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[Dramaland Catnip] Childhood loves and backstories


The Moon That Embraces the Sun

[There’s a certain magic about children in dramaland, whether it’s the pure love stories, the strong emotional backstories that set up our main storyline, or the acting performances themselves. Our Guest Beanies today each have a slightly different take on childhood stories in dramas, and how they affect their viewing experiences. –javabeans]

 
By @obsessedmuch

I almost always love flashbacks about childhood meetings between the leads. These need not necessarily be romantic and do not have to give a “fated” feeling to the couple, although that is always an added bonus. These come in many shapes!

There is the we-have-been-the-best-of-friends-since-childhood version, à la Answer Me 1997, Answer Me 1988, or The Producers. The flashbacks in Answer Me 1988 particularly gave me that “Omo, I love all of them so much” feeling every time they showed those sepia tinted photo- flashbacks!


Answer Me 1988

The Producers was full of flashbacks of the two main best friends (Ye-jin and Joon-mo), but an added bonus was when Seung-chan discovers an old photograph of those two and finds himself in the background. His face full of unparalleled happiness at discovering that keepsake (what he calls a “small fate”) is literally me every time a couple’s adorable history together is revealed. This particular version is always filled with cute memories of leads playing together as kids and manages to make me giddy every single time.

Then there are shows that start off with the younger version of the leads, where the childhood story is almost always better than the grown-up version. Case in point: Angel Eyes. The show was so, so good in the early few episodes, and then it just instantly went downhill as soon as they grew up!


The Producers

The version I love the most, however, is when we are shown childhood memories from a particularly life-changing event in our leads’ lives. This version has featured in some of my favorite shows, I Hear Your Voice and I Remember You. This gives a particular gravitas to the leads’ stories. Ji-an’s (and Min’s) stalking of Hyun in I Remember You as adults makes sense because it was just natural for her to drift towards someone who had something in common with her and who could hold the essential clue for solving her life’s biggest mystery. Su-ha’s puppy-like adoration of Hye-sung in I Hear You Voice had a legitimate basis in her almost heroic appearance in his early life. I would also like to add Shopping King Louis here, because even though the recollection was not about a serious event, it still showed how a little act of generosity can make one remember and be influenced by someone for one’s whole lifetime.

I know that this trope is so common that it gets a little predictable for many but it never gets old for me! I always love finding more about how the leads were as children and how and if they knew each other. The best thing about this trope? I have yet to find it done wrong. Almost every writer succeeds in getting this particular aspect of their story right, no matter how much they screw up the rest of the show. Or maybe I haven’t seen enough shows? Well, now that’s one more motivation to watch more K-dramas that I didn’t really need.


I Remember You

 
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By Yiwen

Childhood friends who eventually fall in love perfectly encapsulates my dramaland catnip; all my favorite dramas carry a storyline of this sort. There’s just something so intimate about growing up with someone, sharing all the pivotal moments, whether good or bad, and realizing at some point that your memories, experiences, and life in general have become so entwined with someone else’s that you can’t imagine the future without them.

I Need Romance 2012 was the drama where I realized I was a sucker for these types of plots. I remember being on vacation in Mexico and rushing back to the hotel so I could watch the newest episode as soon as possible. Regardless of how idiotic both leads sometimes were in dealing with their relationship and how utterly incommunicative Lee Jin-wook’s character was, there was something so intense about their connection that no one else could possibly ever compare to. Childhood is a wondrous, precious time for everyone and to have shared all of it with someone is an incredibly sweet thing (even if there are multiple break-ups in between). I think that is one of the reasons I am so drawn to this trope—that someone has become so influential in shaping you as a person that no matter how perfect a new love interest is, they can’t ever compete.


I Need Romance 2012

I can’t write about childhood loves without mentioning the Answer Me series. I marathon the first two installments religiously every holiday season (I suffered intense second male lead syndrome in 1988 so let’s never revisit that one again). Answer Me 1997 and 1994 both showcase how, before they become couples, the characters are already family—they have a certain love, respect and understanding for one another that can lay a solid foundation for what comes after the butterflies. Which leaves me with a nostalgia for my own childhood wondering where my Garbage Oppa and Yoon-jae are.

