Drama Recaps
Halftime Report: Road No. 1
by | July 25, 2010 | 41 Comments

Back by popular demand, it’s Round 2 of: Show vs. Girlfriday. I thought I’d check in with Road No. 1 at the halfway point, to see how it’s progressed since we last faced off in battle. To be clear: this is an experiment of sorts—I have not watched Episodes 2-9, so that I could come at Episode 10 from a unique perspective. I wanted to see what’s changed, how the narrative is doing, and if it’s gotten any better, which it totally could have, right? Again, this isn’t a straightforward recap, since it’s a review.

Welcome to Thunderdome.

Two men enter. One man leaves.

 
EPISODE 10 REVIEW

Hm. Again with the crawl. Now I’m wondering if every episode started with this inane thing or if they saved it, just for me. Who told them I was coming? I was annoyed when they began the series with this, but if it’s at the top of every episode, that’s definitely worse.

Soo-yeon (Kim Ha-neul) is on the run, and the planes flying overhead connect us to Jang-woo (So Ji-sub), who sees them from his route along yup, you guessed it—Road No. 1.

We follow the men in pursuit of Northern troops, looking for an attack point. It seems that Jang-woo has asserted his leadership skills in the past nine episodes, because now he’s giving the orders, whereas initially he was the foot soldier to Tae-ho‘s (Yoon Kye-sang) ranking officer. My question is: where is Choi Min-soo’s commanding officer? And why is Son Chang-min, who was initially higher ranked, deferring to Jang-woo as well? So the hero card trumps the commanding officer card, eh?

Jang-woo gives a rousing speech about a potential suicide mission (although it seems his pre-battle speeches are still the same—we might die, there are insurmountable odds, but we can do it, etc.) and Tae-ho backs him up. They throw each other knowing looks throughout, and I’m secretly hoping that this show took a crazy left turn and the main love story is between these two. What? It could happen.

While they wait for nightfall, Tae-ho comes up to Jang-woo to announce that he’ll be leaving the company soon. He knows that when they reunite with Soo-yeon, there’s bound to be bloodshed (what, you’re going to kill each other over her?) so he’s planning to leave. Jang-woo says no, HE’s going to leave, since once he finds Soo-yeon this war is over for him, and someone has to lead the company.

Huh? Hold the mayo. So we’re ten episodes in, and our hero is still itching to get out of fighting the war? And now our second lead wants to get out too? I get that the reluctant hero thing is a bad boy staple, but it has to be an initial reluctance, followed by a bolstered patriotism and duty to what’s right. Ever see Jack Bauer walk out at the sixteen-hour mark because he didn’t feel like it anymore? Get it together, hero!

Jang-woo tells Tae-ho that if they don’t make it out of this mission alive, neither one of them has the chance to reunite with Soo-yeon, so it’s all moot anyway. I’m really disliking this love-for-my-woman-is-my-prevailing-motivation motif, because it reduces both men to whiny puppies, when they’re supposed to be representing men who actually gave their lives in this war.

Meanwhile, Pyongyang (the North Korean capital) goes up in flames. The battle scenes actually look beautiful, if that makes any sense, since they’re so stylized. It’s clear that CG is where they spent their massive budget. Soo-yeon is working as a doctor at a North Korean trauma ward, which is being blitzed by the planes overhead. Oh that’s interesting, to have her working to patch up Northern soldiers. I was wondering where they were going to take the initial story point of her family being Northern sympathizers. I like the added layer of conflict that this adds, so nice job on this one, Show.

She’s basically performing surgery with the walls coming down around her, and I’m much more riveted by her scenes than the boys’ so far. Her brother is still alive, and he tells her that the Southern army has crossed the 38th parallel, raising her hopes that she might see Jang-woo this far north. There’s a nice beat where she gives her young assistant a hairpin as a thank-you for sticking it out during the bombing, and then we get a flashback to Jang-woo giving it to her before the war.

Back on the front lines, Jang-woo leads the troops and everyone salutes him, even Tae-ho. I wish there were more outward animosity between these two, if they’re still playing the love triangle. If they’re not, and everyone’s a docile kitten, then WTF is the point? It’d be different if they were all about the bromance and their bond becomes stronger than either’s love for Soo-yeon. Which is where I still think this show should go. And not even in a gay way, if you must kill my joy, Show.

