Best Love

    Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

    ~~Dramatic Hour Long Dramedy, Korean Drama, Romantic Comedy~~

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    최고의 사랑 (Best Love / The Greatest Love) is a 2011 Korean comedy series, written by The Hong Sisters.

    The Romantic Comedy stars Gong Hyo-jin as Gu Ae Jung, a former member of an idol group National Treasure Girls, who is still clutching to the last shreds of her notoriety 10 years later. Her fortune changes when she is cast on a dating variety show, Couple Making Season 3, where the main lead is non-celeb doctor, Yoon Pil Joo. The show's host is Ae Jung's former groupmate, Kang Se Ri, who happens to be in a contract relationship with movie star Dokko Jin (played by Cha Seung-won). Hilarity Ensues when Jin falls for Ae Jung.

    Coupled with the Hong sisters' penchant for meta awareness, the show also pokes fun at Korean idol culture.

    Tropes used in Best Love include:

    • Acting Unnatural: Dokko Jin and Seung Gi when they realize there are fangirls watching their spat.
    • Actor Allusion
      • Jin's agency president, Moon, tells him that he should try to lighten his dark, serious image. Cha Seung-won, who plays Jin, has been playing serious roles since 2003.
      • Ding Dong wonders on how Jin's mustache is a cow (소 in Korean). Cha Seung-won's mustache is frequently called the "cow mustache."
      • Jin: "Who's the best-looking actor in Korea? ... Cha Seung-won? No, it's Dokko Jin."
    • Alone in a Crowd: Dokko Jin and Gu Ae Jung outside the Seoul Movie Theater.
    • Blatant Item Placement/Character Celebrity Endorsement/Product Placement
      • Vitamin Water, which Jin endorses
      • Droid phone in episode 10. President Moon even lists the features as if she's in a commercial.
    • Borrowed Catchphrase: Jin uses Ae Jung's "shut your butthole (mouth)."
    • Brutal Honesty: Jin admits to Ae Jung that he's ashamed for liking her because they're not on the same level.
    • Call Back: In episode 9, Jin discovers Ae Jung's drunk habit of repeating people around her. When Ae Jung gets drunk again in episode 14, Jin uses the opportunity to say "I love you."
    • The Cameo: Lee Seung Gi playing ... Lee Seung Gi!
    • Casting Gag: Jenny is a former member of the Girl Group National Treasure Girls. The actress who portrays her, Lee Hee-jin, is a former member of the Girl Group Baby VOX.
    • Celebrity Paradox: The characters see the movie Pungsang Dog, which stars Yoon Kye Sang (who plays Pil Joo).
    • Character Development: Jin
    • Cherry Blossoms: Dokko Jin takes Ae Jung to a park festooned with blooming cherry trees overlooking a river and a Disney-like amusment park on the ten anniversary of her Music Idol debut.
    • Childhood Marriage Promise: Discussed. Jae Suk (Jin's manager) was a big fan of National Treasure Girls, his favorite member Jenny. He sent her a marriage certificate to autograph, which he jokingly vows to file.
    • Constantly Curious: Ding Dong, whose questions can be armor piercing.
    • Cool and Unusual Punishment: Pil Joo punishes his mother by only eating ramyeon noodles.
    • Cool Shades: Dokko Jin
    • Clueless Chick Magnet: Yoon Pil Joo, who has no idea that most of his patients, including Se Ri, have the hots for him.
      • In his first scene, Pil Joo's date confronts him on staring at Se Ri's butt as she walks by. He then dives into a rant about the negative effects of wearing heels, having no clue why his date would be upset that he was checking out someone else.
    • Crying Wolf: Pil Joo knows that Se Ri is mean-spirited, so when she reports to him that Jin likes Ae Jung in order for him to let go, he assumes that she is just being mean.
    • Docu Soap: When the Reality Show devolves into following Ae Jung and Pil Joo around
    • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Ae Hwan and Jae Suk talking about how they both "drank wine" with Jenny.
    • Dogged Nice Guy: Yoon Pil Joo
    • Drowning My Sorrows
    • Eiffel Tower Effect: Episode 5 has the ubiquitous Namsan Tower in the background while Jin explains the folk tale "Camellias" to Ae Jung.
    • Engrish
    • Epunymous Title: The drama was previously called The Discovery of Affection. The main character's name is Ae Jung (affection).
    • Executive Meddling: Lampshaded as the execs of the reality show try to force Pil Joo to vote Ae Jung off to increase the ratings.
    • Flaw Exploitation: Dokko Jin looking for Ae Jung's "chicken". Also Manager Jang's search for Mi Na, the fourth (and hidden) National Treasure Girl.
    • Flower Motifs
      • Dokko Jin uses the azalea to represent his heart:

    "Are you able to step on my azalea and leave?"

