Series Review – Color of Woman Episode 1-10
Song title: Maybe I love you
Song title: What should I do?
Nowadays, Korean cable channel is turning out some really nice dramas and one of them has recently caught my interest! Even though I didn’t really pay much attention to it when I first saw the promos and posters, but after 1 episode, I was hooked! Having romance at its sweetest and most innocent; and one of the best second leads ever happens to help a lot!
A warning though; this post might inevitably end up being more of a fan girl post to the second lead’s character than the series! So far, I can think of only a handful of other dramas where I was so head over heels for the second lead and it helps that he has such a well written and developed character!
Ahem ahem, back to the review now! 😀
The series is the story of four characters, all in contrast with one another.
First of all is Byun Sora.
She’s not your typical bookish nerdy person, she’s assertive and frank, in a no-nonsense way and to her, life makes sense in analyzing all problems with a logical, scientific approach. She’s not haughty or vain, but her matter-of-fact and frank approach usually and always ends up ruffling some feathers.
Sora has always been first in her class, was a legend in her doctorate days, and is well on her way to becoming a university professor. Except that when she uncovers that a senior professor has been engaging in misconduct and reports it, the university decides it would rather let her go than face the fire with their senior employee.
Sora’s bookish nature extends to her personality as well and she doesn’t believe in painting on a mask of glitter cosmetics; its like hiding a persons true nature under a fake facade. As she narrates: “You’re thinking I’m harsh, but I’m just confident. Or at least I was…until that happened.”She’d always been confident of herself, even is now except now, she doesn’t truly believe in her unkempt self, thanks to a single event in her past that has since then left her vulnerable in some aspects. It’s nothing traumatic, rather a lingering sting of a relationship that went south. She doesn’t fully understand what happened and how, but doesn’t dwell on the past and tries her best to look to the future and brighter aspects!
But the past comes back to haunt her one day when she comes home early and finds her boyfriend making out with another woman, and coolly tells her that it’s because “I don’t want to sleep with you.” Turns out, he never saw her as a real woman anyway and was only with her because she was helping him out on his thesis work! She’d probably be able to shake it off if it were the first time but no, its a replica of the past-the incident when her boyfriend ditched her with those same words, shaking her confidence in herself as a woman. Worse still is that the other woman turns out to be her roommate.
The roommate is Wang Jin Ju, who is Sora’s polar opposite. Sora was at the head of their class in high school, Jin-ju was at the foot. She’s flighty and superficial and unemployed but loath to admit it. She’s mostly concerned with finding a hot catch of a man to marry.
Though in reality, Jin-ju’s not overstating her appeal- she knows just how to work a situation to her favor and her looks have men falling at her feet. She practically radiates, and even Sora admits Jin-ju has a better charm. It’s interesting that she’s not a bitch or an evil schemer, but has this irrepressible cuteness that mitigates her ego and ultimately, the two become a friendly pair rather than arch enemies fighting over a guy (which happens in Kdrama land every time!) so its refreshing to see them both at their own ends and bonding together above everything else in their own way!
Next is Sora’s longtime friend Kang Chan Jin, who is totally adorable and just the sweetest person ever. A decade ago they were classmates at university and friends since then. Chan jin’s favorite hobby is mooching dinner off Sora, especially if she’s cooking! He’s a brand manager at cosmetics company L’aura and most of his work accomplishments had Sora’s hand at the back as she helped him with all his presentations and ideas. When Sora loses her teaching job, he’s there to drink with her and finally she decides to interview for his company since she already knows all about it anyway.
When Chan-jin and Jin-ju meet, they establish a light, joking relationship. Though early on Jin Ju eyes him as a potential match, but their relationship becomes comfy as friends and since both understand each other well, they remain as friends while Jin Ju decides she likes junsu better. Who’s Junsu? He’s coming up next! 😉
As for Chan-jin, he exudes an easy charm that works well with Sora’s stiffness, and he knows her well enough to take her grumpies in stride. It’s enough to want to root for him to take that friendship to the next level and watching him in all these episodes, I’m still torn between the Junsu-Sora and Chanjin-Sora ship, with the odds highly for Chanjin-Sora!
And Junsu! Yoon Junsu is the son of the President of Laura and stepped in recently to take over duties when his father fell ill. The moment he and Sora lay eyes on each other, it’s incredulity and chagrin for both and they end up sniping and bantering at each other every time they run into each other. Jun-su’s a sunbae to both Sora and Chan-jin from their university days and revelations later on show there’s more to the relationship between Chanjin and Junsu than just a sunbae-hoobae relationship.
