Drama Recaps
Strike Love (MBC)
by | May 4, 2009 | 45 Comments

(I know, I used the same picture in the previous post about this drama, but this version of the poster looks cleaner and cooler.)

I watched MBC’s new weekend baseball drama, Strike Love [2009 외인구단], without any preconceived notions or expectations. I never read the original comic on which it is based, and I don’t much like sports (baseball being at the bottom of those I can endure watching when father/brother/friend figures insist upon it). But I had an inkling, based on the preview clip, that this drama might be watchable. And lo, it is. Quite.

I was sucked into Strike Love in the first 60 seconds. After the first episode, I sighed, “Aw, man,” because I was hoping it would be bad so I could clear off my plate a little. After the second episode, I figured this meant I’d have to rearrange my list of drama priorities.

SONG OF THE DAY

EZ Hyoung – “Floating World.” There’s a nice song that plays several times in Strike Love, and it reminds me of EZ Hyoung whenever it comes on. So here’s some EZ Hyoung. [ Download ]

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

 
For now, my drama-watching order is something like this (based on a very unscientific gut reaction on what I’m most drawn into):

  1. Story of a Man – Because it’s AWESOME. Exciting and intense.
  2. Return of Iljimae – Beautiful, soothing, able to be enjoyed slowly like sipped wine.
  3. Strike Love – Shows promise of being well-characterized and heartwarming.
  4. Accidental Couple/That Fool – Also has heart, particularly in Hwang Jung-min, but the story isn’t as strong.

 
Which means that the following get shoved into maybe-probably-not territory:

  1. Queen of Housewives – I want to keep going with this (it’s funny and zippy) but probably won’t have time until it’s over.
  2. Beautiful Legacy – The weekend series pulled in strong ratings and stars Han Hyo-joo and Lee Seung-ki; apparently it’s pleasant but trite.
  3. City Hall – Yawn.
  4. Cinderella Man – Inoffensive, but double yawn.
  5. A Star’s Lover – Wait, I was going to finish this one up, wasn’t I?
  6. Ja Myung Go – Nope.

 

CHARACTERS AND SETUP

Like I said, I was drawn into the opening sequence right away, even though I had no idea who was who or what the significance of this game was. Good sports dramas are always more than about sports, and this is why I think (hope) Strike Love will be good, because already there is a lot of stuff going on in the opening, and hardly any of them have to do with the mechanics of baseball.

First we have Oh Hye-sung (wonderfully expressive actor Yoon Tae-young), nicknamed “Kachi,” star pitcher for the Seobu Wolves team. He goes up against his rival, Yoosung Dynamics’ star batter, Ma Dong-tak (Park Sung-min). Hye-sung manages to strike Dong-tak out twice with his trademark super-fast pitches (156 km/h), but on the cusp of pitching a perfect game, his arm starts to pain him.

This draws the notice of two ladies watching the game from work — Choi Um-ji (Kim Min-jung) at a clothing shop, and her younger sister Choi Hyun-ji (Song Ah-young) at a restaurant. Um-ji is expected to cheer for Dong-tak, but secretly she’s rooting on Hye-sung, while her younger sister is open in her Hye-sung pride. Both worry that his pitching arm is giving out, just as Dong-tak steps up to the plate for the third time.

With his face contorted in pain, Hye-sung draws up all his strength and recalls Um-ji’s voice telling him not to give up — on baseball, or on her — as he throws strikes once, twice… and winds up for the third…

There’s clearly history between these four, and we zip back in time to get to its beginnings.

 
EPISODES 1 & 2

(First off, let me just say that the child actors are really, really wonderful. One of these days, Korea really needs to produce dramas featuring the young stars — not just using them in childhood flashbacks — and let them act their hearts out, because there are a heckuva lot of very strong budding actors, and they deserve more attention. I know educational channel EBS produces “youth dramas,” but they are low-budget and low-key. I’m talking decent budgets, high production values, and prime-time exposure. Sigh, I can dream.)

In his youth (early middle school, by my estimation), Hye-sung is a good kid who gets drawn into the wrong crowd. It’s not out of a rebellious streak, but pure survival, as his frequently drunk father gambles away all his money and Hye-sung is left to feed them.

