Rating:
Average user rating 4.9
54

Dear My Friends: Episode 16 (Final)

It’s officially time to say goodbye. I’ve gathered a truckload of tissues, which will hopefully be enough to last through until the end of the episode — but with this show, you just never know. Will my hopes for a “happily ever after” come true, or will life, in all its messy realness, decide to take a different path? There’s no point in putting off the inevitable, so let’s dive in and see what it means for our dear aunties to reach the end of their road.

FINAL EPISODE: “Our love story.”

Wan is surprised to see Yun-ha at the hospital, but she runs past him to the operating room where the doctor tells her how her mother’s surgery went. Except we don’t get to hear, and can only watch as Wan dazedly walks back to the waiting area, barely acknowledging Yun-ha or the other aunties’ presence.

She sits on the floor, her knees pulled her chest as she thinks about past moments with her mother, both good and bad. Then she starts to cry and I’m in agony because I have no idea what happened with Nan-hee.

Yun-ha rolls up next to her and gently calls her name. He holds her hand as she continues to cry as she leans against his legs while he strokes her hair. Are those tears of relief? Grief? Someone tell me something!

The rest of the aunties and uncles are in Min-ho’s wife’s hospital room, waiting for her to bring in the new baby. Suk-gyun tries calling Choong-nam to find out about Nan-hee, but no one is answering. Ahhhh, c’mon — someone answer and free us from this anxious misery.

Min-ho and his wife bring in their super cute baby, and just as Ha-neul is about to hand the baby over to her mother-in-law, Suk-gyun warns her against it. The old people aren’t as strong as they used to be — she might drop the baby. But Jung-ah retorts that nothing will happen, and Hee-ja is in awe of her tiny, beautiful grandchild.

Choong-nam and Young-won watch as Yun-ha rolls his way through the hospital hallway. They marvel that he came all the way from Slovenia to be here, and then spent most of that time waiting by himself. While Young-won comments on how pretty he is, Choong-nam sighs that it’s a pity such an accident happened to him.

They wonder how much he and Wan must have been passionately in love for him to come back — or if they’re actually still madly in love. Young-won says Choong-nam should find a love like that in her next life, but then immediately changes her mind. Choong-nam is still young and healthy enough to find such a love in this life. Choong-nam laughs at how ridiculous it would look, but Young-won tells her that she can just keep it on the down-low.

Yun-ha watches the sunset through one of the hospital windows, and considering the aunties are joking about romance, I’m taking this as a tentative sign that Nan-hee is okay. But I’m going to need proof of this soon, show — just sayin’.

Seung-jae does the dishes for Hee-ja, and when she realizes that he’s set out bedding in the living room for the both of them, he tells her that he’s just following Min-ho’s orders to stay by her side. Ha, I’m not sure Min-ho meant it quite that literally. He even does a casual “arm stretch” move while they watch TV. Ajusshi’s still got game.

Later, as they lie down in their respective beds, Hee-ja tells him that she has the urge to go for a walk. He just gently takes her hand and tells her that she can’t go out in the middle of the night. But if he loved her, wouldn’t he let her do what she wanted? Nope, not even if he loves her. Rolling over to turn her back on him, she sighs that love means nothing after all.

Nan-hee’s in her hospital room, recovering from surgery. Oh thank goodness. Granny massages her arms while Nan-hee explains to Jung-ah and Suk-gyun that originally the doctors told her the cancerous tumor was the size of her fist and spread to her liver and stomach. The surgery could only promise her a 20% chance of survival, which was a terrifying thought.

But it turns out the doctors were mistaken, and as Granny curses them out, it’s revealed that during the surgery, the tumor itself was only the size of a ping-pong ball. Seung-jae wonders if it will kill her, and Nan-hee points that she still has cancer and has to go through chemotherapy. Aw, it’s so nice to see everyone together and supporting Nan-hee.

There’s even Gi-ja, who won’t stop talking about difficulties of her job. She sighs that it must be so nice to have cancer since Nan-hee has her family and friends surrounding her while she’s in a nice private room.

As the women laugh and joke with each other, Hee-ja leans over to ask Jung-ah who all these women are. Jung-ah whispers back that they’re her friends. She seems astonished to realize that they’re her friends, especially Gi-ja. Pffft.

Once Nan-hee is released from the hospital, Choong-nam and Young-won escort her back home. Choong-nam asks if Wan went to go see Yun-ha, but this is the first Nan-hee’s heard about Yun-ha’s sudden appearance back in Korea. Young-won tries to shush her, but Choong-nam points out the cat is out of the bag now, and she adds that it seemed like he and Wan had a deep and beautiful love.

Wan packs up some of her belongings so she can stay at her mother’s place. Just then Hee-ja calls her, demanding to know why no one is letting her see Nan-hee after her surgery. Is it because she has dementia? Is that why they’re preventing her from going to Nan-hee?

