I had to think for a couple of days before writing this review because I had to sort out my feelings and thoughts so I could form them into words. Sadly though, mission is not accomplished. No matter how hard I thought about it, it is really hard to put this movie into words. It is a movie that you need to “sense” not “read” about. Thanks to director Lee Yoon-Ki, who is known as an emotional delicate director, the movie had so much charm and beauty added to the already beautiful story.
'One Day' is a healing-fantasy movie about two wounded people, it depicts the story of a man and a spirit with a similar pain and scar who meet each other ‘one day’. One of the reasons I labeled this movie as a new genre is because even though there was no love story going on between the two, the story was very much about ‘love’. It was fascinating to me that loneliness, emptiness, anxiety, and lack of heart of two people could be healed without the ‘I love you, I don’t love you’ format. I can’t even begin to express how captivated I was by the fact that this movie healed wounds without "love" between Kang Soo and Mi So. With all the sorrow in disguise it still managed to be a refreshing new genre.
One of the modest yet profound messages in the movie is when it suggests that a ‘blind’ person should be referred to as ‘blind’ person and not ‘impaired’ (it made a huge difference in Korean language and in my opinion it makes a difference in English as well as my own language).
Kang Soo and Mi So are two people who face each other through their scars and as they get closer, they realize that their wounds are in 'contact'. The best expression I could define them with is, 'window' because they were like a window to each other. On one hand Mi So is Kang Soo’s window to his inner-self and the memories that he locked away after losing his wife. On the other hand, Kang Soo is Mi So’s window to the world.
The story on the surface ‘a living person meeting a spirit’ is not a new material it's been done before countless of times. However, unlike other projects, ‘One Day’ depicts pain and loss in a beautifully healing fantasy. Mi So as a character as her name suggests (her name means ‘smile’), is not just your average spirit, she’s a bright, vivid, warm, sweet and endearing bundle of joy. Watching her smile was all the joy I needed.
The delicate and modest directing of Lee Yoo-Ki takes this fantasy and naturally applies it in our reality without risking the material becoming overwhelming.
Two of the most remarkable points in 'One Day' are Kim Nam Gil and Chun Woo Hee’s golden performance (calling it 'golden' is an understatement). KNG’s charismatic act through his deep expressive eyes even with scenes featuring no dialogues at all has once again swept me off my feet. He embodied Kang Soo and captured every bits and pieces of his pain and sorrow. KNG’s delicate display of Kang Soo’s emotion was top class graceful performance. However, this movie’s heartthrob I shall say is Chun Woo Hee. It is hard enough to play a blind character, but to also have to play a spirit, who on the other hand can actually see, is a challenge on its own. I don’t know how I will adjust to the fact that she’s not Mi So and she’ll be playing other characters in the future but I do very much look forward to her future projects.
Wonderful instruments combined with exquisite sceneries that had me taking deep breathe several times as I feast my eyes. This is the first time I’m actually happy with the music section in a movie.
I’m a person who enjoys dramas a lot more than I do with movies, simply because movies have different format and the fact that they end so quickly doesn’t allow me to connect emotionally as well as I do mentally. Thus, it’s really hard to find a movie that not only do I NOT want to ever finish, but also makes me feel as if I’ve entered a different world. ‘One Day’ is that kind of movie to me, a movie that I never thought I’d come to meet. I went to watch it as a huge KNG’s fan and came out with a movie that I can finally label as an absolute favorite of mine. ‘One Day’ is definitely not a movie for everyone, but it’s a movie that will have you sensing all shades and colors of emotions.'One Day' is a beautiful, fresh, artistic, delicate, ‘feel good’ (despite the sadness) and enriched with classic vibes movie. It has ‘rightfully’ stole my heart. Finally I have met my 10/10 movie.
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A perfect combination of reality and life presented in the best manner it could be presented in. The writer managed to keep the story true and realistic with real life issues (based on experience it's all real) and yet kept it fresh and fun to watch. This drama carried out a strong message "it's better late than never" "the present is really a present (gift)". Try to live your life without regrets, live your life first for YOU before anyone else, appreciate the time you have now and live it to the max. This is the 1st drama that made me think of my own life and gave me hope and refreshed my memory with my past life and made me think of my present and future. This drama has boosted my energy and gave me positive insight even with all the issues that were discussed in the drama there is always bright side to everything. For once no villains no insane characters.
The whole cast were so true and natural to their characters but Choi Ji Woo and Lee Sang Yoon are the show's strongest point!! They had an amazing on screen chemistry they seemed so true so real and so adorable. They managed to present such normal average characters and bring them out into life in a very delightful manner (and people say it's the character that makes the actor) that's not true at all even with such plain characters those two have managed to show us how wonderful of actors they are.
Definitely YES I would rewatch it over and over again because I need something as positive as this to boost my energy and remind me that it really is never too late.
Are you a drama lover? This drama fits everyone's taste because it's a slice of life and yet it has everything that we as drama fans love and would wanna watch. If I could I would personally go and thank everyone who helped making it.
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Before I start let me just clear out one thing, I have never been a fan of Reply Series and never thought that one day I would be. The first series (Reply 1997), I watched it while it was still airing back in 2012 and stopped right after ep.4. The reason I still remember the number of the episode perfectly is to keep reminding myself that I did start it like everyone else and before all the hype but still didn’t work for me. While Reply 1994 did intrigue my interest, it’s the rumors I’ve heard about Reply1988 being a family drama is what really pushed my button especially that I am sucker for family themed and nostalgia stimulating dramas.
In life, I have had to say goodbye to many things--friends, family members, my teen life, and as I venture into my last year of my 20s, I say goodbye to my youth as well. Bidding farewell to Reply 1988 continues this list, as I venture onward in dramaland and away from Ssammungdong. I say goodbye to that warm, neighborly feeling, that old nostalgia, that stirup-pant wearing era, and to the best youth drama I have ever seen. This drama really penetrated my soul.
The story primarily takes place in a singular setting, and yet the narrative does not stagnate; it does not become boring or trite; it does not make you sleepy when watching daily interactions of the families. Instead, the story of R1988 pushes at the heart and makes you yearn for friends who love each other this closely, for parents who love each other this much, for a life as simple and yet as hard as these characters' lives were. It takes you out of 2015/2016/2017 and supplants you into 1988 where you take that same journey with the characters. The first 2 episodes were pretty much an introduction episodes where all the crucial characters are being shown. My position as a viewer was a thin line between proceeding or stopping I needed to feel attached to the character because that is what it takes to feel R1988 but to me they were random people who knew each other BUT I knew nothing about them. The length of each ep (hour and half) scared me, I wondered if I could handle a 20 more eps especially that I wasn’t expecting much from the drama. However once I got deeper and deeper into their lives and got to know each and every one of them, I just couldn’t stop anymore. I felt they are part of me and I’m part of them.