With his strong and accurate right arm, Hye-sung plays a crucial role in a gang of delinquents who commit petty theft as a team — the leader usually snatches a purse, the other kids put obstacles in their pursuers’ way, and Hye-sung throws rocks to take them down. His best buddy Baek Du-san (sometimes shortened to Baekdu) — overweight, good-hearted, not too bright — faces similar family hardships and also thieves to provide food for his family.

Hye-sung’s world tilts on its axis a little when the new girl at school, the pretty Um-ji, befriends him. She had seen him participate in a gang job, but she believes he’s a good kid at heart. Because Hye-sung is something of an outsider, her sweet, affectionate overtures are totally new to him. As a result of her influence, he also decides to quit the gang and go straight.

Hye-sung’s father tries to run off to evade debt collectors, ignoring his son’s scared pleas not to leave him behind. He does love his son, but he’s ultimately a very weak, selfish man, and he makes a run for it. He’s caught, and carted off for his gambling debts.

Hye-sung begs to assume responsibility for his father’s debt, and the debt collector takes a liking to the boy’s eyes (I believe this will be a recurring theme for Hye-sung) and gives him one chance to come up with 5 million won overnight (roughly $4,000).

His ensuing desperate scheme involves stealing from his former gang, who take Um-ji hostage in retaliation. Hye-sung and Um-ji make a run for it, and although he’s able to fend off their pursuers with a well-aimed baseball throw, this escapade also makes her family furious at him. They forbid her from seeing him again.

It also incurs the dislike of visiting friend Ma Dong-tak, the polite young boy who likes Um-ji and already shows signs of being a “genius batter.” Not only is Dong-tak angry that Hye-sung put Um-ji in danger, he starts to feel threatened by her relationship with Hye-sung.

Hye-sung has never learned to play baseball, although he looks yearningly at the other kids playing in the field, and Um-ji encourages him to give it a try. Therefore he starts practicing on his own, which gives him trouble at first — he can throw a stone with deadly accuracy, but that’s completely different from pitching a baseball properly.

Regardless, Um-ji has utter faith in Hye-sung. While the girl’s acting is decent, it’s the boy playing Hye-sung who makes you tear up to see how much her unwavering faith means to him. He’s the kind of guy who would otherwise berate himself, letting his familial instability and lack of love push him into insecure thoughts that he is worthless. It’s Um-ji’s bright, sunny affection that makes him want to be a better person. (*tear*)

Dong-tak, on the other hand, resents having to put up with Hye-sung, and tells him meanly (when Um-ji’s not around):

Ma Dong-tak: “A person dislikes someone for two reasons. One is because the person’s done a lot to him. The other one has no reason. He just hates him. Like with you.”
Hye-sung: “But I’ve just started to like you. You’re supposedly a genius batter — let’s fight it out. I’ve decided I want to play baseball for real.”

Boys will be jealous boys: Dong-tak issues a challenge, scoffing that there’s no way Hye-sung could get one pitch past him. Hye-sung accepts, and is given a bucket of baseballs.

But Dong-tak really is a hitting genius, and he solidly connects with every single ball. Hye-sung gives the last one a little extra juice, which results in a graze instead of a direct hit, but still, he loses the challenge. On the other hand, a shady-looking man watches from a distance and approaches him afterward, telling Hye-sung he likes the look in his eyes. He hands him a business card that identifies him as Director Sohn Byung-ho of the oddly named “Outsiders Baseball Team” (which is the Korean title for this drama). The man figures they’ll meet again someday.

Um-ji continues to be Hye-sung’s biggest supporter, even when he tries to withdraw and retreat into himself when his father is put into jail for his debts. He tries to push her away, but she insists on accompanying him to visit his father, which gets her in trouble with her family when they stay out all night (they’re out of bus fare).

Um-ji’s mother is particularly upset with Hye-sung, thinking he’s corrupted her good little girl, and slaps him. Um-ji begs her father to help, and he shows a little more compassion than his wife, taking Hye-sung back to jail to meet his father. But her mother doesn’t like the changes in Um-ji, and therefore the family keeps their plans to move away a secret from her.