Currently Dong-man and Ae-ra are killing me with the cuteness in Fight My Way. I love the way Dong-man can seemingly anticipate Ae-ra’s reactions, whether it be an aegyo overload or a sobbing session. Since they know each other’s habits and triggers so well, they have no other choice but to be transparent with one another. Also, because they have been so highly supportive of another during some difficult times, it sets a good precedent for whatever comes ahead. The epilogues at the end of each episode work to further emphasize how significant a role Ae-ra has played in each stage of Dong-man’s life, and vice versa.


Fight My Way

Similarly, the epilogues in The Producers often gave the viewers more insight into Ye-jin and Joon-mo’s feelings and how their ultimate relationship was a long time coming. While I remember being so frustrated by Joon-mo’s passiveness and denial of his obvious feelings for his childhood best friend, when he finally confessed I was floored by just how deeply he loved her. While I would never condone choosing a college or career just to follow your crush in real life, the way Joon-mo seemed to be invigorated just to keep Ye-jin firmly by his side left me sobbing.

I’ve been watching dramas for almost half my life now, and there are always the special ones that I connect to momentous events in my life. As if every time I revisit them, or even if they are mentioned, I am transported to that time when I first watched them. I imagine that childhood sweethearts are a little like that—you think of them at the most random of moments because of something you shared. Somehow you can never truly get rid of them because you carry little pieces of them everywhere, as they’ve molded you into the person you are today. Eventually in the cases of these childhood friends, they realize that no other person is as compatible as the one who has always been right there and, if the timing is right, will continue to be there, this time as more than just a friend.


The Producers

 
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By cassie23

I love Korean dramas very much and the reasons have been shared in other drama land catnip posts. But one particular reason why I love K-dramas so much is the child or teen actors who play the hero and the heroine. Some of them give me a strong impression, which makes me want to see them onscreen more and watch their scenes a million times, or to not want to say goodbye to young version.

Autumn Fairy Tale was my very first K-drama and it was the beginning of my addiction to everything about South Korea. This drama was divided into a young part and adult part, where the younger versions of the leads were played by Moon Geun-young and Choi Woo-hyuk. The story has them in a brother and sister relationship when growing up, and although they aren’t related, they struggle with their love as adults because of their childhood background and family opposition.


Autumn Fairy Tale

There are scenes that are especially touching from the childhood section, such as the scene when they rode a bicycle on rainy day and took shelter, and he realized that his sister had grown up as a woman. One scene that made me cry was when the second lead girl confronts the hero’s family after they go on an excursion. That’s where the heroine finds out that she’s not really his biological family and runs away from home. He follows her and persuades her to come home, and on the road, he piggybacks her. And when his family goes to United States, she chases her father’s car up to the village, and calls for their mother, father, and brother while crying. It was such a tearjerking scene for me.

The Moon That Embraces the Sun’s teen actors also made a strong impression for me. I just loved their chemistry, and I can’t forget how sweet the moments were between Kim Yoo-jung and Yeo Jin-gu, and how tearjerking the moment was when he realized she was dead. It’s not only about their relationship but also the other characters (Im Shi-wan, Lee Won-geun, Lee Min-ho) that made me love the young version so much. Even though I watched because of Kim Soo-hyun and Han Ga-in, sometimes I didn’t want their young versions to grow old. I watched their teen story a million times while waiting for adult version episodes to be released.


Saimdang, Light’s Diary

In Saimdang, Light’s Diary, the young version was the reason I watched it. Even though this drama was the comeback project for Lee Young-ae, I couldn’t find any interest in the adult version. It was Yang Se-jong and Park Hye-soo who brought me to watch this drama, and only the teen story of the saeguk portion.

Seven Day Queen is the reason why I chose young actors as my catnip. You must agree that their teen story is so cute, funny, yet sad that I can’t move on. Their chemistry was no joke and they really did a good job portraying their characters. Yeon Woo-jin was the reason I was looking forward to this drama, but I got hooked by Baek Sung-hwan and Park Shi-eun acting as the younger versions of the main couple from the first episode. I loved so much when they’re onscreen even when it’s a sad scene. I’d like to thank and appreciate these cuties for their natural and genuine performances which makes this drama win such a positive reputation.

