It has been a bazillion years, but I could not ignore my vacation time nor the opportunity to discuss Orange Marmalade with Unnichan! Are you all watching it? What are your thoughts? If you are looking for places to tune it LEGALLY, try Dramafever or Viki—great sites with subtitles in various languages (depending on the show). On to the post!
ExtraKun: Here we are again, watching another high school drama, with most of my wishes granted! 1.Yeo Jin Goo 2. Vampires 3. Music 4. 97 Hyung (Song Jong Ho) is a VAMPIRE! He is on my top 5 “needs to be a Vampire” list. Anyway, in case you didn’t figure it out, this has been a fangirl PSA from ExtraKun aka Ekun aka Eboni in regards to Orange Marmalade!
Unnichan: Unlike you Dongkun, high school dramas aren’t my thing, neither are music based dramas, so I guess it was a good thing I knew so very little about this show before I turned it on. The basics were Yeo Jin Goo, Song Jong Ho and vampire. Clearly, that’s all I needed. I was concerned about CN Blue’s Lee Jong Hyun casting and and AOA’s Kim Seol Hyun, but I figured I’d give it a chance regardless and thankfully, I’m really, really enjoying it. However, I think the fact it takes place in a high school setting and a webtoon adaptation helps.
ExtraKun: Look, we would not be able to stomach half the crap these damaged kids are up to if they were adults! While Jin Goo always makes me ashamed to be ogling him so hard because of his age, Jung Jae Min his character, has me screaming a lot! And not just because he is adorbs and dangerous. I was very disappointed with him towards the end of episode 3, but perhaps we should start from the beginning, ne?
Unnichan: Well when it comes to his mother, the beginning starts back 3-4 years ago, when his mother decided to remarry. The problem is, she didn’t just marry any ole dude, she married a colleague who also happens to be a vampire. Which we also find is an oppressed minority in Korea right now. And to be honest, one thing we know is that people always fear something new and different and that is truly the case with the vampire race. Not to mention the fact they drink blood and can’t function in the same conditions as humans. But anyways, Mom marries Saem (Han Yoon Jae) and Jae Min gives up on music (mainly guitar strumming). His real father dies and now he lives alone, angry at Mom for pretty much everything.
ExtraKun: On the other end of the spectrum we have Baek Ma Ri… Vampire trying to make it in a world where her kind is constantly ridiculed, oppressed, hated, and ostracized. The saddest thing about this girl is that she wants to be “normal”, but never will be, leading to her own self hatred. I almost cried along with her and Joseph (her baby brother) in the park. No wonder she is apprehensive and annoyed with herself for liking Jae Min. What would be my excuse? *thinks intently*
Unnichan: Cause he’s jailbait? I’d cry over that too. That kid is virtually sending innocent hardworking women to prison every day!
ExtraKun: I was thinking what to do if I was 17! I am too pretty to go to jail for the likes of Jin Goo/Jae Min. No Orange is the New Black for Dongkun!
Unnichan: Right. Anyway, Ma Ri’s issues with vampiredom are reminiscent of Ji Sang’s issues in Blood, so they kind of rubs me wrong but I don’t dislike her. Much like Jae Min’s hangups with his mother, I don’t like it yet it doesn’t taint my view of them as characters. And though I could always fall back on the fact they are kids, I won’t because I don’t think that’s the case either. I think it’s just because despite those things, I still find them likable and intriguing enough to see how this all pans out. So okay, back to Jae Min, by the time we wind up in episode 3, he’s had several encounters with Ma Ri and her innate talent for music (he finds her sheet music on the subway), he’s convinced to become apart of Saem’s school band and when they put on their first performance, since Mom is a music teacher, she’s there and they have an… shall I say altercation?
ExtraKun: Look, I really don’t want to discuss that–but we must. I was disappointed with Jae Min. It seems like its been a cool minute since mom and saem have been married, and you still showing your ass. I don’t mind you not wanting people to know your personal business, but being outright hateful and disrespectful to your mom? Totally uncalled for!
Unnichan: Though I don’t particularly care for Jae Min’s stance in this whole situation, ‘cause basically he’s just acting spoiled (as far as we know), I was more upset with Mom in that scene than Jae Min. It’s true he’s a child but he’s been pretty clear about his feelings regarding her and Saem. So, Mom needed to be prepared for what she got when she stepped to him.
ExtraKun: You do have a point. She was being extra, and should have been prepared for his shenanigans. And given the fact that he wants nothing to do with her, there were no need for the constant tears that come along with his encounters.
Unnichan: It was also audacious of her to think anything he does at this point has anything to do with her. He’s kept his distance from her for so long, why would he pick up the guitar to make her happy? Mian Mom, but Jae Min is just doing him. Now I will repeat, I don’t think that Jae Min is right, but I don’t think treating her like an elder or teacher was a problem. He was being civil and she was being rather extra for my taste. She wasn’t respecting his boundaries and if she wasn’t going to do that, why is she off letting him live the independent life? If you want your son to respect you, be his mother and even when he acts out it would make more sense for you to broach these things.
ExtraKun: I don’t mind him saying his peace, it was the way he did it that upset me. Speaking of shenanigans, we have to mention the other part of this “love triangle” Shi Hoo, the nephew of Saem, who is also a vampire. Calling him an emotional kid is an understatement. But given his parents are serving the maximum sentence given by the Vampire Control Service (VCS), I guess he gets it from them? And he seems to have some sort of a past with Ma Ri and Jae Min. Needless to say, he is not about that “Jae Ri” or “Ma Min” relationship!
