Warning: This Article May Contain Spoilers + Possible Triggers
If you dislike spoilers with a fiery passion, please avoid this article!
It’s me again. I’ve finally decided to write another article and this time it’s for the romantic comedy My Strange Hero (복수가 돌아왔다). As you all know I am a fangirl at heart and a very avid one at that. So much so that I rarely find a drama I have too much of a dislike for and luckily this one didn’t give me a reason to dislike it.
The first drama I ever completed on my drama adventure was I’m Not A Robot, hence my adoration for Yoo Seung Ho began and since then my appreciation for him and his choice of projects has grown. My Strange Hero being one of them.
This article will not only consist of information on the drama but also a bit of fangirling (I am made up of 1% water and 99% fangirl). I hope it helps to either tempt some to start this drama or fangirl over it because they too have completed it.
This consists of not only me being a complete and total fangirl about this drama but also ANIMATED GIFS and SCREEN CAPTURES, please protect yourself from spoilers by closing out the tab before getting spoiled.
BINGE ALERT: All 32 episodes are available for watching on Kocowa (yes! really!)!
Here we go!
Before we get into discussing this drama, I feel we should cover a few bases in regards to warnings and possible heavy content in this drama. In lieu of not wanting to give away too much information, I will jot down a few things that might strike as a need for a warning or possible triggers. These are either mentioned, hinted at, or actually in the drama itself. Bad family environment, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts, pre-meditated suicide, bad parenting, revenge, emotional abuse, verbal abuse, evil parental figure, bad parental figure, school problems, bullying, corrupt system, abuse of power... and more.
Please take note of the trigger warnings and be careful when approaching this drama. Although I have a lot of points that I like about the drama, it doesn’t mean it’s worth being triggered by any of the above.
Kang Bok Soo had been a popular student (although not an extremely smart one) who made others laugh and smile. His heart set on the smartest girl in school, Son Soo Jung who begins to tutor him. Things were going well until student Oh Se Ho entered the picture. Oh Se Ho falls for the same girl, Son Soo Jung, and becomes jealous of Kang Bok Soo. When accusations of Kang Bok Soo committing acts of violence spread, the two people who started it all are the two he trusted the most. Due to the accusations, he is expelled from school.
Now as an adult, he has the opportunity to return to the school after saving the life of a student and teacher there. The teacher happening to be non-other than his first love, Son Soo Jung. He decides to go back and seek revenge for what the two did to him after learning that not only is Son Soo Jung a teacher there but Oh Se Ho is the chairman of Sulsong High School's board of directors. But what he didn’t expect to find shakes his image of revenge and puts him on a path to reveal something that is rooted much deeper than he thought.
In the Korean title 복수가 돌아왔다, Revenge [ 복수 = Boksoo] is also the name of our male lead!
Yoo Seung Ho (I’m Not a Robot, The Emperor: Owner of the Mask) portrays our male lead who has a heart of gold but a temper that should not be messed with. The two go well together to form a character who is set on making things right and putting those who abuse their power in their place all the while not forgetting to spread some light and bright smiles around -- truly making the perfect atmosphere for a romantic comedy. Bok Soo is a strong-willed young man in his late twenties who goes back to high school to seek revenge on the two people who he believes made his life a nightmare. But that’s not exactly what he finds once inside the familiar halls of his teenage youth.
Jo Bo Ah (Secret, Goodbye to Goodbye) portrays our female lead who not only cares immensely for those around her and will literally go to great lengths just to make sure the students learn how to be more human than a monster (re: people who abuse their power). Son Soo Jung is someone who wants to be a teacher more than anything and she falls prey to a means that is not something to be proud of. However, after setting foot in the school she wanted so badly to teach at, she realizes something isn’t right in the way the students are treated and such sets out to help those who are treated unfairly.
Kwak Dong Yeon (My ID is Gangnam Beauty, Love in the Moonlight) portrays our second male lead who wants nothing more than to split apart Bok Soo and Soo Jung for good. His intentions towards our female lead are apparent from the moment he lays eyes on her, so he tries to stop at nothing to gain her favour. Oh Se Ho is someone who struggles, wrestling with his mind on how to use the power he has been given all the while wanting to gain the attention of his mother in hopes she will treat him with kindness or like a parent should. But with the reputation of the school and his family within his grasp, what will he do with it?
The supporting cast is not only lively and hilarious at points but they also evoke emotions as well. Some may give off anger while others have you smiling and laughing just as much as the main cast do. Although some cover a large variety of topics that might not be light, their skills shine through and continue to keep you intrigued. One issue I do have with the drama is that I wish some had gotten more air time.
Our supporting cast includes: Kim Mi Kyung (Person Who Gives Happiness, The Sound of Your Heart), Chun Ho Jin (Save Me 2, Six Flying Dragons), Kim Dong Young (Namsan, Poet Murder Incident, Let's Eat 3) Park Ah In (Clean With Passion For Now, Mr. Sunshine), Lee Kang Min (Temperature of Love, Sweet Stranger and Me), Kim Yeo Jin (Children of Nobody, Last Child), Joel Roberts (Spring Turns to Spring, Goodbye to Goodbye), Kim Kwang Gyu (Trap, The Dude In Me), Jo Hyun Shik (Mung Bean Flower, 100 Days My Prince) and more.
