Jang Hyun is living without purpose or desire. He's a cold-hearted man who loves no one until he gets introduced to love after meeting Gil Chae. She is charming and admired by all, but her first love, Yeon Jun, is already engaged to her best friend, Eun Ae. Yeon Jun, a Sungkyunkwan student, struggles with his feelings for Gil Chae but cannot break off his engagement due to tradition. Eun Ae does not doubt nor hate the two. As Jang Hyun becomes entangled in this unusual love triangle, Gil Chae, who has only loved Yeon Jun, is confused about her own feelings. The relationship between these four gets put into an even bigger twist at the breakout of war. Will they survive the challenges of war and find their love amidst the chaos? (Source: Viki) Edit Translation
- Português (Brasil)
Where to Watch My Dearest Part 2
Cast & Credits
AN UNFORGETTABLE CINEMATIC MASTERPIECE !***DISCLAIMER: This is just my opinion. We don’t have to agree and I’m not here to argue with anyone.***
THIS DRAMA IS BRILLIANT, INCREDIBLE, AMAZING, SHOW STOPPING AND SPECTACULAR. It may seem like I am over exaggerating but it was seriously so intense! I can’t even properly articulate how captivating it was. Not gonna lie the CHOKEHOLD this drama had me in for MONTHS definitely NEEDS TO BE STUDIED.
Since Part 1 this drama hooked me from the very beginning. The story is a long an tumultuous one, a rollercoaster ride with many many ups and downs for lack of better words. I feel I am truly blessed to have experienced this drama in 2023. I have always loved historical's especially in western shows but this drama made me realize my love for Saeguks in particular. This kdrama reminds me of every classic novel I've ever read. It’s filled with political intrigue, war, power struggles, women’s issues, survival, camaraderie, found family, societal expectations, class relations, love, marriage, the importance of reputation and so much more.
If you are debating whether to watch it or not I suggest you go for it. I don’t want to give too much away but it’s definitely an experience you do not want to miss. I know some will disagree with me and find some fault but there is something interesting and captivating in every episode. Even if you don't want to admit it this drama is ADDICTING. It managed to evoke a lot of feelings whether that be frustration, annoyance, anger, sadness or adoration – THE WORKS! It put us ongoing watchers through the wringer each week but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I feel so grateful to have known these characters and followed them along their journeys, both individual and together.
IN MORE DETAIL (SPOILERS AHEAD):
They exceeded my expectations in every episode. I can't express how wonderful this drama is. This show understands that every episode is important and that every single scene has a purpose. I'm astounded at the progress of the primary leads; they've come a long way. From the first episode, you can observe the difference and transformation. The intensity of the episodes, particularly their first reunion, the separation / goodbye, the "death" and their final reunion took a heavy toll on my emotions.
I’d like to give a big thanks to the crew members that brought the cinematography to life. The same is true for the writer for having this degree of commitment to the story. Additionally, with each successive episode and scene, our main characters improved their craft. I really hope they win many awards!
Firstly I want to commend the talented Namkoong Min and Ahn Eun Jin for bringing our dearest Gil Chae and Jang Hyun to life. Our beloved Jangchae will be remembered forever and always. For me at least, they will go down as one of the BEST and MOST WELL WRITTEN CHARACTERS IN KDRAMA HISTORY.
Gil Chae was My Dearest's actual heart and soul. She is undoubtedly my favorite character in 2023, and one of the top 3 in all of the dramas I have ever seen. Ahn Eun Jin's emotive and exceptional performance was profound. There are no words to express how much I adore Gil Chae. This drama proves that a strong-willed, feminine, kindhearted, sensitive, and perfectly imperfect female lead may exist without being annoyingly childish or portrayed as damsel in distress. Gil Chae truly matured throughout the course of this drama, and her character development is one of the best. I’m pleased Gil Chae never tried to define herself as a victim or force others to pity her. She remained resilient, resourceful, quick-witted, clever, and tenacious to the bitter end. Though she seemed overly understanding, selfless, and shortsighted at times, particularly when it came to Ryang Eum, the Qing Princess, and attempting to sacrifice her happiness in order protect Jang Hyun, her character was very nuanced, and I am grateful I got the opportunity to know her.
