Personal Taste

“I’m just going to trust you. Even if I get used a hundred, a thousand times, I’m just going to trust you. Even if it’s foolish.”

Personal Taste

Personal Preference
Episodes: 16
Genre: Romance, comedy
Year: 2010
Starring: Lee Min Ho, Son Ye Jin, Kim Ji Suk, Wang Ji Hye, Jung Sung Hwa

Rating: 7.5/10

Lee Min Ho fans across the globe are probably preparing to gouge my eyes out for the low rating. By the end of the kdrama, sure, I was totally in love. Who wouldn’t be? But it took a while for me to be drawn in, so I’m detracting points for that. Otherwise, this is a very sweet and surprisingly complex drama, with hilarious adult humour.

Personal Taste

Park Gae In is a naive furniture designer. She thinks her partner Chang Ryul is about to propose – instead, he breaks up with her. To him, she is like a rain-soaked puppy. The next day, Gae In attends her good friend and housemate In Hee’s wedding…only to find the groom is none other than Chang Ryul!

Meanwhile, architect Jeon Jin Ho is struggling to keep his firm afloat, due to the machinations of his enemy/competition, Chang Ryul’s father. Through a series of unfortunate coincidences, he meets Gae In, and first impressions are not favourable.

But then a project bid opens for a large gallery, and Jin Ho discovers the concept for the project is based on Gae In’s home, Sanggojae.

Problem: Sanggojae has never been opened to the public.

Jin Ho must get inside that house somehow, if he wants to win the bid. In desperate need of money, Gae In rents out In Hee’s room, and Jin Ho immediately seizes the opportunity to infiltrate Sanggojae.

Gae In lets him in – because she thinks he’s gay!

Plot Speed

My one true problem with this kdrama is the speed at which it starts up. The main story in this drama is that Jin Ho stays at Gae In’s modernised hanok due to Gae In’s misconception that he is gay. I naturally assumed this would happen by the end of the first episode.

It did not.

I had the same problem with My Girl. Kdramas clearly struggle to get to the point fast enough. There were many moments in the first two episodes that could’ve been cut shorter, to accomodate this. Because I was waiting for this epic event to happen, it felt like the lead up dragged.

Once we got there, the drama clipped along at a good pace, but it was torture waiting for it.

Lee Min Ho

Ah…Lee Min Ho. What is there to say? ^o^

I actually seem to be watching his dramas in reverse, but it doesn’t make any difference; his acting here is just as good as in Faith. In fact, even if this kdrama had completely sucked, I would still have watched it for Lee Min Ho. Luckily, this drama is actually very good.

The moments Jin Ho shares with his mother are sweet.

I do, however, have a problem with his wardrobe. I hate how his pants never quite reach his ankles! I noticed the same thing in City Hunter. If it’s a fasion trend, it’s ghastly. If not…can we please see Lee Min Ho in properly-fitted clothes?

Gae In

I had big issues with Gae In – at first. My original thoughts:

“I’m sure Son Ye Jin is really attractive, but the hair, clothes, and make-up of her character are particularly unflattering, if not downright ugly. She’s hard to look at. And I don’t like how Gae In gets drunk every time she’s upset. Not exactly heroine material.”

I got really peeved at her in episode 3. She gets drunk and then balls her eyes out on the street. I mean, she’s so pathetic. Someone just needs to put her out of her misery.

But I persevered, and I was justly rewarded. Gae In gets a make-over courtesy of Jin Ho, to make her a ‘woman’, and things perk up after that. She is quite stunning the first time she gets all decked up. Her character improves upon closer acquaintance – and as Gae In slowly changes as a person (though she retains her trusting nature, much to Jin Ho’s dismay).

I’ve come to like Son Ye Jin; she plays Gae In perfectly, and I look forward to seeing her in other kdramas.

Emotional Frenzy

This kdrama starts out as a bit of fluff, but it quickly gains emotional intensity. This derives from the consequences of Jin Ho keeping up the pretense of being gay. It’s surprising how many things can go wrong from such a small issue. It must be said that Gae In causes most of these problems…

We also get to see how other people react to the news of someone being gay. Interesting, to see an Asian perspective on it.

It’s a shame that the humour slowly dies out as the drama progresses, but at least we have an emotional kick to keep us hooked.

Minor Character Name

On an aside note, in episode 8, we see an old female friend of Jin Ho’s. Her name: Yoon Eun Soo. Does anyone else see the coincidence? In Faith, our delightful heroine is called Yoo Eun Soo. Funny, how these kind of things work…

Definitely One to be Watched

Many of my complaints for Personal Taste are my own opinions, which you may not share. I loved this kdrama, and even if I do not watch it again, most people do end up seeing it a thousand times over, so if you’re looking for some laughs with a bit of thinking involved, watch Personal Taste.

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