WARNING: CONTAINS POSSIBLE SPOILERS!!!
Summary: Ho Goo (Choi Woo Shik) was never popular, cool or noticeable. He has not succeeded much within the academic or romantic aspects of his life. When national swimmer, Do Do Hee (UEE), transfers into his school Ho Goo almost immediately falls in love. Unfortunately, it did not seem as if Do Hee shared the same feelings and almost completely ignores Ho Goo. Fast-forwarding into adulthood, Ho Goo is now a web comic artist while Do Hee continues to be a second-rank national star. The paths of these two characters cross again leading to many misunderstandings, secrets and the birth of a new life.
I was initially hesitant to start this drama because UEE is one of my least favourite idol turned actors; her acting has been consistently cringe-worthy. However, I decided to take the risk and watch the series. To my surprise, the show was actually great!
UEE’s acting has slightly improved; I no longer feel awkward while seeing her on screen. Also, each episode prodded and picked at almost every emotion within me. Most times I was laughing, there were many funny scenes, but there were times that I was mystified, confused, sad or even angry. The plot was well planned, but the characters really enhanced the storyline and really made scenes relatable enough to appeal to your emotions.
Some of my favourite characters in the show included: Ho Goo, his sister, Ho Gyeong (Lee Soo Kyung) and Kang Cheol (Seulong). With so many main characters, it was almost inevitable that a love web would occur. However, what set apart these intertwining relationships from others is fact that Kang Cheol questioned his sexuality and had admiration for Ho Goo. This was one of the funniest situations in the show and Seulong’s exaggerated and panicked acting made this even funnier. I can never look at this ballad singer the same way again.
What really got me about this storyline is that it included a lot of themes that are taboo in Korea. Rape, abortion, homosexuality and being a single mother are all sensitive topics in Korea (and much of the world). It was surprising that the writers and directors were willing to take such a big risk including all of these taboo subjects into one series, but still making it enjoyable to watch. Using these themes, the show provided viewers with a lot of explicit and implicit lessons to be learnt.
The plot also consisted of a lot of mystery and secrets, which led to numerous misunderstandings between the characters. This was also a source of comedy within the plot. At the center of many of these misunderstandings was Ho Goo, who often created over-the-top assumptions before hearing the facts. First, he assumed that Kang Cheol was the father of Do Hee’s child. Then, he assumed that the father was dead and Do Hee was carrying a grieving heart. It was only near the end of the series where Ho Goo finally learns the truth, but it created many humorous situations because while the audience was aware of the situation, Ho Goo was still clueless and in his own world.
This show was not all laughs and joy, there were many heart-wrenching scenes such as the loss of Do Hee’s one true friend in high school, when we learn of Kang Cheol’s dysfunctional family and Do Hee’s sexual assault case. However, there was a good mix of each element not making the show too funny or too sad.
I recommend adding this drama to your “to see” list if you have not done so. There are dynamic characters, relatable scenes and real situations that do not seem overbearingly cliché. It is a step up from your usual predictable Korean drama series.