Possibly, the star of the narrative of R1988 is its ability to exert both laughter and tears at the passing of a few minutes, yet it never feels stilted. It brings to us the viewers richness and variety of character within just the five friends, let alone the parents and siblings surrounding them. With that, we see intricate details of each person's character--like Bora's unspoken love for her parents, or Dong Ryong's inner philosopher, or Jung Hwan's hidden sweetness, or Taek's competitive strength. There are so many elements of character that we see, often unspoken, rise to the surface with the passing of a quick moment or a prolonged incident.
I loved the fact that the story focused more on friendship and family relationships so romance (the husband game) took a severe backseat in this drama. Furthermore, the show gave many couples a chance at love, both new and renewed, lost and found. It was never unrealistic or unfair to anyone in the cast instead, it offered options and chose the best one.
I would love to talk about each and everyone one of the cast because they were the heartthrob of the show altogether, but no words would be enough so I’ll keep it short and list my favorites:
Sung Duk Seon (Lee Hyeri): My biggest surprise of them all! The bubbly and outgoing, if not a little bit kooky Duk Seon. At first, I doubted that she will be good because I’ve seen her before in one drama and wasn’t impressed. BUT, I was pleasantly surprised! Hyeri portrayed Duk Seon so perfectly that I can believe she actually acts like that in real life. Not to mention I could totally relate to Duk Seon issues being the 2nd child in the family which makes her my favorite.
Yoo Dong Ryong (Lee Donghwi): Dong Ryong is somewhat the male version of Duk Seon. I don't understand how the casting crew can be so good. The Lee Dong Hwi who is in his 30s can act out a whiny 18-year-old very well. I have nothing but praises for him and the way he portrays his character in the drama. I really loved Dong Ryong moments in consoling his friends and how he understood each and everyone of them more than they understood each other.
Kim Jung Hwan (Ryu Junyeol): Simply said, Jung Hwan is a kind of tsundere. I already knew Ryu Junyeol's fame skyrocketed after he took up the role of Kim Jung Hwan. I must say it is easy to understand that. He IS a good actor. The feeling awkward expression, the secretly happy face and many other are properly conveyed by Ryu Junyeol.
I could talk all day about the parents' roles as well. Ra Mi Ran, Kim Seon Young, and Lee Il Hwa trumped most drama mothers for being the most awesome trio of moms in a drama. They were not only funny, but they all showed signs of vulnerability and strength, and true to form, they were an unstoppable force on screen and in front of their husbands. But Ra Mi Ran takes the cake. She pulls off the ajumma routine like a master, this role was made for her. She’s intense. And every scene she was in, I thoroughly enjoyed. She’s a tough mom but an always kind mom; she’s aloof but wants to be warm; she’s smart but uneducated–and she’s a joy to watch.
As for the husbands/dads, all the dads were awesome as well, but Kim Sung Kyun takes the trophy. His President Kim routine will forever been ingrained in my memory, but also his relationship with Ra Mi Ran showed a great example of how love grows with age.
Fun fact, all adults used their own names. How funny and creative is that?
The music of Reply 1988 also played a special role, not only in the background OST, but in the characters' lives. The power of music pervaded the narrative of Reply. It gives warmth.
R1988 carries that genuineness into the world it’s set in. This isn’t the 1980s through the lens of nostalgia and political correctness, but a balance between the popular culture and political correctness. It’s not an attempt to shy from history. I cannot recommend this drama enough. The first 2-3 episodes are required to really get you into the show, but once you watch those, you will be hooked. It’s not about glamour, R1988 is merely about people, family, life and YOUTH. The only reason it did not get a full 10 from me is because of the slightly unsatisfying ending. I am NOT talking about the husband's identity (I’ve figured it out during the earlier episodes and the writing was fair to both male leads imo) but how the ending was handled did leave me feeling really empty. I needed to see everyone in the cast; I needed to see their 2015/16 selves. A narration/update of their 2015/16 lives would've been good enough so I could say goodbye because that is the point of R1988, feeling like you’re a part of the whole thing but instead felt kind of left out by the end.
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So Ji Sub and Shin Hyun Joon, what more could a viewer possibly ask for? I’m so glad, genuinely glad that I waited 7 years to watch this! Why? Because it made me appreciate it even more than I would have back then considering that NONE of the recent dramas could ever match up to. We tend to value things more if we know it’s no longer available and is no longer easy to get by, thus I value this drama very much now.
Let me say this, a huge part of this review is dedicated to SJS's and SHJ's phenomenal performance! Because with all do respect to the very well-written story, those two wonderful men will steal you from the very first scene before the story gets to take a place! Their chemistry, is simply breathe-taking and heart-wrenching at the same time!
SJS’s trademark is his “sad eyes” and people have known it since I Am Sorry, I Love You (and what a trademark it is!) Trust me it is not easy to show such a sincere sad eyes like he does when he acts. His “sad” act, his crying scenes…he looks so damaged and destroyed it looks so real that you’d lose where you were at when you watch him act. His sincere-heartfelt act changes the “too overused” plots into a piece of art and a classic one even if it is a 10/20 years old. If you want to truly "feel" SJS, it has to be I Am Sorry I Love You and Cain and Abel.
Cho In has became my favorite character for SJS because he is a warm-hearted decent person, with cute smile and soft voice. This character has allowed SJS to show different side of him, different expressions… mixture of many expressions that I’ve seen for the first time while watching him. I loved Cho In’s kindness, naivety, innocence, sweetness, softness and vulnerability.
If SJS’ Cho In is half the reason why I loved this drama, Shin Hyun Joon ‘s Sun Woo is definitely the other half! This is the 2nd time that this man pushes me to tears (first time was in Stairway To Heaven). His portrayal of the antagonist is simply majestic and too beautiful to be put in words. Sun Woo is definitely a worthy rival of the great Cho In.
The story is very well written plot-wise and character wise. It struck me as slightly slow and scattered in the first episode, but things quickly gathered together and progressed in a way that really draws in the viewer. The characters and settings that were introduced kept things new and exciting without being overwhelming or hard to follow. I especially appreciated Young Ji because she was flawed! But not in ways I found to be cliché. She felt real to me! Which something I don’t normally see when it comes to the main female character especially this genre.
I have always for *some reason* thought that this is a revenge-themed drama but to my surprise this drama had so much more to offer other than plain revenge and for a revenge drama fan such as myself I still loved it very much, that didn't disappoint me at all, so kudos to the writer!
The OSTs are wonderful, the painful lyrics make the drama even more sad which contributes very well to the story. I loved it.
