air date: 6.4.2012 through 7.24.2012
number of eps: 16
I watched it: marathoned the beginning, caught the middle to end live
In a nutshell: The drama that should have been awesome. A teenage boy and a man get into a car accident + boy wakes up in man’s body + boy’s teacher-crush is man’s fiancé = hilarious shenanigans. And also some poignancy as the boy grows up a little and maybe the man learns how to unwind and not suppress his inner-child. Or something. We’ve all seen Freaky Friday, or the movie that gave this drama its name, Big. We get it. Unfortunately (and kind of shockingly), the writers did not. All shiny surface (premise), but no depth (story-logic, character-logic, logic-logic) it was like watching a remote-controlled plane crash into a tree. (A toy plane, of course. no people were hurt in the process of this metaphor.) You kept expecting the controller to turn the plane (surely they can see the ginormous tree!), maybe even convinced yourself they knew what they were doing (ooh, I bet they’re going to steer it under the branches!), but in the end: crash. And everyone sighs over the loss of a really cool looking plane. And wonders, how did they not see that tree?!?
A few more thoughts: But seriously though, it really, really should have been awesome. It was written by the Hong sisters — who have enough of a cult-following that they’re routinely referred to as “the Hong sisters” and everyone knows who you’re talking about. (i.e. “Which of the Hong sisters’ dramas is your favorite?” just fyi: Best Love) It starred Gong Yoo and Lee Min-jung, who are both amazing and adorable and I was so excited they were going to be amazing and adorable together. And honestly, they were amazing and adorable together. It was part of what made the hot mess so… messy. You could see the potential. So the issue was the writing — but it was worse than mere bad writing. Because the characters themselves were interesting — with backgrounds and issues that had all these potential threads that could have woven into something amazing and… it didn’t.
Basically, Big is what happens when talented writers turn out a dud. There’s a lesson in that.