Drama Reactions & Reviews
Ojakkyo Brothers: Series Wrap-up
by | February 19, 2012 | 71 Comments

Here we are at the end of the road for the heartwarming weekend family series Ojakkyo Brothers, which concluded its 58-episode run today on KBS, recording series-high ratings at 36.3% for the finale. It was by no means a perfect series, and had stretches of episodes that could have been condensed or done away with altogether (there was an 8-episode extension due to the series’ popularity, which wasn’t bad enough to derail the thing, but did give us some sigh-inducing storylines).

But overall it was a lovely, worthwhile series, even at its length. And coming from me, that’s saying a lot—I rarely meet a 50-episode drama that I don’t think would be better in 20. But in the end I’m glad I went on this journey with these lovable characters, in a show that took its time to explore their mistakes and really earn their growth. This review covers Episodes 37-58, including today’s finale, so be warned you’ll find out how things end if you read on.

 
SERIES WRAP-UP

So when we last left off with First Son Tae-shik, he had finally come around to accepting his son Kook-soo and becoming a real dad. His final arc is in finding his confidence again after quitting his job, and of course coming to the realization that he’s in love with childhood best friend Mi-sook. Well, it certainly took you long enough.

Their courtship is as childish as their characters, full of mishaps, missed kisses, and jealous misunderstandings, but in the end they form a nice little family-to-be with their kids.

I love their piggyback kiss, where they’re both carrying home their kids and Tae-shik finally screws up the nerve to kiss her for the first time. It’s so mundane and sweet, and what this show does so well. He finally proposes and they start planning their spring wedding.

As he matures (thanks in large part to Mi-sook’s no-nonsense ways), Tae-shik finally gets his first praise from Dad, who tells him that he’s a good father to Kook-soo, and Tae-shik is near tears at the first kind words he’s ever heard from Dad. My heart actually swelled up with pride, and he’s not even my dad.

Kook-soo in turn becomes a part of the family, and even Grandma warms to him when she discovers that he holds her hand just like Tae-hee’s father used to when he was little. I also love his relationship with Maknae Uncle Tae-pil, who helps him accept Mi-sook as his stepmom-to-be, while Kook-soo gives him confidence by saying that he wants to grow up to be just like his uncle.

Mi-sook gets accepted by the family in a heartbeat, though she has a funny rivalry with Soo-young, who refuses to acknowledge her as “hyungnim” until she’s officially married into the family. But they’re a great example of two polar opposites marrying into one family, and when each finally acknowledges that they’re jealous of the other, they have a nice bonding moment, and Soo-young calls her “hyungnim” for the first time.

Maknae Tae-pil ends up falling for his boss Yeo-wool, who also happens to be his sister-in-law’s aunt. He kisses her in front of all her friends and plans this big dramatic proposal (of his feelings, not marriage) but she runs out before he gets to the over-the-top fireworks post-piano-serenade and turns him down cold.

So they promise to go back to a professional relationship, but can’t deny their feelings. It’s a nice slow progression, with cute little moments, like doing a speed quiz at a mall with the winning clue: “The thing I want to say to you right now!” / “I love you.”

Things come to a head when Yeo-wool gets set up on a blind date, and Tae-pil crashes it. They confirm their feelings for each other, but that’s just the first hurdle, because their families find out, and no one is ready to cheer them on.

They go to ask Soo-young’s parents for permission, which would normally be impossible, except Mom thinks she’s dying that week and gives her okay to love and live… only to find out she’s perfectly healthy and regret it the next day. HA.

He brings Yeo-wool to Ojakkyo to get his family’s approval, only to have Mom beat each of her four sons in turn—Tae-pil for his stupidity, and each of his hyungs in ascending order, for letting it happen. Hahaha. You can’t win.

The in-laws agree not to permit their relationship, and Dad tells Tae-pil that above all, he doesn’t think that Tae-pil is ready for marriage. That’s the one thing that hits home with him, which I appreciate. Because Tae-pil’s conflict has more to do with him needing to mature, not about some big dramatic family opposition.

Sure, it’s an awkward in-law overlap, but that never struck me as that big a problem, as much as the fact that it’s a noona-romance with two people in very different stages of their lives. It doesn’t mean it can’t happen, but they face bigger problems than what-does-my-nephew-call-you.

In the end he realizes that he isn’t ready for marriage, and plans to work hard from the ground up and make something of his life, which is the first really big moment of maturity for the youngest. He asks Yeo-wool to wait two years, but she knows better and asks for a clean break.

They’re both heartbroken, but they leave it open-ended, and this is one relationship that I appreciated wasn’t neatly tied up in a bow. He’s still young and has a lot of growing up to do, and I think it’s enough for them to remain hopeful at a reunion but part ways.

He breaks down in tears as he tells his brothers, and his hyungs get him sloshing drunk as he swears to make something of himself, and never have to let go of the woman he loves again.

Second Son Tae-bum infuriatingly continues to let his marriage fall apart because of the black hole lifesuck that is his ex Hye-ryung, and it gets worse when Soo-young’s parents find out and insists they divorce.

Soo-young continues to shut Tae-bum out to protect herself, but when he quits the new show and tries to turn things around, she thanks him sincerely and asks one thing: “Do you love me?” But he can’t answer. It’s the worst kind of silence.

