Soundtrack No. 1 (2022)

Drama: Soundtrack #1 (사운드트랙#1)
Network: Disney+
Episodes: 4
Release Date: March 23 – April 13, 2022
Runtime: Wednesday

Plot: Best friends for 19 years, Sunwoo and Eunsoo lives together for 2 weeks and feelings start to cross the line.

Main Cast
Han So Hee – Lee Eunsoo
Park Hyung Sik – Han Sunwoo
Kim Ju Hun – Kang Woo Il
Yoon Byung Hee – Yoon Dong Hyun
Park Hoon – Gyeol Han
Park Min Jung – Yuri
Lee Jung Eun – Eunsoo’s mom

At only four episodes at 45mins per episode, I easily binged watch this drama one Saturday evening. “Best friends turned lovers” is my second favorite trope after “enemies turned lovers”. I loved best friends Sunwoo and Eunsoo and their relationship. Han Sohee/Eunsoo is so pretty, I can’t imagine how Sunwoo didn’t do anything after being friends for 19 years. Park Hyung Sik is so good at playing the best friend who’s in love with his girl friend. Maybe because he looks so steady and wholesome. However, this showing after Happiness with almost same character made me feel like Hyungsik was playing it safe. I hope he tries a different role in his next drama.

Likewise, I cant believe Eunsoo didn’t see how great Sunwoo is to her or that he has been in love with her for years. Sometimes it makes me think if she was taking advantage of Sunwoo all this time? or maybe she really is just clueless, and that sometimes being friends for too long, one can forget or don’t realize what they have until it’s gone. In Eunsoo’s case, both times when Sunwoo went away, did she realize how much he means to her, and that she finally realizes that what she feels is love. I also thought that we spent 3 eps seeing Sunwoo in love with Eunsoo but only one episode with Eunsoo jealous/in love with Sunwoo. I think Sunwoo deserve to make her hurt for a bit and long for him and savor that feeling of being wanted before they got their happy ending. But Sunwoo is so giving, he probably won’t be able to wait that long. I still wished they added an extra 30 mins so we could more happy and good moments together.

My favorite scenes are when they slept side by side, when Sunwoo left for the army and Eunsoo broke down in tears, when Sunwoo asked Wooil if Eunsoo enjoyed the wine, when Eunsoo cried after Sunwoo leaves on a bus, and the flower shop scene when they met again.

One thing to note is that Eunsoo was supposed to be a lyricist and writing songs about their relationship, but there were too many songs being played in the background and not one made a huge impact to me. I also expected that we will get to hear Eunsoo’s songs for Jayjun and Taeyoon that were meant to be her confession to Sunwoo but we didnt hear them at all. How cool it could have been for Sunwoo knowing that he gets to hear her songs every day and that those were meant for him?

Rating: 8.5/10

Nevertheless (2021)

Drama: Nevertheless (알고있지만)
Network: JTBC
Episodes: 10
Release Date: June 19 – August 21, 2021
Runtime: Saturday 23:00
Language: Korean
Country: South Korea

A girl who just got out of a bad relationship meets two guys who like her. One is a playboy she can’t resist, the other is a childhood friend who is in love with her. Which guy will she choose?

Main Cast
Han So Hee – Yoo Nabi
Song Kang – Park Jae Eun
Chae Jong Hyeop – Yang Do Hyeok
Yang Hye Ji – Oh Bit Na
Kim Min Gwi – Nam Kyu Hyun
Lee Ho Jung – Yoon Sol
Yoon Seo Ah – Seo Ji Wan

I’m probably one of the minority who liked this drama and the ending. Give these kids a break. They are in college so they are still immature and bound to make mistakes. Heck, even mature adults tend to be foolish when it comes to love. And society has long dictated that everyone has to be in a relationship and get married or else you’re weird or pathetic. Not everyone wants to be in a relationship, the same way that not everyone wants to keep dating. To each his own. For me, what’s important is the couple has to communicate and be honest with each other with what they want. If you both agree to date with no labels, that’s fine. No one is a “playboy” or a “slut” just because they are dating or sleeping with someone with no labels.