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Story: Though it may seem your typical 16 ep romantic comedy k drama but it's really not, it is definitely not a typical K drama and that's one of the reasons why I loved it. For once no evil characters no crazy insanely jealous characters no annoying love triangle and clingy characters... The story points out something very important in Korea "contract workers" and work environment... though the topic is serious they brought it out in a very comical way this drama was so funny I couldn't stop laughing not a single episode was boring... it's my first time finishing a romantic comedy drama in just two days because I watched none stop. They presented the story in a way that you understand how hard work environment while also laughing it out. I loved how they put it in a really funny amusing way I'm not a person who laughs so easily but this drama never failed to make me laugh out loud in each and every episode.
Acting: I'm totally in love with Miss Kim (Kim Hye Soo)... I've never seen this actress before but let me just say she really deserved the 1st place in critics evaluation for best actors... Miss Kim is my favorite female character ever made in K drama !! FOR ONCE not a push over weakling and a doormat for everyone character but rather strong, independent and super cool female character. This just proves that Queen of The Office is really not your typical K drama and Kim Hye Soo (Miss Kim) is worthy of your time trust me !!
Finally I would say it's a complete loss to anyone who haven't watched it yet and I do mean every word !!
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“A wise man once said that getting lost in life is an opportunity to find new way. But that’s only a saying I might end up remembering today as the day when I realized that such a saying doesn’t make me feel better at all”. Park Tae Suk.
“The heart I tried so hard to ignore gives a command to my brain “Please Persevere As Long As You Can, Persevere As Long As Your Heart Is Still Beating”. Park Tae Suk.
You take a look at the synopsis and read “Alzheimer” and immediately think to yourself “What? Alzheimer again? And what is even worse there is no romance, no fairytale, no young faces… nah I won’t bother this is clearly a tearjerker and I know how it’s going to end anyway so what’s the point?” Well, you have the right to walk away if you think “Alzheimer” is depressing topic I won’t blame you BUT please bare with me here and let me try to sell this drama for you, would you?
Yes, this topic has been used countless and countless of times in dramas, in movies….etc, so what makes Memory special? There is nothing special with the story itself or the elements it has presented. Family, regret, changing the way you lived your life, sorrowful past that you want to run away from, locking away your painful memories and the pain of losing someone…etc these aren’t new topics but let’s face it how many topics can be brand new? Searching for totally brand new topics is almost like a mission impossible honestly. The trick isn’t in the topic but rather in the way it is used and presented. Memory has brought in over-used topics and turned them into a wonderful emotional ride with diverse emotions that will leave you breathless and heavyhearted. The ride was raw, real and very consuming both mentally and emotionally!
I loved how the drama made me feel for each character without leaving the show feeling depressed myself. It is clearly isn’t happy go lucky drama, it has a lot of unfortunate events but it avoids feeling over the top and it also avoids feeling like stuff happens to force viewers tears. It takes you along and you just feel all of it naturally. Doesn’t that scream “different”? I feel bad if someone would call it a tearjerker (not that I have a problem with tearjerker dramas) it is just not what Memory really is.
The best and most important two aspects that made Memory strong felt drama is the award winning acting and the wonderful cinematography/scenery and direction. Usually it is hard enough to find a drama that is excelling in one of these aspects let alone all 3 of them. Even for those of you who never notice scenery or direction you will be forced to notice them here because it is just too good, simply beautiful. The feels that this drama possesses it is all driven from the acting performance. Acting has played the most essential part in this drama along with the heart-wrenching dialogues. I loved each and every sentence spoken here especially the scenes between Park Tae Suk and his wife and Park Tae Suk and his son. Those scenes are one of the most memorable scenes in the entire drama and I wouldn’t be exaggerating when I tell you to watch it for the sake of those scenes only because they are indeed EXQUISITE.
I would love to mention each and every member of this stellar cast because they really deserve the appreciation but that would just make my review endless and words won’t do them justice. I will just mention my favourite ones. First my most favorite misters of all times and our hero here,Lee Sung Min (Park Tae Suk). Kudos to this man, let me just say to the those of you who already know how precious this actor is “congratulations he NAILED THE HELL OUT OF HIS FIRST MAIN LEAD!!” And to those who still haven’t met this man in drama land “PLEASE don’t let my review stop you and go ahead STALK DOWN his profile”. It is sad if you decide to pass on Memory but at least pick one thing for this man and make the time to watch it please. He belongs to those class actors whom you as a drama fan have to watch something for because trust me “acting” doesn’t get any better than this. This man has no limits; every minute spent on watching him he makes it all worthwhile. I also want to mention the rest of my favorites two wonderful surprises Lee Ki Woo and Lee Jun Ho. Their performance both took me by surprise, I have seen Lee Ki Woo before but not as a despicable sorry excuse of human being (which he did WONDERFULLY) and I have seen Lee Jun Ho in a movie and he was likeable then but I had no idea what kind of hidden talent this boy had until I watched him in Memory (his first drama) and boy am I still surprised that he is actually an idol, very impressive! Looking forward to their future projects.
This is one of the few dramas that are blessed with storytelling OSTs and great ones if I may say. There are many great OSTs out there but I appreciate it even more when the OSTs speak the story too this way it gets me even more emotionally invested in the story than I already am.
I generally do not rewatch dramas but I do have very few ones that I'd rewatch. However even for those who do rewatch dramas I don't think Memory is rewatchable material considering how heavy and intense the content is I think once is enough to appreciate it throughly but I also could be wrong so that's for you to decide.
Clearly this will be one of the underrated dramas here on MDL, nonetheless I have faith that there will be fans out there who are meant for this drama and hopefully will appreciate it the way it should be appreciated. If you are willing to go in an emotional ride and if you don’t mind the predetermined ending, if you are looking for well crafted story, award winning performance and beautiful heartfelt dialogues then this drama should definitely be on your plan to watch list ^^
Don’t let “Alzheimer” keep you away from a great drama such as Memory. Realising what are our priorities in life this is something which never gets old nor boring no matter how old we get we still learn and there will always be a chance to set those priorities right even with little time. "The end is soon HOPE. With the strength you have now be happy" Memory.
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“Your job needs to be something more than just a source of income”. Ok Da Jung.
Don’t let the cover picture nor the description fool you! This is no rom-com and I actually mean that in a good way. I have missed the old typical rom-com K dramas, which had meaning and had strong message to carry on. I was almost losing hope in finding good quality typical K drama BUT I finally found Ms. Temper & Nam Jung-Gi! At first it may give you the impression that it’s just a silly, funny, shallow typical k drama with lots of clichés and predictable plot. Yes, it is to some point predictable I’m not going to say it isn’t BUT is it typical? No, in my opinion it isn’t. First of all, take any rom-com drama out there (especially work related ones) and take out the “romance” element or the “comedy” element what are you left with? Basically nothing impressive, this drama on the other hand has so much more to offer you other than just romance or comedy.
