Review: My Love Eun Dong

2015
Genre: Romance, Melodrama
Written by: Baek Mi-kyung
Directed by: Lee Tae-gon, Kim Jae-hong
Starring: Jo Jin-mo, Kim Sa-rang
Number of episodes: 16
Average rating: –
Original network: JTBC

Hi guys, happy Chinese New Year to you all who celebrated! Hope everyone have a great year ahead. I’m not feeling my best these days and I have to constantly cheer myself up. There are just so many things on my mind at the moment that I just feel overwhelmed by. It’s nothing serious, but I just wish that I can control my mind and emotions a bit better hahaha. So, probably this isn’t the perfect timing for a melodrama, is it?

I don’t want to spoil anything, so for now let’s jump into the review.

Fact #3: Once I got a 0 on my English test in elementary because I misread the whole question lol.

What’s it about?

A man and a woman who are bound by fate. To fall in love and finding each other even after two decades. The situation may have changed altogether and nobody in the world are in for their favour, but their love is like a never ending melody.

What to expect?

  • First love, separation, waiting, amnesia, all that stuff
  • “Forbidden” romance
  • Stellar performance by Jo Jin-mo
  • Alluring soundtrack
  • Beautiful cinematography
  • Adorable bromance
  • Annoying, flat second female lead
  • Realistic happy ending

What not to expect?

  • Family drama
  • Misunderstanding, revenge, twists, that kind of stuff
  • Evil villains
  • Lot of tears while watching (presumably)

My long review starts here

Spoiler alert.

Okay, first let me just say that this drama is absolutely beautiful—the tone, the vibe, the color scheme, everything is visually stunning. It felt like watching a beautiful music video, only this is a 16-episodes drama.

Honestly this drama surprised me, the writer took an interesting route with this one. I was emotionally drown into the first episodes so much, the first two stages of Hyun-soo and Eun-dong’ relationship. I admire how innocent and pure it all started. The 13-year old Eun-dong walked into 17-year old Hyun-soo’s life and changed him for the better. He changed from a rebel to someone who was willing to learn to care for others. Their relationship at that time felt more like siblings, but I’m not mad about it. Park Jin-young portrayed young Hyun-soo perfectly, while Lee Jae-in still have much to learn and develop in my opinion.

The next stage of their love story, they met again as adults and quoted from Hyun-soo, Eun-dong returned to his life as a woman in front of him. That affection from the teenage years developed into something new, more demanding and passionate. I’m not crazy for this stage of their relationship to be honest, I feel like both parties were too impulsive and blinded by love. They didn’t give much thought into their future nor the life of each other. But I guess, that’s the point of it, isn’t it?

So, back to how I said this drama surprised me, the initial episodes were so heartbreaking to watch that I couldn’t even finish it in one go. I had to pause several times and did something else because I just can’t handle the emotions going on. I even thought of dropping this drama because I just couldn’t imagine how the rest of the show would turn out. That’s the thing about melodramas, I like them for the reason that I can get the emotional attachment with it but at the same time I’m afraid that they will affect me too much.

But this drama turned out to be much lighter, easy to follow, and not too overwhelming as I expected.

As I said before, the writer took an interesting route on how things unfold. The beans were spilled and secrets were discovered so early on the ride that they didn’t leave us waiting anxiously for the “big revelation” to take place. In fact, it didn’t happen at all. While this drama is like a typical classic cliché about first love, I feel like the leads were more mature than I expected them to be. It’s heartbreaking to watch Hyun-soo or Eun-ho held his overflowing emotions in with all of his willpower. I was expecting him to lose it when he finally found Eun-dong again after ten years, but he didn’t. And I appreciate that they didn’t let the amnesia thing became the center point of the plot. Again, Eun-dong recovered her memory way faster than I expected.

The show as an overall focused more on how Hyun-soo and Eun-dong deal with all kind of situation in every stage of their story. How their love can be preserved and serve as the reason for everything.

Gosh, I already wrote so much and I’m not even halfway done. Please forgive me for giving you another ridiculously long review lol.

This show made me think, so much. I admit that this show is cliché and the “too good to be true” kind of plot. But it didn’t stop me from wondering: if someone had wait ten years (more accurately twenty years) like Hyun-soo did, does it mean that he earned the ultimate right for everything? That he deserved to be happy even at the cost of someone else’s happiness? Please leave me your thoughts on this down below, I’m so curious on you guys’ opinion on this.

For me personally, I would say that it depends on which way do you see it. It’s completely biased in my opinion. Personally, I root for Hyun-soo and Eun-dong, therefore I think that he deserved everything that he could ever wished for, and in this case, is Eun-dong.

