The last time I watched Jung Hae-in was in Bride of the Century and man, he is awkward in that drama. Not very bad, but he is obviously not used to the camera (that is after all his debut drama). The last drama of Chae Soo-bin that I enjoyed is Sassy Go Go. She played the villain in that drama but gave a very compelling and layered portrayal of a villain. I tried and dropped all her dramas after that (including I am not a Robot, Strongest Deliverymen and Where Stars Land). I am glad they starred together in APOYM and this drama is their best work so far, at least for me.
As per usual in my case, I started this drama because I loved the premise; an AI programmer met a classical sound engineer and a story of unrequited love. I am a fan of classical music and I never watched a female lead that works as sound engineer. Sounds refreshing enough for me. After watching k-dramas for 20 years there are very little surprise for me anymore in term of plot. I seek for dramatic realism and sometimes engaging plot. Also, I love the unrequited love trope, bring me the ANGST!
Why I love this drama is beyond me. Is it the timing when it was aired? Is it because I live-watching it instead of binge-watching it? Is it because of the cinematography? The directing? The production design?
Or could it be because all of the above? I do think it is the combination of the above.
What really pleasantly surprised me is how very quite this drama is. There are small pool of characters and there are very little crowd. There was almost no crowd at all. The characters always seem to be walking and strolling in an empty street and walkways (and even overpass).
The characters! I could write long paragraphs about the characters because this is a character-driven drama. You have to care and try to understand the characters to enjoy the drama. Some people said there is almost no plot (which is true!) and suggest the writer to add more plot into the drama. I am glad there is almost nothing added other the journey of Ha-won and Seo-woo in overcoming their grief (it could also be due to the episodes cut, I am pretty sure they cut some plot regarding the company, AH Laboratory). Maybe the reason I love this drama is because I could relate to all the characters, I am a Kang In-wook who runs away from all my problems, any confrontations and never own up to my mistakes (could be the reason I just cannot hate him). I am a Moon Soon-ho who wants someone to pick me up when I am sad without doing anything. I am Seo-woo who is trying to overcome a grief of losing a friend and the many regrets that come with it, and also dealing with the uncertainty of life. Among the leads, the character that I can relate the least is actually Ha-won. But the scientist part of me do relate in the way his work, always curious and attentive about his surrounding, and throwing away papers on the floor while studying and working (I literally did that!).
The unrequited love in this drama is refreshing, there is no annoying character due to it. Though Ha-won is a tad obsessive but that issue is also confronted (so glad for that!) and there is a happy kind of unrequited love, I never realised that. I love the classical music in it, I discovered a cello sonata due to this drama (I should listen to more cello pieces, there is so much depth in the sound of cello) so yay! Classical music is LIT!
The ratings are dismal and I kinda ambivalent about it. Dramas that I love always tend to be in the low to average region. Maybe because I usually love a slice of life with little makjangness and entertainment value in it. The ratings though cut the episodes and it inadvertently disturb my drama watching, there is so many what-if that accompanies the episode cut. I can watch more Ha-won and Seo-woo interactions but will it become draggy? I always find k-dramas struggle to fill the 16 episodes with the exception of My Mister.
As always, there is no perfect drama, and there is no work without flaw but I hope I will always love this drama even after 20 years similar to the All About Eve. For those people who want to try this drama, it is not meant to be consumed but savour, please refrain from binge-watching and watch it when you are in the mood for something intriguing and do engage some curiosity in the actions of the characters.
Because I love writing my opinions without needing to validate and cross-referencing with anything. Let’s just say this is a therapy from scientific writing.
The drama starts solid, might have been too slow because my brain goes very fast to know what’s next and fizzled out at the end so I spend plenty of time skipping the staring and the uninteresting characters which is funny as I wrote this because I love the characters. There are no jerks and there are no bitches. Everyone is so likeable and understanding. There is very little angst and it really tells the journey of these college students in a very relatable and realistic way and I love it for it.
Liu Chuan: He is the perfect seniors you met at the university. He is kind (real kind, not in a sarcastic way at all, because I met too many sarcastic guys at uni that I became desensitized to it), athletic, active in clubs, top-scorer, popular (with boys, girls and lecturers) and since this is a drama, he has a secret. Lol. Not as in double-personality or anything makjang, it’s just that he has an expectation to meet once he graduated. And that expectation is a huge one and something that he is reluctant to fulfil.
Jia En: She is a pretty normal girl, a dork, someone who strive to keep her grades, a thoughtful person, keen to learn, a filial daughter, someone who looks up to Liu Chuan (because he is oh-so-worthy) like her mentor, respectful to her seniors, and humble. She is a very, very normal girl and I love her for it. I find it hard to find a heroine like her in any dramas so I really enjoy her character.
2nd male lead: because I don’t care about him that I just cannot remember his character's name. He is the character that I find most unlikeable because of the amount of screen time that he gets. But he has one redeeming factor, his steadfast and straightforward love. And I think his character got the most character development in the story. So, I kinda enjoy his character in the latter half when the drama plot starts to fizzle out which is a shame because I end up not watching it that much.
Bai Xuen: She is the female version of Liu Chuan. They might be the mirror image of each other and the reason why Liu Chuan never consider her as a romantic partner. If it’s not because of the chemistry between Liu Chuan and Jia En I would have shipped these two because I always wonder what would happen when two perfect people are together. Why it never happens before in drama (because two positive charges repel each other)? An undramatic drama. That’s what it will be.
I love the ending (might not be a popular opinion). It is so realistic. Like the rest of the drama.
I miss my co-workers and fellow students who has gone through the same journey with me. Everyone has move on with their life while I am sill stuck in this place. My new year starts with a tremendous feeling of anxiousness and apprehension.
2018 marks 10 years of my journey with Arashi. It has been a beneficial one-way relationship. Thank you for introducing me to the Japan Entertainment. I can definitely say I know more Japan tarento than my own country's celebrity just by watching your regular shows. My Japanese has also improved a lot although I am nowhere near fluent.
Korekara mou, yoroshiku onegaishimasu~
My current obsession. I am literally a living ghost until this one ends. The feeeelss~~, the cliffhangers, the stakes is REAL! (or not since its a fantasy genre after all).
Its Okay Its Love. Finding, meeting, believing and marrying the 'one' for you. Realistic character, solid acting, wonderful OST
Akagami no Shirayukihime
Aaaaaa... I could swoon on Zen all day. Haaa~~~
Its a very beautiful stories with great characters, great costume designs and more importantly entertaining plot.
Please, please check it out
My first journal, I used to write more private journal in my diary and I check that the last time I update my journal is last year. It is such a waste. I've been keeping that journal for about 10 years already and it is such a great thing to see how much you have changed in 10 years. Really, you don't have to write about you day or anything like that, just may be your thoughts and major events in your life.
Note to self: Go and dig the diary