The much anticipated Our Blues which is replacing Twenty Five Twenty One (which ended on a high note) on the Saturday-Sunday slot has premiered on 9 April 2022. It is broadcasted on tvN and of course, Netflix for all the international viewers. If you loved watching Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha, I think you will enjoy this too. Personally, I am very much excited for this drama for many reasons which I will be listing out shortly. Before I continue, here is the official trailer for Our Blues (also episode 1 and 2 are already out):
If you are a Korean drama enthusiast (like me), you would understand the hype and excitement surrounding this show. But it’s okay if you are not familiar, that’s what this article is for. Here are all the reasons you should be spending your Saturday and Sunday evening Netflix and chilling with Our Blues (possible spoilers ahead):
1. The Amazing Cast
With a line-up of famous and well-known actors and actresses in South Korea and beyond (yes, I mean Hollywood), you can’t help but expect great acting and great work from them in this show. Not only that, it is probably impossible to gather such big names in one production but thankfully, Our Blues did it. For the Korean drama fans out there, this is really exciting to see because we know how difficult it is to find so many talented people gathered within one show. Not to mention, the drama is written by star screenwriter Noh Hee-kyung who is known for producing heart-warming tear-jerking stories such as It’s Okay, This Is Love (2014) and That Winter, the Wind Blows (2013).
There are veteran actors Kim Hye Ja and Go Doo Shim who you would recognise from all the loving mother/grandmother roles they play in other dramas. Actresses Shin Min-a, Lee Jung Eun, Uhm Jung Hwa, and Han Ji Min are experienced actors with a host of achievements and work under their belts. And of course, I must mention the handsome charismatic men in the cast – Lee Byung Hun, Cha Seung Won and Kim Woo Bin – who are a welcome sight as they haven’t been on any Korean dramas in the past few years. This is one star-studded Korean drama that is going to be exhilarating for fans and non-fans alike.
2. The Comebacks
Faces we haven’t seen for a while on TV will be appearing on this omnibus-style drama set in Jeju Island. There is the global star Lee Byung-Hun who you would probably recognise from another Korean hit show Squid Game. Spoiler alert: he briefly appeared and delighted fans as the Front Man aka Hwang In Ho who was the overseer of the games and the brother of detective Hwang Jun Ho. This would mark his return to the small screen since his previous role in period drama Mr. Sunshine back in 2018.
There is also Kim Woo Bin who took a break from his acting career after being diagnosed with nasopharyngeal cancer in 2017. With his last work being the series Uncontrollably Fond in 2016, his fans are happy to see him return to the small screen after the announcement of his recovery in 2019. Although he has appeared in a few commercials and a variety show with Jo In Sung and Cha Tae Hyun, this would mark his return as an actor since his recovery.
3. The Characters
The drama will follow the lives of 14 characters – some who have lived their entire lives on Jeju Island and some who move to the island to start afresh. Each character has their own story to tell about the ups and downs they face and how they navigate through their sour, sweet, and bitter lives.
One of the characters who finds herself returning to her hometown Jeju Island is Min Sun Ah (played by Shin Min-a). She returns alone after going through a bitter divorce where it looks like she had to leave her child behind. There is also Lee Byung Hun who plays simple salesman Lee Dong Suk who travels around the island on his truck selling household items. The trailer shows a possible relationship blooming between him and Min Sun Ah.
Choi Han Soo (played by Cha Seung Won) is another character who returns to his hometown as the manager of a bank branch – he works hard to support his daughter who is studying overseas. He would reunite with his former classmate Jung Eun Hee (played by Lee Jung Eun) after 20 years. Looks like there might be something going on between two of them too!
Fishing boat captain Park Jeong-jun (played by Kim Woo Bin) will be having a love line with secretive Lee Young Ok (played by Han Ji Min) who goes to Jeju Island to become a haenyeo (sea divers in Jeju Island who harvest sea life). There is a lot to look forward to as we watch all these characters and stories unfold in each episode.
4. The Location
The backdrop and location of this Korean drama is the beautiful and enchanting Jeju Island. Not only we will be able to enjoy the sceneries that can only be found at Jeju Island, but we will also get a glimpse into the lives of the people who live and work at the Seopseop five-day Market of the Pureung village. The actors have also put in a lot of effort to learn the regional dialect of Jeju Island to make their characters more realistic.
Kim Woo Bin had this to say about his preparation for his role, “I wanted to understand the environment that he lives in so I went over to Jeju earlier than I needed to and met and talked with some boat captains. Sometimes I just followed around haenyeo divers to see how they commute and also learned how to trim fish.”
5. The Storytelling
The storytelling of Our Blues will follow an omnibus-style narrative which means that each episode will focus on one or two of the 14 characters involved in this drama. It is a unique take as compared to other K-dramas that usually revolve around one or two main characters and plotlines. In Our Blues, we will be able to dive into the lives of each character as if each of them are the main characters.
Writer Noh shares, “The form of omniverse storytelling is something I always wanted to try in dramas. I couldn’t understand why all stories revolve around a man and a woman, when in actual life, we are all main characters!”
6. The Healing
Having seen writer Noh’s pervious work, I’m pretty sure this K-drama is going to move us and makes us have all the feels at the end of each episode. Even Lee Byung Hun had this to say, “This story happens in a specific setting of Jeju, but it also involves emotions such as sadness and hope, which is what everyone goes through in life. This story contains all of these emotions that people can all relate to.”
Remember to have a tissue box next to you when you are watching Our Blues!
Review on Episode 1 and 2:
Note: This is the personal opinion of the writer and will contain spoilers.
The drama started off strong with excellent ratings especially for its first episode. The opening scene where Park Jeong-jun (played by Kim Woo Bin) wakes up and gets ready was a good touch. Mostly because as a fan, I’m just so happy to see him back on TV. The drama starts off slow with beautiful sceneries of Jeju Island interspersed with scenes of the daily lives of people who live and work there. For those who loved Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha, I think you will enjoy the pace and backdrop of Jeju in Our Blues.
Episode 1 and 2 both centred on the relationship between Choi Han Soo and Jang Eun Hee (played by Cha Seung Won and Lee Jung Eun respectively) – how they knew each other when they were young and how their relationship will be developing now that Choi Han Soo is back in Jeju. Throughout these two episodes, you will also be introduced to the other characters and shown how their lives are intertwined with each other. There were also some flashback scenes to when they were younger. This might get confusing for viewers, but personally I was able to follow the storyline. For those who struggled, perhaps you’ll need to rewatch it again.
There were a few comical moments in these episodes which lightened up the mood. The school reunion scene in Episode 2 was a delight to watch. There were also heart-fluttering scenes that made the fangirl in me squeal (hint: flashback scenes of Choi Han Soo and Jang Eun Hee in high school). However, as much as there were funny moments, there were also scenes that hinted (subtly and not so subtly) at a deeper story and the struggles that the characters face.
I also really liked how the actors are not dolled up and how they’re showing us how normal people would look like. K-dramas have the tendency to show only the prettiest and best-looking side of the actors which is of course unrealistic. It’s a welcome sight to see another side of them.
Overall, I’m looking forward to seeing how things pan out for everyone involved (even the smaller characters). FYI, if you were wondering why they speak funny and why you can’t seem to recognise the Korean words in their dialogues, that’s because they are speaking the Jeju dialect. The Jeju dialect is basically another language by itself, so don’t feel so confused! The English subtitle is pretty spot on – we should be able to understand what’s happening in the drama.
Hope you are enjoying Our Blues as much as I am!