Seo Kang Joon has left his robot ways behind and, instead, breaks out the ahjumma perm, glasses, and braces for the new drama The Third Charm. Join Drama Geek and Kdrama Jen as they discuss their first impressions and share their unfiltered thoughts about The Third Charm. Read on to see if these fangirls found it charming … or not.
The premise of this drama is that our couple meets and dates three different times throughout their life, and we hope the third time sticks.
Seo Kang Joon is beyond adorkable
Kdrama Jen: Yes, he has glasses, braces, and a perm that made his mom mistake him for a middle-aged lady, but Seo Kang Joon still managed to catch my attention. His character is so earnest and naive. I wanted to scoop him up and buy him some more fashionable clothes. Of course, I especially love that even though he has traded in his braces for a flawless smile and through the wonders of LASIK surgery he no longer needs glasses, he is still very much the same when we meet him in the future. I have always thought Seo Kang Joon showed great talent as an actor. He did recently manage to convince me he was both a privileged playboy and a warm-hearted robot in the same drama. This time, though, despite the fact that he has the physical looks of someone who should have no problem finding admirers, he still has the mannerisms and awkwardness of his younger self. I love that aspect of his acting.
Drama Geek: The second-hand embarrassment is SOO strong in the drama because of his character. Thankfully, I can handle it. I thought his braces and glasses were cute and pretty comparable with American movies that give a pretty girl a dorkover. Then they added the ahjumma perm and it was over for his character. When you add in how well Kang Joon physically embodies a clumsy naïve college kid, he embodied the ultimate and adorable geek. (I still remember him from Roommate and I think some of this character may actually be closer to his real personality, LOL.)
Kdrama Jen: When we first heard about the Seo Kang Joon/Esom pairing, I was intrigued. I did wonder if Esom as a young girl would be believable, but I am happy to report that I did not question her in that role. It helped that her personality is kind of jaded, yet she has a ton of spunk that comes out when she sees injustices. Even as a college-age girl (although she was not a college student), her character has more burdens than her friends, so she seems more mature. It is an interesting contrast to the Golden Retriever-like eagerness of Seo Kang Joon’s character. In many of the dramas we watch the leading girl is plucky and spunky. Maybe she has faced some bitter hardships, but she remains optimistic. Esom’s character just seems world-weary already, and this automatically makes her character feel unique. It is almost like Seo Kang Joon has taken on the stereotypical role of the female lead. I mean, we even get a makeover!
Drama Geek: I find Esom’s character refreshing. A lot of people are not plucky when they are dealt hardship after hardship, and the idea that women are expected to pull themselves up and be cheery is annoying. Kang Joon seems to have a pretty easy life, and has no reason to not be a cute little chipmunk.
Do opposites attract?
Kdrama Jen: So, when we flashback to their first meeting, I had a hard time trying to figure out what they both see in each other. They really seem to be polar opposites. His ideal date is a cup of artisan coffee and a leisurely stroll through the bookstore (sign ME up!), but she prefers amusement parks and spicy food, the spicier the better! They seemed to still have chemistry, but I couldn’t really see any common interests. Then, when we fast forward to 2013, I STILL don’t see common interests. The chemistry is still there, though, so I enjoy all of the cute couple moments.
Drama Geek: I agree that they don’t have common interests, but I can see the appeal for both of them. He’s timid and doesn’t like to try things, and she pushes him to do fun and adventurous stuff. She’s had a jaded life and he provides a sweet happiness to look forward to. In real life, this can work really well. I think Kdrama Jen and I are proof. 🙂 Introverts and extroverts unite!
Kdrama Jen: Am I Esom or Kang Joon? Ooh! Ooh! Can we get couple shoes??? This will be SO MUCH FUN! (I can see you rolling your eyes at the idea.) You are so right! We might be opposites in some ways, but we still get each other.
Wait, did this handsome man pine for his first love for SEVEN years?
