The Greatest Love | Review & Thoughts

I had mentioned in a previous post my continuous growing love for Gong Hyo Jin after watching The Master’s Sun and Pasta and that I wanted to start another drama of hers. The Greatest Love was my first target and as it turns out it was a good choice.

The story revolves around Gu Ae Jang, played by Gong Hyo Jin, who was once a member of a popular idol group but after a misunderstanding and taking all the blame for the group’s breakup she now struggles to find a place in the entertainment industry. We also have Dokko Jin, played by Cha Seung Won, who is a major film actor in Korea and ready to start his international career. After their episodic meeting they somehow get involved and this how the story unfolds.

The Characters

Dokko Jin is a man who has it all. He is an actor, he is famous, he gets everything that he wants. But essentially he is someone who doesn’t know what true and real emotions are. He is like a little child who doesn’t know how to express his feelings because he is living inside a bubble. He falls for Ae Jang but in the beginning that is a boyish love. He thinks that he can have her like he can have everything else. He is afraid that he is gonna loose everything and only when he realises that he doesn’t care for anything like he cares for Ae Jang that the true depth of his feelings are shown. It’s the first time I’m watching something with Cha Seung Won and I have to say that not a lot of actors can pull of that performance. There are some characters in dramas and series that are so distinct, so quirky that with the help of a good actor can steal the performance. In the end you can’t distinct the actor from the character because they managed to own the role. (Just to offer some examples if you don’t understand what I mean because lets not forget my english can be quite poor sometimes, I’m talking about characters like Sheldon form Big Bang Theory or Barney Stinson from How I Met Your Mother or Gu Yong Ha in Sungkyunkwan Scandal).

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Gu Ae Jang is a girl who has being through a lot. She is someone who has to take care not only herself but her family too. She knows how cruel the entertainment industry is and lives in a constant state of fear of getting burnt again. She is strong but at the same time so vulnerable.  It is so sad to see her being humiliated actually in order to survive in this shiny world. She is afraid to let go when she realises her feelings because of that constant fear she is feeling. She does need someone to take care of her for a change when everyone else expects her help and sympathy. It is such a nice change to see a female character that says no to the male character having him try to win her over for a change. Gong Hyo Jin was great, I think we have established that by now. As in Pasta I liked the way she showed the hidden sensitivity of her character. She was able to be fierce and likable. I do find her roles in the other dramas that I have seen her were more difficult acting wise. But still that doesn’t mean that an “easier” character can’t be ruined in the hands of a lesser good actor. It is now safe to say that I have a girl-crush on her. I mean yeah..

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Yoon Pil Joo is an oriental medicine doctor and he is a really a good guy. Most of the time that is the case with second male leads. He is kind of clueless about the entertainment industry which is a breath of fresh air in this world that is obsessed with actors and singers and gossip. He does all the right moves. He for the first time for a second lead actually confesses his love and that in front of thousands of people. He isn’t ashamed of his feelings. I would like the idea of someone outside of the industry being the one who would “save” the girl and make her realise that all these misunderstandings and hate is just on how much you let them affect you. But in the end he just wasn’t what the girl needed.

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Kang Se Ri used to be in the same group as Ae Jang and she was one of the reasons Ae Jung took all the blame for their break up. Now is a famous singer/actress, the complete opposite from Ae Jang. She has inferiority issues and as in the past she is always seeking attention. Having your problems is not a bad thing, we all at on point felt that we weren’t good enough, but it’s how you choose to deal with these problems that matter. You should try to be better and to think that you’re good enough so to hell what everyone else thinks. You shouldn’t try to hurt other people because they managed to deal more effectively with their problems. Being mean isn’t gonna help you. And that is what happened with Kang Se Ri and that is the reason why I don’t particularly like these kind of characters in dramas as well as in real life.

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The Romance

I enjoyed the second half of the drama much more than the first one and the main reason was the romance and the way it was portrayed. I don’t believe in love at first sight or in love that is not sufficiently justified. What I mean is that yes you can like someone because of their looks but that’s not love. You have to spend time with the other person, you need to get to know them before you can say that you love them. Dokko Jin said that he liked Ae Jung but he had no reason to do so. He didn’t find her attractive nor did he knew her. And I just couldn’t understand how that can happen. Although as the drama progressed and they started knowing each other he liking her and vise verse started making sense for me.

