“최고 (Che-go)/최악 (Che-ack)” – Best/Worst
Best Love continuously plays with the words best and worst as it is about a top star and a has-been celebrity falling in love. Despite the difference in status, Dokko Jin and Gu Ae Jung are both aware of how their words and behavior will be received by the public and act accordingly to secure their livelihood.
From the very beginning Gu Ae Jung is reminded of her lowly status as she tries to make a living from being on numerous variety shows. On the other hand, Dokko Jin is living the high life, enjoying the life of a top star.
At the very beginning, a conceited Dokko Jin reminds Gu Ae Jung about who he is and the differences in their statuses. (See: 나 독고진이야! – I am Dokko Jin!) When Ae-Hwan begins to get wind of their budding romance, he hopes that Dokko Jin could probably bring Ae Jung’s level up and out of the public enemy #1 territory. Jenny disagrees, thinking instead that they could never be together because Ae Jung could bring Dokko Jin down instead and Dokko Jin would never risk that.
Pil Joo also garners some interest from being on the Couple Making show. Being handsome, sweet and smart, he is quite a catch for the ladies. Despite everyone’s dislike for Ae Jung, Pil Joo sees through all that and falls for her as well. Going against the suggestions of the producers, he presents Ae Jung with a rose at the first elimination ceremony (See: Rose Petal in Handkerchief) and goes further to present her with all 3 roses at the next ceremony (See: 3 Red Roses) thereby eliminating all the other candidates in one sitting. Shocking everyone, the producers quickly change gears to reformat the entire show. It’s not a total loss as the broadcast attracts a lot of viewers and the show’s best ratings.
When Dokko finally reveals the news about his heart surgery to President Moon, she asks him what he will do if the news of his relationship with Gu Ae Jung breaks. He says that it might be the worst scandal for him but if he dies, their relationship will be beautiful. And for this top star, that is the most that he can offer her: a good public image that she had been trying to redeem for 10 years since her fall from National Treasure (See: National Treasure – 국[내]보[석]) grace. In addition, he prepares a video and some photos to be released as proof of their relationship just in case he does not survive the surgery.
Gu Ae Jung is happy when Dokko Jin survives the surgery but unsure what it will means for their future. She doesn’t want to out their relationship for fear of bring Dokko Jin down with her. Does he think that because she’s so nice she never had one negative thought about the Mina and Seri and the sacrifices she made for them? She doesn’t want Dokko to have any regrets for loving her.
But Dokko makes the leap in the finale episode. He goes ahead and reveals his relationship with Gu Ae Jung on TV. While in the beginning, because of their mutual dislike, they showed each other the worst; in front of the public eye, they are showing each other their best.
DKJ: It was as if I was hypnotized that I fell for her and as if I was broken that I couldn’t control myself. Even if it were my last moment, I’m happy because she’s the best. Gu Ae Jung-sshi is the one who discovered Dokko Jin’s best love. Gu Ae Jung, I love you.
The fallout from the public reveal is harder on Dokko Jin than on Gu Ae Jung because he is new to this world. But Gu Ae Jung focuses on the good things in her life like marrying a top star and being known as a 맛장금 (Mat Jang Geum – Best Tastebuds) for her show where she uncovers the hidden culinary delights. Flashforward a year, while they are still receiving some negative press about their marriage, they are still dwelling in their best love. Now Dokko Jin’s image has been revived as a doting dad or 딸바보 (Ddal Babo – Stupidly (in love with my) Daughter) who does Milk CFs and swoons the ladies at the supermarket checkout line.