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My Unfamiliar Family: Episode 16 (Final)

It’s time to say goodbye to our messy, loveable family. I feel like I’ve been with this family for much longer than two months, yet I can’t believe their story is already over. This drama provided a surprisingly nuanced, frank look at family with all its beauty and flaws. I’ll miss seeing them on my screen every week, but I’m pretty happy with where we ended up.

 
EPISODE 16

Chan-hyuk goes to Eun-hee’s work to talk to her. They sit outside where he says that the one thing he couldn’t adequately capture through pictures at Eun-joo’s wedding was her parents’ expressions. Eun-hee recalls finding a photo of her dad in Jin-sook’s book. (That’s what she was so shocked about?)

She’s surprised that he has that very photo and a few others of her parents on his phone. Chan-hyuk liked them and passed them along to Ji-woo. In their expressions, he saw a tacit understanding between them that they alone knew what it took for each other to get there.

He calls it deeper than love and surmises that they didn’t hate each other or stay together only for their kids. Chan-hyuk thinks Jin-sook is wise and advises Eun-hee to just listen no matter what her mom says today. Eun-hee can tell he isn’t telling her everything, but she doesn’t push.

Elsewhere, Eun-joo meets with Ji-woo and gently reminds him not to believe someone who claims to know your concerns and desires. He may have loved that woman, but he fell for her scam because it was easy and comfortable.

Eun-joo drops the bomb that she’s divorced and admits she’s kept a lot from him because he’s the maknae. They should start telling each other things from now on. For the first time, Ji-woo is reluctant to take her card when she offers it so he can buy a cake for their dad. Eun-joo sees that as progress.

At home, the kids sit stunned when their father yells, “Get out!” Ji-woo cries silently. But Jin-sook refuses to kick her son out, knowing personally how scary it is when family does that to you. She addresses Ji-woo again, asking if he knows how he’s wronged her. Why did he do it?

Eun-joo intercedes that he probably left with only the thought that he could live freely abroad. Jin-sook states he found his family a burden. After her family left, she had nowhere to go and cried alone. She can’t fathom Ji-woo’s wanting to leave his family.

Jin-sook switches gears and says they should have cake and celebrate Sang-shik’s recovery. The girls hop to it, and Ji-woo begs his mom’s forgiveness. As he hugs her and cries, apologizing and pleading, Eun-hee tells Eun-joo she wants to be a maknae in her next life. Ha!

They have cake, and Jin-sook finally lets Ji-woo put the necklace on her. Eun-hee narrates that they shouldn’t cover up the issue so quickly. That’s always been their problem. (Amen.)

Outside, Ji-woo offers to drive Eun-joo home – likely to avoid going back inside – and Eun-hee doesn’t seem to want to give her a ride. Eun-joo guesses she’s dating, and the siblings note Eun-hee’s awkwardness about the topic.

Eun-hee goes to Chan-hyuk’s and asks how he knew that Jin-sook knew, so he admits they met. She didn’t ask him to keep it secret, but he thought it was best to let her address it. He didn’t know what to do since he hates keeping secrets from Eun-hee, but he was on her mom’s side.

Eun-hee stares at him and thinks, “I love you,” surprising herself. She tries to play it off when Chan-hyuk catches her staring, but he’s not so easily fooled. He wonders amusedly what could’ve made her face so red.

At home, Jin-sook prefaces her admission with a “don’t be mad” and tells Sang-shik she sold “Lucky Charm” (his truck). She recalls that’s what he used to call Eun-joo before she was born. She knows he’s stubborn, but he shouldn’t be driving anymore. He somberly acquiesces.

Jin-sook has lived thinking of everyone else, so even today, she paid attention to his and the kids’ expressions while she was falling apart. For the first time, she resented her kids and is horrified about it. Ji-woo, who’s been sitting out front, finally heads inside.

Eun-hee muses that her family has only just scratched the surface, so it’s not over. Chan-hyuk scoffs, but she points out there’s more to the story: Ji-woo being scammed. There’s also the real reason for Eun-joo’s divorce. Chan-hyuk laughs as she does an impression of her mom berating her for both of her siblings’ misfortunes.

Chan-hyuk smiles and thinks, “I love you,” also surprising himself. Their roles reversed, they do a repeat of their earlier conversation. Why is he so red? Eun-hee smiles.

The following day, Eun-joo finds herself in the elevator with Min-woo who rushes to follow her. Eun-joo says she heard from Eun-hee that he defended her when people were talking behind her back. Being recently divorced, she’s not comfortable with someone openly taking her side and being too nice. It’s better to be left alone.

Min-woo understands, but he’s actually there to collect the delivery fee for the furniture. Ha! He hands her a receipt and notes that her scolding during their training days made him meticulous.

He clarifies that he’s not being extra nice because of her divorce – he’s always been on her side since their training, and he doesn’t want her to be uncomfortable. Before walking away, he observes she said something like this once before and apologized later. Eun-joo stands at a loss.

Man-ho advises Sang-shik to quit truck driving now; even he’s considering it. He excitedly suggests they should start a business selling Jin-sook’s kimchi. Sang-shik yells at him for wanting to put his wife to work.

Sang-shik plans to drive a forklift in a factory now. Man-ho shares that Jin-sook cried after looking through Sang-shik’s stuff in the truck, making Sang-shik wish Man-ho had stopped her. He sits in his truck again, possibly for the last time.

Eun-hee peruses the pictures of her parents that Chan-hyuk took. She realizes that she’s said “I love you” to everyone but the people she really loves. Kyung-ok joins her and insists she wasn’t the one who spread the rumor about Eun-hee and Geon-joo.

Kyung-ok read once that you spend more energy being nice to people you dislike. Eun-hee is like that. She’s always professing her love for her colleagues, included her. Eun-hee is aware of her own tendency and advises Kyung-ok in turn not to buy people things so often, but Kyung-ok calls it her way of life.

Chan-hyuk has Ji-woo drop him off at his and Eun-hee’s memory walkway and waits for her there. Eun-hee walks up to him and blurts out with no preamble, “Park Chan-hyuk, I love you!” Pfft. She starts to look embarrassed in the seconds of silence that follow.

He holds up his hand with a ring now adorning his finger. Chan-hyuk smiles and places a matching one on her finger. “I love you,” he confesses and kisses her. Aaand it’s montage time. We get the relationship highlight reel from their college days until now before cutting back to the kiss.

Eun-hee waits for Eun-joo in her office’s parking garage and gets a front row seat as Min-woo struggles to back into the parking space beside her. (He’s all proud of himself.) He passes Eun-joo as she comes out, and Eun-hee doesn’t miss Eun-joo’s look of disappointment when he merely says “hello” and continues inside.

While they sit at the table prepping fruit with their mom, Eun-joo casually says she wants to meet her birth father. Eun-hee tries to duck out, but Eun-joo makes her stay. Eun-hee marvels at the straightforwardness when Eun-joo asks where he is, and Jin-sook says she’s seen him on TV. Oh. She’ll give Eun-joo his info.

Jin-sook tells her daughters she’s leaving, but she hasn’t decided where she’s going yet. Eun-hee wonders to herself why she thought her mom’s anger would abate so easily.

Later, Ji-woo shows his mom a cute dog video, but her mind is elsewhere. Ji-woo shares that he felt like he didn’t have an identity because he takes on the characteristics of whichever sister he’s around. He apologizes to his mom again.

Jin-sook just tells him to clean the house bit by bit so it’s more manageable and gets up. He stares after her in concern. Meanwhile, Sang-shik takes photos of his new apartment and sends them to Jin-sook.

Eun-joo can’t stand not knowing and ends up asking Min-woo what she supposedly apologized for during their training. He’s amazed she doesn’t remember. Min-woo used to follow her around and be super nice, and she’d gotten uncomfortable, saying she wasn’t interested in dating.

But he’d had a girlfriend then. Ha! He mimics her expression and gestures as she reluctantly apologized. Eun-joo still doesn’t remember it, but she believes his account. Min-woo and his girlfriend broke up because he was too busy with work. That’s why he admired Eun-joo’s efficiency so much.

Relationships where someone is always sorry and someone is always trying to be understanding are lonely. He liked his girlfriend and felt sorry towards her in equal measure. Min-woo understands Eun-joo’s wanting time to process and says he’ll wait patiently. She almost smiles.

Seo-young and Ji-woo have a heart-to-heart at work. She gets what it’s like to “feel dirty” and knows he trusted his girlfriend until the end. Ji-woo is angry at himself for falling for it, but he’s more upset about hurting his family than losing his money. Seo-young commiserates as a fellow “troublemaking maknae.”

Ji-woo wonders why Chan-hyuk has been out so much lately and is shocked when Seo-young throws out that he’s clearly dating. When he asks if one of his blind dates worked out, she tsks at him for his obliviousness.

Chan-hyuk is currently sitting back-to-back with Eun-hee on the grass as he takes photos and she reads. They start arguing about who wastes more money but then laugh it off. Eun-hee doesn’t like dating secretly, but with all the family turbulence of late, she feels it prudent.

He asks if she wants to brag about dating the awesome Park Chan-hyuk which makes her share her recent revelation: he’s not as funny in dating mode. Ha! He tosses out some cheesy jokes just to make her cringe.

Eun-joo nervously enters an art museum where she formally greets an older man in his office. He asks to talk first. He married late, and his eldest daughter is a high schooler. Until the kids are adults, it’s important to have stability. This could make things hard for his family.

Jin-sook told him about her pregnancy, so did he really not expect this day would come? He didn’t. Relationships are built on time spent, and even parent-child relationships mean nothing without that. Geez. Eun-joo assures him she only wanted to meet him once so as not to have unfinished business.

He observes that he and “Kim Eun-ji” do resemble each other. He brings over a painting as hush money, claiming it’s the best way to resolve this. (Isn’t he a gem?) Eun-joo corrects him: she’s Kim Eun-joo; he should at least remember her name properly. She declines his gift and leaves after telling him to be well.

