One of my fandom related resolutions this year was to finally finish watching Discovery of Romance.
I'm so glad I did because I now finally have a new favorite Eric drama. I also now totally understand why people either hate it or love it. It seems a little too close for comfort for most viewers. If you're a person dealing with emotional or relationship issues, this is not the drama that will take you away from reality. It's quite the opposite.
Discovery of Romance. The title is the whole theme of this drama. It tells a story of six, no ten, ten individuals dealing with life, work and relationships differently. It mainly focuses on Han Yeo Reum, Kang Tae Ha and Nam Ha Jin - discovering how complicated romance can be and how their present and future are shaped by their past. Also, shaped by their personalities.
I know Jung Yumi recommended Eric for the role, but the production always said he was on the list for the lead. I wonder if they had seen Que Sera Seraand made the choice. The biggest reason why this drama works for me is because I can see Tae Ha and Yeo Reum's chemistry. When you see Yeo Reum and Ha Jin, you'd think adorable. And then you see Yeo Reum with Kang Tae Ha, it's off the charts sizzling. This drama is based on a simple story of a woman in a relationship with a solid guy when she suddenly crosses path with her ex . For us viewers to believe there's anyone else more worthy than her current beloved, it takes a spark. And Eric with Jung Yumi definitely has it. The way Tae Ha gazes at Yeo Reum with so much love is enough to melt even the hardest heart.
There's been quite a debate on these three characters' personalities and there are a lot of divided comments as to who they hate or sympathize. I love reading different opinions about the characters and this drama because it goes to show how different the leads are, Yeo Reum in particular, if we based it on other Korean dramas. It shows so much how complex and fickle a person is in reality, and how much we can change with time. There's barely "noble idiots" in the world as much as there is on dramas and DOR's characters' personalities reminds us how we are at one point in our life, or someone else we know. Or someone we'd rather not know.
I love how this drama depicts a real human being's maturity. Most of us don't change because of accidents, evil villains, mysterious phenomenon. We change through our own decisions. Tae Ha and Yeo Reum's breakup happened because of the decisions they made while they were in a relationship. Yeo Reum and Ha Jin's relationship happened and ended because of their decisions. And also, I love that this drama stresses self-acceptance. That's very important.
The little things that I love about the drama are the following:
- I love that Tae Ha talks to Yeo Reum the way he talks to everyone else. Curt. Haha. Ha Jin, on the other hand, makes me angry every time he talks down to Yeo Reum like she's a kid. And the tone of his voice when he orders her to do something. That's a big no no to me. Treat your partner like your equal! That goes without saying, damn it.
- How Yeo Reum's and Tae Ha's clothes always seem so color coordinated. It's like their color preference became similar after 5 years of dating.
- there's not a single moment where Sol and Ha Jin had a personal talk. While Sol and Tae Ha not only had personal talks but also piggyback rides!
- "Do you smell something burning?" will never not be funny to me.
- I love the silent moments. I love the scenes where the characters barely speak but you can feel either the love, the fear, the sorrow, or the pain. The scene between Tae Ha and Yeo Reum sitting side by side but apart after she talked about her father's death felt sad but also cathartic. So beautiful. But I love the silent scene on the bench at Deoksugung the most. (picture above) Eric and Jung Yumi delivered so well.
- the ending is, so far, my favorite ending in a drama. It's so satisfying to watch Tae Ha and Yeo Reum reconcile the same way they fell in love. Sweet, fast, and with a dose of bicker.
And that line captioned above is everything - because being in a relationship should always feel like that.