In a world of men, Jang Hyun is a "gentleman." I just felt compelled to make this point because he is by far the only male in this story who was kind, caring, compassionate wise beyond his years. Though I wished for more of his backstory as to how he became the man he is today, I believe the last two episodes neatly tied it up and as we watched him grow throughout the entire drama, you could always see and understand his motives because of the powerful messages he always managed to leave with other characters. I treasured watching him mature and prove himself to everyone. It was amazing to see him change his ideas after meeting Gil Chae and discovering someone he wanted to protect and stand by for years to come. Though he was a morally grey character in Part 1, he evolved into the guy he is today as a result of his experiences and the people he met along his journeys. He was more than just a merchant or an interpreter. He was the true diamond in the rough – the only one who saw everyone as a worthy human being and regarded everyone's life as important as his own.
He is the only man in this drama who ever took the time to understand people and the world. Jang Hyun's gentle and compassionate remarks to Young Rang, his reprimand of the Qing Princess, his advise to the Crown Prince and Princess, his powerful heart-breaking confession to Gil Chae and his final appeals to his father will never be forgotten.
The fact that Jang Hyun never once reduced a woman to her experiences needs to be recognized. He accepted Gil Chae as she was, never asked her to change and adored her and cherished her wholeheartedly. He is the epitome of what a guy should be. I know I've said it before, but he is the GOLD STANDARD. The fact that he had no intention of falling in love or even marrying until meeting Gil Chae years ago after saving her from falling from the swings says a lot. I will never ever forget the fact that after he first laid eyes on he he heard the sound of flowers and likened her to the marvel of Peru blooming. THAT IS A MAN HOPELESSLY IN LOVE. I admired how his loyalty to her never faltered for even one second. She was constantly at the back of his thoughts, no matter where he went or what he did. Even when his memories were erased, it was her voice that lingered.
Again I want to reiterate that Gil Chae and Jang Hyun are each others true equals. Their parallels and similar experiences say enough. They became daughters and sons to no one, yet they somehow found a home / safe place to land in each other. In their heart of hearts sworn by the moonlight and tied by the red thread of fate they were destined to always find each other. The ending of this drama is proof of that soul connection. Although people, places, and times changed throughout time, their love never wavered. That is more pure and sincere than any love story I have ever witnessed.
While love is not the main point of this drama, I can’t help but think it must be highlighted as the driving force that allowed them to be so courageous, endure, persevere and fight to protect the people they cared about.
I have never seen a kdrama where all the actors were actually flawless and nailed and sold their parts. I must applaud the actors who were members of the Royal palace, the Qing people and The Joseon captives who were so compelling! The supporting cast, which included children, intruders / invaders, and prisoners of war. I appreciate you putting your heart and soul into these performances. With the captives especially, you could feel their struggle, grief, frustration, heartbreak, and suffering. Even though you they were only in the supporting role, they captured my attention and more than delivered in helping to make this drama feel more real and riveting.
I loved Gu Jam, he was always able to make you laugh especially in his interactions with Jong Jong. Even though I disliked Yeon Jun, you knew he was doing something right when he was able to make people hate him. I was proud of Eum Ae for making a comeback in the final episodes and shedding light on the patriarchal and sexist culture that has no regard for the rights of women. Even though I despised Gak Hwa, she managed to make us almost feel sorry for her when she changed her mind and released Jang Hyun. Although she was by no means a good person, I'm satisfied that she was able to find some sort of closure in the end. Yang Chun will always be remembered as a hero for giving his life to save the captives. From having mixed emotions towards In Ok to entrusting her to take care of his son Taeng Taeng, he has come a very long way.
Ryang Eum – Oh boy! He and I definitely had a love hate relationship. I could not stand him at all because he was the problem / obstacle from part 1. If only he actually passed on Jang Hyun’s message and didn’t lie to Gil Chae that Jang Hyun had passed away our leads could have been together sooner. In part 2 you thought he would have learnt his lesson but no, he continued with his obsession and jealousy. He was so possessive over Jang Hyun even though he knew how much Jang Hyun and Gil Chae loved and would risk everything for each other. I also wish Ryang Eum's storyline was better developed because we just see him in a handful of scenes in prison wondering what happened to Jang Hyun after disclosing everything he knew and then nothing. I'd like to know how he was apprehended, why they thought he was insane, and why he was locked up for so long. I didn't like his character at first, but he matured and deserved better than the hand he was dealt. I'm sure he had no qualms about being imprisoned for Jang Hyun's sake / in his place, but it's unfortunate that he'll most likely have to live all his days in this manner. (Crazy bc I never thought I’d feel sorry for him either)
Yeon Jun - The last 2 episodes confirmed my hate and disdain for this man. His mindset is so ugly it shows that he does not care about women’s struggles. He doesn't really have a sense of direction or mind of his own. That’s why when Jang Chul hung himself and Eum Ae left him he tried to kill himself. He was such a pathetic coward to the very end. Out of all the characters he’s the one who never really changed for the better. He proved to be that same boy Gil Chae kept on pining over in the village because she did not know him better. Gil Chae dodged a bullet for sure, but Eum Ae who is such a sweet woman deserved so much better.