I really love the scene where young Chae-kyung stretches her arms out to the wind and whistles, and Yeok joins her too with the thought that she’s an interesting girl. I love how Yeok gazes at her on a rainy day when they’re being tailed, and you can’t forget the sweetest proposal I’ve ever seen in a saeguk drama, where he asks to be friends for the rest of their lives.


Seven Day Queen

 
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By @ahjbundpc

“It started when we were younger…”

This is one of my weaknesses when it comes to dramas. When it all started back when they were younger, it always makes me think they’re making a good foundation for a strong relationship. This background is something no one can replace and it secures a spot in each other’s lives no matter what happens later. What most people call “just puppy love” can be as strong as wild beasts that can take your life in a snap. It’s like a tattoo that you’ll always have. Most often, it’s never forgotten.

So far, The Moon That Embraces the Sun is the best drama that describes what I mean. An unexpected encounter that turns into one of the best love stories I’ve ever seen in dramaland. I just love how great their love is for each other that even presumed death and memory loss (not to mention the many years that passed when they were far away from each other) didn’t stand a chance to win over the fight of their true love.


Stairway to Heaven

In Autumn Fairy Tale, who can forget the story about the unexplainable affection these two have for each other, masked in sibling love? It shows how your heart knows what you’re trying to hide the most, the kind of love that goes past the boundaries. The couple somehow grew up as brother and sister but still ended up facing what they truly feel for each other ever since they were young. It also shows how well they’ve waited for each other with a longing heart and the desire to be together despite the circumstances they are in.

Stairway to Heaven was the story about childhood friends that later on turns into love. The pain in this love story was very addicting for me. I will never forget the way it broke my heart at a very young age, but I couldn’t help but ask for more because their story was a perfect sweet poison. Their love would’ve been perfect is the thought that never leaves my mind while watching this drama, but I can’t complain because aside from being exhausted from buckets of tears that were shed, it’s all worth the pain anyway.


She Was Pretty

She Was Pretty: These lovely puppies! I can’t help but smile whenever I remember their scenes (insert the song ‘’Close to You”). Isn’t it amazing that in this drama they just emphasize that looks doesn’t matter as long as you have a great personality and a very good heart? Despite the heroine being almost perfect when they were younger, it wasn’t a reason for her not to care for the boy when he was less popular. This is definitely one good show for the heart and will make you believe that love is stronger than what your eyes can see.

Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju is another one of the best-friends-to-lovers stories out there, a very delightful drama from start to finish. In this one, it shows how deep our hero’s love for the heroine is because it all started back when they were still little kids. Of course it all started as what most call a crush but it ended up as a heartwarming love story (and can’t help but to mention, eventually gave us one of the best real-life K-drama couples).


Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju

I know Seven Day Queen is still an ongoing drama, but I bet whoever was able to see it already agrees that the start of this drama is daebak! The chemistry with the young actors was just on point and left you asking for more so I feel the need to include it on this list. Can’t wait how their young love will turn into a great love even with a taste of tragedy.

This kind of story may sound cheesy and too good to be true for some people, but I really find it irresistible, maybe because it feeds my fantasy and makes me believe in a kind of love that lasts a lifetime. I’ve been watching K-dramas since ten or twelve years ago and this is definitely my catnip. Anyone else with me?


Seven Day Queen

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Not a definite catnip for me, but childhood backstories tug at my heart so much and I love them when they're done well. Fight My Way's childhood stories are especially precious and I love how Aera still hits his head the exact same way. The childhood backstories are the ones that made me continue with Saimdang and Seven Day Queen, so I'd say that those are definitely done right. They really set the backdrop for the grown up's motivations and actions.

It's not mentioned here, but the flashbacks in Come Back Ahjussi with the boxing gloves and the photo taken in front of the car really hit me quite hard and unexpectedly too.

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Yes THIS! Moon-Sun and 7DQ define my love for childhood lovestory. If I could I'd love to petition for a whole show focusing on them and only them. The Moon-Sun child portion actually set such a high bar that I find the adult counterparts pale in comparison. Usually I tend to avoid childhood stories but Moon-Sun changed my mind and that's how I came to love 7DQ child part immensely.