Directing/Cinematography/Lighting; I had to list this as the first reason due to so many scenes leaving me completely in awe. For this I believe a picture is worth more than words, here are some gorgeous scenes! And to think, these are just in the first two episodes!
Romance: The relationships in My Strange Hero are so wonderful. (though some should have been covered a bit more) Not only do they make your heart flutter and keep a smile plastered on your face but they are really enjoyable to watch and fangirl over. Talk about soft heart eyes for the entirety of this drama. But since I do not want to spoil anyone on what relationships happen, I will just include a non-spoilery image.
Yoo Seung Ho and Jo Bo Ah; Their chemistry is a really nice spring warmth during a long winter. Although I started this drama for only one reason (Yoo Seung Ho), I found adoration for Jo Bo Ah as well while watching that I previously did not have as strongly.
Yoo Seung Ho is a constant favorite of mine. I’ve seen some of what he’s been in and so far, I haven’t been disappointed in his acting. This falls under My Strange Hero as well. Not only do we see some wonderful sides to his character in this but also a playfulness that I missed since watching I’m Not A Robot (the first drama I ever completed -- the reason I fell for Yoo Seung Ho’s charms in the first place). If you’re a fan of him, this is an absolute must watch -- as every time he is on screen, your heart will flutter and you will without a doubt enjoy his dialogue as well as acting skills.
Jo Bo Ah is wonderful in her role. Although I haven’t seen much of what she is in, now I truly would love to delve further into her filmography as she brings her character to life within her role. Making us, the viewers, feel for her in a way that we hope she will rise above her mistakes and come out on top or at least better than she had been before. She makes sure to keep the viewers aware of her character’s battle with guilt over doing something she shouldn’t have to start with -- but then helping us see how she intends on making the most of her mistakes and not only working towards owning up to it but also turning it into something positive. Her portrayal of all of this and more is what won me over with her.
Emotion/Writing; Much like a few comments I have mentioned before with the actors/actresses bringing the characters to life in such a moving way, the writing does help with this. I found a great balance while watching this drama that initially made it easier to binge watch than some others. It has the perfect amount of emotional scenes mixed with comedy and some angst. I thought the entirety would be a bit too intense for me while watching but near the end, I found myself not wanting it to be over because I would miss the characters, the writing, the emotions the drama evoked and more. Huge applause to the writers for such nice scripts!
Although there are so many moments in this drama that I would love to list and rant/rave over, I am going to list only 5 and try my best to not get too spoilery. Please skip over if you hate spoilers with a burning passion though!
05. When Bok Soo goes back to school. Not only is it directed well but it's also the starting point of the setting throughout the drama so I had to choose it.
04. The moment when both Bok Soo and Soo Jung talk about their dreams. The scenery not only makes you feel calm while watching, but it also puts a nice light moment in between the strain of what is going on otherwise.
03. The best scene for reaction memes, etc. Not only is it the epitome of how my face looked (the shocked reporters) once he faced them but it also could be used to describe so many other moments in dramas (shocked, in awe, etc). Episode 3 (35 min version) and episode 2 (1-hour version).
02. Busting the glass door. Not only was this symbolic, but also very moving. The school having this system isn't good for the students' mental or physical health. It puts unnecessary stress on them and should be given to any student who wants to use them.
01. This iconic scene. Though I will not say what is happening in it or the weight this scene holds, it truly kept my jaw on the floor throughout the entirety of the scene itself. Not only was it a very impactful moment that leads to something that had been long awaited, but it was also a very meaningful moment as well.
I am a big OST enthusiast. If a drama has at least one good song on the soundtrack, I am pretty much sold (re: Mad Dog, My ID is Gangnam Beauty, Witch’s Love, etc). My Strange Hero has a few that are on my playlist and continue to be in rotation even after the end of the drama. Check them out below and let me know which is your favourite in the comments!
I usually watched it surrounded by pillows, warm blankets and a cat by my side -- so I believe a comfortable environment would add a perfect atmosphere when watching. For snack foods, I would recommend something fruity or salty. Avoid the too sweet snacks with this one as the drama has LOADS of sweet moments.
Sound off in the comments! Give your heart a voice and rant, rave, discuss! Some ideas to get the discussion flowing:
If you have watched this drama: Did you enjoy it? If not or if so: why? What were your top 5 scenes? Who is your favourite character? If you could name 5 reasons someone should watch, what would they be?
If you have not watched this drama: Will you watch it? If not or if so: why? Have you started it but not completed it due to any reason in particular? If you could give someone reasons not to watch this drama, what would they be and why?
Let’s talk about this drama, whether we like, love or hate it or if you’re neutral.
That's all from me for now... until we give our heart a voice again, thank you for reading my fellow drama lovers and enthusiasts! 화이팅 (hwaiting)!
[Author notes] The images used are from the official sites of each drama mentioned or google or screenshots that were taken to be included in this article. Some photos have been edited to remove text. And the gifs were made by me. All graphics have been created under the fair use copyright law 106 and 106A.
Other Articles by HideYourHeart can be found here.