Wan patiently explains that Hee-ja just visited Nan-hee a few days ago along with all the other aunties. But Hee-ja yells that Wan is just making things up, trying to use her dementia to convince her of something that never happened.

Min-ho steps in just then to take the phone from her and then guides her into the bedroom where his wife and newborn baby sleep. The baby is physical proof that time has passed, and Hee-ja meekly asks if she did actually visit Nan-hee in the hospital.

But she won’t go into the room with the baby, fearing she might do something that will scare him. Instead, she sits in the living room and watches from the doorway, unable to take her eyes off him.

Later, Min-ho tucks her into her bed, and she asks if she takes her medication, that her dementia won’t get any worse. He’s so sweet and gentle as he reassures her that it will, and that there’s even a pill coming out that will help cure dementia. Aw, it doesn’t seem like Hee-ja’s dementia would be curable, but it’s adorable how he calmly does his best to keep her attitude positive and peaceful.

Wan settles into her mother’s place, full of encouragement for the next road ahead: chemotherapy. As Wan takes a shower, Nan-hee pulls out Wan’s phone, and Wan really needs to get a new lock passcode since everyone seems to know this one.

Nan-hee thinks about Choong-nam’s comment about how Yun-ha and Wan appeared to be deeply in love, and how nice it was for Wan to have someone by her side. Omo, is she going to call him? But instead she puts the phone back where she found it.

Hee-ja calls Choong-nam, and the phone rings and rings and rings but she doesn’t budge. At first annoyed by the constant ringing, her nephews suddenly grow worried when they realize she’s not responding to their shouts, and they spring out of their beds to run into her bedroom. But she was just sound asleep, and she wakes up with a start. Whew.

Hee-ja’s calling because she wants Choong-nam to show her some nursing homes for dementia patients. She furtively glances over to where Min-ho is sleeping as she whispers into the phone.

The next day, Wan works on her book while attentively taking care of any little thing that Nan-hee could possibly need. Nan-hee finally reaches her breaking point, complaining that she does’t any space to herself in her own home. She grumbles that Wan won’t even let her go outside or go back to work.

That reminds Wan that she needs to make some calls for the restaurant, and Nan-hee escapes to the bedroom. Young-won arrives with fresh groceries and finds Nan-hee pouting on her bed. But when Young-won asks if Nan-hee’s in pain, Nan-hee wonders what it’s like to go through chemotherapy. She only needs six sessions — that’s not a lot, is it?

But Young-won says that chemotherapy can last years, and she knows from experience that, even when you think you’ve beaten it, cancer can last a lifetime. That seems to decide something for Nan-hee, and she picks up her phone and calls Yun-ha.

Choong-nam shows Hee-ja around one of the nursing homes, and Hee-ja is partially charmed by all the activities the patients are doing, but also a little sad. The only places left to see are the private rooms, and Choong-nam frankly tells her that she doesn’t think Hee-ja is a good fit for this place — she’s not that far along in her dementia to need this kind of supervision.

But Hee-ja stubbornly insists on seeing the private rooms, and as she looks around, fiddling with the lock on the window and testing the bed, she says that she’s not leaving. One of the patients who’s been cutely following her hands her a handful of candies, which Hee-ja politely takes, saying that they can be friends.

Choong-nam is surprised by Hee-ja’s determination to stay, but Hee-ja doesn’t want to be a burden to her son and his family. She wants to make sure they can be happy as they raise their child. Fighting back tears, she tells Choong-nam that she’ll stay there until she dies. As Choong-nam hugs her and tries to keep from crying herself, Hee-ja begs her to promise that Jung-ah and the other aunties to visit her regularly. Ooof.

Wan’s busy running her mother’s restaurant while Young-won takes Nan-hee to visit Yun-ha. She’s annoyed that Nan-hee didn’t tell Wan about her plans, and Nan-hee teasingly promises that she won’t beat him up like she did with Dong-jin.

In a setting reminiscent of the last time he and Wan had tea together in Slovenia, Yun-ha and Nan-hee sit across from each other, sipping from their fancy porcelain cups. Yun-ha patiently waits for Nan-hee as she gazes around the restaurant, distracted by Yun-ha’s reflection in one of the mirrors that clearly reveal his wheelchair.

Finally she asks him why he hasn’t been dating — is it because women aren’t interested in him because of his legs? Yun-ha just laughs, saying that it’s because he isn’t interested in other women. After a few more moments of awkward chit-chat, Nan-hee asks him if he makes a lot of money as an artist.

Laughing, he says he makes enough. Nan-hee admits that she must sound materialistic, but Yun-ha gently takes her hand, sincerely telling her that he’s grateful her surgery went well. Nan-hee notices the ring on his finger, realizing it’s the matching couple’s ring that Wan used to wear.

