Panda and Hedgehog: Questions that Need Answers
listening to: "Plz Don't" by Super Junior's Lee Donghae
Before Episode 7 of Donghae's Miss Panda and Hedgehog airs tonight, there are some issues I'd like to address. So we're six episodes in (yes, I am behind on the recaps), nearly more than a third of the drama has aired, what's the verdict?
For the most part, I like the drama. It's good enough for me to want to tune in each week. But at the same time, six episodes in, there are still many unanswered questions. I feel that if many of these questions aren't addressed soon within the next few episodes, I'll be really irritated. This is a romantic comedy, not a mystery. I don't understand the writer's penchant for making the unneccesary more mysterious than it needs to be. Yes, I'm side-eying It's Okay, Daddy's Girl as my point of reference here.
First, let me list the positives:
- Donghae. Yes, he is complete eyecandy, but it's clear that he has a lot of screen presence. In Skip Beat, he commanded the screen, despite his limited screen time. I thought that might have been a fluke considering he was playing such a colorful character (literally), but in Miss Panda and Mr. Hedgehog, his acting is continually improving with each episode and what's more important is that he's able to let go of his idol image and he's not afraid to mess up his face and portray his character the way the script asks (see: his Drunk scenes).
I do hope though, in the next drama he is in, he chooses a more meatier role, something that'll let him really sink his teeth in. He has the potential to have more dramatic lead roles, he just needs more experience so that he can expand and hone his skills. He already has the leading man presence, now he just needs to hone his craft. I would like to see him in a role that shows him tormented in agony or anguish. I like that he gets to act around veterans like Park Keun Hyung, who will give him tips. Knowing Donghae, he'll retain their advice gratefully and apply it.
- THE CAKES! OMG THE CAKES! If you are on a diet, this drama is torture. If you're not on a diet, this drama is torture because you still want to nom your way through the screen. Either way, the desserts, cakes and pastries featured so fare have been f00d porn. I can't get enough. Macarons, cupcakes, it's a feast for the eyes.
- The cool characters aside from the main leads: Seungji's grandpa, Seungji's friends, Won Il's sister, Won Il's friend, Panda's sister & Panda's aunt. These are the cool kids. I love them.
And now the negatives:
- Panda's character development. I really like Panda. I think she's cute, kind and funny, but six episodes in, I'm starting to change my tune. I still think she's inherently a kind person and I'm hoping she'll redeem herself, but she's also a whole lot of stupid. The summary says she's as sweet as her name suggests, but at times, she's more pricklier than the hedgehog, Seung Ji. I understand why Donghae said that out of all the characters in the drama, Seung Ji is actually the most selfless, warmhearted and compassionate character.
Panda is hopelessly naive and dumb. Her younger sister has more sense than she does. I should have known she was an idiot when she kept that crappy Patissier around as long as she did. I gave her the benefit of the doubt and credited her for being a kind person since girlfriend knew he handed her a fake patissier license. Unfortunately, I also think she must have lost some brain cells when she grew up because her younger self seems to be a lot smarter.
I don't understand how men are attracted to women like this and I don't understand how women like Panda are good role models for girls. She cannot seem to function on her own. Her shameless need to rely on others and depend on others is alarming. I remember side-eying her when she asked Won Il to give her a easier job. She even blatantly tells him she can't do anything very well. Great interviewing skills, Panda. You're lucky you happen to know Won Il and he wants to get jiggy with you.
And who hops out of their car to ask a stranger to drive for them? That's like asking someone to steal your car without even trying. I would like to see Panda be more independent. At this point, she's been useless and I really would like to see her become more independent and say something intelligent once in a while. Because I really don't want to dislike her character if I'm going to be watching 16 episodes.
- THE CAKES! WHY AREN'T THERE MOAR?! I WANT MOAR FOOD P0RN! I want to see Seungji bake extravagant cakes, five tiered high that'll make me salivate and drool and want to attack the screen with a fork. Fuck this cutesy macaron shit. GIMME A TIERED CAKE WITH A MINDBLOWING DESIGN. AND PIE. AND PUDDING. AND ANYTHING THAT'LL GIVE ME A SUGAR COMA. MOAR MOAR MOAR. LIKE WILLY WONKA STYLE.
- Pacing. I'd like a lot of the questions that arose in episode one to be answered by now. I'd also like them to focus more on the baking aspects rather than the love story. It's taken Won Il two episodes to "attempt" to tell Seungji that his stepdad is ripping off Seungji's macaron designs. WTF. Please man up in episode 7 and tell Seungji what your creepy stepdad has done. Thanks.
Questions that need Answers
- The question that everyone is desperate to know the answer to. Why does Seung Ji mumble that bug speech of his? There are theories out there, including its tie with Panda's bug song in episode one. We know that he says this to help himself concentrate. But official confirmation on this would be nice sooner rather than later.
- 1, 2, 3, Go! This will probably never be answered considering it seems like just one of those catchphrases characters say without explanation or reason. Just a "cute" defining quirk to the character. But I suppose it's a play off his name Go Seung Ji. He even managed to wrangle his nickname: goseum dochi (hedgehog) out of it. He sure is a creative one that Go Seung Ji.
- Why did Seung Ji go to jail? It probably doesn't add to the story, but this is a backstory that is interesting. What exactly did Seung Ji do to make him serve time? Steal? And when will the Panda crew find out? What will their reactions be?
- How did Seung Ji lose his memory?
- How did Seung Ji meet his grandfather? We only know that Seung Ji learned to make cakes from his grandfather and that his grandfather stopped him from burning down Saint Honore. It was hinted slightly that Seung Ji might have learned to bake cakes from his grandfather in jail. My guess is that the grandfather would visit his daughter in jail and would also teach recreational cooking lessons in jail. And that's how they met. Again, a backstory on their meeting would be nice.
- What exactly did the grandfather do to his daughter that was unforgivable? It's been hinted at it probably has something to do with the reason why she was in jail. I also have a theory the grandfather might have forced her into a relationship or marriage with Seungji's father who she didn't love? And possibly her lost son ...
- Did Seung Ji's father abandon him to hook up with Choi Won Il's mother?
- If Won Yi is Won Il's half sister and our theories about Seungji's dad being Won Il's stepfather are correct, then that means Won Yi is Seungji's half sister too. HOLY MIND FUCK. PLEASE CONFIRM, DRAMA, NAO. DIS SHIT IS HITTING DYNASTY LEVELS.
- Why can't Won Il eat cake? I have a theory that maybe because Saint Honore's cakes are filled with chemicals, preservatives and additives, he's trying to prevent his taste buds and morals from being corrupted? That more maybe he's afraid the cakes sent to him are poisoned? 'SPLAINPLZ
Well, here's to episode 7 and 8 this weekend! HOLY SNAP we'll be halfway through this drama by Sunday. I don't want it to end yet!