I’m starting to get a little worried that Big won’t actually pick up more steam as it goes along. Because now we are in the thick of the body swapping stuff, and I’m still waiting to get swept away. But I guess Gyeong Jun is getting swept away enough for the rest of us, as he dives right into a new life that’s full of lies, deception, and crazy diet and exercise regimens. I don’t think he’s enjoying being big very much.
The Gil Da Ran (Lee Min Jung) highlight came early in the episode, when her initial reaction to the switch was to go after the hospital for medical malpractice. I like that her mind goes there first – maybe she’s in the wrong profession. But no, this was not caused by bad doctors (at least, we don’t know that for sure yet), and so all that’s left is for Da Ran and her fiancé/student (whom I’ll just call Gyeong Jun) to deal with this situation for a moment.
Gong Yoo had some nice moments acting like an immature kid in a man’s body (which the drama continues to exploit – shameful), but his performance soon devolved into just an impersonation of a generic teen. I don’t know how I would act if this had happened to me, but so far all Gyeong Jun has done is beat his chest like an ape, and touch his butt a lot.
I think he has already started to lose what made Gyeong Jun more interesting, and this behavior is at odds with how Gyeong Jun acted before this mess. For example, upon eating a frozen pizza (and not treating Yoon Jae’s body like a temple) and breaking out into a strange rash, he hightailed it to Jeil (where it seems to be a requirement for the female teachers to wear really short skirts or shorts), hanging out of the taxi window like some strange dog man (in sunglasses).
Having lost his wallet during the crash (how irresponsible), he first needed Da Ran to pay his fare (this is feeding into her emerging nuna status, right?), and then he started hopping around like a monkey because of the itchiness, even going so far as to lift up his shirt at morning assembly so that everyone could see what Yoon Jae had been working on. He then further cemented his weirdo status by dragging Da Ran away to a private place where he could show her the damage to Yoon Jae’s body more intimately. This scene was witnessed by the vice principal and the mean teacher, who have joined the whole school in thinking that Da Ran is marrying a mentally challenged pervert.
This was one of those broad comedy moments that I’m not too much a fan of. I mean, I laughed during this scene, but it felt cheap, somehow. But would Gyeong Jun have acted like such a spaz? He was a smart kid, so why is he starting to act dumber than Da Ran? He had seemed more mature than the adults in the drama, so why this reversion now that he’s in a man’s body? Maybe Yun Jae’s body allows him to be more lively. I think Gong Yoo is playing him too broad – more young kid than sullen teenager, and it’s not working for me yet.
Gyeong Jun is also starting to get all mopey, and angsty, and possessive of Gil Teacher, so maybe that’s why I started to turn on him a little. Or maybe Gyeong Jun was always like this, but he can’t hide his emotions as well in this new body as he could in the original one. We saw more of his little rich boy problems, beginning with his outright bad aunt and uncle, who are dreading taking care of their nephew. Being in the body of a doctor has its privileges, since Gyeong Jun was able to witness the horrible scene of his aunt taking the money from his wallet, and then tossing everything else.
Ok, so he’s all alone in the world. And he decides to take it out on Da Ran, getting a little jealous over the attention she’s paying to her fiance’s body. How can he not realize that she’s also worried about the student inside? I can see how this angst could drag out, so I hope he gets with the program soon, and starts to see that Gil Teacher sees Gyeong Jun, and not just Yun Jae.
It’s a little crazy, but my favorite parts are probably when Da Ran is with her family, which is proving to be the one oasis in this drama. I really felt for her brother, Chung Sik, and her dad, as they were ignored and insulted by both Gyeong Jun and Da Ran. I hate dramas in which the heroine’s family is horrible, and I have a corresponding soft spot for those shows which feature a tight unit, like this one.
Chung Sik may be on the slow side, but he’s really looking out for his nuna, and not doing anything to mess with her, even accidentally. He was shocked to see his brother-in-law acting like a freak, and even went to the hospital to confront him, only to witness Gyeong Jun push Da Ran. What else was he supposed to do but get all up in his face? And even when Gyeong Jun slips, and says that he’s not his brother-in-law, Chung Sik only gets confused, and assumes that he’s gotten the familial terms all wrong, and starts calling him “sister-in-law” instead. This earns him a “Stupid” from Gyeong Jun, and a smack from his sister. Poor Chung Sik.
