I said in episode 1 of Bride of the Century that leading lady Yang Jin Sung was doing a decent job playing two characters, the optimistic and caring Doo Rim and the self-absorbed and haughty Yi Kyung. That opinion really needs to be dialed up a notch after episode 6 ushered in way more Yi Kyung than I can stomach but allowed for a side-by-side comparison of the two characters. Yang Jin Sung is a very easy actress to watch, she is animated without being overly cutesy as Doo Rim, and she even manages to out-bitch the actress playing Roo Mi when she’s playing Yi Kyung. That’s some fantastic acting going on, especially when as Doo Rim she has mountains of chemistry with Lee Hong Ki as Kang Joo, whereas as Yi Kyung the air is frigid between them. She’s not exactly a budding thespian with acting skills up the wazoo, but her natural charm and decent enough grasp of character emoting helps to really elevate her two-fold performance in BotC in ways that a bigger name actress with lesser talent would have stunk up the joint. Episode 6 unexpectedly brought Yi Kyung back to the fold, allowing the story to take another turn by ending the Doo Rim charade (for now).
This narrative really enjoys taking chances rather than beating a plot line to the ground, and here Doo Rim has stopped being Yi Kyung but it doesn’t grind the drama to a halt. It allows the OTP to split up, her knowingly while he still doesn’t know, but that allows us to really measure how much each has grown attached to the other. Kang Joo is like halfway there in terms of having a personality swap, or perhaps what Doo Rim has done is turned back the clock so he’s finding the real him that has been stashed away since he was betrayed and kidnapped as a kid by his tutor. Doo Rim was the one who I wasn’t quite sure how she felt about Kang Joo, but now it’s clear he’s on her mind and perhaps the reason she wants to go back to Seoul. I’m not sure why Yi Hyun’s character is written as such a cipher still, we see his interest in Doo Rim but how it arose and what’s on his mind remains vaguely laid out. I guess it doesn’t matter since I care next to zero about him, but it would help fill in some blanks because right now he remains slightly squicky that he fell for a girl who looks just like his half-sister. Our favorite matchmaking ghost was missing in episode 5 but makes a very important return in episode 6 to both point Doo Rim back in the right direction as well as lend her helping hand to Kang Joo. Continue reading