Meanwhile, Jin-sook looks around her home one last time before wheeling her suitcase out the door as Eun-hee narrates that Jin-sook is living as herself, not a mom. Sang-shik later enters the empty home and thinks of Jin-sook telling him she wanted to leave.

He’d come across her bucket list which included things like becoming a grandmother and spending a month in Jeju. Sang-shik encouraged her to do them all. Jin-sook also saw his bucket list. Do the kids know that people their age still have dreams and worry about the future? She had sighed that living is hard for everyone.

In the time following, they all take care of the house and don’t talk about the void Jin-sook left behind. It’s the first time they haven’t known where she was. They have relaxed family dinners – Eun-joo even jokes with them! – and feel the burden of Jin-sook’s sacrifices for them lessen, although they miss her.

Eun-hee packs up and leaves P&F, and Sang-shik starts a new job operating a forklift. She narrates that they’re all finding themselves individually rather than as a family.

Geon-joo runs into Eun-hee at a bookstore where she’s arranging the new book she’s edited. It’s not selling well, but he claims his first project didn’t either. She should focus on topics she knows well. Like what, she wonders?

He brings up family, which she thinks could be boring, but he proposes something with experiences from multiple writers. It seems to give her an idea, but she keeps it to herself. After he leaves, her thoughts turn to her mom. (A banner tells us it’s 2021.)

Eun-joo makes a surprise visit to Tae-hyung who’s now running a clinic by the sea. They both look much more at peace after a year of living freer lives. They catch up, and Tae-hyung asks if she’s seeing someone. There’s a friend, she says, who talks a lot but doesn’t ask useless questions.

Tae-hyung claims Eun-joo talks a lot too, which she vehemently denies. She merely details people’s flaws to help them become their best selves when necessary. It’s hard work. Pfft.

He asks after her parents and says he keeps in touch with Eun-hee. She even requested a room when he builds a house in the suburbs. Ha! Ji-woo hasn’t contacted him at all, though.

Tae-hyung realizes he’s been using familial terms to refer to Eun-joo and her family, but she knows it’s hard to correct. Eun-hee called it a “trace” of when they were family. As former family members, they both wish for each other’s happiness.

At Eun-hee’s place, Eun-hee is surprised to hear that Chan-hyuk told his mom about them. She remembers Eun-hee as “the friend with the loud voice” – apparently, Eun-hee called her while drunk in college. Ha. Eun-hee’s family still doesn’t know they’re together. Wait, hasn’t it been a year?!

Their dinner and smooches are interrupted by Eun-hee’s siblings at the door, and there’s nowhere for Chan-hyuk to hide. After their initial shock at seeing Chan-hyuk with his shirt buttons half-done and misaligned, Ji-woo and Eun-joo both smile.

Ji-woo, ever the news gatherer, speculates that Sang-shik seems to know where their mom is, and it looks like she’s coming back soon. His evidence is his dad coming home everyday and cleaning a lot, which isn’t exactly ironclad. Ji-woo insists it’s true in the face of his noonas’ doubt.

Ji-woo recently found Sang-shik video chatting with Jin-sook in the middle of the night. It was daytime where she was (a beautiful forest trail). Sang-shik informed her he was getting his license soon. If it weren’t so late at night, he’d play his guitar and sing for her. Ji-woo had smiled and ducked out.

Soon after, Jin-sook returns home looking refreshed and content. Everyone is thrilled to have her back, and they don’t ask any questions. She brings presents for everyone, and seeing Eun-joo forced to don a Hawaiian shirt is an image I didn’t know I needed. Jin-sook even bought something for “Ji-woo’s boss” which she gives to Eun-hee (the siblings try to stifle their laughter).

The sibling trio tries to guess where she was while they watch her showing pictures to Sang-shik. Jin-sook calls them over, excited to show off her trip. Eun-hee narrates that seeing their mom smile like that for the first time is enough.

At work, Seo-young takes selfies with Ji-woo in the background. He complains that she suggested they date just so she can post about it on social media. When she says his scamming first love might see it, he suddenly puts his face right next to hers and smiles for the camera. Pfft.

Min-woo bursts into Eun-joo’s office with food and a request for advice about dealing with difficult clients. Their rapport is comfortable. Meanwhile, Chan-hyuk compliments the script Eun-hee wrote for his filming project. She jokingly asks if this is a family project now, and he latches onto the word “family.” They kiss and play fight on the bed.

Jin-sook is back to volunteering at the care facility and gets a surprise visit from Sang-shik bearing flowers. Later, he sends photos of himself with his new construction vehicle (sorry, that’s the best I can do), and Jin-sook sends photos of flowers to their family group chat.

When Sang-shik suggests they go on a family vacation, Eun-hee heads over to the separate siblings group chat. Eun-joo says she’s too busy to answer, and Ji-woo won’t answer until they do. Ha. Sang-shik pouts when no one responds.

But then, Jin-sook messages him separately: “Let’s just the two of us go.” Sang-shik beams. Eun-hee narrates, “As complicated as I am – we are – we have a family.” We close on shots of the family photos in the family home.

