Kim Jae Wook and So Yi Hyun Ratchet up the Chemistry in Who Are You

I’m always happier picking between a drama starting off shaky and getting better over a drama starting off good and then faltering. Of course the ideal is that it’s good all the way through, but that’s become a rare beast indeed in the increasingly derivative and writing-challenged world of K-dramas. I wrote about the tvN cable ghost drama Who Are You yesterday simply to give a shout out to the gorgeous visage of Kim Jae Wook‘s sparingly used second male lead and to give credit to the drama actually getting over its plodding start. I think a double shout out is in order now because the just aired episode 7 was shockingly good. Not just decent, but good, with the preview for 8 hinting that it’ll keep getting better. The ghost stories have actually gone from too-obvious after school specials type of scares and resolution to stuff that has heart and a decidedly bittersweet tang. Which is the perfect flavor for this type of subplot because ultimately it involves a deceased person who needs to move on. The arc with Taecyeon‘s character Gun Woo and his dim-witted sweet and long dead dad caught me off guard and messed with my tear ducts.

It actually reminded me of one of the best smart-kid-dumb-daddy arcs in recent drama memory, from the J-dorama Zenkai Girl with the whip smart heroine who is embarrassed but ultimately loves her childish father. Taecyeon is actually doing alright here, he really has more than one earnest face though his range is still very limited. And when you compare him with how Kim Jae Wook is acting his pants off with a character that barely gets any screen time and has thus far been silent in every scene, then poor Taecyeon would be sent back to the minor leagues if this was baseball. Idol actors are hit-and-miss with me and I’m generally okay if they are serviceable in a role that doesn’t call for more. And so far that is the case. I’m a bit ambivalent about So Yi Hyun, who is tough and spirited in a way that I like, but she is forced by the nature of her character seeing ghosts to perpetually sport a look of wide-eyed shock. It’s getting tiresome and I hope the writer eases off on that. At the end of episode 7, her character Si On has a very charged scene in a police document repository with her dead fiancee and former cop Hyun Joon. Whatever magic water Kim Jae Wook is drinking to give off that intense chemistry, I think every male actor in Korea needs to get on the same juice. It was so sexy and hot and sad and tense, I alternated between gaping like a fish out of water and fanning myself.


Kim Jae Wook and So Yi Hyun Ratchet up the Chemistry in Who Are You — 31 Comments

  1. i am liking WAY as well. i am surprised at taec. he is still not a good actor, but he is quite likeable in his role in this drama. not really a fan of any of the actors in this drama, so i am watching really for the story. nothing new, nothing ground-breaking, but still watchable…

  2. OMG that jawline! How sexy is his jawline??! I am not even watching the show, but I guess I will have to now. For non-shallow reasons of course….

  3. KJW and her have so much better chemistry than her and Taecyeon its painfully obvious. Maybe Shi On will come to her sense and stick with the dead guy πŸ˜‰

  4. I haven’t started watching the show yet but I’ve already downloaded the first 6 episodes. Can’t wait for the weekend! Work gets in the way!

      • I use DownloadHelper. OMG – it just occurred to me that KJW is the hot chef in Coffee Prince!!! Can’t wait to see him again in a meatier role. Always thought that he was rather hot in Coffee Prince.

  5. I just said this about Lee Jun-ki on the last post, but it applies to Kim Jae-wook as well – he is a FAR better actor than I’d expect someone with his flower-boy/eye candy rep to be, and it’s a damned shame he ends up second lead all the time. (Seriously, someone just take a hint and make him the lead in something good already)

    • I never really thought of him as a flowerboy (in my defense, I haven’t seen younger photos of him) but after having a closer look, he does have that flowerboy-in-transition kind of feel to him. He’s one of the few whom I find hot off-the-bat but have never actually seen his shows before (DJSpring doesn’t count because he was barely in it, at least the eps I watched before dropping it). Which is why I wanted to give WAY a chance despite the obvious second lead syndrome.

      And I think I might after reading this post, lol. One question – Is the female lead character less annoying/better written now?

    • Kim Jae Wook is such a good actor that this role, though second lead, he is the ONLY one who can pull it off… Imagine that other guy the lead Tacyeon playing the dead… Oh dear…

  6. They have great chemistry, they should end up together. If she dies in the end I would really appreciate it and it would be rather original.

  7. So Yi Hyun is gorgeous and have presence, but I think she needs to cut down one the red eye brink of tears scenes even when it is uncalled for. I expect a policewoman to have more steel.

    This drama is pretty good, tvN is building great trust on quality one drama after another.

    • YES. I get the feeling that the character’s written as a cop just so she can remain part of the force… for plot sake. She’s as civilian as any regular gal I know. It’s the very reason why I dropped the show (but I suppose I would pick it up again).

  8. I like So Yi Hyun but I also hate those ‘wide-eyed shots’.. I feel like she can’t help it. She shoul learn from GHJ.

    Taecyeon didn’t bother me and I was ok with him but after Kim Jae Wook ‘came back’ I don’t want her with Taec. Like someone said, she can die an be together with her bf lol

  9. Imagine if she could actually touch him.
    (Or better, I will imagine that I,/i> can actually touch him instead.)

    They are doing the usual “seeding” of a romantic relationship between the two living leads, but they have not clicked yet.
    Maybe because the female is so obviously NOT interested in him as a man. Maybe that will be how it plays out. Younger protective man gets crush, supports Noonah through bad time, but when the story resolves, they remain friends. That is how it feels so far.

    • I’m feeling the same way. Gun Woo remains in the best-friend-shoulder-to-cry-on for me, since Si On looks at him like he’s her dongsaeng. Writer-nim better fix this.

  10. Can we find someway to make him undead in the end? i want him to speak and be undead and end up together in the end…Taec who?

  11. ARgh…you are doing it again!

    I have to check this baby out now, do I?! I love KJW and somehow liked SYH in things I’ve seen her in even if it’s crap. If I crap my pants scared and crying for my mommy, I’ll come find you!

  12. ahhhhhhhhhhh kim jae wook kim jae wook ! I was optimistic abt this drama since i read here that he chose it among many other proposals, kdramas are so disappointing these days with the same clichΓ©s repeated over and over again that this one feels quite good in comparison I just hope that kim jae wook’s character gets MORE screen time ! the daddy episode was indeed very touching but my eyes completely dried after watching Woman ( oguri shun is in it You should check it out miss koala πŸ™‚

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