After the disaster that was Big, I swore to myself that I would never watch another Hong Sisters drama. However, on a whim I decided to break that promise to myself, and surprisingly I don’t regret it. Delightful Girl Choon Hyang was the best drama I have seen in quite some time, easily making my top five. I have been asking myself “What makes this drama so special?” and I believe I have narrowed it down to 3 main elements, the first being Choon Hyang herself. Too many recent dramas have helpless, ditzy female leads that seem to not be able to stand on their own two feet. Choon Hyang however, is quite a formidable woman. Comparable to my favorite female lead Go Eun Chan of Coffee Prince, Choon Hyang comes from a poor single parent household. She attends high school, is the top of her class, and still manages to work several part time jobs to save up for her own college tuition. She is mostly cheerful and positive despite all her challenges. Though I hate that ultimately she is not able to pursue her education and ends up being another designer, in this case of accessories. The second element is the actual presentation of the drama. In all actuality the the plot is not so different from other dramas of the time, in fact it is very similar to Goong (minus the royal element). However, they give the show a fun and playful vibe with all the quirky humor, asides, and special effects. It often had the feel of a comic book, and in some ways had the same feel as the recent American movie, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. For a long time fan of anime, comic books, and manga like me, this was a perfect fit.
The third element is the dynamic between the leads. Instead of constantly brooding ( which don’t get me wrong they do their fair share), they are playful and light hearted and Mong Ryong doesn’t force Choon Hyang to be anything but her strong and independent self.
Overall, though Delightful Girl Choon Hyang had many of the same plot devices as other dramas (conniving second leads, meddling mothers, and giant misunderstandings) it’s all the little details and the likability of the leads (not to mention Mong Ryong’ s father who is awesome) that set this drama apart and make it, well an utter delight to watch. I give it 5 of 5 stars!