First Impression: Playful KissSeptember 2, 2010
Playful Kiss is not on my watch list, but that didn’t mean I wouldn’t give it a try. This drama is also known as Mischievous Kiss and Naughty Kiss while it’s Korean title is Jangnanseureon Kiss (장난스런 키스). I have to say, these types of dramas are really not my thing. As I said before, I wasn’t too confident on how Playful Kiss would turn out. I haven’t seen the 1996’s Japanese drama, Itazura na Kiss, or the popular Taiwanese version, It Started with a Kiss. I never even sneaked a peek at manga, so I won’t be comparing any of the three with this new drama. Playful Kiss aired on September 1, 2010 and manage to pull in a low rating of 3.6.
Begin . . .
Baek Seung Jo (Kim Hyun Joong) is 17 years old, he has the looks, academic skills, and the wealth of his parents. The perfect man, you may say. Amongst the girls that like him is 17 year old heroine, Oh Ha Ni (Jung So Min). She is in no means anything special, she lacks the looks and has one of the worst grades in the school. Even though her looks and academic is not her forté, Ha Ni is a strong and determine young woman. One day, Ha Ni slips a confession letter in Seung Jo’s locker and gets humiliated in front of the whole school as she gets coldly rejected. Ha Ni’s new house collapses leaving her and her father, Oh Ki Dong (Kang Nam Gil), to move into his friend’s house. Surprisingly (not really…), Seung Jo is the friend’s son and this gives Ha Ni the opportunity to capture Seung Jo’s heart.
Whenever I see Kim Hyun Joong on screen, he always gives off an emotionless stare and monotone voice the majority of the time, even in Boys Before Flowers. I was surprised when he gave some emotions in the trailer. I know he is playing his cold character and the script isn’t good. So Hyun Joong can’t take the blame for his lacking character. The writer should have spent more time introducing Seung Jo as more than an empty shell who has the girls drooling and excels in academics.
Jung So Min as Oh Ha Ni was decent. So Min suffers the same problem as Hyun Joong, the script. Her character is lacking! I like how So Min doesn’t make Ha Ni look like a stunningly gorgeous model, but an average looking girl. When I first watched the trailer, her looks did bother me. I realized she’s a girl that doesn’t care much about her looks and academic. She’s more concerned with confessing to Seung Jo and her life rotates around him. It’s quite annoying and I would have appreciated if she was concerned with her grades or something other than Seung Jo.
Bong Joon Gu (Lee Tae Sung, upper left) is such a cutie, but Lee Tae Sung tries too hard at his portray of Joon Gu at times. Joon Gu also has his followers played by indie band Bye Bye Sea (seen on upper right): Namu, Joon Hyuk, Myung Jae, and Dae-hyun. These guys are charming even though they haven’t spoken a single word! Next on the list, we have Jeong Joo Ri (Hong Yoon Hwa, lower left) and Go Min Ah (Yoon Seung Ah, lower left), Ha Ni’s friends. You can’t complete a school drama without the evil rival, who is Yoon He Ra (Lee Si Young, lower right) along with her minions!
I’ll be honest, I did not like this drama. I wasn’t engaged to the plot and half way through, I started skipping through the episode. It was getting boring, I’m surprised I lasted through the first 30 minutes. While watching this I did get a Goong vibe. First, Ha Ni wears leggings and is an art student, Kang Nam Gil plays the father (who plays the father in Goong), and the teddy bear reenactment. Why Group Eight? There’s no need to use the same methods as your successful drama, Goong! I couldn’t help comparing Playful Kiss to Goong the whole entire time.
The script for this drama is unpleasant, everything is too bland. I had to skip my way through the first episode or else I was bound to fall asleep. I would have loved it if they showed the character’s personality more. They came across as dull and I was only hyped when seeing Bye Bye Sea. I can’t blame the actors for their characters being flat, when they are just reading the script they’re given. The writer could have worked more on the characters on the first episode, having a little bit of a back story for the two leads would have been great.
Hit, miss, or somewhere in between: As I was watching, I was making note of the clichés in it, I really couldn’t help it. That’s what I tend to do when watching romantic comedy dramas revolving around high schoolers. That’s one of the main reasons I stray away from them. I can’t continue with this drama, I really did try to like this, but I couldn’t. I can’t stomach these type of dramas anymore. The story is too familiar and the plot just lacks, I was bored fast. That said, this is a miss.
I really don’t get why this is so hyped for, I was quite disappointed from the results of this episode. Playful Kiss doesn’t illuminate any uniqueness to it, the script could have been better written, the characters are too flat, and shadowing Goong is unnecessary. If it weren’t for those aspects, I would have definitely stayed around for another episodes. I’ll probably be checking out the Taiwanese version, It Started with a Kiss, in the future.
For anyone wanting to watch this, Haru2subS have proposed to provide subtitles for the show.