Thursday, June 28, 2012

K-Drama Review: Big, Episodes 7-8

Read episode reviews for:

Big--Episodes 1-2
Big--Episodes 3-4
Big--Episodes 5-6
Big--Episodes 7-8
Big--Episodes 9-10
Big--Episodes 11-12
Big--Episodes 13-14
Big--Episodes 15-16

Contains Spoilers for Episodes 7-8

Oh my, I don't recall the last time I was this jazzed over a new pair of episodes. I am terribly, terribly worried that something will happen to ruin my favorite K-drama, so let's see what's going on!

Now our stalkerina Mari knows that teenage Kyungjoon has been soulswapped into the body of grown-up doctor Yoonjae, so now she's going to stick to him like glue. Where Kyungjoon goes, Mari goes! And where Mari goes, Da-Ran's younger brother Choongshik is not far behind. He comes looking for her and is really sad to see Mari in Yoonjae's house, randomly ranting about Kyungjoon (who is supposed to be in a coma), plus, Choonshik's mad at his sister Da-Ran for seeing Yoonjae (the fiance who supposedly dumped her) again.

Stop Confusing Choongshik, You Guys!

Da-Ran now says she wants to go through with Kyungjoon's plan to pretend to be his fiancee again. He chivalrously says that to spare her feelings so she won't fall in love with Yoonjae's face again, he'll be sure to never treat her nicely. Teehee.

After Da-Ran leaves the house, keeping Mari at arms' length is hard for Kyungjoon, not because he likes Mari but because Mari is like sand in your swimsuit--persistent and impossible to get rid of. Mari tries to work some Frog Prince magic on Kyungjoon by leaning in for a smooch. I would have called this the awkwardest kiss ever, but I watch K-dramas, so I've seen a lot worse.

Though This is Still Pretty Bad.

Nothing changes of course, and Mari asks if Kyungjoon himself really likes Da-Ran. He says yes he does, but he got rejected by her.

I've just noticed that Choongshik is practicing his English a lot lately. And he has no talent for it, but still. Awww. Mari is now ignoring Choongshik just when he thought he could give her his love confession, and he wonders if she'll have no use for him now that he's paid back his pizza debt. He asks his mom to send him to America, so he can follow Mari if she goes home.

It's Like the Never-Ending Chain of Adorably Harmless Stalkers.

New info: Kyungjoon's Uncle used to love Da-Ran's Mom, and I hope this does not affect the plot in any noticeable way. I don't want a lost-love subplot clogging up my bodyswapping romantic dramedy. 'Cause that would be weird.

Kyungjoon is spending a lot of time trying to put together the puzzle of Yoonjae (as many of us are)--he found a pricey ring that Yoonjae bought for Da-Ran, and now Seyoung admits that Yoonjae never dated her, so...then...what was his deal? Anyhow, Kyungjoon puts the ring on Da-ran's finger and says that as long as she wears it, he will never fall in love with her. Essentially because Da-Ran belongs to Yoonjae, who was probably a decent person.

Saddest Engagement Ring-Giving, Ever.

And then Kyungjoon says, again, that they should just get married since Yoonjae was already planning to marry her anyway, and this ring proves his intentions were true. But...if Da-Ran marries Kyungjoon now, won't she be stuck married to the awkward, unfathomable Yoonjae when the two inevitably switch back?

In a pair of hilarious mental fantasies, Da-Ran imagines how Yoonjae will feel if he comes back to his body and finds that he has married her already. Will he be thrilled at her perceptiveness? Furious at her obtuseness? She probably shouldn't do this. (Side note, I looove how Gong Yoo plays Dream Yoonjae so robotically. He's a total Stepford husband!) Da-Ran wonders what she truly wants in this scenario. It's hard to figure things out when she's wearing a ring bought by Yoonjae but given by Kyungjoon.

Exactly Who Has Put a Ring On It?

Choongshik asks Mari if he means anything at all to her--she says nope. Kyungjoon has 100% of her heart, and Choongshik's a big fat zero. Then heartbroken Choongshik runs away from home, like a hurt kindergartener! And he takes his piggy bank with him. BWAHAAA. Teacher Na and Kyungjoon square off over who has the right to search for Choongshik, so they both look. Teacher Na has this cutely weird CSI-Mission Impossible sequence while looking for evidence, and Kyungjoon just calls up Mari to do his work for him.

Guess Who Wins.

Kyungjoon finds Choongshik and advises him to keep his rebellions short and less dramatic because you never know when you'll lose the chance to make up with your parents. This is cool advice because it's like big brother-in-law advice, but it's also man to man, since Kyungjoon and Choongshik are really the same age.

Soon we get a flashback to the past, with Mari remembering the night Kyungjoon's mother was shot and killed, then Kyungjoon remembering the same event.

Not The Happiest of Memories.

The significant moments keep coming as we find out that the Miracle angels picture (that both Yoonjae and Kyungjoon have) comes from a book Yoonjae's dad wrote about one child saving another child, who saves still another child. Kind of a cycle of sacrifice.

Sounds Familiar.

Da-Ran says she still likes Yoonjae, without a doubt (No!), but she offers to marry Kyungjoon for one year, to take care of him until he's 20, which is legal adult age in Korea. So it's not a marriage but an odd guardianship that doesn't sound logical at all. Kyungjoon doesn't need anyone to take care of him anymore bcause he's been living as Yoonjae for a year. And no one can force them to marry, so it's not like outside circumstances require the marriage. So basically this wedding is only happening because the plot needs it to happen. Meh.

