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Our Blues: Episodes 7-8

Things get heated this week on Jeju as news of the young couple’s pregnancy spreads across town. The two feuding dads have even more reason to hate each other now, and their disdain reaches new heights. As the dads grapple with their children’s situation, they reflect on their past, and we learn why the once best friends turned into bitter enemies.

 
EPISODES 7-8 WEECAP: IN-KWON & HO-SHIK

Now that Young-joo and Hyun have decided to keep the baby, they lay out their plans for the future. She will continue her schooling and get into medical school while Hyun will pause his education and take up part-time jobs to support them. Both are optimistic about their chances — naively unaware of the realities of parenthood — but in their situation, maybe hope is all they have.

The two teenagers notify their dads about their predicament since they need financial assistance, but neither In-kwon nor Ho-shik are willing to become grandparents. Both dads push for an abortion, but Young-joo and Hyun refuse to apologize and call their baby a mistake.

Hearing Hyun’s announcement to drop out of school, In-kwon loses his temper and slaps him across the head. Upstairs, Ho-shik begs Young-joo to reconsider and tells her that they would have been free if she waited one more year. Despite their dads’ pleas and threats, the young couple stays firm on their decision.

News of their pregnancy spreads throughout the school, and the reception is mixed. Most of the students support the couple, but the teachers shame them and try to push for a transfer. Apparently, it is more embarrassing to have sex before marriage than it is to be a close-minded, rule-breaking educator according to most of the adults at their school.

While the teenagers figure out their lives, their dads cross paths at work and barely contain their anger. In-kwon hands Ho-shik a stack of bills to pay for Young-joo’s abortion, but the gesture triggers a traumatic memory for Ho-shik.

After losing money from gambling, Ho-shik returned home to find his young daughter neglected and hungry. His wife had fled, and with no other options, he sought out In-kwon for help. Tired of his friend’s constant gambling, In-kwon gave Young-joo everything in his wallet and asked Ho-shik if he wasn’t ashamed of using his daughter to beg. His words cut because of the truth behind them, and Ho-shik walked away without taking the money.

In the middle of the market, Ho-shik throws the first punch and fights with In-kwon who quickly overpowers him. Jung-joon and Eun-hee rush to the scene to separate them, but by then, the two dads have blabbed about their children’s pregnancy for the whole town to hear.

When Young-joo returns home from school, Ho-shik hands over his entire savings and tells his daughter to get rid of that baggage. She asks him if she was a baggage to him, and he angrily admits that she was. He orders her to choose between the baby or him, so Young-joo packs up her things and leaves.

Seeing Young-joo holed up in a motel, Hyun finds Ho-shik to convince him to let his daughter back home. However, Ho-shik sees red at the sight of Hyun and tells him that he will not yield no matter what.

Despite his assertion, Ho-shik rushes to his daughter the next day when Hyun tells him that she is sick. Before either of them can reach her, In-kwon arrives at the motel first after hearing about her stay from the owner and drags her out. Hyun arrives in time to stop his dad and pushes him to the ground. He tells his dad that he has always been embarrassed of him and walks away with Young-joo.

Across the street, Ho-shik witnesses the entire encounter and runs at In-kwon in a rage. They fight in broad daylight and end up at the police station together. While stuck in a holding cell, In-kwon wonders why their relationship soured when they used to be best friends and even promised to be in-laws one day.

Though In-kwon may have forgotten, Ho-shik remembers the exact words In-kwon said to him when his wife ran away and will never forget them. He tells In-kwon that the humiliation he felt after Hyun hit him is the same thing he experienced that day.

Alone with his thoughts that evening, In-kwon drowns his sorrows in alcohol and thinks back on his past. When he was a gangster, In-kwon bumped into his mom who tried to chase after him and was hit by a car. She died from that accident, and on that very same day, his wife called it quits on their marriage. Before his wife left, though, she told In-kwon that his mom’s last wish was for him to not be an embarrassment to his son.

Reflecting on his recent actions, In-kwon realizes that everyone has left him, and despite his efforts to turn his life around, he still ended up failing to honor his mom’s dying words. As he stumbles out of his apartment, he trips and falls down the stairs. Fortunately for him, Ho-shik was outside and heard the crash.

