I didn’t intend to watch a relatively new drama on a public holiday, because what if I really REALLY liked it and my fingers itch to blog about it?
Does this give you an indication of the KDrama manhole I just tripped into?
Against my better judgment, I began Episode 1 of Valid Love, primarily out of my girl-crush on Lee Shi Young who has portrayed memorable characters in KBS 2′ s Wild Romance and the funny How to Use Guys with Secret Tips movie. I was also curious to see if there was any acting progression for the inhumanly beautiful model/ actor, Lee Soo Hyuk who has almost always played cold but exceptionally handsome beings.
Premise of this story: Girl (Il Ri) falls in deep crush with part-time teacher (Hee Tae) who tried his best to keep vapid fangirl away. However, they are fated to meet after a few years and they get married. She ends up being the peacekeeper during volatile episodes between her parents-in-law, and personal caretaker to her paralyzed sister-in-law. However, she is also a painter/ contractor who earns for a living while her husband is away at sea fulfilling his job as a marine biologist.
Seven years have passed and they are comfortable in their marital routine, until one day when Il Ri works on a short project at a Carpenter’s workshop in her neighborhood…
Hee Tae voiceover:
My wife found another poem, another side dish.
IR: It was hanging here. (Who are you? -KJ) Get dressed first. (How’d you get in here? – KJ) By chance, did you call for a painter? (They didn’t say it was a woman – KJ) They probably didn’t say it was a man either. Why? Are you displeased because I’m a woman? Should I call a man?
KJ: Can you finish in two days?
IR: What?! Finish all this in two days? Alone? (No, the two of us – KJ) Excuse me, you’ve never hired a painter, have you? (So? – KJ) We usually work in teams of three or four. The painting company gives us assignments. But Soo Young… Oh yeah, you know Jung Soo Young? The cafe I like – (Get to the point – KJ) I don’t know how you know her, but Soo Young told me to come. To come alone and to think of it as a part-time job.
It was close to home, so I thought it was easy work. That’s why I came. But this place has to be over 1000 sqft. And this is all discolored. It has to be sanded and primed. It’ll take over a day just to lay the foundation. And this wall, the ceiling… won’t it fall? And the floor. What will you do? It’ll take at least 5 days to take care of all of this.
KJ: Okay then.
IR: 18 regular water-based and oil-based paint roller jobs. Add $50 for high ceilings and lots of steel, $250 for epoxy and separate pay for food. So, should I start working?… Or forget it. Using a calculator?
KJ: $200 including food cost and finish in three days.
IR: I can’t finish in three days.
KJ: I’m a carpenter. I can paint too. I just don’t have time. So, I’m hiring you.
IR: Then we’ll share the workload. Four days?
KJ: Okay, let’s do that.
IR: There may be additional fees based on circumstances. I start work at 9am. An hour lunch break at noon and a coffee break of 30 minutes in the afternoon. End work at 5pm. Even if I’m not done in four days, I’m putting my brush down at 5pm. Where should I change? By chance, do you have a problem? … Never mind.
Working in close proximity with Carpenter Kim, she naturally becomes more aware of his physical presence. However, she doesn’t even dream of standing near that invisible line because she has never thought of any other men besides her husband after all these years.
Hee Tae voiceover:
Eveyrthing was ready. Like it was in preparation for that day. The days were hot for late autumn. My wife smelled an unfamiliar man’s scent. The scent of sweat. The smell was unpleasant at first. But she said she kept remembering it. While I was drunk on the ocean smell, my wife was getting used to the unfamiliar scent.
Written by Kim Do Woo, who also gave us the classic My Name is Kim Sam Soon, Valid Love presents a real-life dilemma that can happen to anyone.
And I have a feeling this drama will unfold in an unconventionally interesting way.