Warm and Cozy Week 1: Moving on

Jeju island is a common getaway destination. It is far from the busy Seoul and far enough to start a new life. We are in for a tumultuous adventure as Gun Woo and Jung Joo’s world collide in this island. I think it wouldn’t be a vacation for them, well at least not for now.

The fantasy-like element is present! This is just one of the many Hong sister’s charm evident in this drama. Nomu chua hae!

Episodes 1 and 2:

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We begin back in 2005 when Baek Gun Woo (Yoo Yeon Seok) celebrated his birthday in Jeju island. His ritzy family gathered together to watch a polo match were Gun Woo and his brother played. He’s not the only one born this day, Lee Jung Joo (Kang So Ra) showed up saying she is his twin sister. She’s not being delusional and further explained that she even saved for six months to afford a ticket to Jeju. She planned that her birthday is the D-day when she’ll confront her real mother. She showed up uninvited with a photo, medical records and school cards on hand as evidence. When the mother saw the photo, she immediately shattered Jung Joo’s dream of a luxurious life and abruptly disregarded it. Ouch.

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This is not an ideal meet-cute for our leads, but surely a memorable one. Gun Woo and Jung Joo separated after while leaving promises for each other. Did they fulfil it after 10 years apart? Well, Gun Woo grew up becoming a chef, where ladies visit to take his photo at the “Warm and Cozy” restaurant in Jeju. While Jung Joo lived a hard knock life, all work no time to play. She’s not the laid back type.

Things get a little interesting for me when Gun Woo flew in to Seoul when he received an invite from his friends. He declined the offer at first but immediately changed it after hearing that the love-of-his-life, Ji Won, is coming too. Gun Woo was anticipating for her arrival. When she finally did, the shift in his aura was evident.

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Aww. The look of hope torture and longing. Why is it so easy to see through your eyes?? He made me feel like he’s waiting for nothing. It hurts to see this – a love that is uncertain. And yet a guy like Gun Woo was building his love even more, still hoping Ji Won will choose him. Stupid. He built the restaurant in Jeju because of this woman? Underserving. Why do you like her? Wae?!

On the other hand, nothing can stop Jung Joo from her fantasies, Amidst the busy streets of Seoul, she was thinking of Gun Woo. Ohh Ehm Ohh. Did she really fall for him the first time?? Is this the reason why she intently avoided him at the restaurant? Or was it because she felt ashamed as to how nothing has changed for her? Jung Joo’s fantasy was shattered. She can’t possibly be swept away by her Prince on a horse in the middle of Seoul, right? Thinking of her situation right now, she felt underserving of him.

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Destiny has a different plan. They met again at the airport. Gun Woo recognised her and cheerfully remembered his twin sister. This is in contrast to what Jung Joo thought of. They both needed a ticket to Jeju, with different agenda in tow. Unfortunately, all tickets were booked. But an opportunity came up when Jung Joo saw a couple having lovers quarrel. Luck was on their side when the couple backed out leaving two empty seats.

Back in Jeju, Gun Woo’s business isn’t profitable. He has a huge loan to pay and his Mother’s previous employee needs his money back. Trouble in paradise. But there is no one more unfortunate than Jung Joo, who was left by her cheater boyfriend and got fired all in one day. Add to that, his very own cousin betrayed her when he purchased a damaged old house that needs to be refurbished badly.

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Further misunderstanding envelopes the budding relationship of Gun Woo and Jung Joo. He thought she is sick having found a bottle of medicine in his car. He sincerely cares about her welfare now, realising she has few remaining days to live. Is this going to help him realise his own life? He’s wasting it more than her. Though, I like that he isn’t selfish and thinks more of others. Plus points to you dear.

Jung Joo is optimistic and isn’t easily deterred by problems. There is no sense crying over spilled milk so she decided to live in Jeju. She’s putting everything she has on the line. I don’t know what’s more dangerous, losing her investment or believing in what Gun Woo tells her. She trusted Gun Woo’s words that building a cafe at her place is going to be profitable since it is a tourist destination. When Chinese tourists had a stop over, this proved her assumptions. OMO! She’s in for a nosedive.