Unnichan: You know I don’t ascribe to that “love triangle” stuff, but when I think of Shi Hoo, I think of those antics he pulled on national TV! Talk about teenage angsty emotions. The truth is we don’t know much about Shi Hoo, his background, or what any of our vampires have seen or been through; but showing out on a broadcast ain’t they way to reel Unni in. Promise! He does have a past with both our leads and while usually, I’d roll my eyes (and I think I wanted to here), I have come to appreciate this bit of history because it gives me hope that a bromance will develop between he and Jae Min, rather than vying for the same girl. But with that said, I have a little more understanding with his apprehensions or outright disagreement with any romance between Jae Min and Ma Ri because he remembers what Jae Min told him at his uncle’s wedding and given his “interview” doesn’t believe humans can ever understand or value vampires.
ExtraKun: And honestly little Shi Hoo, noona is not mad at you about that, not completely. But I do need you to clean up your antics a bit. Your interview, though may have some validity, makes the rest of vampires look bad. There has to be a better way to express your thoughts and feelings without throwing a tantrum on national TV! I so hope Jae Min and he have a bromance! And I don’t mean that stupid BS they pulled over in High School Love On! I want some Heirs, Heartless City, Shut Up! Flower Boy Band, or Vampire Prosecutor bromance! I will even take a Monstar bromance… I am excited to see more about Shi Hoo as a character–I don’t care about Jong Hyun, but I hope that the character does not turn into a character that waste my time and curiosity on him.
Unnichan: *sigh* Could we not talk about Jong Hyun? I will never get over why, he’s second lead over Park Gun Tae (Huh Bum Sung)… NEVER! But back to Shi Hoo, I really loved how he came on the scene at school, scooped up Ma Ri, right in front of Jae Min and stuck next to her practically the entire day at school. Even the tomato juice save was great. He had me cracking up because he’s so brazen. He doesn’t care what these fools think of him and I love it!
ExtraKun: If I wasn’t already smitten so hard with Jae Min (For Realz!), I would be falling for my serious case of SLS (Second Lead Syndrome)! I admit, it has been awhile since I have fallen, but if anyone would sway me back to my old way it would be that Shi fn Hoo! *sniff sniff* Why couldn’t we have met him first drama gods? Wae?!
Unnichan: Look, I am definitely more of a Jae Min kinda girl, so I would never fall into Shi Hoo’s web but I do find him fun and think he will be a great friend to both our leads.
ExtraKun: Since you mention the tomato juice incident, can I mention the thing that pisses me off the most about high school dramas? HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS!!! Why are these heifers (and I mean that in the nicest possible way) so mean and catty?! I was a high schooler and I am a girl; did I miss something between my 12 years out of HS?
Unnichan:I also don’t know why girls in general are always portrayed as catty. I have never been that way (or experienced it first hand), and I’ve got a few more years out of high school than you. Ultimately, Ma Ri needs an enemy and in high school, lines and classes are drawn pretty dark and wide. Whenever there’s a small pool of people, leagues and teams are created and the worst of most everyone comes out. Here, I don’t think it’s the girls, though those wenches over that locker were ridiculous, it’s mostly one girl and the rest of them just fall into herd mentality. Ma Ri has shown up and she’s different.
The reason she’s different is because someone drew attention to her and that negative attention made Jae Min act. For me, it’s not about high school, it’s about jealous people that don’t seem to understand that if you want something, it’s never a good idea to try to sabotage something else, just make your stuff the best and most sought after. It’s true Jae Min was never into any of the other girls at school and probably never would be but why give him an excuse to have more interest in Ma Ri?
ExtraKun: Preach! You know I am not about that comparison or asking “why her not me” BS! Trust, there is someone for everyone. And you can get over the one you thought was the one when that other one comes to show you how they can be your #1! Say that 3 times fast! LOL! The bottom line is you gotta do you, that means you Ah Ra.
Unnichan: Ok so ultimately, we have Jae Min who has deep-seeded issues with vampires, Shi Hoo who has anger management issues and animosity toward humans, then Ma Ri and Ah Ra who have regular self-esteem issues. Add all that up and we’ve got a pretty good basis for tons of high school angst and acceptance plotlines to cover. But to be honest, what I look forward to the most is what the vampires are up to. I mean, there’s this whole world of law and segregation that is happening with them and it makes me wonder if there are many more vamps we don’t know about and what will happen once Jae Min finds out about Ma Ri. Of course we know he will accept her and everything but the thing is, that can’t be it right? There’s got to more.
ExtraKun: Of course there is more, but this is not that show. I would love to see a show about how the Vamps live their lives in secrecy, how they have to move when found out, how the VCS handles day to day disputes, etc. This is going to be more about these kids dealing with their issues, family blah blah blah, acceptance, bit of music, etc. You see the picture I am painting? I would be surprised if it dealt with anything else. Oh! And maybe an overall lesson of how “different isn’t always bad or to be feared” bit, ne?
Unnichan: Yea, I know. I just hope we get a twist here and there. Certainly, Orange Marmalade will help encourage more and more people through their music and lyrics. Especially since all our troubled kids are members.