Her mom finally flips and sends him packing, and that’s when Soo-young confesses to both families that it was a contract marriage in the first place, which REALLY puts Tae-bum in the doghouse. But it’s not like he doesn’t deserve it.

It’s when he stands to lose Soo-young and the baby that he finally gets the wake-up call he needs – he realizes how little he’s cared about the baby, how alone she must’ve felt.
He shows interest in the baby for the first time, and buys a pair of baby shoes and gives their unborn baby a nickname. But at the same time, Soo-young is making the decision to leave him – so he comes home ready for a fresh start, when she announces that they should divorce.

There’s a hilarious brother drinking scene when Tae-bum tells them about the breakup, and Tae-pil, fresh off his rejection from Yeo-wool, lays into his hyung for everything he did wrong. It’s awesomely refreshing because he says exactly what we’ve been feeling all this time, but it’s so frank and overboard that they wonder what got into him.

I like the turn that happens in this relationship, because now Soo-young has cut herself off just when Tae-bum starts to fall in love with her. She keeps trying to push him away but his feelings just grow, and he finally confesses to her that he didn’t know that what they had was love.

“But now I can answer a hundred, a thousand times. I love you. I love you, Cha Soo-young.” Tears in her eyes, she says it’s too late and walks away. But he calls out to her that it’s not too late, and they’re not over—he’ll prove it.

He meets with Hye-ryung one last time to say goodbye, not so much to her, but to that ten-year relationship and his lovelorn self. He says that he thought he’d never get the chance to move on, thinking he’d just hate her forever, but now he can end that part of his life. He thanks her for sharing his twenties with him, but now, his thirties, and everything afterward, he wants to share with Soo-young. Thank the friggin’ STARS.

Soo-young tries to keep him at a distance, but when she has a scare with the baby, she calls and he comes running. At the hospital, he speaks directly to the baby for the first time, and says I love you.

He drops her off at home and tries to respect her wishes for distance, but this time she blurts out that he’s not trying very hard for someone who swore he’d prove his love. He asks if it’s okay to hold onto her and beg, and she tells him not to go. They kiss as the snow falls, finally in love with each other at the same time and place.

Once married life starts going well for them, it’s Soo-young’s mother’s incessant presence that starts to cause problems. Mom takes overbearing to new heights (and is probably every newlywed’s nightmare), but in the end, they reach a happy medium, though it takes a lot of embarrassment to get there.

In a nice little moment, when Soo-young has a hard time leaving her job to have the baby, Tae-bum sneaks her into a talk show stage at the studio to remind her that her dream is to host a show like this someday, and he gets her to play-interview, as a sign that he won’t let her give up on her dreams.

They have the baby, surrounded by family, with Soo-young doling out her labor pains to Tae-bum, since fair is fair.

Third Son Tae-hee finally begins his relationship with Ja-eun, having confessed his feelings and gotten confirmation of hers. Things start out adorably, with Tae-pil secretly blackmailing his hyung to keep their secret, holding his credit card hostage. Never give your little brother your credit card, no matter how big the secret.

He continues his crazy childish jealous streak with Kim Jae-ha, which start to go overboard for me, because at some point you wonder what the point is, since you already got the girl. I guess it’s something for the otherwise useless character to do?

Jae-ha does have a secondary goal with Tae-hee, though he doesn’t do a good job of being trustworthy—he needs to deliver something that his mother left for him, but Tae-hee refuses to accept it. With Ja-eun’s help he finally comes around and Jae-ha gives him a mountain of shoes—a pair she bought every year for his birthday but never sent, in a futile attempt to fulfill a promise she had made to him as a six-year old.

It’s around that time that Tae-hee starts to be curious about his father’s death, and begins to look into the car accident that killed him 26 years ago.

Ja-eun comes home late one night after a date with Tae-hee, and Mom is up late waiting for her. She rips her a new one for making her worry, bringing Ja-eun to tears. But upstairs in her room Ja-eun smiles to herself in this way that just warms your heart—you can see that it makes her happy to know that Mom cares enough about her to be mad.

Meanwhile Grandma gets antsier and antsier by the day for Tae-hee to find a girlfriend, and he keeps deflecting (but not outright refusing, which makes Ja-eun secretly miffed). Ja-eun asks if they shouldn’t just come clean with the family, but he says no, because Granny will insist they get married.

She gets immediately huffy, but he doesn’t pick up on it, and she whirls around, “Then are you not going to marry me? Are you not going to marry me?!” …Awkward silence… Tae-hee: “Of course I am.”

The directness of his answer startles her, even though she’s the one who asked the question. Ha. He clarifies it’s because Granny will tell them to get married right away, and he’s considering Ja-eun’s age, for her sake. And then he adds, “Did you just propose?” Hee.

He asks if she wants to get married young, and it’s no surprise that Ja-eun, who grew up so lonely, says that her biggest wish was always to live with a big bustling family. He casually asks if she wants to get married earlier then, like within the year… She says okay, like she’s saying yes to ordering dessert or something, and they just giggle at each other. It’s so adorably low-key.

So Tae-hee announces to the family that he’s got a girlfriend… just as Dad does some digging and finds out that the prime suspect in Tae-hee’s father’s accident was Ja-eun’s father, Baek In-ho. OH NOES. He starts to unwittingly lash out at Ja-eun while guarding this secret, and meanwhile we start to get hints that Baek In-ho might still be alive.