Um-ji only finds out when little sis Hyun-ji lets it slip on moving day — which is the day she buys Hye-sung a birthday present of a glove and baseball — and she runs to his house to see him one last time. Unfortunately, he hears about her move from Du-san at the same time, and they miss each other. He finds her gift and a note at home, which tells him to become a top baseball player, one whom she can watch on television.

A friend reminds him that they can watch the train leaving from a deserted field, and the group of three boys race to get there — where Hye-sun pitches a ball to show Um-ji that he will do as she said and become a great player.

It’s to these kids’ credit that we look eagerly to their adult reunion, as we pick up years later, when Hye-sung has matured into a formidable pitcher. Still using the glove Um-ji gave him and bringing a stack of the letters she wrote him over the years, he comes up to Seoul for major league tryouts, meeting up with his buddy Du-san. In his free time, he goes through a list of possible addresses to track Um-ji down.

Du-san works as a cater waiter for upscale events, like the one being held for the corporation Yoosung — which is the sponsor of the Yoosung Dynamics, the team that Ma Dong-tak has just signed with.

Dong-tak drags along Um-ji, who dislikes being paraded around as his girlfriend, because in her mind, she is NOT his girlfriend. But Dong-tak is the kind of guy who refuses to listen to her when she tries to break things off, saying they’ll “talk about it later” — which really means something like, “Your feeble little woman’s mind cannot understand, therefore let me make the decisions.”

It’s worse because after Um-ji’s father died, Dong-tak was a huge help to her family — so much so that her selfish mother likes having him pay their bills. Um-ji tries to keep their relationship strictly platonic, but has difficulty putting her foot down because she feels guilty as the recipient of all his help.

At the event, Um-ji is hounded by reporters who assume she’s Dong-tak’s fiancée. Upset, she leaves the event, muttering about Dong-tak’s high-handedness in calling her his fiancée — briefly attracting the attention of a passerby: Hye-sung. It’s only after she’s gone that Hye-sung realizes that the woman may have been Um-ji, and runs out after her, to no avail.

Tryouts. Du-san alludes to “that thing” in their past that kept Hye-sung from becoming the best, which is why he’s trying out here, where most of the guys range from out-of-shape to average players.

But everyone perks up when Hye-sung throws his first pitch. 156 km/h. The directors look up in amazement and wonder how he’s never been discovered before, and thus at the end of the day, he’s feeling pretty good as he leaves with Du-san. (Du-san is out of shape and a poor hitter, but his one undeniable strength is his ability to catch every single one of Hye-sung’s throws. No mean feat when his pitches are as strong as they are.)

At the same time, Um-ji is attempting to break up with Dong-tak, who isn’t accepting her insistence that it’s really over, that she’s not marrying him, that she’s never thought of him as more than an oppa. Unwilling to accept her decision, he pulls the same “Let’s talk later” trick, but she’s not going to let him drag this out again.

So when he tries to usher her into the car outside the baseball stadium, she refuses. Hye-sung, walking out of his tryouts with Du-san, recognizes her from the night before.

He approaches as Dong-tak angrily tries to get her into the car, while Um-ji struggles. Hye-sung steps between them and tells Dong-tak, “Um-ji says no.”

 
COMMENTS

Acting is a plus. Several characters have mentioned Hye-sung’s eyes — well, actor Yoon Tae-young (Legend) has wonderful eyes as well. His eyes and his expressions are full of emotion, whether they’re showing pain, concentration, or gentleness. I think I’m going to love him and his character, which hits a good balance between toughness and vulnerability. (Btw, the weird hair is something of this character’s trademark style — pointy and scruffy are to Hye-sung what curls were to Gu Jun-pyo.)

Kim Min-jung also has great eyes, and it’s great seeing her as this cute, lively character who doesn’t overdo the cute. A lot of actresses seem to mistake “bright” and “cute” for “ear-gratingly annoying,” and I’m glad she doesn’t fall into this trap. There’s a sweetness to Um-ji that owes a lot to the childhood representation, which I hope Kim continues to portray.

I think Park Sung-min as Ma Dong-tak is a little one-dimensional, but (1) it’s only the first two episodes, so who knows what’ll happen, and (2) I’m inclined to believe that’s how his character was written in the first place. From what I’ve read, it appears the characters are generally said to be adapted well, and Dong-tak as the sleek, privileged batter is sorta the quintessential foil to Hye-sung’s scruffy up-and-coming pitcher.

