A Happy New Year’s Eve to our readers, and thank you for sticking around with us for the last 2 years. 🙂
Maybe it’s the New Year’s mood, but kdramas lately (or those i’m watching) are steering away from bleak and gloomy. Venus feels like ep16 actually, with all the feel-good closures and resolutions. Some relationships are mended, others are re-valued — even though it takes a horrific road accident to make them happen.
The idea of mending, progressing towards “health” is a repeated motif in Venus, which other than its title, invites us to look beyond skin deep. From Joo-eun’s struggle to lose weight not for vanity sake, but to control her hyperthyroidism to having prototype greedy, villainous Uncle reining in his horses when he realises that his only family (sister, nephew) has zero interest in taking over Gahong and its riches.
I find it rare that Venus gives us characters like Mdm Choi and Young-joon, whom in other kdramas would play the scheming stepmom + her angsty, jealous son who try their best to rob the proper Prince of his throne — only to have them not interested in the competition in the first place. Leaving Uncle, whose claim to Gahong is even flimsier than the step-mother/child pair, to play the schemer. And even Uncle backs out in the end, though you can still see he is angry that the Lee family has mistreated his sister and his nephew.
Which makes me…kinda like this small family (and hate Grandma Lee). I can fully empathise with Uncle — he has the best interest of his sis and nephew at heart, and all his scheming is not for his own personal greed (after all, he gives up when they tell him they are not interested), but to give his sis a proper “name” in Gahong. She is rather pitiful there, being not-a-daughter-in-law, but a slightly higher status butler/servant to Grandma. Young-hoon probably had it much worse. People are likely to snigger behind his back as the “charity kid” who rides on Gahong’s riches for his education and living.
And while we are at the topic of “villain”, the other potential one — aka the second female lead bitch — who throughout Venus has vacillated between being despicable to pitiful finally decides to become actually likeable. What we have been waiting for finally happens — the showdown between Joo-eun and Soo-jin. It clears the misunderstandings the two have between each other and finally heals their frenemy-friendship. Ironically both see each other’s issue as “small” and too insignificant to cause a rift (Soo-jin is pissed with Joo-eun for that failed blind date, and Joo-eun is annoyed that Soo-jin hasn’t contacted her all these years). But like Soo-jin puts it, sometimes to the person involved, the “insignificant” feels like a matter of Life and Death.
Lastly, we have an actual healing process that takes place in eps13/14 — that of Young-ho, who braves through the pain of a year-long rehab physiotherapies to be able to stand and walk again. The roles are reversed this time: instead of Young-ho applying first aid on Joo-eun and/or encouraging her in her healing process, it is Joo-eun now who passes the plaster to him literally and metaphorically, reminding him that she is there waiting for him to get well.
Unfortunately, there may still be some more healing to do in the closure eps — that with Grandma Lee. She needs to realise that even though Mdm Choi is unrelated to her, it doesn’t negate the real warmth and care she has shown to an old lady for years. And of cos, we need to find out how Joo-eun will fit into the Gahong family.