The story took path where we as viewers couldn’t predict; it wasn’t really focused on one certain element but all elements and all characters equally. I loved how the work environment is the most essential element here and loved the way it was presented. They took something real and serious and presented it in a funny and humeral way at the same time kept it realistic. Therefore, you as a viewer not only will you have fun and great amount of laughter while watching but also you will appreciate/understand the message behind each and every episode here.
Ms. Temper & Nam Jung-Gi as a drama has given importance for the side characters just as much for the main characters and that is something isn’t often seen in drama land if you ask me. The story allows you to slowly understand the characters each and every one of them and takes you along with them so you will be able to understand their actions or why they decided to live their lives the way they do. In opinion what makes this drama special isn’t the story as much as the well-written characters. I wonder how the writers were able to make them so interesting and fun to watch at the same time kept them down to earth real. No perfection, no bad or evil characters here just different perspectives and different way of looking at things. Life is hard enough, we fight constant battles each day to survive we don’t have the luxury to worry about others so how far are we willing to go in order to survive? Does that make us bad/selfish people or timid spineless people? Or does it just simply make us people?
I will take a moment here and appreciate one of K drama’s best female character ever created and a true role model Ok Da Jung (Lee Yo Won). She is a strong, righteous and great person who knows exactly how to stand up for herself and wouldn’t fight using dirty methods no matter what. She may seem harsh and too blunt but she isn’t a bully and she cares mostly for the company and staff. You could learn so much from Ok Da Jung and you will probably wish you had such a great boss to work for in real life.
I think Lee Yo Won did great accepting this project, at first I was surprised because I am used to watching her in melodramas or more dark serious plots and entirely different characters than ODJ so I wondered why would an A-list actress go for cable project and with such unknown cast but I still trusted her judgment and as her fan I respect her for taking this risk. This is her first rom-com project and I’m happy she decided to explore her talent, she was wonderful as Ok Da Jung it will be almost impossible for you not to love her. The rest of the cast did splendidly especially Yoon Sang Hyun as the timid nice angel Nam Jung Gi and Hwang Chan Sung as the boy who has still yet to learn to grow into a man who can handle responsibility. It is fair to say that even the guest actors (Lee Jung Jin & Yeon Jung Hoon) did an amazing job for short appearance; I was delighted to have them on the show.
I generally do not rewatch dramas but I do have few ones that I'd rewatch. However I think this drama can easily be rewatchable material for anyone who would rewatch dramas in general because I do believe it will be just as much fun as it was the first time and frankly you never get enough of Ok Da Jung & Woo Joo's scenes.
I can see this drama will be one of the underrated dramas here on MDL and will go unnoticed. I don’t know if my review has helped or not but if you are looking for your typical fluffy romance then let me tell you this isn’t it. This drama does not focus on the romance in fact you can barely see it but you most certainly can feel it. The thing is "romance" in here is presented in mature manner but that's also has its beauty so don't let this stop you from giving the drama a chance. Ms. Temper & Nam Jung-Gi has so much more than just comedy and romance; this is a fun enjoyable ride if you are willing to appreciate what this drama has to offer. After all as Nam Jung Gi says, “Does a relationship between a man and woman have to be melo or lovely dovey fairytale? Why do people expect that?”.
Also Ok Da Jung and Woo Joo make the cutest most adorable couple ever don't miss out on that :')
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This is a story about friends and how they deal with their emotions, life, and the fact that they are growing into adulthood. Again the feelings that are delivered in this drama, all the emotions are just too refreshing, beautiful and really enjoyable. In fact, (I can't believe I'm saying this but) I fell in love with Choi Min Ho after watching this. I never ever considered him a decent actor he was just an idol like the rest of the idols getting casted with no acting skills. I've seen him in (To The Beautiful You) which I dropped and I remember very well that he couldn't act back then!! When did he improve like that?! He was absolutely AMAZING I was watching the drama and can't help but be taken by him (wait it's Min Woo I'm talking about o_O)!! I can't respect him enough for the hard work and improvement he has done for himself I never thought it's possible when you don't have "it" within you but he proved me wrong, any drama that he takes from now on is on my Watch List.
This drama makes you feel like smiling the whole time you will be watching it as simple as it was,,, What is love exactly? What's first love means? Can we really forget about our first love/crush and move on? Well let's watch and see,,,Simplicity is beauty indeed. I highly recommend it.
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Before I start I’d like to say that I have always wanted to watch this drama ever since I heard all rave about it since I first started watching Asian dramas. Only, at that time I couldn’t find a way to watch it because back then Internet wasn’t as accessible as now and Asian dramas (especially J dramas) aren’t easily found streaming or even subbed. However, since I’ve decided to practice my Korean language through watching J dramas my first target would be those dramas which I’ve always longed to binge watch but couldn’t. Lucky for me a very good quality of this drama is available with Korean subs (and after long search I found Eng subs as well). The only reason I would be crazy enough to go for a medical, dialogue-rich drama such as White Tower in Korean subs is simply because I really wanted to watch it. “White Tower" was broadcasted in Japan in 2003, and in 2004, it won Japan TV Drama Academy Award for Best Picture, Best Director, and Casting Award. Because of its solid background, so I had a lot of expectations before even starting it and it has exceeded them.
The 'White Tower' is not a show of humanity, love, romance, etc., which is seen as a background for most of the medical dramas out there. White Tower is the desire of the humans to want to go higher. It shows humans constantly calculating in their minds and how they construct their behaviors in order to accomplish what they want. To put it simply it's not a medical drama, it's a story of various colors of humans. White grand tower: A white university general hospital, expressing its power and political color in its interior. Hence, is not a medical drama but a political drama.
Human desire for power and honor, battlefield of ambition surrounding the medical field. Based on the very popular Yamazaki Toyoko's novel "White Tower" this drama is a political story of doctors in a closed, bureaucratic university hospital. Yamazaki’s novel draws on the Osaka University School of Medicine as a model to draw attention to medical malpractices, the feudal system of medicine, and the struggle for power by doctors and so does the drama. For the sake of power, there is a dramatic struggle in the hospital centering on, Zaizen Goro, who seeks to hold all the power in his hand, and Satomi Shuji, who is seriously walking the doctor's path and is firmly idealistic in everything. The White Tower centers on the heroes who are on a constant path of choice, forcing extreme choices out of them. The main characters face conflict in the goal of the choice but they do not hesitate. The voice of a person who chooses power and honor sounds the same as his claim to keep his integrity and conscience. So the story goes around the hospital corridor like a tight knot that is never resolved. In the power struggle over the medical world, good and evil are only echoes for each other. The hospital is also a majestic tower in white clothing, but at the same time it is a dreary pit hidden behind a dark shade.
