This drama is about a boy on the edge of life and death, and his family's quest to find the truth. Amidst the lies and secrets, mistrust and pain, the family looks for hope in this crazy world. Mu Jin, is a teacher and a father. His wife, In Ha, runs 'Ho Ho Bakery' and they have a 9th-grade son and an 8th-grade daughter. For the sake of their kids' education, they move to a different neighborhood. One day, at their new competitive school, Sun Ho gets into an accident, causing him to become brain dead. The father and mother filled with great guilt and rage because of the accident, investigate to find out what happened to cause the accident. Su Ho, Sun Ho's baby sister, also sets out on her own to find out the truth behind her brother's accident.
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Cast & Credits
Keeping this the main theme, which I suppose the writer got inspired from the book Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger, the dramatization took place with some usual dramatic formula. Although it ended with a little unexpected twist but still it maintained to retain its main essence till the end. As the very name of this drama, the makers also ended it in a positive note rather than making it into a heart wrenching one, signaled from the first episode. The story dynamics and the pace of progress per episode was interesting all through.
Also liked the little optimistic message it delivered in the end – to always keep our hopes up and only move forward in order to make everything beautiful around us.
Bullying is a sensitive topic and is a wide social problem in South Korea. No wonder they always try to highlight this issue through visual media to indirectly create awareness. The mood of this drama and story writing is commendable by Kim Ji Woo. She has a certain style of writing which I really love. It exudes somewhat similar feel like the drama Memory and later found out she is the screenwriter of both of them. I just did not like the camera work - the peeping style camera angle or the extreme close shot of every face - which actually gave me a headache. Directions, OSTs, acting by the ensembles all were praiseworthy. All the child actors were excellent, mainly Nam Da Reum and Seo Dong Hyun. Seo Dong Hyun was remarkable in playing the negative role. Unimaginable, how he could manage to pull the skill so maturely at such a young age. He was phenomenal in portraying the evil expressions. Nam Da Reum is always exceptional. They both have the brightest future ahead. The actors in their parents’ role all gave their best performance.
All in all it’s a well - written, directed and acted- drama no one should miss.
The life of this drama lay within the situation it had created that allowed the writer to explore the helplessness that is integral to human nature. It discussed how environments shape people, how parents shape children, and how the basic instinct to protect your offspring can have far-reaching consequences. It did not limit itself to calling bullies the scum of the earth, and unfolded their domestic situations and personalities. It depicted many kinds of bullies: one doing it for pleasure, one doing it under pressure, one attacking what they cannot have, and one acting as a bystander. There were also those who redeemed themselves and those that went on with life. Moreover, the relationships the writer had drawn were really heartfelt. My favourite was Moo Jin and his student Dong Soo's consideration for each other. The side stories and characters had a purpose, either acting as an insight into the characters or served to help them grow. Not to mention, I became attached to them, and so will any viewer, I am sure, especially to Dong Hee and Dong Soo.
This drama happens to be one of the rare cases where flashbacks did not become an intrusion because the transitions from present to past and back again were edited nicely. The imagery was great as well, for example: Joon Seok lived in a glass-like house, very telling of the prison-like environment imposed upon him 24/7, and then there was the warmth of Seon Ho’s home. The reference to The Catcher in the Rye was befitting to the topic at hand.
The pacing could be painstakingly slow at times, but it’s a melodrama, so it is a given. I think the writer could have stretched the show to two more episodes to cover the aftermath in a better way, or the given time should have been used more efficiently by cutting out repeated moments and adding in those worthy of being shown. I think Joon Seok’s redemption and new-found friendship with Dong Soo had great power and should have been explored further. Had Seon Ho gained consciousness earlier, the writer could have effectively handled this and could have made it a better story. Aside from that, there were a few questions they never answered, like Seon Ho’s password. I also noticed how the police felt a tad unprofessional with the way they treated the case earlier on.
Joon Seok was one of the most complex characters in the whole show, and I applaud the actor for bringing him to life; I went from hating him to feeling sorry for him till finally wanting a better life for him. The child actors did a brilliant job at their roles, and so did the adults.
The OSTs were soft and very pleasant to the ears, despite the tears they resulted in. I think they will go to my playlist. One of them, however, was a hip-hop sound and would have felt out of place had they used it as BGM, which they thankfully did not. Overall, a sensible choice of background score.
I don’t think this will be one in my rewatch list, mostly because it is a melo and I get impatient easily. However, a few moments tugged at my heartstrings and had great power in their subtlety so I might return to them.