The change in Dokko Jin’s character in the second half of the drama was amazing. He started thinking before acting, He wanted to be there for Ae Jung, to get to know her, to help her, to protect her. The way he matured, and the way his love matured were really one of the best elements of the drama. Cha Seung won did an amazing job in portraying this character evolving from a clumsy boy to a solid loving man.

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What it strikes me the most though in this romance is the reverse of the roles of the man and the woman. We are used to have a girl who is sure how she feels, and of the choice she will make and a guy who in the beginning doesn’t want to admit his feelings and is until the very end indecisive. But here we she the girl struggling with her feelings and with which is the right choice for her. It is a nice change in this men’s world to have the girl having the upper hand in a relationship.

Lastly about the romance I want to mention that Gong Hyo Gin did an amazing job looking helpless and heartbroken during Dokko Jin’s surgery. It really showed how much she loved and cared for him.

The Entertainment Industry

For me the entertainment industry was the third big protagonist of the story. This drama gave us a glimpse of what happens when the lights turn off and actors and singers go back being normal everyday people.

I have a question “Is the industry cruel or the everyday people cruel?”. I really want to know. Would the industry be so cruel, if people didn’t care so much about the personal lives of the actors/singers? I would go as far as to say that no it wouldn’t. It would still be bad considering how much money are behind everything and how many people’s lives are on the line if they don’t find a way to make that money.

Gu Ae Jung is a perfect example of how someone’s life can be ruined because someone said something, someone else heard something else, and because someone thought that they had a say in her life. Noone has the right to say anything about the personal life of someone else. You have no authority to judge someone’s actions unless they hurt you or someone else. I don’t understand why people think they can have an opinion on who a famous person can date, marry or anything else. People aren’t objects, you cannot own them. And as that applies in real life it applies in “famous” lives also.

It was so sweet, right and it finally gave away all the depth of Dokko Jin’s feelings for Ae Jung when they made their relationship public in the last episodes, that he was solid as a rock and he chose her instead of anything else. It was everything Ae Jung would want. Someone who would be there for her, someone who wouldn’t be embarrassed for her, someone who for the first time in her life would jeopardize everything they had accomplished so far as she did all these years for others.

Overall Impressions

The drama was enjoyable: Ding Dong

It had many funny parts: Ding Dong

What I enjoyed most was the evolving of Dokko Jin : Ding Dong

I would recommend this drama: Ding Dong

You want to know what that Ding Dong is all about? Go watch the drama, you’ll find out. You will like it, I promise..

Rating: 4/5

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(pictures credit: Dramabeans)

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4 thoughts on “The Greatest Love | Review & Thoughts

  1. alecs494 says:

    I loved this drama a lot. Just like you, I had a huge girl crush on Gong Hyo Jin. I have been a fan of her works. I find her acting style very realistic and highly relatable. I just love how well she portrayed the role and I like the chemistry she has with Chapter Seung Won. I think another great thing about GHJ is the fact that she can create sizzling chemistry with her all her co-stars. Not many actress can do that…

    Like

    • brightfotini says:

      Gong Hyo Jin- I just adore her. She is really a very good actress, as you said very relatable and very natural. You believe that the characters she portrays are real people. And yes in everything I have seen her so far she always has great chemistry with her co-stars. I have yet to be disappointed by her acting and I don’t think I will in the future either.. 🙂

      Like

  2. Gabby says:

    It’s been quite a long time since I last saw this drama, so I can’t really remember much of it. Dokko Jin was a really eccentric character that took some time for me to warm up to. One of the things I liked most in this drama though were the interactions between Dokko Jin and Ding Dong!! Haha

    Like

    • brightfotini says:

      Yes,yes!! Dokko Jin and Ding Dong! I loved them together.. 🙂 So sweet and funny.. 🙂 And I agree it took me quite too a few episodes to get accustomed to Dokko Jin’s character.. 🙂

      Like

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