A Big Thumbs Recommendation for the Lovely Angel Eyes with Gu Hye Sun and Lee Sang Yoon

I don’t know what else to say about the current weekend drama Angel Eyes other than – it’s really really good so don’t be scared and watch it! The first two episodes actually aired last weekend but it was primarily the teenage section of the story with Kang Ha Neul and Nam Ji Hyun ably hitting it out of the park in terms of acting for their own characters as well as couple chemistry. They were delightful and the whole thing reeked of Will it Snow For Christmas teenage portion vibes. But my Gu Hye Sun allergy is strong and Lee Sang Yoon dropped a notch for me with his last dull performance in Goddess of Fire. I was wary to commit before those two adult leads showed up just in case even a decent story is rendered hard to watch by either acting or chemistry. I can safely declare Angel Eyes a landmine-free zone now that I’ve spent all of episode 3 with adult Dong Joo and Soo Wan. The chemistry between Gu Hye Sun and Lee Sang Yoon is as lovely as it was with Nam Ji Hyun and Kang Ha Neul, and in fact I don’t remember a teenage counterpart casting that fits this seamlessly with the adult actors. The two guys look and act alike in character as do the two ladies, and a bit disconcerting because it’s such a rare treat. I like the two lead characters of Dong Woo and Soo Wan more than I like the story, and in fact the thing works better as a character and emotional piece rather than expecting a tautly written quality script. So far the drama is much better than all the recent SBS weekend dramas before it and a nice diversion for for on the weekends now that Bride of the Century has finished.

Lee Sang Yoon and Kang Ha Neul are both very good actors so I can’t tell if Kang Ha Neul originated the performance and now Lee Sang Yoon is continuing it, so they discussed beforehand and both agreed to portray Dong Woo so sweet and warm with a side of bleeding heart. Dong Joo (Dylan Park) is a leading man that is immediately lovable and keeps getting better whether through adversity or success. Nam Ji Hyun and Gu Hye Sun are less immediately recognizable as playing the same character at different ages but it’s really Gu Hye Sun’s shockingly watchable performance that probably makes her acting seem even more nice to watch. There is none of her affected acting, no trying to be cute, and she actually has chemistry with Lee Sang Yoon! I know, I can’t believe I’m praising Gu Hye Sun in a drama. I guess after the rebirth of actresses Lee Yeon Hee, Yoona, and Go Ara, it’s now time for Gu Hye Sun to get a soak in the magic water. She and Lee Sang Yoon are both the most gorgeous I have ever seen either of them onscreen. Fantastic hair and color on each and a great cinematographer does wonders.

I’m less keen on the story mainly because of the central premise – teenager lovers face adversity when the girl goes blind after a car accident, but the coincidental illness of the boy’s mother and her decision to donate her cornea to the girl if she doesn’t survive only makes the inevitable “girl gets boy’s dead mom’s cornea” all that more makjang to behold. Toss in girl’s surgeon dad maybe having a hand in sick mom going to the afterlife faster than expected so his daughter gets the cornea, you have the recipe for future tears to fill a canyon. I also find the EMT side of the story really corny while the ER doctor and medical cases also so perfunctory as to feel superficial. It’s like the professions of the two leads are mainly to give them reason to keep running into each other, plus it’s also professions that are constantly debating life and death and danger. What works is that this drama is wonderfully acted and filmed so the individual lacking story elements are patched over by the visually appealing stuff.

Kim Ji Suk also shows up as another doctor who happens to be Soo Wan’s fiancee after she’s moved on since Dong Joo disappeared. He seems nice but nothing memorable to write about, other than there is a 50-50 chance he’ll turn bad once Soo Wan goes back to Dong Joo.

Angel Eyes Official OST “Run to You” by Lasse Lindh:

[youtube id=”aw9aBIT3HGk” w=”625″ h=”445″]


A Big Thumbs Recommendation for the Lovely Angel Eyes with Gu Hye Sun and Lee Sang Yoon — 59 Comments

  1. Hmm… I don’t know. Maybe I’ll give this drama a chance one day. I’ll see how it wraps up before I commit. Gu Hye Sun has burned me one too many times! I still have scars from the musical and take care of the captain. Please keep us posted on how it turns out!

