The Movie was great, the Drama was Better:
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I came into this one pretty wary. I loved the 2010 movie and I didn't think that expanding it into a drama would be a terribly grand idea. I was entirely wrong though. I ended up watching just after I finished Monstar (sometime mid July), and am just now getting around to review it because I wanted to take my time and give it the full review it deserves. The Summer 2013 drama captures every bit of the movie's quirky charm and develops all of the characters, including several not found in the movie, much more fully, in beautifully subtle and wonderfully attractive ways. I HIGHLY recommend watching it. This is a fantastic series, poignant, adorable, every inch of fabulous imaginable. The mini-plots and arcs are carried over extraordinarily well, the side characters are fully developed and lovable, SooYoung is spunky and sweet, and every single one of the boys around her is much more than just eye-candy.
As a reviewer trying to examine these sorts of things with a critical eye, I feel obligated to have a few complaints about it. There were a few things about Cyrano that bugged me, like certain leaps in logic that were never discussed or characters that went away and then came back angry and then were never spoken of again, but honestly, those are very minor details in the over all scheme of things and aside from the small stuff I have absolutely nothing to whine about. It's nearly disconcerting.
The main Cyrano Crew is fantastic. I wasn't initially sold on Lee JongHyuk as our leading man. He seemed much less charming than I had been thinking ByungHoon should be, but the way his character developed was perfect and the end of episode one I was completely thrilled with the idea of watching him fall for SooYoung's character. He's a great actor and his ByungHoon is just jaded enough to allow for his dismissal of love to be viable without making it implausible or insurmountable.
Speaking of Gong MinYoung, she is as spunky a main character as anyone could ask for. Like in most Kdramas, she does lose a bit of her spunk once her love line gets truly complicated, but she, unlike most heroines, gets her spunk back and is delightfully daring and flirtatious in the later episodes, even as her heart is breaking at ByungHoon's idiocy.
Hong JeonHyeon's character is another fantastic one, he's part of the Flower Four stereotype-cast, but MooJin is much more than just the tall, dark, and silent type. His stoic efficiency is not a lack of understanding his feelings (most of the time) nor is it an inability to express them, it's a choice not to. We see him comfort Arang and develop an attachment to HyeRi in an adorable procedural manner. We also see him rebuke HyeRi towards the end, teaching her how to appropriately deal with her feelings while simultaneously learning how to deal with his own.
Of the Cyrano Crew, Arang is my favorite. He's a beautifully crafted mix of genuine sweetness and self-protective sass. He takes a few leaps out of his comfort zone and each one is heartbreakingly brave. And he's entirely honest very rarely, but in what he's not truthful about, he actually exposes the depth of his character. I really like how subtle his development in. After Ray & SeKyung get together and go away, it seems like he stops evolving, but if you look very carefully, he changes just a bit in every episode. Jo YoonWoo's acting is flawless.
The outsider that must be mentioned is Master, played by the ever-epic Lee ChunHee. His character is incredibly sweet, but plausibly so, even for a retired gangster. He was in the game for the power trip, the thrill, the prowess. When MinYoung gets involved, he develops an understand of the true reward in relationships, the gentle give and take of casual conversation. The reason he doesn't get the girl in the end (aside from the fact that he's the second male lead and therefore never really had a chance) is that he's too unstable. Not in the fighting, gung-ho let's-go-kill-people way, but in the certainty of what he wants. In a question of have your cake or eat it, Master would want to keep it safe. He does really push his side a few times, but by then it's too late and his push does nothing but drive her farther away.
And then of course, as a music geek, I have to mention the OST in all it's flawlessness. The instrumentals keyed in perfectly to the action and were flexible enough to cover all of the emotions in the scenes. I've been using Miss Operation and Supernova as my dash-across-campus for class soundtrack and it's been fabulous. But easily, the best song on the OST is the one I would have even watched had I not been distracted and let the End Credits roll between episode one and two (from then on I purposely let them run, because the track is just that good). Of course, I'm talking about Chance! by Peppertones.
You will be a happier, albeit no less emotionally or psychologically unstable, human being for the act. Totally worth it.