Not much has been seen of Song Ah-young‘s Hyun-ji character, but I think she’s adorable.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention a couple of the supporting characters, too. How glad was I to see the always hilarious Ahn Sun-young! She hasn’t done much yet, but she’s a scene-stealer, for sure.

The above scene with Baek Du-san, played by Im Hyun-sung, is the scene that gave me hope that Strike Love would be a drama to give its characters depth. I think a manhwa adaptation always runs the risk of falling back on its established personalities, but as far as I can tell, each actor is doing his/her part, and I loved the depth shown by Du-san when Hye-sung asks why he won’t try out with him. He wants to try out together, like old times, and can see just how much his friend loves baseball. So can we, as Du-san gazes wistfully over the baseball field, the view of which is the main reason he chooses to live here.

But Du-san says — unconvincingly — that he has no regrets about giving up baseball. In an earlier scene, Hye-sung seems to feel pity for how Du-san gets yelled at at work, but Du-san brushes it off with a joke, saying he has a great job that pays the bills. Baseball is just a far-off memory for him now. The fact that this supporting character conveys such pathos really impressed me — and I, like Hye-sung, was therefore really excited to see him show up at tryouts.

Directing:

I love dramas with a strong visual appeal. Story always comes first, but good direction is icing on the cake, and while I wouldn’t say that Strike Love‘s directing is as good as Story of a Man or Return of Iljimae, there are moments that are very nicely done. It’s definitely better than Accidental Couple, which is a drama whose directing is rather noticeably flat.

The baseball sequences — what little we’ve seen so far — are edited well to keep suspense high, and I think (hope) that they’ll continue to add tension to what are sure to be many nail-biting games in the future.

 
OVERALL IMPRESSION

I’m going to approach Strike Love with a little hesitation, if only because I have so many other dramas I want to get to. I will say that I was happily surprised by the first two episodes, which left me eager to find out how the story continues.

What made these first two episodes work for me was their ability to make me really care about these characters, not just for the actors’ sake but for the characters’ sakes, too (contrasted with, for example, Accidental Couple, where the connection is with Hwang Jung-min the actor). With a lot of original material available to adapt, there’s also an abundance of story to work with. The drama looks good, is acted well, and the story seems solid so far. Yes, we’ve got the requisite love entanglements already apparent, but I appreciate having another drama out there that is about much more than just romance. Not that I have anything against that, as you know!

 
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45 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Blakey

    I’m liking the sound of this, but I’m not completely hooked yet. Thank you for the recap, if you write more recaps and I like the sound of it, I’ll definitely give this series a go. I’m not a big sports drama fan (and I can’t stand sports) but this looks really good. ^^

    I just hope it doesn’t become a disaster like ‘Smile Again’. *sigh*

    And *spazz moment* Kim Min-Jung YAY!!!!!!!!!!

  2. sophia

    ARGH dramabeans…tried so hard to resist this drama…but you’re review just COMPLETELY convinced me… :.sigh.: I’m downloading 1&2 right now T.T

    MBC should pay you for doing this lol :)

  3. fizzle

    Er…I was hoping this would be bad too. Sigh.

  4. Lucille

    I was interested in this series. You never see too many sports related dramas. So, thank you. I have to say I am really impressed with 2009. We are only 5 months in and the dramas are seriously out shining 2008.

  5. Ichiru

    wow thanks for the recap! i’m looking forward to watching this
    i love sports drama coz there’s a lot of charaters shown and how they connect to each other and build friendship and teamwork! And the tense feeling if they’re gonna win or lose until the last second is exciting! And in baseball pitchers are the best for me! i just hope this won’t drag and continues to be interesting…
    And Ho-Gae of Legend! he looks tough! His character in Legend is full of angst..but understandalbe..i’m glad he’s showing his other side of acting.

