The last episode for the re-run of Dal-Ja’s Spring on QTV11 aired at 11am yesterday, September 19. Regular readers of my blog might be wondering why I would bother to take note of this – especially with He’s Beautiful and East of Eden currently airing among others. Well, it’s simply because Dal-Ja’s Spring is a good if not a great K-Drama.
The title of this romantic comedy is taken from its lead character, Dal-Ja (played by Park Chae-Rim from All About Eve). She is a 33 year-old bachelorette obsessed with getting married. She initially develops a really loooong term crush on her playboy officemate Carl (Gong Hyung-Jin). When she finally musters the courage to confess her feelings, he admits that he has waited years for her to say that. Dal-Ja and Carl start a formal relationship but her relative inexperience enables the crafty playgirl Cynthia (Lee Hye-Young) to steal Carl away.
Enraged by this betrayal, Dal-Ja hires Philip (Lee Min-Ki) to be her fake boyfriend. He’s the perfect guy for the job since not only is he tall, handsome, and mysterious – he’s also several years younger than Dal-Ja! As part of their 1-month contract, Philip teaches Dal-Ja how to deal with guys. But what he doesn’t realize is that he is also teaching Dal-Ja how to really fall in love for the first time.
This drama is really worth watching. In a way, it reminds me a lot of the best K-Drama of all time, My Name Is Kim Sam-Soon, because of its theme about middle-aged women hungry for marriage. Like Kim Sam-Soon, Dalja is totally unaware of how attractive she is. There is also the similar use of the “love contract” as a way to bind the leads together (we all know how dangerous that can be and where it usually leads). Plus the chemistry of the older female lead and younger male lead, which ensures a sure-fire hit. But what makes Dal-Ja’s Spring different from Kim Sam-Soon is how it relies more on the realistic situation of the “innocent” older woman for comedic effect rather than just relying on the comedic timing of the actress (like Kim Sun-Ah in MNKSS). I especially like how the drama humorously presented the naivety of Dal-Ja when asked about how she can seduce guys (a must-see) – she does everything including play footsie under the table!
It’s also nice to see the older woman getting more attention from other guys (three to be precise). It shows that an older woman can actually be quite attractive minus the bad make-up (I’m not kidding!).
On the romantic part, my favorite scene in the drama is when Dal-Ja dressed up (in a plunging sexy dress) and prepared a lavish dinner for Philip. He totally dismisses all this much to her disappointment. But her heart skips a beat when he suddenly explains – “kahit naka-jeans ka lang, o kahit ano pa suot mo, kahit wala ka pang hilamos, I will still like you!” (Even if you’re just in jeans, or whatever you wear, even if you don’t wash your face, I will still like you!)
I can hear the girls swooning now.
Thanks to chibimikki for the fan video.