Officer Won Moo – Hated him from the moment he refused to believe Gil Chae was kidnapped. He spent all that time investigating and trying to find out whether she was actually taken or chose to run away with Jang Hyun instead of going out there, chasing down the intruders who took her and preventing her from crossing the border to Qing. Even after he found out the truth he was convinced by some men that she had already been defiled and that he would be better off re-marrying. He eventually abandoned her because he was weak and not able to endure her shame. The moment the husband chose his reputation over her wellbeing was the moment I considered them legally divorced. People are so quick to crucify Gil Chae and never hold Won Moo accountable but I am not one of those people. He literally went home, lied to everyone that thieves stole his goods, returned and then managed to knock up another woman all while Gil Chae was out their suffering and fighting for her life. I am glad he did not make an appearance in the last episodes after his exit in episode 16.
King Injoo – Senile and psychotic as ever. From day one we knew he would become an operative out to get everyone. I can’t believe he allowed the concubine Lady Cho to poison his mind against his own son and the captives. She prayed for their demise and in the end her curse came true. He was a fool and thats why he suffered in his last moments knowing he completely destroyed good people (Crown Prince So Hyun and Crown Princess Bin Kang)
Qing Princess – If you were here since the beginning you already know my sentiments towards her. Nothing changed for me because I hated her until the end. She had a change of heart in the end but that does not take away from the fact that she was ruthless, manipulative and selfish. She was 1 of the 2 obstacles in between our leads and I grew tired of her character. I felt like she took up a lot of screen time for such a boring character. It seemed like her entire existence revolved around Jang Hyun and trying to win his heart. That was disappointing since they made her character description seem like she was this badass princess. In my opinion she was all bark, no bite.
I believe that this drama could have been 4-5 episodes longer to fully delve into Jang Hyun and his sister's past. I was particularly interested Sam Do and his family and how they were murdered and how he became a slave. I also did not like the fact that Yeon Jun was used at the last minute to create unnecessary tension and strife in the last 2 episodes. To me, it just seemed like they tried to cram all that information in the eleventh hour. While I enjoyed it, as a lover of flashbacks and backstories, I wish there had been a bit more.
Additionally, the concept of time between events in this drama doesn't really make much sense and trying to figure it out was a struggle. Nevertheless, I looked past these minor flaws and just appreciated the drama for what it was.
I loved this drama so much, I don’t think anyone could have possibly loved this story more than me. I was there through it all –the back and forth, the difficulties, the tribulations, the suffering, the pushing each other away, the tension, anguish, desire, the pain, the war, the heartbreak, and now the sadness / depression that has ensued because this drama has ended. I'm not sure how another drama can ever equal this or fill the emptiness left by My Dearest.
My heart is overflowing with love and excitement knowing that our dears – Gil Chae and Jang Hyun, are safe. They got to live the life they always wanted together, they got to grow old together, even if we couldn't see past their reunion on that beach. The emotional high at the end had me crying my eyes out. I didn't need a kiss since their hug and facial expressions told me all I needed to know. They survived the storm and all of their trials and tribulations. THAT IS THE EPITOME OF TRUE LOVE AND DEVOTION. The fact that he lost his memories but remembered her voice and tracked it down to the precise location where she stated she wanted to live in the future is really full circle writing.
Some may argue that the ending was a fan service, but to me it seemed appropriate. It took time for Gil Chae and Jang Hyun to reconnect and find each other again, which was realistic. I loved the parallel of the conclusion with the first episode where we see Gil Chae’s dream of her following the red thread she dropped, crossing so many terrains, weathering all seasons, seemingly running forever until finally sees her husband’s silhouette and meets him again on that beach. In the last scene Jang Hyun seems to remember Gil Chae and gives me so much peace knowing that she will be there every day from then on to remind him and ensure he never forgets her, himself or their story.
The OST is so hauntingly beautiful and stays with you long after finishing each episode or the entire drama. I found myself listening to the OST while waiting on new episodes each week. Our lead, Ahn Eun Jin, sang one of the best songs, With My Heart. Additional appreciation goes to The Stray's My My Dearest, Lim Jae Hyun's Floral Shoes, MIYEON's The Painted On The Moonlight, Kim Feel's My Star, and 2NB's Love Affair.