  6. Orchid

    Javabeans…aren’t you swamped with dramas =)

  7. Biscuit

    I can’t wait to try it out (Still need to find where to watch -.-) I don’t usually watch sports dramas often but the trailer seemed interesting and I like the actors (I enjoyed Yoon Tae-young in Legend… and his acting is really good. Especially the emotional parts because he really seems likes he’s in pain >.<) so I thought I’d try it out. After hearing the positve comments, I;ll def. watch it later :O


    My first thought when I saw the poster (before I knew it was a k-drama) I almost thought it was about a J-drama… idk, maybe it’s because of the high-school uniform and sports -.-

  8. A.

    Gosh I hate when this happens. There are so many things I want to watch this “season” be it Korean or Japanese dramas. This is insane, especially because I have to study for AP tests and make it through the last two weeks of dumb dumb high school.

    *sigh* It can’t be helped.

  9. kamee

    im actually really excited for this drama. not a lot of people like or know about kim min jung but i loved her since new heart! she’s really a good actress!

  10. 10 cc

    Thanks so much for the summary!
    I want to watch this drama too~
    Looks really interesting!

  11. 11 sugarpunch

    wow. I have been waiting for years to see yoon tae young act as a main lead in a drama! definitely going to follow this through. that is if it doesnt get too draggy:S

  12. 12 addds

    i’m glad that taeyeon is FINALLY getting a leading role, i hope she does her best in this drama. HWAITING!

  13. 13 skeoq

    Well, from this I don’t think I have to ask whether you like this year’s dramas better than last year, lol

  14. 14 ripgal

    Goodness, all the good and addicting dramas coming out now huh? All at the same time!
    I was just going to lament on the lack of quality dramas this year, and now they give us ALL the goodies NOW.

    Thanx for the recap. I may keep a look-out on this one. I’m currently on Story of a Man, Queens of Housewives and Brilliant Legacy, the latter 2 on your probably-will-won’t-watch list..hehehe… I have already given up on Cinderella Man on the first eppie… may move on to The Fool next…^^

  15. 15 Kender

    Hrmm.. I’m not usually a sports fan, and my least favourite (other than golf) is baseball, so I think I’m going to wait for at least the next recap before I decide whether or not to try this one out. It does sound intriguing from the way you’ve written about it, though.

    There are a lot of good dramas this year, aren’t there? LOTS more than last year. XD Hopefully this momentum keeps up.. *waits excitedly for Triple*

    And on the topic of child-based dramas, I was thinking about that a few days ago. I can understand why there aren’t dramas centered on mostly child actors, but I think such a drama could be really interesting if approached properly.

  16. 16 deeta

    Aw man, now you’ve made me interested in yet another drama.

    Right now I’m watching Queen of Housewives (which continues to be awesome fun!), Just Looking (high five for the superb Hwang Jung Min), Brilliant Legacy (so so story, but great chemistry between casts), and I’m barely keeping up with Story of a Man. I’m going to touch on City Hall as soon as it’s subbed because heck, I will not want to miss Cha Seung Won and Kim Sun Ah together.

    I have to admit I’m so relieved that 2009 so far proves to be a great (if not great, then at least watchable) year in Kdrama.

  17. 17 cosmopolite

    omg Sarah….how the heck did this happen? when’s the last time you were inundated with TOO many interesting dramas to watch….definitely NOT 2008 that’s for sure. ;)

    i’m very pleased to see this year isn’t a wash….makes up for some of the crappy stuff i had to watch last year…woohoo!

    edit
    i have to add…i would totally watch a drama starring these wonderful child actors too…they’re amazing and i can’t help thinking about their age…where do they get these skills from?!

  18. 18 miumiu099

    omigosh. it’s because of your recaps i have so many dramas on my plate. hahahaha. love love love love your recaps :) thank youuuuu~

  19. 19 meix2

    miumiu099,
    I hear what you are saying. First there were no decent dramas to watch… and then there was too many dramas to watch! All thanks to the Recaps!! Thank you. Javabean!

    My best so far this year is (of course) story of man. I’m so addicted! I’m also craving for city hall… Love both the lead actors and hoping the drama would pick up… (I have watched the first two episodes… didn’t understand a word of it… but it looked ok.)

  20. 20 epyc

    This sounds interesting. I like Kim Ming Jung from her early work in the movie “Fly High” with Yoon Kye Sang (!) to her mature role in “Fashion 70s”.

    It was only a few weeks ago that there seemed nothing worth watching and all of a sudden we are over-choiced. If I may, I would recommend one more to the long list that you guys may have.

