I said in the introductory post to this series that “The ten I’ve chosen are going to be listed more or less in chronological order.” We’ve had the nine less, here’s the one more.
When it comes to my bias’s fandom, I’m the ultimate outlier. I am the wrong age, the wrong gender, in the wrong country and speak the wrong language. I am, in short, just plain wrong. Despite all of that, I AM a fan, and as such will gladly seize any chance to sing her praises.
This was a challenging category to answer because my crush on my bias did not start from Dramas. I fell hard for Ms Wang Ji Won (yes, that is her NAME, Google Translate) by following her on her first Instagram account. Before being hounded out of SNS her Instagram showed a young woman with an irrepressible sense of fun, who loved being silly, with a killer pout that captured an old man’s fan heart “with a wink and a smile”. Add in the cat she rescued from a freeway and doesn’t torment for SNS fodder, and she had my vote before any Drama.
A big part of that SNS fun also revolved around the first of her Dramas that really did cement her as my bias. The cast of I Need Romance 3 spent a lot of time together in social settings, and continued to get together as often as possible long after the Drama had ended. Following her IG at the same time as watching the Drama was a double whammy of cute and pretty, with a large side order of fun. It also foreshadowed “the start of a beautiful friendship” with the scene below being re-enacted endlessly on Twitter by two fans of the actors involved:
If INR3 was the Drama that came closest to being the start of my bias, Fated To Love You was the one that sealed the deal. The Taiwanese original featured a bad actor playing an awful character, a ballerina. The Korean remake featured a better actor playing a less horrid character, and was played by a real ballerina. Ji Won’s story of building a new career after the injury that put her in a wheelchair for 6 months and ended her 17 year ballet dream was a big part of what made me such a fan, seeing her dance again, even fleetingly, in FTLY , completely shattered any chance of my escaping the thrall of my bias. When she first shared the clip below, of her practicing for the FTLY role, she said it had been 5 years since she’d danced ballet. I can’t help thinking it may have been a bittersweet moment for her
Many of the people I follow on Twitter get to tweet enthusiastically and at length about the aesthetic appeal of their male biases. When one’s bias is both female, and a second lead, such opportunities are rare. A sign of how low profile my bias is can be seen in the way Google treats her name. Of seven actresses I know called Ji Won, she is the only one whose name is not recognised as such, and a youtube clip entitled “Wang Ji Won ballet”, actually features a compilation of several Ji Wons, much to my annoyance, So the missing piece of the “cement my bias” puzzle was finally supplied by the web Drama Immortal Goddess. The whole Drama was built around Wang Ji Won, with the key plot point being “Wang Ji Won is really ridiculously good looking”.
She got to do things she’s never done onscreen before, including throw up, get piggybacked, and laugh.
FINALLY, I got to have the pure fan service experience so many of my Twitter friends get so often, and it was, as the lady herself might say, “wangderful”. While looking forward to her first movie role, a lead in a con film One Line, I’ll close with some of my favourite shots from Immortal Goddess, ones that highlight the Wang Ji Won I will always support:
And now it’s done. Thanks again to Indigo/Helena for her truly excellent Drama Challenge and for the chance to challenge myself by writing ten positive pieces. Incredibly self-indulgent they were, and that may have been off-putting to some. As a gracious host AND hardcore Wang Ji Won fan, to any who have waded through my waffle and now feel worse for wear, I will let my beautiful ballerina bias convey my sincerest regrets: