I’m back with a new review on this latest drama on Netflix! This drama really gets you thinking, what if the you from say, 10, 15, or 20 years ago were to show up in your life right now, would they feel proud or disappointed about the way your life has turned out? What if your life is the complete opposite of all the dreams and aspirations you had as a young teenager?
Ban Han Ni is a 37-year-old woman, she is single, and a part time worker at a grocery store. She’s not a cashier, or a stocker, she’s the woman who dresses up as a squid and tries to get people to try the product. She lives in Gangnam, but not because she’s wealthy, she lives in a room with her better off sister, and is practically her maid. Was this how Ban Han Ni imagined her life 20 years back? Far from it. Ban Han Ni from 20 years ago, was a happy 17-year-old girl, super popular, pretty, and charming. Her dream was to be a in a Kpop girl group, and she was extremely good at dancing. How did her life end up like this then?
We’re not sure what exactly happened in the past 20 years, all we know is that time changed her, and unfortunately not for the better. Time made her, timid, insecure, and depressed.
After losing her job, she finds herself in front of an oncoming bus, and out of desperation for her unhappy life, she doesn’t move away, she wishes to die, but she doesn’t. Instead, she wakes up in a hospital, and the patient next to her, is her! But the 17-year-old version. They both can’t believe it, and together try to figure out the reason why the past self is there, and how they can get her back to the past.
It’s definitely a drama with a similar theme as 13 Going on 30 (one of my favorites) but it’s also very different. It’s very endearing seeing the two versions of her together. The youthfulness that the 17-year-old brings to the 37-year-old is beautiful to watch. It really makes you meditate on how much we change through the years, as adults, we sometimes let the realities of life depress us, we allow our jobs and bad circumstances to rob the joy out of us, but is that how the younger versions of ourselves would have faced the challenges? Did time make us more wise, but also too anxious and unhappy?
In addition to meeting her younger self, she also meets a care free rich younger guy, who finds himself in a similar situation as her: Not knowing exactly what to do with their lives.
Han Yu Hyeon is the son of a rich family, a family who owns a large company. He’s also in his 30s and finds himself without a job, but not because he is a good for nothing bum! He actually has licenses for almost everything, and is a man of many acquired skills and interests, but nothing ever sticks. He’s constantly on the search for something new, afraid of commitment to some degree. His father keeps trying to find a way to make his son finally be responsible and settle down, so he takes away all his money, and makes him find a job.
It seems like the two, with the help of the 17-year-old Ban Ha Ni, will work together to change their situations and start living the life they always wanted but never had the courage to begin!
So far, it’s a very interesting drama, a little slow on some parts, and a little silly in others. However, it’s a good family drama, and I am sure it will have many valuable lessons, I hope it motivates me to finally start living before it’s too late and I find myself 37 years old working as a part time squid haha!
OMG YOU GUYS!!! FINALLY something exciting is airing in KDrama Land!
I don’t wish to bash on the current dramas airing at the moment, but they simply aren’t as exciting and interesting as I imagined them to be. They are good dramas, but they aren’t the type to leave me waiting in agony for the next episodes. I don’t even watch them immediately after they air, I watch them when I have time and when I’m in the mood. HOWEVER, this recently released drama looks very promising, the kind that WILL leave me screaming after the episode is over, angry that I have to wait for the next episode because it’s so good.
To start off, the cast.
Moon Chae Won
Although she is not one of the best actresses out there, I love her. My favorite works of hers: The Innocent Man and Good Doctor. Moon Chae Won has the ability to play a nice, kind, innocent character but also can be fierce and strong. In this drama she plays the character of Cha Ji Won, a smart detective who is good at her job, she pays attention to the details in her cases, and bases her judgment on the facts and evidence available to her. She’s a mom to a young daughter, and happily married to a very handsome metal crafter. I mean let’s be real Lee Joon Ki is picante on another rating level! But anyways back to the plot, although she is usually very smart, she hasn’t noticed that her husband may be hiding a big secret and not be who she thinks she’s married to.
