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[Best Friends Forever] Reunited friends


Reunited Worlds

By ChinguMode

One thing dramas do really well is friendship. This entire post could simply be a list of shows with amazing friendships, like Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju, Mystery Queen, Coffee Prince, Forest of Secrets, High School King of Savvy, I’m Not a Robot, Bring It On Ghost, Strongest Deliveryman, and Witch’s Romance. To name just a few of so many. Even the I Need Romance series is underpinned by great friendships, although Korea’s nod to Sex and the City was pretty woeful overall.

In the world of drama, friends might need to slap somebody or throw a shoe at somebody or form a cadre of vigilante motorcycle deliverymen to take down a corporate food monopoly. But in the real world, friends are the ones we can laugh with, have a drink with, play silly games with, and watch bad TV with. They’re the ones we can talk with—the ones who see us as we are and like us anyway.


Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju

As we saw from last month’s theme, so much of the television landscape is about us finding “The Destined One.” But beyond the romance and the Fated Love, how much of our life is really made bearable by the people we can rely on when we need somebody to just be there? While so much of dramaland is devoted to lonely people finding family through friendship, even more have at their core a quiet, beating heart of friendship for the sake of friendship.

But while lots of shows deal with lost love, very few shows deal with what happens when that base of friendship is taken away.

In Reunited Worlds, we’re introduced to two Jung Jung-wons. One is 19, happy and optimistic, and the other is 31, miserable, depressed, and in crippling debt with a drinking problem. As the show progresses, we come to understand that what separates Jung Jung-won from her teenage self isn’t a loss of love or of family, but a loss of friendship. She blamed herself for the death of her high school friend, Sung Hae-sung, and her grades dropped, she took on the debts of his grandmother’s illness, got a job she had no passion for, and lost contact with the rest of her friends. She lives a lonely life, not because she doesn’t have love or family, but because she doesn’t have friendship.


Reunited Worlds

“I have debt from private loans. I have a drinking problem too. I’m messy and dirty. I never clean and my life is stressful because I’m so forgetful. I’m dumb too. I’m not well-educated and I’m not even from a good family. Most of all, I’m unlucky,” she tells her boss, Cha Min-joon, not to complain, but to warn him of the consequences of getting involved with her.

Thankfully for Jung-won, fate intervenes when it brings her deceased best friend, Hae-sung, back from the dead. He tells her the accident was not her fault and then helps her to create a better life for herself. In doing so, it provides her finally with a steady footing in the shifting sands of her life.

Hae-sung is a born fixer but he’s also a born friend. He loves passionately and unconditionally and never questions his feelings or his resolve. He sees past the troubles in her life to the person she is underneath and accepts her completely for who she is now.


Reunited Worlds

Nobody is going to argue that Reunited Worlds is a well-written show. Its plotting is haphazard, its pacing is frustrating and the writing is often clumsy. But beyond the will-they-won’t-they romance, the last-minute shoehorned antagonist, the superpowers the writers forgot, the endless circling plot points that drag on too long, the dead fish kisses, and the numerous flashbacks as we find out that yet another character was in the school “that night” but definitely didn’t commit the murder Hae-sung was accused of, this show is about a woman who’s just so grateful to have her best friend back.

Jung-won blossoms into adulthood, not because of True Love, but because she has somebody who truly understands her to talk to at the end of the day. And with that friendship and emotional healing come others: reuniting with her supportive group of school friends, creating a new friendship with Min-joon, finding the courage to pursue her passion for drawing, and eventually having the strength to cope when Hae-sung leaves again.

Reunited Worlds is mostly concerned with how we deal with our past to create a future for ourselves. It’s about compassion and forgiveness. But it’s also about friendship.

Jung-won is given an extraordinary gift. But that gift is not the second chance most of us aspire to. It’s not the attainment of her first love that so many shows are obsessed with. It’s not even the domestic bliss she shares with Hae-sung for a time.

This gift is something even better—a new beginning.


Reunited Worlds

 
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Wow @ChinguMode, you wrote it very nicely! I watched little bit more than the half of this show, I think. I dropped it, because of the issues you mentioned, but I kept on watching a couple of scenes here and there and half of the final episode I think. And this is something I also noticed in that show, and something I liked. They were friends first, and kept on being such, far beyond the supposedly romance that somehow didn't work🙄... But the friendship always worked. Not only Hae Sung's with Jung won, but with the entire clang. I specially loved Hae sung's friendship with Hoe ba (don't remember how to write his name), and I cried, I cried lots when Hae sung had to say good bye to his housemate, and how he remembered Hoe ba that he was the one who received everything from his friend. Hoe ba was really such an inconditional friend, so loyal, so selfless. I really really liked him.
At least his arc, I would watch it over.
Even Min joon who was supposed to be a second lead, he was very lovable.
Yes! Reunited worlds did a good job on friendship.

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Thanks @javinne.
When I was writing it, I nearly got distracted by writing about all the other amazing friendships in this show as well. Such a lovely little group of friends and Ho-bang was so much more than just the comic relief. I like to think about that little restaurant with these family and friends coming there to remember Hae-sung and eat his food.

It's just a shame the rest of the show was so poorly written.

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I didn’t watch this drama, but I still found this well written and agree with you ~ friendship is what makes life bearable, and the love of friends is no less of a gift than romantic love. Thank you @chingumode

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Thanks @hotcocoagirl, I'd like to recommend it but I kind of can't. It's my ultimate "what if" drama because it could have been so amazing. There's a lot to love in it but also a lot that's really ordinary.