Yun-ha is on his way to the airport when he calls Wan, who actually picks up. She’s just finished working at her mother’s restaurant and was going home to write when he called. He asks why she didn’t call him, and she thinks for a moment before admitting it’s because she was worried she might beg him to stay.

He says it’s probably a good thing she didn’t call, then, because he might not have had the strength to leave. She says that even if she can’t beg him to stay, she does still love him. Smiling, he tells her that he’s learned a good lesson, thanks to her. He realized that he can visit her, too, and it’s given him more confidence to do more than he used to think he was capable of.

He tells Wan that he loves her, which makes her pause and take a deep, shaky breath. Her response is to tell him not to wait for her, and he promises he won’t. Ahh, why is he so cute and smiley when her heart is breaking? After she hangs up, Wan sobs in the privacy of her mother’s empty restaurant.

In a scene reminiscent of when Min-ho fought to be the one to take care of his mother after their father died, he insists to the rest of his siblings that there’s no way his mother will stay in a nursing home. She’ll be fine living with him and his wife. They remind him that it was their mother’s choice, but he’s too angry to listen to them.

Hee-ja sits on the bed in her new room, ignoring the buzzing of her phone as Jung-ah tries calling her. The “friend” she made on her tour shuffles in and Hee-ja offers her a piece of fruit, which the little old lady happily scarfs down while Hee-ja gently wipes her face clean.

Since Hee-ja won’t answer her call, Jung-ah just has to silently accept Hee-ja’s decision. She’s too tired right now to go there and try to bring her back tonight. Suk-gyun sets out a pillow and encourages to rest, and then he massages her legs.

Jung-ah hands him a pillow, saying he must be tired, too. He settles in next to her, but it’s hard for Jung-ah to rest as she thinks about her friend. Also thinking about Hee-ja is Seung-jae, who stares at one of the selfies he and Hee-ja took on their overnight trip.

Nan-hee goes to Wan’s place, where Wan chides her for leaving the house without calling her first. Nan-hee’s decided to get a professional caregiver for her next round of treatment, but Wan declares that she’s already been trained at the hospital on what to do. Undaunted, Nan-hee hands over a plane ticket as she tells Wan to go see Yun-ha.

Her expression unreadable, Wan simply says that the aunties must have mentioned Yun-ha was at the hospital the day of Nan-hee’s surgery. But it doesn’t matter now — she and Yun-ha are over. Nan-hee stubbornly insists that Wan should start packing — the flight is tomorrow morning.

But Wan refuses to leave Nan-hee — she might have a few weeks ago before they found out about the cancer, but there’s no way she can leave her mother now. Nan-hee insists she’s fine, and then bursts out that it’s not catching a cold that will kill her, it’s Wan’s smothering care that will instead.

The cancer could stick around for a year, five years, ten years. Wan points out that her mother raised her for over thirty years, so a decade is nothing, but Nan-hee, frustrated, says that in addition to dealing with cancer, she doesn’t want to be the idiot who’s forced to rely on her daughter.

She knows that she still relies on Wan, which is why the plane ticket is only for a one-week trip. But after the next round of chemo, it will be for a month. And then, eventually, Wan should get married and leave her for good.

Wan gently hugs her mother, saying she understands. Hahaha, Nan-hee asks Wan if Yun-ha is good in bed, but it’s not enough to distract Wan from her declaration that she’ll go see him later, after her mother is a little better. But when the morning comes, Nan-hee has clearly won this battle as Wan waits for a taxi, her bag packed.

She begs one more time for her mother to let her stay, but Nan-hee’s got her week covered with visits from Granny and the other aunties. Besides, Wan’s too old to cling to her mother like this. Annoyed at Nan-hee’s teasing about Yun-ha, she tells her mother that she should call her guitar guy, then. Hahaha, Nan-hee says she’s already received a cute text from him this morning, telling her he misses her.

As Wan heads to the airport, and Nan-hee tidies Wan’s apartment — including putting the pictures of Yun-ha back in their places — Wan confesses that leaving her sick mother and moving on with her life made her realize how cruel life can be.

In their youth, life told the aunties to fight to earn everything they could and live it to the fullest. But as they’ve gotten older, life is telling them to leave everything behind, including their children and the hopes and dreams they once had.

Min-ho and Seung-jae visit Hee-ja at the nursing home while Jung-ah continues her daily task of cleaning her daughters’ homes. Aw, but this time she has help as Suk-gyun takes her grandson out for a walk, and as he does so, he sees a listing for a security guard — but it requests someone between the ages of 55-65, and he’s too old.

Wan continues her voice-over, pointing out that no one knows when their life will end. Wan wishes she could ask on behalf of the aunties: “Life, just what is it you want us to do?”

Choong-nam and Young-won sit outside her cafe, and Choong-nam asks why Young-won is crying. She’s laughing, and explains that when her ex-husband came for a visit, he was in the last stages of pancreatic cancer, and the doctors gave up on his case, believing it was hopeless.

