The Introduction Episodes set up the stage for this new Korean drama that is being touted as South Korea’s official entry into the BL waters. K-dramas are particularly popular all […]
The Introduction Episodes set up the stage for this new Korean drama that is being touted as South Korea’s official entry into the BL waters. K-dramas are particularly popular all over the world for their distinctive storylines as well as proficient star casts. The main leads Tae Joo & Gook, as well as their distinct personalities, have obviously captured the audience’s attention.
– Edited by TheFNGee
This show seems to be more like an experiment. If it works, there might be a possibility of more Korean BL content being produced. However, the main question that arises is, will the main couple get their happy ending, or will this be another failed attempt. Only the last episode will answer this question.
So what’s the story all about?
Tae Joo, 18 years old, is a member of the distinguished family. Regarded as a “chaebol heir” (A chaebol is a large industrial conglomerate that is run and controlled by an owner or family in South Korea), he is known to be a spitfire, with an unpredictable attitude towards the people around him. He has a bodyguard named Gook, who is also 18. With an intimidating physicality, Gook is close to his master and swears to protect him at all costs.
“The Moment You Want to Run Away” was surely meant to explain Gook’s sense of mind. Since the pretense of acting as Tae Joo’s bodyguard is slowly growing tedious for him. The episode starts with a charged moment where Gook helps Tae Joo bathe. You can see the obvious attraction in his eyes, which he tries hard to mask.
But taking care of an oblivious Tae Joo is another uphill task. On the one hand, he encourages Gook to date but also forbids him from being too focused on his new girlfriend. He then goes on to kiss his ex-girlfriend, who suddenly turns up to fight with Tae Joo. Tae Joo keeps confusing Gook so much; I feel sorry for the guy.
However, the next day Tae Joo is back to his cute antics, and Gook can’t resist. You can see the love reflected back in Gook’s eyes and the smile that blossoms on his face when Tae Joo aigoos! He is certainly hopeless when it comes to Tae Joo. I must appreciate the fact that despite being a newbie, Han Gi Chan doesn’t falter at all. He is entirely convincing as the entitled heir who always gets his way by hook or by crook. Jang Eui Soo, on the other hand, is excellent as he acts the part of a besotted, heartbroken bodyguard who can just watch from a distance.
This leads us to another charged moment. Tae Joo decides he needs to tutor Gook on his non-existent dating skills. As always, he touches Gook’s ears and lectures him on the feelings evoked. But unexpectedly, Gook turns the tables when he pulls Tae Joo closer and berates him for pulling such pranks. You can see the palpable chemistry ignite and you wish these two would get together.
“The Shadow’s Sense of Self” was focused entirely on Tae Joo’s self-doubts. I love how each episode’s title corresponds to the respective character’s mindset. The repetitive charged moments in the last few days, are making Tae Joo self-aware of Gook. The one he has only seen as a Shadow until now has suddenly grown a presence of his own. Tae Joo is at odds with this reality.
Gook leaves Tae Joo with his Tutor to go for the date with He Mi. First, let’s appreciate the fact that Han Gi Chan looks so handsome in this frame. I just love the close camera shots this show is using; it just makes the character’s expressions so much more real. Tae Joo can’t get himself to handle the alternate reality where Gook might abandon him for someone else and follows them to the restaurant. I literally couldn’t believe that he dared to crash Gook’s first date.
Gook is obviously flustered, and Hye Mi quickly picks up on his discomfort. I’m trying to understand why such an intuitive girl is wasting her time trying to date Gook. Tae Joo sits right there, listening to their conversation in disbelief. First, he is seriously hurt when Gook brushes off their relationship as a Master/Servant contract. Secondly, Tae Joo himself rebukes their dating style and gets even more hurt when Gook’s date Hye Mi tells him to mind his own business.
I might actually feel bad for Tae Joo if he wasn’t such a Casanova, flirting his way through school and expecting Gook to follow him everywhere. Gook has a Fighter’s spirit, but Tae Joo seems to be his biggest weakness. He is insecure about the differences in their status and also can’t stop loving Tae Joo. The obvious solution that comes to Gook’s mind is to date Hye Mi to divert his attention.
The problem, however, ensues when Tae Joo suddenly starts feeling jealous. He rebukes Gook, leaves him stranded on the road, and drives off alone. Tae Joo has never felt jealousy before, so I’m looking forward to the next episodes. Knowing his personality, he will either try to hide his newly discovered feelings for Gook or fight for him. With Tae Joo, you never know. The upcoming episodes are certainly going to be very interesting.
My Opinion On This Drama
Honestly, I wasn’t expecting much before the drama premiered online. South Korea, among many other Asian countries, is still dealing with societal homophobes. I knew there would be a love triangle involving Choi KyuRi, but I certainly didn’t expect the show’s producers to make the main lead’s chemistry so relatable. Unlike Chinese dramas, where intimacy is masked by labeling the characters as “Friends,” this web-drama is a welcome surprise.
Both Tae Joo and Gook have strong portrayals, and their emotional entanglements are believable. You can totally relate to Gook’s helplessness, as he has to hide his feelings and perform his duty as a bodyguard. The label is deceiving because clearly, the way he looks at Tae Joo is different. Jang Eui Soo, being the more experienced of the two actors, has tight control of the emotions. It’s never too much or too little. You feel Gook’s happiness when he smiles, and you feel his pain when he is despondent.
However, the point of contention here is not Gook but Tae Joo. The future episodes will decide their relationship based on how Tae Joo reacts to these new feelings he is experiencing. I’m really enjoying watching Han Gi Chan emote. His expressions at times seem unreal, but you can’t help but be drawn to him. He is a perfect match to Gook’s stoic character. I’m hoping that the drama doesn’t play the “Sacrifice” troupe and that this lovely couple gets a chance at happiness. Surely they deserve it. I’m leaving you here, with some lovely stills from the next episodes.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars [See our Review Guide]