    • No, watch it. I mean seriously, its super good with term of melo. The pairing is cute, either the younger or the older version. A potential OTP of the year, I may say. So far, GHS did a good job in here,,opps I mean super gOod. Fyi, I never loved her works either

      • me too. never a fan of GHS works but somehow lee sAng yoon and his dimples won me over. Their chemistry was awesome too!

  2. Gu Hye Sun is a wall I can’t possibly climb over. Sometimes actors manage to prove me completely wrong (e.g Lee Yeon Hee in Miss Korea), but most of the time once I am allergic to someone it stays this way. From the clip you’ve posted I see that her circle lenses are back, again. Since she refuses to take acting seriously I refuse to aknowledge her as an actress.

    • I see a glimmer of improvement but it’s not consistent. She doesn’t overact as much but there is still something amiss with her acting and I don’t see the chemistry between them. Her co-star, who I like, is not doing too well in this drama either imo. The kids were far, far better.

  3. I am so touched while watching this drama. I keep repeating the otp scenes. The emergency scenes are also exciting. Lee Sang Yoon is so cute. His acting is so good. He really redeem himself from Goddess of Fire.

  4. Aww… I am so glad you are watching this too, Ms Koala. I was looking for another drama to ease my withdrawal from BOTC and so glad I found this, the OTP are just so gorgeous. DJ with his moony eyes and dimples just slay me, can’t believe I have never watched his drama before, he is such a cutie. GHS’s character is likeable and she looks lovely with longer hair, her acting is natural too. Thanks for your recommendation.

  5. Ms Koala, I’m so happy to see your article about Angel Eyes. I fell in love with this drama and with Lee Sang Yoon 🙂 I hope you will recap this drama.

  6. I really couldn’t recognize Gu Hye Sun readily. She has changed a lot. I do like the premise of this story and I am excited about watching this especially since Bride of the Century has ended.

  7. Overrated. I like both child actors I thought I’m gonna glue to the screen for them but I didn’t. Something wrong some where and I don’t know what. In this drama I can’t wait to see the adult cast. Where as in 12years reunion, I don’t mind watching the childhood portion. And in Wonderful Days, I’m looking forward and hoping that the writer would be kind enough to keep them in the story as long as possible. But then again maybe it’s just me.

  8. I think Gu Hye Sun is a good actress, but the problem is that she does not choose a good drama in the past. I really love her acting here in Angels Eyes. She really improve a lot. But I hope she will continue it until the end of the end of the drama.

  9. Ehrr… I beg to differ in opinion on Gu Hye Sun, I admit to being completely smitten with the teenage characters and their adorable chemistry, goofy smiles and stolen moments. I wished that the teenage years didn’t end so soon, but having watched ep 3 & 4 I’m sceptical and hesistant to jump on team Gu Hye Sun just yet. I think the judge and jurry are still out to make a decision.

    • I am SOOOO with you on this.I loved the actors that played the teen part and felt with them all their sadness.I cried so hard in the end of 2 episode after what happened to his mom.
      I said to myself to overlook my dislike for Gu Hye Sun and give her a chance cause the drama looked so promising.The Adult male was ok ,but Gu Hye Sun? I can not see any similarity between her character now and the way she plays it and then when it was played by the young actress.
      In the whole 3 episode I saw an annoying chick who tries to be tough but the way she plays her role makes her seem unbearable.Hmm too bad …another drama too drop…

      • That’s because the writer wants to depict Soo wan as a character whose personality changed from introvert to extrovert after regaining her vision. If you read Soo wan character descriptions (like in Soompi first page), you will see that it actually matches how GHS brings this character.

    • Just watched episodes 3 and 4 and really liked them. I was worried there would be too much medical action, but it was nicely balanced with just enough to have the characters reacting to what happened on that side of the drama/

  10. This one is a wait and see. Tell me 10 episodes in if it is still worth watching and I will give it some thoughts.

  11. I am still very hesitant to watch the adult part, but the child portion is so lovely. Kang Ha Neul & Nam Ji Hyun, individually and put together, are a treat to watch. I’d love to see more of them. Here to hoping for lots of flashback scenes.

  12. Love everything about the show so far. It reminds me of Can you hear my heart. The production side is doing an amazing job with editing and music and scenes. All around acting is wonderful.