But seeing her again gave him a new energy and hope, and he went through with the surgery which was successful enough to keep him alive a little longer. Oh, and he’s been divorced from his other wife for the past thirty years. He wants Young-won to come see him in Seattle, and when Choong-nam wonders what will happen to her, Young-won jokes that she’ll bring him back and they can all live together.

Meanwhile, Hee-ja’s at her nursing home, studying flash cards to keep the dementia at bay. She wistfully watches one patient leave with her family.

Jung-ah’s happily relaxing in her home late that night, watching her fill of travel shows, when Hee-ja calls. She asks Jung-ah if they once took a car trip, and after Jung-ah affirms that they did, Hee-ja starts to cry. She asks if Jung-ah remembers what she said about not dying in a tiny little room, and although Hee-ja means her room at the nursing home, Jung-ah looks around the small room in her house, realizing that this is a cage, too.

Even though it’s 3am, Jung-ah sets out to get the car keys from Suk-gyun and pick-up Hee-ja. The sun is up by the time she reaches the nursing home, and Hee-ja literally runs to Jung-ah as one of the nurses chases after her, reminding her that they need to get permission from her son first.

The friends squeal in delight as hit the open road, relishing their freedom. Except that the car is low on gas and they slowly roll to a stop. Jung-ah’s determined to not let this be a setback, and she calls Choong-nam to get some money and figure out where they should go,

Suddenly overcome with an idea, Choong-nam looks over at her collection of priceless artwork. She knows where she get a lot of money, fast, and begins to pack a bag. She thinks that all the aunties (along with Suk-gyun and Seung-jae) should go on a trip together.

It’s a great idea, except that the weather has a different plan. It’s monsoon season, and as the rain pours down, the aunties and uncles hang out in a large room at an inn, trying to entertain themselves.

They make a game of coming up with ways they’d prefer to die (“sickness,” “natural,” “in an accident,” etc.), and they come to a general consensus that everyone would (except Suk-gyun) would enjoy the romance of dying “on the road.”

Wan bursts into the room just then, much to their surprise. Later, as the aunties and uncles settle into bed, Wan watches as they all sleep in the same room together. She originally thought they were joking about going on a road trip or just making idle plans, but since that day, they were nearly always on the road.

An RV trundles down the road as Suk-gyun and Seung-jae argue over directions. The ladies hang out in the back, reading and napping. When the RV gets stuck in some mud, they work together to free the vehicle, and Wan tells us that no matter how rough or tiring the journey was for them, they never stopped or gave up. After all, compared to their difficult lives, those temporary hardships on the road were next to nothing.

In a little round-up of their life when they’re not on the road, Nan-hee goes through another round of chemo while Granny sits with her. Seung-jae helps Hee-ja complete a puzzle at the nursing home, keeping a careful eye on the old men around her making sure they don’t get any funny ideas. Suk-gyun helps Hee-ja glue eyes on hundreds of stuffed animals, and even fetches water for her when she asks. What a turnaround!

Choong-nam continues to study English while Young-won memorizes lines for her next drama role. In Slovenia, Yun-ha sweats as tries to strengthen his muscles to one day use his legs again, and Wan works on her book. Nan-hee watches a movie with her guitar guy, warning him that it’s getting late. He promises to only watch for ten more minutes before leaving, which is not exactly what Nan-hee was implying when she said it was getting late, if you know what I mean.

The RV full of aunties and uncles makes its way to the ocean. Wan and Granny are part of the road trip this time, and Wan tells Granny that her book, My Old Friends, will be published soon. Granny would be more impressed if Wan got pregnant, though. Hey, writing a book is like giving birth!

Wan asks Granny to sum up life in one sentence, and Granny casually answers: “It’s nothing special.” Wan wonders if that doesn’t make life sound sad, but Granny points out that if life isn’t all that special to begin with, then it can’t be sad to think of it that way.

Wan wonders if all that’s left of a not-special life are the selfish children, but that somehow doesn’t seem right to her. As she watches her aunties and uncles laugh as they frolic in the sand (aww, Jung-ah cheerfully waves to a seagull, calling out “Mom!”), she realizes that she’s been looking at it all wrong.

Life isn’t just an endless march towards an inevitable death. Instead, in order to respect the ferocious way they’ve made it through their younger years, they’re now living in the moment with passion and dignity. The aunties, Granny, and uncles sit and watch the sunset while Wan watches them. If she could have one wish, it would be to extend this moment longer so there would be no regrets.

COMMENTS

What a wonderful, wonderful ending. It’s everything I wanted (or didn’t even know I wanted). I literally cheered in delighted joy when the RV made its appearance. Finally, my aunties (and uncles) are getting their road trip! It’s so delightful and ridiculous and perfect. I can just picture them arguing about what week they have free of any doctor’s appointments or film shoots or other responsibilities, and then they pack up the RV, throw a pin at a map, and go wherever fate takes them.