They attack the Northern camp from two sides. Jang-woo leads the front, while Tae-ho takes a group of men across the river to attack from behind. They stop to dig up some artillery (presumably because this camp was originally theirs), and find the body of Choi Min-soo buried with the guns. Oh, that’s what happened. It rattles Tae-ho, as his commander’s death probably hit him the hardest.

They run into battle in slow motion with Choi Min-soo’s voiceover telling them that fear isn’t something that can be overtaken; you just experience it and muddle through. This kind of stuff works pretty well for me, usually because the battle scenes themselves can become quite tedious in their intricacy, whereas one punchy moment like this gets the necessary point across. The weight of Choi Min-soo’s voice doesn’t hurt either.

In the thick of battle, Tae-ho looks up to see Jang-woo doing something heroic, which makes him think of the commander. He gets injured, and when Jang-woo comes to help him, he actually mistakes him for Choi Min-soo’s character. Jang-woo stretches out his hand, and he raises Tae-ho up.

I’m completely inferring from what we’re given in this episode, but it seems that Tae-ho is the guy who realized once he went to war that he wasn’t quite up to snuff. He was probably way more scared than he could deal with, and his commanding officer protected him, like a hero and a father. Jang-woo then takes this place, and I’m assuming the brotherhood starts here with Tae-ho’s acceptance of Jang-woo as a leader. You can alternately see jealousy and amazement in Tae-ho’s face when he looks up at Jang-woo single-handedly taking out a tank, for instance. Not that anyone wouldn’t think that was amazing; does Jang-woo have to be Superman, for pete’s sake?

Seeing Jang-woo rise up and be a hero jolts Tae-ho out of his reverie, and he joins the fight. He even gets his own heroic moment, where he steps in to save Jang-woo from being shot while he’s down. And then? We get ANOTHER hand-holding moment, this time with Jang-woo being raised up by Tae-ho.

Really, Show? You just did that, two minutes ago. Maybe less. One episode to another, maybe it’s symmetry. One minute to another? That’s just goofy. Sometimes, the epic thing works for you, and then in moments like this, you’re like a parody of yourself. I wish for your sake you knew the difference.

They face their enemies, backs against each other. Now all of a sudden they’re like, wonder twins, activate!

[OMG, this is like a bad, cheesy(er) ripoff of that quintessential kpop melodrama MV, "To Heaven" -- which, coincidentally, starred Kim Haneul as the tragic lover to the bad-boy hero, Lee Byung-heon! Seriously, you have to watch the scene I'm talking about, which occurs at 5:08, but I'd suggest you start at 4:50. Although the whole thing is worth a watch. And to blow your mind even further, his buddy is none other than Jung Woong-in, aka the ridiculous Ji-won in Coffee House, only here he actually looks COOL. Road No. 1, you and your 13 billion won pale in comparison to that 6-minute music video. --javabeans]

As the battle winds down, one of the soldiers goes on a warpath killing spree to avenge his brutally murdered family, leading from the battle all the way to a North Korean base. Crazy fool. He gets severely injured and has to stop at a precarious place, underneath a major crossing bridge. Jang-woo goes after him, and then Tae-ho goes after Jang-woo. They all meet up, and have to find a way to get their man out of there undetected.

Oh, you two. Just make out already.

Really, if there is one more soulful look into each other’s eyes at kissing distance, I’m going to ditch this recap for a brokeback mv.

They get him away and into a barn for the night, and they literally use their bodies to keep him warm. I’m not even kidding. It wouldn’t be so funny, out of context, I know, since the man is dying, but…you’re making this too easy, Show.

They talk over a campfire, and Tae-ho asks Jang-woo about his hand. (Tae-ho speaks in jondae and Jang-woo replies in banmal, since their roles are now reversed.) Jang-woo doesn’t tell him about the injury, but says that it acts up whenever he’s scared or lonely. What, now it’s a ghost hand, with feelings?

