It’s been great reading June
's (dapowerz) blog posts and, of course, all the comments that they’ve generated. While reading their posts, I came up with a few of things that I’d like to address while I have the spotlight.
June Marie wrote about Park Soo Ha’s ability to hear people’s thoughts. I wonder in what other ways this will affect the show. So far, he’s only used his ability to help people. It’s implied that that he will help Jang Hye Sung in her court cases in future episodes. But, she already knows this secret about him. How is that going to change the (possible) romantic relationship between them? I can already picture lots of scenes where she stares away from him or runs away so that he doesn’t hear her thoughts.
A very small thing that we all probably thought but didn’t write about is Park Soo Ha’s constant headphone usage. We often see him with ear buds or larger headphones on; and, although this goes mostly unremarked in the show, it’s safe to assume the reason. In these first couple of episodes, his power has put certain moral quandaries at his feet. He knew that “Double Nose” was going to get picked on. He knew that Go Sung Bin was about to jump in front of the train. Perhaps years of accidentally hearing people’s thoughts have led them to want to ignore them? Maybe his struggle with the responsibility that his power brings him will become a focal point later on. Maybe we’ll get some cool, traumatic flashbacks. This is K-Drama after all.
For me, one of the foundational themes of many K-Dramas, and what many shows base themselves around, is the subject of the class divide. Think about how many times a rich parent has objected to a pure, chaste love, because, uh, someone was all poor and stuff. I keep being reminded me of Gloria
, an otherwise unremarkable show, wherein the rich characters continually hired gangsters/hit men to take care of the undesirable poorer characters. Think of all the rich boy/poor girl shows you’ve seen. In K-Drama, the class divide is the rule; love is the exception. The world of K-Drama never starts out as a fair one; throughout a show’s run, the series will often explicitly reject the class structure that it started out with. Poor will fall in love with rich. Rich will fall in with poor. Someone will object. Regardless of whether the show is a drama or a comedy, K-Drama often critiques (in its own beautifully melodramatic way) the status quo of class relations in contemporary South Korean society.
All of which is a really belabored way to talk about possibly my favorite scene in these last two episodes. Seo Do Yun lies in her bed, her parents perched over her. Jang Hye Sung and her mother arrive with food. One of her classmates, being responsible for Seo Do Yun’s injury but not wanting to admit it, impulsively blames Jang Hye Sung. What follows is pitch-perfect “stacked deck” melodrama. Every single person in that room accuses Jang Hye Sung of being the cause of the injury – it’s better to let the poor one take the blame. But in explicit revolt against the class structure which binds her, she refuses to admit that she did anything wrong. It’s a totally badass scene, showing Jang Hye Sung’s character and integrity, but also displaying the utter impracticality of her point of view. She not only gets her mom fired, but she also gets kicked out of school. Jang Hye Sung’s stubbornness never really goes away, either. Think about how she butts heads with the people at the lawyer’s office. It will be interesting to see that be explored more as well.
Those last two paragraphs turned unexpectedly serious! So, let’s leave it on a fun note: the best part of episode 2 was probably when Park Soo Ha started following Jang Hye Sung. There’s such a goofy, happy look on his face as he walks next to her. On the bus, as he watches her, his happiness can’t help but bubble over – he almost can’t believe it. He’s finally found her. Perfectly orchestrated with a gorgeous pop song, it’s a type of moment that dramas could use more of. There’s no plot obligation, no narrative at all to speak of, we are merely witness to a private, privileged moment for Park Soo Ha. This is his moment, and his alone. But, for a little bit, we were let in as well. And it was beautiful.
Can’t wait for episode 3 and 4!
More from the I Hear Your Voice Drama Club:
Episodes 1-2: [ Part 1
] [ Part 2
] [ Part 3
] [ Part 4