I love that before she finds out about their relationship, Mom asks Ja-eun if she wants to be her daughter. Ja-eun quickly says no, because since she wants to marry Tae-hee of course, but since Mom doesn’t know that, she feels slighted.

Tae-hee finally introduces her to the family as his girlfriend, and after they recover from the shock, Mom and Grandma rejoice, but Dad blows a gasket. He finally tells Mom what he knows about Ja-eun’s dad In-ho.

Mom begs Dad to bury it because she can’t bear to hurt the kids with the truth. And now it starts to make sense why Dad was given the farm suddenly by In-ho’s father all those years ago. They plan to sell it and move out.

Dad delivers a heartbreaking blow to Ja-eun, beginning a long span in the series where I really start to resent Dad – to keep the couple apart, he tells Ja-eun that she’s not good enough for Tae-hee, and that he doesn’t want his son marrying an orphan. At least Mom berates him for those hateful words, not wanting to believe that he broke Ja-eun’s heart like that. I get why he does it, but I don’t hate him any less.

Ja-eun goes straight from that conversation to see Tae-hee, requesting a children’s song and dance from across the street, saying that she had a crappy day. I love that he complies, no questions asked. She watches with tears streaming down her face, and runs across the street and bear-hugs him.

Ja-eun doesn’t give up, and begs Dad to reconsider, and Mom continues to beg for the same, saying that she’s only Ja-eun’s mother right now, and not his wife, or even Tae-hee’s mom. I love her. He finally caves and agrees to bury it for their sake as long as there’s no marriage.

Mom asks Tae-hee what he likes about Ja-eun, and he confesses that he’s always had a hole in his heart—a small one where rain would seep through and wind would blow—and he tried not to let it, but it always made him feel lonely. “But ever since I met Ja-eun, it feels like that hole is filled.”

Mom and Dad think they’ve buried the secret long enough to let the kids date without plans for marriage, but Granny pushes a spring wedding, and Tae-hee and Ja-eun agree. Mom tries to intervene, and at the same time, Tae-hee gets makes some headway on his father’s case… and finds out that Ja-eun’s father killed his.

He begs Dad to let them stay together, but Dad forbids it. Tae-hee gets on his knees, crying, and asks him to forgive Ja-eun just once. Tae-hee argues that he doesn’t even know his biological father, but he can’t live without Ja-eun. But Dad says no, over his dead body, and threatens to tell Ja-eun if Tae-hee doesn’t agree to end things with her. He finally succumbs to Dad’s wishes, not wanting to hurt her with the truth.

But the problems just keep piling on, because Baek In-ho returns, alive and well. Damnit. You couldn’t have stayed dead? Apparently the result of the accident 26 years ago is news to him—all he knew was that he drove drunk and hit someone, but he was told the man lived.

He finds out what he’s done, and goes to Ojakkyo to beg forgiveness, which is when Ja-eun finds out the whole story. And then to add even MORE trauma, Grandma collapses, and Ja-eun can only stand outside the hospital the whole night, not able to go inside, but unwilling to move a muscle until she knows Granny’s okay.

Once the truth is out, they can’t go back, and thus begins the your-father-killed-my-father-so-I-can’t-be-with-you span of the series that goes on seemingly forever. Mostly because you know it’s stupid. And here I was thinking that Kim Jae-ha was the worst thing about this show, just ’cause he was pointless.

So Ja-eun and Tae-hee make a date, knowing it’ll be their last. While the reason for their breakup is infuriating, it was really touching and sad to see how they handled the family opposition. This is a case where you don’t want them to denounce their families and run away—it’s more heartbreaking that they attempt to do the right thing, though the whole time we’re screaming at Granny because if she just forgave them, it would change things.

For their last date, he comes with tie in hand and she ties his tie one last time. He’s never answered her question—when he first knew that he liked her – but he answers it now: “It was when you tied my tie… it was then that the whole in my heart began to be filled.”

She says she first knew when he came charging into her tent with his shoes tied around his neck, and then sighs regretfully that she liked him first after all. Aw. She runs up and gives him a kiss, saying that she’s going to live showing her feelings from now on.

She breaks up with him over dinner, and what kills me is that they know it’s sad and we know it’s sad, but they’re trying so hard to smile and give that stiff upper lip, that crumples your heart. It’s only after she leaves that he lets himself break down in tears.

He runs out after her in a heart-wrenching goodbye, and tells her that he’ll learn to tie a tie so that no one else can tie it for him. Tae-hee: “The reason I’m letting you go is… letting you go is the only way I can keep loving you.” He kisses her, and again, as they cry and hold each other one last time.

They both end up in a tailspin—Ja-eun goes on a self-destructive streak, and Tae-hee drinks himself into a stupor night after night. He finally comes home to Grandma and begs her in the most sorrowful tears to please forgive Ja-eun and let them be together.

He tells her on his knees that he can’t stand it, can’t breathe, that every second is hell. Oof, it just kills. It’s the scene that rips your heart out, even more than the breakup itself. Usually the aftermath of this sort of thing is typical angsty stuff, but Tae-hee’s breakdown here is great stuff. Yunno, in that stomp-your-heart-into-pulpy-goo way.

Mom goes to make sure that Ja-eun is okay, and I love the pep talk that she gives her. It’s so no-nonsense: “Are you the only person in the world who ever had her heart broken?” She tells her to stop crying and to eat and sleep and live her life.

