This week brought with it the final episodes of one of the most melodramatic and tear-filled K-dramas I’ve watched in a while and since I love talking about dramas while they’re still fresh in my zombified brain, I just had to recommend Angel Eyes as this weekend’s drama to marathon.
Recently airing on the 22:00 Saturday/Sunday time slot on SBS, Angel Eyes follows the bitter-sweet life of two young people, destined to prove that true love really can conquer all. Park Dong Joo (Lee Sang Yoon), is a brilliant high school senior, devoted entirely to his mother and sickly little sister after his father died in a collapsed tunnel accident years ago. As the man of the house, Dong Joo does all he can to help his mother out, working odd jobs and making deliveries for his mother business, at the wee hours of the morning. It’s during these deliveries that Dong Joo first sees and eventually falls for Yoon Soo Wan (Gu Hye Sun), the pretty girl who never seems to notice Dong Joo, no matter how hard he tries. What Dong Joo is quick to discover is the fact that Soo Wan isn’t actually ignoring him, she simply can’t see him. One of the survivors of the same collapsed tunnel accident that took Dong Joo’s father, Soo Wan was left blind and in need of a cornea transplant. Unable to find a donor, Soo Wan has spent years in lonely darkness, until Dong Joo shows up and introduces her to a world of warmth and love unlike any she’s ever known. Naturally, the two fall in love and promise to be together forever but a sudden string of tragic events end up forcing them apart for the next twelve years. Reuniting after over a decade, Dong Joo and Soo Wan are quickly forced to face several seemingly insurmountable obstacles as they slowly uncover the truth behind the events of the past and come to understand why they were kept apart for so many years. To say more about the plot would be unfair to those who haven’t watched this drama yet, so I’ll stop before I spoil something.
As one might expect, Angel Eyes has its fair share of tear-jerking moments and to be honest, there are so many times when, while watching, you have to stop and ask the drama gods what the heck they were thinking, but even the most frustrating moments don’t outweigh the moments of light-hearted fun and genuine love. From the very beginning, I was hooked on the sweetness of this drama as the young version of Park Dong Joo, played by Kang Ha Neul, is completely adorable and his portrayal of love for Soo Wan is absolutely perfect. In fact, almost the entire first episodes is nothing but a soft, cuddly ball of warm-fuzzies that leaves you wanting more. Unfortunately, those warm-fuzzies are quickly replaced by a wellspring of tears but that doesn’t mean the rest of the drama is a drag. On the contrary, Angel Eyes does a pretty good job of keeping the emotions balanced which means you may spend the entire twenty episodes feeling like you’re on some sort of crazy emotional roller-coaster but at least you don’t feel like you’re plummeting into Sheol.
I think it’s the sincerity of the characters that really sells this for me. Park Dong Joo is one of the most upright and genuine male leads I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet in Dramaland. He’s not a jerk, he’s not a snob, he’s just an intelligent, hard-working doctor, solely devoted to the handful people in this world he loves the most. I wish I could say the same for Yoon Soo Wan but there were just too many times when she annoyed the heck out of me so I’ll just applaud her for listening when sound advice is given and not making things worse than they could have been. I will also say that the bumbling orphan from Texas, Teddy (played by Seung Ri), is easily one of my most favorite side characters as his sweetness and naivety are just too adorable to resist . (Though I may be a little biased in my love of Teddy, seeing as how I’m a VIP and all…)
To wrap this up, I’ll end by saying that Angel Eyes is a lovely feel-good drama, full of and equal number of warm-fuzzies and heartbreak that all lead to an ending that will leave most people feeling quite satisfied. I won’t say that there aren’t any moments of frustration but they’re never long-lived and typically, they’re followed by some truly sweet moments that pretty much make up for the table-flipping you did earlier. If the overly ridiculous twists of fates that scream, “MELODRAMA!” aren’t your thing, you’re probably going to want to skip this one but if you’re okay with crazy fates and destined love, you’re probably going to enjoy Angel Eyes. Of course, once you’ve worked your way through, it’d be great if you came back and let me know what you thought by leaving me a comment below. Oh, and if you’re looking for a much more in-depth look at the individual episodes of Angel Eyes, you can check out my weekly review of each episode here.