Trot Lovers has come to an end and I feel lied to and cheated! Mostly on the account that there wasn’t enough trot (which I could forgive) and it ended with almost no lovers! Lets examine this show in 3 categories: The Good, The Bad, The WTF— shall we?
E-Kun: I think the writers did a decent job in establishing likable characters. I even liked Soo In until her jealously got the best of her. I know some people believed there was an inconsistency, but just like real humans are not 2 dimensional and easy to pin point every move, so were the characters. They reacted a certain way due to the situation they were given- be it growth or corruption. I got it and I applaud the cast for making me believe.
Lore: I would agree that the characters were written in a way that made them mostly likeable (and I say mostly because I had a chip on my shoulder about Guen Woo and I cannot stand Soo In). But the leads were well written and their character growth was well played- for the most part.
Comical With Traces of Melancholy
E-Kun: I really did like the dark undertones in the show. Towards the end I felt it was more like a melo than a rom/com, but in the beginning, I was chuckling all the time despite all the seriousness going on. My favorite storyline was that a Jang Joon Hyun. A jerk who has had everything handed to him, finally found the most important thing to him wasn’t himself.
Lore: As E-Kun mentioned in the halfway there post, the moment that Joon Hyun contemplated suicide was not only powerful – it made me like the character more. The dark moments early in this series created a strong foundation, and at least in my case left me eager to tune into the next episode.
E-Kun: Ji Hyun Woo, Eunji, Shin Sung Rok… Words are not enough. All of them brought their A game and put it down like on wax! Ji Hyun Woo and Eunji really were the reason I liked the show up until I couldn’t anymore… That is for later. Ji Hyun Woo made a smart move to work as soon as he got out of the military and I am thankful to him for that *Wink with a Kiss*.
Eunji constantly wins me over with her charm and charisma as a young actress. She makes smart character choices and works diligently– I think I have a girl crush on her! I cannot wait to see Shin Sung Rok in another project, hopefully he will be utilized for the talent that he has a little bit more. This was my first time seeing Lee Se Young and I liked her portrayal of Soo In. She was complicated enough until she turned into a witch, that is pretty complicated to pull off and she did it well.
Lore: Thank you, thank you, thank you Ji Hyun Woo. I missed him while he was serving in the military and I applaud him for taking on this role as his comeback project. He nailed it. Eunji is also a favorite of mine (E-Kun, if you have a girl crush on her too I think we need to battle it out for her. Haha). Shin Sung Rok clued us into how much range he has as an actor (if you had asked me five months ago I would have pegged him as a villain role for life).
E-Kun: I had no expectations for our leading lady but to make me like Trot music a whole lot more… Mission accomplished plus so much more! Choi Choon Hee is a normal girl, who made understandable decisions, and I really REALLY appreciated that. Even with the fiasco’s that bombarded her daily life, she seemed to let it roll off her back and keep it moving. She was upfront, honest, and worked hard to accomplish her ultimate goal of restoring her family. She just happened to find the love of her life at the same time. Gee, I wish it were that easy. *Sigh* Since we all know how I personally struggle with women in dramas, I am glad I was able to work it out with Choon Hee from start to finish.
Lore: Choon Hee was logical to a point, but that point was understandable. I would have acted a bit differently if my boyfriend no longer recognized me (and the super b**ch sunbae decided to screw my life over) but regardless of how much I would have acted differently, her choices seemed to make sense for her. It has been a rather dry year in terms of likable heroines in K-drama, so Choon Hee was a breath of fresh air.
E-Kun: Another saving grace for Trot Lovers were the side characters like Choi Byul (Yoo Eun Mi), President Jo (Yoon Joo Sang), Tae Song (Son Ho Joon), and Pil Nyeo (Shin Bo Ra).
There were other character involved in the show, but these were the ones that really spoke volumes to me. Tae Song and Pil Nyeo were just the comedic relief the show needed when things started to do down a spiraling non- ending well. I was skeptical about the couple at first, but I am glad they ended up happily ever after.
President Jo trying to teach his son to grow up and how to get the girl was adorable. It was actually refreshing to see a father and son duo that got along so well.
Lore: I love President Jo. And I want to start a fan club. Because I love him so.
E-Kun: This of course had to be the first thing mentioned right? Until the ending last night; it was absolutely the worst thing about this drama! Not only was it poorly inserted into the story, it really served absolutely no purpose in the long run. It was just two episodes of Jang Joon Hyun being a clueless fool for no reason. Given the way the drama ended, it would have been much more beneficial to utilize the parents scandal 20 years ago to cause a rift than the amnesia. I kicked a cat because I was so mad (not literally for those PETA supporters and cat lovers).
Lore: The writing was, for lack of a better term, sloppy towards the later part of the series. The amnesia episode was definitely the event that made it clear that we were entering makjang territory. To put it bluntly the last five or six episodes made me feel like I was watching a poorly produced daytime soap opera whose head writer had a drug problem. Which was really unfortunate because the first part of the series I felt was pretty solidly written.
