Okay. So I REALLY have been dying to write about my current craving for Secret Garden, but I wanted to wait until I was a little deeper into the series before I decided to delve into it. Or should I say, delve in Hyun Bin.
In all honesty, this drama IS Hyun Bin. I swear Ha Ji Won is just there for color commentary and a dosage of a pretty girl. But, I swear, almost every scene is reserved exclusively for Hyun Bin, and the character I thought to have been the main (Gil Ra Im)is proving less adorable than the male lead. Hard to believe? Allow me to explain.
First of all, let me start by saying that when I read the synopsis for this drama, I was less than impressed. A story about a guy and girl who switch bodies, and the twisted form of so-called “romance” that develops from it? No thanks. I like my men as men, and my girls as girls. Not the other way around. OR SO I THOUGHT.
This plotline is BY FAR, the most unique, hilarious, and fantastic of anything I have ever watched. I have NEVER laughed so hard during a Korean Drama. It builds with several episodes with the characters (Poor, sweet Gil Ra Im and snobby, rich-guy smartass Joo Won) who meet as their “normal” selves and battle between class differences and their growing attraction to one another. You think it’s just going to be your cookie-cutter sugary little K-drama romance, and then BAM! An accident causes them to switch bodies.
I kept waiting for it to happen, thinking to myself “this drama is going to be SO lame when they do the stupid switch up”. But, OH MY, did it make things fun. I never thought this kind of thing could work in a K-drama, but it DOES!
Now we have the smart-ass, snobby, selfish personality of Joo Won in the pretty body of Gil Ra Im, and the soft, girliness of her in the body of Joo Won (Hyun Bin). Sure the whole “take a walk in another’s shoes” concept is big (especially since she is poor and he is rich), but better than any morale-teaching, self-discovery plot, is the acting.
This drama PROVES that personality overpowers appearance, and, even moreso, how cute Hyun Bin is as a girly, clueless, bashful feminine character. I was never a big Hyun Bin fan; he always seems to play the dominant, rich, snoody kind of alpha-male. I hated him as Joo Won in this, he was annoying as hell, and then BAM he turns into a soft, darling girl character, despite still looking like a man. And then, suddenly, I absolutely LOVED Hyun Bin. Personality can COMPLETELY change a person. Gil Ra Im is cute and lovely when she is herself, and then she becomes Joo Won, with that arrogant, sarcastic attitude, she suddenly doesn’t seem cute anymore.
Sounds weird? Trust me, any potential weirdness is completely overruled by how incredible of an actor Hyun Bin is. Regardless of which character he is (Joo Won or Gil Ra Im) It’s still Hyun Bin, one guy, playing the part of two strongly opposite characters with such a natural grace, you feel like he IS the character. Ha Ji Won, also, manages to completely make you believe she is both a guy and a girl. However, Hyun Bin, being a giggly, innocent, sweet character is too adorable to bear. I laugh SO hard. In fact, I do truly believe that Secret Garden takes the prize for the most I have laughed over the course of a K-drama.
If this were the Academy Awards, and I was the Committee, this guy would get my vote:
Hyun Bin, You Rock.