Popcorn


Reviewed by: sukting

October 02, 2003

Rating: two-point-five

How long
16 episodes

Foreword
A story on people working in a bridal studio. It is quite entertaining to see how they have to coordinate with many sources to make a wedding work. Pleasing the wedding gowns’ designer, finding wedding taking spots and also fixing the banquet can be difficult tasks.

Introduction on characters

1. Li Yong Xu – Song Seung Hun
He is a photographer who is in despair when out of love. He doesn’t treat his work seriously at first to work only part time. However, he is still skilful in looking for beautiful photo taking spots and taking nice pictures.. Thus this impresses his bosses and they try hard to keep him with them.

He dwells too much on the past and doesn’t see his shortcomings. He later knows that Mei Yan leaves him because he lacks a sense of responsibility and can’t give her security. He changes for the better and later loves Xian Xiu with all his heart. Although their happiness is short-lived, he has managed to make her happy in her last days.

Many don’t like this serial which Seung Hun shot after ‘Endless Love’. They are too used to his former refined image and have problems accepting his new image in here. Yong Xu is a motorist, wears checked clothes and has very short-cropped hair. Moreover, he can be so unreasonable and bad-tempered. I actually find his acting quite okay in here although it was not better in the former serial. An actor should make changes and he has managed to try it out.

2. Ying Xian Xiu – Jin Gui Li
Xian Xiu looks strong in protecting her brother. But she is actually very weak when coming to terms with her illness. However, Yong Xu gives her the confidence to accept his love and she becomes stronger.

She is quite pretty and acts quite well in scenes where they quarrel. She can be gentle and yet also fierce too! She doesn’t rely only on her looks unlike some actresses who are too self-conscious.

3. Wu Dong Shi – Quan Hai Xiao
He is a nice boss who gives in and helps his colleagues when they are in trouble. He recognizes talent and always wants the best in all assignments. That is why all are willing to work for him.

4. Yin Cheng Zhu – Zheng Jun
He is disabled but he is very cheerful. He is very protective towards his sister as he knows that she worries for him and treats him well. He doesn’t mind Xiu Zhen’s complicated past and brings her on the right path. His character also gives insight into the difficulties that the handicap face in their daily lives. This tells us to be more considerate to them.

5. Xiu Zhen – Jin Run Qin
She works in a video shop and gets to know Cheng Zhu when he borrows VCDs from her shop. She is a troubled teenager and can be rebellious. She is a heavy chain- smoker but kicks the habit after knowing him. He teaches her how to love and thus wins her over in the end.

6. Pei Gui Shun – Li Zhu Jing
Another boss of the bridal studio who has very high standards in choosing her life partner. She marries Dong Shi after realizing that looks aren’t that important.

Story

Yong Xu rushes to the airport to fetch his friend and discovers that he has forgotten to bring his money. He sees Xian Xiu on the way to flag a cab. So this thick-skinned man insists on getting into the cab with her. Both start to quarrel with each other.

Yong Xu later joins a bridal studio on the recommendation of his friend, Dong Shi. This is also Xian Xiu’s workplace. Both not only see each other often, they are forced to pair up as partners to take photos for wedding couples.

One day, Xian Xiu makes a mistake and two models don’t turn up on their company’s promotion day. The company wants the two to be the models. This is the first time both wear the bridal cltohes. Xian Xiu is very nervous on stage. Yong Xu helps her on the way so the promotion is a success.

On another occasion, Yong Xu’s friends are getting married. Yong Xu requests Xian Xiu to bring the bridal stuff to do the shooting free for them. Xian Xiu refuses but agrees later after knowing that the couple are hearing-impaired. She even suggests an elaborate wedding for them. To make it work, both try to find the best bridal dress, flowers and place for rental. They give their two friends the best memories and both also get to know each other better.

One day, Yong Xu finds out that the next couple whom he is going to take photos for is his ex-lover, Mei Yan and his eldest brother, whom he hates most. After the photo session, he feels very depressed and decides to quit. He goes to work in a newspaper agency and in a commercial photo shoot, he asks Xian Xiu’s brother, Cheng Zhu to be his model. But because of his superior’s pressure, the photo is never published.

Xian Xiu thinks that he is making fun of Cheng Zhu because he is disabled. She quarrels with him and he quarrels with his boss. When he finds out that his present job is due to his brother’s help, he is so angry that he quits again. Xian Xiu knows about it and looks for him, but finds him with Mei Yan. She leaves in disappointment. Mei Yan advises Yong Xu’s brother to apologise to Yong Xu.