Junsu and Sora both find each other exasperating-fueled by their history, but don’t see what Chan-jin and Jin-ju end up pointing out: That they’re totally alike. Jun-su also tackles problems with an intellectual, facts-based approach and veers on uptight.
Sora, Junsu and Chanjin already work at Laura and later on Jin-ju is introduced to the L’aura offices and takes the opportunity to interview for a secretary opening and needless to say, scores the job! Sora takes this unwanted development in stride, even though she’s immediately hit up for Jin-ju’s number when it becomes known they’re roommies.
Thus begins the setup of both women starting at the same company, both determined to stick it out here and become successful. One of the drama’s interesting points is the curious friendship between the two ladies rather than plain old rivalry and bitchiness. And it’s not exaggerated! Sora kicks Jin-ju out of her house after the boyfriend-cheating incident, giving her a week to get the hell out of her house and life. But Jin-ju is bubbly and warm — self-absorbed but not malicious — and manages to worm herself back into Sora’s (reluctant) graces. It gets better when she even helps Sora get revenge on her two-timing ex and cheers her on.
You can practically see the dollar signs in Jin-ju’s eyes when she meets Jun-su, immediately smelling money, prestige and her perfect prince charming. She eyes him with even more interest than Chan-jin, and starts to work her female wiles to her advantage.
Within the first episode, it comes out that Sora and Jun-su have history-they dated once however something went wrong. Jun-su confronts Sora wanting to talk about “it” and clear the air, once and for all, but she balks. She declares that she’s totally over it, but she’s overcompensating and they both know it.
Still, she refuses to allow any discussions — it’s pride and the slight inner fear that talking about it would make it hurt all over again, something she doesn’t want to happen again. So she tells him she doesn’t care however and why ever that misunderstanding was, and they keep up the bickering.
Flashbacks show how their relationship started back in college. In typical Jun-su fashion, he’d listed all her flaws and told her she had zero woman charm like others and was totally not his style, but ended it with a, “But seeing that I like you anyway must mean I really like you.” That had started the relationship.
They’d had a cute, budding courtship over time that culminated in a run through the rain that led them to a hotel room to dry off. He’d sat there nervously, while Sora had worked up the nerve to kiss his cheek. She’d gone to shower, anticipating that they’d sleep together, only to find that he’d left. She’d looked out the window to see him running away, stopping only to call back, “I don’t want to sleep with you.” There’s more to be told from his point of view but she doesn’t allow him to clear the air in the beginning.
There’s an added moment of satisfaction when Jun-su bypasses Jin-ju for Sora, and to Jin-ju, this makes absolutely no sense. It’s not ego this time, but genuine bewilderment as she wonders how he could choose her after seeing them both!
What makes this dynamic extra fun is that Chan-jin is such a close friend to Sora that they’re totally free and easy with each other. Both know each other inside out and every little thing about one another, from their eating habits to their dating history. As Sora points out, she’s had to take care of Chan-jin’s women troubles at times too! Chan-jin is also free to tease her, get in her face, put his arm around her, tease her about her boyfriend troubles, eat each others leftovers and even stay in the same house without the least care.
However, the dynamic between the two friends makes Junsu jealous and he asks Chan-jin whether there’s something between the two of them. He can sense a vibe, and it’s not coming from Sora. So…is Chan-jin harboring secret feelings for his friend? All this while? And covering it up by acting the cheeky playboy? Though he denies it at first, he and subsequently Junsu and Jinju realize he actually has feelings for her. he describes her as an important person, which Sora takes to mean an important person like a mother, grandmother and sister but he doesn’t correct her on that because as he tells Jinju, sora is his best friend and Junsu is his best sunbae, so he fully supports their relationship. Chanjin is just … 😀
(It’s particularly satisfying because in the beginning, we’re set up to think that this pairing never happened because Chan-jin never saw Sora as a woman, which is exactly what she thinks and he never corrects her but when she asks him to describe her “as a woman,” he deflects the question.)
So: Sora and Jun-su are exes and still have feelings for each other. Sora and Chan-jin are comfy old friends, except one of them perhaps wants to be more and the other is oblivious. The boys are on friendly terms, and both of them are sharp enough to figure out that the other boy has an interest in Sora.