I think the main problem with Jae Eon and Nabi’s relationship is not talking to each other. They both like each other, but rather than sit down and talk about it, they prefer to hide their feelings (Jae Eon) or push back then keep coming back (Nabi). They also didn’t trust each other. Had Jae Eon and Nabi had talked and trusted each other in the first place, we wouldn’t have a story. Maybe Nabi would have realized that Jae Eon was really sincere. Maybe Jae On would have realized he’s a fool to let her go. Maybe they continue with their relationship and then break up within the year. Or maybe they’ll last a few years.

Love is a gamble. Use both your head and your heart (not just one or the other). Whomever you choose, be ready to face the consequences. If you feel the relationship is not right or you made a wrong decision, be brave to get out of the relationship or yourself and your partner. I was actually fine with whoever Nabi chose to be with, whether it’s Do Hyeok or Jae Eon. Just like what the professor said. “Eat what you want. And do what you want to do. Like the people you like.” But i’ll add “As long as you’re not hurting anyone.”

Comparing between Do Hyeok and Jae Eon, I felt that Nabi has no romantic feelings for Do Hyeok. Some people are saying, Nabi doesn’t deserve Do Hyeok. Well, Nabi never liked him more than as a friend anyways. Likewise, just because Do Hyeok is nice doesn’t mean he has to get the girl. You can’t force feelings. Wouldn’t it be worse if Nabi accepted Do Hyeok even if she didn’t like him? It would be better to stay as friends. And both of them deserve to be happy with someone who loves them back.

A person can be super sweet in public but abusive in private. A bad person can also change with the right person. Let’s not make judgements based on rumors or what other people say. Interesting to me that Jae Eon is made to be a bad guy but why do Bitna, Sol, Jiwan encourage Nabi to go out with him? Either they know the real Jae Eon is nice or they are lousy friends. There was also this scene where the girl that Jae Eon dated was badmouthing or lying about him to her friends. I guess that’s where his reputation started. I wish we had more scenes showing Jae Eon’s point of view so we actually get to know him better and what he really feels. Most of the time, it’s one sided, we only hear Nabi’s thoughts, it was only in the last 2 episodes we hear Jae Eon’s thoughts about her. There seems to be a background story why Jae Eon refuses to be in a relationship. It’s probably because he grew up without a steady and loving relationship with his parents, that’s why he is cold and doesn’t let people in. Or he pushes back the minute he starts feeling something or the girl is becoming clingy.

This drama also made me realize that we as viewers (ranting on the internet) plus all of Nabi’s friends are commenting and gossiping too much on Nabi and Jae Eon’s relationship when we aren’t even part of the relationship! Just like how we do with our own friends, we meddle and gossip about other people. I realized we should all mind our own business coz we don’t know what’s happening between them. All we can do is give advice (if they need or want it) and support them.

The best character for me is Kyu Hyun. Probably the only mature one in the group. So I’m not happy he ended up with Bitna who seems really immature. This drama also hyped too much on Sol and Jiwan’s relationship. I wasn’t sure why. They didn’t really do anything but have misunderstandings all throughout the drama. And i didn’t like Jiwan. I don’t know if it’s the acting or that’s really the character, but her aegyo wasn’t cute, it was annoying. She looked so immature compared to the smart and sensible Sol. But i guess for these 2 couples opposites attract, and both seem happy so again, let’s mind our own business 🙂

The downsides of this drama are the too many references on butterfly. Like, okay I get it Nabi. butterfly tattoo, butterfly lighter, real butterflies in Jae Eon’s house, butterfly sculpture. Yeah Yeah. I honestly find butterflies creepy, because there’s this superstition that when you see butterfly (esp white or black), it means someone is going to die or someone dead is trying to make themselves felt.

Also, the second half dragged and the scenes and conflicts were repetitive. Push and pull. Argue, make up, fight. Okay maybe this really happens in reality. I know the feeling of being insecure or being in that ‘are we or aren’t we together’ phase and it is scary and uneasy feeling. So I totally felt for Nabi. The ‘I don’t like you but I can’t resist coming back’ is a feeling I know too much and trust me, it’s terrible and really difficult to cut off. But 10 episodes (already short in Kdrama standards) still felt too long considering the quality of the story. Maybe 8 would have made the story tighter. Or they could have explored Jae Eon’s pov more.

Lastly, I wanted to see everyone’s exhibition projects, not just Nabi’s and Sol’s.