In-kwon wakes up at the hospital with Eun-hee by his side, and she tells him that Ho-shik carried him all the way here. In-kwon calls her a liar, and Eun-hee agrees that it sounds unbelievable. She tells In-kwon to take care of himself since he is diabetic, but In-kwon refuses treatment and heads off to work.

Ho-shik stops by the school to talk about Young-joo’s continued attendance but leaves afterwards without saying a word to his daughter. She confronts her dad, asking why he cannot understand her like everyone else. Young-joo pleads with him to lose to her like usual, but he tells her that life does not always go as planned.

As Young-joo watches her dad walk away, she apologizes for making him lonely. Even though she has the baby and Hyun by her side, she tells him that she is lonely, too, without him, but Ho-shik goes without turning around.

While Young-joo’s goals sound idealistic and nigh impossible, I think she is able to hold onto this hope because of her upbringing. No matter how much she denounces love because of her parents’ failed marriage, it’s evident that Ho-shik raised his daughter with plenty of it. Even when they fight, Young-joo never once doubts her dad’s love for her because that is all she has known while growing up. To Young-joo, Ho-shik might not be a perfect dad but he is a loving and sacrificial one, which is why his rejection hurts her so much. Hopefully, this will be a lesson for both father and daughter that life may not go as planned but we can still choose to act with love and empathy.

Hyun hears from Eun-hee about his dad’s condition and finds him at the store to talk. Still resentful from their last exchange, In-kwon asks his son why he is embarrassed of him when he spent his life working to provide for him. He says that he was a thug in the past which is why he cannot face his mom or stop his wife from leaving, but at least to Hyun, he always thought he did well. In-kwon tells his son that he was his only pride, and Hyun realizes how much his words had hurt his dad. He grabs his dad in a hug before he can walk out and apologizes.

In the end, the two teenagers asked for forgiveness and the show hints at the possibility of reconciliation between parent and child. While the dads exhibit some problematic behaviors (which all the characters do), the show does a good job of fleshing them out as people. Their past informs their present, and the characters feel multidimensional with their own flaws and motivations. This impression is only strengthened by the stellar performances from Park Ji-hwan and Choi Young-joon who simply lift the characters off the page and breathe life into them.

While I would never condone In-kwon’s violence, I understand why he thinks he has done his best for Hyun when, from an outsider’s perspective, he looks like an abusive and unloving father. In In-kwon’s mind, he made the ultimate sacrifice to be a better dad and made conscious choices to become someone Hyun could be proud of. Up to this point, In-kwon has wronged everyone important in his life, so to hear that he failed his son despite all his efforts devasted him. He has never considered that his behavior might be the reason why his son distances himself and is embarrassed of him, but through this experience, maybe father and son can be open with each other for once and finally listen.

 
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I felt a lot of things watching these two episodes, the stellar performances given was 😘😉🥺

That last scene at episode 8 broke me to pieces. In my country Nigeria, hitting a child as a form of discipline is not uncommon and it's seen as a correct way to bring up a child. I have been hit by my parents but not in an abusive way but I still shudder to think of what will happen if I'm in Yeong-jo's shoes in my father's house. He'll do worse than In-gwon, I've seen such cases happen around me especially with teenage pregnancies. But notwithstanding, Parents love their children more than their lives, so when such a disappointing scenario happens, it feels as if a stone castle collapsed.

Our words are like a two-edged sword that can pierce through the strongest heart. I know Hyeon is and was going through a lot and those words, though harsh, were what his naive mind felt over his dad. They are both naive and still don't realize everyday has its problems but when In-gwon cried, I cried too. He was the only one he had, he is not afraid of his son becoming a father too early but that dreaded rejection from everyone including his precious son was the last straw for him.

I'm glad they both apologized but I can't help but think of what the future has for them.

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I think part of the turnoff of the series is the constant cursing emotional outbursts from the main characters. The fathers lack rational judgment, common sense and boundaries (no right to assault another's child). The market folk are too nosy and prying into everyone else's lives. It is like everyone is angry all the time. After a while it is an uncomfortable watch because in real life would you want to associate with these people?

Even if there is a hint of redemption in a character, there is still a sour aftertaste from their past actions. All the story arcs are sad which adds a heap of pain to the watch them suffer through their issues. After 8 episodes, there is an dour imbalance toward the harsh elements of life instead of moments of appreciation or success.