I love that it’s both open-ended and also somehow “happily ever after.” Maybe the aunties will still have struggles to deal with, but for right now, they are able to enjoy the freedom they always longed for but perhaps could never achieve when they were younger. This is not, perhaps, how they dreamed of growing old, but it is the life they have now — why waste it?

No drama can be perfect, but this one is close enough for me. There has been such a marvelous combination of acting, directing, script, and just general heart that has weaved something magical, making me somehow wistful for a life I’ve never led. Every actor has been spot-on, from Go Hyun-jung carrying the brunt of introducing us to the quirks and foibles of each auntie’s life, to the incredible talent and array of older actresses who felt so natural in their roles, I’m not sure how easily I will accept them in a standard mother-in-law drama role again. Then there are all the “special guests” who helped flesh out this world — most notably, Jo In-sung and Lee Kwang-soo.

I’d originally had my hesitations about the director, who’s previous project was My Secret Hotel (which I also recapped, and was not even close to being as good as this show), but there was so much beauty on display in the loving way the aunties were filmed that even in the silence, so much was spoken. Then, of course, there is the amazing Noh Hee-kyung, who has made me long for more dramas like this — the slice of life that is filled with interesting women who are more than just the labels society tries to give them, who have stories that are worth sharing. While Granny may say that life is nothing special, it’s definitely been a special time joining in on this journey with Wan and the aunties.

I will miss them and my weekly escape into their world, but I know in my heart-of-hearts that these aunties will always be close by if I just open my eyes and look at the lives of those around me.

RELATED POSTS

Tags: , , , , , , ,

54

Required fields are marked *

:'( My sister, who absolutely does not watch Korean dramas, joined me this past week in a weeklong marathon of this show, and I knew it was something special when she kept saying that she wanted to watch the next episode.

Such a beautiful story. I am going to miss this drama tremendously!

1
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I loved it. Very much.
The cast was brilliant and I am so happy to see all those older (in age, not spirit) actresses playing in a drama worth their acting abilities. All aunties were great. Well done!!!

... and I really found Go Doo Shim so beautiful here... I never liked her much before, perhaps it was more the characters she played... but here... she was great... and beautiful...

1
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yes, well done. I was anxious about the ending; glad it was open ended. Thanks for the recaps.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Well, this was the one episode I didn't cry for... until I read your comments. Thanks so much for recapping, odilettante.

Really, really loved this drama and will miss everyone in it. You're right, it's going to be weird to watch the actors as the standard mother-in-laws again. It's already weird for me to watch Kwangsoo in Running Man, ha.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

absolutely LOVED this drama...

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thank you for the recaps! Beautiful, heart warming. It's very rare to see a drama like this with a perfect ensemble cast to boot! With Noh Hee kyung's writing, tragic events that normally drive the story forward for plot is portrayed as realistic as possible. I would admit that it may be too optimistic, but the message always is to go on with our lives as long as we are living. This may even be my favorite of her dramas above It's Ok That's Love.

Too bad tvN did not promote the heck out of it and I haven't heard of a reward trip for the cast and crew, but I'm thinking Grandpas and Noonas over Flowers the RV version?

1
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Such a beautiful drama full of life lessons,loved it and i would really recomand it and hope more people will give it a chance because it's totally worth it,the cast is amazing...

1
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Will forever cherish this drama. I agree it was really close to perfect.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

How did you guys manage to watch the show? Like how? I was crying even while reading the recap and stoppped watching the show at maybe 3 or 4 episodes because i couldn't control all the emotions.

Can i ask for a spoiler since I don't want to visit the recaps to get more teary eyed or maybe I'm just lazy. The reason for Wan leaving Yunha was her mother right?

0
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

Please don't miss out this drama.... Go and check out the recaps :) Something you should not miss... Dramas like this happen only once in a while :) :)

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

It's hard but worth watching. I spaced it out over weeks. One episode at a time American style.

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I had plenty of tissues handy, made sure I wasn't at work or some other public place, and followed up each episode with something lighter (Gong Shim/Squad 38). You can do it, it's worth it!

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

To answer your question, maybe or maybe not. That answer will differ among us. Personally, I think she used her Mom as an excuse. But Wan is fully redeemed by the end. Everyone is, even the grizzly curmudgeon Suk-kyoon.

Don't be afraid of the feelings this show brings out of you. It's cathartic. The fact you cry tells me you have a very good heart. This show nourishes the heart. :)

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Perfect drama!

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Absolutely LOVELY drama... I initially had hesitations about starting this drama.... But every episode had me crying and lovely story.... :)

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Awww it's over but it's the beginning for me. I'm going to marathon it with a box of tissue.

Noh Hee-kyung <3

1
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I know a lot of people didn't comment but I assure you we watched and read. It was a poignant look at growing older. Any words I have for it would be wasted. Thank you for the tears.