Rating: 8/10

The World of the Married (2020)

Drama: The World of the Married (부부의 세계)
Network: JTBC
Episodes: 16
Release Date: March 27 – May 16, 2020
Runtime: Friday & Saturday 22:50

A woman discovers that her husband has been having an affair with a younger woman.

Main Cast
Kim Hee Ae – Ji Sun Woo
Park Hae Jun – Lee Tae Oh
Han So Hee – Yeo Da Kyung

Wah!!! From the very first scene where we get a passionate bed scene between the couple, I just knew that this show will fall very very hard and will get crazy. I was right! This drama was a rollercoaster of emotions, mostly dark and bitter and angst and evil! This definitely deserved all the ratings it got all throughout its run.

Where do i start? Dr Ji Sun Woo. You know i liked her at the start, she was smart, elegant, and she looked like a great mother and wife. But as the story unfolds, I realized that she wasn’t. I honestly thought the way she addressed the affair and all her actions after were not classy at all. She was mentally unstable and selfish. She keeps saying she is doing it to protect her son and she hates her husband, yet she just did what she wanted without thinking of the repercussions and the people she hurt. Yes, she was hurt too but she didn’t have to drag everyone’s else’s lives down with her. I felt like the neighbor and Da Kyung (more on her later), was stronger and classier than her. they knew when to finally back down and leave when they realized they were hurting themselves and move away from Gosan and all the tragic past.

Sunwoo had every chance to get away, the minute she found out about the affair, she could have just asked for a divorce and leave town. When Tae Oh came back and left to look for a new place to settle, she should have done that, rather than go back to Gosan. But no, she held on to Gosan for some reason, and wouldn’t leave the town. Even when Joon Young (More on him later too) agreed.

So if you ask me, Tae Oh started the whole thing by having an affair, but it was Sunwoo who ruined everything. Had she cleared her mind, the outcome would probably be better. She would be happier, in another town, with Joon Young, without toxic ex husband and vengeful mistress, and with a handsome and understanding man like Dr Kim.

And another thought, Sunwoo didn’t have a real friend in Gosan. The neighborhood wives were all b*tches, and the snake double agent doctor friend was bad. I don’t even know why Sunwoo continues to be friends with the doctor lady. and it also wasn’t clear why she was being so sneaky. I thought she secretly liked Tae Oh but it wasn’t the case. Or maybe she was envious of Sunwoo. I think if she had just one true friend, who could have had her back or real-talked her, she wouldn’t have been this irrational.

Tae Oh. What to say about him? He must have felt so incompetent beside his lovely and successful wife. And he must hate how people thinks he is just living off his wife. Sometimes i feel bad for him, it’s not like he is a mooch. He is trying to work hard, though his hard work hasn’t been paying off. And he was a great dad to Joon Young. I have no problems with Tae Oh being the househusband and Sunwoo is the breadwinner. I think it doesn’t matter as long as it doesn’t bother the couple. But apparently it did bother Tae Oh. So much that he fell in love with a much younger girl, who made him feel like a man that could make a difference. This is the exact thing that i couldn’t really grasp. Sunwoo had no problems being the breadwinner. She never insulted Tae Oh for not being successful. In fact, she was supportive of him and always helped him. She never made him feel small and she just loved him as he was. So I couldn’t understand what drove him to have an affair.

Although in the later episodes we all realized that Da Kyung is like a younger version of Sun woo. Maybe all this time, Tae Oh wanted to go back to that time when they were young and Tae Oh was the man in the relationship, Sunwoo wasn’t too successful. Or maybe Da Kyung was the “what could have been” if Tae Oh was the successful one and Sunwoo was the supporting wife.

Most often times I hated Tae Oh for hurting Sunwoo so much, not just with his actions, but with his words. Like it was all Sunwoo’s fault, that she made all the mess, that she didn’t have the right to get angry. Park Hae Joon did a fantastic job as Tae Oh, the guy you love to hate, but is so pitiful, you want to understand him but then he goes crazy again and you want to kill him. That’s the rollercoaster of emotions you will suffer from the whole time!

I didn’t watch Doctor Foster because i didn’t want to know the ending, so I was imagining will Tae Oh die so that the whole problem will stop? Or will Sunwoo die to make it more tragic? Or will they just get back together in the end to make the story more interesting (like that Gone Girl movie).