  13. Started watching it before Ms. Koala recommended it but so glad she’s on board with the drama. Find the guy Lee Sang Yoon cute in this one,was looking for a replacement for BotC,hope this drama continue it’s momentum & not screw it up,helps that a Bigbang member (Seungri) is a cast member 🙂

  14. I love this drama, I like not only the chemistry I see between the characters but also the storyline. Also I like Lee Sang Yoon, I am in love with him his smile it kills me <3

  15. I agree with you! AE is such a breathtaking drama and GHS has improved a lot compared to her previous performances (BOF *shudders*). I agree that her character is completely different from her younger version. It’s probably because she became a stronger person after the surgery and also got over the fact that DJ went to US without her getting a glimpse of him. In the first episode it was evident that SW was still trying to be tough when she was blind. Struggle does strengthen a person.
    Also, Seungri’s adorable engrish makes me love this drama more. I mean, saturi with an american accent can be the cutest thing ever!! ^.^

  16. Koala!!!I so agree with you!it was visually beautiful, the editing is well made and the acting is a thumbs up..everytime LSY and GHS are both in one scene, the chemistry is so palpable that I just cant help but smile..and when they are teary eyed I am so affected with it. I just hope the acting, the story and the editing will get better..especially that I’m loving this drama:).. PS: even the OST is addicting gahhhhh

  17. Ms. Koala you are so right about a similarity between the teen portion of Angel’s Eyes and Will It Snow for Christmas… that’s when we first took notice of Kim Soo Hyun. Angel’s Eyes we like too. Have you tried Wild Chives and Soybean Soup? Just love the teen actors esp. Lee Won Geun, so adorable actor. Hoping when the adult actors come in will be complimenting teen actors too, but we already know NamGum Min is a foot shorter (^^) than Lee Won Geun whom might be the next Daddy Long Legs Lee MinHo. LOL…

    • That’s the one I’m watching on the wknds. Can’t wait for the adults to start! Another 2 more eps? The kids are adorable though. I keep hoping that the two girls will become bffs as adults, forget the guy.

    • Take back what we said, getting boring, too much adults, yikes, 50 episodes… No time to keep-on watching. Too bad Lee WonGeun, maybe next drama. ;))

    • Abt Wild Chives i already dreaded when move to current timeline. Why can he grow up to be Song Jaerim? The height difference is so obvious..

      As for Angel Eyes, episode 4 is a tear gas, thank you Lee Sang Yoon. I still have hope for the bromance between LSY & KJS and happy to report that i hvnt develop any rashes yet, so maybe this is the cure to my Gu Hye Sun’s allergy.

  18. I find This drama slightly addictive. I hope it last. Gu Hye Sun has been disappointing in a number of dramas but this still different. I hope it last. I fully understand Koalas’s reservations along with lots of you. But I will give it another go.

  19. Glad to see others appreciate the show (and all that goes into it). I’m a little apprehensive regarding the fathers role but I suppose we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. As for the OTP I agree with everyone else the child/children actors did a splendid job but I suppose we had to move on to the adults at some point to get to the real story. I agree with Koala about the firehouse stuff it seemed a bit out of place but I suppose what was said is also correct, they need a reason to keep running into each other so it makes more sense to do it this way than say the planetarium (like I’d want — may happen later though never know). For now I’m ‘stuck’ with another weekend show on my every growing list of things to watch.

  20. It’s a shame many people will take a pass on Angel Eyes after reading its unoriginal and makjang-esque synopsis because it is certainly much better than the impression it gives off. Also, Gu Hye Sun, who i didn’t really feel much for previously, is doing well in this show, along with lee sang yoon whos smile can melt a thousand hearts. Idol seungri’s character is hilarious and his relationship with hye sun’s character will be comic relief. I’m laughing alot more than i expected.

    I’ve already wrote quite a few of comments about the childhood portion on DB and Soompi, so all im going to say is that kang ha neul and nam ji hyun slayed me with their beautiful chemistry and love story, possibly being my favorite k-drama childhood portion in recent memory.

    Anywho, this is the k-drama i’ve been watching that i look forward to the most out of all the dramas currently airing. I cried, but i laughed just as much. If it keeps up its momentum and beautiful character relationships then this might as well go down as my favorite k-drama weekender.

