I am still recovering from Big, the KBS drama that started out with big expectations from many but ends with loads of hate post from netizens
Personally, I enjoyed 80% of the show and is fine with the ending even though I wish it had done more addressing the issues left unanswered or barely mentioned of screen. But that probably applies to most of the dramas I have watched. I am more traumatized by the hate comments and statements that declare the show "Worst in 2012", "Total Waste of Time" , which I feel is not doing justice for a perfectly enjoyable show.
Granted, everyone's expectations were up because it is a "Hong Sisters Drama" and they have penned the engaging and successful "Best Love" just the year before. It is also lead by Gong Yoo, whose last kdrama, is a huge success. The show starts of great too, setting up the stage for all that expectations. It was fun, hilarious and also with lots of heart.
Acting and CastThe acting by Gong Yoo is simply awesome. I was okay with him in Coffee Prince but what he did here seals me as a fan and I will probably checkout anything with him acting in it from now. I will go back to rewatch the show just to enjoy the nuances of the performance and skip over the other parts.
EndingOhhh.... the ending. After ending episodes aired, Thumbr is full of comments like "WTF is this ending?" Not just one or two recappers/weekly reviewers of the drama who have just declared unreserved love for a Big episode a couple of episodes ago slams it and comments on the internet is rampant with the ex-fans, the confused and die hard fans arguing ceaselessly about it.
What do I think? I can do without quite a number of scenes in the last episode like Maria kidnapping Kyung Jun and Dan Ran searching for what she thought was Yong Jae's ring in dumplings. I wish there are more closure to Yong Jae and Dan Ran (may be he should be the one emailing Dan Ran, expressing some closure instead of Marie?). Some interaction between Yong Jae and Kyung Jun in his own body, getting to know each other as brothers would be nice. What about the notes of their relation that Kyung Jun mentioned he was compiling? Is that why he is wearing his KKJ watch at the last scene? The ending make the show feels unfinished, like we should be expecting a season 2 or movie version or internet epilogue or something.
That said , there are moments and little details I love too. I love the interrogation scene between Kyung Jun and Dan Ra, the mini reveal that Kyung Jun had switch their umbrellas intentionally at the begging.
About the big controversy where people feel it should be Shin under the umbrella instead of a symbolic guy who looks like Gong Yong. I am actually fine with it and is contend with the suggestion that Dan Ran and Kyung Jun will find their love for each other again even though Kyung Jun lost his memory.
Overall, the show is very interesting and gripping for the first 13 episodes. The big revelations at episodes 13 and 14 are surprising for me but at the end, too much time is spent on secondary characters and the unimportant stuff. We have lots of cute moments and wonderful chemistry with our leads keep me going. At the end of the day, while the drama did not become exceptional, it is still fine and enjoyable, more so if you need a Gong Yoo feast.
RatingsPlot/Writing: 5 ( I love the first 7 episodes and feel it is still pretty good till episode 14. The last two could have been more, much more and )
Cinematography: 9 (Beautifully shot with lots of eye candy and beautiful scenes)
Cast and Acting: 9 (Gong Yoo is awesome in this show. Would give him a 10/10. Lee Min Jung and the actor who plays his younger brother are great too. Shin is good in the first episode but I am not too convince of his acting skills after seeing the scene his mum got shot. Sorry, Shin fans. )
Side stories/characters: 6
Wish they cut out the uncle and vice principle having a crush on Dan Ran's parents respectively part. Many of the Suzy scenes are unnecessary and way too crazy too. And those are not exactly funny either.
How much I enjoyed the show: 8
Other Reviews and Recaps on Big:Yeah, I am invested enough in the show to read most of the recaps and review I can find out there.
Musings of a Chunkeemonkeeato I am glad to find this review site that have quite a balance review for dramas and movies
My first site to go to satisfy my hunger to know what's going on with drama before I watch the sub version. Always super fast with their recaps, what will I do without them?
Dramabeans (Usually my trusted source of reference to see if a Drama is worth a watch or not. Their recaps on each episodes are mostly positive till episode 15 when the fury at the direction the show result in extremely low rating for the show. )
A Koala's Playground One of my weekly site to go after watching Big. The writter's love of the show give me my in between episodes dose of spoilers, opinions and anything Big.
Tiger Holland's all consuming media
Another reviewer who love the episodes before the ending 2 episodes. Insight full, balanced review.
Review by Deyani on Squidoo One of my favorite reviews. Love the 10 big memorable moments.