I also love the first part of Will It Snow For Christmas? in which Nam Ji Hyun and Kim Soo Hyun played the younger counterparts of Han Se Yeul and Go Soo respectively. I think those are three shows where I was really reluctant to let go of the child actors.

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I really loved young parts in Will It Snow For Christmas. I didn't love the adult part as much I did with the younger parts. Another one was Angel Eyes.

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Me too. I didn't seem to connect to the adult part that well in WISFC. I haven't finished that drama either so my opinion might change once I get down to watching it again.

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Completely agree with you on the child/adult comparison in Moon-Sun. Kim Yoo Jung gave such a stellar performance, unmatched by the adult actress. In 4 episodes, I fell in love with her Yeon Woo, cheered her on and was devastated by her demise. Moon-Sun was the show that hooked me to kdramas and KYJ my bias since then.
She did it again in Golden Rainbow - set the bar at the child portion unmatched by the adult actors.

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Kang Ha Neul-Nam Ji Hyun in Angel Eyes are my favourite <3

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So much so that I refuse to acknowledge the rest of the drama ;)

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Yes, Angel Eyes was tracking to be my favorite drama almost right to the end until she pulled noble idiocy that literally had me screaming at my computer screen and I was yelling at him, "Why would you want to marry a girl who pulls that kind of stunt???" Yikes, I was so mad and disappointed that the memory is still visceral it hurt so bad.

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Congratulations to obsessedmuch for finding a trope to fit almost all of Seo In Guk' s dramas

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Ahh maybe it's his catnip too? ?

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Seo In-Guk himself is my catnip! ?

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Mine too! :P

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I'm wondering if dramabeans will publish If I write my catnip for a certain actor!

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Hahaha... you caught me!! ;)

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still, not quite all. perhaps "main character who sings" would cover more of them? it is very difficult with him cause he is too diverse.

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Hahha... even that wouldn't cover all of his dramas (I am thinking 38 Task Force and I Remember You)! His shows have really been quite diverse!
Maybe the next 'Theme of the month' will be actors we would watch anything for and then we can write a special post on Seo In Guk! :P

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Hahahaha Seo In Guk is my ultimate catnip, For ever and ever <3

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I just love childhood story of Geum Sa Wol XD
and Can You Hear My Heart also remarkable for me more than adult version, ah so heartbreaking.

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Done right, its a catnip for me. If we're selling childhood love or fated love, then chemistry of the young OTP is also important. And there's no greater childhood chemistry than that of Yeo Jin Goo and Kim Yoo Jung in METS. It was through this drama that the importance of child actors were recognized. Another childhood backstory that worked the emotion well was that of Nam Ji Hyun and Kim Soo Hyun. However, the common theme with the 2 dramas mentioned, unfortunately the adult actors were unable to sustained chemistry of the young actors.

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"The best thing about this trope? I have yet to find it done wrong. Almost every writer succeeds in getting this particular aspect of their story right, no matter how much they screw up the rest of the show." <-- THIS.

You've put into words why this trope is a very particular catnip of mine. It's almost too easy to be addicted when you have the simple assurance that it won't fail you ???

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I know right! It has never failed till now for me and I hope it never does!

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If for nothing else I like the employment of this trope because it provides such a wonderful breeding ground for fostering some of the extraordinary acting talents in Korea which include Park Shin-hye, Yoo Seung-ho, Lee Hyun-woo, Yeo Jin-goo, Kim So-hyun, Kim Yo-jung, and many many more!

I am excited to see how Baek Sung-hwan and Park Shi-eun of Seven Day Queen will transition into adulthood to become actors of their own rights.

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I watched historical dramas long before I discovered romcoms. And I almost always liked the childhood backstories more than the grown up versions. (Dong-Yi, The Great Queen, Kim So Roo, Jumong, Duo, and Moon Embracing the Sun, even, all held my interest more when the young actors/actresses were playing their grown up counterparts. (Even though I love the grown up actors.)
One day there will be a drama that begins with kids and ends before they grow up. Will that become my favorite?

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Have you seen Queen's Classroom?