    In fact, it was during the gap time a couple of weeks ago I stumbled on Dahee Fanel’s blog to discover a little gem in Chae Rim’s “Job Well Done”. I know many people coming to Dramabean’s blog are not into long episode family drama (and neither am I, usually!) However, based on DH’s strong recommendation, I try and fall in love with this drama. I would sincerely recommend it to you if you want a warm-hearted drama alternating with tears and laughters with realistic characters you’d grow to care (almost everyone of them!!) It has strong leads in Chae Rim and Eom Ki Joon (!) plus a stellar cast of supporting actors. I felt my 15 hours passed so quickly and well spent, and will look forward to the 35 hours to come. Dahee Fanel has since put up three pieces on her blog about this drama:

    http://daheefanel.wordpress.com/2009/03/22/job-well-done-indeed/

    http://daheefanel.wordpress.com/2009/04/05/well-done-eom-ki-joon-well-done/

    http://daheefanel.wordpress.com/2009/04/13/charismatic-eom-ki-joons-transformation/

  21. 21 otk

    if only someone would sub this =(
    It looks really good though ! both Brilliant Legacy/Shining Inheritance and Strik eLove look mighty good.

  22. 22 Froglivers

    OMG! Gong-Po-eui- We-In-Gu-Dan!!!

    YES! And it does sound brill! This was such a great manwha- with a kiddy version too, and we used to wait every month for the Jump issues to come out.

    I’m surprised no one’s doing the subs. I’d be tempted to do it, but have no clue how to distribute them, anyway.

  23. 23 lidge_fan

    OMG!!!! Javabeans!!!! I’m sooo, SOOO happy you like it!!!
    Pls, pls do a review if you have time!!!!!
    I’ve been begging people who understand Korean to do a short, short sypnosis at soompi but people have lives to live so I understand :(
    Reading that you like it has totally made my day!!!!!

    btw: KMJ is sooo pretty. When I saw her in “4 sisters,” I wasn’t a fan and never thought I’d be one, but “New Heart” won me over. I’m really, really glad she’s the lead in this :)

    THANK YOU for the awesome recap!!!! Love you!!!!^^

  24. 24 heejung

    Oh man, I just started watching story of a man… hot DAMN, is it awesome or what!!! looks like i’ll have another drama on my plate soon! (this is the night before my AP Calculus exam… sigh)

    by the way, i remember that you mentioned Tablo’s “Pieces of You” once a while ago… did you know that the original english one is up for sale on his mapthesoul site? i wanna read! ><

  25. 25 lidge_fan

    @Froglivers: I remember you did the subs for the early eps of BOF.
    Is there anyone watching this who knows how to time subs? I don’t know how. But if there are no volunteers and there are subs available, I’ll learn how to time. I don’t know Korean but I don’t think it’s that hard to figure out who’s saying what. If I can double major in accounting/finance in 4 years, I don’t think it’s an impossible task to do this. Might take me a longer time though :)

    As for distribution, it’s really, really easy. We can post it in the Strike Love thread at soompi and at aja-aja. For aja-aja, we just email the sub files to the MODS and they’ll post it. No biggie. The site has lots of visitors.

    Please pm me @ soompi if anyone wants to do this and needs an extra helping hand. I can be found in the Strike Love thread. I’d be more than happy to help out in any way possible!!!!

  26. 26 chajjye

    2009 is so packed full with good dramas and it’s not even june yet!

    javabeans, how do you manage to watch so many at one time?

    for the sake of doing well for my last semester, i have to push back all my drama watching to september. but that is also because i’m using torrent so it’s slower. let me see…

    my list of dramas to watch this year (so far):
    1. return of iljimae
    2. a man’s story
    (both recommended by you)
    3. que sera sera
    4. worlds within (i know it’s not the best drama but i like behind the scenes drama. will see how it goes.)
    5. that fool
    6. triple
    7. cinderella man (have yet to see episode 5 and 6 to see if i will stick with it)
    8. man who cannot get married (hopefully it will be as good as the japanese one!)

    8….and if this continues to be exciting (your recaps always convince me. :) ) this will be no. 9! but isn’t strike love a 50 episode drama? then it’s a LOOOONG way to go….

  27. 27 Sere

    Wait, what? No fansubbing group has picked this up yet? I’m saddened. I was frankly curious and besides Triple, this was the only sport-drama I was actually looking forward to.