I love that Mom never takes Tae-hee’s side, but always takes Ja-eun’s side. It’s so cute. She tells Ja-eun to screw all that can’t-live-without-you stuff and go be successful and happy, like a real mom would tell her, with no bias to her own son.

It FINALLY dawns on Tae-hee to turn his attention towards solving the case, and discovers that maybe Baek In-ho didn’t drive the car that night. Oh, YOU THINK?

While he focuses on clearing Baek In-ho’s name, Grandma sees Ja-eun leaving flowers at his father’s grave, and it starts to move her heart. More than anything, she sees Tae-hee so broken-hearted day after day, living like a zombie.

Mom asks permission to go see Ja-eun for a few days, and Grandma not only says yes, but tells her to bring Ja-eun back with her when she comes home. She tells Dad that this is what’s right—that they oughtn’t pass on their pain to the kids. Well thank goodness. I was seriously a few episodes away from disowning you two.

I think it’s important that Granny comes around before any innocence is proven, because that’s what I wanted for them—an acknowledgement that the sins of the father don’t just get passed on. ‘Cause that’s lame.

But of course Tae-hee proves that her father didn’t kill his, and goes running to her. It’s a tearful and happy family reunion for all, and we can thankfully get back to business.

They originally plan on a late spring wedding, but Tae-shik gets so excited about Mi-sook in her wedding dress that he twirls her around and breaks her arm, which means they have to postpone theirs. That prompts Granny to say hey, why don’t Tae-hee and Ja-eun just get married in March? Haha, nothing like an antsy Granny to push your plot along.

Ja-eun finds herself at a crossroads as the wedding approaches – she gets offered an internship in the states for a year. Oh THAT ol’ nugget. Wouldn’t be a dramatic wedding otherwise, eh?

Mom’s in a funk about what her life amounts to, and when she hears about Ja-eun’s internship, she urges her to go and pursue her dreams, and not get tied down by marriage like she did. But Ja-eun says she respects Mom more than anyone, and wants to grow up to be like her.

Ja-eun chooses to marry Tae-hee right away instead, deciding that she can’t be apart from him, so the wedding goes on as planned. I love that they’re delightfully as awkward as ever at the wedding, true to character.

They get all the timing wrong on their bows (each peeking up and re-bowing because they think they’ve risen too fast, hee), sending everyone into fits of laughter. Their vows are so sweet—he promises to be her shade and she promises to be his tree. I love that.

Their speaker ends up not being able to make it, so Ja-eun comes up with a last-minute plan to call Mom up to the podium to give them her blessing/words of advice, only Mom goes up and says: “Honestly, I’m against this wedding.” HAHAHA.

What a great place to cut out of Episode 57, just when you think it’s a straight shot to happiness. When we resume in the finale, to everyone’s horror, Mom says that the saying that a wedding is a bride’s grave is true. She cracks me up.

She confesses that she wanted Ja-eun to take the internship, but then shares the story of Ja-eun asking her if she regrets her life. Mom says she thought about it—the hardships, making three meals a day every day for the last forty years of her life—and feels like she can answer now…

No. She doesn’t regret it, because seeing her table filled with her family is what makes her the happiest in the world. She says that marriage may be a bride’s grave, but it’s a happy one. HA. That’s the most inappropriate wedding speech I’ve ever heard, which is why Mom is awesome.

So the wedding successfully completed, hitches and all, they head off to their honeymoon. He tries to set the mood and she nervously deflects by saying that it’s time for 1 Night 2 Days. You’ll remember that Ja-eun is a huge fan, prompting her initial farm camp-out, but it’s even funnier meta now, since Joo Won is joining the second season.

He keeps asking her if she wants to go to bed and she uses the show as an excuse not to, which I find hilarious: his future variety hyungs are cockblocking his drama romance. I’ve never seen someone more disappointed to be watching that show. But eventually, romance wins out.

Kim Jae-ha leaves for New York, and asks Tae-hee to call him “hyung” just once. Tae-hee refuses, but sends him one of his trademark one-syllable texts before he boards the plane: “Hyung.” Aw. Too bad he was a wasted character. I wish this would’ve been his angle from the get-go.

The four brothers unite to buy the farm from Ja-eun’s family, using an inheritance that Tae-hee’s birth mother left behind. It’s just the house and a small plot of land on the farm, but the brothers promise to someday buy them the rest. Aw. Mom finally gets to have her dreams come true.

Tae-hee sees Ja-eun still slaving away over her passion and asks Granny for permission to go study abroad together. Yay, I knew he’d come through. I was on Mom’s side at the wedding, wondering what the big hurry was to get married, but this makes up for it. Now they can go together.

Granny and Mom have a nice moment out in their new field, now only a patch of dirt. They reminisce over how fast the boys grew up, and Grandma pats Mom on the back, saying that she’s worked hard.

It’s such a nice cap to the series, because though it’s a world populated by boys, the heart is in the found relationships between mothers and daughters—Granny to Mom, Mom to Ja-eun. Grandma telling her “job well done” is so quiet and small, but it means so much to her.

We end with Mom waking up to the smell of spring, ready to get to work on her farm.

 
COMMENTS

There were certainly stretches of time in the last third of the show where I sighed and wished they didn’t rely on such obvious machinations to keep Tae-hee and Ja-eun apart. I understand the desire to give them big drama, because the resulting emotional beats were beautifully played. It’s just that the logic behind WHY was hard not to resent.