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No. I haven't. (Do you recommend it? Isn't Mishil the teacher?)

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Moon-sun is my favourite....who can forget those exceptional crying scenes from hwon(yeo jin goo) and yeon woo( Kim Yoo Jung)??

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Maybe this isn't quite related to the childhood romance/backstory catnip. I've just realized Park Shin-hye and Bake Sung-hyun who played the childhood protagonists of Stairway to Heaven, reunited 13 years later in Doctors. PSH became the main character while BSH just played a small role.

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Oh my goodness!! I've never realized that! Thanks for pointing it out!! Stairway to Heaven was one of my favourite kdrama when I was young. And I did recently watch Doctors but I didn't even recognize Baek Sung-hyun!

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hah i love this! which reminds me of spring waltz..
it's one of my top fave dramas and part of the reason why i treasure it so much is because of its beautiful flashes of the past, back in their childhood days when love was still starting to bloom;

every childhood love story is so special and just thinking about it makes me feel nostalgic of the good old days

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Good backstory for the main OTP usually gets me. I remember seeing Kim Yoo Jung and Yeo Jin Gu in Moon Embraces the Sun. Those childhood scenes really got me hooked. They really sold the love story and were amazing in their roles. Although I stuck around mostly because of them and didnt finish the adult scenes.
Other dramas where I loved the younger/childhood/teens scenes (and finished the series) were Answer Me 1988, 7DQ, Fight My Way, Twenty Again, I Remember You and Stairway to Heaven. Well these are what I can remember atm.
Its not a prerequisite for me to love the drama but its an added bonus when the backstory of the main OTP is heartwarming.

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*didnt finish the adult character's scenes.. lol

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I really love the younger versions in 7DQ.. very natural, no pretentions or whatsoever, they're straight forward, and romance development is on point.. Yes, Young Chae Kyung wants to get married to prove to her parents thats she's worth it to be as married woman, and not really thinking about love... lol.. and of course the young prince has a pride and not attracted to her at first.... This is so cute as young lovers lol, which is really true... Then of course, it was just developed since they come along together... that's why I re-watched all the episodes of 7dq again, and i caught myself smiling while watching... Cant wait for wed-thurs!!

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Some old sageuk especially the long ones often have a long portion of childhood -sometimes it has almost 10 epi if it is sageuk with around 100 epi. There was when I have deeper connection with these child actors because get to see them more than a mere 2-4 epi. These days, long sageuk doesn't have so many epi with child actors so while I love their parts, I don't feel disconnect with story if the adult started to appear. I especially love young Hong Gil Dong (Roo Won) in Rebel, child actors in Six Flying Dragons and of course all our child actors in METS. In modern drama, child /teen portions that i love is in She Was Pretty, Angel Eyes, Giant, and Will It Snow for Chrismas. There are some others but I don't remember all.

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I love so many of these, but I think my favorite awww one is Weightlifting Fairy. It's a great example of a childhood meet-cute starting out seeming hilarious but then getting reframed as really touching as the story progresses.

Seven Day Queen's younger versions are one of the main things that hooked me into the series. (Are they still "child" actors when he's 19?) I'm surprised by how well it was done, and I find myself believing those kids actually grew up to become the leads.

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Christ, he's 19?! Dammit he looks so young.

While on the other hand Yeo Jin Goo has been playing adult roles since 2 years ago....

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Yes the thing best about this is the innocence in their love. That's kind of cute.

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I love innocent love stories (thank you kdramas for blessing me with lots of these), so this one is definitely a favorite. It is my dream for there to be a sageuk that focuses on the childhood/teenage romance.

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Although there are many childhood love story that captures my heart, one of my favourite is the one from Beloved Eun-Dong. Especially the parts played by Got7's Park Jinyoung and Lee Ja-In, their chemistry was amazing. Though most childhood stories are usually pure and innocent, their love seem a little purer, a little more innocent. I loved that an act of kindness started and fueled a lifetime of devotion and longing. This is also one of those dramas where I loved both the childhood and adult parts equally. In the adult part, I was held spellbound by the acting and the emotions during the nearly 6 minutes of conversation between the two protagonists in episode 8. It was amazing acting and gave me tingles because we as the viewer, knew what that conversation was about as we were given an excellent back story.

