Genre: Romance, Comedy, Slice of Life
Written by: Im Sang-choon
Directed by: Lee Na-jeong
Starring: Kim Ji-won, Park Seo-joon, Ahn Jae-hong, Song Ha-yoon
Number of episodes: 16
Average rating: 9.4% (TNmS)
Original network: KBS2
Hi guys! I’m so sorry that there was no post last week. I was just really tired and busy with some college event and stuff. Actually I was thinking of doing “My Top 10 Dramas of All Time” kind of thing last week. What do you think? I will probably do it next week though.
So, today’s post as you can see is another review of a drama I just finished yesterday. This is a really popular drama at the moment and I am sure you guys were watching it as well? Please leave a comment below of what you think of this drama because I really love it!
Without further ado, let’s jump into the review.
What’s it about?
People said that it is never too late to live your dreams. People said that falling in love with your best friend is the best thing in the world. And those are exactly what this drama is about. The struggle, dilemma, and journey of four best friends in their career and relationship. It was not something out of the world, but that was what made it so special.
What to expect?
- Best friends romance
- Smart-written RomCom
- Heart-warming experience
- Addicting soundtrack
- Amazing chemistry between the leads
- Bunch of hugs and kisses
- Steady pace moving
- Annoying third-wheel
- An extraordinary daily life
- Light yet relatable atmosphere
What not to expect?
- Crazy-evil villains
- Family drama
- Too melancholy scenes
- Being kept at the edge of your seat
My long review starts here
First of all, as someone who is not the biggest fan of romantic-comedy, I must say that I am impressed by how smart and effective this drama is written. It gave the perfect amount of comedy without making the characters look like fools, which is my top issue with some RomCom out there. I truly enjoy every single moment of this drama and it actually made into my top 10 of all time!
I will split this review into several parts, talking about each individual character, their relationship with each other, and some minor aspects from this drama.
Let’s start of my general thoughts of this drama. I think what made this drama stood out was the extraordinary daily life setting. We did not get the story of super rich chaebol with powerful family nor the story of people living in the poorest neighbourhood that were unable to meet their daily needs. We got the story in between, which I believe is the life most of us live in. Just a bunch of ordinary people with their daily struggle and events that was so relatable to the viewers.
As far as the main characters, Ae-ra was my favorite. She just tugged at my heartstrings. She was someone with many flaws, but did not try to hide it. She had her insecurities and she did not pretend to be so strong all the time. She was not a heroine, but she knew how to protect her own self. When it was revealed that Ae-Ra had been loving Dong-Man all along for 20 years, I wanted to cry so bad and I did. No wonder why all of Ae-ra’s past relationship had ended in disaster, because it had always been Dong-man.
While Ae-ra being one that was aware of her feelings all this time, Dong-man was someone completely clueless. He had been protecting and stayed by Ae-ra’s side for 20 years, but he had zero idea that it was because he loved that girl. But despite his cluelessness and slight obtuseness, I still found this man adorable and lovable.
What I love the most of this couple is that while they fight for each other’s sake, they never overstep each other’s boundaries. They respect each other’s decision although it may hurt themselves a little bit. They knew when to step in and when to pull out. And what is more beautiful than falling in love with your own best friend? For me, it is the best thing in the world and something I want for myself. Because what is greater than being with someone who has known and accept you inside out long before they develop some feelings toward you? And the best thing is nothing has to change in the relationship. You are still each other’s best friend and top of that, someone who will spend the rest of the life with you. I am a strong believer that there can not be pure friendship between male and female. I mean, they can be casual friends for sure but when it comes to the kind of friendship where you are basically each other’s soulmates, I am not so sure. Just like Ae-ra and Dong-man.
I also want to give a honourable mention to our second couple, Sul-hee and Joo-man. Their relationship is more complicated than Ae-ra and Dong-man’ as they were practically had been in serious relationship for long 6 years and already thought of marriage. At the beginning, I was a bit annoyed by Sul-hee whose world revolved only around Joo-man who seemed did not love her as much as she did. But it turned out that the problem was they were walking on their own, with their own pace despite heading toward the same direction. It could be a serious problem in a relationship, because they were practically not walking together anymore. They just kept on walking without appreciation of the moment of being together, and that was when their relationship was put on a test. You stop and take a moment to think whether continue to walk the path is worth it or not. And I was glad that the writer did not end the show with their marriage right away, we saw that they were still in the process of developing their “new” relationship.
I think the show’s greatest strength was its pace. At first, I was afraid that the “figuring out the feelings” between Ae-ra and Dong-man would take too long. But turned out the writer managed to deliver it in the simplest yet memorable way possible. They always missed each other’s timing for 20 years, and I was glad that the writer did not make them wait any longer to finally be in the same page. The show effectively utilised its pace by not lingering on one event for too long and kept moving forward in the most enjoyable way.
If I could have a complain, it would be some “minor aspects” that were left out completely. I wanted to learn more of Dong-man’s little sister, Dong-hee. I almost thought she was dead as she was never mentioned until the very last moment of the show. I also wanted to see more interaction of our four heroes in action together beside having breakfast and drinking at Namil Bar. I wanted to see them really “be there for each other” more, after all they were friends for 10 and 20 years right? I also feel like the landlady part was also a bit rushed on Ae-ra’s part. Could being reunited with a mother you have never met in your entire life be that easy? And last, we all knew why Dong-man stopped doing Taekwondo and it was understandable that he wanted to fight Tak-su once again in a fair and square circumstance. But what about his dream? From what I have got from the show, Taekwondo and MMA were different things (or were it the same?). I was a bit confused in this part. So did Dong-man give up on Taekwondo and changed to MMA just to get back with Tak-su? The same went with Ae-ra, I did not know if I missed it or what, but what was the reason Ae-ra did not pursue being an announcer as her job? Unlike Dong-man, she did not have a trauma or anything so why?
Okay, so despite all of that, I still love this show so much. And I read somewhere that their story was inspired by Cho Sung-hoon and Yano Shiho’ who starred in Return of Superman few years back. It is truly frightening and scary to watch the one you love steps into the ring to fight each time. And I could totally understand Ae-ra’s dilemma and decision to put their relationship to the end if Dong-man continued to fight. I was glad of how this issue resolved in the end. Both of them took a step back for each other’s sake.
And did I mention how great Kim Ji-won was in her first leading role? I have always been a fan of her since The Heirs and she matured in her acting more in DOTS and now she’s so badass and cool.
Last but not least
This is totally a drama for everyone! Despite what your genre preference is, there is something for everyone in this drama. You will enjoy this drama nonetheless, I promise!