It didn’t help that it was so obvious that Baek In-ho wasn’t guilty. It actually made me doubt how effective Tae-hee was at his job, because for crying out loud, it took you that long to figure it out? That whole run of the show (in this particular story thread) was clearly motivated by plot trappings rather than character logic, which is where this drama teetered a bit in the final act.

I just hunkered down and got through it, because though the outcome was plainly written on the wall, I cared enough about the characters to get past this cycle and back into family hijinks territory. It’s probably a testament to how endearing they were as characters that I didn’t lose any love for them, though I did honestly feel less invested when they were apart.

But the reason I loved their story was the little moments they shared, rather than the big dramatic stories, which is why I thought that tragic-father turn was unnecessary. It was in watching their millionth kiss or Tae-hee singing to her, or Ja-eun getting caught play-kissing their ducks that the show had its charm. At least when I look over the show as a whole, there’s a lot more of the good and funny that outweighs the bad.

The resolution felt assured and made me happy that I invested the time in a longer-running show, but what I’m happiest about is that the show began and ended with Mom. Her love for Ja-eun always got me in the heart, but when Ja-eun returns it with a sense of respect for how much Mom has accomplished in her life, she finds meaning in what she felt was a wasted life.

I love that in acknowledging women like Mom and Mi-sook alongside Ja-eun and Soo-young, it says something really simple yet profound, about how much a mother and a homemaker should be given as much respect as a careerwoman. I like that it’s a celebration of both, and that it takes someone like Ja-eun who grew up without that love, to see that worth in Mom. As much as Ja-eun filled that hole in Tae-hee’s heart, Mom is the one to fill the hole in hers.

Overall the show had the one thing that mattered: lots and lots of heart. Every time the brothers gathered to pick each other up, or took hits for the other, or even yelled at each other to do the right thing, it grounded all the bigger drama in loyalty and love. At the end of the day, it was a drama that found the funny in realistic, everyday conflicts, and made me appreciate simple things like family in a big, big way. And for that, it will always have my heart.

 
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71 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. kbap

    Thank you! It’s one of my favorite family dramas now, though I can’t say if I like it more than Sons of Sol Pharmacy. That one was so cute too. Buuuh…(what was I going to say)
    Oh right. Definitely better than Three Brothers though. I laughed out loud when things were serious, honestly. But it wasn’t that bad. Uh. Yeah.

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  2. yellow2006m

    Thanks for re-capping this drama i’m currently watching it i’m on episode 30 and i’ve loved every minute of it. Now that I know there’s a happy ending i cant wait to finish it. :)

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  3. Rita (Tarits)

    This is such a wonderful drama I recommended it to my friends. The PD did an excellent job and I love its ending. Really very nice.

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  4. nuri

    Agree with Girlfriday! This show is all heart!!

    I’m already missing this show dearly now its finished. no more Tae-hee singing songs, no bickering couple Tae-bum and Soo-young and cutie pie dimple Joo-Won.

    The four brothers relationship is always lovely and also Mom and Ja-eun storyline always gets me right to the heart.

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  5. MiMi

    I absolutely love this drama and the ending was so nice. I told ALL my drama watching friends to start Ojakkyo Brothers if they haven’t yet. Even though this is a longish drama, I loved every minute of it!

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  6. Anneliese

    Will miss this awesome show. I’m so glad that I tuned in to watch this despite my initial hesitation due to the length of the series. Best decision ever!

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  7. KimLuvv

    I was tearing up while reading this recap!! Because all the sweet memories that you talked about just made my heart wrench like crazy! I will NEVER forget this show because it is truly a show to be remembered. It described so many different characters changing over time, and finding out what actual reality is and how to learn to adapt to something new.

    Out of all the long shows I have watched, I was never able to like a show till the end, it would usually end at the 20th or 30th episode and that’s when I would start skipping scenes to get to something I would like- like skipping channels for something good- but this show never made me feel that way. I went through 58 episodes and even am craving for MORE and MORE!!

    And this also why I like long shows because you can go back and re-watch the episodes you like- the ones that have the cute couple acting all adorable- and there will be several episodes not just one of 2 in most regular 16 episode dramas.

    I really can’t believe how much I love the characters in the show. I went from hating the mom, to hating her, to loving her, then hating her and then loving her. Same goes for many of the characters. The characters and actors were truly AMAZING and I cannot describe as to how much ALL of them made my heart wrench, made me laugh till i couldn’t breathe, awwwwwwwwwwww as if I just saw a cute cat yawning and wake up, cry till there was no water left in my body, and scream like crazy while ripping out my hair…… but in the end, I saw how I really felt connected with these characters and how much I really loved them.
    And that’s what a perfect drama should do :D <3

    Overall this drama is one to be remembered and will be.

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    • 7.1 red

      I teared up too, this is the longest family drama i have watched, and loved to bits.

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  8. Arhazivory

    *covers eyes* :( I’m only up to 53 and I don’t want to spoil.

    Up to where I am, I’m still loving this drama. The individual storylines of each brother is a drama in and of itself and the whole series is so heartwarming and realistic. Even when it got melo, to me it didn’t seem overly so (well, the Baek In Ho twist was a bit of a stretch and made me sigh but they still worked it well enough).