They ask each other if they love Soo-yeon, to which the answer is a resounding, “duh,” and then they ask one another why they like her. The reason they both cite: “because she resembles my mother.” All together now: Eeeeeeeewwwww!

Tae-ho wonders who Soo-yeon would’ve chosen if they hadn’t gone off to war. Jang-woo wonders if that means Tae-ho has forgiven Soo-yeon (for her Northern sympathies), for which he doesn’t have an answer. Jang-woo asks why Tae-ho came to rescue him, and Tae-ho says it’s confusing for him too, since he’s so used to wishing Jang-woo dead, but he’s come to accept him now. At least they’re not making exaggerated facial expressions and overacting in this scene, but the on-the-nose question-and-answer isn’t exactly the smoothest way to convey all these things that technically, we already know.

Tae-ho tells him that he saw their commander’s image in him today on the battlefield, and that he knew in that moment, that Jang-woo was his leader, his comrade, his brother. All together now: Aaaaawwwwww!

Jang-woo thanks him, but speaks frankly that he doesn’t believe in ‘comrades of war,’ because when it’s all said and done, they won’t be able to see each other again—the living and the dead. I don’t know that his sentiment makes much sense, but I get what he’s saying—the scars of death, those lost and those he’s killed—are greater than any brotherhood or bond that could be formed. It’s probably interesting to have him be this way, if only to make him eat his words later. But right now it sounds pretty ungrateful.

Tae-ho says he was always jealous every time he saw that Jang-woo was lost in thought, knowing whom he was thinking of. Jang-woo says that he always thinks of only one person, when he’s laughing, walking, talking, even now. Well, way to make a bonding moment awkward, dude.

I don’t know if it’s just me, but characters who are SO single-minded in their love actually scare me a little. It’s like a little too devoted, in a creepy is-that-my-used-toothbrush-in-your-keepsake-box kind of way. Obviously, must have for an epic romance, but not actually desirable, you know, in the real world.

They return to the camp, and hold a memorial service for their fallen brothers in the 2nd Company. Tae-ho presents Jang-woo with their commander’s stick (I know, don’t laugh. I’m not making this up, I swear) and they stand there, holding the stick together, as Jang-woo symbolically embraces his role as leader.

The soldiers break out into song, which is about as awkward as it sounds, but then what could have turned into a poignant moment is undercut by the soundtrack so that you can’t get into one or the other. Why would you ruin your own setup? Purposely shooting yourself in the foot, I tell you.

The men head back to their hometown, and Jang-woo flashes back to the most passionless kiss ever, as he heads to Soo-yeon’s house. (Really. I think Ken and Barbie could have done better.) There’s a moment where he clears the cobwebs with the most contemplative gaze…that just makes me erupt in laughter. Why do you insist on turning the hero into such a weepy hangdog, Show? I suppose I would feel differently if the moments were acted with any amount of subtlety, but they’re not, so I’m left feeling out of the loop once again.

Jang-woo and Tae-ho meet on that fateful bridge, this time without Soo-yeon between them. Tae-ho asks to leave the unit, but Jang-woo tears up the request. He tells Tae-ho to keep that wedding ring safe, and give Soo-yeon a chance to reply. Wait, you’re playing BOTH the commander who encourages him to keep fighting while giving him hope of Soo-yeon’s love, AND the reluctant soldier who wants to ditch the war to run to your beloved and keep her for yourself? Which one is it?? I thought we were done with the whiplashing, but you’ve managed to do it again, Show. Kudos, you sneaky bastard.

The North Korean troops get ready to leave Pyongyang, but Soo-yeon insists on staying behind, so that she might run into Jang-woo. So she and her nurse, along with an injured child, stay with her brother. He tries to get her to ditch the kid, since he’s dead weight while they’re on the run, but Soo-yeon refuses, spitting out emotionally that if something happens to the child, it’s over between them. She’s also been having telltale stomach pains throughout the episode, so yup…I smell lovechild! Of course you went there, Show.

The planes fly overhead and once again, they connect her to Jang-woo.

Thankfully, I don’t think anyone’s watching this for a realistic portrayal of war, so that’s one comfort.

