A man (Lee Sun-Kyun) in his 40's withstands the weight of life. A woman (IU) in her 20's goes through difficult experiences, but also withstands the weight of her life. The man and woman get together to help each other.
Dong-Hun (Lee Sun-Kyun) is married to Yoon-Hee (Lee Ji-Ah). His wife is secretly having an affair with a senior executive at the construction company where he works. Yoon-Hee wants to divorce Dong-Hun and marry the executive, Joon-Young (Kim Young-Min). Dong-Hun also has two brothers who live with his mother. The oldest brother, Sang-Hoon (Park Ho-San), doesn't have a job and he is separated from his wife. Gi-Hoon (Song Sae-Byeok) is the youngest brother and he wants to become a movie director.
Meanwhile, Ji-An (IU) lives in a difficult situation. She supports her grandmother who is unable to move by herself. Ji-An is also in heavy debt and is harassed by loan shark Gwang-Il (Jang Ki-Yong). She works as a temp employee at the same construction company as Dong-Hun. One day, she sees Dong-Hun receive 50 million won ($50,000 USD) of gift certificates. She goes back to the office late at night and takes the gift certificates from Dong-Hun's desk. She tries to pay off her debts with the gift certificates, but her plan doesn't work out.
Ji-An learns that Joon-Young, the company Vice President, is having an affair with Dong-Hun's wife. She goes to Joon-Young and offers to make Dong-Hun leave the company if he will pay her
Feelings: First Episode
Very dark. Brightness wise. Everything is a bit dull with cool tones, making for a feeling of mundane with undertones of something bad is going on or about to happen. As I watched, I kept waiting for something to shock me or something sinister to happen. I felt like that the entire episode when I realized this show was not going to do anything for shock value or hype. It was deeper and more analytical than that. So within the first episode, which is the length of a movie, we're given the set up. You see a lot being depicted, the main character and his work, his family, some foreshadowing of his marital issues and the relationships with his brothers and mother. And then a glimpse of the other main character and her family and troubling life, and some foreshadowing on her past to be revealed. It's setting us up to understand that the story is centered around these 2 unrelated and seemingly very different people but we know someone somewhere, they will intertwine. I mean I hooked immediately.
What an incredible actor. I know too many men like him, who keeps everything all bottled up, but still manages to take care of everyone else around him and work hard. Men like him are certainly a dying breed but at some point, those barriers really do hold you back. What I appreciated about Dong Hoon was his overall grace. Whether it was his poise at work or his ability to control himself in the face of humiliation, he never joined his separate worlds to affect each other. That's why his brothers and his coworkers were all so upset by his avoidance and quietness. Not many people on this earth can actually not react emotionally to situations and though I advise against being like that all the time, he was so honorable and respectable in his grace. But people who love you want to be there for you when you're struggling. It hurts to see someone you love hurting and even more so when you keep it all inside. I remeber seeing my dad cry for the first time, it was incredibly sad. So when he is finally letting it all out and punches the door and is crying on the floor, ooooo boy THE FEELS. I think Ji-an gave him that push to 1) feel beyond his threshold and 2) to demand more in life than he was getting. That scene at the end when he sees Ji-an again and he's smiling so brightly, it's like who is this brand new mofo?! Like a reborn Dong Hoon, so handsome, so happy, so heartwarming. :)
P.S. Does the actor have a lisp? I felt like he did.
I felt for this girl so much. She takes no shit and handles her own however she needs to but she is a pitiful sight. I think she's super bad ass. She's a white collar criminal with blue collar means. But damn is her life so very very sad. Honestly good on her for stabbing a man that repeatedly beats your grandmother and you over some debt but I can only imagine being young, scared, and finally fighting back only to kill him. Taking a life regardless of how what or why, is heavy trauma. Like you ended the existence of a whole person and their memories, and life before they were the person they were when you killed them. That's crazy. I would be the same as her. But I understand why she kind of let Lee Kwang beat on her the way he did (not that wanted that or even let him) but she was definitely putting up with him to a certain point. She took away something from him that she can never repay, even if he was an evil man. In a way I'm sure she felt responsible for his current change in personality and probably felt like it was just part of the punishment of taking a life. When she meets Dong Hoon I think she is intrigued by his ability to let everything roll off of him, not out of weakness, but out of choice. And he still cared and respected people regardless of the bullshit. I think sometimes people are drawn to other people because they need to take a certain energy from that person. Sometimes it can be toxic but sometimes its for survival and often times, I believe it is a necessary two way exchange. They needed each other to survive and their souls needed each other to love.