He goes and finds Mei Yan’s note to Yong Xu under Yong Xu’s door. He suspects that both are not as simple as classmates as she claims. So the two brothers quarrel again. Yong Xu calls Xian Xiu but she leaves her handphone in the cab. Xian Xiu listens to Mei Yan’s advice and arranges for Yong Xu to meet her at home. But this man waits for her at the basketball court and doesn’t hear the sms.

The next day, Xian Xiu gets the message and goes to his home. Yong Xu is about to cheer himself up by going on a holiday when he sees her and jumps off the cab. Both settle their differences and he returns to work in the bridal studio. Cheng Zhu meets his ex-classmate, Xiu Zhen so he recommends her to work in the bridal studio. Mei Yan finally gets married to Yong Xu’s brother so he gives them his best wishes.

Xian Xiu goes for a checkup and knows that she suffers from leukaemia. She will not live longer than 6 months. She keeps it from the rest and stays in the hospital for 3 days to start her therapy session. When she sees the love cards that Yong Xu prepares for her at home after discharge, she cries. She is afraid to give him misery so she avoids him at work. Yong Xu feels that her behaviour is weird but still gives her 3 days to consider his wedding proposal. Xian Xiu knows that her treatment has failed and rejects him. He feels that she is toying with his feelings and resigns.

When he is packing his things, he receives Xiu Zhen’s call and knows that Xian Xiu has fainted at home. He rushes to the hospital and knows about her illness. The doctor tells him not to let her know that he is already notified. To let Xian Xiu work in peace, he agrees not to mention marriage to her again.

Cheng Zhu’s professor recommends him to study overseas. Xian Xiu agrees to it reluctantly. But Xiu Zhen and Yong Xu oppose strongly. Cheng Zhu even has a heated argument with Yong Xu. Xiu Zhen tells him the truth in the end. He sympathsizes with his sister and is angry that Xiu Zhen keeps it from him.

Xian Xiu does not wish to be a burden to others so she leaves quietly. The three look around for her anxiously. Yong Xu finally finds her and she agrees to return to Seoul with him. But she begs him not to tell her condition to others. Xiu Zhen decides to get engaged to Cheng Zhu. Xian Xiu tells her to reconsider. But she says that both of them are inseparable. She loves him and is not pitying him. Xian Xiu agrees and holds the session for them.

Yong Xu proposes to Xian Xiu again, but is rejected. When he knows that the company is going to hold a wedding promotion again, he then tells Dong Shi to let both of them be the models again. All get to know her illness and agrees to help Yong Xu in his wedding proposal.

In the wedding music playing session, the couple walks into the hall. Xian Xiu knows that this is only a ‘rehearsal’ but is still very touched. When both exchange rings, Yong Xu puts on the ring on her finger and tells her that the wedding is a real one. They have their honeymoon on Jiju island. Xian Xiu gets him to take pictures for her. Seeing that the colour of her cheeks fade, he completes his mission in difficulty to capture her last smiles.

Two years later, Cheng Zhu works in a big company. Yong Xu is now a well-known photographer. His work ‘Xian Xiu’s last smile’ is made into a big commercial poster and hangs in all MRTs and bus stops. Xian Xiu’s smiles will always accompany all of them.

Conclusion

It is not said why it is named ‘popcorn’ in English. Is it because Yong Xu and Xian Xiu always quarrel and go ‘pop’ like the popcorn? The serial has another Chinese name which is more appropriate -- ‘I do’. But I guess it is too mushy to write in English so the producer doesn’t use it.

The story is too predictable. I do like the change of Seung Hun's outlook in here. He lets us see another side of him. But I think Gui Li matches Seung Hun better in looks than with Hae Gyo. She has an on-screen charisma. They look great in the wedding costumes.

In fact, all designs of the wedding gowns are very pretty in this serial. Unfortunately, the ending is a sad one. It seems that Koreans like all these endings these days. I find it boring. Why not give us a happy wedding to signify a happy ending?

Sukting's Ratings :

On acting : * * 1/2 (Scale of 5)

On story : * * 1/2 (Scale of 5)

Screenshots:
http://popcorn.sbs.co.kr/


Add your own review and become a featured critic on spcnet.tv!

Or, add your comments below:





Advertise on SPCNET.TV



Shop Asian Fashion at YesStyle