Why Joon Young should choose Do Yoon!! ^^
The title should probably be why Joon Young should and does choose Do Yoon because the way things are progressing, Do Yoon is turning out to be the one Joon Young has let into her heart for the long run!
Joon Young is the lost daughter of the head of Arirang and first love of Jae Ha. If you’re wondering who Jae Ha is, he was touted as the lead for the drama (A fact I lamented every minute of every episode I watched at the beginning, hehe). Its not the actor, its the character that’s at fault. We’ve got a wonderfully layered character in Do Yoon but theres little, if any, depth to Jae Ha which makes it hard to sympathize or feel for the guy. And to me, his and Joon Young’s love story isn’t one percent real or relatable. Again, character failure. And that fact, along with many others has made me a Do Yoon fan.
The best way to make my point is by looking at everything that’s happened since day one. Joon Young and Jae Ha meet when he comes to ask for a book from Joon Young’s grandfather (not biologiccal). She develops feelings for him after he carries her home when night when she is depressed and down because she’s been dumped by her foster father again. It happened before when she was a kid and the heartbreak is just the same. She follows him back to Seoul to give him the book and finds out he has a girlfriend- In Joo, the girl who took her spot in the family when she, the real daughter was lost. Only the father and brother know the truth and the mother has forgotten it due to memory loss from the trauma of the incident and she believes the current In Joo to be her real daughter. The father also treats her as such although the brother is not quite so and when he finally does appear in the latter half of the drama-after finding out Joon Young is his real sister, he does his best to make his family accept the fact too. Situations happen and here she is also taken in as an apprentice at Arirang due to her superior cooking skills. This is where she meets Do Yoon, another apprentice.
Where Joon Young is described and featured as a do gooder with a caring spirit, never suspicious of others, Do Yoon is wonderfully opposite to her. He’s cold and harsh to others and couldn’t care any less about them. His personality is also such that he rarely ever deigns to talk or be friendly with others. And that is exactly how he is to Joon Young when they initially interact-gruff, serious and harsh to the truth. He realizes her crush on Jae Ha and is the one to coldly tell her to give up the feelings for an already taken man. Not only is it immoral, the one who’ll be hurt in the end is none but her. That advice lands him a bowl of ramen noodles on his head.
For one reason or another, they bump into each other frequently and each time, he is as gruff and disinterested to her as can be. So it’s no wonder she thinks him arrogant and rude and doesn’t listen much to his advice or words. One hilarious moment is when she is sitting alone and cursing Jae Ha and doesnt realize when Do Yoon walks up to her. While she’s imagining taking revenge on Jae Ha and killing him with a gun, Do Yoon offers her his finger gun and promptly blows at the smoke after the shot, hehe. (Screencap below)
And yet he cant stop himself from falling for her even though he knows she likes Jae Ha. He, the man who never even thought of others becomes someone who puts her at the helm of his life-her before everything else. In her early days as apprentice, when the other staff try to bully her, he nonchalantly steps in and saves her.
Do Yoon is not just an apprentice at Arirang, rather, he is the popular masked Korean chef renowned globally as Arirang, a fact which no one else, except In Joo knows. The reason Do Yoon took the culinary road? He wants revenge against his mother. She was the reason his brother died. One of the reasons he feels affiliation to Joon Young and is so drawn to her is because she is kind to his dead brother.
As always in K Dramaland, competitions run all around, one after the other! It is in one such friendly competition that Haemil has been called forth as a judge. What Joon Young doesn’t know is that Haemil is allergic to mushrooms. In a moment of petty jealousy and to fail Joon Young, In Joo had removed that piece of information from the judges list of allergies. Although Do Yoon tries to warn Joon Young against using them, she doesn’t register it since she is mad at him for stealing a kiss from her. And so arrives the competition day where Joon Young and In Joo cook. While all the judges easily eat up the cooked food, Haemil holds back. He can smell the mushrooms in the food and knows Joon Young cooked with them, albeit unknowing of his allergy. The whole world’s eyes are on him at that moment to hear his appraisal of Joon Youngs cooking. In Joo, knowing his allergy and certain he will not eat, prods him to taste. He has two choices in that moment. Refuse to eat it and let Joon Young take the blame for being reckless in her cooking for using mushrooms or eat it, at the expense of his own well being. It takes him but a moment and a glance at Joon Youngs smiling face to decide. He chooses the latter. And even though it ends him in a hospital, he’s not bothered.
