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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Full House"

2013/10/11 | 2772 views | Permalink

Depending on how big of a drama watcher you are, you might know a little or a lot about the 2004 hit series "Full House". This romantic drama starring Song Hye-kyo and Rain was quite the success during its original run, ending with ratings that reached a 42% peak with its last episode and becoming popular abroad, even resulting in a number of remakes made in other countries.

The premise of "Full House" is nothing new at this point. It is about the well covered topic of a business deal type of marriage leading to true love. Han Ji-eun (Song Hye-kyo) is an aspiring writer who lost her home and all of her possessions after being swindled by her once best friends. When Lee Young-jae (Rain), a famous actor moves into the house he does not know was sold without her permission, they come to an arrangement. She wants the house back, he wants to make the woman he has a one-sided love for jealous. Enter fake marriage.

The genre is as pure rom-com as it can get, along with certain melodramatic tropes found in series of this type. There is a rich man/poor woman dynamic, misunderstandings, cuteness and the mandatory second lead pair, played by Han Da-gam and Kim Sung-soo, who unfortunately fall into the cliché role of being mainly used as obstacles for the leads' love without having some decent development themselves other than beyond that function. The image and sound are fine, considering when it was made and there are even a couple of nice songs to be found in there. It's "old", but it does not feel overly cheesy or cheap.

The cast performs ok and although often shaky in their acting, their endearing characters enable them to generate quite a lot of sympathy. This unfortunately works in reverse, with the characters that are not meant to be liked. The couple who betrayed Ji-eun, played by Lee Young-eun and Kang Do-han, have absolutely no use other than being annoying and Ji-eun's relationship with them is frustrating due to how she handles it. Characterization is mostly fine and Kim Ji-yeong's presence an extra nice treat, but those few plot points seem irrational and forced in for the sake of conflict.

The chemistry and fluff is where "Full House" gets it right, however. While a lot of the characters and happenings seem unnecessary, the writers do well in focusing on the main couple, because that main couple and their day-to-day interactions are nice to see. They become friends and then something more. A lot of series never really go into how the leading pair would be like as a full couple with joint lives. This makes the drama refreshing to watch.

"Full House" is by no means anything brilliant or original and one should not go into it with such demands. Chances are, you have seen a lot of the types of characters and style of plot before. That said, this drama was made before all of these elements became overly used and tiring and there is a certain purity in it that is somehow pleasant to watch. It is like witnessing the earlier versions of what we see today, along with the things that have been bettered, but also some things more modern dramas could learn from. It is light, it is cute and a fun work to go through. It is a piece of drama history that is still perfectly enjoyable today.

Written by: Orion from 'Orion's Ramblings'

"Full House" is directed by Jeong Seong-hyo, Park Chan-yool, Pyo Min-soo and written by Min Hyo-jeong and features Song Hye-kyo, Rain, Han Da-gam and Kim Sung-soo.




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