poster credits to: http://www.itsepisode.com
I contemplated writing a 2011 Dramafest Reflection but since I tend to suck at writing about dramas, that is unlikely to ever surface….
However, I firmly do believe that a hidden gem of a drama definitely deserves its own spotlight- it’s none other than Me Too, Flower. Despite being helmed (writing-wise) by the scriptwriter of My Name is Kim Sam-soon, this late-entry 2011 drama sure did encounter many pre-production madness, lots of casting doubts and middling ratings thoughout its airtime and even worse, was even cut short by 1 episode (MBC, I am looking at you *glares*). Nevertheless, it’s probably also the drama that pulled the biggest shocker: the chemistry was amazing, the introspective dialogue spot-on and as for the characters and acting – well, they’re some of my newly discovered favorites now, pretty much.
Most English-speaking drama-bloggers raved about this drama, calling it perhaps the most underrated show of 2011. I don’t disagree; however, the very usage of the term “underrated” seems to sound like the drama is calling attention to itself to make others watch it – this isn’t true. Me Too, Flower‘s selling points are the sharp, introspective dialogue and its unconventional heroine Cha Bong Sun, as played by Lee Ji-Ah. Of course, when casting is brought up – who could have guessed that Yoon Si-Yoon would totally own the show as baby-faced-but-totally-a-man Seo Jae Hee? I definitely didn’t and in fact, to be honest, the moment I read news about Kim Jae Won‘s departure and Yoon Si-Yoon as the late-replacement lead, I’d scratched this one off immediately. “They totally look like they’ve zero chemistry,” was what I’d judgmentally assumed. Then Koala raved about this show in her Playground – see here – and oh heck, I was sold; I thought I needed to give it a go for myself. Now all I can say is: SO GLAD I jumped on this bandwagon.
While I won’t deny that Me Too, Flower does have some choppy plotlines and much-too-convenient turn-of-events at times, overall what makes it so winning are the character growth and changes that Bong Sun, Jae Hee and Bong Sun’s half-sister, Dal (played by one of my most favorite actress, Seo Hyo Rim), undergo as they learn what exactly is love and thus, similarly, what it is to love – both in receiving and giving it. The characters’ exploration and depth are what give this show its meat; I didn’t care too much about the company, Perche, co-owned by Jae Hee and Hwa Young (played winningly by the stunning Ha Go Eun) and its many business tribulations i.e. the diamond bag, the crazy customer, the secret CEO etc but they helped to develop ties and weave together scenes, so I’m not whining about the filler parts.
There’s another character worth mentioning, he of both quirk and wit: the psychologist Park Tae Hwa played by Jo Min Ki, whom I am unfortunately unfamiliar with. In the beginning I honestly found his character a little bit annoying. Over time and most especially in the last three episodes of the show however, oh I loved him for being the voice of reason. In regards to Dal especially, for keeping her in check and accepting her as she is “because she is transparent … in a time where everyone seemingly wears a mask, it’s as if she’s challenging the norm by stating ‘look at me’, or ‘love me as myself’ “, as he admitted to Jae Hee in the final episode.
Other bloggers feel that Me Too, Flower got off to a slow start – thus, that it’s best to marathon the first six or so episodes rather than pacing a day an episode or whatever, but I strongly disagree. I can still vividly recall the first episode where while there were plenty going on in that pilot episode, collectively the episode and therefore the story, never felt sporadic or scattered to me. Rather, it was presenting all these witty dialogue, sizzling chemistry and some of the most unconventional characters in Kdramas in a realistic fashion. I remember thinking it was an incredibly long first episode and I was exhausted from following the banters between each characters but right off the bat, I knew this is one that would deliver.
I’ve also read plenty from bloggers and commenters alike about how incredibly baby-faced Yoon Si-Yoon is. So much so that therefore, certain moments and scenes fail to deliver with more crushing impact, namely those between him and Hwa Young, the latter of whom seems to be giving off cougar-vibes when compared to said-babyface. But honestly for me, that baby-face whatever? It be damned. Sure he looks 23 (he’s 27 in Real Life, if I remember correctly), but the moment he opens his mouth to speak and additionally, have you noticed the way he acts with his eyes? That intensity – it can’t belong to a boy. Nay nay, ma’am, you’ve got it all twisted if you can’t get over the fact that a youthful face defines nothing when the character is so powerfully acted and demonstrated as Yoon Si Yoon did in his portrayal of Seo Jae Hee. Yoon Si Yoon is totally winning as Seo Jae Hee and never once did it occur to me that he is “too young” in and for the show. Instead – this is an actor to lookout for, I’d say.
I am… not very good at writing reviews so apologies for this not-quite-a-review so-called review. What I hope to convey through this post is really, simply to bring attention to this drama to curious or on-the-fence drama-watchers. If you’re one who often looks for Kdramas that tonally, speak a realistic tone – to whatever degree it can, that is – and/or one who loves a show for their characters’ exploration, then no doubt this one is a show you’ve got to pick up and watch. Like Que Sera Sera, I would peg it as a show that will not and is not everyone’s flavor – yet I also believe that even for the nay-fans, they can’t deny the incredible chemistry between (surprisingly!) Lee Ji-Ah and Yoon Si-Yoon. Most importantly, they definitely can’t deny the depth this story offers in potraying two wounded souls meeting halfway, time and again, as they learn to love in a sometimes unforgiving, mostly superficial world.
In a nutshell – it definitely had its share of choppy editing and some bipolar-like storyline that wrapped up seemingly too nicely. Nonetheless though, overall: Me Too, Flower remains a most-deserving keeper; I love it so much.
Final verdict: 8/10.