‘Stairway to Heaven’, revisited.

Stairway to Heaven was not the first Korean anything that I’ve encountered. That ‘honor’ belongs to My Sassy Girl, a movie that was highly recommended by a lot of people so I just had to watch it to see what the fuss was all about. I’m still wondering why people love it. Ok, Jeon Ji Hyun is gorgeous, and I guess ordinary guys think Cha Tae Hyun is their hero because he got Jeon Ji Hyun to fall in love with him (in the movie, that is). But it wasn’t enough to convince me to “turn Korean”. It was Stairway to Heaven that did it, and later on it was Rain and Full House that cemented it.

My first copy of STH was a set of VCDs from Rizza. The first half was fan-subbed, complete with explanations of some words like ‘oppa’. The other half was downloaded from a broadcast in Hawaii, with some scenes edited to make the episode shorter. Still, that didn’t stop me from crying buckets from Episode 10 onwards, and that didn’t make Kwon Sang Woo any less cuter in my eyes. ‘Cholo’ (Cha Song Ju, Filipino version) became my first Korean crush. In fact, I loved him so much that I was even arguing with officemates regarding who’s sexier, Cholo (KSW) or Justin (Rain – yes, THAT Rain). I was rooting for Cholo. Later on, Karma bit me and I switched to Rain and never went back since… But that’s a different story altogether. Back to Stairway. Recently, I was able to download a DVD-rip and with a serious dearth of something good to watch (mainly because I haven’t met with my drama ‘source’ yet and haven’t leeched off the new ones), I decided to watch STH again and see if I will react to it like the first time.

stairway2heaven

Random Thoughts While Re-watching Stairway To Heaven:

1. The young Choi Ji Woo is the now-famous Park Shin Hye. The young Shin Hyun Jun (Han Tae Hwa/Tristan to PH viewers) is the now-famous – and now enlisted – Lee Wan. Whatever happened to the young Kwon Sang Woo and the young Kim Tae Hee? Someone replied to me on Twitter saying these two have been in minor roles in some dramas but yes, their careers did not take off as well as the other two.

Interesting to note that eventually, Park Shin Hye and Lee Wan ended up having their own drama, the equally-tragic Heaven’s Tree.

2. It’s a good thing that Korean dramas have now evolved. Gone are the days when one of the lead characters must die, or at least, have cancer or amnesia (sometimes, both). Watching Stairway to Heaven again, I realized that Choi Ji Woo’s constant crying even at a snap of a finger can be so annoying. :aargh:

Also, I could be wrong because I don’t watch that many K-dramas, but I think in recent dramas, men don’t physically manhandle the women anymore? I remember being terrified in the olden days when I see scenes of women being pulled by the arm or hit in the head so easily by their boyfriends as if it’s as normal as kissing or hugging them.

3. I must admit, though, that Kwon Sang Woo still holds the top spot as the Best Crier amongst male Korean actors. No one, and I mean NO ONE can cry and still maintain good looks the way Kwon Sang Woo does. At times, he even has snot coming out of his nose and spit flying all over and he still looks gorgeous.

4. After watching four Kim Tae Hee dramas – ‘watching’ is actually a stretch, because I didn’t finish Love Story in Harvard and I gave up after three episodes of My Princess – I therefore conclude that Kim Tae Hee works best at bitchy, spoiled brat roles. :thumbup: I swear, her characterization of Han Yuri still gets to me. I still want to slap her silly, pull her by the hair and throw her around. The only other time that I was able to withstand Kim Tae Hee was in Iris, but that’s basically because I was concentrated on the men in that drama.

5. This drama’s OST is really one of the very best. Bogoshipda and Ave Maria are still two of my most favorite songs from Korean dramas.

6. Aside from the constant crying, what’s up with the non-stop running in this drama? They catch a bus, taxi or car on foot, as if they can outrun it (actually, KSW can outrun a bus here). Kwon Sang Woo receives a call, and he runs. He was told that Tae Hwa’s corpse is at the morgue, and he runs. Doesn’t he have a car? Choi Ji Woo runs after Shin Hyun Jun who was arrested and was in a police car, nevermind that she was wearing a gown and high heels. She does end up at the station in the next scene; did she run all the way there from Lotte Hotel?