 
COMMENTS

Nooo, it’s over. But I do like where everyone ended up. Each of our family members evolved into better versions of themselves which allowed them to have healthier relationships and go after what they want. To me, the most marked change was in Eun-joo who looked so happy and at ease this hour. There was no sense of the constant tension she carried earlier in the drama. I’m so happy that Eun-joo remained a very non-stereotypical female character and wasn’t softened into someone else but simply became less defensive. One thing I really appreciate about this drama is the character consistency. Too often, characters are used as vehicles for plot movement or ideas regardless of whether their behavior is in-character. Here, the characters were so well-thought out and nuanced. All their decisions and reactions made sense and fit who they were as people.

Although I’ve never been opposed to makjang, one issue I do have with the genre is when you get those overly dramatic reactions that often don’t feel realistic. There’s a lot of wailing and screeching without enough substance, and I end up frustrated with everyone. In this drama, while I did sometimes find myself frustrated with a character, it wasn’t because of poor characterization. It was because they made poor decisions that felt true to life. Most of us have known people who make questionable choices in the heat of the moment like Eun-hee, suffer in silence and shut people out like Jin-sook, or lash out in anger and act haughtily like Eun-joo. Even as I was frustratedly begging them to stop being so obtuse, I understood them.

These wonderful characterizations were in no small part due to fantastic performances from the whole cast. From the start, it was obvious these characters were in good hands, and things just got better as we went. They imbued their roles with such nuance and emotionality without dipping into overdramatics. But no matter how good the acting is, without a strong script, only so much can be done. Thankfully, the writing here was solid all the way through and didn’t lag towards the end as frequently happens. The writing’s biggest strength is in the depiction of the complex relationships between realistic characters. We had beautifully messy relationships galore between siblings, parents and children, and spouses. Each showcased different sets of issues in relatable ways. It just goes to show what skilled actors can do with a good script.

In most family dramas, even ones I like, I find myself bored by multiple storylines. Not so in this one. Everyone had something to bring to the table, and their issues intersected in ways that made everyone feel equally relevant. My favorite arcs were Eun-joo’s and Jin-sook’s, though. Both were so shut off from everyone and so unhappy. I loved watching those two strong women come into their own. Their easy smiles in the end were so rewarding. For a while there, I was worried Jin-sook would just stay with her family and make do, so I was really glad that she took off for her year of adventures. That woman deserved to choose herself for once. I still kind of wish she had struck out on her own without getting back together with Sang-shik, but I’m confident she won’t take crap from anyone now, so I’m not too upset.

This drama really did belong to the women who were amazingly varied and complex. Sang-shik, for me, was not nearly as sympathetic since he pretty much did everything to himself. His anger was based on his out-of-left-field assumptions he didn’t bother to fact check, as well as the decades-long secret he decided to keep from his family. I wish we’d gone into his mental health struggles more because that’s where he was most sympathetic, and it informed so much of his behavior in later years. His depression and suicidal thoughts were resolved way too easily. I was hoping we’d get some mental health care, but instead, he was seemingly fixed by his stint as a 22-year-old. And I would’ve liked to focus on Ji-woo a bit more because he didn’t get near the complexity of the other family members, which is a shame. I hoped we’d get more on him as we went, but he just stayed the maknae. His scamming incident sort of came out of nowhere and didn’t have the same impact as the other family members’ problems since we never knew him as well. I liked his character, but he always felt more on the periphery than the others, almost like a side character.

Speaking of side characters, I was a little disappointed with the way Hyo-seok was used. I thought his character would have more of a role, but he ended up feeling like a plot device. For how well this drama did characterizations, that felt like a wasted opportunity. He could’ve been an interesting counterpoint to Tae-hyung as a more openly gay man in a country that doesn’t welcome diversity. All in all, these are pretty minor grievances that, if handled a little better, could’ve made an already awesome show even better. My only true complaint would be the serious overuse of red herrings. It started to get ridiculous. A few, I can handle, especially if they fit with the drama’s theme of not taking things at face value. However, there were so many that they lost their punch. Sang-shik’s brush with death after his surgery had zero impact because I assumed it was probably a fake-out. Less is more, drama.

Overall, this drama took me by surprise with its quality and complexity. It’s a great example of makjang done right, even if it could’ve axed Sang-shik’s tumor and a few red herrings. Despite covering some serious topics, the drama never got too heavy. There was always a lighter counterpoint (like the awesome Eun-hee and Chan-hyuk pairing) to keep things from feeling depressing. And no matter how bad things got, there was always a sense of hope. In the end, everyone was in a better place having earned it by putting in the effort to better themselves and their relationships. Although, their stories are by no means over – we had a window into a brief period of their lives. I have no doubt that they’ll take the lessons they’ve learned and continue growing and living, together.

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Just stellar. From beginning to end, it seems like the show knew exactly where it wanted to go and stayed true the plan. Although show quality certainly warranted it, I am glad it was successful without getting monster ratings -- I dread the thought that the game plan could have been tweaked to take advantage of popularity. I agree the entire cast was first-rate but Han Ye-Ri leveled up for me to that small group of actors who I will see, regardless of genre, PD or writer.

