allkpop TV Guide: Big Ep. 1
Official Synopsis: 18-year-old Kang Kyung Joon’s (Shin Won-Ho) spirit suddenly becomes transplanted into the body of 30-year-old Seo Yoon Jae (Gong Yoo). Seo Yon Jae is a successful doctor who is engaged to high school teacher Gil Da Ran (Lee Min Jung). Gil Da Ran just so happens to be the teacher of 18-year-old Kang Gyung Joon. More problems ensue when 30-year-old Seo Yoon Jae falls in love with another woman (miss A‘s Suzy).
Ratings:MBC‘s ‘Light and Shadow‘ is holding the first place crown with a 20.3% rating. SBS‘s ‘THE CHASER‘ achieved second place, though falling quite a bit behind ‘Light and Shadow’ with a 9.2% rating. Meanwhile, KBS aired the pilot episode for ‘Big‘, which achieved a disappointing 7.9% rating. ‘Big’ had low ratings, but the drama had to recover from the drastically low ratings of KBS’s previous drama, ‘Love Rain‘, and compete against ‘Light and Shadow’, which has been steadily growing in its viewer base. With a general positive response to the first episode, let’s hope ‘Big’ can achieve higher ratings, and give more competition to ‘THE CHASER’.
Recap of Ep. 1 Our heroine, Gil Da Ran, rushes to her friend’s wedding to deliver the bouquet. The delivery runs into problems when Da Ran is told that she has taken the more expensive bouquet to the wrong wedding. Da Ran attempts to catch the bouquet, but falls down a flight of stairs, after which Doctor Yoon Jae tries to aid her. Although Da Ran loses her bouquet and breaks her tailbone, a romance grows between Yoon Jae and Da Ran, leading to a wedding.
Meanwhile, Kyung Joon, who lived in America with his uncle after his mother’s death, transfers to a Korean high school after being a top student at an American high school. After a first chance encounter with Da Ran, in which she wrongly believes Kyung Joon is flirting with her, Da Ran is revealed to be one of the teachers at Kyung Joon’s school. After more coincidental meetings, Da Ran begins to care for Kyung Joon as a student after hearing he’s an orphan, and the two develop a friendly relationship.
On the other end of the spectrum, Da Ran becomes more distant with her fiance, Yoon Jae. With Yoon Jae busy with his job and unable to meet up with Da Ran, Da Ran becomes frustrated and doubtful of Yoon Jae’s feelings, asking Yoon Jae whether he had decided to marry her out of love or pity. While Kyung Joon drives her to the lake to comfort her, Yoon Jae rushes out of the hospital to meet up with Da Ran to answer her directly. While Yoon Jae is driving towards Da Ran and Kyung Joon is driving away, the two collide in a car accident, and both fall into the lake. Doctor Yoon Jae is able to escape the car, and he swims down to save the drowning Kyung Joon.
Da Ran rushes to the hospital, where she is met with tragic news that her fiance, Yoon Jae, has died. While Da Ran sobs, trying to cope with the news, Kyung Joon wakes up in Yoon Jae’s body. While he is bewildered by the turn of events, he meets Teacher Da Ran who is delighted that Yoon Jae is alive. However, Kyung Joon insists that he’s not Yoon Jae. Although Da Ran doesn’t believe him, she notices the unconscious Kyung Joon in the hospital. She heads towards Kyung Joon’s house, where she finds her fiance cuddling in Kyung Joon’s bed. With all the evidence laying in front of her, Da Ran begins to believe the truth: Kyung Joon’s spirit is in Yoon Jae’s body.
[Note : This post reflects the opinions of the author, and not necessarily those of allkpop.]
What an exciting introduction with some cuteness sprinkled in, hot chemistry between the characters, the hilarious Engrish, and can we say a hallelujah for introducing rookie actor Shin Won Ho? The character dynamics were truly the shining lights for the pilot episode. Kyung Joon and Da Ran not only had excellent chemistry, but the contrast between the two characterizations also made the love line between teacher and student more plausible with the age difference. Da Ran is the childish, romantic girl in her marriage fantasy, while Kyung Joon is more mature with his baggage of hardships. In addition, the little moments of character dynamics between Da Ran and her brother, Choong Shik (Baek Sung Hyun) were hilarious, and I can’t wait for Choong Shik to meet Kyung Joon in Yoon Jae’s body.
While the pilot did work beautifully developing the romantic relationship between Kyung Joon and Da Ran, it left the Yoon Jae plate dry, making me almost forget that Gong Yoo is the star and losing a little bit of the love triangle already. Although it’s quite understandable that Yoon Jae’s relationship and the explanation for his indifference to the wedding would be developed, it makes me worry about how the body-switching feature will meld in the drama. Are the Hong Sisters planning to have Kyung Joon and Yoon Jae switch bodies more than once, like in ‘Secret Garden‘, and then end it messily with a magical resolution, sprinkled in with some makjang elements about books with angels on the cover? Or are we going to have Da Ran and Kyung Joon try to solve the mystery throughout the whole drama, in which case: what happens to Yoon Jae?
The ending of the pilot (and the preview) also left me a little disheartened, maybe after all the shipping of the Kyung Joon-Da Ran couple. There was no hilarious or even crazy response to the body switching, no crazy dialogue. More of a sobbing Da Ran and a calm, but worried, Kyung Joon. When crazy things happen, crazy reactions are warranted. I hope the second episode will have the energy and hilarity the Hong sisters have been known for in their previous works.
And since we don’t know when we’re going to see more of Shin Won Ho, here’s some eye candy to satisfy us for the time being. (Sorry, Gong Yoo. Shin Won Ho, do come back. Soon.)