~ Discussion on the 20-something age gap between the My Ahjussi leads by Soompiers ~
I see. I can’t disagree.
Well, just because it isn’t a romance drama doesn’t mean it can’t have romance in it.
Whether romance between the leads is allowed to flower, or left as a one-sided infatuation, it’s still a wonderful drama that speaks volumes to the human condition.
There’s no doubt that DH’s response to J’A’s confession is fascinating. He’s not actively discouraging her overtures… neither is he encouraging them. Except that he seems to be when he continues treating her with respect. I love the dynamic and for me, it’s the biggest mystery of all… trying to get inside DH’s complex headspace.
The reason why I don’t actively recommend inter-generational relationships in RL isn’t just about age necessarily but more about life experiences and the gulf that potentially exists. The maturity of the individuals involved play a part as well. But all the issues that exist in inter-generational relationships also exist in a cross-cultural one.
However, you’ve noted, in the drama the leads seem to have a lot more in common in terms of values and needs than not.
About the inter-generational relationship between Park Dong Hoon and Lee Ji An, I think it’s precisely for the reasons you stated above that the writer chose to make them have that significant age gap. As you said, in such a situation, there are so many challenges and just too many possible gaps that may be insurmountable. Not that they can’t but more often than not, it’s difficult to do so. It takes a lot of maturity, open-mindedness, patience and a whole lot of love.
Yet in spite of that, these two people found that they connect. To both their trepidation, as a matter of fact, and more so for Dong Hoon. And now their feelings are getting more complicated. Ji An, being unschooled in the ways and norms of society, having been on the fringes for so long, would have no qualms about pursuing her feelings for him. But Dong Hoon would, as he’s lived most of his life working within its framework.
If their characters were of the same age or the gap were not so significant, theirs would just be another rich man-poor woman story, or some Romeo-and-Juliet rehash.
The effectiveness of this kind of story lies so much on the execution and the chemistry of the actors. Maybe that’s why the writer and director decided to play ambiguous. They had to see how LSK and LJE would play against each other and the kind of dynamic they would have and they’ll see how they can take it from there because if their dynamic had not been as it is, I don’t know if we will feel the same delicious tension and excitement between their characters as we do now.
By the way, here’s another quote that makes me think now of Ji An, but I hope this never happens in the end:
In this part of the story I am the one who
dies, the only one, and I will die of love because I love you,
because I love you, Love, in fire and in blood.
Let’s go easy on our precious DH, he endured so many hardships. Man literally experienced real love for a woman in his 40s and with a 21 years old at that. Of course he would freak out and try to get away. It’s not easy to accept something so deep and important when you spend 43 years living such a dull life.
Ah, but remember? She is 30,000 years old – a good 29,960+ his senior. Because of him, she has stopped aging at such an alarming rate.
But seriously, because of her very difficult life, she’s been an adult a lot longer than those her age, so it could be said that they’re about even.