One of the good things about watching White Tower is the power of the story that comes from the power of human relationships. One evidential scene is when Zaizen Goro tells his father in-law “the problem isn’t the skill or talents it’s human relationships!!” And his father in-law laughs and says, “Of course it’s not the skills, if skills were enough the world would not be a battlefield would it?. It would be much easier world to live in if that was the case but it’s not” (You’d have to forgive me if that is not as accurate as it should be because this is what I understood from the scene which is interpreted through Korean subtitles).
The Great White Tower is divided into two, half of which is a cross-section of the organizational society in which various political patriots are involved in the election of the chief of the surgery, and the other half is the doctor, the hospital and the patient's legal confrontation surrounding the medical accident. There are various doctors in the white tower. A doctor who is ambition-seeking, a humanist doctor, and a researcher. So what is a doctor? What does a doctor do? The easiest way to understand a doctor is to concentrate on what "doctors do". In The Great White Tower however, the story is searching and revealing out characteristics of real doctors in our society and dealing with their dreams and ambitions. To put it in simple words this drama is basically aimed at presenting the theme of "what is a doctor" through the confrontation between Zaizen Goro and Satomi Shuji.
It is also a good insight on how the hierarchy system works in the medical world in Japan, for instance the professor becomes a professor through assistant professors. The professor holds only one person in his / her department, and takes over all the power of the position until he retires.
Acting and Characters (This is a long section because there are just too many characters worth mentioning but I tried to minimize the list with 4 only):
Karasawa Toshiaki as Zaizen Goro is a genius that specializes in esophageal surgery and is the best in esophageal surgery. Has a desire for success and a strong ambition, he chases after his honor and reputation rather than his patients. The performances of Karasawa Toshiaki made it possible for me to know what he was thinking and what is he going to do without having to read the subtitles. He gave out such a GRAND performance how else could someone even love Zaizen’s ruthless arrogance if it wasn’t for Toshiaki’s realistic admirable performance, which does leave you vulnerable and can’t help but root for him. I will never forget Zaizen’a humming song and the way he moves his hands picturing the surgery in his head making his hands dance along as he operates inside his mind, something very profound that I’ve never seen before.
Eguchi Yosuke as Satomi Shuji has no ambition and no greed as a doctor, and therefore has little relationship with his career. He is a person who only cares about patients without being interested in becoming a professor. I read that there was some criticism thrown at Satomi’s character that he was a non-flexible idealist, and someone like him does not exist in the world, but I personally think that such a person might exist in the world. He is a person who can carry out his thoughts without leaving them to be compromised by external pressure. In other words he is the 'hope' that you may think it does not exist but at least it should not be forgotten. Not many people will understand Satomi, but you cannot help but appreciate him. I really liked Eguchi Yosuke’s portrayal of Satomi, it is quite impossible to separate the actor from the character now.
Ishizaka Koji as Azuma Teizo a person who cannot abandon his status as a member of a doctor 's family and is caught up in authority rituals. He is ahead of his retirement, and he gets caught up in jealousy and inferiority towards Zaizen Goro. Ishizaka Koji’s performance was solid I could feel Azuma’s anxiously and fear so easily due to his spectacular performance.
Hitomi Kuroki as Keiko Hanamori her relationship with Zaizen Goro is noteworthy, it can’t be seen as a simple affair. Keiko dropped out of medical school and ran luxury bar. She is the only one Zaizen opens up to and she is kind of supportive alley to him in this battlefield. The bar she operates is ran by the people in the hospital, so sometimes it comes in handy for Zaizen Goro. I love her witty brutal honest responses and discussions with Zaizan. I loved loved LOVED Hitomi Kuroki’s Keiko her facial expressions, her voice and her laughs everything was just so delicious and witty and fun to watch!! She was such a wonderful spark to the show.
I personally loved the relationship between Zaizen Goro and Satomi and all their electrifying and unforgettable scenes filled with conflicted dialogues, which were, breathtaking and deliciously witty. They are friends since college but they are very different. Their relationship is founded on acknowledging and respecting each other while establishing an angle of confrontation. It is interesting to have a relationship between two people who have different values but seek the same goal, which is saving patients and changing the system. In some ways, Zaizen tries to make changes from above, and Satomi tries to make a change from the bottom up. In the end, both of them wanted the development of the hospital and the development of medical care. However, their methods were different.
The drama was thought to be serious and heavy, but to my surprise it was lighter than expected. It was a heavy and difficult topic to deal with, but the drama did not lose itself in the midst of the heavy content. As I was watching this drama my thoughts were shivering and possibly this is the most time they were provoked. It is really a thought-provoking drama that will hold on to you and never leaves you until you are done watching the whole thing. I could not take my eyes of the drama. Something is meaningful and profound from the title of white tower. A tower that is built to earn honor in a society through a university hospital but instead was destroyed and ruined by the absence of ethics and conscious. One of the best dramas, which will always remain memorable to me, definitely worth every praise and award. I could not possibly explain with mere words how much the ending touched me so deeply, I will only say that it’s rightfully one of the poetic thought stimulating ending I have ever seen and has managed to make me shed some tears. I don’t know if I will ever be able to let down my guard and watch the K version.
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Story: SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL and full of emotions... emotions that I've never seen in other dramas. It felt like watching something real something I need to watch and learn from, it didn't feel at all like a "drama" for entertainment. The story has everything you need to learn about life, about people and understand what trust means what betrayal means, and why people act they way they do, how to look beyond what you actually see or what seems to be right and how to forgive...etc For a change there wasn't evil characters, crazy characters, annoying characters, weakling characters, cheesy characters...etc NONE of the things which exist in other Typical K dramas were here in MDSY.
Acting: The whole cast showed an amazing acting skills from small characters to the main characters... I have seen Lee Bo Young 2 times before I never did admire her as an actress I was wondering why give her such a huge project the girl can't even act... well SHE proved me wrong !! No one would've done Seo Young any better !! my 2nd surprise was Lee Jung Shin this is my first time admiring an idol's acting skills !! I'm definitely looking forward to their next projects !!.
Music: The instrumentals were so beautiful went very well with the story... my favorite OST is "Melody Day Like Back Then" I can't stop listening to it
It's a family drama and family dramas usually are re-watchable in general so I'm giving it 8, but as for me I'm not sure if I'd re-watch it again I don't re-watch dramas except for really few special cases.
Are you looking for a good family drama? With slice of life? This is the drama for you it's one of the best family dramas that I've seen. Don't let the length scare you it is really worth the time
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God bless you TV network and may you always entertain us with such dramas that I consider jewels. I can't possibly think of a any better way to say goodbye to year 2015 and welcome year 2016 than watching this beautiful masterpiece. I'm not the best writer and I'm not english native speaker, I don't have much vocabularies to support my reviews or to say the least about this drama so I really thought this over and over and decided to write one even though I'm sure it won't be good enough (that's how much I loved this drama).