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

"Then, of course, there is the amazing Noh Hee-kyung, who has made me long for more dramas like this — the slice of life that is filled with interesting women who are more than just the labels society tries to give them, who have stories that are worth sharing."

I think I'd edited to say interesting people in my view. There were no weakly written people here.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thank you, writer, for answering our prayers! I hope DB adds a "perfect ending" selection for their year end 2016 awards, because this one would win hands down. That was everything anyone could wish for and then some. We got our trip, not just with Jung-ah and Hee-ja, but with the whole Scooby Gang! Plus, it wasn't just for a day, or a week, it was something they did all the time. The end wasn't unrealistic, but it wrapped up the story with the sweetness and "bow on top" that these characters deserved. Personally, I loved seeing Suk-gyun starting to evolve (hooray!), Nan-hee realizing Wan and Yun-ha are in love and they're best together, and I was very glad to see Granny going along and finding some freedom herself. Despite swollen eyes and endless mounds of tissues, this show was a joy to watch. The production and actors deserve to be nominated for every award this year, and darn it, they deserve to win them, too!

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

What a deeply, richly satisfying drama. To me, this surpasses Misaeng and Signal. Hands down, the best drama I've ever watched. Period.

Watching this show has helped to relieve my anxiety about aging. I'm 58 so I'm no spring chick, but not quite at the stage of these characters. Watching this drama has reconfirmed the promise I made to myself to do what is necessary to stay healthy, strong and vibrant, and to keep the 40+ love affair I've had with the man I married 37 years ago flourishing. 12 years from now I want to have a mud fight with close friends at the beach.

If I may give you younguns here some unsolicited advice ... be moderate in habits (alcohol is fine, just avoid toxic drunkeness), eat REAL food, drink CLEAN water, get and stay strong, find some physical activity you enjoy doing and do it every day (it's OK to dance like no one is watching especially when no one really is watching!), nourish your friendships, feed your spiritual being. :)

2
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

noted! turning a milestone this yr, traveling w/ 12 friends, joined a tour group. praying we all get along, close to some not others but you never know, this trip might be the start of something good, wishing...

this show was not only entertaining but also feed my soul:)

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

i am extremely thankful dramabeans was present for the entire journey because it enabled me to share this experience with the rest of the beanies that tuned in and commented, and of course odilettante who did the recapping. this would have been a rather lonesome adventure had it not been for the presence of everyone here who appreciated just what a real gem this drama was.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Luv-luv this show… thanks odilettante for you recaps! Your insights were wonderful, made me appreciate this lovely drama not only what it shows but what it also represent. It showcased the amazing actors/actresses that kdrama has to offer. So blessed that the characterization of the aunties are real and consistent from start to finish, hats off to noh hee kyung!

I wish I’d be resilient as young-won, fighting cancer day in & out, never beaten despite the rumor mill, taking things in stride… to be street-smart as choong-nam, they constantly run to her for practical advice, that can only come from her living a full life eventhough she didn’t have her own family. I want to be like her when I grow up, so generous and cool about things! Wan mentioned at one point she’s like Mother Teresa and it’s an apt description, she tirelessly cares for other people… I envy the friendship of hee-ja & jung-ah, I’d try to find one amongst my friends! The one that you don’t need to say sorry or explain stuff to coz they already know how you feel…

Nan-hee finally realized that she needs to let go of wan, yesss!!! although she might have some biases and the most uptight in the group, she supported her family financially & emotionally most of her life. I liked how suk-gyun slowly worked his way to becoming a good husband for JH, he has a long way to go but atleast he’s trying and willing… how sweet of seung-jae for always being there by HJ’s side…

Wan & yun-ha (he doesn’t feel like a guest), they looked so happy together!!! Wan is such a good daughter for staying with NH, but I’m glad it was her mom who finally pushed her to live her own life. wan’s narrations were so beautiful at times sad, her understanding about life might be the best representation of what the writer wants to impart for viewers like me…

Sorry for the long post, just really enjoyed the show!!!

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I love slice of life dramas and this drama was truly a gem. Contrary to a lot of people in the comment section, I managed to keep the tears at bay. I think this was because although the characters' lives were sad, they were not truly alone . I had full conviction that they would be able to deal with whatever came their way with the support of the beautiful souls they had around them. I remember feeling the same way about Misaeng - it was sad but hopeful.
I feel like I have to give a shout-out to Go Hyun Jung's crying scenes, Kim Hye Ja especially in the more recent episodes, Suk Gyun's character and character arc as well as Lee Kwang soo who made me feel major insecurities as a daughter.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Nice ending! A wonderful drama :')

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Life...It’s nothing special.