There needs to be some joy to break up the downer stories. When Seon-ah congratulated Yeong-ju for having a baby, it took a stranger to comfort her in her decision. No one else did. I thought the two could have started a bond at that moment, but Seon-ah walked away. Instead, Yeong-ju had to walk the minefield of angry dads, and judgmental teachers and neighbors.

I get that the writer/director want to show the hardships of working class people. But the culture created so far does not show a path of a happy ending for anyone.

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happy ending is not the main priority especially in teen pregnancy story...even in real life it's hard to have happy ending if you're not ready to be parents..that's the point of this story...it's to portray the hardship and realistic reactions of people around them...they shouldn't just make it easy for them or else people will curse them for glorifying teen pregnancy

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They say that it takes a community to raise a child. In a small town like where these people live, everybody knows everybody and their families and their histories. So yes, it seems like one child has so many uncles, aunts, grandparents and cousins that you can't count on your fingers. People tend to gossip, be judgmental and nosy about other people's business but small towns also is where you help each other. Like the neighbor who looks after the other's child while she's at work.

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Sometimes, even though we completely love someone and understand why they towed a particular course if action, we still withhold forgiveness(Ho-shik and Young-joo). His love for his little girl is so so strong, and it hasn't changed. A happy ending for him and his daughter would be nice.

After parents might have fought so hard to be the best to their kids, it really hurts when they(the parents) are told they haven't been doing it right all this time, from the perspective of the kid. It's beyond comprehension, and very hard to wrap the head around, and they start to wonder where and what they had done wrong(In-kwon and Hyun). Good thing both father-child relationships might be heading towards reconciliation because it could easily breed resentment.

This episodes are heavy-handed and too close to home. And a good thing is that it acknowledges and addresses the flaws and misgivings from both eyes of the parents and child.

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I'm on the dads' side. Not condoning child abuse because In-kwon's pity party had me rage, "Embarrassment? You beat your son!" or dragging Young-joo to the hospital since even if he did, the hospital can't force her to get an abortion, but what else did the teenagers think would happen? That their dads would just accept it? This is a normal reaction to your kid ruining his/her life. If Young-joo had known that her dad would approve of the abortion, then she could have just gotten parental consent.

What's done is done, but they can't expect their dads to help them. Get them a place, what? Why do they even need a place? Hyun can move in with Young-joo and her dad, or she can move in with him and his dad. When she compared herself to baggage, that was different since her dad was married and out of high school, and when she asked why he couldn't understand when her teachers and friends can, of course because it's not their lives.

Young-joo's smart, so she still could go to Seoul National University, but the two of them are so naive. She thinks that she can pop out a baby during winter break, and he thinks that he can be rich from working in a Chinese restaurant and tangerine farm. Kids are expensive. How much is the child endowment? Who is going to watch their baby when she's at school and he's at work? When is he going to have time to see their baby when he's working 10 hours a day, 300 days a year?

Young-joo hates Jeju, but they're lucky that they live in a small town or else how could she stay in a motel for free or spend the night at halmeoni's? Above all, they are the luckiest that Eun-hee is rich because I can see her paying for everything -- Hyun's academy fee, their college tuition, an apartment, day care -- which would just be unfair.

That was the reason why Ho-shik hated In-kwon? But he literally gambled away all his money that he couldn't even feed his own daughter. Instead of holding a grudge, he ought to be thankful to In-kwon for helping him turn his life around.

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I'll disagree with what you said in the last part. He should not be thankful if he does not want to. Giving his daughter that money is the same as throwing it into the mud for him to pick. He said it all, he was at his lowest and In-gwon was the only one he could call. But when he was told he used his most precious one for money, it hit him really hard.

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A true friend will tell you the truth even when it hurts, and Ho-shik needed to hear it. Without In-kwon's wake-up call, his daughter would not only be starving, but they would be living on the streets after he gambles away their rent money. The humiliation he felt that night made him quit gambling.

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I agree with this but his pride got into the mix because of the humiliation he felt, and it caused the rift in the friendship. I don't think it was fair to In-gwon, but it was very human.

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I agree that he needed a wake up call but you don't do THAT in front of your friend's kid and especially not using them. That was low as hell.