Lee Joon Ki
What can I say about actor Lee Joon Gi? He’s hot and a great actor. My favorite work of his, (the awful ending drama) Scarlet Heart Ryeo. I’m still salty about the ending we got in that one, and frankly I don’t know what kind of ending to expect from this one. This time Lee Joon Gi is playing the character of Baek Hee Sung, a devoted loving husband who is married to a detective, he cooks, he’s handsome, he has a decent job as a metal crafter, he cares for his daughter and even takes her to school…basically the perfect husband, except he is not that person at all, his real name is Do Hyun Soo, and from the looks of it, he’s hiding a big secret from his past.
The chemistry of these two is top notch. I wish this were a happier drama, because I already love them as a couple, but I know that given the genre of this drama (Melo/Thriller) and what we know so far about the characters, we probably won’t have a happy ending.
However, that isn’t going to stop me from watching the drama, because I still believe that there might have been a misunderstanding that we are unaware of and frankly the mystery is good enough to keep this drama interesting without the romance.
Right from the start, the drama writers really wanted to establish one point: That everything may not be what it seems. With that in mind, I refuse to believe everything they’ve showed us thus far. Just like the case Cha Ji Won was investigating in Episode 1, there may be other reasons, or other motives, perhaps things aren’t like they’re being led on at the beginning. Right away we are made to believe that Baek Hee Sung is a heartless man who is pretending to love and care for his wife and daughter, and that he is capable of murder, but what do we know really?
Episode 2 left us on a cliff hanger. Making us believe Baek Hee Sung killed someone, but that’s what we thought about Episode 1 and the journalist Kim Moo Jin, and he actually did not kill him, but rather captured him and hid him away. There are other things we learned about Kim Moo Jin and Nam Soon Gil (the guy he attacked at the end of EP 2). Kim Moo Jin was an evil bully, to the point of tying up Do Hyun Soo to a tree and throwing rocks (of a large size) at him with his bully friends. Constantly picking on him for being the son of a murderer, and for being different. We learn that Do Hyun Soo or Baek Hee Sung, he’s had trouble all his life reading emotions and expressing emotions, a condition called Alexithymia that can be linked to the autism spectrum disorder. It would explain why we see him watching videos to learn to smile, and the claim Nam Soon Gil made about them going to the movies and Do Hyun Soo asking him which parts he should be laughing or crying about. We can’t excuse Nam Soon Gil and the flashback we got from when he worked with Do Hyun Soo. This guy actually stabbed Do Hyun Soo, showing us his violent nature. So, so far, not one character is completely guiltless.
My thoughts after the first two episodes? Is that this drama is going to be hard on our hearts. Making us question how well we know people, especially the ones we love, how much do we trust people? But also, I have a small amount of hope, that Baek Hee Sung’s wife, Cha Ji Won, will ultimately solve this case and do it justice. She focuses on the details, and makes sure justice is served, perhaps Do Hyun Soo/Baek Hee Sung did commit murder, but perhaps he’s not the only one to blame. Regardless, this drama is going to be GOOD. Tell me, are you into melo/thrillers? Do you like murder mystery dramas? If so, let me know in the comments if you are just as intrigued as me by the new thrilling drama: Flower Of Evil!
I feel blessed to have at least 3 friends now who also watch Korean dramas and yes, I met them all while traveling in Korea last year. I tried getting my local friends into Kdramas but they simply won’t even bother with them. I’ve recommended many dramas to them too and even told them they could now easily watch them on Netflix but nope, they simply don’t have interest in them!
Now my 3 friends who do watch dramas, they are all very different, and with differences in personality come differences in the types of dramas we like to watch! Nothing is funnier and sadder than asking a friend if they have seen a particular drama that YOU LOVED, just to find out they never watched it and don’t plan on!
Some of my friends really like those funny light hearted dramas, and don’t get me wrong I enjoy those too, but I also want my dramas to make me emotional, to have a deeper meaning, and for the characters to be a little more complex. Light hearted romance and comedy is fun but I need scenes like these too:
Dramas like: Strong Girl Bong-soon, Coffee Prince, and Love in The Moonlight, I’ve never bothered watching, just not my style, but I have friends who loved these dramas.
