I am trying to find the right words to do justice to this review of a deeply raw, stunning, thought-provoking series, but I guess my mediocre self would have to suffice. There’s something about sad dramas that drowns you. It’s like the pain reflects on you through every scene. You find some sense of belongingness, but the way you also resonate with their suffering also alarms you. Are we going through the same phase? Have I become nothing? I kept on thinking about why I relate to not one but most of these characters one way or another. And then it hit me – this is what the drama wants to tell me, you, us. Longingness knows no age. Misery doesn’t always equate to absence of love. It could be a question of existence, self-worth, acceptance, or grief.
When the Lost premiered, I immediately understood why two of the acting powerhouses of this generation accepted their respective roles. It’s an opportunity that’s hard to reject – an acclaimed director taking the helm plus an impeccable material that promises to show everyone’s acting range. It’s Daesang worthy – Baeksang and more.
The slow burn storytelling is not for everyone, though, and I totally get why the rating numbers are low. It faced stiff competition, which was unfortunate, but I sincerely hope more people get to witness this masterpiece though on-demand streaming. It’s a story about a boy who lost his dad and learned to navigate through adulthood on his own, and a woman who seemed to achieve everything she ever dreamed of and worked on but lost everything in a snap. It’s a painful narrative of two lost souls who found their way to each other.
Sad, beautiful, tragic marriage
The best thing about Lost is that even though technically Lee Bu-jeong (Jeon Do-yeon) was cheating on her husband for Lee Gang-jae (Ryu Jun-yeol), it was presented in a way that you won’t hate anyone in the drama. I was always conscious whether I should root for Bu-jeong and Kang-jae because I didn’t want Bu-jeong to be labeled as a cheater, even though her husband Jin Jung-seo (Park Byung-eun) is also obviously doing the same by his frequent meetups with his first love, Kyung-eun (Kim Hyo-jin). I wanted the married couple to divorce so bad. They were living under one roof, but they were never talking. They keep secrets from each other, and they can’t lean on each other during hard times.
I must give credit to Jung-seo, though, because even though he was caught in the middle of his left-over feelings for Kyung-eun, he is still a good son-in-law to Bu-jeong’s father Lee Chang-sook (Park In-hwan). Bu-jeong failed in that aspect of their marriage. I didn’t like Jung-seo’s mother too but Bu-jeong was indifferent with her through and through it’s borderline hilarious. I could never for the life of me have the guts to ignore my monster mom-in-law.
But one of the best interactions in the entire drama would have to be Bu-jeong’s confession to Jung-seo that she likes someone else. It’s done in a very mature way, true to character, and with no added flair. Two individuals talked about how they are willing to sacrifice for one another, yet they fell out of love. They are married and they are each other’s only friend and confidante. I was surprised to learn that Jung-seo already opened up about seeing Kyung-eun again in the past, and how Bu-jeong managed not to despise her husband despite this. It may have been a loveless marriage but the level of respect they have for each other is admirable.
Healing is not always permanent; it’s an ongoing process
One thing I’ll miss about Lost was the “Dear Father” monologues of Kang-jae. I cried most times whenever he talked to his dad about his life realizations and hopes. For someone who lost a parent at such a young age, it’s hard not to have them whenever you lose your way.
The drama revolves around death and alienation from society. A very dark theme that can easily taken negatively by a watcher who’s not willing to sit down and process emotions slowly. I understand that not all of us are built with the emotional readiness to handle such heavy themes because maybe we identify dramas as a form of happy entertainment. But for someone who is already experiencing the same feelings tackled in the drama, the reaction could be very different. It could be solace and give them the impression that they are seen and heard. It caters to a vulnerable audience, and the validation we get from this type of storytelling tells me that feeling nothing is still feeling something. Self-awareness is a step towards healing, and just like Bu-jeong and Kang-jae, we are assured that we will also find our way back to life.