Thereon, throught thick and thin, he stands by Joon Youngs side, albeit in the shadows and silently helping her, or raising her spirits whenever needed. The fact that she likes Jae Ha doesnt bother him. For him, Joon Youngs happiness is what makes him happy, even if it isnt with him. He happily sends her to Jae Ha, or Jae Ha to her, if it is what would make her happy. Yet, best of all is the fact that he is always ready to be whatever Joon Young needs. If a hard scolding is what she needs, or a comforting shoulder, he is always there. When everyone turns against her for Haemil’s accident, he as Haemil, is the one to give her back that confidence. While she has yet to find out his true identity as Haemil, he helps her out by taking her alongside him on the stage, killing all criticism against her in one go and giving her the chance to once again be a part of what she loves to do.
One of my personal favorite moments is in Episode 20, when he forces her to face her own fears rather than run away from them. Joon Young’s hand nerves are poisoned by In Joo to the point where she can no longer even control her moment. For a chef, that is worse than death itself since it means to live without doing what you most ardently wish to do. The damage, however, isnt permanent and the true problem lies in her thinking. As long as she is afraid of holding the knife, she cannot heal herself. And Do Yoon stops her from running away from her fears in one such moment when he finds her desperately trying to make her hand work and in the end, give up.
At that moment, he is the one who stops her from leaving and forces her to work more, even if she feels like running away. In that moment, he holds both her hands and guides her to work, upping the stakes because if she makes a mistake now, both his and her hand will suffer for it. Its a quiet, poignant moment where she actually is able to work because of him and finally breaks down crying. At least now she knows everything is not lost for her!
Similarly, when her adoptive father ups and runs away once again, Do Yoon enters her hospital room to find her chugging down food in a hurry. His plea for her to eat slowly, lest she should become ill falls on deaf ears because she mutters, in between eating, “I have to eat quickly, so I can be stronger quickly and go find my father!” In what is yet another gesture of how much he understands her, Do Yoon offers no further advice to stop her. Rather, he sits down by her side and in the next spoonful she picks to eat, he places a further bite, encouraging her to eat it. That gives her pause and she looks at him, eyes brimming with tears. By simply placing that bite on her spoon, he shows her he is by her side, giving her support whichever way she needs it. In that moment, if he’d continued to scold her or ask her to stop, it would’ve only aggravated her further. Rather, he understands her need and is ready to help her fulfill it. Whatever she lacks or otherwise needs in life, he is there to give it to her.
In the beginning, where we see Joon Young rebuff all of Do Yoon’s attempts at being by her side, slowly and especially after her ‘accident’, Joon Young starts seeing Do Yoon in a new light and starts understanding more of him beneath his gruff attitude. After all, actions DO speak louder than words! To this guy, Joon Young is what matters and for that, he goes to any and every length! A guy standing up for you, protecting you from hurt-that would definitely get anyone’s attention! Whether it’s helping her regain her confidence, drink in her stead, cheer her up, defend her – Do Yoon is always the one who gets through to her..
And most of all, the guy helps her and protects her from his own mother-the woman intent on destroying Joon Young and her birth mother. There’s only so much a person can ignore but his niceness and help knows no bounds. As Jane (Haemil’s manager) puts it, he gives up his dream and his work (cooking as a world class chef) to stay by the side of the person he loves…
His reason to help her? He lost his own brother to his mother’s selfishness and that is the one scar in his life that he can never overcome-at least not until Joon Young comes into his life. And now, he cannot bear the thought of the same happening to her.
His faith in Joon Young is all that keeps him going. So much so that a few simple words from her are enough to make him smile dreamily and like a fool all day long. Joon Young, who used to ignore him in the beginning finally tells him, “I believe you. I believe Do Yoon sshi’s words.” An indication of how her heart, even though she doesn’t realize it yet is already swaying in his direction.
In the recent episodes, we’ve seen Joon Young finally begin to notice Do Yoon. And Do Yoon has also finally decided to step up and claim her. Where in the beginning he helped her get together with Jae Ha and told her he would leave her side one day and not stay even if she told him to, now he tells her he will stay with her and asks her to come to him too. Amongst all this is Jane, always helping the two get together. A piece of advice she gives him at the beginning, “She’s the first person you care about. Whether you live alone frustratingly or confess your feelings, make a choice.” Yay Jane!
So when the time comes, he simply comes out with it and tells her straight on that he likes her. And look at the wonderful doll he creates for her-a representation of her! The days she spends in the hospital worried about her future as a chef, he spends them with her, taking care of her and being there for her.
Who wouldn’t be swayed when you stand in front of everyone and risk animosity and enmity to save the girl you love. Haemil truly is a romanticist!
Here’s the lovely song that describes Joon Young and Do Yoon’s love story!
Just two more episodes to go until the end since Episode 29 and 30 aired this week! Im keeping my fingers crossed for a wonderful finaly next Saturday-Sunday! I’ll let you know how it all works out! 😉
Credits: Screencaps by Kaptain at A Virtual Voyage