We’re all familiar with those Kdramas where a girl, for some reason or another, masquerades as a man. Sometimes it happens very accidentally (like in Coffee Prince). Someone gets the wrong idea and as long as people think it’s true, there just may be a big pay off for the misunderstood person if they go along with the misconception. And so it is with Jeon Jin-Ho in the romantic Kdrama Personal Taste.
Jin-Ho is a talented, young architect whose tiny company is struggling to survive. He can pull his company out of financial trouble by landing the contract for a big art project. But the competition is stiff and Ji-Ho is up against a bigger, more well-known company owned by the man who stole everything from his deceased father. Jin-Ho gets a tip that the design the people are looking for is patterned after a specific house, called Snaggojae, that very few people have even been inside of. Gae-In, the daughter of the owner of the house, is desperate for money so she decides to put one room up for rent. Bingo! Now there’s a chance for Jin-Ho to get in but one thing stands in his way – there’s no way Gae-In will live with a man. But Jin-Ho has a way around that. He decides to take advantage of a misunderstanding about him being gay so he can rent the room. And now he’s in! But what happens when kindhearted Gae-In begins to fall for her best friend – whom she thinks is gay?
I absolutely adore Lee Min-Ho. He’s a very talented, versatile actor who never fails to bring to life the character he portrays. From action/adventure in City Hunter, to historical drama in Faith, to young romance in The Heirs, Lee Min-Ho can play, equally well, any genre thrown at him. He certainly does not disappoint us with his performance as the serious, workaholic, architect, Jeon Jin-Ho. He shows us that even though Jin-Ho is focused and solemn he is still capable of a smile and a bit of romance here and there.
Son Ye-Jin’s character, Gae-In, is much more likable than the indecisive heart transplant recipient she plays in Summer Scent. Ye-Jin just has a passive, sweetheart look about her which fits Gae-In perfectly. Gae-In’s mother died when she was very young so she was raised by her emotionally distant father. She’s a talented furniture designer who desperately wants her father’s love and approval. Her kind heart has turned her into a victim a couple times but she says she’d rather choose to trust even if it means her getting hurt a hundred times.
Kim In-He is Gae-In’s selfish, conniving, traitor friend played by Wang Ji-Hye. She’s really good at playing a black-hearted wench. (Surprisingly, though, she shows us her fun, cute side in Protect the Boss.)
Kim Ji-Suk plays the part of Gae-In’s ex-boyfriend, Han Chang-Ryeol, who realizes a little too late what a gem he gave up.
Gae-In’s faithful friend is Lee Young-Sun, played by Jo Eun-Ji. She’s the type of friend everyone needs. She’d walk a million miles to help a pal and she’s just the kind of person you want on your side if there’s going to be a fight.
Jung Sung-Hwa plays No Sang-Jun, Jin-Ho’s right hand man. He’s willing to do whatever it takes to help Jin-Ho win the art project contract, including posing as his lover. His perception of being gay is so funny… WAY overboard but that’s what’s so hilarious. He’s just darling!
The soundtrack has several memorable songs on it… Dropping Rain, Can’t Believe It, Like A Fool, My Heart Is Touched, all great songs you’ll find yourself humming throughout the 16 hours the show is on. If you’re curious, you can find each of them on YouTube. Depression of the Director is a beautiful instrumental song that features an acoustic guitar.
As for scenery, Gae-In’s house is the best in the whole show. It’s an old fashioned traditional style Korean home with a modern flair to it. I found it very appealing until I realized that it would be just like living in a glorified tent. It’s living indoors, outdoors. How do you not freeze in the winter? The big thing about the house, that is so important to the plot, is that it had been safeguarded from the rest of the world. No one was allowed in, and pictures couldn’t even be taken inside the house. The whole reason Jin-Ho had to pretend he was gay was so he could get inside the house to look around. And yet the two guys that work for Jin-Ho, the young girl who has a crush on him, Jin-Ho’s mom, and the director of the art gallery are all people who went inside the place. What? Hey, Mr. Writer, did you even realize you had people coming and going from a house that was off limits to the public? Major goof up! That really bothered me but I loved watching Gae-In and Jin-Ho’s relationship unfold so much that I overlooked that major plot flaw.
This Kdrama is a fun, romantic romp that keeps our interest from start to finish. I enjoyed it enough to watch it three times and I’m willing to bet it will suit your Personal Taste, as well.
Fun relationship between Jin-Ho and Gae-In
No Sang-Jun’s silly way of acting gay
Sanggojae (Gae-In’s house)
Too many people were in and out of a house that was supposed to be kept from the public