“Being a teenager was like a storm because we didn’t have any answers. We didn’t know what we really wanted, who really loved us…who we really loved. We struggled with the answers. And by the time we’d miraculously figured it out, we had already become adults and experienced changes both big and small. That winter, the world was full of separations and goodbyes.”
A child of Busan, the slower, gentler life in the provinces is all Shi Won had known. With grades as low as hers, without an aptitude for the traditional kind of academics, no one expected her to leave. By a turn of events, she ends up turning her boyband fic writing hobby into a creative writing scholarship to a university in Seoul. It’s her dream come true. And for her parents, who’d long since given up hope of sending their daughter to university in Seoul, it’s both a blessing and a curse. When graduation rolls around, they must say their goodbyes as Shi Won heads off to the big city to find a life for herself.
It is in Seoul that she becomes an adult; she lives without the care of her parents, she studies. She graduates university and eventually goes to work in broadcasting. Though she clings to her roots as a Busan girl, refusing to adopt the Seoul dialect, she does not return to her hometown. Years down the road, she stays in Seoul even when her husband gets transferred to Daegu for work. They have children, they’ve built a life in Seoul. The city has become her home, and though she’ll never forget her origins, the separation of that winter had changed things irrevocably. It’s a byproduct of adulthood; homes become hometowns, parents become people you visit on holidays, though you love them all the same.
Reply 1997 - “At 18, Oppa-s are everything in my life” - tells the story of the first generation of crazy fans, and the rise of idol groups in the popular music scene. Sung Shi Won once said (or argued), that, “How can you say fans are shallow, you’re just bias, Bias! Our love for our idols is also a form passion! Passion!”. She spoke up for all the fan girls in the world.
Reply 1994 - “The Youths of the 8 Provinces in Seoul” - tells the story of young people from different provinces coming to Seoul, getting to know one another and understand each other’s dialect, cultures and background. I can never forget the longest ever argument Haitai and Samcheonpo got into, each blabbing in their own respective dialects, when they first met.
Reply 1988 - “My final love is my family” - tells the story of 5 families living on the same alley. It emphasises that family is still the most important no matter what happens, family is where you can call home, where you can fall back to no matter what happens. What’s more touching is, the drama shows that blood relation is not necessary to form a family. The 5 families on the Ssang Mun alley are rather like one big family.
hey do you know any good kdramas about friendship?
OMG I’m so sorry for not answering this sooner! I’m currently going through my inbox, so please be patient with me.
Hmmm, good kdramas about friendship… I actually have quite a few to recommend! Just to note, this list is not in any order of ranking… just writing as I’m going and thinking of dramas. Hopefully you find drama(s) to your liking!!
1. A Gentleman’s Dignity
If you haven’t seen this drama… then YOU SHOULD!!! If you’re looking for a drama that focuses more on the friends than the romantic relationships, then this drama is the one for you! It’s about a group of guys and their hardships, relationships, challenges, etc. I thought I wouldn’t really enjoy this drama since it was different from the typical kdrama, but I was totally wrong!! At first, I only watched it for Jonghyun from CNBLUE, but then I ended up loving the drama for what it represented and showcased. This drama is very heartwarming and one of the most memorable friendships I’ve ever watched in a kdrama.
2. Reply 1997 or Answer Me 1997 (The Reply series in general)
Oh man…. I love this drama SOOO MUCH! UGH, so much of my childhood in one drama lol… I don’t want to ruin it for those who haven’t seen it, so all I’ll say is that this is a classic drama about friends growing up together. You get to know each of the characters and how they struggle with growing up, relationships, personal identity, etc. The friendship aspect is just as important as the romantic aspect in Reply 1997. There’s also a very nostalgic and realistic feeling to this drama that will make you feel like you’re growing up with the characters too. I also recommend to watch the other dramas in the Reply series too (1994 and 1988).
3. Shut Up Flower Boy Band
Tbh, I thought this drama was going to be the typical cliche and sickeningly romantic teenage drama… but I was totally wrong, lol. This drama was actually quite deep, despite the funny drama title, that is about a group of boys in a rock band. Likewise, this drama is similar to Reply 1997, in which it’s a coming of age drama that focuses on friendship, relationships, growing up, dreams/passions, and music. I particularly recommend this for those who like Flower Boy Ramyun Shop and Flower Boys Next Door.
4. Coffee Prince
How can I not mention Coffee Prince? Lol. Well, even though the main focus of the drama is more of the romance, the friendship quality in this drama shouldn’t be overlooked either. Tbh, the friendship aspect is really important in this drama because it introduces the love aspect. I’m not just recommending this drama because of Gong Yoo, but honestly, Coffee Prince should be watched by EVERYONE. This drama tackled such important topics and ideas that are important in our society today. Yeah, it has the cliche setting of the super rich kid and normal girl, but this drama dives deeper into the main characters’ relationship and how it came to be… how to form friendships and understand each other — also… most importantly… Gong Yoo.
5. Dear My Friends
Okay…. so I learned of this drama because it got the “Best Drama” at the Baeksang Arts Awards…. and I was SUPER stingy because I really wanted Goblin to win, lmao. (I still kinda think Goblin should’ve won but that’s another story ahahahaha) Anyways, I HAD to watch this drama to figure out why it won, and omg… it’s such a good heartwarming drama that gives you all the feels. It’s about younger and older people coming together and how they face their challenges, becoming friends, understanding each other, and overcoming their obstacles together. This drama touched on a lot of important topics such as age, abuse, illness, family, and — obviously — friendship. I really liked the realism of this drama, which I believe was the selling point as to why this drama won the “Best Drama” award. The story is very well thought out and propels you to keep watching the next episode. I think this drama was worthy of the award it won and I can kinda understand why it beat Goblin… So give this drama a try :D
6. Chicago Typewriter
Do I need to say anything when I have clearly expressed my love for this drama in my review?? Lol… all I can say is that this drama is the definition of friendship, love, and loyalty. I freaking balled my eyes out, not because of the romance, but because of the friendship!!! PLEASE WATCH THIS DRAMA OMG. This drama is about a writer who experiences a “slump” while writing his book, but two important people come into his life and help him write it… while also a bit of reincarnation and time traveling to the 1930s during the Japanese occupation in Korea. If you’re interested, please read my review on this drama to see whether it’s your cup of tea… but be warned of spoilers…
Special Mentions: (Dramas I’ve watched but not going to give a brief description)
The Time that I Loved You, 7000 Days
Beethoven Virus (Yo… watch this if you love Classical Music *.*)
Man of Equator
Cheese in a Trap (Watch it if you love Kim Go Eun!!!)
You’re Beautiful (Honestly watched it for Yonghwa and Hong-gi)
She Was Pretty
Blind Recommendations: (Haven’t watched the drama but other people have recommended it to me lol)
“Relationships have levels. Mine with Yoonjae was one of the easiest. A relationship that was easy to explain and easy to maintain. A casual relationship between childhood friends. But that day, contrary to everything I knew, I realized, ours could become one of the hardest. The hardest relationship… That between a man and a woman." –Sung Shiwon