    Before this, my favourite long running family drama was Smile, You but I must say that this one is giving it a run for its money. I’ll wait till I’ve watched till the end. :D

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  9. ck1Oz

    Thank you for the recap. I loved this series and had to pause at the wedding photos.

    How perfect are they? Please please date.

    OB has been my longest drama and thanks to softy about the only one I was insane enough to follow without subs. What a journey and had absolutely no regrets.

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  10. 10 estel

    I started marathoning this drama over Christmas break thanks to your first review, girlfriday, and I have to say I’m so glad I did! I loved almost everyone in this show so much (except for Granny and Dad, who were the most annoying characters, and sometimes Soo-young’s mom), and even if the plot-logic was a little shaky, there’s no denying that the characters got you in the heart. I never watch long dramas, and definitely not long family dramas, but this was an experience I wouldn’t trade for three trendy dramas! ^_^

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  11. 11 djes

    This drama called Ojakgyo Brothers, but the main lead is Ojakgyo Mother.
    I was so happy that mom wins KBS drama award last year. She’s so deserved it.

    In this drama, you can even see the growth of the casts, I was iffy with Uee’s acting on earlier eps, but later on, she did a great job. And ugh, of course the growth of my love towards Joo Won. They have great chemistry together!

    I know the extension would drag the story, but thank goodness, the writers didn’t go makjang on this.

    The ending was so sweet. I will miss watching this family’s bickering.

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    • 11.1 KDrama Fan

      Totally agree with you djes.

       (0)


  12. 12 dancingpanda

    Love this series! Still have about 10 episodes left to go, but it really is heartwarming. Thanks so much for the recap Girlfriday! :)

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  13. 13 Jenn C

    Awwwwwyes:) this drama was really heart warming!

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  14. 14 stars4u

    One of the best or if not the best family series I’ve watched…

    Now I’m gonna miss Tae-hee… but Joo-won would still be around on sundays…

    When they were playing in the snow during their supposed to be last date with Ja-eun I heard a guy laugh but I knew it wasn’t Tae-hee but it was Joo-won laughing.

    I saw the cast in the latest episode of Happy Together and they seem pretty close with each other… and they did mention it… I hope Uee and Joo-won would date for real…

    I just happened to notice, Uee’s real name is Kim Yoo-jin while Eugene, who was Joo-won’s partner in his last drama Kim Tak-goo, also bears the same name…

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  15. 15 Lady Seoul

    I hope UEE & her man get together again & have a drama of their own. They really look well together!

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  16. 16 sally_b

    GF …re: “…because of the black hole lifesuck that is his ex…”

    omg. That’s the best line —- EVER !

    (may I steal it?) ….so awesome.

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  17. 17 YL

    The length of this show seriously put me off at first, but after all the rave reviews and your initial impressions post, I gave it a try. I definitely don’t regret it.

    I completely agree – Tae Hee and Ja Eun are so cute together but what really holds this massive drama together is its heart. It’s the smaller, quieter moments that make the show, not the dramatic plot machinations. It will be the camaraderie between brothers and warmth of the relationships that I take away from this.

    Thank you for your write ups GF!

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  18. 18 Startulle

    Unforgettable drama and to me Mom is my hero!

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  19. 19 Lucy

    this is my first long drama that i watched, but with 58 episode long, its doesnt make me bored at all..
    the storyline and their character was so great, that why makes this drama interesting and worth to watch..
    surely, I will miss this drama and taeja couple of course..

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  20. 20 Cass

    Joo Won and Uee become one of the best drama couple.

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  21. 21 sweetspring

    wow! beautifully written girlfriday! & how fast were you!!! totally agree with you, especially about it dragging towards the end but the little moments and how the big finish ties up everything nicely saves it.
    Mostly I love the character arcs- how each one matures from the lil’ ducklings at the start to whatever life lesson they had to learn and become the ‘duck’ they were meant to be, just as the real ducks of the farm were problematic but in the end the mother duck along with her Ja-eun side kick managed to solve it with alot of TLC.
    Also loved the 1N2D running joke that fans of OB would only truly get. I was thinking Joo Won could laugh watching 1N2D during the honeymoon scene but wait till he’s in it!!!
    For me, OB brought alot of heart throughout most of the series, something that really lacks in some of the more shinier but less substantial K-dramas & that’s something that definitely refreshing *ahhhh* shi won na da!

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  22. 22 haruko

    This might just be one of my top 5 dramas of all time. Yeah, it’s not as addictive as say, Secret Garden or Full House…but at the end of the day it left me feeling happy and satisfied with the characters, their relationships, and the family bonds in the drama. There wasn’t that feeling of being cheated you get with some of the crack dramas (49days ^^;;). And even though it’s REALLY long….I would so watch it again :D

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  23. 23 Shukmeister

    OB was the second long-running series I watched from beginning to end (the first being Twinkle Twinkle), and it was an enjoyable ride. Like a lot of people, I was more invested in the interaction between the female members and the family, than the overarching plot.

    I doubt I’ll invest this much of me in a future series with a high number of episodes (gleeful I completely missed ADK), but it still top-notch entertainment.

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  24. 24 sue

    Girlfriday, you are awesome. I had sort of lost interest in OB since I got annoyed with the last-quarter angst/stupidity, but your recap just reminded me of what I loved about the show and now I will definitely finish watching it.