E-Kun: So we all agree Choi Byul was the the most absolutely adorable thing about this drama, ne? Every time she was with “Ahjussi”, President Jo, or Hawaii Haraboji, you couldn’t help but love their interactions with one another. But when they first introduced her to Geun Woo, and she pretended to be sleep, I felt they were giving adult like characteristics to a child who was not old enough to really understand, and shouldn’t care about anything but her Unni being happy.
Though the situation resolved with her ultimately being neutral, I felt she was like the greedy mother characters who only care about money… like Jang Joon Hyun’s mom!
Lack of Trot Music
E-Kun: I was really hoping they would do more with the concept of Trot music because… well… the show is called TROT Lovers! Do not misread me, I loved the music that was on the show (so much so that I have several tracks on my ipod), but I thought it would delve more into the history of trot, why it was so important to Choon Hee (besides her mother), and finally able to convince Joon Hyun to look at it differently.
It expressed several things, but it was minimal of what I wanted it to be. I was also sad that Eunji did not have a track on the OST, but that could be due to several reasons. Oh well…
Lore: Music! I am not a big fan of musical dramas, or musicals in general, so it surprised me when I fell in love with the musical element of the show. I liked the Trot songs (which is a genre I have almost zero knowledge of), enough that I plan on doing some digging into Trot music in the near future. While I would agree I anticipated more music in this show (since it is a musical and all) I was still impressed with what I saw (or heard).
Dad is Sick Too?
E-Kun: I just did not like it. Choi Myung Shik (Kang Nam Gil) did not have to have to be sick on top of drowning in debt. It was like an added blow to a situation that was already pretty crappy. I just did not like it. Period.
Soo In Gets Out of Prison After 1 Year!
E-Kun: What is up with Korean law, if you can get out of prison for attempted murder after one year!? If I didn’t think Soo In’s (Lee Se Young) actions were malicious, perhaps I can be okay with her getting out early. But I have seen drama where people have killed or injured by mistake and were in prison for at least 7 years! This totally sucked and seemed like a cop out! Not to mention the disgustingly romantic send off she was able to have with Geun Woo, giving her a sense of hope, when her ass should have been dragged off to prison in shame!
Lore: The show lost me at the repeated (yep- happened two freaking times) “Sure Soo In, go off and have some time to yourself. I mean, you only tried to murder someone, lied to everyone, and then tried to destroy evidence. You know what you need, a relaxing weekend before you turn yourself in. We trust you. Really we do.” Ummmm…can I slap you show?! Aish! I could not forgive Soo In, no matter how much her Mother influenced her. In my opinion you should have enough sense to not try to kill someone because you are jealous – even if Mom tells you to (Soo In was an adult after all).
Joon Hyun and Choon Hee… Another Hurdle?! *Censored*!
E-Kun: I really do not understand the purpose of another hurdle with this couple. It was like the writer did not want the deserving people to be happy in the end. They waited too late to introduce Hwa Soon (Ji Soo Won) as the culprit, when they should have stuck with what they did in the beginning and placed the blame square on Yang Joon Hee (Kim Hye Ri), because, THAT HO DID IT!!! It made no sense for this couple to have to break up in the last freaking episode.
Lore: The final hurdle – the Mom hurt Mom drama- should have been introduced or at least made a viable plot point earlier in the story. As it stands it was late to the game and just came off as frustrating. If this past drama was supposed to break up our leads, we should have skipped the amnesia and made this the focal point of our conflict. I had a hard time buying into this conflict, largely because Joon Hyun was estranged enough from his Mother (and smart enough to investigate everything but this issue) prior to this conflict blowing up.
Where the Hell is the Wedding and Babies?!
E-Kun: This is the way the drama should have ended. I could forgive the amnesia, I could forgive the Soo In not being dragged out in shame and thrown under the jail, I could forgive the way they resolved Choon Hee’s mom death… If only I saw Choon Hee in a wedding dress walking down the aisle towards to Joon Hyun! With a time jump of her being preggers with a child! Since none of this happened, this became the 2nd drama I hated this year!
E-Kun: I want to recommend Trot Lovers for people to watch, but just like Wild Romance or the US show Lost, the ending was so unbelievably ridiculous, I don’t want anyone to waste their time watching it. While I applaud the cast for making me a believer until the very end, the writers ruined it all in one final blow. I don’t think I was asking for too much for the lovers to end up together for more than the last 30 seconds of the show; and that wasn’t even delivered. And I really wanted this to be my favorite drama of the year…
Lore: I want to recommend this drama as well – but the last quarter of the show is such a mess I doubt I will tell anyone to watch this. What I took from this show- Eunji is awesome, I am so happy Ji Hyun Woo is back, I like trot music and need to learn more about it, Shin Sung Rok has range as an actor, and I want to punch Soo In in the face. Cheers! Literally- I need a drink to forget the last few episodes…