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I agree, a really well-done show, not makjang at all but refreshingly realistic - I loved how at the end there were no miraculous changes, no sudden reformations of character. The kids still kept things from the parents (really, why our leads have to keep their dating/living together a secret from her family is beyond me, but that's how they roll), Big Noona was happier but still as cool and distrustful as she will always be, and no one had time for the big family trip regardless of the crises they so recently faced.
As a mother of three myself, and nearly the same age as JS, I found myself a bit annoyed with her - she never really owned up to her part in the family's issues, and I found it especially obtuse of her to complain about everyone else's distance and secretiveness without ever acknowledging her own. Where does she think they learned that behavior? I rolled my eyes at her leaving without any notice to places unknown and staying out of touch with her grown children. You do you, JS. But again, very realistic: people took baby steps towards being kinder to one another but at the end of the day they were still who they were. Amazingly realistic, for a drama.

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I see you on how it looks like JS didn't own up to her own flaws. But she did have her moment of reckoning with both the girls seperately where both daughters told her how her short trip with EJ messed with their views of her Nd the family and what far reaching consequences they had in both of their lives .Granted there never was much of a conversation and it was more of the daughters venting and JS weakly apologizing but it wasn't completely swept under the rug. Now this complaint is more true of maknae who only ever got the blame and never the catharsis of confrontation but he also didn't have a definitive triggering point like the sisters did. The poor guy was just born into a marriage of silence and a family that was already conditioned to practice isolation.
As for the general flaws in their parenting by secrets ,both parents were responsible and yes the show definitely didn't get the parents to address how they modelled the patterns their children perpetuated
I felt it was the dad who got the easy end of the stick (confrontation vise) coz of his age reset. But it was JS who was in most people's hit list(not in this forum,but in few that I ventured) proving once again how child rearing is skewered mostly to the mother's side and how the father constantly was given a free pass for his active mistakes(vs JS's general passivity) coz he was working hard for his family despite his 'ungrateful' wife 🤷

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Thank you, @quirkycase, for the recap! I started this because of Kim Ji-seok, who's one of my faves, but stayed for both him and Han Ye-ri. They make a cute couple and seems like they're both very comfortable with each other. I believe that when the children grow up and have their own lives outside of the family, we tend to be too busy to take care of who's left behind. This family looked behind - all of them - and even with all the flaws each one had, they matured into a more caring and open relationship. Kudos to the My Unfamiliar Family team!

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This was a great show, our very favorite one as it was broadcast. The acting was outstanding.

I too thought that Ji-woo's story was given short shrift. But really that was a minor quibble.

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I'm not a family type of girl (as the opposite of family man), no marriage plan on the horizon, simple single life is best way of living. But even in split of second watching this, I was thinking: Well it is not so bad having my own family. Me: *shudder*

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This was an uncomfortable yet beautiful story. It made me think a lot about family... people that we don’t really choose, but still choose to love in different ways. How are blood-related people that grew up in the same household so different in almost every aspect? I often ask myself the same question about me and my sister, and this drama helped me realize that this is more common than I thought. I agree with quirkycase that there definitely were some unnecessary red herrings (like 10 too many) and the fact that they never directly addressed mom leaving with EunJoo when they were younger irks me a bit, but the rest of the writing and wonderful actors made up for it. There are still other unresolved issues (what family doesn’t?), but as a viewer you know that this family would fight it through together in the future through much improved communication than in the past.

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AAAAA I LOVE THIS ONE SO MUCH UP UNTIL THE LAST SECOND OF IT!!!!

Plot wise, i'm pretty much satisfied with how they tied everything up. It gives me an ending that just made this drama something I'd watch over and over again in the future. "It’s a great example of makjang done right,... " yes! This one's so true!! I have associated makjang to family weekend drama, dramatic unrealistic acting, and ridiculous coincidence. But in this one (yes it might be biased bcs I love this one so much) with how I love these characters and root so much for them to get better, these makjang events doesn't seem as annoying as I thought of it before. So that's that.

But I think the highlight in this drama is definitely these characters. There are so much layer to these characters that I find myself so eager to find more about them and root for them to resolve their problem. That sentence just sound like what every story supposed to be doing but that's the point! This drama did that basic thing, while not all dramas can. Just how many times we ended up watching drama because we were curious of how the story ended as oppose to wanting to know how well the character ended at the finale?

I agree so much that we were given story about Sangshik and Jiwoo not as much as this drama given us about the ladies. Which I think is both good and bad. The bad thing is that it might make us feel like their actions are less valid than the ladies because we didn't know their backstory which makes it harder to sympathise to them. But the good thing is maybe, what makes this drama so greatly paced is that the writer KNOWS where to focus instead of trying to explain everyone but ended up all over the place.

