Shin Min-ah is so much more attractive (even in her fake-chubby state) than 3 guys stuck on a remote fishing island that I finished Venus way before watching Three. But I still held on to my horses and not write the commentary before the week is up — otherwise, I’d have nothing to post this week. 😦 (i hate it when there’s a darth in good dramas)
Venus and Reply have become my 2 most favourite shows in this season (er, not that i have loadsa choices). Their commonality — character(s) who are so endearing you immediately identify with them and want them to succeed. And yes, Joo-eun (in her chubby form) is so attractive, I cannot resist dumping Cha Seung-won et. al. to watch Venus. 😛
I do like how Venus’ narrative is not going down the route of the heroine getting the requisite makeover so that she can be “perfect” or “socially acceptable”. Rather, Joo-eun needs to lose weight, cos of her health. Hyperthyroidism, although not exactly life-threatening in the short term, can lead to downstream serious health problems if left untreated.
In more ways than one, Joo-eun doesn’t need to shed kilos to feel “accepted”. Ironically, her frenemy — Soo-jin, who holds on to the conventional ideal of slim = pretty = popular = high self esteem, is let down again and again by Woo-shik, Joo-eun and even herself. Woo-shik runs to Joo-eun the moment he sees her collapse on TV. Joo-eun, even in her “unattractive, fatty state” attracts 3 new hunks who revolves around her like mini satellites , and lastly, Soo-jin herself unconsciously dashes to the hospital to see Joo-eun. In juz 4eps, Venus has thrown the idea of Beauty and beautiful people having more friends and enjoying a better life out of the window.
While Joo-eun isn’t exactly ugly, her main source of attraction lies in her frankness and self-awareness, coupled with her tenacity like that of a bulldog. She treats everyone equally, and sees past their outer exteriors to the person inside. That was why she befriended lonely Soo-jin in the past, when others had ignored or ridiculed the “fatty genius” of Law School. Which is also why Joo-eun has a band of new hunky friends, of which 2 of them (Young-ho and Joon-sung) aren’t exactly the friendliest people around. But she manages to crack even their tough exteriors and get them to be on her team.
Young-ho, despite his sullen, reticent character, proves to be the most sensitive among the 3 guys. While Joon-sung and Ji-woong see Joo-eun as someone whom they need to “repay” a guilt debt to, Young-ho finds Joo-eun more of an enigma, and someone whom he needs to learn something from. He recognises that unlike himself, Joo-eun isn’t one to shirk from pain or bad situations. She faces the problem head on, tackles it, and breaks it down by sheer will. And while doing this, Joo-eun never loses faith that her friends are behind backing her up.
This is very unlike how Young-ho operates. He keeps his cards close to his chest — I doubt even his 2 buddies really know the entirety of his complicated family problems. Young-ho’s modus operandi is juz to turn and look the other way whenever he is cornered. Like how he caves when his Grandma forcibly orders him back, and backs away again, when he senses his dad is unhappy about his return to “usurp” the corporate throne. Because he never wants to look at his issues head on, Young-ho never makes them a priority and doesn’t think it “necessary” to tell his buddies about them.
Until he meets Joo-eun. She will likely rub off some of her courage on to him. And although I do not really like corporate slants in any narratives, I do look forward to Young-ho’s growth.