“Go Back Couple” Spoofs “Descendants Of The Sun”

Because kdramas love their meta moments.

This time it was “Go Back Couple” giving a nod to a scene from “Descendants Of The Sun” in Episode 6.

A handkerchief falls to the ground. Cue music. Ha.

I forgot about how good the soundtrack to DOTS was when the drama first aired.

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Best Writing: “Because This Is My First Life”

Fuck, this show gets it right.

For every struggling writer.

For every starving artist.

For everyone pursuing something they don’t even want to say out loud.

“Because This Is My First Life” renders kdrama’s frivolities into  distant memory when it blazes with the sobering clarity of truth: the reality of a writer’s life.

Enough to put this writer in tears.

From the voice of someone who respects it, undoubtedly. Yoon Nan Joong, I heart you.

“My Dad said that I would starve if I chose this path, and I guess he was right.”

Ji Ho (Jung So Min) has always had the dream of becoming a successful writer. It was never supported by her father, who would not accept anything less than law school or a teaching degree for her.

“You don’t make as much money as Soo Ji, or date like me. But when you’re writing, you look the happiest.”

Because writers are not like their friends.

Writers know this. Sometimes you wish you were more like them. More than you’d care to admit. But even your friends know you are different, and what makes you truly happy.

And sometimes you get these moments of clarity, during the high highs and low lows.

“No matter how close you are (to your family), there are sides you don’t want to show. Sometimes your family feels like the furthest ones away from you.”

That thing you keep from your boyfriend, your brother, your sister, your parents. My God, the things you keep from your parents! From your immigrant parents!

And then your punk younger bro gets his girlfriend pregnant and your life is completely upended, though you have every right to stay in your house.

The shitty situations you’ll face, inadvertently occasioned by the calling you’ve chosen to pursue.

“When I decided to making a living pursuing my dream, I thought that my life was like walking through a dark tunnel alone. But I didn’t know that it would be this dark. And I didn’t know that it would be this lonely.”

You don’t know that at the outset – what you’ll end up giving up, what you’ll have to battle through.

But you have to give yourself a chance to be happy. To not get stuck in a world that you know isn’t yours to claim.

“Exactly how far…how much further do I have to go?”

Say what you will about the foolishness of the genre – Ji Ho’s pursuit of her dream is the resounding heartbeat of the show.

#StruggleIsReal

This Week’s Pick: “Because This Is My First Life”

Because the true-to-life characters are the ones that hit you in the heart.

It’s been a packed week of drama premieres, with shows like “20th Century Boy and Girl,” “Because It’s My First Life,” “Revolutionary Love,” “Mad Dog,” and “The Package.”

“Because This Is My First Life” is the best of the lot.

I mean, our Leading Lady makes the first move.

Yoon Ji Ho (Jung So Min) grows up in a patriarchal family, where she never got to make a birthday wish until her 20th birthday since Papa Yoon couldn’t let the cake wait.

Ji Ho’s only ever dreamed of being a successful writer. (Tell me about it, Sister.) Fast forward to current day, she’s an assistant writer on a morning drama. Not bad, eh?

But then she arrives home to find her younger brother having sex (ugh). But no, that chick ain’t just his girlfriend – they’re married but didn’t bother telling anyone, and the girlfriend –  I mean sister-in-law, is preggers, yada yada yada, Ji Ho’s homeless.

Oh, did I mention she finds out that the hot writer co-worker she’s been flirting with for three years has a girlfriend? (The gorg Yoon So Hee, in a cameo.) And then he comes back and sexually harasses her, the scum.

But things start to look up on the career side – the writer finally gets her big break – as head staff writer on a drama! Yay. Finally, her own fresh, original material.

Or so we thought. Her former boss suddenly walks on as a consultant, and now who knows what her script was about to begin with? (Hwang Suk Jung, apparently beginning to get typecast as the bitchiest drama head writer? Ha.)

At least her friends are supportive as hell. (Thumbs up for Esom and Kim Ga Eun as So Min’s besties. Though I am surprised to see Esom on the small screen since she’s known for her feature film roles.)

Nam Se Hee (Lee Min Ki), is a tech designer, and of a loner, technically-minded, and emotionally stoic persuasion. He owns his own condo and a cat, and those are pretty much the only things he can – or wants to – manage. He’s been through several roommates (since he’s gotta pay that mortgage, yo) but with his personality, it’s nearly impossible keeping one.

Well, we can see where this is going. Ji Ho and Se Hee become housemates – though they thought they found a same-gender living situation, and go on to discover otherwise. May the plot continue to thicken.

Why I Like It

One of the things I found I liked so much about the show is that it touches upon the writer’s plight in such an honest way. Rather, the War Of The Struggling Writer. Albeit it’s not at the forefront of the plot (thought could very well hold its own as such), the drama weaves it in thoughtfully where it fits.

Because it’s lonely af, the artist’s life. The constant struggle, life’s metaphorical dark tunnels you must pass through. The fact that things get so desperate that you have to sleep in an office storage room because you have nowhere else to go, and the co-worker you thought had your back is now coming on to you.

I can feel and hear writer Yoong Nan Joong’s vulnerability in the dialog, loud and clear. Props.

I can’t wait to see the next episode. Things are looking up on Mondays.

“Because This Is My First Life.” (이번 생은 처음이라).
Cast: Jung So Min, Lee Min Ki, Park Byung Eun, Esom, Kim Ga Eun, Kim Min Suk, Yoon Bo Mi.
Writer: Yoon Nan Joong ( the awesome Hogu’s Love, Flower Boy Ramen Shop)
Director: Park Joon Hwa (Let’s Fight Ghost, Let’s Eat)
Network: tvN
Airs Monday-Tuesday.

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