everything, you know, think of the integrity of the story! 

As for Happy, I managed a little over half way through, but only thanks to my diligent and stubborn dvr that kept recording episode after episode long after I forgot about it. Honestly, I did sincerely look forward to each new episode at the front end of the drama but sometime later, around episode 50, I realized it was becoming a chore to make time for this one. I didn’t care about any of these characters, their careers or their love lives, and I most certainly did not care about the rivalry between Green Dairy and Well-Being Dairy, the milk product companies that everyone’s lives seemed to center around.

This is what I’ve adjudged, unless you really love any of the actors, or you are a drama watcher inclined toward the daily ones and length is not an issue for you, this one isn’t worth going out of your way to watch. Definitely skippable.

1 comment:

  1. lol... still havent given it up yet... but i am quite behind. like most sitcoms, i watch it with fast forward so its easier to watch. and i have a soft spot for the main couple. haha. i thought the guy was a jerk in who are you? but he's sweet here. and i love kim so eun!


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