The Hong sisters 7th work, The Greatest Love stars Cha Seung Won and Gong Hyo Jin in the world of entertainment and showbiz. Given how Hong sisters have a wacky way of writing and bringing in so much meta, it was a fun drama to watch. Cha Seung Won is Dokko Jin, a top star, CF king and angel of the nation. Gong Hyo Jin plays Gu Ae Jeong, a former girl group member that became disbanded and has always been at the bottom of the celebrity chain ever since. Things happen, they meet each other with not such a good start. However, Dokko Jin falls for Gu Ae Jeong and proceeds to chase after his ‘first love’. Yoo Inna plays Kang Se Ri who was formerly in the same girl band as Ae Jeong but they are not in good terms. She is now a successful star and MC to a matchmaking program of which Ae Jeong is a participant. Yoon Pil Joo is starred by Yoon Kye Sang and he takes the role of a Chinese medicine doctor who is in the same matchmaking program Ae Jeong is in. He eventually falls in love with her thus completing our triangle of love. So, how do they survive the greatest love?
A light-hearted song by IU, Hold My Hand
I had watched a few episodes of this initially but dropped it. When I watched Master’s Sun, I decided to watch this again for Gong Hyo Jin. I’m quite glad I picked it up again though. I think the Hong sisters just loaded this with so much meta, I exploded with laughter in every episode I watch. The potato story, the azaleas, Dokko Jin’s heart monitor, Pororo, Paul in Wonderland, Lee Seung Gi and his fridge CF, Kim Nam Gil, oh god, so much! I know Hong Sisters tendency for these but this time, they really just packed it full. I really love it though and I love the references to celebrities in real life as well.
However, I did have to switch my viewing mode to full on rom-com and just not take everything seriously. That’s because the jokes they crack and situations that occur here are a bit off for real life show biz. I think they do let on a few things about the glamorous yet harsh realm of entertainment which is clearly depicted where TV screen personalities do not translate to real-life personalities. Dokko Jin is a real life jerk while Gu Ae Jeong is the fading, misunderstood star. There are some truths in what they show and now I fear for all the celebrities I love on TV …
Getting myself to tune into this drama was like signing up to watch a whirlwind romance. Cha Seung Won and Gong Hyo Jin had an unpredictable chemistry. It was hard to imagine both of them together but once they are together, it’s just natural. Dokko Jin was the wacky hero, who had a terrible attitude. I didn’t quite like him, not because he was such an ass but he was just really on the border of pervert/stalker and love prospect. He had this accent thing too, which I found… weird. However in the second half of the drama, he gave off a sliiightly more mature vibe but still retained that wacky in him. If I had to be honest, he isn’t one of my favorite hero but he is one that makes the drama a lot more fun. Gong Hyo Jin who had critical acclaim in Pasta was playing quite a similar character in terms of endurance and patience. She had to undergo a lot of challenge to keep her dreams yet does not falter. She isn’t the typical spunky, happy- go- lucky heroine either. In fact, she is so normal its boring. Except that she is the most normal thing in this drama and her presence really just stands out. I’m glad Gong Hyo Jin played this role because if we had a wacky heroine, I would lose my head watching this. She’s like the pivot that keeps this drama on ground and practically the one to tie down Dokko Jin to reality.
I was so worried when they had a few scenes that would have potentially created ‘noble idiots’. It’s a term to refer to how the hero or heroine makes a noble sacrifice for the better good of him/her thus induce sympathy and tears when in real life it’s unlikely to have happened. There was a point where they literally couldn’t be together because their ‘levels’ were too different. It’s like a caste system but for celebs (0.0) . Ae Jeong was nearly forced into that, and was actually forced to abandon everything. It’s either be with him and die in ‘dog poop’ or leave him and break all our hearts, hers and his included. It’s kinda touching when Dokko Jin told her she just had to sell him and he would be expensive enough to cover all the cost (damage) incurred on her rep. And even after Dokko Jin recovered from his surgery, they had this huge conflict about how they could be together and not make enemies with the whole nation. I especially love the analogy that Yoon Pil Joo used, they were in another weird world he as a commoner couldn’t understand. I think Dokko Jin had it a little easy at the end because they wanted to tie things up for a cute finale though. Not that I would complain… haha.
This is one of my favourite songs from the drama. It expresses Yoon Pil Joo’s heartbreak 😥
On Yoon Pil Joo and Kang Se Ri, I found it entertaining as well. I surprisingly didn’t have any trace of second lead syndrome although I do like Yoon Pil Joo, I just felt like he and Ae Jeong had a slower simmering chemistry. Put that next to Ae Jeong and Dokko Jin’s exploding, hurricane-like chemistry and it’s evident who’s ship I’ll board. Kang Se Ri is the antagonist we can’t really hate because well, she likes another guy, and she never really did something despicable here. Except once and she was young. That’s forgivable. This type of couple also appears in Master’s Sun where second leads are paired together. Hong Sisters have apparently chosen to reuse this.
Had to include a tribute to one of the smartest kids in dramaland!
Overall, I had a great time with this drama. I laughed so much, it’s not normal. Given the joy it has given me, I give it an 8 for a rom-com genre. Watch if you can handle the comedy. I do think it has more emphasis on comedy than romance for a K drama though. The love plotline was a little weak in the beginning because so many things happen initially but build up better towards the end. However, all the intimate scenes and KISS scenes made up for it (▰˘◡˘▰). I only found myself not liking the heart rate metaphor. Him depending on a monitor to tell him whether he likes someone is not an idea I’m fond of. I’d rather he just throw that thing away after his surgery really. Watch it when you can because who will wanna miss out on the greatest love in dramaland?