    Ok, contigency plans are in order, methinks. I guess this is going to be one of the first dramas I’ll watch when my korean is decent enough to get what’s happening on screen without the subs. That means, it’ll take months. Ah well. I have a goal now. LOL

  28. 28 krnkimbap

    Yay for Yoon Taeyoung! I hold a special place in my heart for him ever since Wangcho (boy that was a loooong time ago…).

  29. 29 mishane

    It’s never a good sign to me when I see crying women (I don’t know what it is but I absolutely detest crying women in dramas. Instead of feeling sorry for them, I merely scoff. Same with crying men).

    Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. . . . .

    You are right though. I’ve noticed that the child actors are getting more and more impressive. Some more impressive than the adult actors.

    (I wish there were more basketball dramas. I think baseball is the most boring sport imaginable but it seems to be the only sport Korea really talks about? Or at least that I see in dramas. I’d rather watch basketball, hockey, football or soccer dramas. More intense. Baseball? Not so much)

  30. 30 mishane

    Also, it’s so hard for me not to read your Story Of A Man recaps! I’m only at episode 4, I don’t have subs for the other episodes and I’m really anxious to see what happens. I LOVE Do Woo (is that the name? Oh well, evil brother, I love him) and I NEED to see what happens.

    I wanted to start watching That Fool (?) but no subs yet. :( I wanted to watch the first 4-5 episodes to see if it would be interesting.

    Cinderella Man looks completely boring. Sorry. Yoona (?) doesn’t seem like a good actress. She was severely lacking in 9E2O’s and I feel like she relys too much on her pretty face to do the acting. Maybe I’m wrong.

  31. 31 Sonam

    LOL ….I find the poster scary…like a horror movie!

  32. 32 toomz

    (… Korea really needs to produce dramas featuring the young stars — not just using them in childhood flashbacks — and let them act their hearts out, because there are a heckuva lot of very strong budding actors, and they deserve more attention. … I’m talking decent budgets, high production values, and prime-time exposure. Sigh, I can dream.)

    I AGREE! They are sometimes even better than the grown up actors. x3

  33. 33 otk

    Java!!! Came back to say, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR POSTING A GOOD REVIEW OF THIS !!!!!

    WITHS2 DECIDED TO PICK THIS UP ! (TY GUYS SO MUCH)

    !!:)
    it seems that whichever drama Java likes! the subbing teams take it up .. such as QoH(no 1 pickd it up until Java posted about it), and now this !

    the power of this blog…….gee :)

  34. 34 fizzle

    Ahh YAY! I was very sad that there seemed to be no one interested in subbing this…thank god for WITHS2! I don’t know what I would do without you guys.

  35. 35 belleza

    @lidge fan,

    “btw: KMJ is sooo pretty. When I saw her in “4 sisters,” I wasn’t a fan and never thought I’d be one, but “New Heart” won me over. I’m really, really glad she’s the lead in this”

    I don’t recall Kim Min Jung in 4 Sisters. One of the sisters, I guess, has a passing resemblance though. Perhaps you mean her movie Flying Boys, the one with the sisters Yoon Kye Sang and Lee Jung Ki? :D

    @toomz,

    “Korea really needs to produce dramas featuring the young stars — not just using them in childhood flashbacks — and let them act their hearts out”

    I guess “Tae Hee, Hye Kyo, Ji Hyun” (LOL at the name!) is kinda like that. It’s an ajumma drama, but the bits involving the girls in middle school is fun.

    @epyc,

    “It has strong leads in Chae Rim and Eom Ki Joon (!) plus a stellar cast of supporting actors. ”

    Yup, Eom Ki Joon in Good Job Good Job does the best Kang Ji Hwan impression of 2009. His smile says trouble. ;) It’s a charming show, and I agree with Dahee about the Jung Ae Ri/Chun Ho Jin couple.

  36. 36 lidge_fan

    @belleza,

    Thanks for clearing that up! For some strange, strange, extremely STRAAAAANGE reason that I haven’t figured out, I immediately thought KMJ was the 3rd sister in the drama “4 Sisters” (you know, the one with Chae Rim) when I first saw her in “New Heart.” I hated her in the drama “4 Sisters” but SURPRISE! SUPRISE! I adored her as the geeky genius in “New Heart.”

