Title: Our Blues
Main Cast: Lee Byung-hun, Shin Min-a, Cha Seung-won, Lee Jung-eun, Uhm Jung-hwa, Han Ji-min, Kim Woo-bin
Writer: No Hee-kyung (Live, Dear My Friends, It’s Okay That’s Love, That Winter The Wind Blows)
PD: Kim Kyu-tae (Live, Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo, It’s Okay That’s Love, That Winter The Wind Blows)
Timeslot: Saturday and Sunday / 21:10H (KST)
Network: tvN, Netflix
“Romance is sweet and bitter — and life riddled with ups and downs — in multiple stories about people who live and work on bustling Jeju Island.” (Sourced from Netflix)
Grumpy’s First Impression
Noh Hee-kyung sonsaengnim is back with another powerful collection of stories that will surely give us a good cry. Not to mention she even reunited with Kim Kyu-tae PDnim! AAAHHHHH. Our Blues is one of the highly-anticipated K-drama this year because of its A-list cast. My legit first reaction was: wow, this makes it real – Kim Woo-bin has returned. I think Woo-bin switching on the lights as the drama’s first ever scene signals his much-awaited comeback. It’s like the drama wanted to let its viewers know that this drama will be about new beginnings and the triumphs over life’s most sickening challenges.
The drama follows an omnibus format, which means the plot is divided by characters’ storylines. There are few glimpses here and there about all the characters’ interconnected lives in Jeju Island. I won’t focus much on other characters as I would like to center each reaction on the featured characters. For the first three episodes, we are blessed with the beautiful story about first loves: Choi Han-su (Cha Seung-won) and Jeong Eun-hui (Lee Jung-eun).
Han-su and Eun-hui
First loves are always special. Whether they gave us butterflies or heartbreak, we all learned a thing or two because of our first loves. That’s why some people never forget about them; and why they fondly look back on the first love that we thought would last forever. The drama introduced Eun-hui, a hardworking owner of various fish stalls on Jeju Island. She is unmarried, high-spirited, and tenacious about her business. She has multiple buildings and business ventures under her name, but until now, she is still her family’s breadwinner. She owns many properties, but she still lives with her parents – all while her brother sponges off her.
On the other hand, Han-su is a poor island boy who left Jeju for Seoul. He now works as a bank branch manager. Despite living in the city, Han-su is unhappy with his life. His wife lives in the US with their daughter, a golf protégé. The couple barely makes ends meet to fund the demanding expenses of their daughter’s sport. Both Han-su and his wife have borrowed money from almost everyone in their circle. Their family is drowning in debt.
Han-su is transferred to the Jeju branch – making him reunite with his friends and family on the island. Because he now has access to bank records, he saw familiar names in their VVIP list: people who have the highest deposits in their branch. He learned about Eun-hui’s riches and planned to woo her for money. It’s hard watching Han-su struggle when he means well for his daughter, but he is going overboard. And seeing Eun-hui’s excited demeanor ever since Han-su arrived, I knew this would not end well for them.
Their episodes were filled with nostalgia mixed with adorable puppy love. Han-su was the school heartthrob, and Eun-hui was the average student. I was surprised that they were never a couple! But Han-su as Eun-hui’s first kiss is enough for her to keep him in her star pocket of memories. It’s cute until Han-su decided to con her. Out of desperation, Han-su told Eun-hui that he is separated from his family and even plans to divorce his wife soon. Even though Eun-hui welcomed this new learning in Han-su’s life, she still acted with caution. I admire her for that! But she’s just a simple woman who cherishes her first love – a longstanding “what-if” that everyone has experienced, ngl. I can’t blame her for going to Mokpo with Han-su. But this trip was painful to watch because we all know behind Han-su’s intent. It’s hard to root for him when his actions are selfish and cunning.
Taking advantage of someone is never right, no matter what reason one may have. And doing this to a friend doubles the betrayal. Good thing Eun-hui learned about Han-su’s lies just in time for him to execute his main act. And what makes this sadder is that they are both hurt and conflicted. They say reason deceives us, but conscience will never. Han-su is bound by shame while Eun-hui cries about the loss of her childhood friend.
My favorite part of all this mess would have to be Eun-hui’s confrontation with their friends, In-gwon (Park Ji-hwan), Ho-sik (Young-joon), and Myeong-bo (Kim Kwang-kyu). At a sensitive time when Han-su needed them most, all they did was dig up dirt on him. Instead of looking after their friend, they antagonized him. They’ve always been borrowing money from Eun-hui – what makes them different from Han-su? It’s a harsh wake-up call to everyone – Eun-hui always being at the receiving end of her friends’ mess. But as admirable as she is, Eun-hui still gave 200 million KRW to Han-su. A sign that their friendship will always be above money. Eun-hui lets go of her first love but keeps her friend in Han-su.
Han-su’s daughter Bo-ram eventually gave up golf and returned to Seoul with her mom. It’s a bittersweet reunion for the family, who lost so much while doing everything they could to provide for Bo-ram. Han-su returned the money to Eun-hui, which makes me hopeful that we will get to see him again on Jeju Island after some time and drink the night away with his friends.
🐟 I probably will never get used to the bigtime cast members until the finale.
🐟 I ship them but I’m scared of their fathers!
🐟 Awww Shin Min-a’s character intrigues me the most!