Would I recommend this drama to others? Yes. It's the BEST kdrama I've seen this year and my roman empire. I will never move on. I'll also never forget how much time I spent sitting and waiting for new episodes to come out week after week, or participating in discussions here. I met so many new people because of My Dearest. This drama may have started underrated and overlooked but I want to thank those that stuck around and made this whole experience unforgettable.
I'm hoping "My Dearest" will go down in history as a K-Drama classic. It has some of the greatest writing, acting, and directing, intriguing topics coupled with the tragedies of war, survival, sorrow, finding light in the darkness, healing / coping with trauma etc. In simple words it is everything I hoped for and more.
This drama explores consequences of war, love, duty, responsibility, and power shifts in history. The most pertinent message of the drama lies in the idea that there is hope during a time of war. It's a juxtaposition of love and war + sin and sacrifice. It demonstrates how GC and JH fall in love despite the war setting and develop a relationship with each other and overcome their perils and adversity. It also emphasizes patriarchal society's bleak outlook and the disastrous implications it has on its victims. The most important lesson is to acknowledge how fleeting life is and to seize each moment of happiness while it lasts.
Please be advised that this is not a happy story. It depicts the hardships of war in a realistic manner. There is far more sorrow than joy. If you're prepared to endure, then watch this drama. I guarantee you will not be disappointed. Each episode finishes on a cliffhanger or with a promo that reels you back in and leaves you wanting more. If you don’t believe me then just watch and see for yourself.
With everything said I give this drama a 10/10.
See my review of part 1 here: https://rb.gy/vplfh0
Thanks for reading and happy watching!
Another milestone of epic love story & a new aspirant for the hall of fame of historical KDramasNow that another 11 episodes of the second season of “My Dearest” have come to an end, I have a couple of additional thoughts, that I would like to add to season 1.
In my opinion, the mission (I am here referring to the side note of my review for season 1) was a complete success in terms of the haunting dramaturgical interlinking of personal fates, love stories and a historical context, whose traumatic shadows for the national self-image extend to this day. Therefore I consider “My Dearest” as definitely belonging to the hall of fame of historical KDramas. And as a milestone of epic love stories, too.
So, on the one hand, there is the never-ending, tragic roller coaster of this fateful lovers... at times you may even become impatient that this (hopefully!) has to come to a happy ending soon, shouldn´t it? On the other hand, it is precisely because of those two significantly insignificant contemporaries and their personal context that we are cleverly torn ever deeper into the actual historical and political framework of that time. Whether we like it or not. Basically, we are of course primarily concerned with the touching dynamic between the two :-) but, nevertheless, we inevitably get closer to the dilemmas of the people, their problematic king and the political framework of that historical chapter, too... Thus, the emotional intensity of the love story kind of also serves as the cream topping for an audience, who is going all the way through this humiliating (preferably repressed) time for Joseon.
This brings me to the second:
I was positively surprised, how Confucian moral values (based on ruling authority, especially morality and loyalty) are openly pilloried in this production. Actually, the MBC KDrama production “My Dearest” from 2023 takes a pleasingly liberal stand, when it comes to a conclusion. Officially, in the narrative of the story, authoritarian values are upheld, but for the audience, this supposedly unerring path to ´order´ and ´harmony´ is clearly revealed to have failed.
It is said that the fish rots from the head down. Eventually, when it comes to such a stench, the noble, ethical-political teaching of Confucius must fail, too, if authority (embodied by the king, the teacher or the father) is weak, sick and delusional. Loyalty to a delusional king or an almost fanatical adherence to principles obviously borders on stupidity. Thus, it doesn't accomplish anything. On the contrary. Dramaturgically speaking, “My Dearest”´ haunting dynamic is driven by exactly this officially ethically legitimated, but then in fact again personally motivated 'stupidity' of some, who call themselves scholars or nobles. Practically speaking, it is about stranded traditional Confucian values… and therefore, as far as Joseon at that time is concerned, highly self-critical, too. (E.g. it is neither ONLY the Qing, to be blamed, nor ONLY the Joseon king…)
And as a third:
In my opinion, Ahn Eun-jin in the role of Gil-chae has really catapulted herself into a new league of acting over the course of the series - with her increasing presence, depth, authenticity and overall growing charisma. Respect! I'm definitely looking forward to further productions with her as female lead...