    Angel Eyes is the dark horse of melo weekenders,imo. By the way, it’s only 20 episodes, so that could explain the brisk pacing.
    Jung Hwa-sshi made up a good chunk of my love for that show.

  21. Its mind boggling to see kang ha neul looking like a real teen with that big smile of his. From monstar to heirs he always seemed too matured to play a high school kid. Maybe cos of the hair he was sporting and the characters he played always seemed so aloof, i never thought his acting was anything to talk about. Seeing him in angels eye totally changed my perspective of him though 🙂

  22. I was actually a bit apprehensive at first to watch this drama but i decided to give it a try last week but i was glad i did coz it actually turn out to be good, so this one is for sure my top drama to watch on the weekends….

  23. Just finished raw epi 4 & so far so good.i’m primarily watching this drama for lee sang yoon ,he’s so adorable in my daughter seoyoung,so glad he accepted to do Angel Eyes.everything abt this drama blends well is so good,the scenery,the music,the actors …..just can’t wait for epi 5 !

  24. I’m actually not surprised this is GHS “shift” drama, mainly because she was so promising when she debuted. I’m just not sure I want to witness it.
    KHN was incredible in episode one and totally worth tuning in just for his portrayal of DJ. So glad to hear he and LSY mirror one another!!

    Hope the show does well!

  25. So happy that you ms koala decides to watch this too! I really agree ahe has indeed improved a lot, and the chemistry she had with LSY. I cried a river while watching the first 2 episodes

  26. KOALA, we’re truly happy for posting the songs “RUN TO YOU” and the author, kindly post please the rest of the songs, super love it, same goes with the “STARRY STARRY NIGHT & SIMON & GARFUNKEL” These songs were so fitted of the story. We agree some quite disappointed with the two main cast GU HYE SUN AND LEE SANG YOON during their previous drama but let’s face it, the story is not so good and the delivery was quite difficult. Let us give them a chance, both ACTORs are known to be very good and excellent in their respective professions, well talented etc. I truly recommend to watch ANGEL EYES, it is a very nice love story, highly recommended!

  27. LOVING this drama so far!! Gu Hye Sun has really matured as an actress – I barely recognized her. She actually looks kind of pretty in this drama. She’s lost her big saucer eyes, and her acting so far has been much more believable and subtle. I say give this one a chance – she might surprise you. She definitely surprised me. But then again, it’s only been 4 episodes…so we’ll see.

    The story could be told better – I’m really confused about a few things. But I’ll stay for the dimples and the inevitable waterfall of tears. And the music is great! I love the OST.

  28. I’m glad that you took notice of this drama too koala. I’m hoping that one of the major recappers, like you, would be able to pick up this one. It definitely deserves a thread of its own, and it clearly is a gem.

    Though only 4 episodes in, with the way that GHS is performing right now, I’m confident to say that this is definitely worth a try.

    Anyways, here is an excerpt of what I thought about her performance, the rest of the post can be found on soompi: http://forums.soompi.com/discussion/comment/27248890/#Comment_27248890

    “…It is safe to say, that the show is currently up to par, both narratively and acting-wise, given how hyped I became after its premiere. And yes, I’m happy to announce that I am now a fan of Gu Hye Sun all over again. This is far from the much maligned performance that her most devout critics have abhorred before. Far from it, she is vastly improved – though I never really found her that bad to begin with, but more so her shortcoming stems from the material that she is given. Soo Wan is the perfect fit for her, as it doesn’t demand her to be over-the-top over-acting all the time nor does she have to impersonate yet another candy character. This Gu Hye Sun and Soo Wan synthesis is much more organic and lets her display all the range that I always thought she had. The ambulance and the subsequent planetarium scene displays superbly that. Truly, I do believe that this is the era of acting revolution for a number of actresses that I like, and coincidentally, like-to-be-hated by critics; from Lee Yeon Hee’s breakthrough with Miss Korea, Yoona’s in Prime Minister and I, and the gorgeous and now bonafide A-lister, Kim Tae Hee. How happy will I be if Gu Hye Sun would be able to keep this up till the end and into her subsequent projects.”

  29. Oh man, why now its recap, i have been wondering why you did not do this earlier. other says the story is somehow like an movie from HK/China for years ago maybe around 80, but this movie is actually fresh for me, i’m young you know wkwkwkwk, so for the viewer regardless what your age it is, just watch the drama since it is been really unique story in it.