Which brings me to the next point, right from the start, it's pretty clear that our story involved around Jinsook, Eunjoo, and Eunhee. These three women's journey to find their problem be it from their own selves or their surroundings. And all somehow, ended up being these women getting in touch of their own feelings and wants instead of surpressing everything down and conceal it. I think both Eunjoo and Eunhee got that from Jinsook because they have lived like that growing up. Yes, Eunhee does that too although in MUCH different ways. Whenever she tries to please everyone, she surpress her own thoughts and feelings just to avoid conflicts and make peace because she doesn't want anyone to hate her. And while Jinsook's story runs toward trying to be open to Sangshik AND herself, Eunhee and Eunjoo felt more like the duo to solve each other's problem. It does felt like they are the love story of this drama somehow (look how much they have grown towards each other!!). At the end, the part I love the most is definitely Eunjoo being the happiest we have ever seen in 16 hours💜

And last but not least, these ACTORS!!!!! I'm glad that I decided to put faith in Han Yeri (and Kin Jisuk) and started out a drama I didn't have any idea about, at all. I didn't know...

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the premise, the overall tone, I know nothing. But I'm VERY glad I delved into this drama which might ended up being one of my favorite drama this year. As I said, I have no doubt about Han Yeri (in contrast sometimes I think about her Age of youth character and I got so amazed watching Eunhee), but again for me the spotlight is definitely for Choo Jahyun. It's actually my first time watching her. At first it didn't feel like much because all she did at the beginning is being grumpy (what's hard about that?). Until ep 15 when she smiled so widely I was really shocked because I don't think I have ever see her face move THAT much for 15 episode. Yet, I understand and could read every expression she was showing. The way she micromanages her expression really just make me awe. Exhibit 1 : when she gave the card to Jiwoo and he was hesitant to receive it in this episode, she started out with confuse then switched into a smile which is so subtle, I unconsciously understand it but didn't catch it until I watch it again. Notable mention : when Minwoo asked for that delivery fee, when she confronted eunhee after the birth secret bomb, when she and Taehyung drop the divorce bomb. GAH she's so awesome it suprise me that it's the first time I have crossed on the drama path with her. I'll make sure to watch her project from now on💜

ANYWAY, it has been a greatly paced 8 weeks, everything tight up nicely, our characters are happy and together. I think that pretty much sums up a satisfying drama.

Ps. I also love how at the ending credit, they showed the actors with their work "family" as in they got every actors manager, stylist, hair and make up a credit! Even Kwon Yul ma boi!

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Omg ..bang on about the sisters being the true OTP 😍
Sure EH and CH managed to give me serious cavities with barely 20 minutes of interactions(I am retroactively glad these two had friend zoned each other for close to 15 eps if this was what we'd have to 'endure' otherwise 😜)
And yes..I have almost finished a 16 part-er of how EJ and MW end up together with fun epsiodes of EJ and MW's hilarious mother.
But EH forcefully cuddling EJ talking at unnie to open up about her life will remain the best scene ever in this show..

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Thank you for the recaps @quirkycase!

I was never a makjang drama fan so I went into this cautiously. Lo and behold, it's one of the fave this year. The way the characters felt real that sometimes I see myself or even a family member in them. They were layered realistically and portrayed by such an amazing casts.

As much as I wanted more, good things must come to an end, so thank you Show for being awesome from start to finish. For letting me look into my own family and start to question myself what they are to me.

Thank you also to all Beanies. I had a great time reading and discussing everything this show offered.

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After a long time I watched a drama as it was airing and also read all the reviews and comments on dramabeans. Still the best site for reviews, 3 cheers to you all.

The drama really is marked by general consistency in plot and character development despite having many drama elements. Normally I find 16 eps long but here I felt 4 more eps might have helped e.g. what happened to Yeong sik and his son?

Curiously I felt this was not a drama that lent itself to a lot of discussion. It was like watching a neighbour's family where you muse and think about their ups and downs but not necessarily broadcast those views. If that makes sense.

In a drama that boasted good acting - I even grew to like the Golden Goose girl! - the actress who played Eun joo did well with a strongly written role that called for a lot of nuanced acting - e.g. the expression on her face when her bio Dad used a different name, very subtle but expressive!

I started watching for Hay Yeri and she was lovely as always. I quite liked the lead guy - a bit rugged and old school compared to the usual K leads - and he and Yeri really paired well in what must be one of few authentic romances in K dramas.

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Thanks so much for the recap and comments.
And thanks so much drama. What a beautiful ride this has been. Thank you, writer-nim, cast and PD-nim. You've give us a gem that will stay in my heart for a long, long time.
I loved how everything was wrapped up.
I appreciated how JS softened in this episode, after the harsh ending of episode 15. I was relieved. I could understand more her after we watched the complete scene. Mum, you were right to feel betrayed, and you were right to think about yourself in the first place for once.
I loved EH and CH cute silent confession to each other. I still remember when I stubbornly wanted them to remain friends... well this is a well written arch when I found myself squeeing after their kiss.
It was a nice surprise seeing again TH. I loved how relaxed he was and how warm his relation with EJ has become. I had the feeling they could be friends forever, they would always have each other, somehow they will always be family. It was nice. I hope he can do well in his small clinic and can live a happy life.
Regarding EJ and MW... what can I say? How can a character stole the show in just a few scenes? Can we have a new drama focusing on them? What I can say is that part of EJ happiness comes from having around him, whether they remain the best colleagues or become something more. EJ needs someone like him in her life.