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  25. 25 yuvee

    I jumped into this drama halfway in after reading your halftime report and so happy to see it turning out to be such a win. I’m so emotionally checked out during the whole not-really-tragic-tragedy, but can’t wait to see the happy ending once the sub comes out!

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  26. 26 KDrama Fan

    Hi GF and fellow Beaners.

    I really enjoyed OB. Though I must admit the last 15 episodes or so I’ve just been reading the recaps (as soon as they came out LOL).

    Love Mom’s wedding speech too. J and TH were the best couple for me.

    Can’t wait for the last few episodes to be translated. Then I’ll catch up from where I left off:)

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  27. 27 Stephanie

    It had everything I liked about kdramas, gratefulness, loyalty and cute. Oh the cute, whether it’s kisses or idealism they’re all really cute :)

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  28. 28 Ariel

    OB for the win yayyyy!!! I marathoned this drama for a week sleeping at 4am and going at it again at 9pm I had to stop at ep 52 still waiting for the rest of the subbed eps. To cope I went to Softy’s site just to commiserate and see what’s happening because I could not wait. So I’m waiting for the rest of the subbed episodes happy as a clam for the great ending. How many dramas have ever given us pitch perfect ending?
    Thank you Girlfriday for the recaps, I started watching after the second recaps came out and I got hooked.

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  29. 29 A_Donuts

    Thank you! Im considering watching this, it seems so heart-warming. I’ve always liked Uee to and from most people she’s a pretty good actress, me included! I loved Biridie Buddy. Too bad its 58? episodes long. I shall wait until a break or something. Too busy right now… :(

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    • 29.1 A_Donuts

      Does anyone know where I can watched it subbed?

       (0)


  30. 30 Bebe

    Thanks for the wrap up GF.

    This is one of the best KDrama. The only drama that I watch religiously from beginning to the end without a subtitle. Thanks to Softy’s blog ‘Cadence’.

    And how come Joo Won and Uee act so natural… Their chemistry is like a fireworks. Aigoo. I’m a fan of Joo Won now. Love him since Baker King.. but love him more in Ojakgyo Brothers. Looking forward for his new drama in May, Doll Mask… Saranghe Joo Won ah.

    Before that. 1N2D Call!

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  31. 31 Cass

    Wonderful GF. I love this drama.

    I hope you don’t mind, I post a link here… This site is DAEBAK.. I think she (or he) is a fan of Joo Won!

    http://blog.daum.net/gswww/704

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  32. 32 elle

    I hate it when a drama that i’m utterly in love with ends. It feels a lot like saying goodbye to a close friend – you’ll just feel an undeniable sense of loss. I just fell in love with Joo Won and UEE here. They turned me into a hard core Tae Hui – Ja Eun shipper! And mind you, i don’t ship! Ever!

    Aaaaaah!!! I will REALLY miss my weekend drama!!! I wonder which drama will fill the void that Ojakgyo left? :(

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  33. 33 alua

    This is still on my to-watch list. After the last disastrous 50 ep drama I watched (ATK )-: ) this actually sounds like one that’s worth it. Will definitely give it a try, probably in the summer!

    Thanks for the recap/wrap-up!

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  34. 34 kdfan

    This is one drama where I watched TaeJa’s scenes over and over again. Thanks to uploaders on youtube for the speedy uploads for those highly anticipated scenes! After watching Uee in birdie buddy and now OB, I really respect her as a good actress. I look forward to her next drama. Joowon is also one of my favourite. Can’t wait for his new drama bridal mask and 1N2D.

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  35. 35 Jossy

    Ooh thank you!
    I’ve been catching eps here and there on kbsworld and even watched eps thereafter online and when subs couldn’t come fast enough I scoured the web for recaps. The Verdict ; Totally Worthy!
    This drama really does have lots and lts of heart it just warms the cockles of my heart :). There’s something so awesome about brothers and their brotherhood, and a good bromance, Can I have all sons too? Lol.
    Thanks for covering the series Gf.

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  36. 36 jadielaw

    How does this drama compare to Be Strong Geum Soon? Can anyone possibly draw up a must-watch list of these 50 plus episode dramas in order of priority?

     (0)


  37. 37 myra

    i read somewhere else that the drama following this one is called unexpected you/you rolled in unexpectedly-here you ladies put stroke of good luck…i thought that this one was a chosun tv drama…in the end is it the same drama or is there a misunderstanding?

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  38. 38 Qua Trang

    I really like this series for its hearts and its central “family” theme. I can’t add anything except agree with you all that the series is really about the women that stand behind/next to their men! It is heartwarming to watch the statement on the important roles that women do as house-keeper/home-maker, that each and every women in this series demonstrate.

    I especially love the mom, who owns this series. She is the one that uphold the family, bring it through difficult times, nurture it with her own hands, heart and mind, protect it when needed, ensure that each and every members are supported and always take the back seat when it’s time for enjoying life. But it is exactly how her life is a fulfilled and happy one. Because she has the love and respect of everyone in her household. They may not show it very often, but they all acknowledge it with their heart. They together form a normal family, with all its ups and downs, that every normal people can relate to, or even wish to be a part of.