I never had feelings for any show the way I have for this one, as soon as I open my eyes in the morning and as soon as I close them at night this drama never left my mind all day long. How long has it been for me to think about a drama during my daily life, and recall scenes and smile by myself just from recalling flashbacks? To be honest I don't think it ever went to that extent with dramas that I've seen, I don't think I got attached this deep before. I'm definitely going to have hard time letting go of this one and hard time getting back on track with other dramas.
Taken from life, there is nothing new here everything you've seen and watched and might even have experienced. Two childhood best friends, never relaised their feelings for each other because of certain circumstances. Their friendship is so beautiful you'd wish you had someone like that next to you. I've seen friends turn into lovers but I've never seen it or felt the way I felt with this one. I love how simple yet deep this story is. As I'm writing this review now I find myself smiling...The story had so much depth had so much feelings to share. I find it hard to relate on the emotional and mental level when I'm watching dramas or shows because at the end of the day I'm very much aware that all this is created even if it's presenting real life it isn't real and those are actors.
However Bubblegum has managed to connect with me in every level possible I can't express enough how happy I am with this and how long I've waited for such a drama. To some of you this might be seen as a slow based story because unlike other dramas this drama does not have side stories, pretty much no events happening therefore it is taken as it's going no where and dull. I don't know how can I explain that this is not the case at all I really wish I can and I will try to. This is not a dull not a slow based story this is actually the THE ONLY drama that I've seen so far has something new each ep. In every ep the story has new feelings to share and new development of feelings. I never watched drama with a smile on my face all the time, I never cried in a happy scene in my life. In fact, of all the dramas that I've seen I cried in only two of them and they were sad scenes, I never thought that I would tear up for a happy scene. I guess I have completely forgotten that this is a drama I'm watching and those people aren't real, I felt for them I was supporting them I cheered for them I got hurt for them I felt their pain and finally I felt their happiness. Nothing was taken for granted in this story including their love it wasn't taken for granted and it wasn't easy to make it happen.
Lee Dong Wook as Ri Hwan: I love this guy, I respect him as an actor he never disappointed me even if his drama did. I was feeling sad for him because he's such a great actor yet his past dramas after Scent of a Woman were all flops. Everyone was telling him to take on a cable drama and I'm so glad he did!! I can never imagine Ri Hwan being anyone but LDW. This is when the character is written well enough which gives a great actor a chance to prove his worth and show his acting skills. Ri Hwan as a character is someone you will definitely be thinking "Can I have a friend like him" He is so sweet so kind and so caring, he chose to be traditional medicine doctor in consideration for those who fear hospitals (as his best friend did). I could't help but feel envious towards Haeng Ah for having such a friend. Ri Hwan's "Believe in me, if we are together we will be Happy".
Jung Ryeo Won as Haeng Ah: She is such a wonderful actress with a great smile, I always admired her which surprised me how come I have only seen few of her dramas!! This will change as I'm definitely going to be watching everything I missed on. I can't imagine anyone else as Hang Ah other than JRW she took in a simple yet deep character and gave it life and more depth I really believed that she is Haeng Ah and when I searched it turned out that she felt the character was very close to her personality (no wonder why it felt so natural). Haeng Ah is simple kind girl, she's very caring and sweet to everyone but not weak. Her character just like all the characters in this show felt real, not over the top not angels or devils but simply normal human beings with flaws. Haeng Ah's "The Happy Child is the meaning of my name, and I want to be happy".
Park Hee Bon as Yi Seul: One of the drama's strongest points, she portrays a very rich girl but how was it presented in this drama? very much different than all that I've seen so far, she is not skinny (which in korea means fat thick huge... you name it), her face is very much natural (I find it pretty) but according to their standards Big = Ugly, she doesn't dress up like all the rich female characters in every other drama, she is down to earth the most modest the simplest girl I've ever seen in drama and the most natural one. Korean dramas finally presented someone who I could see as normal and could be the girl next door, the girl I can see in my real daily life. Even though her self-esteem is broken because of her mother (which is also a character that is taken from real life as I know some mothers are like that) she still stands up for herself and makes a point without disrespecting her mother. She continues to be herself refusing to change anything she believes that is her true identity, yet she is still the obedient daughter who would listen to all her mother's demands as long as it does not involve her changing herself.
Kim Ri Na as Tae Hee: I love this character very much I love the kind of female character she is presenting. Tae Hee is a very straightforward woman, she speaks up her mind without the slightest of hesitation. Her spirit is strong, her personality is strong, she is open up with her feelings and is very comfortable to talk about them. She would go straight up on a guy and tell him that she likes him, she doesn't waste her time playing around with words or worrying how strange people would think about her. She may seem cold on surface because she's very honest but deep down she's very caring person and always looks out for the ones she love. I really admire her character and I wish to be as strong as her.
I would love to write about each and every character is this drama because I loved them all but because I loved all of them that's too many which would make review even longer. I love every single character, I love ALL the female characters (this never happened before). Every character was essential I wouldn't imagine it any other way.
Beautiful!! I loved two OSTs
Because I by Lasse Lindh: This is my favourite, it's so beautiful that even my friends who haven't watched the drama loved the song so much they will watch the drama.
My Time Towards You by Alex: My 2nd favourite, I don't know how were they able to make such fitting OSTs 10/10 doesn't even begin to say it.
Are you kidding me? I'm rewatching this as soon as I submit my review. I have it saved on my computer.
When I talked about this drama I'm not just talking about the main couple's story, it's not just their happiness or their love story. It was about every single one of them every character got to share his/her story and love and their pursuit of happiness. This drama has different feel to it, so it may not appeal to some of you, I think it takes much more than reason of "entertainment" to watch this. I do hope that there are people who enjoy, love and appreciate it the way I do. All I can say is that I do very much from the bottom of my heart recommend this drama.
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As I've already have mentioned it probably won't be new to some of you as similar themes have been done before maybe not a Korean movie but it's still not “brand new”. However the way it was delivered, the emotional journey you go through while watching it makes it one of the most quality story lines for such types of movies I've seen thus far. I did not expect to get all emotional while watching this, I can assure of that, but things just don't always turn out they way you expect them to do.
Pandora story is told in a way that would get you attached to the characters very fast!! This is just beyond wonderful because normally it takes a whole drama with 16 ep+ for me to get attached to the characters (that is if I get attached at all). Somehow in Pandora, you can relate to the characters and feel them, which is what makes it a very emotional ride without being a tearjerker or tire you down with emotional scenes on purpose. In fact, this is what I loved about the plot, it not trying to be over the top or play the emotion game. The writer has managed to keep things in tact without draining you with all the tragic events. Pandora story pretty much mastered the love, friendship, loyalty, sacrifice, neighbors, heroic acts, dirty politicians... all in one plot which is over 2 hours without tiring me.
