Melancholia (2021)

Profile:
Drama: Melancholia (멜랑꼴리아)
Network: tvN
Episodes: 16
Release Date: November 10 – December 30, 2021
Runtime: Wed. & Thu. 22:30

Plot: A misunderstanding of the close relationship between a student and teacher led to a scandal that ruined the career of the teacher and the student dropping out of school. Four years later, both of them goes back to school to seek revenge and expose the corruption in school.

Main Cast:
Lim Soo Jung – Ji Yoon Su
Lee Do Hyun – Baek Seung Yoo
Jin Kyung – Noh Jung Ah
Jang Hyun Sung – Sung Min Jun
Shin Soo Yeon – Choi Si An
Choi Dae Hoon – Ryu Sung Jae
Woo Da Bi – Sung Yerin
Kim Ji Young – Kim Ji Na

Review:
I never liked math in school but this drama made math sound so beautiful and interesting. However, since I don’t understand all the theories and concepts (the formulas they were studying were too complicated!!!), the point of the mathematical metaphors about proving and errors went lost on me. Still, I loved the first 6 episodes when they were still in high school and we saw relationship, which at time, was purely student-teacher, blossomed. You can really feel how much they loved math. Seung Yoo had a traumatic childhood with scary father, and for the first time, there was an adult, his teacher who listened and encouraged him and made him want to love math again. On the other hand, Yoon Su is loved by her students. She is compassionate and makes learning fun and challenging. Of course, being young, it wasn’t a surprise that Seung Yoo fell for his impressive teacher. I thought going on a trip with a male student is wrong and Yoon Su put herself in scandalous situation, without thinking of the consequences or his fiance. When Yoon Su discovered a potential cheating during the midterm exams, the jealous female student together with her assemblyman father and the corrupt principal decided to expose Seung Yoo and Yoon Su’s relationship to bury the their own scandal.

Starting episode 7, the story moves to the present time (which is four years later). We learn that the school continues to be corrupt, with students still as spoiled and terrible as ever. Seung Yoo dropped out of school, studied hard and won a Lucifer prize, becoming a very famous mathematician, while Yoon Su hides behind a math clinic with very strict confidentiality clauses for its students. Turns out, both of them have been planning to seek their own revenge against the principal and expose the decades long corruption. Episodes 10 to 13 dragged with so many useless scenes, i wish they cut them and made the drama shorter.

Similar to 4 years ago, there is another brilliant student, Si-An, whom I loved. She may be an orphan but she grew up well, is smart, happy and is tough to stand against Jina and the bullies. I also liked Jina later on (she was a b*tch for most of the episodes) but she was actually nicer when she met Seung Yoo and Yoon Su. It was very had to like Yerin. Since high school until present, she always had this sour face and was too stubborn and to admit her mistake. Her scenes were also boring, she just kept “stalking” and making sad eyes to Seung Yoo and blaming other people for her life. Again, it was Seung Yoo and Yoon Su, who made her realize that she was being manipulated by the adults and it was time to stand up on her own.

This is the second time I saw Jin Kyung play the baddie and I love it. She is so elegant but that maniacal laugh is scary (but not Cheon Seo Jin level). I also found the feud between the sisters very interesting. They were both bad people – Jung Ah is supposedly worse that Yeon Woo, and yet I was rooting for Jung Ah to win over Yeon Woo.

I also loved Sung Jae. He made a mistake not being brave enough to defend Yoon Su during the scandal, but I’m glad he finally found the courage to be like Yoon Su and expose the corruption. I actually wished Sung Jae and Yoon Su got back in the end. I thought he was a nice guy.

The drama ends with another time jump (not sure how long) but Seung Yoo and Yoon Su meet again the same way they did years ago (through a math group chat). But this time, Yoon Su finally accepted Seung Yoo’s love and they kiss. I felt that the romance wasn’t needed in the story. They could have ended as best friends or teacher-mentor and it still would have been a great ending. But the romance wasn’t the main story.

Rating: 8/10

Youth of May (2021)

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Drama: Youth of May (오월의 청춘)
Network: KBS2
Episodes: 12
Release Date: May 3 – June 8, 2021
Runtime: Mon & Tue 21:30

Plot
Set in the 1980s during the Gwangju Uprising, this is a story of a girl and a guy who fell in love against all odds. Will they be able to hold on to their love or will they end up in tragedy?

Cast
Lee Do Hyun – Hwang Hee Tae
Go Minsi – Choi Myung Hee
Geum Sae Rok – Lee Suryeon
Lee Sang Yi – Lee Soo Chan

Review:
I already saw a lot of spoilers before I started watching so I think it took a bit of enjoyment from watching this drama.

Beautiful ending. It was sad but still beautiful. It took him 40 years to finally move on 😭 cant imagine how that feels. But im happy they found her so he can always visit her when he misses her.

As always May has come. this is the 41st year of May since I lost you, Myeong Hee. All this time, my life felt like swimming during a rising tide. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t move forward, and I even tried to let myself drown. But when I woke up, that tide had pushed me back, to that May inside my heart. It felt so cruel that I lived in resentment.

For a very long time, I lived in regret and thought throughout my life. If I hadn’t gone to Gwangju in May of that year. If I hadn’t met you in Gwangju. If I hadn’t let go of your hand in those woods, would you still be alive? But on this 41st May when you’ve finally returned, I now realize that I was the one who chose to do all that. In May of that year, I chose to go to Gwangju, and chose to love you with all my heart.

I prayed everyday that worse pains in life would come to me instead of you. If I had been the one to die in the crossroads of life and death, and you had lived, you would’ve experienced the tides that I had experienced all this time. The life of the one who was left behind. Hence, I’ve finally realized, that what I experienced all this time, was the Lord’s way of answering my prayer. Those lonely and painful 41 years were merely my love for you.