And poor Da Ran’s father. He also went to the hospital to see his shiny new son-in-law, whose face is plastered all over the building (smart move, hospital). Since dramas are small worlds, this is the same hospital where Gyeong Jun’s body has been deposited, so of course Gyeong Jun went to check out his other self. It was heart-wrenching to see Gyeong Jun inadvertently ignore Da Ran’s dad, who just accepted this. The Gil men are too timid for their own good.
They later had a powwow with Da Ran, since they are both convinced that the engagement has been called off. I’m thinking it is, too, but Gyeong Jun’s unexpected arrival quiets her family’s fears. Gyeong Jun had been moved by Da Ran’s present of eel mandu from her parents’ restaurant (what pervs her parents are!), and his stuff that she had retrieved from the garbage. How can he still not see that she cares? But maybe he’s starting to, since he proceeded to play the part of future son-in-law, actually way better than the real Yun Jae had ever done.
He even spent some quality time with Da Ran’s dad, who apparently collects rocks (how retro!). Gyeong Jun was pretty rude as he basically called the dad the shortest and ugliest member of the Gil family, and I wonder if that was true to Gyeong Jun’s character. He could be polite when he wanted to be, and I thought he was more sensitive than that. Whatever. This rock conversation was also enlightening in that we saw that he found Chung Sik more attractive than Da Ran – should we be reading more into this?
His table manners also had Da Ran blushing – was this because he’s really a teen, or because he’s been in America so long? Anyways, he couldn’t handle the spicy dumpling soup, but he was totally fine with drinking some beer. But Gil Teacher couldn’t allow that, and drank it for him. I think Gong Yoo could be even more petty in his treatment of Chung Sik, whom he already loves messing with by saying things like, “You’re too young.” I see what kind of brother-in-law Gyeong Jun will be.
Da Ran also took Gyeong Jun to Yun Jae’s apartment to pick out an extra set of clothes, and it was here that Gyeong Jun started to learn some bad things about Yun Jae. Like how this man must spend at least 2 hours a day to get a body like that – but he apparently didn’t even do it to impress his fiancé, since Da Ran has never really seen it before now. So wrong.
He got a second revelation when Se Young came over. Gyeong Jun had already met her earlier in the day, when she freaked him out by being a totally touchy-feely ahjumma. She also mentioned a present she had given him that he was welcome to use at any time – which must be the spare key Gyeong Jun finds as he looks through Yun Jae’s boring wardrobe. If he had been having any doubts about her intentions, she made herself very clear when she came over that night, and attacked him at the front door.
When the freaked out kid pulled away, she declared her love for him, just as Da Ran appeared, fresh from a revelation of her own – Yoon Jae had been planning on taking a trip somewhere without telling her. We don’t know if Da Ran saw the hug or confession (she’s being either really dumb or really arrogant about the Se Young threat so far), but Gyeong Jun gets what’s been going on here, and he says, “Seo Yun Jae, you bastard.” You said it, Gyeong Jun.
We don’t know for sure if Yun Jae has been two-timing Da Ran, though the mysterious key isn’t helping his case. Se Young could easily just have a one-sided, mildly psychotic thing going on, but Yoon Jae must have been doing something wrong if she felt comfortable enough to get all up on him like that. We finally saw some indication that Yun Jae hung out with Da Ran at least a little, impressing her with his warm hands, but it’s not enough to quell my suspicions. Though of course I’m hoping that he really loved her.
And it’s as I feared – throughout this episode I kept thinking how much better these scenes could have been if Shin had been playing Gyeong Jun, and not Gong Yoo. The whole set up is just going to be inappropriate and vaguely skanky, and no amount of hocus pocus will make it otherwise. Are they really planning on leaving Shin in a coma for the rest of the series? No disrespect to Gong Yoo, but he just didn’t bring it like he could have. I don’t think it’s automatically funny to see a grown man act cutesy – you’re going to have to work harder than that! But it’s kind of only the first episode for him, so maybe he just needs time to grow into this role.