Kim Nam Gil: He is the main reason why I decided to go all the way to the cinema in the cold harsh winter and watch this movie, which didn't appeal to me at first. If you are reading this review and have never seen anything for this man I earnestly ask you to pls hunt his profile down and WATCH HIM! Simply because there are no words that could be said, enough to compliment this amazing actor. He has yet again embraced me with his impressive beyond words performance but this time with a Jeolla Satturi accent! This is my first time watching him preform this accent and he's one of the best K-actors who perfectly mastered it to the point that I had to remind myself that it is truly KNG! His performance didn't just move me, it moved the whole audience in the theater, and the whole hall was crying in tears and crying in heart. Amazing heartfelt sincerity that broke my heart into pieces.
Jeong Jin Yeong: This man owned the first half of the movie! I've had the pleasure of seeing this actor before but I was even more delighted to see him here because what he showed me here is on a whole different level. He is my favorite character from start to end, loved Pyeong Seob with all my heart! Such a courageous, righteous, wonderful character played by this wonderful mister.
Han Joo Hyun: What a wonderful surprise! I've seen this girl twice but never like in Pandora. This movie has to be her breakthrough! When I was watching her I couldn't resist falling for her, her character is my 2nd favorite but how Joo Hyun played it is just too precious. The whole time I was so impressed I couldn't avoid my girl-crush. She stood her ground as a new talent among these giant actors! Bravo!
As for the rest of the cast I honestly loved them all, Kim Myung Min, Lee Kyeong Yeong, Kim Young-Ae what a stellar cast!
I don't really re-watch things (except for few exceptions), and in my opinion even for those who do re-watch I don't think it's the type of movie that you'd want re-watch.
**Although I would love to say this is a movie for everyone, but it would be wiser to say that it's a movie for those who don't mind bloody scenes. The story isn't aggressive but "nuclear power plant" is involved so scenes of injuries are bound to happen, just a warning ahead for those who hate the sight of blood.
Compelling emotional story, high quality direction and production, and finally stellar cast. I’d love to state all the points I loved about it but I tried not to give anything away so I will conclude my review in one sentence, “try not to miss Panodra” :)
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This is a movie for those who love character driven stories because it is pretty much all about the "man and woman"'s feelings and how they react to them despite their real life and responsibilities towards their beloved ones. Don't get me wrong the story isn't original, nothing new about it but the way it delivered the "feels" is top notch classic. I felt like watching a movie from the 70s and 80s I really wholeheartedly enjoyed every bits and every second of this beautiful full of feelings story.
Acting: It is not surprising that Gong Yoo would steal my heart and make my heart beat like crazy with every gaze he gave to the woman he loves. This is has got to be one of his best performances! He didn't even had much to say in the movie there wasn't much dialog for him yet he was able to deliver such powerful intense feelings which isn't really new for Gong Yoo he has done it before and he EXCELS in it. Jeon Do-Yeon was perfect she delivered those complicated "silent" emotions in such a good way I was so happy she was GY's partner in this movie (excellent casting choice). As I said "A Man and A Woman" doesn't really have new story there is nothing new here or mind blowing but GY and JDY brought this normal overused story into life and made their characters so real with intense emotions even though they didn't have much dialog. I felt their stares, i felt their gazes, i felt their strong desire for one another, i felt their longing... I swear I almost felt "there has to be something going on between those two in real life howw else can they deliver all that silent intensity just by looking at each other". Thank you for this amazing wonderful performance.
This isn't a movie for everyone, you have to be a classic lover to appreciate this. If you are into the "feels" and "emotions" delivered, if you are into character and emotion driven movies then this movie is for you. If you are looking for happy fluffy romance, if you are looking for a romance where you can cheer on and can justify then this is not your movie. The reason I say this, is because I do believe many people here are low rating classic dramas which had the same feels to this movie so I realized it doesn't appeal to everyone. I've seen this one in the cinema and most of the audience were middle aged and older I guess I wasn't the only one who thinks this is classic one :)
Thank you for this beautiful movie.
Another thing I appreciated is all the whiteness (snow) in this movie even though it was for a short time but it gave me the chills because I remembered my most beloved drama Winter Sonata (not story wise only the sceneries).
Gong Yoo's interview regarding this movie
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Or the one who does?
Before I start I should mention that this is definitely “unpopular opinion” but that makes me all the more determined to write a review so here goes :)
I have been keeping this drama for the right time because I’m a revenge-themed drama LOVER and I have practically seen everything Korea has to offer in that category. Moreover, I especially have seen everything I want to watch for Kim Nam Gil… so I kept this one mainly because it doesn’t seem that he will be back to dramaland anytime soon. However my craving could no longer be suppressed anymore not after I realized that it is written by the same writer of The Devil, Memory and Resurrection.
Shark is not just a simple “revenge drama” with an obvious/repetitive plot, although I can’t say the plot is original but what strikes me here the most is the allegories that the story has offered in form of shark and Chagall’s painting “Orpheus”. The shark fish symbolizes that life must goes one as shark has to keep moving in order to live. The “Orpheus” painting features in some scene to remind us that this is a story between man and woman that cannot be together. The painting depicting the sad myth of Orpheus where he travels to the underworld to save his wife, only to lose her in the end because he looks back before they’ve both reached the upper world. An alternate title for this drama is actually "Don’t Look Back: the Legend of Orpheus". Shark is beautifully written and photographed, and it unfolds like a good book rather than just a television show. It has the depth of a Greek tragedy (references the story of Orpheus).
The story takes its time to establish the back-story of its hero and heroine, teenagers sincerely in love who are torn apart by a cruel turn of events that establish the revenge motivation. The plot reveals its layers like a good mystery novel, and has many eloquent scenes, the most powerful of which often feature no dialogue at all! This is what I call the perfect revenge drama, where there are so many victims, and yet the overall message is not really one of despair, but rather that love will triumph over revenge any day. It is the kind of revenge drama that haunts you with its inevitable tragedy. The origin of the revenge plot takes its time to reveal itself in exquisitely well written details. We get to know and care about major characters in their youth, and then follow them with interest into their adulthood. Shark had me hooked within its first few seconds, which reveal a teenage boy speaking directly into the camera, answering questions from an unseen young girl. That conversation replays over and over in Shark, and its poignancy becomes more and more touching when you see everything that happens.
The cinematography was lustrous and breathtaking on Shark, beyond beautiful! Many of the images were like classic paintings! I would freeze the images just to STARE at them in amazement! Images of beaches, lakes, woods, nighttime and daytime skies, gardens, picturesque streets and buildings, not to mention startling human facial close-ups on occasion, were all unforgettable.