After a few missed opportunities, Junsu manages to explain their misunderstanding to Sora and asks her to start over with him again. Sora ends up taking revenge on him for the misunderstanding as well and after not believing him at first, she realizes her own feelings might not be as dead as she thinks and the two decide to start over again and even go on a date where they’re both too out of the game and end up like teenagers out with their first crush who have no idea how to react. At times it’s cute to watch, at times plain boring!
The cutest part I liked was when they spent all night talking on the phone until they both fell asleep late and were sleepy all day in the office. While Junsu falls asleep during a meeting, Chanjin calls Sora to her office and with the excuse of having her try on a new mask product out in the market for research purposes, promptly allowing her the chance to fall asleep on the couch in his office.
While Jinju has reservations to letting the two get back together and tries her best to get in the middle, Chanjin helps Junsu get her out of the way.He tells her he will support their relationship since they’re both the most important people to him. We also learn that Junsu’s father has supported Chanjin’s studies and Chanjin has been living with Junsu since they were both kids. Nowadays, the chairman seems more interested in Chanjin’s opinion and supports him more than he does Junsu which causes Junsu to feel anxious. (There’s already been many hints that Junsu and Chanjin are in fact related by blood – step brothers with Junsu the legitimate child and Chanjin the illegitimate one, which is why the Chairman supported him all his life and is now favoring him so much, probably looking to give Chanjin what he deserves by birth)
When Jinju protests and tells him he ought to fight for the girl he likes, he tells her to patiently wait and see what happens. If Junsu and Sora’s relationship works out, they’re meant to be together and there’s nothing she could have done to stop that. If not, she’ll get what she wants. Besides, ever since he was young, he’s realized that if he wanted something, he should just wait for it.
Jin Joo: What would you do if So Ra and the Chief really end up together?
Chan Jin: Joon Soo sunbae is the hyung I like the best, and So Ra’s the friend I like the best. If things work out for the two of them, isn’t it somthing to be happy about?
Jinju sees a whole new side to Chanjin through his feelings and tells him he’s got a lot of secrets. Chanjin agrees but tells her even he doesn’t wholly realize what his secrets are; if he did, life would become too serious and he’s happy as it is, carefree and easy.
Chan Jin: If I ever find them all out. I have a strange feeling, it would make things too serious. (…) Right now I’m happy.
When Jinju finally decides to accept the relationship between the other two, she and Chanjin have a heart to heart and tells him she’s even lost the will to primp herself up when Chanjin advises her that makeup is the best way to hide your feelings.
Jin Joo: Chan Jin ssi, you don’t put makeup on but still you can hide your inside feelings.
Chan Jin: Me? Becacuse I am a pro amongst the pros.
She asks him what he likes about Sora so much and his response is the sweetest confession ever! 🙂 (And I practically melt! :P)
Chan Jin: So Ra has loyalty. People think I take care of So Ra, but in reality, So Ra has always taken care of me. During difficult, tough times, So Ra was always by my side. (…) She really resembles someone I know – a lot. I couldn’t protect that person, but I’m going to take care of So Ra.
As Jinju says, Chanjin’s feelings for Sora is like “a friendship that surpasses love. No….actually, it is a love that surpasses friendship”. Later, she repeats her question and Chanjin’s answer is slightly different from before.
Jin Joo: Do you still wish So Ra and Chief to do well?
Chan Jin: Of course I do. Until this time..
Because Chanjin tells her that “If So Ra were to be unhappy because of Joon Soo sunbae, he would end up hating/disliking Joon Soo“.
All the while within their office, Laura, politics is slowly unraveling as Junsu starts getting jealous of Chanjin, whereas Chanjin is just as loyal to him as ever (Might change in the future, and seriously, can’t blame Chanjin for it!). When another director of the company approaches Chanjin and tells him he ought to fight for the President’s seat (which is Junsu’s future seat through inheritance), Chanjin tells her Junsu’s the same as a blood brother to him so it’s something he will never do.
Chan Jin: I respect you, Director. But, Chief is like a blood brother to me.
Director: If it were me, even if it was my own brother, I would like to steal the position. Do you not have enough ambition?
Chan Jin: It’s because I’m the type not to dream the impossible.
Director: Impossible dream?
Junsu however, grows more and more anxious regarding Chanjin and his fathers relationship even though Chanjin remains as nonchalant and loyal as before. As Chanjin clearly tells him it’s more likely for Junsu to betray him than it is for him to betray Junsu. The director warns Chanjin that a big event is about to unravel soon and perhaps there is going to be new king for their company(meaning Chanjin rather than Junsu). Chanjin still refuses to budge from his stance even though the Director threatens him. As Chanjin tells her, he is simply “not interested”.