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Thank you, you gambled away money two seconds ago and then had no shame to come and beg some to feed your child and still had the audacity to be angry à decade after for the harsh true they fed you...

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I really didn’t expect this storyline to be my favorite.

These episodes were so powerful and raw. I felt for both the dads and the teens. Nobody is a winner in this situation, everybody lost something. It was just a complicated mess of disappointment, anger, love and stubbornness.

Noh Hee-kyung has the ability of showing the absolute ugly side of characters but the human side too. That’s why I love her writing.

It’s good that Young-joo and Hyun are united and determined, but they are painfully naïve. Their amazement at the idea of Hyun making 26 million won, which wouldn’t get them far in Seoul with a baby, was sad. Young-joo is in for a rude awakening if she thinks she can have the baby over winter break and then just return to school, no problem. The two dads might have gotten further if they had managed to stay calm and ask them practical questions.

It’s sad such a close friendship ended because of something In-gwon said (and Ho-sik probably deserved) but sometimes the truth hurts the most and pride is a powerful thing.

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That last scene made me tear up. I was so surprised at how I connected emotionally with In-Kwon 's pain. It was a great performance by Park Ji Hwan. I noticed this actor first in Black Dog.

I find myself appreciating how good the actors cast in this drama. They feel like real people.

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So much angst while watching this episodes. The kids are awfully naive but my heart broke for them and their fathers

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The last scene between In-kwon and Hyeon 💔💔

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These episodes, Woof. I cried a great deal. It is one of those interesting things where I think to myself how sad we haven't gotten past thinking of teen pregnancy as a death sentence. I would be angry if my teenager got pregnant, but I wouldn't say her life was over. It was a bit like the dads were trying to create a self-fulfilling prophesy. If you don't help the two of them, they are more likely to fail, but if you help them they are more likely to succeed. However, they couldn't look past their anger and bitterness at their wives leaving them(rightfully so, honestly, not leaving the kids, but leaving the men) to see their children. The actors did a good job. What a mess.

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I agree 💯 about the wives leaving the men, not the kids.

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I didn't really like those episodes. I don't feel anything for the kids or the fathers. I'm not a fan of people who always scream to express themselves.

Both fathers are bad fathers, they love their kids but food and a home don't make you a good parent, it's just the basic. The parents are so important in the way the child will evolve. You need to give love, respect, compliment to grow their selfesteem and teach them manners, tasks to let them live in the society.

For the kids, they showed a feeling of superiority, they will leave the island, become better than their parents, people on the market etc. But at the end, they have no idea what they're doing. They never really took the time to discuss about the pregnancy, all the possibilities, their consequences. First, it was Young-joo saying she will abort without any discussion, then she decided to keep it.

It's sad how no adult took the time to listen and give advices.

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These episodes didn’t pull any emotional punches. They were powerful, but difficult to watch. Kudos to the actors playing the dads and the teens. My emotions were all over the place.
First, I think the dads should have been thrown in the slammer long before they landed there. A night or two in jail might have cooled their temps until reasonable heads prevailed. Although, maybe that would have been asking for too much.
Yes, your kids are having a baby and it’s not an ideal situation, but for heaven’s sake, it’s not the end of the world. They’re not the first and they won’t be the last kids to “get in trouble”. Will it be easy for them like they envision? No, of course not. But it can be done. I’ve seen it done irl. But yes, it will take parental support. And the dads need to remember, EVERYONE makes mistakes and is deserving of grace and forgiveness. Aren’t they prime examples? That whole island is an example of life not working out as planned.
Something tells me the dads’ next feud is just warming up: fighting over who gets to take care of that grandbaby. One can only hope.

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The writer is making the teenage pregnancy a major plotline and I hope the intention is to show that the father's behaviour is not the way to deal with this sort of problem.

Even after the initial, understandable shock they still try to make the pregnancy go away by shouting, fighting, violence and emotional blackmail, none of which offers a solution, naturally. They are appalling parents.

Particularly In-kwon's attitude is repellent. By giving his son condoms he condones and expects his son to have sex. Does he think that using condoms will make him not responsible for a pregnancy? Is he really an adult in this time of age?

I have some sympathy with Young-joo's father. As a father it is more difficult to talk to a daughter about responsible sex and protection, but it still is his failure not to be aware of his daughter's relationship with Hyun. He should blame himself, not his daughter. Kicking her out is the lowest of low!

