This drama got under my skin. I started it and I didn’t realised when I finished it. I could have easily marathoned it given the time. It was such a great, heartwarming drama that made it to my favourite list.
After finishing this drama and while trying to read reviews and thoughts from other people I read that it has some typical aspects of a melodrama, birth secrets, serious illnesses,tragic deaths, and a wrenching love triangle (credit Outside Seoul) and it is true. But before I read these lines I never thought about those things. It felt very natural, like things that can happen in your life. So despite the fact that it seems like a typical melodrama it really is nothing like it.
The story revolves around Lee Young Shin a single mother who is living with her daughter and her grandfather, who has dementia, in a small korean island. Her daughter was infected by HIV when treated in a hospital. Min Ki Seo is a famous doctor whose girlfriend was responsible for the little girl’s infection. Now, trying to fulfill his deceased girlfriend wish, is heading to the island to apologize on behalf of his girlfriend.
For me the story is told through its characters. It doesn’t have plot twists, big secrets that get revealed or something like that. It is the characters and their journey that tells us the story. So I thought I’ll talk about the major characters and my thoughts on their behavior and the path they chose or were forced in a way to choose in life. For me it is only through them that I’m gonna be able to say the things that I got from watching this drama.
Lee Bom played by Seo Shin Ae
She is the most precious thing ever. She is full of life. She is as innocent as any kid. She is always happy, she loves everyone and brightens up everyone’s day and life. I love the way that like all kids she doesn’t hold any grunges. She was abandoned by her father but she is always thinking of him as a smart and warm person. She is ill-treated but she stills cares for the ones that ill-treat her. But unfortunately she is a kid that needed to grow up faster than the other kids. She is so often left responsible for her old grandfather and she is the one that emotionally supports her mother, even without realising it. It’s her energy that keeps her mother going. And she was unfortunate enough to get sick. And it wasn’t her fault, as almost always is the case. She has to learn from such an early age that she shouldn’t count on others when she needs help. But on the other hand to always put out her hand for someone in need to take it. It is something you learn while growing up. Not a lot of people will help you and it is such a hard lesson to learn especially from such a young age. It was hard to see her sad and cry, and it was sadder to she a small child feel responsible for something that she wasn’t.
Lee Young Shin played Gong Hyo Jin
She is the mother and the person that holds everything and everyone together. The life she was supposed to live never happened and instead she was faced with a life full of hardships. You can never tell how your life would end up being but what she did was admirable. She never allowed to herself to think what could have been. She worked with what she had. And she was happy and content with the life she was able to create. Everyone around her pitied her because of her situation, but no one really saw her as what she was- a hardworking mother who was happy with the way her life was. Despite all she was able to remain strong. She was forced to face situations that would break even the strongest ones out there. But she holds everything in. But the thing is she never allowed anyone to come close to her, to help her while she was trying to hold everything in. But in life sometimes you need to let others to help you because if you don’t life would just be a long long uneventful road full of hardships. At some point you need to take a step back and let others help you, or at least comfort you. You deserve it. She deserved it.
Min Ki Seo played by Jang Hyuk
He is someone who is feeling lost. His relationship with his family, the death of his beloved girlfriend when he couldn’t do anything as a doctor to help her, and his “task” he is given by her have drained all the human feelings from himself. All but the sadness. He is someone who had given up life, or the life that he wanted, but I know that deep down he was just looking for a purpose in his life. And he found it. Meeting with Young Shin’s family changed him and his life. Being close to love, intimacy, simplicity, optimism and kindness that this family had he re-learned that no matter what happens you can still move on. Being sad doesn’t mean you have to stay sad. He came to care for this family and he came to love this woman. He was the one that reminded her that her life was just different and the opposite of pitiful. He respects her, admires her, never gives up on her and fights for her feelings. He is such a great character and I loved the way he slowly changed, and became this warm person that couldn’t stand still when watching someone in need. (Just a small note for anyone who has seen the drama- my most favourite scene was the one where Min Ki Seo ties up Young Shin’s hair, it gave me chills. It was something so pure, so caring so so.. )
Choi Suk Hyun played by Shin Sung Rok
He is someone that I didn’t like. He knew what he was and did nothing to change it. He left people to deal with something that was his responsibility too. He lost his chance. In real life lost chances always remain lost chances and truth is people and life doesn’t give second ones. He thought he had rights, he thought he could have the life he tossed around. But he couldn’t. He did what Young Shin didn’t- he was always thinking what could happen if things were different. He lived his life in regret but living like that doesn’t give you anything. It just makes you miserable and pitiful. Moving on is the only thing you can do. And apologizing when needed even though in reality an apology doesn’t change anything at least it changes the way the other person sees you.
Mr Lee played by Shin Goo
Mr Lee portrays what happens when life is coming to an end. You see things the way you’re supposed to see them. You only keep the good ones and forget the bad ones. You are able to see the person behind the mask that they might wear. It’s so difficult to do so and when you’re younger you just find it easier to believe that someone is who they tell they are. You might not look deeper. He was someone who wanted to die at his home and someone who wanted to make other people a little bit happier. And he did. He really did.
Ignorance is one of the most dangerous things in this world. Ignorance leads to misunderstandings and fear. When you don’t know, you fear. And fear makes people cruel. So cruel that they wouldn’t care if they even hurt a little child. Ignorance also doesn’t accept being different. Being different means that you are the unknown. And people fear the unknown. And we are back were we started.
Overall it was such a great drama. I am forever thankful that I gave it a try and I hope more people do too. I’m gonna end this long kind-of-a-review thing with the overall feeling of the drama.
Their lives were both happy and sad. Our lives are both happy and sad. It is the way things are.
(pictures credit Soompi)