Kim Young Min...Do Joon Young [CEO]
He was a little twerp. Everything he did and said was so full of shit. I didn't trust his love for Ji Ah, not because it was a secret or wrong, but because he did everything so calculated. I felt like when she was out of sight she was out of mind. He was a grade A PUNK ASS bruh.
Park Ho San...Park Sang Hoon [Dong Hoon's eldest brother]
The actor has such a handsome smile and kind eyes. Definitely the most sensitive of the brothers but also the most senseless. I felt like he really started to care about others as he observed his life unfold around him after his daughters wedding debacle. What he did for Ji-an was so incredibly nice, and he totally didn't have to do that. What a good dude.
Song Sae Byuk...Park Gi Hoon [Dong Hoon's younger brother]
He was annoying, just like his girlfriend. He was my least favorite brother. Always had a scowl and complaining. I don't have much to say about him other than all I kept looking at on his face while he was on screen was these 2 yellow teeth on his bottom row of teeth. The rest were white! I couldn't stop looking. He must be a smoker or something.
Lee Ji Ah...Kang Yoon Hee [Dong Hoon's wife]
She totally had a mom vibe but chick, how you gonna plot to fire your husband whom you're cheating on?! Such a stupid way to initiate a divorce. She was right, this whole conundrum of corporate drama was indeed all her fault. She deserved to feel like she wanted to die for how she plotted to take down her husband in that way, especially because they had a child, and he didn't deserve that. No matter how much his life didn't fit with hers. What an idiot!
Jang Ki Yong...Lee Kwang Il [Loan shark]
The sexiest loan shark I've ever seen. Hot damn! I wish he didn't put his hands on Ji-an because maybe they could have overcome trauma together somehow, but a boy that loses his father, no matter how evil he may be, is intense trauma to take on as a child. The rage and hate that's born from that needs to be redirected at something or someone because it's so much for any person to handle. And who better to direct those feelings to than to the very person who took created that trauma. Even though he had comforted her in their past and protected her from his father, she still killed him. Took him from this world and changed his whole life. I sympathize even though I don't agree with the violence but this is a very real example of how trauma can change a person completely. I believe he loved her and couldn't help but hate her for it and then hated himself for the hate he inflicted upon her and just the thought of her reminded him of all of that. He definitely felt guilt and shame though, which is if nothing else, a sign of reflection and maturity. I was rooting for him to turn it around but if we're being honest, he couldn't go back the second his rage towards Ji Ahn turned violent. Damn shame.
Son Sook...[Ji Ahn's grandmother]
I can't even. My heart breaks for this woman. Her whole life a tragedy and the only light she had was when she's with her granddaughter. No need for words when your heart is attached to someone else's. Their love is so familiar and it really broke my heart to see how she has lived and continued to live throughout the show. Her peace when Dong Hoon is at her granddaughters side is so real. She knew she could die and leave Ji-an if someone like him was her friend. She just wanted to make sure someone who have her beloved grand daughter's back. Isn't that what we all want in life? What an angel. *clenches chest* Oh my heart X0 RIP
Oh Na Ra...Jung Hee [Dong Hoon's friend]
She's a super cool chick. I don't know why she's so down in the dumps. Like i get it, she's in love with a monk who can never be with her but she's so pretty, aging flawlessly, owns a cool bar, and has a great family/friend/neighborhood community. She has what so many people never have. But I get where she's coming from, I just wish I could have gone through the tv and slap her in the face and been like GIRL YOU IS SMART, YOU IS KIND, YOU IS IMPORTANT!
Nara...Choi Yoo Ra [Movie actress]
Can you say annoying? So annoying. But i guess she has a certain charm about her but what' with all the vomiting on the stairs? Gross dude. She's weird, her crush on Gi Hoon is weird, but they were both so weird so I guess it works.
Ahn Seung Gyun...Song Ki Beom [Ji Ahn's best friend]
Definitely thought he was Ji Ahn's brother throughout the entire show. I only figured out he was only her friend at the funeral. Also he sold himself out at the internet cafe when he tried to leave when the director was looking around but maybe not. I just though the made it mad hot for himself, to put a cap on and then get up suspiciously to leave. He was a cute little geek criminal though.
Post Feelings: Finishing the Series
I have never cried so authentically for a show like this one. If you want to be destroyed, watch this show. The end and the death of one of the sweetest supporting characters you'll ever see will make you remember everyone you've ever lost and the sadness that comes with that. It was so deep in my heart that it really felt broken to watch it happen. Like I don't think I will ever get over it. But the show itself was phenomenal, with some of the best acting I've seen in the game. Every episode is the length of a full feature film and there is so much context and mystery, and emotion in each scene, it's like how are all shows not like this?? Ugh SO excellent. Watch this is you want to feel good about what life has to offer or feel grateful for what you have, or to feel like you can change your own life.
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