I added this drama to my list since the beginning of my journey simply because of Super Junior’s Yesung’s OST; It Has to Be You. Since SuJu is a boyband there are not many solo songs by the members -specially before SM’s solo explosion-. So there were only few songs by the awesome Yesung and this OST was my first. It’s true that I came to love Chun Jung Myung and that was a strong reason to pick it up but it all started because of the OST. And they did gave it justice by playing it often and in fitting scenes.
Nothing is new about the plot. I would gasp at the screen or cry my heart out but I wouldn’t be surprised. And strangely that didn’t push me away -I who lives for surprises-. The story might sound typical; or it is typical, but the journey of those people trying to heal the open wounds is something everyone of us can relate to. You can hate none of the characters even if you can’t bring yourself to justify their actions. Each of the characters presents a part in us; whether we admit it or not. The characters are so human we can simply sympathise with how weak they and we are.
Watching them changing each other unintentionally, watching sincerity going through and watching the wounds getting healed even if they leave a scar was like watching my life in a flashback. The only difference is that my wounds are still unhealed.
The drama evolves around family relationships and society’s views on them. It tackles the struggle single mothers go through in order not to abandon their kids. For society they’re damned anyway. Whether the mother has the child or abandons it; she’ll be cursed. The whole world gives its back to those poor women.
The drama as well questions the family. What makes a group of people a family? Is being born of the same parents the only way to become family? If you find yourself suddenly a family of someone, how would you react? How much would you sacrifice for your family? How much would you forget and how much would you forgive?
Another issue presented strongly here is love vs. abandonment. Most characters here and many of us don’t differentiate between loving someone and the fear of abandonment. It’s not because I love them, it’s because I’m petrified of being alone. Then the question pops out; what is love anyway? And can we really separate the two?
Children born out of wedlock and abandoned children are shown here with all the trauma society ends up giving them; abuse, hunger and lack of attention are a few.
Corruption in companies which portray personal greed and ambition is also tackled.
How complicated the human relationships might become because of a small deception is what the drama is all about. Consequences and karma are things we cannot escape no matter how frequently and how far we run away.
Eun Ju (Moon Geun Young)
Because of the pain, the insecurity, the mistrust and the misery inflicted upon her throughout her life; young Eun Ju came to act haughtily, coldly, meanly and selfishly. She couldn’t trust anyone and her heart was shut away. Knowing that she’ll end up leaving the people one day, she purposely doesn’t let them in. She got so used to loneliness that she couldn’t even respond properly. Every time Ki Hoon, Jung Woo or Hyo Seon would try, she’d suspect sincerity and she would feel like lowering her guard, but all the scars would surface and she wouldn’t be able to. Watching her changing because of that sincerity and perseverance was so touching. Being close to someone was such a hard dilemma for her but to watch her try was moving. Because of other people Eun Ju grew to become a ”normal” human being with each day. Not giving up on her was worth it.
Her relationship with her mother was the most intriguing. Some people would preach that we shouldn’t blame others or the world. If something goes astray it’s our fault. But no. Eun Ju had all the rights to blame her mother and the world. She did. She vented her anger on both. Though when we put ourselves in the mother’s shoes; we can’t blame her either. Eun Ju would scream, curse and attack her mother but would hurt herself. How she hurt!
I understand and sympathise with her, but the way she gave Hyo Seon hell for 8 years was unjustifiable. No matter how annoying Hyo Seon was, she did more than any other person would do to make her feel at home. Eun Ju kept pushing her away. And Eun Ju wound up being another victimiser. Yes they made up and became ”real” sisters but she gave Hyo Seon eternal scars. I hated her for that.
Her relationship with Ki Hoon was the most childish of all. They needed only to be honest for a moment but instead dragged hate, abandonment and loneliness for 8 years! I could feel Eun Ju loving Ki Hoon. She loved him with every single cell of her. That was evident in every act or gesture. I felt the love flowing out of her.
As for poor Jung Woo, he was her sidekick. She knew from the first moment that he was serious about her and she used him. Knowing he bore her love, she used him to reach Ki Hoon, to feel better, to get consoled and to be herself. The person who helped her the most into transforming from the lonely and dark girl into who she became was Jung Woo. Wonder what happened to her life after he left!