We don't see the wedding because it's a plot device and doesn't matter for its own sake. Da-Ran prepares to go to China for a solo honeymoon, while Kyungjoon gets to twiddle his thumbs at home. But Da-Ran forgets her passport in the car, and Kyungjoon holds onto it until she misses her flight and is stuck with him. Then they decide to book a new flight and go on vacation together. Kyungjoon almost faints at the airport, then a shot from the hospital shows Kyungjoon's body convulsing, and a soul rising from it? Kyungjoon says to Da-Ran, "I think I just went to my own body and came back. It looks like Yoonjae is returning."

Noooo, no Yoonjae return. Do not want! But hey, he had to come back sooner or later so we could get this mystery solved.

Is This Charade At An End?

Things I Loved:

1. Product Placement. I know, reviewers are supposed to complain about product placement on television, but I really like these super bright shoes that Big is pushing on us. In a previous episode, Mari was shopping and trying on pairs of shoes that looked a little like Ice Creams, and now even gym teacher Na is wearing them, to further cement them in our minds as something everyone wants to buy. I just think it's cool to play Spot The Product Endorsement in various scenes.

The Offending Footwear, Arrowed and Circled for Your Convenience.

2. Mari. With her bull-in-a-china-shop attitude and her princess dresses and jaunty little hats and bows, Mari is a manga/manhwa character come to life. I've never considered her presence a real threat to the people or the pairing that I like best, so she's just a fun person to have thrown in the mix.

And She Can Be Held Off With Just One Finger.

3. Choongshik. He and Mari make this show so much better. They're my favorite secondary characters ever, after Jason and Pilsook from Dream High. One of my favorite scenes with them is when Mari prepares for the wedding in her own version of a bride's dress, which Choongshik cautions her against.

Not That She Listens.

4. The Funny. The situational comedy almost never ends, though Kyungjoon is responsible for less and less of it as time goes by. Whether it's Da-Ran eating expired squid (Expired. Squid.) or Kyungjoon surrounded by a whole flock of clingy toddlers at the hospital, there are comedic moments aplenty.


1. Seyoung. I really would be fine with never seeing her again. She's a villain with the claws removed, and though she presents no threat to anyone, we keep revisiting her character as if she did. By now, she shouldn't be in the story at all unless they're planning to revive that cheating issue.

Demoted to Extra.


Growing Up: Da-Ran says that even if looking at Yoonjae's face causes her pain, she'll have to be a grownup about it since she wants to help Kyungjoon. And when she's about to meet Yoonjae's mom again, Da-Ran says she was usure of her herself the first time she met this woman, and she doesn't want to be like that again. Growth for our heroine! Hurrah!

Consoling Others: Kyungjoon consoles Mari when she cries. Da-Ran hugs Kyungjoon as he talks about losing his mom. Everyone supports everyone, really.

Theories: Yoonjae and Kyungjoon are first cousins. From the photo Yoonjae's dad has, it now looks like Yoonjae's mom was Kyungjoon's mom's sister. Or something.

Kyungjoon is going to die (or almost die) saving someone else. Makes sense. The angels book is supposedly about one kid's life getting saved so that he can save another significant life, and Yoonjae sacrificed his consciousness to save Kyungjoon, so soon it'll be Kyungjoon's turn to do the same.

Watch Big here on DramaFever

Episode Evaluations: Still my favorite show this summer! There are some shaky and repetitive parts, like Da-Ran waffling back and forth about wearing the engagement ring and constantly asking Seyoung the same old questions, but overall Big is just super. Gong Yoo's acting, the themes about growing up and taking responsibility, the side characters--yeah, this one's just beautifully addictive, and only gets more interesting with every twist.


  1. "sand in your swimsuit--persistent and impossible to get rid of" HAhahaha!

    1. She's just that bad! Or that GOOD, I should say. I love her completely, even as I compare her to swimsuit sand.

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  3. One major complaint about these episodes for me is they got for real! That is just wrong.

    I really want Yoon Jae to come back, he needs to return and clear up everything. I'm finding the DaRen and KyungJoon relationship boring...they whine way to much about everything. Everything is a big deal. Grow up!

    Was anyone else pissed that KyungJoon allowed Mari to believe he sees her responsible for his mother's death and used it as a weapon against her more then once a massive sore point?

    I'm so annoyed at this revelation and wished they would have given us a better conclusion to this little mystery.

    Oh not to mention he's mothers death.."Hey You!" what was that about? It was a horrible scene, it gave more questions that will likely never be answered.

    Not to mention Shin Won Ho couldn't capture his character well. This kid needs to stop pouting and at least attempt to look like he has emotions. Goog Yoo plays Kyung Joon with such an abundance of energy and attitude it's impossible to connect the two as the same character.

    1. The "Hey you!" death scene was weird for me too, and it jarred me out of the moment. Elsewhere, I read someone's comment that the murder looked more like an assassination than a mugging or robbery, so I'm hoping that it was actually some kind of revenge killing and not just the worst death scene ever.

      Ah, I'm sorry you're not digging a lot of the aspects of the show. Though I also think that Gong Yoo plays Kyungjoon reeeeeeally differently from the way Shin Won Ho plays Kyungjoon. I loved Shin's cocky, self-assured attitude in episode 1, but it's nothing like the energy released by Gong Yoo, and it doesn't play well in meloncholy flashbacks either.

      I appreciated the series themes aboiout maturing, but by now I'm ready for less anguish, more hijinks. Da-Ran has done a lot of maturing--she doesn't have to stew and fret over every little thing anymore. But she probably will.