Reviewed by: big master

May 17, 2006

Rating: five

Lee Joong Ah: Lee Na Young
Lee jae Bok: Kim Min Joon
Kang Gook: Hyun Bin
Han Shi Yeon: Kim Min Jung

Oh Danny boy.....

I didn't realize how good "Ireland" was until I decided to see it myself. I found no reviews regarding it except for those who are selling the series. Some comments I encountered were negative ones and it gave me an unhappy feeling since this is one Korean drama that I truly loved. I will not blab any further for my purpose of writing this review (aside from the personal passion of making one) is to persuade more people to give "Ireland" a try.

The Story:
Lee Joong Ah was adopted by an Irish family at the age of three. She had a healthy childhood until her brother Peter got involved in a terrorist group and her family got killed. In the event that this was happening, Joong Ah was helpless and was unable to save her family, leaving a feeling of guilt which she carried with her all the way to her homeland in Korea. In the plane, she meets Kang Gook, a bodyguard. The two share some memorable moments together and Kang Gook proposes to Joong Ah that he would like to help her...

Lee Jae Bok was living like a useless bum with her mother and stepfather. He did not put effort in improving his meaningless life ever since her little sister got sent to the adoption house. He was just bumming around until he met Han Shi Yeon , a semi-porn actress. Jae Bok promises to wipe Shi Yeon's tears away…

The two couples were getting along all fine until Joong Ah and Jae Bok meet on their way to crossing a street. Jae Bok almost got hit by a truck and Joong Ah saved him. The two thought that that was the end of that and so each went on with their lives, Joong Ah married Kang Gook and Jae Bok lived together with Shi Yeon.

Fate got twisted when Joong Ah and Jae Bok met again at a hospital and the struggle began…

The Cast:
Lee Na Young as Lee Joong Ah:
This is the second time I have seen Lee Na Young on screen. The first time was in "Please Teach Me English" which is totally different from here. She was such an effective Joong Ah that she really seemed to carry her heavy past. Her strange way of doing and viewing things did add life to her character. She is also beautiful, except for her hair. Her crying was realistic and her emotions felt real. The wardrobe selection also added colour because wearing those made her looked different, it makes me believe that she did come from Ireland. I just don't like her when she does mean things to Kang Gook but in the end, she never fails to sincerely feel sorry.

Hyun Bin as Kang Gook:
I never really liked Hyun Bin in "My Name Is Kim Sam Soon". He was just too ordinary for me. As with "Spin Kick", he was not easy to remember. But after seeing "Ireland", Hyun Bin proved to be a better actor. He was my favourite in "Ireland". I am usually not into the good boy image character but Gook's personality was just awesome. I can nearly say he is perfect except that he still had wavering feelings towards Shi Yeon at the end. After all, nobody's perfect, making him the perfect imperfect! He was such a cool bodyguard to Joong Ah, Shi Yeon, and even to his boss. He does the smallest things to help people but these small things are what count the most. Indeed, my favourite scenes are those with Kang Gook in it, regardless of who he is with, be it with Joong Ah, Shi Yeon, Jae Bok, his boss, or the pastor.

Kim Min Joon as Lee Jae Bok:
This is the first time I have seen Kim Min Joon but I am looking forward in watching "Lovers in Prague". At first, I did not really like Jae Bok as he seems to steal Joong Ah from Gook. But later, I understood why everyone gets attached to Jae Book. That is why he has a crowded heart. The thing I appreciate most about Jae Bok is that he doesn't seem to sulk much no matter how hard life may be. He usually looked bubbly and content. Though he may seem dirty, he is gentle and soft-hearted.

Kim Min Jung as Han Shi Yeon:
The first production that I have seen her was in "Flying Boys". That movie was not such a great one and I did not finish it, therefore leaving me no chance to get to know Kim Min Jung until "Ireland". Alas, she was indeed very lovable in here. She managed to portray two characters, the ero-star and the shining star. I also enjoyed most of her screen time and although she's not that pretty, I believe that she has the potential to go far. Would you imagine how hard it is for a good actress to act as a no-good actress? Well, expect much from Kim Min Jung as Han Shi Yeon.

The Couples:
Lee Joong Ah and Kang Gook:
I believe that they match perfectly, especially how they met. It is a pity that they really weren't made for each other (Gook cannot bring Joong Ah happiness and Joong Ah could not be Gook's love).

Lee Jae Bok and Han Shi Yeon:
They were quite compatible since both parties can bring happiness toward each other and each one's care and concern for one another was real. However, it only lasted temporarily since they do not really love one another. It is more like they just support each other.

Lee Jae Bok and Lee Joong Ah:
"I am afraid that one day you will say that it is the end of our relationship because I have lower education than you..." – Lee Jae Bok
"Love for me is someone you can share your sorrows with…"— Lee Joong Ah
Love that wasn't meant to be but was too strong to hold back…

Kang Gook and Han Shi Yeon:
Kang Gook is a great protector and Shi Yeon needs to be protected. A meeting of the angels: the ero angel and the guardian angel. I would gladly accept the switch of couples if only Joong Ah and Jae Bok were not siblings…(but it wasn't really clarified that they were).

Lines worth capturing:
-It's tears on you instead of rain on you (Jae Bok to Shi Yeon)
- A commemorative footprint of an Irish lady who came to Korea (Joong Ah to Gook)
- Didn't you hear, don't shoot me? (Joong ah to the kid)
- Give your eggs to be, not to my sir (Gook to the father of the housekeeper)
- Snow on your hair has melted away, sister (Jae Bok to Joong Ah)
- A man is building a house inside my head (Joong Ah to Gook talking about Jae Bok)
- Gook is a good bodyguard, at least I believe so. Your speech at our wedding made me puke! (Joong Ah to the boss)
- I am ripping your motorbike to pieces, because my girl is far better than you (Jae Bok to the mobster)
- You are somebody, at least you love your family and are good to them, I am not very good at that (Joong Ah to Shi Yeon)
- Maybe one day you will be like Sharon stone…(Joong Ah to Shi Yeon)
- Follow me from head to toe, I will make you a better person (Gook to Jae Bok)
- For the first time, I found the woman for me in Joong Ah; and a teacher in you, Kang Gook (Jae Bok to Gook)
-It is like a meeting of angels, you, a guardian angel, me, an ero angel (Shi Yeon to Gook)
-You are my number one, because I have many answers needed for I have lots of questions in life. Also, number 1 means you have to give Joong Ah first class care (Jae Bok to Gook)
-Thank you for waiting for me. Sorry for not being your happiness. Sorry for not being your love. (Gook to Joong Ah and vice versa)

Unforgettable Scenes:
- Gook running towards the pastor for the first time after several years and the time when he found out something about the pastor.
-Gook supporting Jae Bok's leg
- Shi Yeon extremely happy driving inside her care wanting someone to share her joy with her since she got casted in a a proper movie.
- Gook catching Shi Yeon so as not to fall down
-Jae Bok kissing Gook
-Joong Ah telling the female doctor that her clothes are boring

The ending was bizarre but it was good. Unresolved actually but the whole drama gives you a connection to each character!

The soundtrack was great! It adds life to the scenes!

I give this drama 5 stars! It is second to my list of Korea dramas after "Misa"!

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