Hangul Title: 마이걸
English: My Girl
Romanized: Mai geol
Synopsis: Hotel heir, Gong Chan is sent by his grandfather to locate his missing cousin and ease the conscience of a dying man who disowned his only daughter years before. When the plucky, “fighting” Yoo Rin enters Gong Chan’s life through a series of fibs, he hires her to pretend she’s his cousin in the hopes his grandfather might die in peace. Through Yoo Rin’s cheerful attentions the grandfather makes a miraculous recovery, forcing Yoo Rin to keep up the pretense. When Gong Chan develops feelings for Yoo Rin, the need to find his real cousin becomes urgent.
Additional roadblocks to the budding romance arise in the forms of Jeong Woo – renown playboy and best friend to Gong Chan – who falls seriously in love with Yoo Rin, and tennis champion Seo Hyun – Gong Chan’s ex-girlfriend who left him two years prior to pursue her career.
My Rating: PG, depending on the level of strictness. Very mild language and one running-from-a-bedroom-of-sin scene.
Inferior American Counterpart: This was tricky. I wasn’t reminded of any American films during this drama and I had to scroll through a lot of movies to find a similar trope. (This works in contrast to Anastasia where the scrappy orphan who pretends to be the missing princes ends up being the missing princess. I was afraid of that happening a couple times – Great rice cakes, what if she is the cousin, nooo!!! – but thankfully… oooh, thankfully, that did not happen. :P) In the end, I failed to find a counterpart. It’s so Korean that you can’t change the context without losing the essence of the drama.
The lead actors have fantastic chemistry! Both play well rounded characters that are fun to watch together as well as in their separate roles. I love Yoo Rin’s zest for life and her silly pranks – they remind me so much of me. :) Gong Chan is a lot more chill than other lead drama men; he smiles more frequently and doesn’t give any aloof, brooding, or stuck-up vibes. He’s quite normal, actually – and charming as well.
The subplots, or side romances as it were, between Gong Chan’s aunt (Choi Ran who also played an aunt -albeit a very different one – in You’re Beautiful) and the artist she fancies, as well as Yoo Rin’s cousin who likes Gong Chan’s secretary, are both adorable distractions from our main couple. Jeong Woo’s unrequited love was only made sadder by the fact that he became such a great guy. There were a couple times I wanted to kick him, but not as much as I wanted to hug him.
Hilarity Per Episode: ○•○•○
Oh wow. Can I give it more than five bubbles? :D :D :D Every episode is riddled with fast paced mischief, and hilarity, and cuteness. I wasn’t able to withhold my squealing at very high decibels during the majority of it. For a pick-me-up, I can choose any given episode (before 14) and re-watch it for the laughs. Just… uber goodness of lulz. ^_^
The main reason for this was the lead Yoo Rin. Her imagination is stellar, and her spunky personality makes the drama as special as it is. One of my favorite scenes includes her and Gong Chan on their way to check up on a man she’s convinced is going to blow up the hotel. She imagines them as different characters from various action films. It’s great fun! :D
Note my bolded text in the previous subject. Up until those last few episodes I wouldn’t have given more than one bubble in this area, and that bubble would be dedicated solely to Jeong Woo for making me sigh over his troubles. There were a few parts my eyes felt a little watery over him, too. But this is easily the funniest drama I’ve seen yet, with the least amount of angst to deal with… until the last two episodes. I can honestly say I cried through nearly the entirety of the last episode. They save the tears for the end, but boy do they make up for lost time in those final two hours. At one point I had to pause because I was sobbing so hard I couldn’t see to read the subtitles.
The most upsetting part was that I couldn’t pick a person to be angry at. They all had (in my opinion) good reasons for the way they were behaving. Except for Yoo Rin. I mean, I get it… but still. I must say I was immensely proud of Gong Chan’s persistence.
Each time I watch another drama, at least four more songs can be added to my collection.
The quintessential “My Girl” songs…
–Happy Happy –Love this song. L-O-V-E, girl! Oh wait. That’s CN Blue. :P
–Never Say Goodbye –Not my favorite. The lyrics seem a bit confused, like they can’t decide between a party beat and a sad song about unfulfilled love. Plus, I first heard it during a Seo Hyun scene, soooo… already ruined it.
-Sangeoruel Saranghan Ino –Every Korean drama has a ‘dramatic and sad things are happening now’ song, and this is the one for My Girl. I love its operatic style. It really does make everything more dramatic!
Sleep Deprivation: •○•○•
It’s really hard to be a good employee and get enough sleep for an opening shift when you have to see the next episode(s) of the current drama.
As a warning for first time viewers, do not choose Episode 6 as a stopping point. I gave myself a time limit up to that episode and had to break the rules and watch the next one after. And the next. Dramabeans has failed me for once in not warning me of that one. :P
Also, there’s no way you can watch the last three episodes separately. Make time for a three hour sit-down when you get up to that point, because it gets pretty intense.
With My Lovely’ Sam Soon’s Jin Heon and Dr. Hotness of Creating Destiny still fresh in my mind, my first sight of Gong Chan left much to be desired. Those first thoughts: “Aw, why isn’t he hot like the others?” “He is… tolerable, I suppose…” “How will I endure the slow episodes if he’s the main feature?” …I take it all back!! True, at first sight he’s not a total knockout, but oh. my. Asians. Within the first few seconds of his cheeky smirks, I was sold. He is drop-dead charmingness wrapped up in smart business attire. In a similar way to Jin Heon, his expressions make him incredibly good looking.
Also, Jeong Woo is beautiful. I mean, almost too pretty to be a man. This is jested at when Yoo Rin pulls a stunt in the sauna, making everyone there think he is a woman. Hilarity ensues. :P But really, he’s too pretty. Way too pretty. It’s unfair.
Jin Kyu is cute, too. Especially after his haircut.
The ending is lovely, with smiles all around, and everything as it should be. However, with the tear fest it put me through I had hoped for a longer happy end. Five whole minutes of pure giggly-cuteness would have done it. Or maybe a karaoke scene! Those are always wonderful. :D
As a bonus, I collected some favorite quotes…
Gong Chan: [Stops before patting Yoo Rin’s head] I guess I can’t today since you did your hair all pretty.
Yoo Rin: Yoo Rin, fighting!! Bbasya!
Gong Chan: [As he opens and closes his cell phone that has a picture of Yoo Rin as the wallpaper]
I’ll let her go…
I won’t let her go…
I have to let her go…
I can’t let her go…
I can let her go…
I don’t… want to let her go.
Jeong Woo: If you’re going to cry in front of me about a different man, stop being so pretty.
Yoo Rin: What do I do with this guy? Has he fallen into the wrath of my attractiveness?
Jeong Woo: While I was skiing, I met the love of your life, Mr. Snowman. I told him today’s your birthday so he wanted to come along….
Besides the snowman I decided on your birthday present. I’m yours to keep. Take me.
For my Kdrama rating list, click here.