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Nice one, @chingumode. I actually really liked the first half of this drama, before it added more and more characters and turned makjang-y. It had a really good premise that was eventually let down by inconsistent and sloppy writing. I also Jung Won's and Hae Sung's group of high school friends and their friendship with Min Joon. Loved the bromance as well among the male characters and the friendship between Jung Won and Jin Joo, whose video calls are so hilarious.

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What really annoyed me at the time was the fact that Min-joon and Tae-hoon's storyline got resolved offscreen and instead we got exploding cars. After all the buildup and angst, it was like:
"So, I hear you're my brother"
"Yep."
"Cool."

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LOL 😂😂😂😂 never watched those parts, but don't want to either. Bad writing!!!

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I’m impressed! First, because of your lovely writing and second, because you watched this entire drama. I really think the world of Yeo Jin Goo, but even that couldn’t get me through it all! I really think you hit the nail of the head when you said the friendship always worked in this. I should have been concentrating on that instead of all the missteps.

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LOL. Indeed! Although there was a lot of groaning and fast-forwarding at the end, especially when a whole heap of plotlines got shoved to the side for a poorly-drawn antagonist that came out of nowhere.

I do find I can overlook a lot in a show if there's one thing that really excites my imagination and I found Yeo Jin-goo's Sung Hae-sung was that thing. I really found it heartwarming watching these damaged people get stitched up again by one little force of nature. And I was shipping the OTP a lot until the dead fish.

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That was a problem for me too, I never shipped the leads. I was wanting some epic romance that spanned age and time and never got that, dead fishes aside. Lol.

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Hi, Ally. I agree with you. That OTP was a miscast, or maybe simply poorly written. Now, changing my topic, I already have a group of questions for our article, did you write me an email, so that I can send them to you?? (Until now I haven't checked this account in some two or three days😅)

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I wrote the email yesterday! I hope you got it!

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Ah the last line, you just nailed it. Though my memory about reunited worlds is vague, one thing that clearly sticks with me is the friendship between Hae-sung and his gang. I especially loved his cop friend.
Your write-up just made one thing clear Hae-sung and jung-won were first friends before lovers, that's so sweet of you for reminding that ☺️

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Thanks for commenting, @twinkle. I suspect this show is one a lot of people only remember vaguely.

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Yay I don't remember much but one thing am sure is I really liked the show while binge watching it.

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Your writing is so beautiful @leetennant! I agree about how important friendship is in our lives.

I couldn't continue watching Reunited Worlds after the first few episodes because it was SO FRUSTRATING that nobody cared about how Hae Sugn could possibly be back from the dead! A few characters panicked yes, but mostly everybody smiled and accepted him as though he's just returned after a year studying abroad. Gah.

But this is the best and most convincing review/defense of the show that I've read. Your interpretation is spot on. :)

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Thanks! I'm glad you liked it. Now I can just dream of what this show could have been...

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I love how you were able to write something so passionate about this show despite its many disappointments . Really great write up!

The could have beens for Reunited Worlds are endless and it's really frustrating how much the writing was butchered so hard. You could tell that the storyline is already spread so thin and yet they forced to even extend it to 20 episodes. Justice for my Jingoo. T_T

Despite all that... I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy the friendships and family love introduced and formed in this drama. It's one of the major things (the other, that this being Jingoo's drama sigh) that kept me sticking throughout.

The loyalty between the main gang in this drama is just so sweet. When Haesung was initially rejected by his brothers, he felt the acceptance he needed in his return with his best friends.

Jinjoo and Jungwon's sisterhood is so adorable too. I love how they just crash one another's house whenever.. But best of all, how Jinjoo stuck through thick and thin with Jungwon even after Haesung's passing.

I also love how Minjoon's character was made to be a truly warm person, not just for the female lead but the male lead as well, to the point that Haesung can't help but consider him the big brother he never had but really needed.

Thanks for writing this one up~ I really enjoyed reading this. ♥

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There were little scenes in this like the BBQ scene where Jung-won and Hae-sung are hiding in the house that are just so low-rent but also so quirky and heartwarming.

I really enjoyed the fact the "love triangle" was had little jealousy or pettiness. Everyone was so mature about it right up until the end.

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That was a really funny scenes, especially when Haesung and Jungwon thought the others have already left but turns out they were just playing a silent game.

Yes, I'm thankful the love triangle here is almost non-existent and not exhausting to watch.

I hindsight, I think I enjoyed watching the filler scenes more like when Minjoon randomly brought Haesung on a date.. than the ones that brought the story forward aka the badly written mystery murder case *yawns*.

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Yes, it's the little scenes I like rewatching. Like when Jung-won warns Soo-ji to stay away from her man not realising she's Hae-sung's sister or when Hae-sung finds out he's an Uncle or just anytime anyone 10 years older referred to this 19-year-old as keun oppa or keun hyung.

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+10000

Reading this makes me want to rewatch those simple feel-good scenes.

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...and here I was, thinking that this post (judging from the title) was about reunited friends ala Chicago Typewriter, lol! I'm actually hoping someone would write something about this beautiful friendship too. :)

Anyway, this was a nice read, thanks @ChinguMode!

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Well I'm glad you enjoyed it even though you were expecting a different show!

Chicago Typewriter did have a good little threesome in it, didn't it? I'm not sure what I'd say about that though. I thought CT was great despite the love triangle and reincarnation nonsense, rather than because of it.

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