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I discovered this great drama last Wednesday.

P   L   O   T

Ae Jung was once the most popular member of girl band The National Treasure Girls. However 10 years ago the band broke up and she received most of the blame. Despite her warm personality her career has suffered ever since and she now spends her time fighting for air time on variety shows. Dokko Jin is a top movie star at the height of his career.

The two meet and become involved in each other’s careers. Yoon Pil Joo is a doctor of oriental medicine who has no interest in the entertainment industry but agrees to make a dating show. Dokko Jin helps get Ae Jung a role on a new reality show called Couple Making. Pil Joo is the bachelor being set up on Couple Making. Both men fall for Ae Jung both off and on the screen (source: dramawiki).

I’ll just add something. The beginning of the series (or the connection bet. the two leads) started 10 years prior to the present when Goo Ae Jung was still a member of the now defunct National Treasures. Dok Go Jin meanwhile (this was 10 years ago) underwent a heart surgery (replacing his heart with an artificial one). While the surgery was ongoing, the doctor played National Treasures’ song. Back at the present, DGJ ang GAJ paths meet. It was when DGJ heard GAJ ringtone where their story started. For some unknown reason, DGJ heartbeat started to race (intially it was because of the song), and everytime he sees GAJ, the same thing happens again…

T   H   O   U   G   H   T   S

I have heard (or rather read) about this drama before but somehow I did not dig the story line (more of I did not pay attention).

And so one friend of mine in FB praised this series which lead me to reconsider it. I am so happy I did.

TBH, up until episode two, I thought that the story was about the leads starring in a reality show similar to We Got Married. I also thought that Dok Go Jin and Goo Ae Jung were supposed to be the pair in that reality show. I was starting to wonder where Yoon Pil Joo will fit in. Forgive my mistakes, clearly I was not paying attention to what I read on the net xD

1. Initial Impression – I’ll be frank in saying that the three main characters in this series were relatively unknown to me at the start. The only one I knew was Kang Se Ri (because of her role in Secret Garden). Initially, I was a bit skeptical towards Cha Seung Won (Dok Go) because he looked a bit old and I couldn’t find something to like about him (yet). Yoon Kye Sang (Pil Joo) reminded me of Yesung and Seung Ho (haha, I’m weird that way) but I knew that I definitely like Gong Hye Jin (Goo Ae Jung) – she’s so pretty and so good to look at.

2. EpisodesThe Greatest Love surprised me big time. I have laughed at almost all the episodes (currently there are 14). It is just pure craziness, I thought that at some point I would die laughing. I was not bored. Not only did it made me laugh, it also made my heart beat crazily and it had also made me cry a lot (especially the latter episodes)

3. Story – I love everything about the story. I love how Ae Jung is at the lowest of her career at the start and how she slowly redeems herself.

It is also nice for her to meet someone like Dok Go, who despite of being the most well known actor in Korea is also as conceited as anyone can be. Throw in a perfect non-showbiz doctor like Pil Joo in the scene and PRESTO! you have an amazing love triangle. What makes it interesting for me is Dok Go’s feelings for Ae Jung. It started early in the series (I had my doubts about it before) and it was nice seeing how he dealt with it. In line with that it’s amazing that given Dok Go’s status, Ae Jung did not instantly fall in love with him and that it is Dok Go who give in to his feelings.  Another thing, although it brings me eternal sadness, I like how they incorporated Dok Go’s heart problems in the story, it gives more meaning, sense, and excitement to the audience.

(add’l thoughts) The story gives us a view on the entertainment world. Not only the actors’ world but also the music industry. The fact that Ae Jung belonged to a girl group who debuted 10 years prior brought me a sense of nostalgia. It reminded me of the old kpop days (though I was not a fan then), to be precise it reminded me of Shinhwa (funny how Kye Sang’s a member of GOD). Ae Jung’s plight as a D-star in the present (from being uber famous before) and her struggles made me sympathize with her more and it also made me hate the new generation of kpop stars (LOL. It’s just in the story!). Ae Jung’s story is more of the ugly duckling type (a weakness of mine) and the thought that Dok Go Jin chooses her and ONLY her (there are a lot of more famous and prettier stars) solidified my love for DGJ, the same goes for Pil Joo.