I think this drama’s problem is one of tunnel vision, and taking itself too seriously. Waaay too seriously. It’s the same effect you get when you speak to someone who’s insanely pretentious, and totally earnest about it at the same time. They can’t see that it’s funny to everyone else, because their ideas are so precious to them. This show has no filter for that, so everything is presented as really earnest and precious, only it comes across as trite or funny, because it’s lacking in self-awareness. I know, I’m anthropomorphizing the show. More than I usually do. But there’s a huge difference between shows that know they’re being cheesy or funny or over-the-top, and shows that don’t see that they are, even though they’re not trying to be.

Still yelling? Check. Still posing people like dolls? Check. Still having people speak their feelings instead of feeling them? Check. Still circling motifs back on themselves so many times it becomes funny? Check.

Verdict: Your bromance is budding, it’s true. But it’s Episode 10 and you’ve learned nothing since we last saw you. The smaller moments between two characters do work better now—it seems you’ve toned down the acting a bit there, which is good. But so far your story is still an epic love triangle that doesn’t feel epic, and your hero is still a whining pile of horse dung.

He’s not even a vampire. Why is he so mopey?

And can Tae-ho please just realize his true feelings now?

What? I never said it was going to be pretty.

Girlfriday: 2 / Show: 0

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41 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. dubusangtae

    haha the perfect way to sum it up :)
    i was knda getting sick of the drama … glad someone agrees

     (0)


  2. Qwenli

    Thanks for the midway recap.

    I dun know who can watch this show. The guys who like war stories? But then they may be off playing war games on their computers? The girls for their diehard love of So and Yoon? But it is so grimey…

    I really adore Yoon Kye Sang, but it is really hard for me to stomach this war drama. Really difficult.

     (0)


  3. lovelyu

    I prefer Comrades from KBS (with strong acting and cinemtography) than this one. Sometimes underrated things are far better.

     (0)


  4. Amber

    That was one of the most hilarious things I’ve read in a while:) Thanks for making my day girlfriday.

     (0)


  5. ripgal

    Haha, I LOLed at your Ken and Barbie comment.

    I stopped at 2, lucky me phew..

     (0)


  6. Angel

    Brilliant! :D

     (0)


  7. qldgal

    girlfriday, for taking your time to watch & review this hot mess, so the rest of us don’t have to, id like to thank you!

     (0)


  8. Shin Anna

    ” in a creepy is-that-my-used-toothbrush-in-your-keepsake-box kind of way.”

    OMG that was beyond hilarious.

     (0)


  9. Ani

    Thanks for the Jack Bauer comment, now I’m off to watch reruns of 24 on Netflix.

    Oh, and you’re still crazy, which is cool, because your recap/review walks a fine line between genius and insane. This just all makes for entertaining reading material.

     (0)


  10. 10 langdon813

    This is hysterical! I have a vision of GF giving her laptop the stinkeye and saying “Hello, Show…” in her best Seinfeld “Hello, Newman…” voice. :-D

    I’ll never watch this drama, because it sucks, but these reviews certainly don’t! Now, this is what I call taking one for the team, GF!!

     (0)


  11. 11 amhrancas

    oh god, too awesome, too hilariously awesome! XD

    I kept reading all this with the hope-filled voice of Todd, from Scrubs, in my head saying “and then they kiss?? <8D "

    it would have only made this recap/review more perfect if they had.

    Girlfriday, you have only earned more of my respect for having survived yet another episode of Road No.1. 8|b

     (0)


  12. 12 cathy

    Thanks for the review , i hate love triangle in this drama , it ruins this meaning of war heroes , Why not the story of group of friends affecting by war and ideology , we don’t need much love story in here . I like SJS but i can not see any chemistry between SJS and KHN , so annoying to watch love scenes in this drama , especially
    stupid flashbacks .

     (0)


  13. 13 lauren

    OMG :( this drama was meant to be good, i was looking forward to it because it’s got my fav stars in it. Too bad the plot isn’t great

     (0)


  14. 14 amyrza

    u never fail to make me laugh… guess, i wasn’t missing me much by ditching this drama after watching the first ep. Sigh! What a waste of talented actors….