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Oh I wanted to add Beloved Eun Dong in my write-up but forgot about it when I started to write it... But I didn't like the adult parts here as much as the childhood parts and I think I left the show after like 10-12 episodes because it was getting a little frustrating.. The childhood parts however were adorable!

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Yes, yes, yes!!! Beloved Eun Dong reigns as one of my top three favorite romances ever after watching over 250 dramas. Man oh man - I just FELT that love connection in my gut - and the longing he felt - and the way he stared at her across a dinner table. Yikes!! Gives me goose bumps just remembering it all.

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In the words of Cha TaeHyun who actually lived through this catnip,

"I've been with my wife since the start of high school, so she's known me since I was a loser, a nobody, She saw me through the ups and downs... she knows me too well. So whatever she tells me really helps me."

And I think that's the essence of this catnip and why it draws people in. It's like having a huge pillar in your life, once that you know will be there for you to lean on no matter what happens.

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Cha Tae Hyun got his fairytale and I envy him! He sounds so perfect everytime I hear him talk about his wife and kids!

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This is definitely catnip for me too! My Love, Eun Dong was my first kdrama and the kids in the first episode were more than adorable! And Siamdang! I didn't care for any other part of this and didn't watch past the 4th episode, when that story ending heartbreakingly!

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Love all the dramas mentioned here except for Autumn in My Heart because it's kinda weird that they grew up as siblings. Dong Man-Ae Ra & Bok Joon-Hyung are my favorite! They're too cute!

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I love Korea's talented child actors. I feel like I've grown up with the most talented in the industry.
Sageuks introduced me to a bunch of them who were borned in the 1990s.
Shin Eun-kyung who is currently the busiest young actress in Chungmuro and headlining two successful films "Sunny" and "Ms Granny." The only other child actor that I know of to command box-office success at a very young age was Moon Gae-young.
Park Bo-young, Yeo Jin-goo, Kim Yoo-jung, Jin Ji-hee, Park Eun-bin, Kim So-hyun, Kim Sae-ron, Yoo Seung-ho, Noh Young-hak, Lee Hyun-woo,Lee Min-ho (93), Lee David, Nam Ji-hyun, Seo Shin-ae, Lee Young-yoo and the 16yr old Kim Hyang-gi.

Love this generation of young actors. Looking forward to the future as adult actors.

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When done well, I absolutely love this. When done in a way that is lazy, ridiculous or tacked on at the end of the story ... it's a big catNOPE for me.

Maybe because I'm western and there's a lot less focus on fate in relationships. I've seen too many dramas where the adult lead chemistry just isn't working and suddenly there's a flashback to two adorable little preteens frolicking together. Why can't people just meet and fall in love, damn it? Why did they have to know each other when they were 8 to prove the legitimacy of the relationship. (Rant over)

To get back to a happy place, I thought it was really cute in Healer when they fell asleep holding hands. Also, my rant does not apply to any of the Reply series because they grow up together- rather than meeting cute and then being separated for 20 years.

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Not necessarily a catnip but it feels good to watch if executed properly.
I loved the childhood backstory in she was pretty.

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Yay! My catnip was chosen! I love that there were other beanies who had a similar catnip.. From the sound of it, it seems like I should watch 7DQ for sure!

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Yes. Definitely. They are fantastic and set the tone for the next phase of the show. Well done too for actually writing and submitting a catnip.

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It was very last minute! I actually sent it yesterday, just hours before the deadline.. But I am happy I sent it even though I wanted to erase everything as soon as I wrote it! First drafts are always like that for me, but I had no time to re-write! :P

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Yayyy! Our catnip was featured. Hooray! ???

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yes, you should it is not a waste of time. It Worth it. Some binge watching and you'll catch up it's only up to ep 8 so far.

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yesss,,,you should watch it ,,7DQ was the reason i chose it as my catnip,,,happy for you and other who have the same catnip with me???

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Reading the part about Seven Day Queen made me tear up. That's a beautiful love story right there.

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I would add Healer as well. They were best friends as children then all the drama happened and they both forgot about each other but after years and struggles they managed to find each other again. And the sweets part for me is that when he is with her she can sleep without issues while when other people are there she cannot sleep at all.

