I’m going to continue the Throwback Thursday series with another Chaebol plot with elements of a classic K-drama. Here you’d experience first love, childhood-friends-to-lovers, unrequited love, arranged marriage, rivalry and endless waiting for love. I forgot to mention, amnesia too! There is nothing more to ask because it’s all here, guaranteed!
The leads are interesting and the supporting actors added great flavour too. It has 20 episodes that was scheduled every weekend at SBS. I love the Drama Soundtrack here the most! Ji Sung and Eugene had an amazing chemistry. Their love is an experience worth watching.
Without further ado, go back in time with me.
Ji Eun Soo (Eugene) operates the “Dreaming Forest” with her father. It’s a bed-and-breakfast boutique hotel located outside Seoul. Eun Soo is a loving daughter who works hard to manage the inn to keep her family afloat. Despite of their financial problems, she remained steadfast in protecting the home which her mother values.
Kang Hyun Woo (Ji Sung) prefers to live a life outside of his family. He is an aspiring and talented photographer but as a Chaebol’s son, fulfilling his dream is a forbidden path to take. He is restricted to decide and live for himself, so he naturally rebels and do things against his Father’s wishes. He lived a different life when he got into an accident and suffered amnesia. Eun Soo and her father took care of him and renamed him as Chang Ho. He assisted in running the inn and lived with them for one year setting aside his true identity. His life took a turn when he fell in love with Eun Soo just when his memories returned.
Yoon Soo Jin (Lee Bo Young) is an heiress, a sweet and lovable childhood friend of Hyun Woo. She pinned her future and loved him all her life. She didn’t stop waiting despite the fact that Hyun Woo was declared dead. She remained optimistic that he is alive and would return to fulfil his promise to marry her. When Hyun Woo returned, she continued to love him even if Hyun Woo doesn’t love her anymore. As an heiress there is nothing out of her reach, except for love. If there is one thing I learned from Soo Jin it is the value of loving oneself. She almost took her life when Hyun Woo left her for another woman. Love is a very dangerous thing when we become greedy and selfish. Her character proved it.
Jung Tae Min (Ryu Soo Young) is a trusted employee of Hyun Woo’s father. In fact, he is treated like a family. He is a classic second lead, whose mission is to avenge his biological father. He secretly deceives Hyun Woo’s family to take control of their company. Just to add more bitterness, he has been in love with Soo Jin but he never succeeded in having her heart. When he tried to love again, he fell for Eun Soo. Since the women in this drama gave their hearts to Hyun Woo, Oppa Tae Min has no one left for him.
Eun Soo was driving home with her Father when they encountered a man badly wounded on the way. This man experienced trauma that resulted to a temporary amnesia. Since he can’t remember anything, Eun Soo’s Dad gave him a new name, Chang Ho, and a chance to live a new life. Eun Soo opposed the idea of letting him stay at their Villa. But as a doting daughter, she gave in to her father request.
After one year, Chang Ho became accustomed living with them while working there to earn his living allowance. Eun Soo gradually became close to him, and the closeness grew to love. Thanks in part to Dr. Shin Jung Kyu (Kang Ji Hwan), he served as the bridge that connected the line between friends to more than friends. For the sake of love, an engagement ceremony happened that proved Chang Ho’s commitment to Eun Soo.
One year have passed and the Kang family remembered the death of their son. Little did they know, he is still alive living near Seoul as Chang Ho. Soo Jin continued waiting for Hyun Woo, believing he is still alive. She is driven by his promise to marry her someday. Back in the Villa, a series of unfortunate events happened. Dad died and Chang Ho left few days after. It was an awful time for Eun Soo, the two important men in her life left so suddenly. Chang Ho’s memory finally came back as Hyun Woo. He returned to Seoul ready to face his own life again.
The fun part begun when Hyun Woo and Eun Soo met in Seoul. They were given a chance to start again. Eun Soo has to get to know Hyun Woo and learn to accept him not as Chang Ho. I enjoyed seeing them fall in love all over again, and they succeeded in staying in love despite of all the challenges thrown at them. There were too many contrived hurdles! But Eun Soo’s steadfast love carried her through from doing the craziest thing until she learned to wait for him. Waiting for love is truly rewarding in her case because Hyun Woo eventually fell for her too. He tried to resist her at first, but this just proved how much she wanted her all along. Love is something he can’t deny for himself.
I love the anticipation the story gave at first. The OTP were longing for each other, but they can’t be together just yet. The tension was built nicely, I was anxiously waiting until the moment they were finally free to love each other. Hyun Woo ended his relationship with Soo Jin and built a new one with Eun Soo. In this story I learned that being busy proves to be an excuse that you don’t want to make time and spend it with someone special. If you really want, there is always a way to make time possible. Hyun Woo’s schedule as an heir to a company is full. But he always made sure Eun Soo doesn’t feel left out. It’s the quality of time spent with her that mattered. It was brief but he made it special.
Every possible problem that could be used to separate a couple happened. It all boils down to how much one is willing to fight for love and hold on to it. You cannot convince a person to stay unless she’s in love with you. Oppa Tae Min didn’t know about this. He tried to ensure that Eun Soo will seek him after she broke off her relationship with Hyun Woo without realising love isn’t that simple to forget. Tae Min learned this lesson the hard way. He’s the classic second lead that missed the true essence of love because he is motivated by hatred.
This story is chock-full of clichés. Good thing that this was shown during the time I care more about the OTP than how the story is written. As long as there is chemistry between the OTP, I’m all in. Those years of watching a 20 episodes drama didn’t felt long at all because they have managed to give cliffhangers that you crave for the next scene to unfold.
Classic k-dramas served as a foundation of my addiction why I love watching different stories. The challenge of the currently airing shows are not just to reinvent and utilise the classic plot but to retell a story as if we’ve seen it for the first time. Having said this, some old series are still worth watching on repeat. Nothing beats the classic!
Promise necklace: “The first person who takes it off, will get bad luck, and even if he’s far away, he’ll be forced to obey the other wearer’s orders. To get rid of the curse, we must read this to each other. This is the pact under the tree. Even if I can’t get my memory back, no even if I remember and return to the unfamiliar reality, I will love you forever. I’ll never leave you, I promise.”
Before the separation happened, Chang Ho made a promise to Eun Soo. This promise became her stronghold, the reason she endured waiting for him. The necklace not only concealed the message, but it holds the memory of Eun Soo. He lost it the day his memory came back. Soo Jin kept the necklace to ensure that Hyun Woo won’t remember its meaning. Even without the necklace, true love finds a way.
The Engagement: Love is a beautifier. Look how stunning Eun Soo is! The simplicity of the ceremony outweighs any grand set-up. Love can be felt the moment Eun Soo stepped out of the door, looking ravishing in a white dress. This left a lasting mark for our OTP. And this scene is definitely one for the books that my K-drama heart loves to see on repeat.
I mentioned above that I love the OST of this drama. Take your time watching the videos. Most of my favourite scenes are shown too. Reminisce how Eun Soo and Hyun Woo’s love story unfold. Have fun listening to the music.
Until next time!