From the moment I saw his face (posted by DramaFever on Facebook) I knew I would be drawn to this new drama. I have to admit; initially it’s an actor or an actress who entices me to start watching a drama. Song Seung-heon is that actor in WHEN A MAN LOVES, currently airing on MBC-South Korea on Wednesday and Thursday nights. I see the English subtitled version on DramaFever shortly there after. In all honesty, he’s good looking so I gave it a whirl.
The first episode really grabbed me and made me a little uncomfortable at the same time. The dark-haired, chiseled face man appeared to be an unlikely hero. He was a bad man doing bad things for a very bad loan shark. After an intense scene of stalking and fighting with a kind, little book store owner, I could only hope for the best. Before long it was revealed he had a good side and it was an attraction to a young woman who made him want to change his life around.
Then the story fast forwards to reveal a bit of change and some personal growth in some of the major players in this drama. Seung-heon (Han Tae-sang) who’s wounds have now healed has started a legitimate financial group. Shin Se-kyung (Seo Mi-do) The young girl and “love interest” has gone to college (with Tae-sangs financial help)and moved past what I am sure was a very dark moment in her life.Yeon Woo-jin (Lee Jae-hee) a younger brother to Tae-sands best friend, kept in the dark and sent to the US for his education. Lastly, Kim Sung-oh (Lee Chang-hee) the friend who would do and actually did do anything necessary for this friend that is closer than family. They all come together again at the same geographical location that they started from many years before. Each one different but is some ways, a little bit the same, unable to shake off the past.
In all good dramas we can expect the emotional love triangle and there is a triangle brewing on this show that began early on. But for all those who saw episode 12, I don’t think we were expecting what happened. I know I was not. At the same time I have to say I was not as disappointed as some. Sure it’s wrong. I agree it’s underhanded and completely unfair. But we must agree that the writers have us up in arms and waiting on pins and needles for the next episode. The way they probably see it—they just scored the proverbial home run. What more can they expect but to have the “netizens” on fire and bringing down the blogs and twitter with hubbub about this show. They have us right where they want us. I couldn’t be happier. I have read a lot of negative comments especially referring to episode 12. I cannot totally agree that it was cast wrong in regards to roles of Jae-hee and Mi-do. I guess I could see other people doing those parts a little better but I am willing to see it through to the end. In regards to the “risqué” and as some even said, “vomit inducing” make-out scene at the end of episode 12. The two did seem a bit awkward. From what I know of Korean dramas portrayal of love, innocence, first kisses and most of these not happening until people are in their 20’s sometime later. I am surprised they knew what to do having reached this blood-boiling heated moment. The fact that they got caught was just poetic justice.
Of course I have my theories. I know how I want it to end. I will wait patiently for the balance of the story to be revealed. I will be waiting for two episodes a week for the next couple of weeks. In the interim I have decided to get my Song Seong-heon fix with one of his older dramas AUTUMN IN MY HEART (originally aired September 18 – November 7, 2000 on KBS2.) Tears were flowing by the first episode, and I am talking about my tears! It has sad and depressed written all over it. I can watch it at my leisure knowing this series is complete and available 24 hours a day. Thank you DramaFever.
OFFICIAL SYNOPSIS “WHEN A MAN LOVES” (DRAMAFEVER)
When a Man Loves (남자가 사랑할 때 )
Han Tae Sang (Song Seung Hun) was once a smart young man full of potential, but his dreams came to a halt when he was forced to work as a gangster for the same loan shark that destroyed his family. Years later, what is supposed to be a simple extortion job turns into a chance meeting with Seo Mi Do (Shin Se Kyung), the poor, but prodigious young daughter of a modest bookstore owner. They say a man cannot unwrite the sins of his past, but perhaps he can redeem himself through loving — and saving — the life of another.
PHOTO CREDIT: as tagged