Sunday, October 25, 2020


When I saw this being featured as one of the top ten most watched Korean Drama, K’drama for short, in Singapore, I thought to myself, “Is this going to be another one of those over-hyped romantic drama? Will I enjoy this?” In fact, I peeked into the first 15 minutes of the first episode only after a friend who knows me very well recommend it to me. She said, “It is totally your cup of tea”. And after that first 15 minutes, I was hooked!

The story opens with a fairy tale of a girl who lived alone in a tower. She had no friends and she felt lonely. One day, she decided to leave her tower and travel to a nearby village to befriend the kids in the village. The kids in the village were afraid of her, as she was apparently being followed by a monster who took away lives. This made the girl felt rejected. Dejected, she walked to a nearby river and she started to fish out for different fish, so that she can lash out and vent her frustration on the fish. However, unbeknownst to her, she accidentally fished out a boy from the river, thus inadvertently saving him from drowning. Feeling rather indebted to the girl, the boy decided to follow the girl around, through all kinds of weather and season. The girl felt happy and she realised that the monster that once followed her around was gone. One day the girl turned around and asked him, “Why do you keep following me?” and the boy replied “I will follow you till my last breath, no matter what!” The girl looked at the boy and said,” Even if were to do this?” and proceeded to tear the wings of a butterfly. Shocked, the boy ran away, never to return. That was when the girl found herself alone, once again and the monster reappeared and followed her around, again. Cut this fairy-tale to a shot of our beautiful leading lady, Seo. Ye-Ji, who takes on the character, Moon-young, and a voice over of a person believed to be her mother, telling her that she will always be alone. This 15-minute introduction not only play around the whole parallelism of the fairy-tale and the characters in the drama, but it also hinted to a few subtle issues that the drama is trying to address. In fact, the style of paralleling fairy-tales with the themes of each episode is a recurring thing for this drama, probably to reflect the reality of Moon-young who works as a writer for children’s book, as well as to reflect the two brothers who was forced to grow up prematurely and thus lived their fairy-tale like story as adults instead.

I especially like how they fleshed out the morals of the different fairy-tales, not the tamed and watered-down versions, but more of the original unadulterated versions. It is only normal then, to expect that the fleshed-out morals are very different from the ones that we have grown up learning. Like for example, do you remember the kind of morals that were fed to you when you read the story of the Little Mermaid? Would you ever think that the “karma for pining for someone else’s fiancĂ©” to be the central theme in the Little Mermaid? Or how about the fairy-tale of the zombie kid—the kid who was born not normal, and having to feed on stolen livestocks on the farm; what could possibly be the moral of the story? Who would have thought that the story is written to get the readers to reflect on mother’s sacrifice and mother’s love?

I also love the non-cliché development of the love story between Moon-young and Gang-tae. It was cute. It was heart-warming. It was funny. And it was definitely children-oriented and safe. The way the script have been developed for these two characters, and their relationship with the other characters, their dialogues; they are all so poetic and poignant.

The story development was easy to follow and doesn’t meander too much to non-related elements, like most Korean dramas. So, the 16 episodes are really packed with different morals and as an audience I learn more about perspective-taking, i.e. looking at things from different perspectives and trying to understand why there is always an alternative interpretation and an alternative way of doing things and living.

Also, the songs used throughout the series are such… EARWORMS! The good news is, the soundtrack is readily available on Spotify, should you need to relive those favourite moments in the series. You’re welcome!