     (0)


  15. 15 ctyhome

    “The reason they both cite: “because she resembles my mother.” All together now: Eeeeeeeewwwww! ”

    —You hit the nail, I hate this scene, if these dude want their mommy, why don’t they just go after their mommy!!!!!

     (0)


  16. 16 simplygracey

    Jackpot recap from GF! :) Thank you for making me hurt from all that laughing!
    I think this drama has its strong points in waves. The first few episodes were horrible..then from episode 4 I was excited it got a bit better, but then by the 5th episode- I died all over again. So it’s not even waves actually, just…one episode…

    GF I am so in awe that you could sit through another episode to write a review for us!. Forever in love with dramabeans and its recappers!

     (0)


  17. 17 kdramawatcher

    i’ve never watch this drama, but i swear it could or should won an award for best/most hilarious recap on this site. it took me hours just to finish reading it because every now n then i had to pause to LMAO. thanks for the laughs anyway. i was lurking this site for coffee house/bad guy recap, but this one totally made my day..xD

     (0)


  18. 18 Dlover

    lol lol i really enjoy these recaps
    have to admit there is alot of lol moments in road number 1
    best comedy of the year ^^

     (0)


  19. 19 dramafan

    Yeah, im waiting anxiously for your Bad Guy/Coffee House recaps. :D

    Read this to past some time – aww so sad about the plot and script cause I really like So Ji Sub. :)

     (0)


  20. 20 lovlyndar

    war drama?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!
    i don’t know what i will watch it
    just curious cZ one of my fav actor in this drama “So Ji Sub oppa”…. ^^
    i agreed w/ # 12 cathy : i can not see too any chemistry between SJS and KHN.
    hohohohohoh…. why is SJS choose war drama…
    hehehehehehehe

     (0)


  21. 21 jeankaycee

    way to go girlfriday!!!! i must agree with you with this one!!!!

    girlfriday: 2 /show: 0
    LOL!!!!

     (0)


  22. 22 Htagged

    Ha I loved reading this…..was reading it in my office when I couldn’t control it and burst out laughing…lucky it was lunchtime.

    Thanks girlfriday and javabeans!

     (0)


  23. 23 Suzy

    Thanks for the recap!!! i have to agree with you on some points you have brought up….both of them falling in love with KHN because she resembles their mother is a big EKKKKKKKKKKK, -_-….but i do love how both of them are so devoted to her..hahaha im a love-sick fan of such drama…though i know the ending is not going to be what i want…but i hope the drama brings out more of the korean war instead of the love triangle man….i like how KHN is with the northern side, i mean it actually spices up the story line…hahah, btw KHN bro in the show is kinda cute as well…one thing im upset though…Choi Min-soo died!!!!! NOOOOOOOOOO, he actuallys looks real macho and good in this drama..kinda reminds me of george clooney…ahahah, anyway thanks for recapping!! hope the next few episodes wont bore you out :)

     (0)


  24. 24 supah

    Oh hell no!? OK, I get it now. The show really is THAT bad. Poor, poor Jisub. Girlfriday, your midway-point review has saved me.
    I remember people not being too happy with SJS’s last show Cain and Abel, but me? J’adored it with a passion. It was my guilty pleasure! I could see where its flaws lay and there was quite a bit (a lot) of political incorrectness about China but overall I really enjoyed the show. In particular the Han Ji-min/So Ji-sub OTP. So I was like So Ji-sub AND Choi Min-soo sharing screen space = ‘lalalala…not listening to anyooone…I’m gunna watch it (at some point) and cherish it 4evaaah!’.
    But then Kim Ha-neul gave me pause. And now knowing Choi Min-soo exits so early on has put me off further (in fact, smart move, mate!). Some shows are beyond salvageable. Oh well, I’m still going to skim through this and sought out only the scenes between CMS and SJS in between episodes 1-9 and then try out Comrades. I’ve heard Comrades is the only other quality contender for Giant that’s (truly) worthy of drama-of-the-year accolades, so I must watch it.

    Tut tut. What a waste of Choi Min-soo.