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So true, I want a family drama about MW and his family. That would be a riot and half.

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Can you imagine EJ meeting MY's parents for the first time over dinner or something. That would be GOLD.

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(and by MY, I meant MW....)

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I’ve already said in last episode comment that MW mum was my favourite character in the drama!!

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Yes, please. That would be a good approach to season 2, so it would be fresh and yet still have room for our favorite characters to continue to stumble, recover, and grow closer.

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Aaaah this drama! It was really good. A weekender without all the filler episodes and the useless characters.

Now, I don't really agree with the fact that the family has to feel guilty about their mother. She put herself in this situation, she was from a good familly and educated. She got pregnant and it's really sad that neither the dad and neither her family stayed with her and helped her. But she chose to keep the child even if she was alone. Then, she met SH who loved her and her child without restrictions. But they failed to communicate. JS never expressed herself and SH had feelings of inferiority that created their misunderstandings. But if SH became a bad husband, he always was warm with his kids. He could do more with JW but overall he respected their private life but still encouraged them. JS was the perfect Korean mother and it's a big job but she failed to communicate with her children. I'm happy she could finally do what she wants and feel free.

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EJ's character was really good! I love how she's still her but in a softer version with her family and people she likes. It was so nice to see to her facial reactions like she got the Hawaï shirt, when JS gave CH's shirt to EH, etc. She has to start over all her life but this time she understood she had her family with her.

JW was a character without a lot of background but I think it was on purpose. It was how his family perceived him like a cute puppy without a real life.

EH's confession was so her! In some dramas, if I love the main couple, I often wonder what they have in commun, it's why I can have a second lead syndrom because the FL or ML seems to share more with the second lead. In this drama, their friendship was beautiful and always tinted with a little extra, so it was nice to see them reconnecting, aprenhending their feelings and finally confessing!

All the casting was great and the BTS of the family scenes are really cute!

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I share your feelings about JW.
He was the perfect maknae and that's why lots of us loved him, even if his story was the least developed.

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You hit it on the nail with all your observations about the family (those Hawaiian shirts...I died. As @quirkycase so aptly pointed out, EJ in that shirt is "an image I didn’t know I needed!")

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Your observation about JW’s arc gives me chills. Yes, no one in the family perceived him as a grown-up. If a mother still perceives her children as children, the children will be children forever to not to disappoint the mother. He has his own life. I completely felt him when he said he just wanted to live alone somewhere far away. It’s not because he didn’t love the family. He was exhausted by it because he had to accommodate to what everyone was thinking of him all the time.

He really needs to learn to be more independent. For me, that mistake wasn’t a big deal though I understand how heartbroken that could have been for the mother who happened to have read those sentences in the letter...

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I am still in episode 6, what am I doing here reading this?

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All along, I thought Hospital Playlist will be the best drama for me this year until My Unfamiliar Family comes along... This is testament of the love and appreciation I have for this drama - and indeed this family.

All the characters feel so real and each would remind you someone you know and situations you come across. Thanks @quirkycase for picking up this to recap - and speedily with your spot-on thoughts. I always read your comments with nods.

The characters I love the most are Eun-Joo and the parents. They all make me tear up each episode. In another life and different circumstances, I wish E-J and Tae-Hyang could become the best of friends. They have that strong sense of comfort with each other and know each other so very well. So glad she is now having Min-woo around. And that biological father, meeting once is perhaps more than enough. Mom and dad, how they just guessed instead of communicated openly is actually very on point with the older Asian generations. At least in this story, they are eventually able to open up and clear the air.

The only pick would be the in-between episode teasing but I’m fully engaged every minute throughout the whole run. No scene or line is wasted with character consistency through and through.

One last point though is the term “makjang” which I don’t think is appropriate here - as it basically stands for “synthetic emotion created to arouse”. It is certainly not the case here to me - it’s a very grounded story about ordinary folks.

Isn’t this a wonderful drama year?

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It is indeed a wonderful drama year.

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This was a fabulous drama. I enjoyed every bit of it. Every character brought joy, disappointment, anger, and happiness. I do want to note something about mental health, I realize us beanies me included tend to comment that a certain character needs therapy, which is true a great deal of the time, but sometimes people don't need therapy and sometimes healing is as simple as love. Obviously dramas use the trope too often which is probably why we are all so jaded about it, but sometimes that is all that is needed. Just something that came to mind while reading this excellent recap.

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Even though we never saw Sang Shik getting therapy, he apparently had sought mental health care as evidenced by his therapy journal and appointment reminder from a clinic when he was 22. That made me feel okay about love healing Sang Shik. We knew what his issues were from the therapy journal. All of the therapy in the world wasn't going to heal him until he opened up to his wife and kids. Once he actually started communicating with JS, the weight he had been carrying began to lift. Thanks to the actor's great work, I could see it happening.