Before we move on to discuss other characters, I want to say that I’m so impressed by Joo Jin-mo’s performance as Hyun-soo. He mastered his facial expression and I could see the 17 and 27-year old’ Hyun-soo reflected so well. As for  Kim Sa-rang, I don’t think her performance being as wonderful as her partner, but alone, she portrayed Eun-dong so charmingly. She’s undoubtedly beautiful physically (she had been crowned Miss Korea) and her voice is probably the most soothing voice I’ve ever encountered in K-dramas. I have no complain on both of their performance.

Watching the earlier episodes made me hate on everyone but Hyun-soo, even Eun-dong herself. I know it isn’t Fun-dong’s fault for losing her memories, but the fact that she lived well with a family for solid ten years while Hyun-soo still being stuck in the never-ending loop, I just couldn’t help but blame everyone in the show. But I pulled myself together and became invested in the characters as the show went on, especially Jae-ho and Ra-il.

Jae-ho’s such an interesting character—or you could say “villain” of the show. For me personally, watching him crying alone in the room day by day and his intimate  interaction with Ra-il, I just couldn’t hate him like everyone else does. While most of the times all I want to do is choke him to death for all of the despair he brought to Eun-dong and Hyun-soo, I truly can feel his genuine fatherly love toward Ra-il. Well, if I have to make up my mind, then I’d say that I hate him for being so freaking selfish and sly. I couldn’t even sympathise with his disability, he deserved it after all.

I had some wavering moments when thinking about Jae-ho, but at the other hand,  Seo-ryung just got on my nerves every time she appeared on the screen. She’s the true useless, annoying, obsessed, and boring second female lead. The typical character in K-drama, but they could have made her more interesting and not so flat. I want to have emotional battle whether or not I can hate her wholeheartedly rather than wanting to punch her in the face all the time. I just don’t get why is she so obsessed with Hyun-soo—after the first encounter through a message, seriously? Give her character more depth!

As for the ending, honestly I don’t really have any opinion. If you know me, one thing I hate the most is noble idiocy. I hate when the characters “sacrificed” themselves by leaving for the sake of everyone. It’s more interesting to watch them face the problems head-on without holding back, or just elope with your loved ones, anything! But this show in particular, I just couldn’t see any possible solution for them. Both of them had waited for almost two decades to be together, but what if there’s just nobody in the world that are happy for them? In a short term, they can say that they’ll just ignore them. However, it’s just unrealistic in the long run. They have to deal with people every single day of their live: working, eating out, going on a date, and don’t forget that Ra-il will also be affected so bad by this. If they chose to leave the country and start fresh, again, I’m sure that Ra-il would never agree on this and it would leave a permanent scar within him. Therefore, while again they used “separation” as the ultimate solution, I don’t see it completely as a noble idiocy because it didn’t actually focus on the hardships of them being apart. The one-year period truly worked for the good, for both of them and everyone else.

I think of this show as a beautiful poetry with some delicate fragments. It’s a well polished version of a classic first love tale. The show had some of the strongest silent moments I’ve ever seen, and those metaphorical dialogues are simply wonderful. 

I love the final moment of this show so much that I want to share it here, so the My Love Eun-dong essay book that Eun-dong ghostwrote will be adapted as a drama and Eun-dong will co-write it as well:

But the main character is a woman. It’s a story about how this female character loved one man for 20 years. The man doesn’t know, he only knows about how he loved her. That woman loved that man much more, and before he did. You see, at a young age of 13, she knew it was her first love. — Ji Eun-dong

Indeed, the show as a whole focused on Hyun-soo’ love for Eun-dong since the beginning, his side of love. But it’s true that Eun-dong loved him first before he did, as she said, for a thirteen-year old kid, that Oppa was her entire universe. I just found the realisation so fascinating, it never crossed my mind while watching the show that Eun-dong also loved him for the whole twenty years. On top of that, he remained in her heart during the period when she lost her memory, it must be so frustrating and depressing for her.

So, yeah, this is all I want to say about this drama. I don’t know if it’s possible, but I wonder if there’s love like that in this world, out there somewhere.

Rating

Objective: 9.5/10
Subjective: 9.5/10

You will enjoy this if you like

So, this is a new section on my reviews! I want to recommend you some “similar” options to the drama that I’m reviewing. It might be useful if you want to watch another dramas like it or if you’re debating whether or not you’ll enjoy this drama based on the others you have watched. The similarity may vary from the actual plot, vibe, or even just the feeling of the drama. The options are simply for references and will not be exactly the same.

For My Love Eun Dong, I will compare it to Love Rain (similar vibe, less poetic) and I Miss You (similar plot, more intense).

Last but not least

I must say that this isn’t a drama that will work for everyone, especially if you don’t like melodramas. If you like them but you are just so picky on what to watch like me, I’d say give it a try! For me personally, this drama is one of those good melodramas out there and it’s underrated. There are so many worse dramas out there that got more attention and it’s kind of a bummer.

So, yeah guys, see you on my next post!

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