First Impressions and Unfiltered Thoughts: Touch

Family lore has it that once upon a time, a great-great-great grandmother of mine married a man 16 years younger than her. Not too far removed from her in the ol’ family tree, a great-great-great grandfather married a woman 16 years his junior. With legends like this running around in my history, dramas with a huge age gap between the leads don’t seem that strange. Come talk about Touch with me and let me know if the age gap is creepy or comfortable!

The Characters

The perfectionist Cha Jung Hyuk, played by Joo Sang Wook

I love the opening to Touch. CEO Cha literally canNOT stop himself from correcting a girl who’s putting on makeup before their plan lands, and ends up giving her a full makeover in time to meet her boyfriend.

He continues to focus on the art of makeup, his passion having obviously helped him rise to the top of his profession. Joo Sang Wook has immediate chemistry with anyone in front of him. He can immediately see their real faces, mentally erasing the makeup they’re wearing, and often makes Sherlock-like deductions about their life from the state of their face. After he makes the deduction, he uses makeup to show their best selves to to the rest of the world.

In any other drama, some of the situations CEO Cha lands in — chasing after Soo Yeon to find out WHY she changed his makeup, or spying on his director in the shower room to see just how much Soo Yeon saw — could have been played for slapstick laughs. Instead, Joo Sang Wook lends them a seriousness that makes the ridiculous seem plausible.

The determined and intrepid Han Soo Yeon, played by Kim Bo Ra

I was surprised by Kim Bo Ra’s role in Her Private Life. Her chaebol intern role could have been played as shallow and petty, but Kim Bo Ra gave her the life and layers the character deserved.

As Han Soo Yeon, Kim Bo Ra bring a gravitas that is a game-changer for this drama. She’s been an idol trainee for ten years, and achieves her goal only to have it ripped away mere hours later. Kim Bo Ra makes Soo Yeon’s determination to continue on admirable and meaningful. She handles her interactions with CEO Cha with grace and a spine, too, lending her character a maturity beyond her 25 years.

The adorably clueless Kang Do Jin, played by Lee Tae Hwan

I adored Lee Tae Hwan in High School King of Savvy and W. I’m so excited to see him in a main cast role! He’s doing a great job with his bumbling handsome actor character, who inadvertently causes chaos in Soo Yeon’s life and claims her as his best friend all in the same breath. Whether he’ll be the second lead in this drama remains to be seen — it might just break my heart if he is.

The Story

Makeup tips? Sign me up!

I’m not a committed makeup fan — I wear it, yes, but out of necessity rather than passion. This drama might just give me the insights to care a little more about how I apply it and how I take care of my skin. It’s not about hiding flaws, but creating art — a message that definitely resonates with me.

Age gap? What age gap?

Honestly, there’s no romance yet. There’s no need for it — the story hasn’t gotten to that point — but I’m definitely intrigued. Kim Bo Ra’s character seems to have a maturity beyond her years and Joo Sang Wook’s character may have a lot of life experience where makeup is concerned, but he’s not always that mature in other aspects. I could see a slow-burn romance building between the two.

Drop It or Keep It?

I’ve been on the hunt for a well-told story lately, and Touch just might fit the bill. I was surprised and happy to find that there’s potential for a lot of depth in the characters, in the conflict, and in the romance. I look forward to experiencing it all!

What about you, kdrama fans? Will you be watching, or is the age gap just too much? Let me know in the comments below!

Until the next tutorial, I remain —

Karie the Maknae

Dramas with a Side of Kimchi

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