Thursday, May 17, 2018

[SPOILERS!!!][ddoboja reviews] My Ahjussi // My Mister

"Thank you." 
I believe those words perfectly describe how I feel towards this drama. Initially, when articles came out announcing this drama, I (and many other Korean netizens) were turned off by it not only because of its title, the whole #MeToo mess with Oh Dal Su (let's bless Park Ho San for being casted in this role as his replacement), but also because of the drama's female lead, IU. Personally, I was never a big fan of IU's acting. To me, I only knew IU as "IU the singer who occasionally acts." Her acting never captivated me and based on the general public's reactions towards her past acting, most of her works, where she's the lead, weren't really considered a huge success. But I have to admit, I do have a bias against singer/idol turned "actors". Many of these idol/singer-turned-actors don't start off acting with minor roles but take on lead roles (usually with the help of their agency's influence on the production). And their acting usually feels out-of-place in a lot of the works they participate in. So... I didn't have huge expectations for this drama. But boy... was I proven wrong. 

With 'My Ahjussi', I feel like IU just perfectly consumed the role of Lee Ji An. It didn't feel like an actor was just playing a role, it literally felt like the character of Lee Ji An was a real person. When watching her portray the character Lee Ji An, you couldn't even feel or see any sense of IU in there. I felt the same way with Lee Sun Kyun and his role as Park Dong Hoon. When Lee Sun Kyun was playing Park Dong Hoon, his acting didn't remind me of any of his past roles (e.g. Coffee Prince, Pasta). You know an actor is truly talented when they're able to make your heart ache with just the sound of their heavy breathing. 

This drama really felt like it was the rediscovery of Lee Sun Kyun and Lee Ji Eun. To me, it felt like IU was able to create a path where she can now be recognized and acknowledged as 'Lee Ji Eun the actor' not only by her fans but also by regular viewers. Before the drama began, people expected her to not perform as well as her co-stars but as episodes went on and on, the comments on her acting were filled with praise and other commenters began to call out commenters that hated on IU's acting by saying things that the haters clearly weren't watching the drama and were just mindlessly hating on her. 

I think the biggest lesson this drama thought the viewers was how you can like someone without it being a physical/sexual attraction. This thought was perfectly worded by this comment: 
Lee Ji An and Park Dong Hoon clearly care for each other and respect one another. With Lee Ji An, her character was never given basic human respect. At a young age, loan sharks hounded her because of her parent's debt and although she's encountered some people who would be nice to her, she even says that they stop around their fourth attempt. Lee Ji An respects and cares for Park Dong Hoon because he's one of the first people to just treat her like any other individual in the world and his respect and care towards her stayed consistent. 

Park Dong Hoon's character is a bit hard to describe. It seems like his life had reached a plateau before all the events with Lee Ji An began. He knows his relationship with his wife is going nowhere, he's constantly worried about his mother and brothers, and he doesn't appear to be completely happy with where his life either but he's content with it. But Lee Ji An comes in and reassures him that he's still a good person even though he doesn't see himself that way. Personally, I feel like the drama worked out so well because the characters are relatable. Everyone's goal in life is to achieve happiness but I feel like this drama is reminding us to find comfort and be at peace with what we currently have and where we're currently at in our stage of life. It's like reminding us to appreciate things and not to be too hard on ourselves. 

What I really liked about this drama were the changes we were able to see and notice as the drama progressed. Lee Ji An starts off as a very cynical person but as the drama progresses, she's able to show her weaknesses and sensitivity. Park Dong Hoon also becomes more and more motivated to do what he wants to do and starts to give less of a fuck of what others think about him. Initially, I thought the drama over-exaggerated the role of Kwang Il (played by Jang Ki Yong) and his violence towards Ji An but the writer was able to resolve that issue by explaining that during Ji An and Kwang Il's childhood, Kwang Il used to protect Ji An from his loan shark father but in the future, the roles reverse and Kwang Il ends up taking on his father's role and he's remorseful over that (well in my opinion he was LOL). My favorite part about this drama was the changes in coloring. The drama is usually presented in dark coloring themes but I really liked how in the finale, when Lee Ji An and Park Dong Hoon reunited, the overall coloring of the scene was bright and even Ji An was dressed in more warm tones. Both, Lee Ji An and Park Dong Hoon, looked happier - which was something they promised each other that they would be happy. 

Personally, I'm one of the viewers who really liked the ending and I'm alright with the characters not ending up together. I don't think the point of the drama was for Lee Ji An and Park Dong Hoon to romantically end up together. I think the purpose of the drama was to show human relationships and show how liking someone doesn't always have to be about being attracted to them physically or romantically. You can like someone because you respect them, look up to them, or just care about them. 

I think this is the first Korean drama I've watched where there wasn't any romance plot between the two leads and to be honest, it was really refreshing. The drama explored the various struggles people experience throughout their lives, whether it is: workplace struggles, family struggles, or personal struggles. In my opinion, I believe 'My Ahjussi' showed us that a drama can be successful without having to have a main romance plot and I believe that's why tvN's police drama 'Live' was also successful because it actually showed the lives of police officers without being another romance drama that disguises itself as a "police/medical" drama just because the setting is in a police station or a hospital when the main focus is on the two leads' relationship. 

Overall, this drama has also become one of my life's all-time favorite dramas and has introduced me to one of my favorite actors, Lee Ji Eun. I wish more people would give this drama a chance so that it can break the stigma that's held against IU as an actor.  

Haha omgggg 
This is my first time doing a review about a Korean drama
but it's mostly just a post about my final thoughts on the drama!
I can't believe this drama has ended ㅠ.ㅠ
Now what am I going to watch... 
Hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did~