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@quirkycase I can't thank you enough for having made this wonderful ride with the show even more enjoyable with your super-fast and thoughtful recaps! (and construction vehicle is fine - I can't think of a better word either :D) Thank you also to all of the Beanies here who've made this journey more interesting with all of your insightful comments!

I've raved about this show enough on my fanwall, but I'll say it again - this has bounded in to my best-of list. I had no intention of watching it when its promos started, and just happened to watch the opening on Viki, and I was hooked.

Thank you to the writer (most of all!!!!!), the director, and the cast for a superb 8 weeks - from a power-packed premiere to a satisfying conclusion. I'd read this story as a book if it were to ever come out. The writing in this was the best part of all.

Without taking away from the quality of the show, some things were certainly hurried, as is wont in such shows, and there was a bit of a scramble to tie up the loose ends. @quirkycase, I think you have identified them correctly -
-- Maknae's story;
-- Seo-young as a side-character could have been explored more, of how she deals with her trauma and her mother, who was a blink-and-a-miss.
-- Hyo-seok (even the VP got more airtime): his character could certainly have been used as a contrast to Tae-hyung's. I was also thinking this as a generational difference, since HS is probably ~15-20 years younger to TH, and how that affected his decision to come out as openly gay or not).
-- EJ's confrontation with Real Dad was also hurriedly gotten over and done with, but I liked how she was cut and dry about it - true to character.

But overall, I have ZERO complaints about this show. Once again, thank you to all of you. This was a live airing I will remember for a long time to come.

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Definitely a favorite of mine. I usually just wait for dramas to be over and then binge watch them but I started this mid-way pretty much with blindly but I was very much delighted both with the drama itself and following it through the recaps with y'all.

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Thank you quirkycase for recapping this drama! I agree with your final review.

I probably would've missed this drama if it hadn't been recapped here and raved about on the Beanie wall.

I started watching this drama late so I took my time in catching up. I was actually a passive observer in the beginning, wasn't invested in any of the characters. But oh man, how I came to love and appreciate the characters' growth. Not just one character, but everyone did some growing up. The final episode was lovely and heartwarming. It left me hopeful that the family's bond has become stronger and their communication better.

Kwon Yul's small, but refreshing role was one of my favorite cameos and certainly changed my feelings bout him. I was used to disliking him because I've seen him play unlikable and even terrible, evil characters (serial killer).

Eun Hee and Chan Hyuk were so cute and natural (all their kisses!) in the new, blissful stage of their relationship. 💖

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This is one of the best dramas this year, if not best. Period!

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This was a wonderful drama from beginning to end. The writing, directing, acting were all outstanding. What I appreciated most was the consistency: Everybody involved knew who these characters were.

I loved Min Woo. Such a great late addition to the drama. I'm glad Eun Joo found a friend. I could see it turning into something more, but if not, that's okay too.

At one point, I wanted EH and CH to remain friends, but I ended up squeeing over them as a couple. The ILY's were perfect.

I'm glad JS left to travel and SS and the kids spent time together as a family while she was gone. At one point, I wanted JS and SS to remain apart, but I ended up being happy for them.

It was nice to see TH one last time.

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What a ride! The Kim's dynamic resembles some of my family's, and I think that's why I love this drama so much! It's the one drama that brought me out of lurking to commenting here on DB!

Thank you @quirkycase for recapping!

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Now... the big question is: What am I going to watch on Mondays and Tuesdays now?!!

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I ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ this show so very much.

Everything has been mentioned by other Beanies at this point I guess. I just want to add that I find the actress who portrayed the young JS very dashingly beautiful. Her sense of fashion was also hard to match.

After I wrote my thoughts about JS who resembles my mother in the previous recap post, I actually began to see both my mother and her in a new light: JS was abandoned by her family (all family left her and went abroad) upon the unintentional pregnancy incident announcement. In the other words, she also didn’t have anyone she could go to, nor any role model she could learn from for effective communicating. My mother is also similar to her in that sense as she was also somewhat abandoned. This made me look at this character and my own mother in a new light, and I can finally put down (most if not) all my resentments and look at her more realistically with real understanding and compassion.

And how can’t I name this one of my fav dramas of all time as it gave me this much?

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I never planned to watch this, the promos didn’t interest me. Then, Beanies struck again, raving about this show on their wall which made me curious - so thank you Beanies, I’m glad I listened to you all. No drama could ever be perfect, but My Unfamiliar Family hits it pretty close!

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Thanks for choosing to recap this wonderful show @quirkycase. You and the beanies have certainly elevated my experience of this show and helped me see multiple angles to the deliciously complex characters we were treated to ♥️
This is the one show in 2020 so far that had the least no. of missteps(lookin' at you ring,kiss,death takeouts) for me and is definitely a personal favourite. I loved where all the chacters ended up when we leave them and appreciated the paths they took to get there even more. The family and friends were wonderfully potrayed by talented actors and there wasn't a false note in any of their performances. The script was fantastic and flowed beautifully with the tight editing and clean visuals.

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Wow. I just binge-watched this. Wow. What a show. The writing is amazing. The tangled web, and the unraveling of it. Never felt anything was dragged on for too long, the pace was great. Just wow.

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