So my sister and I have similar emotions about City Hunter: mainly that it was a highly addictive, highly watchable, well directed, fun show, but that it had major writing flaws that reared their heads in the 16th episode and continued till the end, and that it could have been so much better than it ended up being, and the flaws were all avoidable.
So we were talking about City Hunter again (‘cause I spread my obsession to her; I’m an evil genius! Mwahahahaha!) and here’s a summary of what we had to say about Dae Hae and her problematic existence:
The only reason Dae Hae’s character was even in the show was to be able to get Yoon Sung and Nana to be together even more. She was a device used to get our two leads to spend more time together. However, she was cute and funny, and not very intrusive, and Nana treated her like a little sister, not a real threat (which is something I LOVE about City Hunter, the fact that Yoon Sung remains true to Nana from episode 1 and on, and never actually wavers in his love for her, even with all the drama Jin Pyo brings along; this show actually displays a woman falling for a guy after he’s already fallen for her, not the other way around, although Yoon Sung tries to pretend differently), so her presence wasn’t bothersome. In fact, sometimes it was kind of cute. And when the writers bothered to elevate her from the position of device to actual character, she became rather poignant. For example, when she speaks to her father about not being all that smart and wanting to continue being a barista instead of going to college, she stopped being the butt of Yoon sung’s jokes and for a moment was someone with hopes and dreams and plans of her own that didn’t have to do with crushing on a boy. Her existence became her own, and was not fettered to Yoon Sung’s, her father’s, or Young Ju’s.
About that crushing on a boy bit. She didn’t just crush on a boy. She was crushing on her brother. That is why I refuse to believe the writers planned the whole president as daddy thing from the get go, because if they had, then why have Dae Hae crush on Yoon Sung? The way they dealt with that issue was so dismissive: they simply had her switch her crush from Yoon Sung to Young Ju. So this young girl immediately stops crushing on this guy who she paid a private investigator to stalk (!) and just handed her coffee over to some guy she’d never met before and would never see again. Um…what? So, what was her reaction when she found out Yoon Sung was her brother? Did she freak out? Did she even find that out? Did her mother find out? ‘Cause her mother totally made an appearance in episode 3 or 4. How did she feel about finding out that her dad was an adulterer? A liar? A murderer? And then the writers go a kill Young Ju (something I applaud them for; his death scene was so well done, and just cemented the fact that he was an awesomely written and acted character) so now her first crush was her brother and her second crush was brutally murdered by the henchmen of a man her father used to hang out with. Girl can’t catch a break.
Despite the fact that Dae Hae is a minor character, I still believe that she got enough screen time for me to be left a little discombobulated with how her story line progressed. By making the president Yoon Sung’s father, she became a bigger part of the story and therefore made the character more susceptible to critique. Honestly, even though I wouldn’t have liked it, I think that if the writers had had more time, they would have been able to make the whole president as daddy thing work. But they didn’t, so what we have is what we have: a good show that had us all more than satisfied for quite some time, and left some of us a little deflated afterwards.