Melo done right- and that is how I really feel. While time will tell if the new Wednesday / Thursday SBS drama That Winter The Wind Blows retains the favor of the melodrama gods the first three episodes were far from disappointing. And yes, that is three episodes aired during the premier week. I am in love with this episode bonus because I was given the extra story oomph that kept me wanting a whole lot more.
While TWTWB finished last in ratings for Wed (but managed to tie with IRIS 2 for the top spot on Thu) I have high expectations that this drama, even if not a ratings killer, will present a story well worth watching. Okay, time to stop my rambling and get on with the details- let’s take a look the cast, the story, and a little more rambling on my part. Cheers.
Meet the players
Oh Soo (Zo In Sung)
Abandoned under a tree as an infant and raised in an orphanage. Such is the early life of our hero Oh Soo, who as an adult faced further awfulness with the loss of his first love in a tragic accident. A misfortunate past has given him a drive to survive at any cost, a motivation that keeps him on the edge of legality as a hustling big stakes poker player. Befriended by Jin Sung and forever followed by Hee Sun (the little sister of his first love), Oh Soo’s seemingly pointless life is enriched by his close friends.
Oh Young (Song Hye Kyo)
An heiress caught in a situation of controlled helplessness, Oh Young is surrounded by people who want only to influence her in the face of her fathers debilitating illness. Blind and without her mother and brother (who left after her parents divorce) she has learned to not trust those around her.
Park Jin Sung (Kim Bum)
Oh Soo’s best friend and faithful comrade, Park Jin is always by his hyung’s side through thick and thin. He dreams of making enough money to buy his father a farm.
Moon Hee Sun (Jung Eun Ji)
The little sister of Oh Soo’s deceased girlfriend, Hee Sun is a tenacious and spunky girl that acts as a permanent sidekick and little sister to Jin Sung and Oh Soo.
Secretary Wang (Bae Jong Ok)
The “other woman” behind the divorce of Oh Young’s parents, Secretary Wang has consistently exterted an uber controlling influence over the heiress’s life ever since the girls mother left.
Our Story Thus Far (in a brief, un-spoily sort of way)
Our heroine receives a letter from her long lost brother, only to find out that he has been sending her letters every month for years (all of which were hidden away from her by our villain Secretary Wang). Going in search of her new found sibling Oh Young runs into his roommate, Oh Soo- who get this, coincidentally has the same name as her long lost brother. While talking with her brother’s roommate-sans-same-name-friend, Oh Young is stunned as the police show up and chase the man away. As she realizes he ran away Oh Young receives a call that her father has passed away.
Our hero, running from the cops, sees his roommate / the real brother of Oh Young approach. Confused, brother Oh Soo chases non brother Oh Soo to find out what is going on. The chase results in an accident that sets up the ensuing plot.
I hate to be too optimistic so early in a drama- after all I have been burnt many a time proclaiming early greatness only to experience a middle and end that played worse than a film written by Allen Smithee. But I cannot hold back- I really like what I am seeing. And I really hope this drama keeps it up. The story, in all of its infancy, is engaging and paced extremely well. The leads are doing a great job, as are the secondary leads (to an extent, I am still getting used to Eun Ji sans santoori). The directing is solid; the imagery is fitting for the emotional turmoil introduced thus far.
Our lead characters have an interesting dynamic that whispers of grand plot twists to come. After all, our heroine and hero will eventually learn all about their true motivations and inevitably discard their seemingly distant singular reality. All of the buildup, the potential trust, and the relationship progress that we are beginning to witness will without a doubt come crashing down. The big question is how will our leads react? With only three episodes to go on I still hazard to believe that they will end up with a trust that is built on more than what their relationship began as…a lot more.
In conclusion- I cannot wait to see episode 4. And I do not mind the tears. And here I had thought I Miss You had cried me out of melos for awhile. Apparently all it took was Zo In Sung and Kim Bum. And a good story. And awesome directing. And a trip to the store to buy more Kleenex. Okay, I guess my return to melodrama was not thaaaaat far fetched.