If you told me a year ago that I would watch Hyunhaetan Marriage War (also known as Doenjang-gun and Natto-jjang’s Marriage War) for Im Joo Hwan, I would probably ignore you and brush that off as crazy talk. But here I am, majorly crushing on him at the moment because such is the magnetism and power of Park Kyu. It’s really amazing how one memorable character and performance can change my opinion of an actor 180 degree and make me see said actor in a new light.
Can I be that bunny?
Name: Im Joo Hwan (임주환)
Birthdate: May 18, 1982 (not too young or old… just perfect)
Height: 186 cm
Weight: 68 kg
Star sign: Taurus
Talent agency: The Men Management
Upcoming project: What’s Up
Swoon factor (as Park Kyu from Tamra the Island): off the charts
Photo courtesy of CeCi Magazine
Info courtesy of DramaWiki
Now that I’ve finished the drama, I’m thinking back to when and what had taken me off the fence and kept me fully on board the Tamra ride. It must have started when William was recounting his story of how he landed on Tamra through the use of drawings and animations. I thought the bit was creative and unique, with a touch of whimsy. It gave me the feeling that this drama was charming and different, but in a good way, than other shows that I’ve watched, and so I wanted to stay tune in to see more of what it had to offer. And once I began to care for its main characters, I was fully invested emotionally in the show.
I almost always watch the preview of the next episodes because I’m not much of a spoilerphobe, but perhaps watching the preview for Episode 21 wasn’t such a good idea because it made me really nervous about the final episode. I mean, there’s a reason for why Hong Gil Dong has the distinction of being the only Hong Sisters drama that I did not finish. I read dramabeans’ recap of its last episode and then didn’t want to watch it anymore. Hong Gil Dong, like Tamra, was a fusion sageuk whose storyline had a mix of light and dark elements and look how it ended. So, when I saw the preview for Tamra‘s last episode, my imagination went into overdrive and I was fearing for the worst. Seriously, if Tamra pulls an ending similar to Hong Gil Dong, I’m gonna @#$%^&*! (Spoiler alert)
My ride on the Tamra boat had been smooth sailing, for the most part, until it docked at Hanyang, the Capital of Angst. Although while on Tamra, there was plotting and other dark stuff going on in addition to all the fun and games, I was really enjoying the interactions between the characters because of the nice balance of the serious and the humor. So, when our main characters arrived at Hanyang and they were angsting and crying in what seemed like every episode, it took me some time to get used to all that drama. I like angst, don’t get me wrong, but not when character consistency is sacrificed for the sake of angst.
And the crying. Beo Jin cried. William (looked like he was straining to) shed tears. And Park Kyu… In the Progress Update post, I talked about how I felt whenever Park Kyu smile or cry. So, imagine how it was like for me to watch him doing more of the latter than the former. It wasn’t pretty (on my part), I’ll say that much.
Anyway, I finished the show a couple days ago, and since then have been thinking about how to write up my thoughts on the finale. Aside from being frustrated with my laptop’s hard drive going kaput on me all of a sudden (data backup? what is this “foreign concept” that you speak of?), I was also hit with that dreaded block, the writer’s block. (Seems like it’s going around the blogosphere as several of my blogging buddies have caught it as well.) So, with creative juices running low, I’ve decided to take the straightforward approach and am going to organize my thoughts on the finale in the form of recap/commentary on major events in episodes 20 and 21. (Spoiler alert)
I’m up to episode 13 and with each episode, my affection for this drama and its characters grows stronger and stronger. Tamra also has one of the cutest opening sequences, with the pop-up book theme and animated character cardboard cutouts.
Tamra the Island Opening Theme
(Special thanks to thduddbals for uploading the clip.)
You know, the more I think about it, the more I’m glad to have come across Tamra at just the right time. Otherwise, I would have missed out on this gem of a show.
Tamra Island, that is.
When Tamra the Island aired in 2009, I had no interest in watching it primarily because there wasn’t anyone in its cast that really drew my attention. Seo Woo was a relatively newbie then. Im Joo Hwan was known to me as the dude who was Hyun Bin’s ineffective romantic rival in The Snow Queen; oh yeah, and also Kim Bum’s bro in a blink-and-you’d-miss-him scene in Boys Over Flower. And there was Hwang Chan Bin (Pierre Deporte), the blond albino boy whom I knew nothing about. Even after reading the many critical praises that Tamra gained, I still had no plans to check it out. Especially after being introduced to Seo Woo through the hot mess that was Cinderella’s Sister and leaving with feelings of indifferent and mild annoyance of the actress. So why am I marathoning it now?