    Well, duh….no wonder….lmao!!!! The girl I hated and KMJ are different people. While I was watchin “New Heart,” I just kept thinking “Wow!!! KMJ has really improved her acting. She looks sooo much prettier. Even her face shape is different”…….bwahahaha

    If you hadn’t pointed out my error, I’d still be thinking she was the third sister in the drama with Chae Rim….probably until the day I die…..lol

    I said the same thing @ soompi, but no one corrected me…..roflmao!!!!
    *embarrassed*

    btw: your “drug letter” to the kids was hilarious……lol@ Hyun Bin’s hyung!!!! *shudders at the thought of him carrying me home*^^

  37. 37 lidge_fan

    ““Wow!!! KMJ has really improved her acting. She looks sooo much prettier. Even her face shape is different”…….bwahahaha”

    Oh I adore Kim Min Jung. I call her the “Sultry Turtle” because A) she’s sultry, and B) she kinda looks like a turtle. :D Her pairing with Hyun Bin in Ireland is still my favorite of the Binnie matchups. She had one 12-month stretch where she did the movie Flying Boys and the dramas Ireland and Fashion 70s. Fun/great in all.

    “For some strange, strange, extremely STRAAAAANGE reason that I haven’t figured out, I immediately thought KMJ was the 3rd sister in the drama “4 Sisters” (you know, the one with Chae Rim) when I first saw her in “New Heart.”

    I thought as much; the 3rd sister and Kim Min Jung have a resemblance. FWIW, I thought that sister and Ji Jin Hee had sexy chemistry. Four Sisters was an interesting Chae Rim project. It was an All About Eve reunion between her, the PD, and Han Jae Suk. The story was (very) loosely based on Little Women (Chae Rim = Korean Winona Ryder?) Jang Geon Suk played the boy version of the male doctor. That was Ji Ji Hee’s debut. The theme song was a remake of Teresa Teng’s signature tune “Moon Represents My Heart.” The actress playing the eldest sister was charged with meth use not soon after the run of that show. The actress playing the girl virsion of the eldest sister passed away a few years ago. One of the sister’s BFs was one of Chae Rim’s “guy disasters” in “We Are Dating Now.”

  38. 38 lidge_fan

    @#38…..is that you, belleza?
    You forgot to change the name……mwahaha

    I came back and discovered, very much to my surprise, that I’m talking to myself, except that I’m not talking to myself because if I was really talking to myself, then I’d know…….or would I??? *cue Twilight zone music* dung-da-dung-dung!!!!!!

    People have always told me I was a bit crazy, but I was hoping it was crazy funny, NOT crazy, crazy……lmao!!!!!

    the Sultry Turle….lol…..great! now you’ve corrupted an image of an angel of mine……I’ll forever think of her as the Sultry Turtle now until I hit my grave ><….hahaha

  39. 39 giddygirl108

    I like the screencap you put up when Um-ji is trying to break up with Dong-tak. I know this is going to sound immensely shallow, but I like how the actor’s face reminds me of James Marsden when he was Cyclops in X-Men.

  40. 40 krnkimbap

    Every time I see Yoon Taeyoung, his scruffy and outcast image always flashes through my mind. He never gets those “jaebol” roles (probably because kdramas prefer our rich men to look like Jang Dong Gun). Which is ironic because he is from a pretty prestigious family, lol.

  41. 41 yuu

    why can’t I have MBC cable where I am at?!….*sigh* although I’m not complaining, since KBS world will have my long-awaited ‘Story Of A Man’….on the 18th of may. (which will be exam week for me….>__<.

  42. 42 Janeway

    I think this drama is really amazing. It almostly seems like a long movie. It’s very inspiring and the casts are very astonishing. The characters portrayed by the actors are well done.

    There are great lessons to be learned in this drama. Each of the characters story had given that.

    “Be the best that you can be”
    “Never give up”
    and so on….

    I trully love this drama. Korean Dramas are getting better and better. ^_^

  43. 43 Sarah

    I love this drama although subtitles are not available all the time I can pick up whats going on. I love the chemistry of the leading actors.

  44. 44 Sarah

    where can i buy the dvd?

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