Though I’m not a fan of Moon Geun Young, she did a great job here. There was not one moment that I felt she was not Eun Ju. And there was not one moment that she didn’t make me feel exactly what she felt, tremble when she did and cry along.
Hong Ki Hoon (Chun Jung Myung)
I didn’t want to say this. I wish I wouldn’t need to say this. But CJM here was a disappointment to me. I did not feel him at many moments. I didn’t feel Hong Ki Joon either.
He looks cool and composed on the outside but Ki Hoon is a mere child whining for a father’s love. That’s why when he was chased away by his brothers he went to his father’s friend and considered him a father figure. He could sacrifice everything for his father’s acknowledgment. What kind of syndrome is this?
I could feel Ki Hoon when it came to his family and when it came to his brotherly care for Hyo Seon but as for his love for Eun Ju; I barely felt it. His looks were not tender at all. He was supposed to act a guy madly in love with a girl but facing so many obstacles between them. Looking at him did not make me feel any difficulty. He kept that careless attitude throughout it drove me crazy. And Heart to Heart kept popping up. He definitely was not immersed into Hong Ki Hoon and therefore couldn’t show his love for Eun Ju.
As for the forgiveness he received, though I might not be able to applaud, I still think it was the right thing to do. He did deserve it.
Hyo Seon (Seo Woo)
No matter how annoying or clingy she might seem; Hyo Seon is the most pitiful character here. She was a spoilt girl patted and loved by everyone and had everything to herself. She was nagging, immature, clingy, selfish and demanding; yes. But she wronged nobody. One day her world started to collapse because of some woman’s plot. People who yelled and scolded her that she had nothing to be snatched away were wrong. Her entire world was snatched away. Her desire for a mother brought her decline. And it was not her who practically let the mother in. I felt bad for her whenever the mother lied, Eun Ju gave her the cold shoulder, her dad shifted his attention and Ki Hoon dedicated his love for Eun Ju. She found herself lonely and misunderstood; despised by everybody. Even when she tried to be evil, she couldn’t. She could touch people’s hearts and change them but no one was willing to touch her heart. The revelations were just too cruel. Some might call her a whiner but every single tear she shed was because of pain. And at the end, she was the only one who completely lost.
Han Jung Woo (Taecyeon)
This guy was my biggest fear before starting the drama and my most pleasant surprise after watching it. For the last 3 years I heartily hated Taecyeon. I have no idea why either. I simply did. He would give me the chills whenever I saw him that’s why the 2PM fan I am I would rather listen than watch them. So I was worried before I started this.
Now that I’m done; I’m in love.
Thanks to the sweet, cheerful and selfless character of Jung Woo who had lived his life looking at one person. I loved how he demanded nothing, asked for nothing and waited for nothing. He did look like a fool and I wanted to slap him more than once for his selfless love but I admired him all the same. His smile and dialect were charming.
Taecyeon as an actor has a way to go. I don’t even know if he’s got what it takes to land such lead roles in the next 10 years, but he touched my heart here and I’m hooked.
Song Kang Sook (Lee Mi Sook)
Her terrible life and the world’s cruelty to her were the justifications I could give. I did wish her to be redeemed at the end and was glad she felt the guilt. I loved that she didn’t turn into an angel suddenly -like some dramas we know- but was honest about what she could and couldn’t give. She was an awful mother from her child’s perspective but from hers she did everything she could.
Even if I could understand the sweet way she treated Hyo Seon to earn her father’s favour, I could never and would never understand her cheating on him. The world was barbarous and gave her hell and therefore I justified and understood everything she did; deceiving the dad and the daughter included. But the cheating part was just unfathomable and unforgivable. That had nothing to do with her grudge against the world and the gods she challenged.
Ku Dae Sung (Kim Kap Su)
My readers know; I hate this guy. He gets on my nerves to the extreme. He always acts the same bad lot. So when I saw him here I was like; please no more. But strangely and for the first time I liked him.
Ku Dae Sung is my personal definition of a dad; someone who would give his kids the opportunity to thrive into the world. He’d chide them when needed yes, but he’d cover them with love, understanding and trust first. He cared about everyone around him and couldn’t even hate his cheating wife. His tender look and touch and assuring words pierced into my heart just like they warmed up the frozen heart of Eun Ju. And I cried because of him the most.
The drama left me with a bundle of hope; that one day someone would actually be able to make me trust them.