Then again, in Fugitive Plan B, they also run, and do hand combat, and fall flat on the ground and everything and somehow they still manage to keep their hair and clothes immaculate. Korean drama, ladies and gentlemen.

7. Note to self: never ever Google about eye cancer while watching Stairway to Heaven. There’s a reason why it never bothered you in the past; it’s because in the past, there’s no Google yet.

8. Did you know why Han Jung Suh’s cancer worsened easily, thus leading to her quick death? It’s because upon learning that her cancer has metastasized, their solution is to go on a ski trip where she and her hubby Cha Song Ju decided to wrestle in the snow. Because the way to treat a dying cancer patient and make her live longer is to make her do extremely physical activities. Bright idea there, guys.

About AgentP

Nimbus Cloud. Kpop bitch. Chronic nitpicker. Travel addict. Foodie. Photography hobbyist. Former bandstalker (hence, the domain name of this blog).

This blog contains content that is not for the Rain fanatic nor the non-BiKyo believer. If you belong to that category, you don’t belong here.

18 comments

  1. I have yet to watch this drama but heard a lot about it. I’m bad though as I don’t do well with “sad” drama… I tend to cry buckets and sometime the stupidity of the situation makes me throw things at the TV/LCD monitor. Which isn’t good considering I really don’t want to invest in a new one. :razz:

    I think my first Korean drama was Autumn Tale’s and I was the SHK and WB shipper in that drama. Was never a SSH fan even though I think he does look good sometime. My second was of course Full House and the only reason why I watched it was because of SHK but man did my focus move to Rain afterward! :drool: Now, I’m only a bikyoer!!! :cheer:

  2. “I think my first Korean drama was Autumn Tale’s and I was the SHK and WB shipper in that drama.”

    hahhaa.. same with you :hihihi:
    i was shk and wb shipper at that time but now i am for BIKYO :soju:

    as for STH i watched for the first time on my local TV
    and it was aired after Full House :mrgreen:

    “5. This drama’s OST is really one of the very best. Bogoshipda and Ave Maria are still two of my most favorite songs from Korean dramas.”

    i love Bogoshipda too :cry:

  3. Same here AgentP, I never really saw what was with Sassy Girl that made everyone, and I think its only you and me whom I know wasn’t caught by the Sassy Girl virus, as in everyone love it..I don’t know, I found it to be too exaggerated and maybe JJH’s acting was annoying?? I’ve also heard great feedback about STH being really very sad..my sister-in-law cried buckets..I haven’t really gotten interest though as I might find it boring but the real reason why I still haven’t watched it is because I haven’t bought a copy and I don’t have the time to watch it.. :grin: FH still takes the cake for me..I have yet to see a series that will equal how I felt when I watched it. Kwon Sang-woo was really a hottie though.. And I think until now. His manly looks is just so timeless and his eyes are just so expressive and so full of emotions. I think he’s got one of the best eyes in the world that even if young hotties have surfaced, his looks will still stand-out. Parang Albert Martinez ba..

  4. i was able to watch Stairway because it was shown back to back with FH on GMA 7…but was never hook on it..i remember my mom loves this drama and i was like, it’s too tragic..because I was already enjoying FH’s plot which is romance – comedy.. :smile:

    My first K-drama is Autumn in my heart.(but i watched it in GMA also) and now I am a fan of both SHK and Moon Geun Young (who played the young Jenny in that series) and I was a SHK- SSH shipper that time when all my officemates were rooting for SHK-WB… :hihihi:

  5. Ironically, my FIRST korean drama was MNKSS ..hahaha, I was enchanted by the good look of HB then..but It was FULLHOUSE that really made me glued to K-Drama..
    And fell in love with RAIN ever since n totally forget bout HB..hahahaha..
    :rotflmao:

    I watched LOVE in Harvard till e end but tat becoz of Kim Rae Won!!

  6. shinta, i’m also in the “what’s so great about my sassy girl?” train…. maybe because i’m so shallow that i like my leading men goodlooking…

    loved KSW also so i remember asking my hubby to bring me to MOA since I bought a lot of face shop products to have a chance to shake his hand… luckily, i was picked so i went up the stage in all my pregant glory…

    first drama for me was Lovers in Paris and loved Lee Dong Gun. Second drama was FH but Rain was just ok for me so I had to see Sangdoo since both Bi and LDG were there… From there, it’s Team Rain all the way..

