It’s been five years since we started sharing our love for K-dramas through this blog. Half a decade of expressing our thoughts – good and bad – and writing love letters to our lifesavers. But my relationship with K-dramas has long started even before we decided to create a home for our thoughts. Different K-dramas have accompanied me through the years but some standouts definitely defined and gave me comfort in the “life stages” I went through. Here me out as I share my five healing K-dramas.
[Life Stage: A Fairytale Believer]
The first-ever K-drama I’ve watched is Autumn in my Heart but back then, I couldn’t understand why these South Korean-produced series love to end their story tragically. It was only when Princess Hours aired that I finally found a K-drama that suited the preference of my then happily-ever-after loving heart. The series offered fairytale-like escapism that my younger self loved to devour. Lee Shin and Chae-kyung became my first OTP and even until now, its iconic OST Perhaps Love still gives me that exhilarating feeling of remembering their back hugs and kisses.
Oh My Ghost
[Life Stage: Facing Unwanted Ghosts]
When you realized that happily-ever-after doesn’t exist, you’ll become aware that life isn’t really a fairytale. Worst, as it turned out, life is more like a horror story filled with unwanted ghosts. It is at this point that I met Na Bong-sun from Oh My Ghost. She’s a timid assistant chef who has low self-esteem because she is haunted by ghosts everywhere. With the help of the cheerful ghost Shin Soon-ae, Bong-sun slowly found confidence in herself. She eventually accepts that her ability to see ghosts will always be there and it’s up to her if she should stay cowering in a corner or live with them. Watching her story comforted me and also give me the confidence to fight my own ghosts.
Fight for My Way
[Life Stage: Pathfinder]
Even after you learn to live with your own ghosts, life wouldn’t still be easy. Especially for the likes of Cho Ae-ra. At the time Fight for My Way aired, I was in the same life stage as Cho Ae-ra. It is that life stage where the world cruelly judges you based on your resume. They don’t count the hardships, only achievements and when you lack the latter, you surely won’t get a chance at all to prove yourself. That’s how harsh the world could be but just like Cho Ae-ra, you may cry all you want but you also still have to continue fighting your way in life.
Side note: this is quote will always be one of my favorite K-drama monologues
Because This Is My First Life
[Life Stage: Walking Through a Dark Tunnel]
“I think I know myself a little bit now…” IU crooned about being twenty-five in her single Palette which was released the same year as Because This Is My First Life; both of which give me an assurance that reaching the midpoint of your 20s doesn’t mean your life would soon end. There’s a scene in this series that really struck me. When Yoon Ji-ho hits her rock bottom and walked down a dark tunnel. That was a good analogy of how it felt like to walk on a path you never have chosen in the first place but life’s detours forced you to run into it. But as you trudge along, you’d eventually see daylight in the end. Not because life had become perfect but because you accept now its imperfection. After all, this is just our first life.
[Life Stage: Loving Every Sunrise and Sunset]
They say, “When you grew up, your heart dies.” I was scared of that happening. I grew woeful of every year added to my age. Rightfully so as I garner wounds in every life stage I had to go through. But I then eventually realized that one’s heart won’t really die. It will just change – for the better or for worse, it’s still up to you. Hospital Playlist helped me to accept that. It’s a series about people in their 40s who seem to still be having the time of their life even at that age. The Five Doctors who had gone through their 20s and 30s became some kind of a mentor whose words comforted me as I waded through my own life transition. Their words and songs ultimately helped me heal my past wounds and helped me learn to love every sunrise and sunset that I witness.
How about you? What’s your K-drama Lifesavers?