4. Characters – I don’t know who I love more: Ae Jung or Dok Go. Or should I love them equally? Ae Jung’s spunk won me over but at the same time Dok Go’s humor, persistence, wit, craziness, confidence, and childishness made me cherish him. Shall I say that I am in love with Cha Seung Won now? Man, the guy’s like 40 (almost half my age) but he’s got the charm of a man in his 20s, he’s totally hot, funny and a great actor. Ae Jung is for Dok Go and v.v. The chemistry’s there! Though I also like Pil Joo and Ae Jung but AeJin first above all else.

Most hated characters: It’s a tie between the ex-manager and Se Ri (Pil Joo’s mom is close behind). I would like to kill that ex-manager if I were given the chance. As for Se Ri, even if she has a change of heart in the last two episodes, my opinion of her would not change, I still hate her and I would not want her to end up with Pil Joo! Can you feel my anger? HAHA

4. OH THE DRAMA/THE GREATEST LOVE – Two episodes left until TGL’s end. I am hoping DGJ would not die. That will be mean right? Not only for Ae Jung but to us the fans as well (how many liters of tears will I shed by then?). Almost all of the Hong Sisters dramas have happy endings, well except for Hong Gil Dong, let’s all hope that it (the tragic ending) will end with HGD ne?

What, for you, is the greatest love? Ae Jung showed her greatest love for all her loved ones, even if it meant suffering and living in constant shame. The greatest love for Dok Go Jin is protecting Ae Jung with his life, and caring about no one else, not even his status as a star.

5. Character Development – the greatest thing about this series is the characters’ development, Ae Jung and Dok Go’s to be precise (I will focus more on Dok Go). It is nice to see a self-centered guy like him find his focus and purpose in living. From being an annoying guy he developed into a loving, caring and selfless person.

He may be a perfect guy in the eyes of his fans but deep down inside, he has his flaws, flaws that I find endearing (as much as irritating at some point). Don’t you find it heart wrenching that he is willing to give up his popularity (and he is willing to be hated by the netizens) for Ae Jung? That he is willing to not go to Hollywood (and “protect humanity”) just to protect the one person he cared most? What a difference from the Dok Go Jin who even bribed a famous Hollywood director just to get a role in a film. As I watched them developed, I felt a sense of contentment myself. I love how the writers constructed their personalities.

6. Other Thoughts – There were a lot of cameos! I almost died at Lee Seung Gi’s part! So funny! And Brian Joo’s part too. LOL. I like how they constantly refers to super heroes and how DGJ is likened to Iron Man.

I have a lot of favorite parts. One is the rose giving part, another is when Ae Jung is wearing the frog costume. I love when DGJ says Ding Dong and when he and Hyung Kyu interacts.

7. Why watch? – You’ll miss a lot if you don’t =D Don’t be dissuaded if you think the actors are a bit old. Once you start watching, the age difference will be the least of your concern. It has been long since I have laughed as much as I have in a drama (with the exception of Secret Garden). The last I can think of is The Last Scandal (In My Life?). Come to think of it, it’s also about an actor :))

I’ll add more when this series finishes.

——–

So it’s finally done. I have mixed feelings. I AM happy that we all got the happy ending we wished for but I felt that the last two episodes were a bit rushed. I expected the surgery scene to be a bit longer (‘coz I want to cry, haha) and the wedding to be shown fully (they spent a lot for Ae Jung’s wedding gown so why waste it?). Also, as observed by other reviewers, there were a lot of issues that were not touched upon again (just like Mina’s involvement, I thought it will play a significant part in the story)

However, I’m at least satisfied on how it went on. I cried at Dokgo Jin’s televised confession (I love that scene + Ae Jung’s reaction) and I love the ending, seeing Dokgo Jin’s fatherly side.