Oh Da Kyung. If i were her friend or a sister, i would have told her not to have an affair with Tae Oh. She is young, beautiful and rich. She can have all the best guys in the world, why would she choose an old incompetent fool like Tae Oh? Like seriously. her parents, no matter how wealthy and caring they seem to be, apparently didn’t raise her well.

Steal someone’s husband and flaunt it in everyone’s faces as if she had every right to do so? without remorse just because she thinks Tae Oh loves her? Stupid enough to get knocked up? I mean, hello, if you really can’t help but love a married man, at least be discreet about it and take care of yourself. Make sure you don’t get pregnant!!

And what did the parents do? They supported her (which was fine, they’re her parents) but again, they got angry at Sunwoo for revealing the affair and tried to bring everyone in the neighborhood against the legal wife? And when Tae Oh and DA Kyung came back to town, all successful, the parents again, helped them settle back in the town, and was trying to blackmail and humiliate Sunwoo to leave town. If they were good parents, they should have told Tae Oh and Da Kyung never to come back to town and hold a successful life in Seoul. That’s what you can do to protect your child from the hate.

As much as I want to understand Da Kyung, I can’t. She was really so bad to Sunwoo, and she used Joon Young by pretending to be the nice stepmom but actually scheming to get him shipped to boarding school was terrible! If she really loved Tae Oh, she should have been ready to accept Joon Young (and Sunwoo) will be in their lives forever. Joon Young was almost warming up to Da Kyung and Tae Oh was loving her even more. I think for Sunwoo, Da Kyung probably also felt insecure with the older and wiser woman and she is scared of Tae Oh falling in love with Sunwoo again. This is a hard choice. If she didn’t purposely bait Sunwoo, i think Sunwoo would have left her alone and their lives would have been peaceful. Maybe they could have even co-existed in the same town. I mean, in real life, a lot of couples are able to settle their differences and their modern family setup works.

As they say, in every broken relationship, it’s the child that eventually suffers. and Joon Young is the extreme example of what happens to kids in a divorced family. Joon Young started off as a very nice and sweet young man. Then when he found out his dad was having an affair, he became selfish and asked the mother not to divorce the dad. he probably felt scared of the change, worried of how his friends will treat him, and had no one to talk to.

At first i thought Joon Young was an ungrateful selfish brat, then later on i realized how awful he has been feeling. His parents who he loves so much are fighting to death, no one is talking to him directly, not even Sunwoo. He feels betrayed by his dad, and he gets to see the woman who broke his parents’ marriage apart and publicly humiliated his family in front of the whole town acting like the nice sweet stepmom. and he has a baby half sister who everyone dotes on and he feels lost and alone. Poor Joon Young.

I think the last scene where Sunwoo went back to help Tae Oh even when Joon Young told her not to was the last straw for him. Time and time again he has been very disappointed with Sunwoo’s actions – despite all that Tae Oh has done to Sunwoo, she keeps coming back to him and for more and i think Joon Young couldn’t accept that. He also mentioned that he feels it was his fault – had he not recorded his dad, maybe the mom wouldn’t find out. Maybe if they stopped fighting over him, they will stop battling. and i think that’s why he ran away. To get away from all the angst, for his family to stop fighting since he is gone. it is true what happened. When Tae Oh and Sunwoo realized what happened, after all the awful things they’ve done to each other, the most precious thing that wanted to protect was gone.

The ending felt bittersweet. Everyone moved on. But Sunwoo, she wasn’t better off. She lost the thing she wanted the most but life moves on and all she can do is move forward and wait for the day Joon Young finally comes back. To be honest, I didn’t like the ending.

One, after all the rollercoaster ride, and all the angst and drama, the last episode didn’t feel satisfying. But maybe that’s what this show is trying to tell us. You should protect the people you love, lay down your pride if needed, think what is best for them because in the end, nothing matters when you lose them.

Second, i find it absurd that no one can find Joon Young after how many years. He’s a kid, with no money and so sheltered, he probably has never done any work in his life. Where did he go? Where did he hide? Did he stay in Gosan or he found a way to move to another place?

Third, did Joon Young really come back or was it Sunwoo’s imagination? Why would he even come back? Did he miss his mom? Did he realize he can’t continue living alone with nothing to do? Did he just lie low until all the pain is gone before he had the nerve to come back again? So many questions and it’s up to us to answer them.

Rating: 8.5/10 (i rated this as a 9 all the way to ep 15 but pulled down the rating after the lackluster ending)