What's Up Fox? (16 Episodes)
One night the two old family friends get drunk and wake up in bed together. Go Byeong Hee wants to forget it ever happened, especially since a good marriage prospect has just made an appearance. Unfortunately for her Chul Su has other ideas....
Funny, quirky, and often unusually risque by Korean drama standards, What's Up Fox? is an enjoyable romp from start to finish. Don't miss out.
(From the writer of My Name is Kim Sam Soon).
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Watch Online: Aznv.TV , MySoju , DramaFever
Follow your heart . . . just be happy.
Honestly, I'm not sure what it is about this drama that made me love it as much as I do. It's not exactly phenomenal or anything, and I realize it's the type of drama that most people will either love or hate . . . but for me, even after the credits rolled, I had trouble putting Byeong Hee and Chul Su behind me: I just loved this couple to death. This was in large part due to the wonderful acting and chemistry between its main leads. For once, I found an actor and actress I could really enjoy on equal footing . . . I loved Ko Hyun Jung's character just as much as Chun Jung Myung's (usually I fall in love with the male lead, and become somewhat indifferent to the female, lol).
So what is it about this couple that made me love them so much?
I think it's because it had one of my favorite drama tropes: hot guy obsessively purses girl, while using adorable, childish, jealous antics to win her over (I just love a guy who knows what he wants and will do anything in order to achieve it. Unless of course he's the second male-lead . . . in which case, I despise him with every fiber of my being). And finally, a rare series where the actors and crew actually *know* how to film a kiss scene (there's only so much happy swirly camera angles, and tightly closed lip-locks I can take).
This was definitely a more "mature" take on love and relationships . . . and a much welcome change to the luke-warm romances I've been watching this past year (as much as I loved them overall).
One thing about this drama that worked really well was how realistic the plot felt. All of the "drama" that does unfold is established almost immediately in the very first episode, then explored and expanded upon throughout the rest of the series. By this, I mean the overlying plot points: Byeong Hee's "problem", her past relationship with Chul Su, the ever present age-gap, the potential love rivals, their families, etc. There are some surprises thrown in of course, but for the most part it was nice having a general knowledge of where the plot was headed, without fear of "oh no--incureable illness!" or "holy crap--another birth secret?!" And for once, I wasn't forced to wait 16 episodes for my OTP to get together . . . the plot hit a crescendo and didn't dip, but kept steadily rising right till the end. Plus, this series had already finished airing when I started watching, so I got to marathon the episodes back-to-back without the hassle of having to wait.
I found the characters all likable, and enjoyed how they showed the relationships through the varying age gaps. I even found the storyline with the younger sister and her older "boyfriend" interesting (not creepy, like it probably should have been) . . . and the dynamic between the mother and the younger male employee was fascinating to watch unfold: I could go on and on about the implications of the mother's behavior towards her employee, and what that might say about herself, and her relationship with her daughters . . . but I won't.
As always though, what truly hooked me was watching the relationship between Beong Hee and Chul Soo grow and develop--which, oddly enough--is also what seemed to turn the most people off. If you're uncomfortable with two people dating and falling in love who are 9 years apart (24 and 33) I would definitely steer clear of this series. However, if you're like me and are open-minded about that sort of thing, I think you'll fall in love right along with them. Both actors do a really great job of portraying the uncertainty, the longing, the giddiness, and jealousy that comes with being in love. (And for once, it isn't through the eyes of a teacher-student relationship).
The editing and music were especially strong.: the soundtrack had a lot of variety, and when used, didn't feel like it was randomly thrown in just to enhance a certain scene (the ending song in particular was fantastic!). It was a nice change from other series of this genre which tend to popularize one or two songs and play them over and over again (something I'm presently experiencing with H.I.T., the series Ko Hyun Jung did following this one). Here, this was never a problem. More than once, I'd notice a song in the background, and sigh in relief that it was new and catchy.
Also, I really liked this director. Oftentimes, I'll only take note of a director's work if it's poorly done (BOF -- washed out kiss scene anyone??), but here I was impressed repeatedly, especially the way he/she handled the more intimate scenes (maybe because I had the recently aired You're Beautiful to compare it against). He didn't rely on cheap tricks or lots of camera motion--something I'm eternally thankful for, lol.
Of course, that's not to say this drama was without its flaws: certain things could have been better explained or elaborated upon.
For instance, though I had no problem with the relationship between BH and CS personally, I could see how others might have had issues with their romance. And yet, this problem could have been easily rectified one of two ways: either include more flashbacks, or downplay/eliminate the "brotherly" aspect of their original relationship. The few flashbacks we're given of Chul-Su already addressed this to a point (he obviously didn't see her as another sister) but it would have been nice to see something solely from Byeong Hee's perspective, especially since she's the one who has the most trouble accepting his feelings in the first place. Part of the reason, I think, is that she feels she had a bit of help in raising him (something I feel is probably exaggerated, since there's no real evidence, and his parents died when he was much older).
I think a clever reply to this would have been to give us more evidence of what REALLY happened when they were younger (kind of like what they did in 18 vs 29). To off-play the age vs maturity card, show *him* taking care of her: she falls asleep, show little CS covering her with a blanket; she's sick, show little CS making and bringing her soup; show his sister teasing him about the crush he has on her friend, ect, etc. Little things like that scattered throughout the series would have made the developments later on much more acceptable, and would have shown how someone's perceptions can be wrong (he took care of her just as much as she claimed to take care of him). It would have been cute if it was a bookend that occurred at the end of every episode . . . after all, the few flashbacks we *were* given were wonderful.
Also, it greatly annoyed me that the whole "deja vu" thing went nowhere: I kept expecting them to tie it in somehow with flashbacks of their youth, but they never did . . . if there was ever any real significant between that and the plot, I totally missed it. Oh! And it would have been nice to learn more about the employee Byeong Hee's mother hired . . . every time he was on, I had a feeling he was hiding something; that there was more to him than meets the eye. But nothing significant ever came of it, aside from the fact that she reminded him of his mother (I thought maybe his wife had died, or that there was a significant age difference when they'd married as well, etc).
But really, in the grand scheme of things, these are all small complaints, and ways I felt they could have strengthened/contributed to an already tightly woven story. I even loved the realistic way they handled the ending, even if it did leave me wanting more (in any other drama, I might have been angry--but here, I felt it fit perfectly, especially considering their ages and the opposition they were facing).
In conclusion: I LOVED this drama. It's definitely going in my top 5. So if you want to watch an uplifting, romantic, funny, mature drama about following your heart . . . you can't go wrong with What's Up Fox? ^_^