    I especially love the scene when the mom scold her sons, in turn, and chronologically :D. The dad sits back, keeps quiet and even pull back a little when the oldest got scolded (with a flying cushion to the face)… is it his time??? She’s sure know how to keep her family in check :D

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  39. 39 Tomi

    Thank you Girlfriday :)
    I started watching this drama because I read your Introduction to it and fell in love with the drama.
    I can’t remember feeling soo sad that a drama ended EVER.
    I hope it comes out in DVD soon with good english subtitles so I can buy it.
    …..:( still trying to recover

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  40. 40 mizweng

    I’ll miss this great drama so much… it was such a fun drama and lots of hearts… my weekend will never be the same again… if someone had told me that I’d come to like UEE after YAB, I could have yelled NO WAY!!! BUT I adored her in OB and am glad my views about her changed… and Jo Woon never ceased to amaze me with his talents… i already like him in Baker King, but he’s marvelous here in OB…making me swoon and wish they date for real… ahhh OB…my memories of you will remain for a long. long time… Kudos to the casts, production crews and staff for a job very well done… :) :) :)

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  41. 41 jojo

    Watched from the gitgo and was disappointed when it was extended (Same as Smile) but stuck with it. It was a pretty good family series, and loved Mom, but will never watch another series with the actress who played Soo-young’s mother…

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    • 41.1 ida

      HAHA LOLZ!
      She was like a real mixture of emotions, right?
      Most of the time downright interfering – albeit with good intentions – other times sweet and understanding..
      I had my ‘i wish to strangle her’ moments as well as ‘aww’ moments..
      But yeh, I totally get what you imply by that…

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  42. 42 ida

    I agree though – that depressing stretch where tae hee and ja eun are apart was UBER tiresome… I skipped a lot of those moments to get to the lighter parts which were more akin to the drama’s start.
    Gahh- the ending was so sweet though. And i love the drama explores the family conflicts like the sooyoung/misook hyungnim/dongseo issue and also kooksoo and his issue with dad remarrying.. etc
    I enjoyed the series enough though to keep on caring- which i’m glad about. And the moms in this drama (ESPECIALLY TAE HEE’S) are A.W.E.S.O.M.E.

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  43. 43 kewbie

    Thank you for the wrap-up post! I really enjoyed the recaps as well as the show. Even though OB could have done with a slightly shorter run (maybe 48 or 50 episodes), it was so much more worth it to watch than ATK. It’s true, all the little moments between the characters just strengthened my viewer loyalty. I loved how Mom grew to love Ja-eun as her own daughter. Maybe she thought about what she missed by raising 4 sons. Even though I am a Tae-hee/Ja-eun shipper, I loved all the interactions the brothers had, even the last episode where they brought Tae-pil out for karaoke even when he was so sad and heartbroken. I think that’s the only part of the story I didn’t like too much — that Tae-pil and Yeo-wool broke up. I would have liked a fast-forward 2 years where he comes back for her. I also think that Jae-ha could have been cut. haha… Minus that, I would totally recommend the whole series to anyone.

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  44. 44 Cam

    Woah ~ I can’t believe that our time flies by!!! I don’t want this warmhearting drama to the END & stay continuing for a looong time ~ so FOREVER! ^_^ Oh well, I really loooooove this drama made me so warming and enjoyable. :) Jeez….My tears is nearly falling on my cheeks, but it’s not heavy, of course. Hehe ~ This is the besssst heartwarming drama ever!! \^o^/

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  45. 45 Sham

    Thank you for the wrap-up recap!!

    I loved the series/characters and only started watching it after the second recap!!!!!

    That’s what I love about Dramabeans….it opens you up to new dramas that you would’ve otherwise missed on!!

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  46. 46 Maidenelle

    “He continues his crazy childish jealous streak with Kim Jae-ha, which start to go overboard for me, because at some point you wonder what the point is, since you already got the girl. I guess it’s something for the otherwise useless character to do? ”

    I feel like his character did have a purpose–to enable Tae-Hee to come to terms with his mother’s abandonment. I think the reason why TH still maintained a rivalry with KJ even after he “won” JE is because he didn’t want her to associate with the person who represented his mother’s other life. Yes, for the most part, KJ was a waste of a character (except for those choice scenes when he provided much needed humor), but without him, I don’t think TH could have come to peaceful terms with his past.

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  47. 47 dany

    A lovely drama!

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  48. 48 Laica

    Totally agree with all of your comments! This was a wonderful show, and it had a satisfying ending, which is a lot rarer than you would think. Not a perfect happy ending for all the characters, but a realistic one and one that showed growth and resolution for everyone.

    I love this OTP, and I was pleasantly surprised by both leads’ performances. I was especially blown away by Joo Won – he had the most heart-wrenching moments, and he acted the hell out of them. He’s definitely an actor to watch.

    Thanks for this wonderful recap. Like you said, this drama had a lot of heart. It would have been a better drama without the extension, but I honestly am impressed by how little we felt the extra eight episodes. Kudos to the writer, that takes skills.

    I love that we ended with mom starting her day. She was really the heart and the backbone of the family and the drama.

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  49. 49 trixicopper

    I have found that if I like a drama, I don’t care how many episodes it has.

    OB had tons of heart. And the best part was no horrible characters who’s only reason for being is to be as vile as possible.(and yes, I’m looking at you ATK!)

    This drama ranks up there, at least for me, with Family’s Honor, Smile, you, and Sol Pharmacy. All of them are very good family dramas. :)

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  50. 50 Mystisith

    For the fans of Tae Pil aka maknae oppa, Yun Woo Jin will soon be in the 4 parts drama special Ordinary love.
    http://www.koreandrama.org/?p=16041

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