Dramas I’ve loved like: Doctor John, Pinocchio, Faith, Thirty but Seventeen, Rooftop Prince and About Time, haven’t even been watched by many of my friends! It really is just a matter of each individual’s taste, but I think you can all agree with me that when you fall in love with a drama, you wish everyone else loved it as much as you do.
I started this blog to be able to express my love for dramas out-loud. To be able to get more people to love something I love very much. I know that even if my friends did not like the dramas I watched, there has to be at least one person on the internet that did enjoy them as much as I did!
What dramas do you personally love that you feel didn’t get as much hype as they deserved? Do you have any hidden gems? What’s your favorite Kdrama genre? I’d love to know what all of you Kdrama lovers like to watch!
Who doesn’t want to be loved? To be held, to be told one matters?
These two episodes touched on the fact that sometimes people just desperately want warmth and love from others. Honestly it was sad watching all our characters from that lens. This weeks episodes started out with Ko Moon Young returning to her hometown, returning to her old home, “the cursed castle”. She also very openly expressed her new found obsession, Kang Tae. I mean she was willing to return to her hometown and even to the nursing home her father lives in, just to be able to spend some time with Kang Tae.
We learned that she is much more unstable mentally than we initially thought. Her personality really is all over the place, and it’s hard to figure her out, one moment she is doing reckless things, like almost running Kang Tae over when he tried to stop her from running away with a patient, and then other moments she’s actually doing things to help others out.
On the other hand, the second lead female character, she confuses me and scares me even more than Ko Moon Young. Nam Joo Ri honestly feels more evil and reckless than Moon Young, it’s the little things she does. Her small forced smile, the anger she’s holding back, the way she appears a good person, but you never really actually see her doing anything good. The fact that she’s never really happy and envies Ko Moon Young. It just scares me to wonder about what she is capable of. She’s for sure waiting to unleash her true self, I don’t believe her act for a second.
We learned a little bit more about Ko Moon Young’s mother. I think she is the reason why Ko Moon Young might be the way she is. It appears that her mother might have hid her away for some time, and she definitely put negative thoughts into her head. The memories of her mother and the person she was still haunt her. We were shown a scene where she seems to remember her mother’s death, she’s standing outside of a basement room with a big door lock, and she holds the key, on the other side is her mother, dead. We aren’t really given many details more. My theory is that her mother used to lock her up there and perhaps one day, she locked her mother up instead and her mother committed suicide. She may feel guilty, thinking that she was the reason her mother died, perhaps that is also why her father calls her a monster and wanted to kill her, perhaps he blames her too.
One of the most touching scenes, was not even a real scene at all, it was Ko Moon Young’s dream. After dreaming about her wicked mother, telling her the story of Sleeping Beauty, and telling Ko Moon Young that she was cursed, and the only one that could break the curse was the prince, but that was IF her mother didn’t kill him first. She then see’s herself when she is younger, and she’s looking down at the water of some lake, a woman is in the water, and is asking her to save her. She just stands there, until she pops out of the water screaming: Save me! She “wakes up” in another dream, and she’s crying, finally revealing to us that she isn’t as tough as she leads on, she gets scared and frightened just like everyone. She then imagines Kang Tae, he’s sitting there by her side, he puts his hand on her shoulder. Surprised to see him there, she then sits up and he caresses her cheek. “Don’t cry” he tells her, and she leans into his touch and even smiles a little and then sheds a tear. It was so touching to me because her dreams reveal a lot about what she wishes would happen. How she’s probably been battling these nightmares alone, all the pain from her past, but now she even dreams that Kang Tae will be there by her side, to comfort her, to soothe her and love her. You wouldn’t even think Ko Moon Young in real life would ever even want anything of that sort, since she pretends to hate everyone and everything and only care about herself, she also leads on that she is completely okay, and healed, but she still has a lot of scars left to heal.
The patient from these episodes also demonstrates his yearning to be loved by his family. He is the son of an assembly man, who has been pushed aside by his family all his life, for not being smart, for not being like his siblings, for being slow, and having a mental illness. His mental illness makes him have manic episodes where he does reckless things, like get naked in front of people, spend tons of money, and run away. He admits later that all he wanted was attention. Thanks to Ko Moon Young “kidnapping” him, he is able to reveal to the world, and his family, how much hurt they have caused him and why he has been acting the way he has been. His mother finally for the first time, pays attention to him, though furious, she snaps at him and even slaps him, but he is happy. He is happy to be finally acknowledged by his mother, he has a realization and tells Kang Tae “My mom doesn’t hate me, she loves me like crazy”.