     (0)


  25. 25 kaedejun

    HAHAHAHAH! oh girlfriday that was hilarious. i think this will be a knockout fight, as Show will never win any points.

     (0)


  26. 26 leodicean

    I haven’t watched this show. Nor was I planning to. Ever. I came across your recap while looking for fresh Coffee House/Bad Guy/Random posts that look interesting.Now I’m wondering whether I should go watch Episode 10 just so I can laugh my ass off again..Thanks for the laughs..

     (0)


  27. 27 TL

    I have to agree with every word in this report. Sigh.. IMHO Jisub has had three not-so-successful projects in a row, counting this one. They’re not all that bad but none helped Jisub improve his acting or allowed him to show the better actor in himself. Fans say Jisub looks cool or hot or whatever in his recent works, well I don’t see much charisma in these roles. I’d like to see something more genuine rather than pretentious in his performance. Lets hope Jisub’s next project saves him – by helping him grow, not retrograde.

     (0)


  28. 28 Sora

    There’s a repetition with Kim Ha neul where she never ends up with the main character in a lot of her kdramas. I don’t know, but it just seems odd and repetitive.

     (0)


  29. 29 hjkomo

    Thanks, girlfriday, for the hilarious recap! :P
    You saved yourself 8 hours of the drama (a.k.a. The Biweekly Comedy Hour). :)
    Sure, too bad Choi Min Soo’s gone, but, at least, he’s taking his mumbling with him. ;)

    Even Kim Jin Min’s battle footage couldn’t save Lee Jang Soo’s hot blubbering mess. O_o
    Folks, if you want to watch a real [war] drama, watch Comrades. :D

     (0)


  30. 30 zero2303

    Such a pity for a mega budget drama to become a big flop.

     (0)


  31. 31 pohonphee

    LOL for your review Girlfriday…ha, ha, ha..
    I have no interest on watching this drama, but I look forward to read another review of it from you, perhaps review of the last episode (the end of the road or road no.16??) would be good for the warp ^__^

     (0)


  32. 32 Just Stopping In

    FYI: So Ji Sub has already said in one interview that he personally enjoyed playing out the relationship between his character and the other male lead MORE than the relationship between his character and the woman. So I think that is very telling. It seems that the drama may deliberately have made the male-male relationship stronger than the male-female relationship (no, I don’t mean in a gay way either) in order to emphasize the war-time feeling of brotherhood. I think they wanted to make this drama pleasing to the males (who will enjoy the male-male brotherhood angle) and the females (who will enjoy the weepy romance angle) both at the same time, but keep everyone reminded that this is NOT a romance drama at its core. It’s a Korean war drama to honor the nation and the men and women who died defending it. Smart move, Show!

     (0)


  33. 33 serendipity

    Great review, GF!

    It’s a brilliant idea to leap to Ep10. I read this after I finished my own recap/review of Ep1 for Thundie’s Prattle. (A post of shameless pimping here…)

    http://thundie.wordpress.com/2010/07/28/road-number-one-recap-episode%C2%A01/

    I think sampling ep10 is a fair way to check in on the series, and it looks like nothing much has changed, sigh.

    Love your screen-caps! It’s a very screen-cappable drama, isn’t it. So well-shot, so beautiful, so *obvious*.

    Having laboured over Ep1 (the only episode I’ve watched), I feel a strange affinity to this show. (Stockholm Syndrome? Morbid fascination?) It tries so hard, so very hard. It’s so well-meaning and earnest. And at the same time, it’s so mock-able, I felt at times that I was shooting fish in a barrel. Poor show!

    Perhaps I should watch Ep2. That may cure me!

     (0)


  34. 34 cathy

    Thanks again Dramabeans , interesting review , after reading your review i went back to watch Road number one again , i totally agree with you this drama has two big flaws , stupid love triangle and insisting in turning two heroes to whining , weeping , mommy boys with narrow single minded , especially SJS character , ungrateful soldier , not believing in comradeship .

    I wonder when they find the girl then their soldier job is over , they will quit
    their job or if the girl ask them to joint communist and they blindly will joint them
    and kill their old comrades ?