I love that what our dear halmoni said perfectly sums up what this beautiful story is telling us. Our aunties struggled through their lives with whatever life threw at them - be it miscarriages, physical and verbal abuse, unfaithful spouses, loneliness, cancer, dementia - but they made it through all those difficult times eventually, dusted themselves off and just got on with it. As we watch them getting on with their nothing-special life with daily routines and the usual struggles, we see that at the end of the day, it is really time spent with our dear friends, "living in the moment with passion and dignity" together, that makes our life journey special.

I must add that after watching almost 10 year of kdramas and hitting a plateau these past few years with too many run-of-mill trendy and pretty but superficial dramas, this is the first drama since to truly stir my heart and rekindle my love again.

Thanks for the recaps, odilettante.

1
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Such a beautiful ending!!! I watched the first 5 episodes,continued with only reading recaps and then watched the last episode. A gem of a show and I wanted to watch all of it but real life is pretty depressing for me at the moment so a sad show isn't good idea now. I hope jo in sung picks a new drama soon because i miss seeing him on my screen. Thank you for the recaps!!!

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

The writer trolled us a couple of times in this final episode but I still loved it. I love this show dearly and it will always have a special place in my heart. I will surely be rewatching scenes and episodes. The writer has forever won a loyal fan in me I will surely keep an eye open for her future projects.
I loved the ending and I would love to join them in their trips, I hope we get a reality show spin off with the cast and have them travel even just round Korea something like "Grandpas over Flowers". Thanks for the recaps odilettante and fellow beanies thank you for your comments and thoughts, see you in the next one.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Sigh, after almost a week after the final episode has aired I still can't fathom that it's really over...But god, was this ending perfect.
Imo NHK has outdone herself with this masterpiece, every single character was perfectly imperfect and felt so real and relatable which was only possible thanks to a perfect cast (the casting director deserves an award).

Again thank you so much odilettante for the recaps.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Perfection! This drama was so soul searching and thoughtful. The ending picture says it all.

Thank you for all your wonderful recaps Odelittante.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

One of the most memorable drama of the year. So heartwarming, love all the actors. Nice ending too- nobody died. Nice message- don't wait to die, enjoy life

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Beautiful ending to a beautiful show. I was slightly worried how they would wrap things up after 15 amazing episodes but the roadtrip/RV, the mudfight, the 8 of them just having the time of their lives together & Wan reflecting on life...such a perfect way to close a bittersweet, wonderfully-told story.

I still can't decide which is better, the writing or the acting. Cos they're both just so good! You just fall in love and relate with every single character, like they really exist and you've known them for a long time. But it's also the award-winning (worthy) acting that makes it so believable. If I really have to choose my favs, it would definitely be Kim Hye Ja and Youn Yoh-Jung. That scene at the nursing home! When she said she'll live here, until she loves this place. Gawd! How can someone possibly act so good! The painful expression on her face just breaks me! And YYJ has been so consistent throughout the whole show. Her interpretation of this strong, independent, determined single 'old mule' yet cute and teenage girl at times was so on point. The same scene with Hee Ja and the scene she called Nan Hee last episode were just splendid.

Yet, never forget about Go Hyun Jung! (I still can't accept she's 45). Without Wan, and without her great acting, I believe a show with only these aunties and uncles (though it will still be very interesting), wouldn't impact and hit home as hard for young people (like me). Watching the whole show through her character makes it twice as much relatable and reliastic. She definitely did a great job with this role. She. Is. Wan.

I've watched many, many shows in my life. Korean not so much, but previous fav was What Happens To My Family. I thought nothing can top that anymore, and I'm certainly wrong. Dear My Friends is a show I'll always cherish and has already occupied a special place in my heart. I know for sure, one day, another show will take over its place as my fav. But just like the aunties and uncles, until the day comes, I'll hold on to the moment(s) and let the warmth fill me <3

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I really enjoyed these recaps! what an great ensemble cast. It's so rare that the writing is up to the level of the acting, as it was in this drama. I hope the cast enjoyed making this show as much as I loved watching it.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

What a lovely heart warming drama. I loved it and the finale was just about right. Hee ja made me cry so much, yet they gave us hope! I have no words. It was just perfect. Maybe OHY would've also been this perfect if not for the extension.
I would recommend this drama to everyone.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

This is one of the best dramas I have ever seen about Love and Friendship throughout the years! Seriously, this should get an Oscar! The acting was exceptional and the story line wonderful. So well done. Wan was a difficult character for me to sympathize with because of her innate coldness - I could not believe she did not immediately run over to Yeon Ha when he had his accident or when he arrived to surprise her at the hospital - I don't know what the director was trying to portray other than she is a broken soul, but at least she was consistent in her character. The ensemble cast was outstanding!! A really memorable drama!