The remaining years of my life, will be an answer to your prayer. No matter how many more times the rising tide pushes me back to that May, I have you here now. Until we meet again, I will swim against the tide with all my might.

All through out i kept thinking whose fault it was. I’d say they were too young and made emotional decisions. If they more more mature they probably wouldn’t have died. Had Hee Tae stopped pursuing her, Myung Hee could have gone to Germany and lived. Or Hee Tae could have married Suryeon to appease the family and live separate lives. Or he could follow to Germany in a few years. But I also came to the same conclusion as Hee Tae. They chose to fight for each other so although it was hard, they made that choice and they have to live with the consequences. At least they had that May that he will always remember. Better to have loved and lost than to not have loved at all.

I, Kim Myeong Hee, refuse to be buried alive with Hwang Hee Tae. Lord, if something unexpected happens, and we have to let go of each others hand please dont let the sorrow overwhelm the lives of those left behind. Even if the tears we shed fill up to our chins, please dont let us drown and give us the power and courage to swin safely throughout this life.

Looking back, I think the one who is at fault is Myung Soo. Lol. I know, he was too young and didn’t mean to do it. But later on he must have realized he basically killed his dad and sister in one night because of his foolishness. Maybe that’s why he ended up being a priest.

Mixed feelings about Suryeon. She was mostly selfish which is weird since she is brave protesting against the government but she cant even protect her best friend. But I think it’s not her fault — Hee Tae would have met and pursued Myung Hee even without the blind date. And i didnt feel enough remorse from her over Myung Hee even in the present, she was nowhere to be found, just a brief statement that she is now a lawyer.

Myunghee’s dad 😭😭😭 and all those brave and innocent people who died that time. 🙏

Myeong Soo said this to me one day. That the runner who runs way in the front does nothing but block the wind for the others. He said it was your loss if you stood in the front from the beginning. Perhaps I lived my life always in the front, blocking the wind with my whole body. I was that runner who was in the front. I was afraid you’d be hit by the wind like me. What if your wings were hurt from the hardships of this world? I hoped you wouldn’t stand in the front like me and always tried to hold you back. But your wings were strong enough to endure any kind of wind. If I just let you go you would have ridden the wind and flew up high into the sky. Since everything that happened wasn’t your fault, just leave it behind with me. And from now on, let your wings carry you freely wherever you want to go.

I wish the ending was longer. i wanted to know what happened to them 40 years later and how they feel about what happened. And where is Soochan?

Rating: 8.5/10

18 Again (2020)

Profile
Drama: 18 Again (18 어게인)
Network: JTBC
Episodes: 16
Release Date: September 7 – November 10, 2020
Runtime: Mon & Tue 21:30

Plot

Main Cast
Kim Haneul – Jung Dajung
Lee Do Hyun – Hong Dae Young / Go Woo Young
Yoon Sang Hyun – Hong Dae Young
Ryeo Un – Hong Siwoo
Roh Jeong Eui – Hong Sia
Kim Gang Hyun – Go Deok Jin
Lee Mi Do – Chu Aerin
Wi Ja Hoon – Ye Ji Hoon
Lee Ki Woo – Choi Il Kwon
Kim Yuri – Ok Hye In
Choi Bomin – Seo Ji Ho
Hwang In Yeop – Gu Jasung

Review
This is easily one of my top dramas for 2020! Everything about the drama was beautiful!! The three leads were so terrific and their chemistry worked so well. There was a seamless transition between Woo Young and Dae Young, it really felt like they were the same people. Kim Haneul is gorgeous as always.

Just see the main cast! I put almost everyone in the list because everyone, including the supporting characters had their own stories and it didn’t bog down the story. In fact, it added to the richness of this drama. There were so many side stories going on and almost everyone’s stories had closure.

The love the wonderful and heartbreaking journey of Dajung and Dae Young. They got married young, they had regrets, they broke up. But in the end, they found their way back to each other. It’s rare to be able to hold on to your first love. It’s normal that things may not always be happy. So many people would have given up just like them. But still there are some where the love is so great that they are able (and willing) to work it out, be honest with each other and love more.

The visuals!! 🥰 all the guys were handsome and the girls were pretty! I loved the baby love triangle between Ji Ho, Si ah and Jasung.

Perfect balance of laughter and tears. My favorite storyline was of Dae Young and his dad and the sign language scene 😭.

And when Sia finally called up Dae Young to tell him she misses her dad.

I wish there were more scenes between the twins. They dont seem to be close and they don’t talk to each other.

I also loved Dae Young’s relationships with Siwoo and Sia. He really matured alot when he had the chance to be their classmate and friend.

How sweet Dae Young is to Dajung’s mom.

I love the friendship between Dae Young and Deok Jin, Dajung and Aerin. And all four of them together! But absolutely love Aerin and i want to have a best friend like her!

The cinematography was so pretty too. And the OST. Im sad they didnt release the OST album coz i really wanted to get my copy.

I did feel bad for Ji Hoon. Without Dae Young, i would not have minded if Dajung ended up with him. But Jihoon didn’t have a chance because Dajung never liked him more than as friends.

So many life lessons about dreams, family, marriage and relationships.

“There are days when we hated each other. But thanks to that, we understand each other better. We learn to appreciate each other more. And we love more. There were more days when we were happier. For that happiness, we decided to love our decisions . We chose people based on love. And we are grateful for our decisions.”

“In life, even if you miss out on happiness, as long as you have that one person who will look for happiness with you, your life will be worth living. Dont forget that you love each other. Be disappointed that you cannot cherish each other better. And promise for a better tomorrow. Just like that, our lives will continue.”

Rating: 9.5/10

If you can’t get enough of the leads, then watch Men on a Mission episode where they guested to promote their drama.