We also find out that Kang Tae didn’t get much love from his mother. He was always put into second place, his brother with autism always being the more important one to his mother. We are shown heart breaking scenes of him getting wet by the rain, as his mother only shares the umbrella with Sang Tae, and also only hugs him as they sleep. Leaving Kang Tae to wish for the love and warmth that his mother only demonstrates towards his older brother.
All of the themes of this week’s episodes are summarized in Moon Young’s book: Zombie Kid. A book that got banned from being released because of its grotesque nature and illustrations, however, the message is a special and unique one. The story of a boy who was born without any feelings, only the desire to eat, his mother, thinking she is protecting him, locks him away, and makes sure he is well fed by doing everything she can to provide him with all the livestock to eat. However an epidemic strikes and kills off all the animals and many of the people, so the surviving move away, the mom remains with her child and to satiate his hunger and not having any more animals to feed to him, gives her son her own legs and arms so that he won’t be hungry, all that is left of her is her torso. In her dying moments, her son embraces her and speaks for the first time and says: “Mom, you’re so warm”.
It’s heartbreaking how some parents waste themselves away, doing everything they can so that their children have everything, material wise, but they forget about the true needs of their kids, love and warmth and quality time. The poor boy in the book, yes his mother made sure he ate, but by locking him away, she deprived him of the one thing he needed which was her, his mother.
THIS DRAMA IS HEAVY. It’s dark and emotional, and not light at all. We still have so much left to learn about all the characters. I am interested in learning more about what exactly happened between Moon Young and Kang Tae in their childhood. What about you guys? Are you guys digging this drama, or are you put off by the dark topics and rather watch a more lighthearted drama for the summer? Let me know, I’m interested in hearing what everyone else is thinking about this new drama! As for me, I am ready for EP 5-6!
Hello my name is Carolina! I am so excited to be writing this very first blog and introducing myself to *hopefully* people who also have a love for all things Korean dramas!
My kdrama journey began back in January of 2012, when my cousin Gaby told me to check out an amazing show on this website (RIP) called DramaFever! I was a tad skeptical at first, the website looked sketchy and the show she wanted me to watch was in Korean! I knew absolutely nothing, and I mean nothing about Koreans. When I jumped into the kdrama world, it was life changing! I learned about a completely different culture to mine (I’m Mexican) and learned little by little about their customs, food, language and about the beautiful country that is Korea. I became OBSESSED. I quickly jumped into Kpop too, for I think that is a little bit inevitable when you watch Korean dramas since the OST’s usually feature some amazing songs, and some singers from kpop groups sometimes get casted in these dramas too. Soon enough I found myself with all the other Kdrama and kpop lovers in my school meeting up for “Kpop club” during lunch! What did we do in this “club”? All we did was watch music videos on the big screens we had at the time in the classroom they let us use. Ah! Such great memories! If I could go back! 🥺
My kdrama obsession continued into college where I made a friend who was also watching the same drama as me, his name was Marco, we talked about the 2013 drama that was airing at the time called The Heirs at almost any possible moment we could during our Communications class. I realized even guys were into kdramas too!
There did come a moment though, a moment we probably have all gone through where we tried to quit kdramas. I tried to, I really did but no matter what, I kept coming back. Dramas are just these wonderful escapes from the real world, I had to learn to watch dramas in moderation, that is the key to success. If you watch them in moderation you can still enjoy a good drama and head to drama world, but still enjoy your real life too and make the most of your time!
In October of 2019, I finally took a trip to The Land of Kdramas, South Korea, and let me tell you, it looks just like the kdramas, so dreamy, picturesque and beautiful, the only thing missing was my leading man!
After coming back from South Korea, I have come to love dramas even more, because even if I am miles away in Southern California, I can escape for 2 hours to the place I wish I could call home!
So if you love Korean dramas as much as I do, please follow me along on this journey to spread that very love to everyone else who may still be missing out