  7. My first drama was “Endless love- Autumn in my heart” aigoo, I was a fool for with that drama because of SHK and her young version (Moon Geun-young). My mother, sister and I were hooked.. Then later on, My mother saw the trailer of full house on GMA and she saw SHK, then we became addicted with full house. but I didn’t like Rain at first, then later on, I’m starting to like him bit by bit… then I saw his first concert “RainyDay”, I instantly got head over heels. :drool2: HAHAHA well, any way, I am a SHK-WB fan back then, but because of FH and “Changsa” :naughty: I’am BIKYOER ALL THE WAY! :whee!:

  8. I agree with some of you guys. The movie My Sassy Girl is not for me. I can’t even understand why it is so popular? The first Korean Drama i’ve seen was Endless Love “Autumn in my heart” shown on local tv. Full House was my first 16 episode non-stop viewing and reading of English subs, and it is still the first for me until now. Up to now, for me, there’s no other drama i can consider comparable to “BiKyo” love team.

  9. My friends insisted that I watch STH. I did not cry. I wanted to kill the PD for all the “near misses” between CJW and KSW. It was such a frustrating drama to watch. And sorry Agent P, but I think KTH only had ONE expression for her badass character. She was annoying as hell. I prefer the fun and cute KTH.

    I did not watch Sassy Girl but I probably will not like it. What is so funny about a girl beating her boyfriend all the time? :aargh: JJH(the female version)? OVER-RATED. Note : She has not had a hit since Sassy Girl. :razz: The only time I was interested in her was when Rain tweeted pics of the two of them together. And he promptly deleted those because of the “scandal”. :ehh:

  10. sgfan: Actually, that’s exactly why Kim Tae Hee’s Han Yuri worked for me. Han Yuri was supposed to be uber-annoying, and KTH did just that. :razz: The real badass character is the mom, Tae Mira.

  11. “.. I’m still wondering why people love it. Ok, Jeon Ji Hyun is gorgeous, and I guess ordinary guys think Cha Tae Hyun is their hero because he got Jeon Ji Hyun to fall in love with him (in the movie, that is). But it wasn’t enough to convince me to “turn Korean”. It was Stairway to Heaven that did it, and later on it was Rain and Full House that cemented it….”

    “‘Cholo’ (Cha Song Ju, Filipino version) became my first Korean crush. In fact, I loved him so much that I was even arguing with officemates regarding who’s sexier, Cholo (KSW) or Justin (Rain – yes, THAT Rain). I was rooting for Cholo. Later on, Karma bit me and I switched to Rain and never went back since…”

    My exact sentiments, Pau. My first Korean love was Cholo, first Korean anything was Stairway To Heaven, and first fave Korean song was Bogo Shipda… but when I got hooked with Rain, I never turned back. :smile:

  12. I think it is hard to be Rain’s comrades at the camp. By reading what the families of the other newbies wrote to them…some of them , mainly their sisters, are asking their brothers to be close and friend of Rain…and report back. :hihihi:

    The officer responsible for printer the posts for the newbies said he will start printing tonight….poor guy…I hope he has enough ink and paper at the camp.

  13. I think it is hard to be Rain’s comrades at the camp. By reading what the families of the other newbies wrote to them…some of them , mainly their sisters, are asking their brothers to be close and friend of Rain…and report back.

    …and this is why our resident psychic is cautioning Rain about those who are trying to befriend him inside camp.

    I think I better make a new blog entry just for the Rain updates.

  14. I never watched STH even if it was forced on me and was even offered a box set of the drama because I hated seeing Shin Hyun Jun’s face (no offense meant) because I enjoyed watching his movies a few years after. But the OST is great.

  15. STH will always be special to me since it got me started on my kdrama addiction, without which I would not have discovered FH and BIKYO and hence this entire fandom and friends! 8) I chanced upon this drama on a local channel in our area, it was dubbed in Chinese with no subs. So I just watched it and tried to follow the story. And ever since then I found a new hobby! Quite expensive at first (since during those times eng subbed dramas were hard to find and get) but still totally worth it! So I have STH to thank for my kdrama and as an extension my BIKYO addiction!

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