Kdrama Jen: I like the couple. I really do. But… I am having a really hard time believing that he has been thinking about this girl he barely knew for SEVEN years. Oh, wait. He also left college and became a police officer based on an off-handed comment she once made. It has been a long time. Am I supposed to believe that NOBODY has caught his eye in all of that time? There is no way he hasn’t been approached. So, yes; he is a bit neurotic and fastidious, but there is no way that would keep the circling wolves of ladies looking for a good catch away from his door. I can’t even suspend my disbelief.
Drama Geek: The only explanation they give is when he’s drunk and says she made it so he couldn’t trust women anymore. He didn’t really date before her and I guess he just kept focusing on his new career. I still don’t buy that either of them formed a deep enough connection to still be single that long.
The quirky friends
Kdrama Jen: I can’t figure out if I like the boss/friend quest-for-love-storyline or not. I find her level of desperation both sad and comical. She joins every club she can think of from biking to billiards, and then she ends up paying for a matchmaking service. Some of her dating fails are just too funny, but if you can’t deal with second-hand embarrassment, then this drama is not for you.
There are also quirky friends on the Seo Kang Joon side of the equation too. His player friend from his college days is still wooing the ladies. He definitely has that smarmy side, but I also think he has been a loyal friend, so I can see his redeeming qualities. I kind of want him to hook up with Esom’s quirky friend, but they have painted him as such a flirt, so I am not sure there will be a love line for him.
Drama Geek: I do not like Kang Joon’s friend. He’s too much of a player and I find him icky. Her boss/friend could be funny if they paired her up with more interesting failure guys. For now, it’s just been a bit boring to me.
Oh, hold up. How about some good old-fashioned communication??
Kdrama Jen: I won’t get into spoilers too much, but suffice it to say that there are ways to let people know that you are going through a difficult time. Even if you are hurting and it seems like your life is falling apart, I still think the decent thing to do is say, “Hey, so I have to take care of my brother and become the primary breadwinner for the family right now, so I won’t have time to go out on dates. However, I do really like you.” What not to say? “Who do you think you are? Piss off.” Yeah, you see THAT is how we cause others to spend seven years of their life wondering what they did wrong. Now, I can accept that if it is in the past. She was young and hurting. I will forgive it once. I am fearing, however, that we are headed for another misunderstanding. One of my biggest drama pet peeves is when we make a BIG DEAL out of something that could have been resolved with a quick chat. I see you, Writer-nim. Don’t you do it…
Drama Geek: And here is where I admit that I am probably not going to stick around. I’ve watched four episodes and we’re heading into the second time they separate. Her character can be forgiven for the first one because they really hadn’t been dating but a day, and who wants to burden and stranger with what she was about to go through. This time it looks like it will be his stupidity that pulls them apart, and I’m just not down for that type of conflict.
Kdrama Jen: I love the cute couple moments. They have great on-screen chemistry and we get lots of sweet kisses and early romance moments. Despite the fact that they are not in high school, it feels like a puppy love kind of relationship. I could easily watch them wearing couple shoes and canoodling while watching a movie on his couch for several episodes. OK. I have done that. Now, I need a plot. I don’t know where this is going. If it is another multi-year separation based on a misunderstanding, then I will probably put this drama on hold. If there is some plot development that keeps us in cute couple mode, then I will keep watching because it makes me smile.
Drama Geek: After being bored for half of episode four I looked up the team behind the drama (which I usually do before I start one) and realized this is the same writer that penned Hwarang. So… I’m out! LOL. The couple’s adorable and I do enjoy the role reversal but it’s not enough to hold up an entire drama. There are a zillion good dramas airing right now so I don’t feel pressured to keep watching one that isn’t holding my attention. It’s sad because this weekend after finishing episode three I thought it could be another crack drama, then it nosedived really fast.
What are your thoughts? Adorkable enough to check out?
Drama Geek and Kdrama Jen
Dramas With a Side of Kimchi