    KHN is acting weak in this drama , not sincere at all , her voice is so annoying as she is crying and
    begging SJS not going to the army at the bridge . For first four episodes and flashback scenes of their love story are also annoying ,ruining this drama .

    But the war story is not bad , acting and directing are excellent , two guy will change their mentality , their view regarding of war . SjS character as gifted soldier was appointed as leader in episode 8 . I still find this drama interesting touching as Comrades of war , private Brian , brotherhood of war , Immortal Admiral Yi .

     (0)


  35. 35 A

    Er… safe to say noone who reads the JB website is watching this drama? Woo. Pls post a review of the last episode later!

     (0)


  36. 36 tran trung

    con me chung may noi cai gi the ma tao khong hieu

     (0)


  37. 37 Historian Cephas

    I for one have really enjoyed the drama. It captures the spirit and heart of Korean emotions and the Korean cultural world view in the context of this war. The singular devotion may look creepy to some but it is part of my people’s culture.

    The personalities and different characters capture the different regions of Korea. In the 2nd platoon you have characters from rival provinces, from North Korea itself, and points in between all bonding into a brotherhood through the crucibles of war.

    The Korean War is a searing memory to many Koreans today. My father and grandparents are refugee survivors. This drama captures the emotion and culture of the Korean people. I’m sorry you poke fun. I been deeply moved by this series. It brought me to tears. If anything this series is comparable to Band of Brothers or Saving Private Ryan. This is a worthy tribute to all that fought in the Korean War. A war still a reality today.

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  38. 38 taat on fai

    I entirely agree with Historian Cephas, No. 37.
    The background music, adapted from plaisir d’amour, is really beautiful.

     (0)


  39. 39 dv8

    I also agree with HP. This series has it’s ups and downs, but overall it’s a drama to be seen. There are moments where they blatantly rip off scenes from other war movies (like the guy who looks like the Korean Jack Black whimpering in a corner while his friend is underneath a North Korean soldier with a knife to his head) but hey, I bet things like that happened in the Korean War, and not only in WWII.

    I continue to watch this drama not for the great acting or the riveting plot, but for what it motivates me to do: learn more about the Korean War. I’ve checked the wiki article on the Korean War (now the image that I see in my mind when I think about the 6-2-5 War is the picture of the young lady with her younger brother on her back standing in front of a tank) and also bought a book about it and found my lust for learning satiated by reading about the situations surrounding the Forgotten War. My parents grew up during that time and I now better understand why my parents think the way they do. I’ve even talked to my Kun Imo and asked her to tell me some stories about the hardships she and her sisters endured during that tragic time.

    Based on the plot, I give this drama a 3.5/5, but due to the catalytic nature of this drama and it’s ability to motivate me to learn, I give it a 5/5.

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  40. 40 anainena

    War story? Since I’m coming from country which was in war recently what to tell you but that all this feelings are true.

    One of the best drama.

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  41. 41 somerandomguy

    Amazed how many bad reviews this drama got once I bothered to finish it. Watched it when it aired up to like episode 4 but the whole romance thing being the main part of the story wasnt working for me (i am a guy afterall….). After watching it all the way through though, I think this drama was actually quite well done though, especially after reading up on the Korean War and the premise behind it from the director’s point of view. I liked that this drama showed the more vulnerable side of soldiers and also that soldiers WERE ordinary people. American war movies (and I am American here so no bias) tend to portray their soldiers as way too steel and hero like. PTSD is a real thing that many people forget about. Also, you can see the transition of LJW from a soldier who was all about finding his girl into an actual commander caring about his men even while still having that same flaw at the beginning (which, I have to admit, is unrealistic at times).

    Even then I can defnitely see why the ratings were low though, because the ratio of men to women in terms of drama watchers is probably 70:30 or posssibly even more skewed and this was DEFINITELY a male drama if there is such a thing. The concept of a band of brothers/friendship/brotherhood is, just maybe (hint: sarcasm), a little more appealing to men than women who probably wanted a better romance storyline. Not saying this thing deserves a 5 star rating, just that it isnt as bad as all the fangirls seem to make it out to be.

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