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Best drama ever. I know some reason this drama can't be popular. Amazing writer, acting skill can't better.... So much, if give this drama some awards:
Best Drama
Best Writers
Best OST
Best Actor's'
Best Actre'ss'
Best Lessons
Best Fashion (why not, their style so good, better so much dramas)
Best Ending
Longest Cameo
Highest Re-run Rating (Cable drama)

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Fantastic, amazing drama! So well written and so beautifully acted and directed. Thanks for recapping it!

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

+1111 Thanks for the recap!
Such wonderful drama. Even though it had lots of fan service in this final episode, I just felt relieved it had the happy ending. Show - you were one of kind!

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

This has been on my watch list and seems like the writing (and of course, the acting) here was very well done.

This and PU38 (and to a lesser extent MotW) are a breathe of fresh air.

Got pretty good ratings for tvN, tho didn't seem t quite get the attention of OHYA (when this probably should have gotten more, aside from Seo Hyun-jin's acting).

Great to see a drama with an older demographic as the main characters.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I have to ass my love for this drama, along with everyone else. Unbelievable script, such realistic characters, portrayed by an ensemble cast that is beyond excellent.

That summary "life.. Is nothing special" is truly apt. We all go through what we go through in life and we think our situation is unique or no one else might have felt quite as deeply or as strongly but the truth is, none of what we feel is that unique. It's all just part of the human condition.

Thank you for the recaps. It is truly one of the best dramas ever.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I am definitely struggling to not cry. I've only read the recaps. And i've never found anything to say against the script or the actors. Thanks for recapping this beautiful show for us. It has been a great journey. Just like life is, real life.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Sometimes you pump into something that's so good you just don't have the words to describe it. I've come here after every ep and read, but even if I tried to write something I ended up deleting it. The words just didn't do any justice to the show nor what it gave to me.
Quite early into its run I came to expect two things from this show: that each ep I'll have a good laugh and a good cry. And that I'll laugh and cry from the bottom of my heart.

Thank you.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thank you for recap, the recap really help me understand the drama, may this drama help us rejoice our life better :)

1
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Watching this was one of the best decisions I've made.

I delayed watching the last episode as I just couldn't bear to say goodbye to all the aunties and uncles! This is truly a work of art. In my opinion, best drama of the year so far!

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Anyone know the English song that plays in this and other episodes?

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Here the list of the ost:
- Baby Blue by Kevin Oh
- Want to Be Free by Lyn
- Wonderful by Jannabi
- Don't Go by Jimin Park
- Go Go! Picnic by Martin Smith
- Be My Side by Da Eun
- Paso a Paso by Edan

Hope it'll help :)

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

GREAT DRAMA!!!

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thank you for the recap.

Writer-nim is one of my favourites, never disappoint me. I watched almost all of her works and this is the one where I cried and laughed the most.

It must have been great to have people you know from way back then constantly in your life. Even the ever complaining Gi-ja.. kekeke.. The women's friendship as a group and with each other are the warmest ever. Do I envy them? Maybe.

In real life I'm truly a loner, even surrounded by friends from various stage of life, and a few female siblings, I can't honestly say that there is one I'm close with and can truly call my dear friend (perhaps by choice).

1
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I just wanted to delurk momentarily to thank odilettante for recapping. This is by far the best drama I've watched in a long time, and it was great to have a community to watch it with. What a beautiful, bittersweet series.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Lovely drama, I do agree. I can't agree on the ending however. I felt the writer showed lack of courage by not addressing death and also the loneliness of losing someone to dementia. I really wanted to see a message of hope in facing ageing and dying, as we all must, not an airy-fairy feel good ending.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Now I can't pick which one is my ultimate favorite drama. This or Misaeng?

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thanks odilettante for recapping all 16 episodes of Dear My Friends. Great writing/a good scriptwriter makes all the difference.

Here's to aging in place well thanks to friendship, a good support network, family, and great caregivers!

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

First when it was airing, somehow i didnt watch especially since Jo In Sung is cameo. But i am now watching at episode 10. Those aunties are killing here. Amazing show full of life and i am very much invested in Wan and Yeon Ha's love story too. Cried so much when they finally meet on episode 10.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I have just finished this show thanks to Baeksang Arts Award this year who gave the best drama award to this masterpiece. I like it when you say that no drama is perfect but this, this is so more than close enough. I didn't want to watch this at first, since it deals with old people. I'm not against old people but I guess it's typical for everyone to prefer a fresh and nice, good-looking OTP. However, I did get on board, and oh boy.. this is one of the best dramas I've ever seen in Kdrama world. I love love love that this drama feels so real and conveys a lot of life lessons and messages to its viewers. I think everything has been executed so well I could say it's perfect. I am especially invested in Wan and her mother's relationship. My mother and I, too, fight a lot, but I also think we love each other so dearly. Everyone's acting is so impressive to the point that I started to forget that they were acting. It's that good.

Dear My Friends really deserves the best drama award at this year's Baeksang. I can't wait to watch more of the dramas which won the best drama award from other years' Baeksangs.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *