Not So Serious Review: You’re All Surrounded

youre all surrounded fab 4

So this will be yet another case of myself losing interest like it’s a financial crisis. Meaning this review might be a bit wonky, missing a step, and a tad vicious: Similar to Champion, the three legged dog!

champion three legged dog

I am probably in the minority here but puppy’s (Dae Gu) personality was very off-putting.  It’s not like Seung Gi didn’t act his little heart out but I much prefer sly ass-hat LSG characters to cold fish with dead eyes’ ones.  By the time his character “opened up” I was totally checked out on Dae Gu, and basically still saw the same boring character who I found uninteresting nor connected to, but this time he uses words instead of grunts. Also (and I really do not mean to pile on here), his whole look gave off a that of a sick person who uses exxxtra sheen conditioner. I don’t know what happened since Noonas Over Flowers (where he looked the best ever), but no more red eyes and chic bowl cuts.  You have to go back!

Before:

seung gi laughing-sg

After:

LeeSeungGi_YAAS_bc1_100614Dae gu sick surrounded

Is is the cut, the clothes, the smile? Maybe its Maybelline (or lack of it)

(Update) Well I now know it’s not the clothes.

yellow jacket thenLSG yallow jacket now

November 2013                                      March 2014

Unfortunately because I was left so cold towards the lead of the show, it slowly ruined most other character aspects.  It’s just is hard to like the content as a whole because the lead plays a part in everything. Like how impossible it would be reading Order of the Phoenix if you always thought Harry was completely unsympathetic. Or getting though the the 1st person Hunger Games whilst believing Katniss is a total bitch, and same with LotR and Frodo with his jewelry carrying ways. (Just kidding. Does anyone like Frodo?)

I originally really liked Soo-Sun (Go Ara) but once Dae Gu was rocking the doe eyes and they magically started dating (totally missed that transition), her purpose thus became to be an emotional rock for DG to spill his guts out to.  Henceforth they became my least compelling OTP I have watched in a drama yet. Awards are coming by mail.

ugh couple youre all surrounded

Stop in the name of love…I have for you as actors. Leave each other at once!

Part of the problem stemmed from the first four episodes which featured compelling backstory, actual comedic elements, and my first case of child/younger version syndrome (aka prologue preferences).  People have talked about such a phenomena before, and I would silently judge them for such a possibility.  How can kid actors, who let’s be serious, are usually mediocre, be more impactful and interesting* in their 2 episodes then the adult actors with their 15+episodes?  Plus, viewers should be anticipating the older, recognizable actors to come on screen… Well shoot me with a feather as I was just tickled by the kiddie versions of Soo-Sun and especially Dae Gu.  Both youngsters had more personality and chemistry between them, making me wish the show wasn’t about Gangnam rookie cops, but a smallish town high school dramedy set in the 90’s, which would be totally new and original right?

answerme1997soccer group

*Though let’s be real here.  In real life kids are far more interesting than your “grown-up” self. I mean I used to create whole new realms with beanie babies and eat grass for fun.  Really need to step up my game.

Only problem with that show would be the lack of Cha Seung Won, who pulled at my heartstrings and truly became the only reason to stick with around.  Because I wasn’t getting my romance from the OTP, the one scene a week with him and Sa-Kyung were a highlight (though her character became sadly superfluous otherwise) Plus he rode bikes genie style Like A Boss!

Surrounded bike 2014-06-20 01.01.21 Your all surrounded bike 2014-06-20 00.59.06

Now that I think about it, another totally awesome show would have put the spotlight on all these old geezers, such as Chief Kang, Toad, Guy with 6 kids, Boots, and of course Pan Seok and lady boss Sa-Kyung.  Either a sit-com or go full melo. Let’s call it Get off My Lawn, Get Outta my Precinct. Coming this fall.

Reasons when you know this show isn’t for you:

  • By the end, your favorite character becomes the smarmy little man lawyer called Toad.  Because even though he seems to be acting in a different drama all-together, at least he is enjoying himself.

Screenshot 2014-07-17 09.46.18

  • The only time you rewind/smile over the course of an hour is a preview for It’s Okay That’s Love.
  • When the recap shows up on Dramabeans (and you haven’t yet watched the episode), and even thinking about reading about this week’s cliffhanger seems like a chore.
  • The most intriguing parts of certain episodes became how they would handle Lee Seung Gi’s eye injury.
  • Chief Kang (a character you really liked, and produced the only genuine gasp of surprise during the drama), dies a fiery car crash-y death, yet you barely blink an eye.

Not So Quick Hits:

*To say that I watched every episode  of this series would be.. less than accurate.  Probably was good for the first 10, then I tried my hand at multitasking, followed by recap parallel watching (follow the recap and skip to the interesting parts in the video).  I may or may not have not watched 20 at all, and just skipped to the ending summary on Dramabeans. Whoops.

*The entire “Gay Straight or Taken?” game that was played with Tae-Il got so annoying and dragged out.  Especially when the reveal was none of the above, because Doctor? As the child of a Doc I should have been able to empathize more than most but even I was like, “lame answer writers.”

*One sequence that was handled well was the trans-gendered women who appeared in episode 11.  Also, I may have inadvertently foreshadowed such a happening in my English Songs list, Where I discussed both this show, and the song “Alien” by Arco (from Coffee Prince) which was also played during this scene. So move over Lady Gaga or Cher, because  “Alien” is now a Gay anthem.

*Other cafe songs of note: “Great DJ” by the Ting-Tings and “The Black Parade” by My Chemical Romance

*Appreciated how several early going episodes showed the realistic (i.e. tedious and repetitive) aspects of the job.  From numerous hours stuck in a cramped vehicle, to your day consisting of crosschecking names and inserting USB drives.  Less sexy then chasing bad guys and the constant threat of death, but more in tune with real life.

* I want to reiterate that I’m not necessarily putting LSG at fault. Playing internal characters is hard, and even with a great actor, the character needs to be written well.  This was not it.

*Though I preferred the Pan-Seok Sa-Kyung relationship, once they had their 2nd first date, the rest of their courtship was basically on a hamster wheel till the final scene.

Surrounded couple 2014-06-20 00.56.32pohwi20-00677

*New least favorite actor in the Dramaland is Jeong Dong Hwan (who played EVVILLL Assemblyman Yoon).  I’ve had to put up with his “acting” before, (worse offense being “O” face in Nine: Nine Times Time Travel), and he’s still doing the same schtick here.  Over the top, no nuance, and it doesn’t help that the only characters he seems to play start off as  a helpful rich elder who not so subtly becomes Hitler reincarnate.

*This show was like Lost in that answers were never as interesting as the questions.  Next time, just aim for open ended.

*Cliche count for part of episode 19 – Post mortem letter of enlightenment/character redeeming. Prolonged pause to build suspense in answering if Kang had died.  EVVVILL Yoon shows up at funeral for person he had killed, because apparently we just thought he was misunderstood before. Exposition tape recorder found in Chief Kang’s residence post death.  Sad she had more to do with cases posthumously than in life.

*The promotion material was very misleading, which ended up putting drama in K-drama instead of the light n’ fluffy, exaggerated comic book-y presence I thought the show would be.

*Soo Sun wore many ugly button down shirts, reminiscent of ones sassy grandmother. Nana wore it better. Here are some choice selections.

Screenshot 2014-07-17 09.42.29 Screenshot 2014-07-17 09.43.54

My Weird List of Drama Commonalities: More info Here

workplace roomiz fo life F4 esque bromance
that’s so gayven good pilot nicknames – soybean powder the good parent
crazy cameo killing me softly now that’s what I call second couple syndrome

My Rating/Overall Quality

5 weird eyeglass chains/ 7 BEST FLASHBACKS EVER!

pohwyounder boyi07-00889 pohwi kid g10-00024

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