Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Nonconformist Heroine

I was NEVER fond of TV dramas before...until I saw "Ako si Kim Samsoon." Lately, I've been finding myself eager for the next episode and hoping for Cyrus, a rich and good-looking guy, to finally admit that he is in-love with Samsoon. I find the show entertaining and capable of delivering good laughs, but what struck me the most is that - Kim Samsoon is old and overweight. Does that sound familiar? I can't help but notice. Sh*t, that's me!

What I really meant to say was, she doesn't fit the typical heroine of Philippine movies or TV shows. I do know that this show is a remake of a Korean drama, which I still have to see, not for comparison, but just for the sake of watching. Samsoon is poor, a stress eater, a loud mouth, somewhat neurotic, and a poor dresser. But what I like about her is that she fights back and that she is upfront. I like the part where she looks Cyrus in the eye and asks him if he loves her or not. I was taken aback and shouted, "You go, girl!"

I have not seen a lot of Filipino movies or shows in the past 12 years, so in my few years of watching Philippine movies, this is my first time to see an overweight Filipina heroine. If you have seen one, please let me know. In "Ako si Kim Samsoon," the issue of being overweight is placed at a certain limelight; Samsoon is accepted by few and is treated with disdain by a number of characters. The show depicts how overweight people are often times treated by unknowingly insensitive people. Will the viewers who love and cheer Samsoon be able to emanate that same acceptance to real-life overweight people? Will this show be able to convince viewers that overweight people have feelings and that they deserve to be loved too? Or, is this the part of me dreaming?

At first, I was excited about the idea of a nonconformist Filipina heroine, and I thought it was a breakthrough in Philippine television, but I came to realize that the Filipino version was made because its Korean counterpart garnered good reviews and a lot of viewers. In reality, the show was made to make money, unless someone can convince me otherwise. Part of me still wants to believe that the Samsoon character was made to exemplify people who struggle with their weight, who are often times kept in the dark, and are often times the subject of jokes in a number of movies and shows. In my experiences, being overweight is something that is unacceptable to some people.

As I watch the episodes of Kim Samsoon, I empathize with her pain and struggles. I really don't care about the cartoonish scenes, countless OA moments, and the fakish fat look of Regine Velasquez. Some call it baduy, but any day, you'd find me rooting for Samsoon to win her fights and find her happiness - whatever that is.


  1. sad, the way most of us wants our heroines to fit the (sexy) mold, huh? i really wish tv in these parts would start portraying women of the kim samsoon mold as women of beauty and character. and not as stereotypical best friend supporting roles either. we should take a cue from hairspray, he he

  2. Anna, I love hairspray. I was so impressed with John Travolta's performance there too.

    It is too sad indeed that heriones can only be fit and sexy.

  3. I've catched a few episodes of the Korean version before I left. They were playing replays then during weekends. I'm only subscribed to TFC that's why I've no idea if the Pinoy version is better.

    Now, I'm thinking of Pinoy old movies which starred a fat character.

    Speaking of series, I got so hooked with Meteor Garden, Lovers in Paris (got VCDs/DVDs for my collection), and Coffee Prince weeks before I left the Philippines. I had to do a DVD marathon before my flight. Heehee.

  4. Wits, I'm not too well informed on all these Korean TV shows. I didn't even know they're all being aired in the Philippines. I've heard that at some point that Mexican soaps were getting there too.

    I might end up getting the DVD of the Korean version of Kim Samsoon. I might get hooked on this one too...lol.

  5. The Korean telenovelas are really entertaining.More than the Filipino ones I must say, they have more humor and class. I stopped watching though because of technical problems with the home TV.

    Kayni, I recommend you read the book, Sexy at Any Size: The Real Woman's Guide to Dating and Romance by Katie Arons. I read it a few years ago,and want to read it again when i have time. I'm sure you'll like it. It's full of humor and good tips.

  6. I looked up this show on youtube and they had a scene at Baguio CAthedral, it looks like.

    From the clips I saw, the show seems over-the-top with their over-the-top characters, but I guess its supposed to be like that.

  7. Vitchie, Thanks for the recommendation. I'll look up the Korean versions and try to find that book as well. The title alone is quite catchy.

    Wil, I think the Baguio Cathedral scene was taken on one of the earlier episodes. Samsoon was supposed to get married there, but her fiance got cold feet.

    At first, I too thought it was just bad acting, but when I kept watching it, it dawned on me that it is supposed to be cartoonish and its over-the-top characters all add to the comedy. Just my take on it.

  8. i haven't seen kim samsoon, but i was crazy over mygirl and lovers in paris before.

    she's an unlikely heroine indeed, but i like to root out for the underdog always, especially when she starts fighting back. :)

  9. samsoon is a typical ajumma in korea... LOL!

    kayni, korea is not that scary...

  10. ms. firefly, yes, i so love an underdog who fights back. i am so tired of watching them being beaten and just cry until they can't cry anymore.

    hello betchay, thanks for dropping by. what is an ajumma? i was just appalled at the comments i saw on that blog post you had. i still want to see korea though =). thanks for the assurance.

  11. hmmm this show is making me curious , i have to check it out and see for myself ;) have a nice weekend!

    oh and i didn't get a new computer yet.. we decided to change the graphic card and wait till end of the year for a new one.

  12. I have not seen Ako si Kim, but the way you described the show, nacurious ako.:) About being fat, I refused to have my picture taken and then later on refused to go out and be with people after my waistline went from 27 to 34ins. And all the people who have known me before look at me like I am the most hideous creature they've ever seen, and some even verbalized it to my face.

    It's hard that the standard of beauty is measured through the tapemeasure of Runway. :)But what the heck! Our value as a person is not dependent on how others see us. It's how we see ourselves! Di ba? So bahala sila sa buhay nila! lol

    I like the Love Story in Harvard, also Korean...

  13. how true! our heroines are always pretty and tragic. classic i-am-wawa syndrome!

  14. hey, good for you that you have gma pinoytv. i heard of kim samsoon, i didn't know it is comedy. akala ko drama kaya di ko na pinansin.

    you're right about the discrimination about overweight people. it's sad that such discrimination is not condemned by society.