This is not a romantic drama and certainly not a drama you’d watch for the romance. I’m very happy that the romance element was kept at its minimal and that it did not distract the core story. However it is fair to mention that the tension between Yi Soo and Hae Woo was indeed a bonus to the revenge line. It was astonishing well crafted and well acted. The tension between them was amplified by the fact that she is representing the law, and he is determined to be a criminal. It made the story all the more intense than it already is and looking back at all the revenge-themed dramas that I have watched I must say it is very rare that the level of intensity and romance is kept as subtle as it is in the case with Shark.
Suffice it to say that every character in Shark is carefully drawn to reveal genuine human beings with their own emotions and agenda. However KNG’s Yi Soo/ Kim Joon is the heartthrob of Shark! You will be entirely captivated by the dark-eyed grace, gentleness and menace of Nam Gil in this complex role (even though he does bad things, my heart broke for him). His facial expression switch from cruel cold revenge seeking man, to a broken lonely soul who is inside desperately calling to be saved. When it comes to acting through facial expressions and even without many dialogues it’s always KNG who leaves me breathless. Yi-soo’s revenge is a well thought out and carefully executed. His desire to seek revenge is perfectly understandable, yet because it is so easy to feel for his character’s plight, it is difficult to watch him move further and further into the dark side.
Son Ye Jin: Her portrayal of a compassionate, righteous prosecutor and a true friend/lover was very much convincing. Hae Woo serves as the moral conscience of the drama. I can’t say that I love her character and I can see why most didn’t but I understand her character giving the circumstances and tests she is put through the entire time.
The soundtrack was lovely and haunting, just perfect for this poignant story of two people caught up in a web of intrigue, murder, and revenge. When the drama had aired in 2013 I was already in love with BoA’s "Between Heaven And Hell" before I even get to watch the drama! It caught my ears and heart when my friend sang it and I couldn’t help but fall in love so imagine how I felt while finally watching it through the eyes of the story.
Shark is about revenge, about how there are consequences and reactions for every action, it’s about love but it’s not a love story, and it’s about finding those truths and then facing them. Shark is very good at being this well-oiled machine. It’s thought out and there is a strategy and enough metaphors (sharks! Orpheus!) to make it interesting. It has twists and turns that don’t feel forced and very little slip ups even though there are more characters in this than one would have thought. The ending may not be the best way to wrap up things but it certainly isn’t the worst way, I embraced the ending here (with its flaws) and appreciated it much more than some of the many other revenge-themed dramas that I’ve seen.
If you are a revenge-themed drama fan or a melodrama fan don’t let this one slip away from you! In the end we might like some "gems" that other people may have considered "waste", you never know.
Kim Nam Gil has once said, “I experienced a slump when KBS2’s ‘Shark’ didn’t receive a lot of love.” I would like to tell him that just as there are people who didn’t appreciate Shark there are those who did and even watching it in 2017 this is such a wonderful revenge drama, so thank you for making it happen and thank you for being part of it.
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First I have to confess that it actually took me a couple of episodes to get completely absorbed, but when I did I just couldn’t stop anymore.
Story: I honestly don’t know what I was doing holding up this drama for all these years, and what was holding me back? I was worried that if I watch it now I won’t experience the same thrilling experience, which the viewers felt while watching this as it was freshly made. But fortunately it is one of those few dramas that, I believe, will hold on very tightly to its astonishing qualities even if much time passes. If I had to pinpoint one single thing that makes Nine different than all of the mystery/twist and turns type of dramas that I’ve seen, it would be the plot development and writing. The plot development takes the center-stage over character and relationship development. Allow me to say that in your average K drama, character and relationship developments are often given more prominence and importance over the plot development itself. In Nine however, the characters are the constant components of the show and the writing/plot developments is the thing that’s twisting around them instead. It was such an intriguing construct, which was really refreshing to watch and brilliantly set by Nine writers.
Thoughts throughout the show: Two core questions,
Can We Humans Play God? And What’s The Price of Playing God?
No matter the timeline, we are essentially the same people. The character consistency across the timelines didn’t bow to human meddling. Although there is the possibility that some things within us may be re-shaped but the core will never change. It is such thought-provoking stuff indeed.
Since Lee Jin Wook plays the lead and primary focal point of the show; from start to finish, Nine revolves around Sun Woo’s journey, all other characters exist in relation to him, and their importance is also mapped in relation to him, thus everyone else is mostly a supporting character so I will dedicate this section mostly to the actors who played Sun Woo (LJW & PHS).
Lee Jin Wook as Adult Sun Woo: Lee Jin Wook turns in a solid performance as Sun Woo, effectively portraying him with an almost impenetrable veneer that is at once intelligent, rational and tenacious, while giving us glimpses, in the quiet moments, of the uncertainty, fear and worry that he keeps to himself. This is by far the best performance I’v seen from LJW. I loved Sun Woo as a character very much!! I was so happy that I could love him so easily because he is the essence of the entire show. It’s really hard not to love Sun Woo, he is smart, quick on the uptake and cares about the people he loves even if it means putting his own life at stake. One of the most endearing qualities which is worth mentioning about Sun Woo, is his courage in the midst of confusion. Very admirable quality truly a hero in the making.
Park Hyung Sik as Young Sun Woo: This is my 4th drama for PHS and I have always admired him, moreso when I consider that he’s an idol. He did admirably well as young Sun Woo, it is possibly one of the best young portrayals I have come across in dramaland. He managed to give similar vibes to the adult Sun Woo and was a reasonably good echo of the adult Sun Woo. I really loved his scenes the most of all.
Lee Seung Joon as Young Hoon: I freaking loved LSJ here!! Young Hoon is by far my favorite character of his! YH’s friendship with Sun Woo, seriously one of the best BFF demonstration in dramaland even though it wasn’t given enough time, attention nor space but it was beautifully demonstrated nonetheless. LSJ is the comic relief of the show as his expressions to the time travelling talk were priceless!! Young Hoon is such a sincere, dorky, grizzled and adorable grumpypants. His concern for his friend all throughout the entire show is the show’s best emotional treat, for me it beats the romance element by million times!!
Music: Nothing memorable to me, nothing special and the show didn’t need one tbh.
Nine is a rollercoaster of a ride. I am rarely ever taken by dramas, which don't move me emotionally, but there is always an exception and Nine is one. This is one of the very very few dramas that doesn’t need your emotional consent and will make you appreciate the ride for the thrill and creativity factor alone. For those who are thinking thrill-seekers Nine is a must watch drama. For those who are wondering why is this drama so popular, the ending on its own is a mind-blowing sensation for your thoughts (if you are willing to accept what the writers tried to offer). The only reason this is not getting higher grade from me is the romance factor, which took from the story a lot more than it deserves and this has admittedly peeved me.
I will definitely not re-watch this for two reasons 1) I rarely re-watch dramas 2) This is a "mystery"drama and once that element is unfolded there is no point in watching the whole thing again.
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