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Next we meet the towns Mayor Hwang Wook (Kim Sung Oh). He strictly implement rules and checks if it is being followed. Nowadays, Gun Woo became his source of funds because he had constantly violated the rules in proper waste segregation. The Mayor certainly gets into Gun Woo’s nerves, and neither of them is pleased. Mayor Hwang isn’t your average civil servant. He’s actually a model. In fact he’s the model of the undergarment where Jung Joo used to work. Haha. Nice one!

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Gun Woo’s conscience is knocking, he shouldn’t have said things to Jung Joo that prompted her to keep her hopes high. Just to lift his spirits up a bit, he offers to help Jung Joo, allowing her to use his rented house as long as she needs it. He even encourages her and told her to guard her heart especially to the likes of Mayor Hwang. I see potential here.

Jung Joo promised herself that she’d see her first sunrise in Jeju. This is very important because it signifies her success. Gun Woo was touched upon hearing this so they both hurried up to catch the sunrise.

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Marvellous! It is very symbolic – new beginning. Looks like being together will bring wonders, just like the view. Gun Woo is starting to see Jung Joo and her pure heart. I hope that through her, he’d learn that life isn’t as easy as he thought and yet you can find happiness if you just look at how beautiful it is from the other side.

Personal Thoughts:

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I’m so happy to see So Ji Sub. He made his cameo count and my heart was full enjoying every second of him. He was so nice, like the warm character he turned out to be in Master’s Sun. What a pleasant throwback! I think I was looking forward to seeing him more than Yoo Yeon Seok. My bad.

This isn’t Master’s Sun so lets move on.

Gun Woo and Jung Joo are similar in some ways but opposite on others. I think there will be play in this contrast. Gun Woo can easily give things, because he has plenty. While Jung Joo has to make use of what is given to her and work hard to earn what she has. She can’t afford to laze around and wait. Unlike Gun Woo who can have a comfortable life, Jung Joo still has a lot to fix in her own. Pretty much like her purchased home in Jeju, it is close to ruins.

They are definitely not twins. But I believe their first conversation signifies a lot because it is half true for now. Gun Woo is exactly how Jung Joo wished him to be. While Jung Joo is still struggling to keep a more decent life of her own. They will be together at some point and surely they’d be each other’s equal by then. How that will turn out is a mystery to me. But I’m eager to enjoy the ride.

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Amidst the fantasy world of wishful thinking, I love that Jung Joo is realistic and practical. Falling for Gun Woo is far fetched for someone like her. She thinks she fail in comparison to him. But she’d be surprise, since Gun Woo is easy to reach. He is vulnerable and there’s a good heart living in him. I think Jung Joo will push him more to be diligent and not just choose to settle. I find it ironic that he gave advice on how to live life carefully especially when it comes to investment when in fact, he needs to tell it to himself.

Gun Woo is impetuous and amiable. He blurts out words easily without meaning. He is misunderstood by others because of this persona. It isn’t doing him any good, especially to those Jeju-do Ahjumma. The elders dislike him, or anyone that tries to put up a business in their hometown. It’s not entirely his fault people dislike him. When will he realise that the elders need to see him work and do something productive. Having a lazy, rich boy next door isn’t an ideal site to see everyday while they all work hard for a living. Word of advice, Get off that hammock!

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Gun Woo has an exuberant exterior that covers a deeper pain he keeps in. I’m talking to your heart dude! Gun Won’s love for Ji Won is heart breaking and stupid at the same time. He even built the restaurant thinking she’d be with him there. He custom made the restaurant to her liking too. He’s hopeful that Ji Won will choose to be with him someday. Yoo Yeon Seok nailed this feeling to a T. Watching him raw, I just knew he is loving a woman and longing for her badly. Sadly, Ji Won does not even consider him for a mate. I bet, when she meets Jung Joo we’d have a 360 degree turn and she’d be the one wanting his attention.

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I love Jung Joo’s character. At first, she didn’t resonate much to me. But when her world suddenly came crumbling down, I saw a woman courageous enough to keep trudging on. I love her will to shake off things and face her problem while thinking of possibilities. There’s a sense of realness in her too which I find pretty relatable. We all struggle, it’s how we carry on and make the best out of it that matters. I’m glad to have a character who embraces that thought. Kang So Ra can bring more to the table and I can’t wait to see Jung Joo succeed.

I share her sentiments, things are surely getting brighter from here on.

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