YA Entertainment, the major publisher of Korean dramas on
DVD here in the US,
has recently released the second half of I Really, Really Like You, a
and enjoyable show that's a lot of fun to watch. I
reviewed the first season earlier (read the
and have been looking forward to the conclusion. I'm
happy to report that the second half is
even more engaging than the first and, like the earlier half, contains
twists and surprises for poor Bong-soon.
Yeo Bong-soon (Korean pop-idol Eugene)
lives in a small hut-like house with her grandmother in the remote
Korea. Life is hard there, and the two barely scrape
by. While taking a walk one afternoon,
Bong-soon stumbles upon a hiker, Jang Joon-won (Ryu Jin), who had an
and is unconscious. She manages to carry
the handsome tall man back to her house where she nurses him back to
health. He has a sprained ankle and
can't walk down the mountain, so he spends some time recuperating in
Unbeknownst to Bong-soon (and just about everyone else in
the show), Joon-won is actually the son of the President of South Korea
medical doctor to boot. Once he gets
word back to his father, a body guard (the equivalent of a member of
Secret Service) is sent to help retrieve him.
This comes in the form of Nam Bong-ki (Lee Min-ki), a
self-absorbed and stubborn young man who is really upset that his
a hot girl had to be cancelled in order for him to perform this
inconsequential task. Once Bong-ki
actually meets Bong-soon he takes an instant dislike to her.
As they are about to go, Joon-won discovers that Bong-soon's
grandmother is seriously ill and near death.
The entire group travels to Seoul,
where the old lady dies soon after she gets to the hospital. With her dying breath, she reveals a secret
to Bong-soon: she's not really her
grandmother! When Bong-soon was a
her mother abandoned her and she was taken in by the person she thought
grandmother. The only clue that
Bong-soon has are two pictures of her as a baby with her parents. Her mother is a very attractive young lady,
and the man identified as her father is none other than the President
Korea! Is she his illegitimate daughter? And who is her mother.
Moving to Seoul, Bong-soon, still not aware of who Joon-won
really is, starts falling for the tall handsome doctor only to discover
married. Not only that, but his
stunningly gorgeous wife had an accident that left her with severe
damage. Joon-won spends all of his free
time nursing his ailing wife.
Like the first half of the show, these last 16 episodes are packed
with a lot of surprises, twists and turns. (Which
makes it really hard to write
about. I'll do my best not to include
any spoilers.) In the first episode
here, Bong-soon finally discovers if her father is really the president
not. It was nice that they wrapped up
that storyline, but rather than simplifying the poor girls life what
out makes it more complicated. She
continues the search for her mother too, and with a little help from
friends finally finds meets that lady... only to discover (as was
the first half of the show) that he mom is an out-of-work actress/con
owes money to many people including some loan sharks who want to cut
hand if she can't pay up. She instantly
sees her newly found daughter as a new mark to hit up for money, or at
place to stay.
She's still pining for Dr. Jang, as she calls him, even
though she realizes they can never be together. To
make matters worse though, Nam Bong-ki,
who has been a constant thorn in her side, finally starts to realize
that the 'hick
chick' as he's dubbed her, isn't nearly as bad as she first seemed. As a matter of fact, she's quite attractive
and appealing. At this same time Joon-won
starts to realize he has feelings for Bong-soon too which makes him
guilty, especially when his mother-in-law insists that he divorce his
that she can take care of her daughter.
I enjoyed half even more than I did the first. The
show really keeps viewers on their toes
since there are a couple of major storylines and several minor ones
every episode, but they also make sure that the various stories don't
and just run through the same points over and over.
They will also wrap up one story just to take
the show off in an unexpected direction.
While there were several plot points that were easy to foresee
long way off (what happens to Dr. Jang's wife for example) there are
events, both big and small, that were unexpected and quite surprising. Ironically I found the less significant
some of the most interesting, and funny, parts of the show. I absolutely loved the parts involving the
large cafeteria cook who falls in love with 'robocop', the most
efficient member of the Presidential Bodyguards. The
the mini-love triangle between the
official photographer, the president's nutritionist, and Bong-ki also
show a lot of fun.
Some of the complaints I had with the first set still hold
though. I thought Eugene was only an average actress. She did fine in most of her scenes, but her
voice has a whiney quality too it that really drove me to distraction. Her character isn't quite so naïve in
episodes, which is good because she came across as being rather stupid
beginning of the series.
Being a Korean drama there are many scenes of people pining
for the one they love or worried about a mistake they've made. I generally like these since it's something
that's rare in American dramas; no dialog just a chance to empathize
character on screen. Having said that,
these scenes generally ran a bit too long in this series, especially
watch them one episode after another.
They use the same few songs over and over too.
It's a minor complaint however.
The final 16 episodes that make up this set come on six DVDs
which are housed in two single-width triple DVD cases.
These two cases fit nicely in an attractive
thick cardboard slipcase. I really
the space-saving way that YA packages these sets, and the sturdy
always nice too.
This show comes with the original Korean language audio
track in stereo and optional English subtitles. The audio track fits
very well, with the voices being easy to hear and the music mixed at an
appropriate level. Common audio defects such as background noise,
dropouts were absent making this a nice show to listen to. The English
translations were pretty good over all. There were a couple of oddly
sentences scattered through the 16 episodes, and I wondered about some
of the translations
but at no time did the subtitles pull me out of the moment or wreck the
atmosphere of the show.
Shot in HD, this series is presented with a nice 1.78:1
anamorphically enhanced image. The
picture is sharp, the lines are tight, and the colors are solid and
show was recorded on video tape so it doesn't have that warm look of
that lead to a couple of scenes where the lighting was a little harsh.
whites are also a bit bright throughout the series resulting in some
blooming and loss of detail. On the
digital side things also look fine. There is some minor aliasing and
camera passes over vertical blinds in the background they tend to
a little. It's never distracting however.
The only extra is a half hour preview to Be Strong,
While this series started off a little slow in the first
volume, it soon picked up and turned out to be a fun and enjoyable show. This second set of shows completes the series
and is even more enjoyable than the first.
If you saw the first have and are on the fence about picking up
half, I'd recommend that you do so. The
plots generally move a bit faster and the situations are just as
heart-breaking as the first half.
Overall this series gets a very strong recommendation.