      • Camellias
      • Potato Blossoms
    • Girl Group: National Treasure Girls - Ae Jung, Se Ri, Jenny, and Mi Na
    • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Jin has a good excuse for showing off his chest.
    • Gratuitous English: Invoked and Played With.
    • Hand Signals: Dokko Jin uses a hand gesture with Ding Dong so the kid would leave him and Ae Jung together alone.
    • Hero with Bad Publicity/Malicious Slander: Gu Ae Jung
    • Hospital Gurney Scene: When Dokko Jin's chest pain overcomes his need to look cool.
    • Hospital Hottie: Yoon Pil Joo. especially with those glasses.
    • Hurricane of Euphemisms/Hurricane of Puns:
      • There is frequent mention of the heart (heart break, heartbeats, heart surgery, etc.).
        • Jin wants to stay in his safe zone (60 - 90 beats per minute), but since meeting Ae Jung, his heart has been racing.
        • Jin also says that he once wanted to be Iron Man, because of the artificial heart.
      • Ae Jung calls Jin "Butthole Jin" (Ddong Ko), a pun on his name Dokko Jin and the fact that he's an ass. She also says things like "shut your butthole" to mean shut up.
      • After Ae Jung refuses his affections, Jin repeatedly tells Ae Jung that he will find her chicken, or the thing that is most important to her. He's referring to the folk tale of the camellias, in which a rich boy who loved a poor loser but got rejected. The loser had one chicken and the rich boy tormented it in revenge. Finally, the loser ended up crying under the camellias.
      • Battery/recharging
      • Jae Suk mentions that anyone looking for Jin's porno online will find Pororo instead.
      • Ae Jung is periodically mentioned as a "national treasure."
    • Imagine Spot: Happens frequently to most of the main characters.
    • In-Series Nickname: Jin calls Hyung Kyu "Ding Dong".
    • Intergenerational Friendship: Jin and Ae Jung's nephew Ding Dong, who Jin repeatedly kidnaps from school.
    • Intertwined Fingers: Ae Jung and Pil Joo. And later, Ae Jung and Dokko Jin.
    • Intimate Healing: Rechaaaarrrrggggeeee.
    • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Dokko Jin
    • Karaoke Box: The gang goes to a noraebang to celebrate Ae Jung's record deal, only to have Dokko Jin show up and sing BigBang's "Heartbreaker" to her.
    • Keeping Secrets Sucks: Ae Jung wants to protect the secrets of everyone, even at her own expense.
    • K Pop
    • Lampshade Hanging:

    Ae Jung: This is not some romantic comedy where love prevails!

      • Singer/Actor Lee Seung Gi makes a cameo when he plays Lee Seung Gi, a not-so-nice actor with good publicity - just like the character Jin. In real life, Lee Seung Gi is known to be a nice guy.
    • Leg Cling: Jae Suk when he's totally drunk and upset at Dokko Jin's upcoming surgery.
    • Love at First Splash: The first time they meet, Ae Jung angrily splashes water in Pil Joo's face because she thought he was trying to buy her for the night. He's immediately taken with her.
    • Love Triangle
      • Pil Joo - Ae Jung - Jin.
      • Ae Jung - Pil Joo - Se Ri.
      • To a lesser extent Ae Jung - Jin - Se Ri, as Jin/Se Ri's relationship is purely for show.
      • Ae Hwan (Ae Jung's older brother/Ding Dong's father) - Jenny - Jae Suk
    • Meta Guy: Jin

    "Melo(drama), ero(tica), or rom(antic)-com(edy)!"

    • Mistaken for Gay: Drunk!Jae Suk is "so upset that he can't tell anyone," as he tells Jin to never leave his side. Ae Jung, of course, mistakes him for gay. He's actually upset about Jin's upcoming heart surgery.
    • The Nicknamer: Ae Jung constantly changes Dokko Jin's name on her cell phone, "Butthole", "Lump of Annoyance", "Recharge", to name a few.
    • Nerd Glasses: But on Pil Joo, they're hot!
    • Noodle Incident: Apparently Ae Hwan has reason to believe that Jenny is genuinely interested in him, based on a drunken incident. She denies it.

    "That day, when we were together, drinking red wine, the sudden power loss, the rain, the kiss..."


    "Gu Ae Jung, take responsibility for me!"

    1. Kim Nam Gil was serving in the army when Best Love was filmed/aired, so all his "appearances" were licensed photos/footage.