However the Chairman has his own plans. After New Years eve, he appoints Chanjin as a board member of the company and even plans to distribute his own stocks equally between Chanjin and Junsu. On New Year’s Eve, Junsu and Sora decide to have an overnight trip but Junsu is called away by one of his father’s friends who warns him of Chanjin’s upcoming promotion and tells him his father probably intends to make Chanjin and Junsu compete for the position of President of the company. This news rattles Junsu more than ever and he ends up getting drunk and missing his date with Sora. Jinju is with him and ends up taking care of him. Sora waits until past midnight for him to show up and then calls Chanjin to know if he heard from Junsu. Realizing Sora’s been stood up, he rushes to her side. (Okay, definitely my favorite scene so far!! hehe 😀 )
When they get back, Sora’s heartbroken and tears up but Chanjin’s powerless to help her. Later, Sora calls him up as she starts worrying whether something has happened to Junsu. Chanjin calls her out and they go on a drinking spree where she ends up crying again and he comforts her.
Fully drunk, they both head home together and comforting each other, end up sleeping next to each other like this (Seriously, they’re friendship is so cute!!):
In the morning, this is how Junsu and Jinju find the two:
Junsu ends up getting jealous and though Chanjin tells him they ended up drinking a lot and Sora points out how late he is for their meeting, he doesn’t even properly apologize to Sora until Chanjin points it out, which irritates Junsu even more. Though Chanjin tries to tell Junsu there’s nothing he need to worry about between him and Sora, Junsu is under double duress because of his jealousy over Sora and his feelings regarding the relationship between Chanjin and his father so he asks Chanjin to move out from their house for a while as he needs some time. Chanjin is hurt by Junsu’s dismissal but takes it in stride and ends up at Sora’s place, wheedling her for a place to stay with this expression.
Chanjin’s also sharp enough to realize Jinju and Junsu were also together last night but asks Jinju to keep it a secret from Sora as it would lead to more misunderstandings between the two. Jinju promises but tells Chanjin that the way she sees it, he’s a much better match for Sora than Junsu. What’s best at this point is the development of the friendship between these two and the fact that Jinjus not saying this because she likes Junsu; rather, she truly feels Chanjins a better match for Sora.
Later during the day, Junsu broods in a bar where he remembers much of what Chanjin always says to him “You know there’s no one more important to me than hyung (Junsu) and Chairman” and what his father said to him, “What does Chanjin say? If he likes the idea, go for it” and the question his dad’s friend had asked “How old was Chanjin when he started living in your house?” which is an indirect hint about them being related, and it seems his expression softens a bit. (I so hope he doesn’t become totally jealous and change for the worse! The relationship between the two has been great from the beginning and I hope it continues so!) That night, Chanjin sleeps on Sora’s couch.
The next day when they head back to work, Chanjin’s promotion to board member is announced and Chanjin recalls the warning the Director had given him about something big about to happen.
At office, Junsu asks to talk to Sora after lunch break but Chanjin points out she has to attend a meeting but Junsu insists (and is particularly rude to Chanjin) so she simply agrees and drags Chanjin away. Later, Chanjin heads over to talk to Junsu regarding the board incident just as Junsu is coming to him and meet up in the lobby. Before they can talk about anything, there is a commotion in the lobby and turns out, the Chairman has come for a visit. Again, Junsu seems a bit sour as the Chairman seems nice to Chanjin.
So, what’s gonna happen next? Episode 11 is bound to be fun! 😉 My Comments to follow in another post!
Here’s the last part of episode 9, where Sora waits for Junsu who never shows up and Chanjin who runs to her side when he realizes she’s been stood up and the beginning of episode 10 where Chanjin remembers the words he told Jinju “If So Ra were to be unhappy because of Joon Soo sunbae, I would end up hating/disliking Joon Soo” and takes Sora back home.
Posted on January 9, 2012, in Asian Cinema, Entertainment, Korean Cinema, Potpourri, Recaps, Uncategorized, Written Excerpts and tagged best bud, color of woman, diary, Kang Chan Jin, kdrama color of woman, Korean drama, korean drama recaps, misc, miscellaneous, musings, personal, random, random thoughts, recap color of woman, reflections, Relationships, Romance, song, songs, stories, story, thoughts, writing. Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.