I’m rather caught off guard with my inexplicable affection for keeping track of Gu Family Book. Perhaps it’s because the drama is four episodes away from finishing and there is some satisfaction to seeing how it all ends. Maybe the doubling-up of two of my beloved young actors in Lee Seung Gi and Suzy also doubles down on my goodwill for it. Or rather its a feeling of condescending acceptance (which normally I hate feeling since its best to either love or hate something), that this drama never amounted to much quality-wise but at least it stayed consistent in its narrative reaches. Plus it actually succeeded in developing the pre-ordained OTP so that everyone could get aboard that train when initially that felt like an impossibility in of of itself. The usual spoiler stills for the upcoming episodes dropped today and this time we get some quality bedtime for Kang Chi and Yeol Wool. I actually admire how the drama has used romance in a very idealistic and rather innocent way for both the parents and the kids generation. Everything feels so transcendent in its reach but lacks the dirty heart and guts of it. Parental generation Wol Ryung and Seol Hwa went from love-at-first-save to stab-you-monster betrayal at the drop of a heart, without any of the nitty gritty complexities in between.
Kids Kang Chi and Yeol Wol’s relationship also feels very bookish perfect, like on paper it comes with all the requisite angst but the drama doesn’t delve any deeper into the mores of love in its complicated messiness. What I’m saying is that GFB succeeds in trying to tell even its love stories in a very fairy tale vibe, which makes for great stills but doesn’t exactly engage the emotional senses as much as it could have. I’m along for the ride to see how Kang Chi becomes human and watch for the great epilogue where he gets his happily ever after with Yeol Wol, but I wished this drama could have made the romance more than just high-school-level superficial layers and more digging deep into the guts of what it means for a human to love a non-human being and fight for the chance to be together. I think overall the Kang Chi-Yeol Wol storyline has done a much better job of dealing with this issue than the parents did, but perhaps the age of Suzy and Seung Gi makes the PD want to film their scenes with this burnished sweetness that reminds me of a Disney channel show. I get this isn’t HBO or Showtime, but can we maybe get it to hit ABC or CBS levels of “this hurts of good?” Of course, I’m always a sucker for a well-filmed bed scene, even if all they do is stare at each other chastely.