Correction: maybe it’s the politician, and not the politics. (lol) Although the latter is the main factor that pushed our unlikely couple together. I’ve done an earlier First Impression on this show, and since then, I’m happy to report it has been progressing pretty well. And that is despite the threat of the contractual marriage being exposed. Actually, certain characters like Minister Park (aka PM Kwon’s nemisis) probably guessed that the marriage is a sham, but is still disturbed by the genuine affection Prime Minister Kwon has for Da-jung.
Credit it to Lee Beom-soo‘s acting maybe, but Im Yoo-na does have a remarkable on-screen chemistry with him (than with an another actor near her age…I am referring to her lacklustre performance in Love Rain with Jang Guen-suk). And Yoo-na should do more rom-coms than weepies, cos I do like the way she portrays Da-jung’s forthright and most times, impulsive character — the perfect foil for the grumpy straitlaced Prime Minister Kwon.
Kwon and Da-jung bicker like they have at keast a 10-year married relationship under their belts. They argue over the dinner (or breakfast) table on how to bring up the kids, nag each other about their sleeping/ eating/ living patterns. Things which you’d probably notice your mum and dad doing.
And yet, Kwon and Da-jung get this unexplained (to them, only) sexual attraction to each other. Ironically, everyone else (except them) picks up on their charged sexual energy and we have the whole PM’s residence staff tittering behind their backs on having caught them in compromising situations. Which, they of course, have perfectly logical explanations for — like having to stop each other from talking by planting a kiss on the lips? (yeah sure, there are absolutely no other ways to shut that mouth up…)
What really drives the chemistry though, are the small gestures Kwon and Da-jung do for each other. Kwon takes it upon himself to care for his “father-in-law” though he has no obligations to, and he does it without telling Da-jung. Since Da-jung values her father above all else (she entered a contractual marriage to grant him his last wish), learning that Kwon has been keeping an eye on her father’s medical treatments for his brain tumour wiped out all resentment she’d ever had against him.
Likewise, Da-jung’s help in unknotting the thorny relationship Kwon has with his 3 kids also softened him and made him more human. (look out for Lee Beom-soo’s performance with those charged gazes and his softening of facial features when he thinks of/ looks at Da-jung…smexy)
Our Broody Second lead
Yoon Shi-yoon as Enrique in Flower Boys Next Door was bright and playful. In Prime Minister, he plays the angsty second lead, unhappy partly because he can’t get the girl, but also cos he has a personal vendetta against the Prime Minister. Which, in ep13, is revealed to be totally misguided.
[Spoiler alert] Kang In-ho started off with the sole motivation to destroy Kwon, because he assumed Kwon to be partly (or wholley) involved in the car accident which left Kwon’s wife (supposedly) dead and In-ho’s brother to be in a vegetative state. In-ho’s brother had been in love with Na-young (Kwon’s ex-wife) and planned to elope with her but met with that fateful accident.
What In-ho didn’t factor in was meeting Da-jung and falling in love with her. It’d been simpler if he doesn’t like her and can pull her down together with PM Kwon, but it’s a different story when he needs to protect her and she is symbiotically linked to Kwon. And then in ep13, he realised that Na-young is alive…and Kwon likely has no hand in causing that accident to happen. So…oops. (and ouch)
Shi-yoon does a good job in portraying those pained looks and later, anguish, at knowing he has done unjustified bad things behind Kwon’s back. It makes the whole issue about him liking Da-jung even more complicated, now that he feels guilty and sorry towards PM Kwon for his misguided revenge mission.
As a second lead, In-ho’s character is typically more pro-active and sensitive than the lead. However, that “pro-activeness” is shadowed initially by a darker thirst for getting back at PM Kwon. In his earlier action in lending his shoulder to let Da-jung cry on, I feel it is part triggered by seeing PM Kwon walk by instead of merely wanting to comfort Da-jung.
…of waiting for the contractual marriage scandal to leak/ explode. Cos we have several characters now who have much grounds to suspect that the marriage is a sham. Reporter Byun, Editor Go (Da-jung’s ex boss) and Minister Park had circumstantial evidence that Kwon and Da-jung are a couple in name only. However, tricks and ploys to “unearth” the fact have been thwarted so far by Kwon and team’s quick thinking (plus Da-jung’s sincere “acting”).
Then again, we now have an unknown factor which can blow the cover. Undead Na-young (aka PM Kwon’s ex-wife). Turns out she isn’t dead, but has gone into hiding (for unknown reasons) for 7 years. (not sure why, other than we knew she had depression…) And of all the best times, she came when PM Kwon and Da-jung finally admit they do love each other. (yikes)
She will be the biggest threat yet to the “marriage”, cos since the previous wife isn’t dead, that marriage should still be valid, isn’t it? With 5 more eps to go, we can expect some more bumps before the road smooths for our unlikely couple.