It’s very hard to put into words, when all you have are feels, and this is one insane drama that makes you feel everything that you might have a niggling sensation of, but never been able to articulate.
It delves into the status of women in society – how sexual harassment and discrimination in their overt and subtle ways become internalised and chip away at the confidence of the women. And I love how the women fight back, with sass, and sometimes bruised knuckles.
The writing is engaging, and just when you think that tropes are going to be deployed, you get a refreshing take instead – the unforgettable first love becomes a bridge between the couple instead of a hindrance. The cliffhanger each week keeps drawing you into the rich emotional worlds of these characters.
I love how the scene of Ho-rang leaving with the app guy makes most of us jump to conclusions and start condemning her for moving on so quickly, or possibly resorting to yet another drama staple of using him as a shield to cut ties with Won-seok once and for all. When it is revealed that she ran into the guy in the most innocuous way possible, and that she was awfully uncomfortable to be even getting a ride from him, I wonder how many viewers repented guiltily for having judged her so harshly.
Like what many fans have pointed out, the lack of proper communication between Ho-rang and Won-seok was a big reason for their breakup. She doesn’t seem like a totally unreasonable person – her dream of becoming a stay-at-home mom could probably be compromised to a certain extent – being a working mom, for example, and he could possibly have spent more time training to be a husband if he were more aware of how marriage-minded she was. But that’s water under the bridge, and lessons for all of us.
I’m also quite amused by her candidness with the guy who wants to get married. Sometimes, it is easier to seek solace with strangers than to spill one’s guts out again to friends. Because there’s no history, things might not necessarily have the gravity of pain.
I’m also quite surprised at how strong Su-ji and Sang-gu have become as a couple. From a relationship borne from a forgotten one-night stand, to a relationship dictated by a contract (hers) to his being her emotional rock, though not without significant pushing and pulling, theirs seems to be a relationship that will continue strengthen with every obstacle.
I’m pretty sure that Se-hee’s father had a hand in the breakup between Jung-min and him. For a couple to move in together when faced with an unexpected pregnancy and then to break up so acrimoniously after the miscarriage, when both seem like rather sensible people now, I would hazard a guess that external factors had to play a larger role. His insistence that Ji-ho be a stay at home mom without consideration of her or Se-hee’s wishes paints him as a rather unreasonable man. I might have to eat my words later, but at the moment, I really don’t like him even though I’d tried to give him the benefit of the doubt after the parents’ meeting in earlier eps.
The Soompi forum on the drama is rife with fans providing literary analysis as well as less thought out comments. One thing that fans loved was the apt referencing of literary works which tied to the themes of the episodes. One kind fan even provided the link to the text of To Room Nineteen, a room of solace, regret and secrets that each character couldn’t bear to invite others to.
Image credits: Dramabeans