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Omo!!! I thought it'll not be featured. Thank you so much! I just really want to share my catnip that's why I submitted one even in a hurry. Thank youuuuuuu beanies!

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I absolutely love this when it's done right! Maybe because I only almost got to have loves like these. The connections were always too fleeting to really hold on to, but just enough to mean something to both of us so I've always wondered and wished about the what could have been. These stories occasionally give me a taste of what I missed.

I've noticed that it's harder for adult counterparts to carry on a romance that actually begins with the endearing teens (rather than, say, having a childhood friendship and falling in love later). It's part of why Answer Me 1997 works so well, because Jung Eun-ji and Seo In-guk were perfect for handling both of those portions. This is why I'm particularly impressed with 7 Day Queen for the seamless casting and acting. It's the first time I feel the adults are going to fully capitalize on the groundwork layed by the teens so I'm really looking forward to this.

I just want to point this out though...for dramas that don't have the leads know about their childhood connection when they meet: I am strangely really adamant about them falling in love before knowing, if the connection is positive.

For example, I hated the childhood connection in Gaksital because I would have rather seen the hate-to-love + secret identity goodness without that connection coming in to influence their feelings before they changed. Luckily (?), Jin Se-yeon already made the loveline my last priority in that otherwise perfect drama so I didn't have to care too much. Healer (lol, ironically another secret identity drama), on the other hand, did it just how I like it. The leads fell for each other without knowing and it only served to deepen their connection when they did find out. I think I just don't like when a revelation about a child connection suddenly affects some change in the feelings they've already formed after having met again. If they hate each other or get off on the wrong foot, I want to see some change in feelings first, instead of having the revelation change everything.

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Wow you had one of favs dramas in your list. IHYV, WFKBJ, 7DQ, STH I love them... I agree with you about the chemestry between the younger version of the lead couple. They hooked me along with the opening scene to this drama, and did an amazing job with characterization, because I definitely can see and identify both of the leads with their younger parts.

I would add, even when it's not a girl-man kind of love, the four boys from BBF and their older version. Come on! they were so absolutly cute, bromance can count :D

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"Childhood first loves" are so cliche and overused, but I love them anyway ha! It's refreshing to see the male/female lead fall for someone other than their first love. One of the best dramas that used "childhood first loves" really well is My Love Eundong, I don't know how much tears I've shed for that drama.

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Best friends to lovers is def my favorite drama trope, especially cemented by Fight My Way. To me, that's the most ideal love story <3

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This is my catnip too. Watched 9 ends 2 out, time we were not in love, fight my way.

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I'm currently not watching 7DQ (*cue onslaught of comments saying I should* lol), so my top 2 of this catnip would be:
#1. "She Was Pretty"
#2. "Weightlifting Fairy, Kim Boy Joo"

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*Bok

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Haha, you should! At least the first 4 episodes if you like this catnip (and then you'l'l be hooked, mwahaha).

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Can we have Moon Geun Young and Choi Woo Hyuk in a drama again?

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I just remember one more drama that fits this catnip: Healer! I can't believe that I forgot about them being childhood playmate with their beloved samchoon.

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Backstories add depth to a friendship/romance and that depth does so much for my emotions. This trope makes the friends to lovers one often mean so much more.

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Moon that Embraces the Sun probably had my favourite childhood love story, so much that it eclipsed the rest of the drama. Unfortunately Kill Me Kill Me and then Cinderella and the Four Knights have turned me into a cynical person who rolls her eyes at seeing this and goes 'really, did they have to be fated since childhood?' When done well (like in the Reply series) it works really well, but often it just seems like a cheap trick (Cinderella and 4K...)

Seven Day Queen though. Those kids nailed it. Maybe I prefer this trope in sageuks?

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If I remember correctly, Jang Ok Jang In Love had a compelling childhood romance, too..

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Yeo Jin-Goo and Kim So-Hyun were also brilliant in I miss you. Their characters' portrayal of that recurring theme "sometimes all you need is one person" was so good that the 'evil character' focussed on that to break them up.

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Yes, love it. :)

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