The teenager's solution is certainly naïve and there could be better ways, with the help of the school and the money of the future grandparents. Clearly the school does not want a pregnant teenager in the class room. It would make more sense to allow the girl to drop out for a year and have the baby and recover, while the boy completes his education. Then he could take a parenting year to allow the girl to finish her schooling.

The only thing that will not work is shouting and yelling.

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I just realized to my surprise that neither teen asked their mother for help. Have they had no contact with them for years?

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Hyun maybe has as his mom apparently at least asked him if he wanted to go with her, but I doubt Young-joo has the way her mom took off. If either remarried, I doubt they stayed in contact with their kids.

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That makes sense, but since the episodes were all about parenting, it would be nice if the writer would confirm why their mothers were not contacted by their children or why the teens were afraid to reach out to them.

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pretty sure youngju don't even remember her mom anymore that's why hosik was so heartbroken because he went through so much to raise youngju by himself

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Ugh, I really do not get how the Dads do not understand the health risks to Young-Joo for getting an abortion at 24+ weeks?! How can they be *this* clueless? I forgive them largely because of the fact that their insistence is not in the name of ~fAmILy HoNOr~ but rather out of their paternal love for the kids and their eventual future. But still. </3

I also largely enjoyed the acting performance this week. It was truly a treat to watch the more physically as well as emotionally challenging scenes. The Dads are such great actors. A-listers, who? :P
I legit cried ugly-tears at the last scene & based on that alone, I'm petitioning for a spinoff of just these 4, after the show ends :')

The PPLs this week were very slyly slid in. The soda as well as the indestructible Samsung phone that survived In-Gyeon's rage. I must also say the comic-timing of this show is impeccable! I'm convinced the fan, where Young-Joo confesses to Ho-Sik, is a paid actor.

I'm glad the show is finally performing to the potential it was promised. And we are getting performances that deserve the praise. I'm also living for the Woobie X Mina crumbs, heh! Thank you show! <3

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Amei os episódios. Chorei com eles mais gostei da determinação de amar o bebê incondicionalmente. Embora seja dura a vida que os espera. Dias melhores virão.
Alba França

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Poor unborn child.

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The last scene definitely hit hard. I ugly cried through the whole thing with Hyun and his father. To see In-kwon just deflate when his son said he was embarassed of him his whole life, after his struggle and effort…oof, right in the feels. How he wasn’t a good son or husband, but he’d tried his hardest to be a good father and still failed in his son’s eyes. Though it was obviously said in anger, Hyun probably didn’t really realise how deep the wound was until their last conversation here.

Easily the best scene in the show so far, and while I was flip flopping back and forth on whether I was even enjoying the show, this cemented that I’ll at least check out what’s to come, despite a lot of uncomfortable moments.

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Sorry, but I find watching this drama to be a chore. Gee, whod-ah thought getting pregnant as a teen would be so hard on the DADs?
Seriously, can we take the patriarchy any further than this?
A young bright woman does something stupid twice and gets to pay a big price. Two grown ass men behave like entitled fools for many years and THEY get all the drama arc? Even FF couldn't wash the stink off these eps.

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the kids are top students with promising futures..even normal parents with money would react the same way let alone single parent who went through blood and tears to raise their kids...the naive teens finally realized the hardship in their life without help from their parents is exactly the point of this story...there will be more problems coming even how they planned for it..it's to open the eyes of teens out there "you can't always have things that you want. That's life"

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Completely agree! The fathers feel terribly sorry for themselves, for the fact that their hard work and ambitions for their children is ruined. They completely ignore the fact that the girl is 6 months pregnant, that it is far too late to turn the time back with an abortion. Wallowing in their self pity, they do not even try to find out how these two kids are feeling, but add a few more problems for them to deal with instead.

'They need to learn that they cannot have everything in live the hard way' in this situation is only cruel and utter rubbish.

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I’ll tell you how I can have lesson learned from this drama. Don’t try to categorize each character in black or white, protagonist or antagonist, ideal or undesirable. For every character is flawed, done or still do some stupid or even immoral deeds, but we know there also another things like hard work, wisdom, kindness, and importantly redemption, a willingness to do better. The good done is not a justification for the bad, but the bad also should not be the only thing used to define one self. After all, this is a slice of life drama, and life stories are full of its ups and downs, joy and sorrows, sins and glory, pain and love.

