Yeong-ok and Jeong-jun (Part 1)
Ah, these two are the fun part of this drama. Everyone’s story arc is all serious, and while Yeong-ok (Han Ji-min) and Jeong-jun’s (Kim Woo-bin) love story is not light, it’s much less heavy than the others. While we have little knowledge about their individual background stories yet, we confirmed that Jeong-jun is indeed head-over-heels Yeong-ok. He said he fell for her the first time he saw her, and I believe him. Since the pilot, he’s always all eyes on Yeong-ok. The stolen gazes and half-smiles tell me he likes her… a lot. Yeong-ok is a free spirit who lands on Jeju Island for adventure. She seems the type to not be content with setting foot on just one destination – she is always going with the flow. And in all her previous residences, she always gets herself a lover! Go girl, collect them! Or is this still some sort of a white lie from her end? Kidding aside, Yeong-ok’s best asset is her straightforward personality. She always knows what she wants and even goes outside of her way to get them (as evidenced by the scene where she dived off limits to get more sea urchins). Yeong-ok is not the type to back down even if others are blocking her way, and not even a drunken suitor can scare her off. I just wonder why she lies about her parents. She also constantly talks to someone else. I’m guessing it’s a family matter. I also believe that Young-ok, despite misconceptions about her, has a good heart. Dealing with those hanyeo ahjummas every day is major work! I can’t imagine myself hearing those harsh words and still reporting for work the next day. The nerve of those ahjummas getting a free ride to work while criticizing Yeong-ok in her face! Young-ok’s patience against those hypocrites is really worth mentioning.
Not much has been shown in Jeong-jun’s story, though. My favorite part about him is his bachelor’s crib! Captain Park is a mysterious character. He is Jeju-raised, lives on the road, and works at the fish market. He likes the new girl on the island and protects her with all his might, despite the red flags surrounding her. Quite a charmer, right?
We always love an alpha female-beta male dynamic in this blog, and even though Jeong-jun and Young-ok’s romance is unconventional, it still follows the same formula that works for years, and we are here for it. Yeong-ok warns Jeong-jun not he’ll only get hurt if they go out. And Jeong-jun’s response? “Try not to hurt me.” ~swoon~ Can’t wait for more of their love story! They seem so comfortable with each other and can have a healthy, lasting relationship!
Yeong-ju and Hyeon
The high school sweethearts’ love story is hard to watch. I commend the writer for shedding light on the sensitive topic of teenage pregnancy. The lack of proper sex education in schools, the uncomfortable talk revolving around sex among families, and the exposure of the youth to unfiltered online content – are just some factors that need to be addressed by every government or nation. Of course, it doesn’t help that we are raised in a conservative Asian household, which makes it difficult for teens to open up about their curiosity. The OB-GYN blamed Yeong-ju (Roh Yoon-seo) for not using protection, but in reality, teenagers don’t even have access to them that easily. They sell contraceptives over the counter, but it’s shameful to buy some even for some adults. What more for young boys and girls? Everyone is to blame for letting sex be a taboo topic to the point of having the teenage pregnancy rates at an alarming statistic.
I like the story is clear about two things here – Yeong-ju and Hyeon (Bae Hyun-sung) are two promising students. Yeong-ju tops the class while Hyeon, although ranks lower than Yeong-ju, is still fifth and the class president. Both are nice kids, raised by single dads who work tooth and nail to provide for them. I’m just glad they decide to keep the baby, but I’m afraid of how they will face the wrath of their angry and disappointed dads. Both Ho-sik (Choi Young-joon) and In-gwon (Park Ji-hwan) have anger management problems, and they are even frenemies on better days. Now that they will co-parent a grandchild, what would their dynamic be like? I also expect Eun-hui (Lee Jung-eun) to play a significant in this imminent conflict as she always chances upon Yeong-ju at the OB-GYN.
Dong-seok and Seon-ah (Part 1)
Of all the character stories we’ve had so far, Seon-ah (Shin Min-a) is the only one who made me cry. Her depression really hits close to home. Shin Min-a portrayed the symptoms of depression so well I was uncomfortable! Losing the concept of time, slowed thinking, speaking or body movements, tiredness and lack of energy that even minor tasks take extra effort, trouble thinking, concentrating, deciding and remembering things, and more symptoms depicted by the drama. Sadly, her depression cost Seon-ah her marriage and child, but I have high hopes that Seon-ah will overcome her illness and win the custody battle for her baby boy in the end.
Her relationship with Dong-seok (Lee Byung-hun) intrigues me, too. Their characters can co-exist without a love line, honestly. I want to know the real reason both moved to Seoul at a young age and why they did not end up together. They seemed to be close since they were kids but they always go on separate ways and then just meet again after some time has passed. Dong-seok is always wary that Seon-ah does not remember him whenever they meet again after a long while. What happened between them and when did Seon-ah start being depressed? Can Dong-seok be the key for Seon-ah to find happiness again?
Dong-seok’s background story is also worthy of an independent episode without the romance part. Why does he treat his mother Ok-dong (Kim Hye-ja) so badly? I can’t wait for him to get to his senses when he learns about his mom’s cancer.