Thursday, April 17, 2014

Three Nights With Chunnie

   Except for Secret Love Affair, this is the only currently airing series I'm loving to bits. I'd add God's Gift Jo Seungwoo, but as much as I love the said gift, the drama does not keep me engaged as others. Proof? I still have 4 last eps to watch and somehow always find something else to do.
However, Witch's Romances started as some wicked fun, so I had to add it to the list.

   While watching the episode 12 of Three Days, Joseph Campbell's book came to mind. "The Hero of a Thousand Faces". Campbell dissected the myth of a hero's journey, pointing out the similarities that connect various civilisations, common myths' denominators and archetypes. While I don't believe there exists this pre-archetypal, primeval, the very first myth shared by the whole humanity, I believe some motifs are simply too universal to be unique and they appear in many separated cultures. We can't of course exclude the influence of one culture on some other, but it may happen that the similar myth may occur in Australia and Sicily (just made up example). Just like Lavoisier and Lomonosov independently confirmed known in chemistry and physics "the principle of conservation of mass".

   Han Taekyeong seems to be following the path of the archetypal hero, which - contrary to what many miaouling people think - doesn't happen often in Kdramaland. He's a defined person with defined character traits, this is why his actions never seem out of place but somehow belong to the temporal and spacial dimension of the world created by writers. What's puzzling with his place is that he's not always the main catalyst of the events, he's not always at the center, he's not the axis of all females' swooning*.

Stages of our hero's journey (based on 10 episodes so far):

1. Birth: fabulous circumstances surround the hero's beginnings. Granted, we know nearly nothing about Taekyeong's mother, but his father was a high ranking politician, and that adds to the non-common pedigree.
2. Call to Adventure. Hero may accept the call after a struggle or voluntarily. This might be the trigger that cause Taekyeong to become a bodyguard.
3. Helpers. Our hero often receives the help from a protective figure (Ham Bongsu). In myths, such a figure usually takes a variety of forms (animal, wizard), in this case - plotting military leader.
4. Crossing the Threshold. Taekyeong has done it in two senses - literal, when he surpassed the fences and came into restricted area where the President was supposed to be fishing. Which led him to be "at the wrong place in the wrong time". Second sense - spiritual, when he overstepped his own boundary of not relying on anyone, and trusted Bowon. Threshold also marks the beginning of a trial or ordeal and what happened later might be seen as exactly such process. Taekyeong was marked as a killer, chased, questioned.
5. Tests. To convince the Prosecutor General, to prove his own father's innocence. And also - to kill. Tests usually require encounters with monsters, witches and some violent battles. We had it all.
6. Helpers. Taekyeong has them, mainly Bowon.
7. The Final Battle. Our main bad guy is no longer out of suspicion.
8. Preparing to return. Taekyeong flies back to meet the President.
9. Return. Taekyeong comes back to the President and pledges once again he'll protect him and serve as his bodyguard.
10. Elixir. The artifact with supernatural power helping our hero. "Confidential 98".
11. Coming home. This has to come.

As for steps 7-11 the situation is unclear as for now, but I saw some complete inner cycle:
Taekyeong protects the President -> accused -> chased -> left -> refusal -> meeting with the Evil -> back to protecting the President.

   And what about the drama as it is? I like it, it's dense with plot, we see motivations standing behind our characters' action, main ladies are strong characters and not some doormats. Yucheon is getting beaten, thrown around, slapped, pushed down, but the perseverance his Taekyeong shows is close to the blinding, unhealthy obsession fueled by the adrenaline rush.

Enjoying this from the first minute to the very last.

* I guess my friends know they can't touch Yucheonnie with a 10 meters pole when I'm around, kkk^^