In-Gwon as a father may not refined in his speech and light handed it’s no wonder he earned disrespectfulness from Hyeon. But also, he strive to do better for Hyeon. He lived an embarassing life, and lost his mother because of that. But losing his mother is enough for him to get a grip, to not lose more, to not lose Hyeon. That is why he can stand in front of Hyeon and said “though I can’t say the same to my mother and wife, but at least to you, I know I’m doing my best”, and at least for me, it’s true. At long shot, his life has it embarassments, but as long as he keep doing his best, it’s will mot turn into a shameful one.

And these kids, I love how the writer at the same time could show us characters who have the maturity that doesn’t have anything to do with age, but also owned a certainty and arrogance only youth can have. The arrogance of not saying sorry for done things that could lead to the pregnancy and stop attending school, things they know tore their father’s heart, but at the same time expect their father provide home for them to live together, goes to college with hard earned money of their father and certainty their father will do it for them after what the had done. Things that are taken for granted because they don’t live long enough to know or understand how much blood, sweat and tears to provide all of that especially if you are emotionally broken. Thank God in the end both kids realize how much heartache they have caused and finally have the decency to say sorry to their father. At the same time, it is not easy for teenagers to be fully determined to take rensponsibility of having the baby when people around you, especially the one you love suggest you to do the opposite. I believe even a lot of adult who experienced the same couldn’t have done that. It is easier for them to chose their own convenience over their baby’s life.

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💯 Agreed

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this story is the best so far..i didn't expect I would cry so much over this...the message is very clear but still some people don't get it lol

I'm on adults side..judgemental adults are very realistic, the hardship that the young father has to go through is so realistic, young mom has to go school with sick body..these are very clear message to teenagers out there..this is why they included this story..even tho I'm sure the neighborhood and dads will help to raise the kids anw..but I'm glad they included all the struggle process to get accepted. And the way the ended it with kids apologized to their parents..as they should..I'm very thankful for that

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For those who may find it interesting, the Korean word Ho-Shik uses when he tells Young-joo to go to the hospital and get rid of the "baggage" is 혹 which can mean baggage, but more typically refers to a lump or a cyst growing in/on one's body.

To my mind that was a much more hurtful meaning than "baggage".

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I love this week's episodes so much. It's very raw and imperfect and real. The actors did so well.

I'm glad they had their big fight because now that everything's out in the open, they can take steps to repair their family's friendship.

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I thought the first 2 episodes of the drama were good, but for me, each episode is getting better and more riveting. These 2 were mesmerizing. The story, the acting, the beauty of the island, the emotions are hard to turn away from. I had to watch them slowly, because of the raw emotions, but the ending scene of 8 was worth the effort. Who hasn't said something hurtful to our parents that can never be unsaid? All we can do is ask for forgiveness and rely on our parents' love to provide the healing.

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Who would have thought that the teen pregnancy arc with no star actors attached turns out to be THE best so far!

Teenage pregnancy story is normally not my favorite (with perhaps the exception of Juno) but I was very impressed by the earlier episode (Ep 5?) that started this arc. The two young actors especially the girl who plays Young-joo is simply wow, showing both her brain and vulnerability. I was so disappointed that Ep 6 focused on other characters because these two and their responses to the pregnancy make me care.

But nothing prepares me for the raw emotions and brilliance in Ep 7 and 8. It’s certainly all hells break loose as expected but it’s consummate storytelling to blend the back story of the two fathers well to the current days. They are still largely the same persons but both have done their utmost to raise the kids and become proud parents - best achievements in their lives. Who are we to judge if they are good or bad parents, let alone from the Western lens? Both actors delivered the best performance in Our Blues and I hope they get the recognition they so deserve.

Our Blues is certainly not a light watch but it’s so deeply affecting for all the ordinary people stories. I simply love it in equal measure as My Liberation Notes - although I’d normally watch MLN first before tacking the heavy OB.

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Without wishing in any way to diminish the seriousness & importance of this episode's theme and the many insightful comments here regarding parenting, etc, the tilting fan bit was well done.

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