  30. Thanks for your thoughts and the music. It was driving me crazy where I had heard his voice. Then, duh, that Lasse guy did a song on the INR2 OST that I still listen to, “I Couldn’t Give You Love.”

    I marathoned all 4…Lots of touching and very pretty scenes mixed in with moments of boredom where it didn’t matter if I understood what they were saying or not. (Doctors)

    They all are gorgeous, aren’t they? I’ll have no problem watching the dimples come and go for 20 episodes, though I like it better when they stay. GHS is OK. You can see she is putting some effort reining in the ghost of JanDi.

    Of course, my fave is KHN, who I LOVE, and Jung Jin Young who I could watch read the phonebook in scrubs.

    We can just enjoy the good and duck and cover every time an exploding car is headed towards us, OK?

  31. I am loving this drama so far. I’m glad it’s on your radar too. Dong-joo is a lovable character and I just want him to be happy. He’s matured to fast and suffered so much already. This is my first drama with Lee Sang-yoon and my, does the camera love him.

  32. Me too my 1st drama with Lee Sang Yoon. He is unbelievably tall. After reading “big thumb recommendation from Kaola”, i give Angel Eye a try. And i like it. Strangely, i did not not watch the child portion in spite of being complimented by many (just read a recap). I straight away watched the adult part (ep 3 n 4). And i must say that i am a bit surprise that i like it. Hope the rest of story is okay and the angsty is believable (not like Full Sun).

  33. Lee sang yoon is a hottie..hv been stalking him since My daughter Seo Yong.gu hye sun???given me indigestion since BOF..
    I m torn here..the inner conflict n battle btw mind n heart is tough to reconcile.
    Finally,giving ts drama a miss.,need to see a shrink about my aversion to GHS first ..sorry,LSY. 🙁

  34. I’m in love with both teenage and adult couple.
    I got trap with LeeSangyoon’s smile (^^) , and GuHyesun is way better than her character in F4.

  35. I’m with you Koala. I never liked Gu Hye Sun nor Lee Sang Yoon before but this show is great so far. Both the child and adult actors really nail it.

  36. Hey! i love reading your recaps and i’m so glad to know that you’ve been tuning in on this drama as well. i’m an avid fan of yours and angel eyes as well, i would really love it if u recapped the episodes of angel eyes. thank youu :DDD

  37. Finally someone does a recap on angel’s eyes! I must say, it is surprisingly good and i did not expect to get hooked onto this show!!! Watched because of Kang Ha Neul and the adult counterparts are still going strong. Though there were a few parts i feel that Lee Sang Yoon could have expressed himself better, but that’s okay. All in all it’s still good. Now it’s gonna be a long wait until I can marathon to the end.

  38. So addicted to this drama right now! Goo Hye Sun and Lee Sang Yoon’s performance is subtle yet very realistic. They’re both very believable. I am pleasantly surprised that I’m getting hooked because of the acting and the chemistry between Goo Hye Sun and Lee Sang Yoon.

  39. I love watching GHS and LSY together! I didn’t think that they would have chemistry – but wow – truly surprised with this pairing. It would be interesting to know the thought process behind it.. it is genius! It seems that they match each other intellectually and artistically. I hope they become more comfortable with each other as the series goes on. Wishing them the best!

  40. Wow as a dude I cried a lot after finish the first episode. And the teenage soo wan is an amazing actor. And I remember her now. She was the young queen in that long queen drama. She is so pretty and has a great acting voice.

  41. I’m thinking of watching this drama, it looks lovely. But the only thing I don’t like about the story line is that the leading lady has a very nice fiance who is going to get dumped at some point. That kind of story line always affects my being able to root for the main couple.

    It would help if the fiance turns out to be bad later on. So can anyone tell me if the fiance becomes less likeable later on in the series so that I won’t feel so bad for him, and be able to root for the main couple? I don’t mind spoilers at all. I’d rather read spoilers before I decide whether to even start watching this drama at all. Thanks! 🙂

  42. This is the first time I watched Korean drama on Netflix. I love GHS and LSY,both of them are superb! When I searched GHS, I was really surprised how talented she is, and can do everything. In my opinion, Korean people should proud of her accomplishments. I adore her.

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